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Moringe

The root is vesicant and the Filipinos bruise it and use it for sinapisms.

Moringa pterygosperma, Gaertn. (M. oleifera, Lamk.; M. poligona, DC.; Guilandina Moringa, Blanco.) NOM. VULG.—Malug̃ay, Kamalug̃ay, Kalug̃ay, Tag.; Dool, Malug̃it, Vis. and Pam.; Horse Radish Tree, Indo-Eng.

USES.—The root is vesicant and the Filipinos bruise it and use it for sinapisms. I have often observed, however, that it is quite painful used in this way. Dr. Waitz states that it is a good plan to add a few drops of the root juice to mustard sinapisms, a proceeding which seems to me superfluous, especially in the case of children as he advises it.

The Bengal pharmacopoeia contains the following official preparations: Compound Spirit.— Small pieces of moringa root } Orange peel} āā 600 grams.

Nutmeg 20 grams.

Spirit of wine 4½ liters.

Water 1 liter.

Mix and distil 4 liters.

DOSE.—8–30 cc. as a stimulant and diuretic.

Compound Infusion.— Moringa root, small pieces, bruised} Mustard seed} āā 30 grams.

Boiling water ½ liter.

Let stand 2 hours, filter and add compound spirit.

30 grams.

DOSE.—30–60 grams a day, as a strong stimulant.

The expressed seeds yield a fixed oil, which is irritating and in my opinion should not be used internally.

The green pods, the flowers and the tender shoots of the leaves are eaten stewed.

The juice of the leaves is given internally in India, as an emetic, in doses of 30 grams.

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A well-known tree, 5–6 meters high. Leaves 3-pinnate, their terminal divisions odd-pinnate. Leaflets oval, glabrous, entire. Calyx, 5 unequal petaloid segments, imbricated, caducous. Corolla white, 5 unequal petals. Stamens inserted on the border of a disc, unequal, 5 opposite the petals bearing anthers, 5 alternate without anthers. Anthers dorsal, unilocular. Ovary pedunculate, lanceolate, unilocular, with many ovules in 2 series, inserted on the parietal placentæ. Fruit a pod terminating in a beak, 3-valved. Seeds numerous, very large, winged, embedded in a spongy substance.

HABITAT.—Common throughout the islands. Blooms in November.

Reference book: The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines

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