NOM. VULG.—Dapdap, Kasindik, Tag.; Dapdap, Kabrab, Vis.; Dapdap, Sulbag̃, Pam.; Indian Coral Tree, Eng.
USES.—This tree is well known on account of the beauty of its crimson flowers.
The decoction of the leaves is a useful cleansing and deodorizing application for ulcers. The bruised leaves are used locally in painful affections of the joints and to abort syphilitic buboes and abscesses of all kinds. The juice of the tender leaves is used in Concan to destroy maggots in ulcers, and the powder has a similar use. A decoction is used locally in ophthalmia.
The root and the leaves are used as a febrifuge in the Philippines and in India, according to Wight. In Brazil the bark is given in small repeated doses as a hypnotic and in the Philippines as a diuretic and purgative; a decoction of the leaves is similarly used. The bark contains an alkaloid discovered by Rochefontaine and Rey, called erythrin, which acts upon the central nervous system, diminishing its normal functions even to the point of abolishment, without modifying motor excitability or muscular contractility. W. Young isolated a glucoside, migarrhin, similar to saponin, but possessing the additional property of dilating the pupil.
In bronchitis with dyspnoea the following infusion of bark is very useful: Fresh bark, } Freshly bruised leaves, } āā 2 grams.
Water 1,500 grams.
Boil till reduced one-half, filter and add: Simple syrup 200 grams.
Dose: Wineglassful every two hours.
BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A large tree, 20° high, thorny, with ternate leaves.
Leaflets rhomboid, broad, entire, glabrous. Secondary petioles: that of the middle leaflet long, bearing 2 glands, those of the others short, bearing 1 gland each. The leaves fall at the end of the rainy season and the flowers bloom. They are a handsome scarlet color, large, in terminal racemes. Calyx half-cylindrical, oblique, truncate, entire. Corolla papilionaceous; standard elongated, lanceolate.
Wings short. Keel very short, 2-lobuled. Stamens diadelphous. Anthers large.
Ovary woolly. Stigma thick. Pod curved, rounded, furrowed in parts corresponding to the seeds which are numerous, oval, pointed at the ends.
HABITAT.—Common throughout the islands. Blooms in February.
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