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Leguminos

The seed is the part of the plant employed and is official in the Pharmacopoeia of India.

Brasiletto Family.

Cæsalpinia Bonducella, Flem. (Guilandina Bonducella, L.) NOM. VULG.—Bayag-Kambig̃, Kalambibit, Tag.; Dalugdug, Vis.; Fever Nut, Physic Nut, Bonduc Seeds, Indo-Eng.

USES.—The seed is the part of the plant employed and is official in the Pharmacopoeia of India. It is used as a tonic and antiperiodic in intermittent fevers and in general where tonic treatment is indicated. It has given good results in the malarial fevers of India, according to English physicians. The Pharmacopoeia of India contains the following preparation under the name of “Compound Powder of Bonduc” (Pulvis bonducellæ compositus).

Seeds of Bonduc, powdered 30 grams.

Pepper 30 grams.

Mix and keep in a well-corked flask.

DOSE.—1–2 grams 3 times a day.

In the Philippines the powdered seed is given in affections of the digestive tract, especially in diarrhoea and feeble digestion. The same name of Bonduc is given to the seeds of another species that grows in the Philippines, C. Bonduc, Roxb.; Kamot-Kabag, Bayan-Kambig̃, Tag. The seeds are identical in chemical composition and therapeutic indication.

The two principal substances contained in the seeds are an oil, 24% and a resin, 1.88%. The former is straw-colored and slightly bitter by virtue of the presence of a resin that may be precipitated by alcohol. The resin or bitter principle exists as an amorphous powder, white, bitter, not acrid, soluble in chloroform, alcohol, acetone, crystallizable acetic acid, fixed and essential oils; slightly soluble in ether and bisulphide of carbon, insoluble in water and petroleum ether. The alkalies do not affect it. It melts at 140°, decomposing and leaving only a carbon.

Its discoverers, Heckel and Schlagdenhauffen, have given it the name bonducin (C14H15O5). Hydrochloric acid colors it red; sulphuric acid, a maranthin red in half an hour.

Bonducin seems to be the active principle of the seeds and is given internally in doses of 10–20 centigrams; according to Dr. Isnard, of Marseilles, this dose has given as good results in fevers as the same quantity of quinine.

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A shrub with prostrate stem bristling with thorns.

Leaves twice abruptly pinnate, a thorn taking the place of the terminal leaflet.

Leaflets in 10–14 pairs, ovate, expanded, with a spine at the apex. Common petioles thorny, with 4 leaf-like stipules at the base. Flowers yellow, in racemes.

Calyx 5-parted, curved downward. Corolla inserted on the calyx, 5 petals, 4 nearly equal, the uppermost broader and shorter. Stamens 10. Filaments very unequal in height, inserted on the calyx, united and woolly at the base. Pistil very short. Stigma thick. Pod rhomboidal before maturity, prickly, containing 2 semi-globose seeds with testa hard, mottled and tough.

The other species, C. Bonduc, Roxb., is distinguished by leaflets unequal at the base, by the absence of stipules, and by the bright orange yellow seeds.

HABITAT.—Common in Luzon, Panay and Joló. Blooms in December.

Reference book: The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines

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