Melastoma malabatrichum, L. (M. obvolutum, Jack.; M. aspera and obvoluta, Blanco.) NOM. VULG.—Granatis, Tag.
USES.—A decoction of the leaves is of use as an astringent in diarrhoea and dysentery. A decoction of the bark is used as a gargle for aphthæ and catarrhal sore throat, and as a wash for ulcers and the itch.
The fruit is edible, resembling slightly the currant; it has doubtless received the name “granatis” on account of its many seeds.
BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—Small tree, with opposite branches, their ends covered with hairs. Leaves opposite, 3-nerved, 1′ long, very rough with short hairs.
Flowers carmine, in terminal panicles. Stamens 10. Filaments alternating violet and straw-color.
HABITAT.—Mountains of Angat and San Mateo.
Ammannia vesicatoria, Roxb. (A. baccifera, L.; A. Indica, Lam.; A. debilis and Celosia mana, Blanco.) NOM. VULG.—Bias pogo, Tag.; Blistering Ammannia, Indo-Eng.
USES.—The leaves contain an irritant and acrid principle that renders them vesicant when applied to the skin. The Pharmacopoeia of India quotes Sir W.
O’Shaughnessy to the effect that plasters made of the bruised leaves even when renewed every half hour require 24 hours to raise a blister and at the same time cause severe pain. He found it much more painful than cantharides and much less prompt to act. Dr. Dymock has prepared an ethereal tincture of the leaves and obtained with it results very different from those just mentioned; this is not surprising in view of the fact that the tincture holds in solution in a small quantity of ether, a considerable amount of the vesicant principle. This tincture has the same color as the “epispastic” of the English Pharmacopoeia, causes less pain and rapidly raises a good blister, facts of which I have convinced myself by the use of a small quantity sent me from Bombay in 1891.
Dr. Bholanauth Bose recommends the internal use of the juice of the leaves as a remedy for chronic diseases of the spleen; this treatment, however, has caused severe pain and is absolutely uncertain in effect.
In Concan the juice of the leaves is given mixed with food to animals in heat, for its anaphrodisiac action. The fresh or dried plant is given in decoction mixed with ginger in intermittent fevers.
If the ethereal tincture be evaporated a resinous residue remains that has not been studied, but appears to be the vesicant principle. This tincture should be made from the dried leaves to avoid hydration of the ether.
BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A small plant with stem red, straight, quadrate, ramose. Leaves opposite, lanceolate, and fringed with hairs. Flowers axillary, small, red, solitary. Peduncles short. Calyx inferior, bell-shaped, with 8-toothed border, the 4 alternate teeth larger. Corolla none. Nectary bell-shaped, surrounding the ovary, shorter than the calyx, with 4 toothlets which lengthening form the filaments of as many stamens. Anthers 4-celled. Ovary of 4 pluriovulate locules. Style almost wanting. Stigma fluted. Seed vessel glabrous, horizontally dehiscent, containing 15 or more angular seeds joined to a common axis.
HABITAT.—It grows in the marshes of Mandaloyon.
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