Trichosanthes palmata, Roxb. (T. tricuspis, Mig.; T. lucioniana, Bares.) NOM. VULG.—(?).
USES.—Roxburgh states that the fruit is toxic and sometimes used to kill crows.
Dymock states that the leaf is smoked in Bombay as a remedy for asthma.
The extremely bitter taste of the fruit and rind induced Sir W. O’Shaughnessy to examine it for tonic and purgative properties; doses as high as 0.20 gram 3 times a day failed to exert a purgative effect. The root is used in veterinary medicine particularly for pneumonia. Mixed with equal parts of colocynth it is applied to carbuncles. In combination with equal parts of Terminalia chebula and ginger it is made into a sweetened infusion for internal use in gonorrhoea.
BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A climber with broad, heart-shaped, serrate, 7-lobulate leaves. Flowers monoecious; staminate white and racemose; pistillate solitary, growing at the base of the staminate racemes. Staminate receptacle tubular, calyx inserted on the border of the receptacle, 5 sepals. Corolla, 5 petals. Stamens 5, of which 4 are in pairs. Pistillate: the receptacle dilates in its lower part in form of a globose vase and encloses the unilocular pluriovulate ovary. Fruit ovoid or pyriform, scarlet when fresh, orange-yellow when dry. Seeds of irregular form, somewhat triangular. Kernel oily.
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