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Quisqualis Indica

The fruit contains a kernel that tastes much like cacao,

NOM. VULG.—Tagaraw, Niogniogan, Tag.; Tangolon, Vis.; Babebabe, Pam.; Tartaraw, Iloc.

USES.—The fruit contains a kernel that tastes much like cacao, for which reason the Tagalogs call it “niogniogan” (like cacao). This kernel is a powerful anthelmintic, used also in India, the dose for a child of 4 years being 2–4, pulverized and mixed with a little molasses or sugar. A large dose produces hiccough, a fact well known to the natives. Dr. Bouton states that they may cause convulsions and other similar nervous disorders.

They yield a light green, fixed oil, probably the active principle of the plant.

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A climbing shrub, 6–9° high, whose stem is thickly set with long, opposite thorns. Leaves in stars of 3, oblong, acute, entire, glabrous.

Petioles very short. Flowers white, veined with red, in axillary spikes. Calyx very long, nearly cylindrical, 5-toothed. Corolla, 5 petals, inserted between the teeth of the calyx. Stamens 10, inserted on the calyx-tube, shorter than the corolla, arranged in 2 series, 5 higher than the rest. Style the same length as the stamens, united throughout nearly its entire length with the wall of the calyxtube from which it separates near the stigma. Stigma rather bulky. Fruit 1′ long, ovoid, 5 sharp ridges in the woody, fragile, mahogany-colored pericarp, which contains a pointed kernel at one end.

HABITAT.—San Mateo, and along the shores of Luzon. Blooms in May.

Reference book: The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines

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