USES.—The ripe fruit, so dark a purple in color that it seems black, is edible and very popular in the Philippines, though not considered choice. Some suppose it to be harmful, but it is in reality very easy of digestion.
The syrup of the fruit juice, and the decoction of the trunk bark are both very efficacious in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery.
SYRUP OF JAMBUL.— Juice of ripe fruit 500 grams.
White sugar 950 grams.
Dissolve in a covered water-bath, strain through woolen cloth and put aside.
DOSE.—60–200 grams a day.
The juice of the leaves is also used to treat diarrhoea. A Hindoo physician, Bhavaprakasa, advises the following receipt: Juice of leaves of lomboy } Juice of leaves of manga } āā 4 grams.
Pulp of Terminalia chebula } Give in one dose in a little goat’s milk and honey.
A sort of wine of very agreeable taste is made from the fruit juice. Lately the powdered seed has been recommended in the treatment of glycosuria or at least it has been stated that its internal use lessens and finally abolishes the glucose from the urine of the patient. It has even been affirmed that while under this treatment the patient may eat glucose-forming foods without fear of glycosuria supervening.
The chemical composition of the seeds are as follows: Essential oil Traces.
Chlorophyl and fatty matters 0.37 Resin soluble in alcohol and ether 0.30 Gallic acid 1.65 Albumin 1.25 Pigment soluble in water 2.70 Water 10.00 Insoluble residuum 83.73 100.00 Dujardin-Beaumetz has tested the therapeutic value of these seeds in diabetes but with negative results. Scott has maintained that by adding the powdered seed to a mixture of malt and starch, fermentation is impeded; but Dr. Villy in the laboratory of Dujardin-Beaumetz has demonstrated that such is not the case.
Contrary to the opinions of those physicians who stated that “jambul” was capable of causing the glucose to disappear from the urine of diabetic patients without concurrent diabetic regimen, Dujardin-Beaumetz observed in his trials of the drug that the slightest relaxation of the regimen was followed by an increase of glucose. Under the influence of the medicine in doses of 2–10 grams daily, at the same time maintaining a strict diabetic diet, the Parisian therapeutist noted that the glucose disappears from the third to the fifth day; but this occurred only in cases of medium intensity, whereas in severe cases the medication produced no effect. Upon stopping the treatment the sugar reappeared.
BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A tree, 15–20° high, with leaves opposite, acute, entire, ovate, lustrous, very smooth. Flowers in racemose panicles with peduncles opposite. Calyx superior, with 5 small teeth and a deciduous cover composed of many orbicular pieces joined below. Corolla none. Stamens numerous, inserted on the edge of the calyx. Stigma pointed. Fruit black, oval, crowned with the calyx; one long cylindrical seed with membranaceous epidermis.
HABITAT.—Common all over the Archipelago. Blooms in February.
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