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Moonseed Family

Tinospora crispa, Miers. (Menispermum crispum, L.; M. rimosum, Blanco; Cocculus crispus, DC.) NOM. VULG.—Makabuhay, Tag.

USES.—Makabuhay is one of the most widely known and used plants in the Philippines; a sort of panacea applied to all bodily afflictions. Its Tagalo name means literally “you may live.” A shoot deprived of roots and dropped in some moist place is soon covered with bright green leaves and adventitious roots. This peculiarity of the plant made it possible for me to take a large number of sprouts from Manila to Paris where they arrived perfectly fresh after a voyage of forty days, during which they lay almost forgotten in the ship and the cars.

The stem is the part employed in medicine. A decoction is given internally in the various forms of malarial fever and of dyspepsia. Externally it is most useful as a wash for ulcers of all kinds, rapidly improving their appearance.

In India the species T. cordifolia is used; it differs but little from T. crispa. It is official in the Pharmacopoeia and has been introduced into Europe. T. cordifolia has given excellent results in the mild forms of intermittent fever; in general debility following long and severe cases of illness; in chronic rheumatism, and in the second stage of syphilis. As the two species are so much alike we shall add the preparations and dose of T. cordifolia which we have used on several occasions with good results.

TINCTURE OF T. CORDIFOLIA.—Stems of the dried plant, 100 grams. Alcohol 21° (Cartier), 500 cc. Macerate seven days in a closed vessel stirring from time to time. After decanting add enough alcohol (21°) to bring the quantity up to 500 cc., and filter.

DOSE.—4–8 grams.

MACERATION.—Fresh stems cut in small pieces, 30 grams, water 300 grams.

Macerate for two hours and filter.

DOSE.—30–90 cc. a day.

EXTRACT.—Dry makabuhay in small pieces 500 grams. Water 2½ liters.

Macerate for twelve hours, filter the liquid and express the macerated drug which is then macerated a second time in 2½ liters of water. Express again, unite the two liquids and filter. Evaporate in a water-bath to the consistency of a pill mass.

DOSE.—½–1½ grams a day in fractional doses.

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A vine whose runners entwine themselves among the tops of the highest trees, giving off many adventitious roots which seek the earth.

The stem is covered with projecting tubercles. Leaves heart-shaped, pointed, entire with five well-marked nerves. Flowers yellowish-green, dioecious, growing in axillary racemes. The male flowers have a corolla of six petals, the three smaller ones arranged alternately. In the female flower the stamens are represented by three glands situated at the base of the petals. Fruit, an elliptical drupe.

Reference book: The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines

Tags: Medical plants, Medicine, healing, Injuries, Doctors,

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