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Capparidace

Caper Family.

Cleome viscosa, L. (C. icosandra, L.; Polanisia viscosa, DC.) NOM. VULG.—Balabalanoyan, Apoyapoyan, Tag.; Wild Mustard, Eng.

USES.—The seeds possess the same properties as those of mustard and are used in place of the latter in Manila. In America the leaves are used as a poultice in otitis, their action being rubefacient. In India the seeds are given internally for their anthelmintic and carminative effect; the dose is one teaspoonful twice a day. The juice of the leaves mixed with cocoanut oil is used in the form of eardrops in suppurative otitis.

The natives give the same common name to the Gynandropsis pentaphylla, DC.

(Cleome pentaphylla, L.; C. altiacea or C. alliodora, Blanco), which is distinguished from the former by its six stamens inserted on the pistil and its violet-colored stem. Its therapeutic properties are identical with those of the Cleome viscosa. Dr. Sir W. Jones believes that the plant possesses antispasmodic properties, basing his belief on its odor, which resembles asafetida, though not so disagreeable. In India the juice of the leaves is a popular remedy for earache.

It is also used there as a rubefacient.

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—An annual, the stem channeled and bearing glandular hairs. Leaves compound, alternate; leaflets lanceolate with glandular hairs.

Calyx, 4 sepals. Corolla, 4 petals, yellow. Stamens 14–16, encircling the pistil.

Seed vessels cylindrical, with channels and glandular hairs. The whole plant is sticky and emits a garlicky odor.

Reference book: The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines

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