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Guttifer

Gamboge Family.

Garcinia mangostana, L.

NOM. VULG.—Mangostán, Sp.; Mangosteen, Eng.

USES.—The seed of the fruit is astringent and is given internally as an infusion in dysentery and chronic diarrhoea. The decoction is very useful as an injection in leucorrhoea.

The following potion has given excellent results to Dr. Ed. J. Waring in chronic dysentery and the diarrhoeas of tropical countries: Dried peel of mangosteen 60 grams.

Cumin seed 5 grams.

Coriander 5 grams.

Water 1,200 grams.

Boil till reduced to 600 grams. Take 120 grams twice a day. Tincture of opium may be added.

An analysis of mangosteen peel by W. Schmidt demonstrated a large quantity of tannin, a resin and a crystallizable principle named mangostin (C20H23O5) which exists in the form of fine, golden yellow laminæ, tasteless, soluble in alcohol, ether and the alkalies, insoluble in water. With the perchloride of iron it gives a blackish-green color, and sulphuric acid colors it red.

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—The mangosteen grows only in the southern islands of the Archipelago and its delicious fruit is the part of the plant known in Manila.

The peel is at the present time almost universally employed in medicine. The fruit is about the size of a small Manila orange, the pericarp a dark red or chocolate color, tough and thick, crowned with the remains of the calyx. On breaking it open the edible portion of the fruit is seen, consisting of 6–18 seeds covered by a white, sweet pulp, cottony in appearance, of a delicious slightly acrid flavor.

1. Garcinia venulosa, Choisy. (Cambogia venulosa, Blanco.) 2. G. Cambogia, Desrouss. (Cambogia binucao, Blanco.) NOM. VULG.—Binukaw, Tag., applied to both trees, though the first is also called Gatasan pulá in Tagalo and Taklag̃-anak in Pampango.

USES.—The fruit of the second species, the true name of which is binucaw, is acid and edible. The fruit and the trunk of both species, when cut, exude a gumresin very much like gamboge which is obtained from the G. morella or G.

pedicellata, Desr. These gum-resins, however, seem to be much inferior to gamboge; they contain an essential oil which does not exist in the latter and their color is paler.

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—The G. venulosa is a tree with leaves opposite, lanceolate, acute, entire and glabrous, the inferior surface covered with nervelets which converge at the apex. Petioles short and flattened. Flowers tetramerous.

Calyx, 4 persistent sepals. Corolla, 4 petals, overlapping, fleshy, ovate, of the same color as the calyx. Stamens numerous; no filaments; anthers round and very small. Style very short and thick, stigma peltate, divided into 10 parts. Fruit globose, depressed, no well-marked ridges when ripe.

G. Cambogia differs from the foregoing in the leaves which present no nervelets on the lower surface and the fruit which presents 8 angles or rounded ridges.

HABITAT.—Very common throughout the islands, abounding in the mountains of San Mateo and Morong. Blooms in August.

Reference book: The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines

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