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Mesua Ferrea

USES.—We do not know to what use the Filipinos put this plant, but in India the sweet flowers are dried and sold in the bazars under the name of Nag-Kasar or Nagesur, which is used as a mild stimulant, but especially as a perfume.

A dark oil is expressed from the seeds, its density 0.954 and its solidifying point 5° above zero. In northern Canara it is used locally in rheumatism. The incised root bark exudes a resinous sap which is a good bitter tonic. The infusion of the wood is equally good. The dried flowers, finely powdered and mixed with oil or lard make a useful ointment for acute hemorrhoids. The fruit is acrid and purgative.

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A tree with leaves long-petioled, oblong, lanceolate, acuminate, rounded at the base, thick, coriaceous, upper surface lustrous, lower surface greenish or covered with a waxy, ash-colored powder. Flowers terminal or axillary, solitary, yellowish. Calyx 4 imbricated sepals, orbiculate, slightly pubescent. Corolla 4 persistent petals, wedge-shaped, short, with rounded points.

Stamens indefinite, free, in 5–6 series. Ovary free, 2-celled, each cell containing 2 ovules. Style bilobed. Fruit nearly unilocular, ovate, acuminate, encompassed at its base by the sepals, the lower part of the petals, and crowned by the style.

Pericarp woody, dehiscent at the tip by 2–4 valves; contains 1–4 seeds, slightly orbiculate, coriaceous.

HABITAT.—Common in the forests.

Reference book: The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines

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