USES.—Some native herb-doctors use the root as a purgative, giving a decoction of 4–8 grams to a cup of water. The infusion is used locally for itch and psoriasis. Internally it has a diuretic effect and is reputed to be a solvent of vesical calculi. The leaf juice and the bruised leaves are applied to wounds and atonic ulcers. These leaves with those of “sambon” and “sampaloc” (tamarind) are used to prepare aromatic baths for convalescents, rheumatics and pregnant women.
BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A plant with stem drooping, square, grooved, covered with drops of gum resin. Leaves opposite, cordate, oval, lanceolate, serrate, 3 prominent nerves covered with short down. Petioles short, grooved. Flowers yellow, in a sort of umbel, with 3 or more flowerets on long peduncles. Common calyx, 9–11 narrow sepals, concave, fleshy, in 2 rows. Hermaphrodite diskflowers 40 or more. Corolla tubular, 5-toothed. Anthers longer than corolla.
Pistil longer than stamens. Style bifid. Pistillate flowers, 15 or more, forming the rays. Corolla monopetalous, 3-toothed. Style and stigma as in hermaphrodite flowers. Seeds of hermaphrodite flowers quadrangular, crowned by one long awn, and the rudiment of another. Seeds of ray flowers small and sometimes flattened, 2 awns, of which one alone lengthens and becomes conspicuous.
Receptacle covered with concave scales.
HABITAT.—Grows along the shores of the sea and of rivers. It is very well known.
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