USES.—The native women use the infusion of its aromatic leaves to induce menstruation. It is also used as an abortifacient, but is too mild a uterine stimulant to be reliable for that purpose. Its stomachic and tonic properties are common knowledge in the Philippines. The Hindoos use it for those effects and as an antispasmodic in amenorrhoea and hysteria. Dr. Wight states that the leaves and tops are useful in nervous troubles resulting from debility and that a decoction of them makes a good fomentation for phagedenic ulcers.
The infusion is prepared in the proportion of 10–30 grams of leaves to 1 liter of water and the powdered leaves are given in doses of 4–8 grams; the aqueous extract 30–40 grams a day. For amenorrhoea the drug is given daily for a week preceding the menstrual date.
BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A plant 3° high, stem straight, woody, square toward ends of branches. Leaves alternate, tomentose, decurrent, divided in several places, medium lanceolate. Flowers straw-colored, in axillary and terminal, 1- ranked spikes. Common calyx cylindrical, 2 circles of oval, scarious leaflets around its border, 11 hermaphrodite disk-flowers and about 5 pistillate rayflowers.
Hermaphrodite: Corolla bell-shaped, 5 obtuse teeth; stigmas 2, bent to the sides. Pistillate: Corolla diminutive, 5 toothlets; anther none; stigmas 2.
Seeds of both small and quadrate, smaller in the latter. Receptacle nude.
HABITAT.—Grows throughout the islands and is well known.
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