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Cerbera Odallam

The milky juice of the plant is emetic and purgative.

USES.—The milky juice of the plant is emetic and purgative. The chemist De Vry has isolated from it a poisonous alkaloid analogous to “thevetin,” which has just been considered. The seeds are likewise emetic and toxic. The Javanese call the fruit “bimaro” and affirm that it possesses the same properties as “datura.” The bruised leaves are used locally for hepatic eruptions; the bark is used for the same purpose and is purgative.

The use of the plant is dangerous and is condemned by the Pharmacopoeia of India.

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A small shrub with forked branches. Leaves (overlapping) at ends of branches, lanceolate, entire, glabrous. Flowers in umbellate spikes. Calyx, 5 caducous lobules. Corolla white, twisted, cylindrical, with salver-shaped limb divided in 5 rhomboid lobes, throat stellate and woolly.

Stamens 5. Filaments joined to the corolla, their ends thickened. Anthers arrowshaped.

Ovary, 2 uniovulate locules. Style, same length as stamens. Stigma thick, conical, lobulate. Two drupes joined at the base (one usually aborted), brown, large, oval, fleshy, with woody fibrous nut of a single flattened seed.

HABITAT.—Luzon. Blooms in July.

Reference book: The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines

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