USES.—The root, known in the Philippines as “turbita,” is a purgative and is a component part of the tincture of jalap, one of the most positive and active of known cathartics. But turpeth root is seldom used alone, for its action is so uncertain that Sir W. O’Shaughnessy pronounced the plant unworthy of a place in the Pharmacopoeia of India. The dose of the powder is 1–4 grams, the resin 40–50 cgms., the decoction of the root 4–12 grams. The active principle is a resin soluble in ether and a glucoside, turpethin, C34H56O16.
In the east of India they make offerings of the flowers to the god Shiva, and also put them to more practical use by applying them to the head for neuralgic headache.
BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A vine with quadrangular stem. Leaves heart-shaped.
Flowers axillary, numerous, in umbels. Calyx deeply cleft in 5 imbricated, ovate, fleshy parts. Corolla bell-shaped, folded. Stamens 5, unequal in height. Ovary inserted on an hypogynous disk, with 2 biovulate compartments. Style same length as stamens. Stigma bilobulate, globose. Seed vessel square, encircled by calyx, 2 locules each with 2 seeds.
HABITAT.—Common in Bauang and Pasig. Blooms in November.
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