USES.—The bark of both species is known in pharmacy as Chinese cassia or Chinese cinnamon (cassia cinnamon). Indeed it is very like the cinnamon of Ceylon, comes in curled quills, has the same odor and taste though not so delicate; but it is darker in color, with a surface less clean and smooth. Its chemical composition is identical with that of the latter and nowadays it forms an important article of commerce.
Cinnamon renders good service in therapeutics as a stimulant of the digestive tract and a heart tonic. In the atonic diarrhoeas so common in the Philippines a tincture of cinnamon in doses of 8–10 grams a day, or the powder in cases where alcohol was contraindicated, have given me unhoped-for results.
In Spain and the Philippines it is very popular as a condiment in the kitchen of the confectionery and as a flavor for chocolate; in fact in those countries it takes the place of vanilla in France. It enters into the composition of several elixirs and compound tinctures, such as “Botot’s Water” (dentifrice), “Elixir of Garus” (tonic stimulant), “Balsam of Fioraventi” (external stimulant), laudanum and the elixir of the Grande Chartreuse (diffusible stimulant).
Lately it has been demonstrated that the essence is a powerful antiseptic, in the presence of which typhoid fever bacilli cannot develop.
BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A tree, 15–20° high. Leaves opposite, lanceolate, 3- nerved, entire, glabrous. Flowers yellow, paniculate, umbellate. Common peduncles very long, those of the flowerets long. Calyx none. Corolla, 6 ovate, hairy petals. Stamens 9; 6 external to the rest and bearing the anthers, 4 on each filament, 2 below the others; the 3 inner stamens bear 2 anthers each.
In the second species the flowers form loose, terminal panicles. Stamens 9; 6 filaments inserted on the receptacle, spatulate, each bearing 4 anthers on the inferior face; the other 3 filaments thick, each bearing 4 anthers. Between the last filaments are 8 nearly globose glandules.
HABITAT.—Both species are common in the forests of Luzon. The first species blooms in May, the second in January.
Cassytha filiformis, L.
USES.—This plant has no therapeutical uses in the Philippines. In Senegal it is employed, according to Dujardin-Beaumetz, mixed with lard to treat urethritis; its action is to decrease the ardor urinæ. It is not stated whether this mixture is used internally or externally.
In Cochin China the same writer states that it is used as an antisyphilitic. In India it is used for the piles and as an alterative for bilious disorders. It possibly acts as a circulatory stimulant.
BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A slender, thread-like, cylindrical vine, without leaves, that covers the trees like a mantle, so luxuriant is its growth. Flowers yellow, in axillary spikes. Calyx small, 3 sepals. Corolla, 3 fleshy concave petals. Stamens 12 in 4 verticils, 9 fertile and 3 inner sterile. Ovary 1-celled, 1-ovuled. Style cylindrical. Drupe globose, 1–2″ in diameter, covered by a fleshy envelope, formed by the receptacle. Seeds without albumen.
HABITAT.—Luzon, Mindanao, Cebú, on the seashore.
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