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Acalypha Indica

This plant is not used medicinally in the Philippines

certain and speedy in its action. Like ipecacuanha it seems to have little tendency to act on the bowels or depress the vital powers, and it decidedly increases the secretion of the pulmonary organs. Probably an infusion of the dried leaves or an extract prepared from the green plant would retain all its active properties. The dose of the expressed juice for an infant is a teaspoonful.

Dr. A. E. Ross speaks highly of its use as an expectorant, ranking it in this respect with senega; he found it especially useful in the bronchitis of children.

He also makes favorable report of a cataplasm of the leaves as a local application to syphilitic ulcers and as a means of relieving the pain attendant on the bites of venomous insects.

The alleged purgative action of the root noticed by Ainslie is confirmed by Dr.

H. E. Busteed, who reports having used the expressed juice of the root and leaves as a laxative for children.

Langley, a military surgeon, states that in Canara the natives employ the leaf juice in congestive headache, soaking pledgets of cotton with it and introducing them into the nasal fossæ; the resultant nose bleed relieves the headache. The powder of the dry leaves is dusted on ulcers and putrid sores. In asthma and bronchitis, both of children and adults, Langley has used this plant with good results, and he recommends 1.25–3.50 grams of the tincture (100 grams of the fresh plant to 500 of alcohol, 90°) repeated several times a day; the effect is expectorant, nauseant and, in large doses, emetic.

It must be noted that only the young, growing plants are active.

The flowers of another species, A. hispida, Burm., called bugos in Tag. and Vis., is used in India for the dysentery.

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A little plant, about 3° high. Leaves alternate, broad, lanceolate, 5-nerved, serrate from middle to apex. Petioles much longer than the leaves, 2 stipules at their bases. Flowers greenish, monoecious in axillary spikes, pedunculate, as long as the leaves, crowned by a prolongation of the axis in the form of a cross. Staminate: Numerous, in upper part of spike; calyx 4 parts; no corolla; stamens 8–16, small, free. Pistillate: Less in number, at the base of the spike; perianth of 3 imbricated leaflets; ovary, 3 uniovulate locules; style, 3 branches which also subdivide. Capsule 3-celled, each cell containing a globose seed with cicatrix.

HABITAT.—Luzon, Panay and Mindanao. Blooms in October.

Reference book: The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines

Tags: Medical plants, Medicine, healing, Injuries, Doctors,

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