Botanical Name : Haematoxylum campechianum
Species: H. campechianum
Common Name :Logwood,bloodwood,kampes agaci, logwood, palo de campeche, bois campeche, campeche, campechier,
Habitat: Haematoxylum campechianum is native to Tropical America, especially the shores of the Gulf of Campeachy. Naturalized in West Indies and elsewhere.
The name of the genus comes from the Greek and refers to the blood-red colour of the heart-wood. Haematoxylon Campeachianum is a crookedly-branched, small tree. It grows 9–15 metres (30–50 feet) tall and has a short, crooked trunk. The branches are spiny and the bark rough and dark. The leaves have four pairs of small, smooth leaflets, each in the shape of a heart with the points towards the short stem. The flowers, small and yellow, with five petals, grow in axillary racemes.
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The leaves are pinnately compound (feather-formed), with rather oval leaflets. The small yellow flowers grow in a cluster from the leaf axil (upper angle between branch and leaf stem). The wood is heavy and extremely hard. A black dye, also called logwood, is obtained from the heartwood.
Part Used: The heart-wood, or duramen, unfermented.
Constituents: A volatile oil, an oily or resinous matter, two brown substances, quercitin, tannin, a nitrogenous substance, free acetic acid, salts, and the colouring principle Haematoxylin or Haematin (not the haematin of the blood). The crystals are colourless, requiring oxygen from the air and an alkaline base to produce red, blue, and purple.
Haematein, produced by extraction of two equivalents of hydrogen, is found in dark violet crystalline scales, showing the rich, green colour often to be seen outside chips of logwood for dyeing purposes.
A mild astringent, especially useful in the weakness ofthe bowels following cholera infantum. It may be used in chronic diarrhoea and dysentery, in haemorrhages from uterus, lungs, or bowels, is agreeable to take, and suitable whether or not there is fever. It imparts a blood-red colour to urine and stools. It is incompatible with chalk or limewater. The patient should be warned of these two characteristics.
In large doses haematoxylin can produce fatal gastro-enteritis in lower animals.
The infusion, internally, combined with a spray or lotion, is said to have cured obstinate cases of foetid polypus in the nose.
The bark and leaves are also used in various medical applications.
Logwood was used for a long time as a natural source of dye, and still remains an important source of haematoxylin, which is used in histology for staining. In its time, logwood was considered a versatile dye, and was widely used on textiles but also for paper. The dye’s colour depends on the mordant used as well as the pH. It is reddish in acidic environments but bluish in alkaline ones
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