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Botanical Name :Andira inermis
Species: A. inermis
Synonyms: Vouacapoua inermis. Bastard Cabbage Tree. Worm Bark. Yellow Cabbage Tree. Jamaica Cabbage Tree.
Common Names:Cabbage bark (in Belize), almendro macho (in El Salvador), almendro de río or river almond (Honduras), bastard cabbage tree, cabbage angelin (USA), cabbage bark (USA), cabbage tree, carne asada (Costa Rica), guacamayo (Honduras), Jamaica cabbage tree, moca (Puerto Rico), partridge wood (USA), worm bark, or yellow cabbage tree.
Habitat :Andira inermis is native to the area from southern Mexico through Central America to northern South America (Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil); it has been introduced to the Caribbean, the Antilles, Florida, and Africa.
A leguminous tree, growing very tall and branching towards the top called Cabbage Tree because it forms a head in growing; it has a smooth grey bark which, cut into long pieces, is the part utilized for medicine. It is thick, fibrous, scaly, and of an ashy brownish colour externally, covered with lichens – the inside bark is yellow and contains a bitter sweet mucilage, with an unpleasant smell. In Europe the bark of another species, Avouacouapa retusa, has been utilized. It grows in Surinam, is a more powerful vermifuge than Vouacapoua inermus and does not as a rule produce such injurious after-effects. In the dried state it is without odour, but has a very bitter taste; when powdered it has the colour of cinnamon.
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It is a nitrogen-fixing tree. It is evergreen and unbuttressed and has a dense crown and pink flowers. It grows primarily in riparian zones in forests along rivers. It can also be found in drier areas, including roadsides, pastures, and woodlands.
Constituents: Jamaicine-Andirin aglucoside, an inodorous, bitter, acrid resin.
Medicinal Action and Uses: Cabbage tree produces a smooth grey bark which has been used in herbal medicine systems as a strong purgative to expel intestinal worms. It is treated with much respect by the rainforest shamans and herbal healers as a very powerful medicine since too large of a dose causes vomiting, fever, delirium, and even death. Some Indian tribes in the Amazon prepare a bark decoction to use for ring worm and other fungal infections on the skin. Usually taken as an infusion
Narcotic vermifuge. Cabbage Tree bark used in large doses may cause vomiting, fever and delirium, especially if cold water is drunk just before or after taking it. In the West Indies it is largely employed as a vermifuge to expel worm – ascaris lumbrecoides – but if used incautiously death has been known to occur. The powder purges like jalap.
The tree’s wood is used for lumber, and its smooth gray bark reportedly has narcotic, laxative, and vermifuge properties.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.