Herbs & Plants

Guamúchil (Sweet Tamarined)

Botanical Name :Pithecellobium dulce
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Pithecellobium
Species: P. dulce
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Fabales

Other scientific Names: Inga camatchili,Inga dulcis,Inga lanceolata,Mimosa dulcis.Mimosa unguis,Acacia dulcis Roxb.

Common Names :Camachile (Pamp.),Kamarsiles (Tag.),Chamultis (Ig.),Kamatsele, Damortis (Ilk.)  Kamonsiles (Tag.),Damulkis (Bon.),Kamunsil (P. Bis.), Kamachili (Tag., Bik.)  Karamansili (Ibn.),Kamachilis (Tag.)  Komonsili (P. Bis.),Kamanchilis (P. Bis., Mag.) ,Komontos (Ting.),
Kamansile (Tag.)  Komontres (Ting.),Kamantilis (Pang.)   Madras thorn (Engl.),Sweet tamarind (Engl.)

It is known by the name Madras Thorn, but it is not native to Madras. The name Manila Tamarind is misleading, since it is neither closely related to tamarind, nor native to Manila. The name monkeypod is more commonly used for the Rain Tree (Albizia saman). Other names include Blackbead, Sweet Inga, Cuauhmochitl (Nahuatl), Guamúchil (Spanish), ‘Opiuma (Hawaiian), Vilayati ambli (Gujarati),  Jungle jalebi or Ganga imli (Hindi), Tetul (Bengali), Seeme hunase (Kannada),  Vilayati chinch (Marathi) , Kodukkappuli (Tamil), and Seema chinta (Telugu)

Referred to as manila tamarind because of the sweet-sour tamarind-like taste. Genus Pithecellobium derives from from the Greek words ‘pithekos’ (ape) and ‘lobos’ (pod), and the species name ‘dulce’ from the Latin ‘dulcis’ meaning sweet.

Habitat :Native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. It is introduced and extensively naturalised in the Caribbean, Florida, Guam and Southeast Asia.(Found throughout the Philippines at low or medium altitudes.) It is considered an invasive species in Hawaii.

Guamúchil is a tree that reaches a height of about 5 to 8 m (16 to 26 ft) with pendulous branches, with short, sharp stipular spines. Its trunk is spiny and its leaves are bipinnate and 4 to 8 cm long. Each pinna has a single pair of ovate-oblong leaflets that are about 2 to 4 m (6.6 to 13 ft) long. The flowers are greenish-white, fragrant,in dense heads, 1 cm in diameter, sessile and reach about 12 cm (4.7 in) in length though appear shorter due to coiling. The flowers produce a pod with an edible pulp. The seeds are black.

You may click to see the picture:-


The tree

Pithecellobium dulce old tree trunk

Pithecellobium dulce flowers

Pithecellobium dulce beans

Pods are turgid, twisted, and spiral, 10 to 18 cm long, 1 cm wide, and dehiscent along the lower suture. Seeds are 6-8, with an edible, whitish, pulpy aril. The arillus is sweet when the fruit is ripe.

Propagation & Cultivation : The seeds are dispersed via birds that feed on the sweet pod. Guamúchil is drought-resistant and can survive in dry lands from sea level to an elevation of 300 m (980 ft), making it suitable for cultivation as a street tree.Trees are very drought tolerant but also grow in areas of moderate rainfall. Grow in almost any soil type.

Edible Uses:
The seedpods contain a sweet pulp that can be eaten raw or prepared as a beverage.

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*Tannin, 25.36%; fixed oil, 18.22%, olein.
*A glycoside quercitin has been isolated.
*Seeds have been reported to contain steroids, saponins, lipids, phospholipids, glycosides, glycolipids and polysaccharides.
*Roots reported to be estrogenic.

Medicinal Uses:

Parts used : Bark, leaves.

Properties: Considered abortifacient, anodyne, astringent, larvicidal, antibacterial, antiinflammatory, febrifuge, antidiabetic.

• Frequent bowel movements: Decoction of bark taken as tea.
• The leaves, when applied as plasters, used for pain, venereal sores.
• Salted decoction of leaves, for indigestion; also used as abortifacient.
• Bark used in dysentery, dermatitis and eye inflammation.
• In Brazil, P. avaremotem, used as a cancer elixir.
• In Mexico, decoction of leaves for earaches, leprosy, toothaches and larvicide.
• In India, bark of the plant used as astringent in dysentery, febrifuge. Also used for dermatitis and eye inflammations. Leaves used as abortifacient.
• In Guiana, root bark used for dysentery and as febrifuge.

Studies :
Anti-Inflammatory / Antibacterial: Study of the fresh flowers of Pithecellobium dulce yielded a glycoside quercitin. The activity of the flavonol glycoside confirmed its antiinflammatory and antibacterial properties.
• Phenolics / Antioxidant: Free Radical Scavenging Activity of Folklore: Pithecellobium dulce Benth. Leaves: Study of the aqueous extract of Pithecellobium dulce leaves revealed phenolics including flavonoids and showed potent free radical scavenging activity..
• Anti-inflammatory Triterpene: Anti-inflammatory triterpene saponins of Pithecellobium dulce: characterization of an echinocystic acid bisdesmoside. A new bisdesmodic triterpenoid saponin, dulcin, was isolated from the seeds of PD
• Genotoxicity: Mutagenic and Antimutagenic Activities in Philippine Medicinal and Food Plants: In a study of 138 medicinal plants for genotoxicity, Pithecellobium dulce was one of 12 that exhibited detectable genotoxicity in any system.
Anti-tuberculosis / Antimicrobial: Hexane, chloroform and alcoholic leaf extracts were studied for activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains. The alcoholic extract showed good inhibitory activity and antimicrobial activity against secondary pathogens.
Anti-Diabetic: Study of ethanolic and aqueous leaf extract of P dulce in STZ-induced diabetic model in rats showed sigificant activity, aqueous more than the alcoholic extract, comparable to glibenclamide.
• Anti-Ulcer / Free Radical Scavenging: Study of the hydroalcoholic extract of PD was found to possess good antioxidant activity and suggests possible antiulcer activity with its free-radical scavenging and inhibition of H, K-ATPase activities comparable to omeprazole. Phytochemical screening yielded flavonoids – quercetin, rutin, kaempferol, naringin, daidzein.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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Herbs & Plants

Tree Bean

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Botanical Name :Parkia javanica Merr.
Family : Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Other Scientific Names :Gleditsia javanica Lam.,Acacia javanica DC.,Mimosa biglobosa Roxb.,Parkia roxburghii G. Don,
Local Common Names :Amarang  (Tagb.); bagoen (Ilk.); balaiuak (Ilk.); kupang (Tag., Sbl., Tagb., Ilk.).Tree bean (Engl.),Inga timoriana DC.,Mimosa peregrina Blanco ,Acacia niopa Llanos,Parkia timoriana Merr.

Habitat :Tree Bean is native to northeastern India to Java. It is common in forest at low and medium altitudes in La Union to Laguna Provinces in Luzon and in Palawan.

Description :
A very large tree growing to a height of 25 to 40 meters. The leaves are evenly bipinnate, 30-80 cm long. The pinnae are 40 to 60, 8 to 20 cm long. The leaflets are 60 to 140, linear-oblong, 6-12 millimeters long, close-set, shining above, and pointed at the tip. The heads are dense, obovoid or pyriform, axillary, long-peduncled, up to 6 cm long. Flowers are white, about 1 cm long. The pods are 25 to 30 cm long, about 3.5 cm wide, rather thick, pendulous, black and shining when mature, containing 15-20 seeds.

Propagation : It is grown from seeds.The wood is attracted by termites , so it has no commercial value.

Edible Uses: The seed pods are edible.Their pulp is golden yellow, with a sweetish taste and an odor like that of violets.Roasted seed are used in certain parts of Africa to make an infusion like coffee, for which reason they have been called “soudan Coffee”.

Chemical constituents and properties:-
Pulp contains 60% sugar weight (dextrose and levulose); 0.98 % free tartaric and citric acids, fats, and albuminoids.
Study extracted a lectin from the beans . The purified lectin showed two forms of protein that appeared to be singkle polypeptide chains.

Medicinal Uses:
*Seeds used for abdominal colic.
*In India, pods are used for bleeding piles. Bark extract used for diarrhea and dysentery.
*Lotion made from bark and leaves applied to sores and skin affections.


Phytochemicals: Study yilelded two new iridoid glucosides, javanicosides A and B along with known compounds, urosolic acid, B-sitosterol from the leaf and bark of Pj.
• Hemagglutinating Activity: Study yielded a lectin from the beans of Pj. The purified lectin could agglunate the RBCs of rabbit and rat but not human, sheep or goose.

Other Uses:
Fruit skin known to give a brown color but not used extensively for dyeing fabrics.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider


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