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Botanical Name: Picramnia antidesma
Synonyms: Mountain Damson Bark. Simaruba Honduras Bark.
Common Names: Simaruba bark
Habitat: Picramnia antidesma is native of the West Indies and yields the drug known as Simaruba bark. The tree grows to a considerable height and thicknessJamaica and South Guiana.
Picramnia antidesma has alternate spreading branches; the bark on the old trees is black and furrowed, on the younger trees smooth grey, in places spotted with big patches of yellow, the wood is hard, white and without any special taste; it has numerous leaves alternately on the branches, each leaf has several pinnae, nearly elliptical, upper side smooth deep green, under side whitish, short foot-stalks, flowers male and female on different trees, colour yellow in long panicles. The bark is rough scaly and poor; inside when fresh is a good yellow colour, but when dry paler; it has very little smell and taste and though very bitter is not disagreeable. Macerated in water or rectified spirits it gives a yellow tincture; makes a better and stronger infusion in cold water than in boiling water; the decoction is transparent yellow when hot, but when cooled, is turbid and brownish red in colour. The bark was brought from Guiana in 1713 as a remedy for dysentery. In France in 1718 to 1825 an epidemic flux was cured by the bark and this established its medicinal use in Europe…..click & see the pictures
Parts Used in medicine : The Bark, root-bark.
Constituents: A bitter tonic credited with specific alternative properties. It belongs to an undetermined species of picrammia and contains a bitter sweet amorphous alkaloid.
Purgative, tonic, diaphoretic. A very valuable bitter tonic, useful in diarrhoea, dysentery, and in some forms of indigestion; in large doses it is said to act as an emetic. It restores tone to the intestines, allays spasmodic motions, promotes a healthy secretion. Big doses cause vomiting and nausea – should not be used in dysentery attended with fever. In dysentery with weak indigestion it is often preferred to chamonilee.
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.