Herbs & Plants

Sapium salicifolium

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Botanical Name : Sapium salicifolium
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Tribe: Hippomaneae
Subtribe: Hippomaninae
Genus: Sapium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Synonym  :Yerba de la flecha.

Common Names:Tallow Tree or Sapium.

Habitat:Sapium salicifolium is native to Tropics of both Hemispheres and cultivated in China and Paraguay.Grows in Mexico, New Mexico and Arizona.

It yields a milky juice, which is acrid and even poisonous, the leaves are willow-like, and at their point of union with the stalk have two round glands; the flowers are small and greenish, and grow in terminal spikes, the lower portion bearing the fertile, and the upper ones the sterile flowers. The bark of Sapium Salicifolium yields a substance for tanning which is used instead of oak; most modern writers unite this genus with Stillingia, from which there are no reliable characters to distinguish it. In America, S. Biglandulosum is a source for rubber. Sapium or S. Indicum is known in Borneo under the name of Booroo; the leaves are used for dyeing and staining rotang a dark colour; theacrid milky juice burns the mouth as Capsicum does; the young fruit is acid and eaten as a condiment; the fruit is also used to poison alligators; the ripe fruit are woolly, trilobed capsules, about 1 inch across, threecelled and containing only one seed in each.


S. sebiyerum, the Chinese Tallow Tree, gives a fixed oil which envelops the seeds. The tallow occurs in hard brittle opaque white masses, which consists of palmatin and stearin. The oil is used for lighting and the waste from the nuts for fuel and manure.

Medicinal Uses:
Sapium Salicifolium is an energetic cathartic and diuretic, produces copious liquid discharges without griping. In minute doses at intervals of four hours it stimulates the torpid liver up to its normal action, also increases the flow of urine and exerts a direct influence on the kidneys and urinary passages.

Therapy—In bilious colic caused by presence of calculous matter, sapium salicifolium combined with mono-bromated camphor promptly dislodges the gravel, calms the nervous system and quiets the distressed stomach.

The principal advantage the drug has over other cathartics and diuretics is its superior efficacy, its pleasing taste, besides its antilithic properties; the agent is not widely known. The small and pleasant dose and kindly action will give it a place as an efficient cathartic, if the above statements are confirmed.

Known Hazards: In large doses it is poisonous, produces dysentery, vertigo and death from prostration and nervous exhaustion.

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