Thursday, December 11, 2008

Garcinia morella (GAERTN.) DESR.

Family : Clusiaceae

Synonym(s) : Garcinia hanburii Hook. f

English Name : Indian Gamboge

Origin : Cambodia and southern Vietnam


A tree 35 to 50 feet high, with many very spreading branches; bark orange-brown, thick; young shoots smooth, somewhat angular. Leaves opposite, on short petioles, without stipules, 4 to 7 inches long, oval, somewhat attenuated into the blunt twisted apex, entire, glabrous on both sides, thick, dark-green above, paler and with a prominent midrib beneath. Flowers unisexual, dioecious, of moderate size, coming from bosses in the leaf-axils on the wood of the previous years, the male on stout, straight, roughish peduncles about ¼ inch long. Seeds solitary in the cells, rounded on the back, keeled at the inner edge; embryo filling the seed, with a large thick radicle and no cotyledons; endosperm none.


Forests of Kerala, Karnataka, Assam, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu; also in Singapore, Ceylon, Cambodia and southern Vietnam.

Parts Used : Heartwood, seed, gum resin and fruit.

Herb Effects

Laxative (heartwood, seed coat and gum resin); anthelmintic and diuretic; toxic (in high doses).

Active Ingredients

Alpha and beta-guttiferin and morelloflavone (heartwood); a morellin pigment (seed).

Medicinal Use

In diabetes, jaundice and fever (fruit); in dropsy and apoplexy (gum resin). It is a valuable medicine in dropsy when given in combination with the acid tartrate of potash. An alkaline solution of the plant has been recommended and employed on the continent as a powerful diuretic.


Two grains of sulphate of quinine combined with 1 1/4 grains of gamboge, and administered 3 times a day, have been highly recommended in cases of long-continued constitutional debility, with constipation. United with an alkali, it proves diuretic.


Its use is contraindicated in gastritis, enteritis, during pregnancy, menorrhagia, hemorrhoids, in excited, irritable, or diseased uterus, and where there is irritation or disease of the urinary organs.


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