Thursday, February 19, 2009

Carissa carandas L.

English Name : Bengal currant

Family : Apocynaceae

Origin : India

A spiny treelet that grows up to 5m tall. Stems are up to 5cm long and show numerous spines which are woody, simple or forked. Leaves are decussate, simple, and exstipulate. Petiole is 5mm long. Blade is light green, oblong, broadly ovate to oblong, 3cm – 7cm × 1.5cm – 4.5cm; base broadly cuneate to rounded, and apex shortly apiculate. Inflorescences are terminal, usually 3-flowered cymes that are up to 2.5cm long. Flowers are fragrant; calyx has five lobes which are 2.5–7mm long, with many basal glands inside; corolla is white or pale rose; corolla tube is about 2cm long, puberulent inside, and develops five linear contorted 1cm-long acute lobes. Fruits are reddish-purple, 3cm × 2.3cm – 6cm × 3.7cm – 4.3cm × 3cm, 1.5cm – 2.5cm × 1cm – 2cm, ellipsoid to grape-like.

Found in dry forests; also cultivated.

Parts Used : Fruit (ripe and unripe), leaf and root

Herb Effects
Bitter, anthelmintic, stomachic and antiscorbutic (roots); astringent and antiscorbutic (ripe fruits); constipating, anaphrodisiac, appetizer and antipyretic (unripe fruits).

Medicinal Use
Used to treat liver dysfunction, anorexia and biliousness, to break fever and to counteract the putrefaction of blood (fruits); promotes digestion (roots); applied externally to calm scabies and pruritus (root juice); used against fever, diarrhoea and earache (decoction of leaves).


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