Akapulko is a coarse, erect, branched shrub. Leaves are pinnate and 40 to 60 centimeters long, with orange rachis on stout branches. Each leaf has 16 to 28 leaflets, 5 to 15 centimeters in length, broad and rounded at the apex, with a small point at the tip.
Leaflets gradually increase in size from the base towards the tip of the leaf. Inflorescences are terminal and at the axils of the leaves, in simple or panicled racemes, and 10 to 50 centimeters long. Flowers are yellow, about 4 centimeters inn diameter, at the axils of thin, yellow, oblong, concave bracts which are 2.5 to 3 centimeters long.
Pod is rather straight, dark brown or nearly black. On both sides of the pods there is a wing that runs the length of the pod. Pod contains 50 to 60 flattened, triangular seeds.
This plant is Aabundant throughout the Philippines in settled areas at low and medium altitudes. Occasionally planted as ornamental or for its medicinal properties.
– The seeds used for intestinal parasitism.
– Tincture from leaves reported to be purgative.
– Decoction of leaves and flowers for cough and as expectorant in bronchitis and asthma. Also used as astringent.
– Crushed leaves and juice extract used for ringworm, scabies, eczema, tinea infections, itches, insect bites, herpes.
– Preparation: Pound enough fresh leaves; express (squeeze out) the juice and apply on the affected skin morning and evening. Improvement should be noticed after 2 – 3 weeks of treatment.
– Decoction of leaves and flowers used as mouthwash in stomatitis.
– In Africa, the boiled leaves are used for hypertension.
– In South American, used for skin diseases, stomach problems, fever, asthma, snake bites and venereal disease.
– In Thailand, leaves are boiled and drunk to hasten delivery.
– As laxative, boil 10-15 dried leaves in water, taken in the morning and bedtime.
– For wound treatment, leaves are boiled and simmered to one-third volume, then applied to affected areas twice daily.
– In India, plant used as cure for poisonous bites and for venereal eruptions.
– In Nigeria locally used for treatment of ringworm and parasitic skin diseases.
– In the Antilles, Reunion, and Indo-China, plant is used as hydrogogue, sudorific, and diuretic.
– Decoction of roots used for tympanites.
– Wood used as alterative.
– Sap of leaves used as antiherpetic.
– Leaf tincture or extract used as purgative.
– Juice of leaves mixed with lime-juice for ringworm.
– Leaves taken internally to relieve constipation.
– Strong decoction of leaves and flowers used as wash for eczema.
– Infusion of leaves and flowers used for asthma and bronchitis.
– Strong decoction of leaves used as abortifacient.
– Seeds used as vermifuge.
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