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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Medicinal plant

I became curious with this tree found in our backyard when a friend told me his vision is returning to normal just by drinking a concoction made by boiling the roots of the plants. Many claims have been heard about the medicinal applications of this plant which they call "bugnay" from my current home, but from where I came we call this "ilyam."

My curiosity brought me to the Internet which yielded a lot of discoveries. First, although there was no clear pictures found in the net that matches the pictures I personally got from the backyard I realized that the tree is not "bugnay" or "bignay," (Antidesma bunius) in the Filipino national language, but is actually "binayoyo" (Antidesma ghaesembilla, Gaertn). There is a somewhat clear variation between the two as bugnay has a pointed leaf while binayoyo has oblong aside from the fact that the former has bigger fruits. Photos of the tree, the leaves, and fruits are posted here for reference to any interested parties and for comparison with existing information. For information about the "bignay" tree you can refer on this link - Bignay Information

A. ghaesembilla is really a medicinal plant based on different literatues I have found from the web. It is used by people from the Asia and PAcific regions where it normally thrives. The leaves can be used to cure fever, the stem can be boiled with the extract used to help in menstrual problems, while the fruits are used as purgative, and some literature mentioned that the roots can be a cure to various ailments.

The information on the proximate composition of the fruit can be obtained from Food Standards Australia New Zealand. Based on their analysis on a per 100 gram basis the fruit has about 1.4 g protein, 0.8 g fat 1.5 g ash, and 2.9 g fiber. It has considerable amount of minerals having 35mg Calcium, 0.3 mg Copper, 2.5 mg Iron, 112 mg Magnesium, 44 mg Phosphorus, 469 mg Potassium, 42mg Sodium, and 0.4mg Zinc.

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