Chonemorpha fragrans Moon Alston

[From Latin, fragrare = smell sweet]

Uses: Cerbera odollam Gaertn. has the typical pattern of medicinal uses of poisonous plants: laxative, emetic and counter-irritant. In India, the seeds are eaten to induce drowsiness and to kill wild dogs. In Indonesia, the oil expressed from the seeds is used to soothe inflamed parts and rheumatism. In Malaysia, a paste of the fruit is used to treat rheumatism in the legs. In the Philippines, the oil expressed from the seeds is used to treat rheumatism.

Synonymy: Chonemorpha macrophylla G. Don, Chonemorpha penangensis Ridl., Chonemorpha rheedi Ridl.

Common names: Akargerip merah (Malay).

Uses: In India, a decoction of Chonemorpha fragrans (Moon) Alston is drunk to treat amebic dysentery.

petiole is channeled and 5cm-6cm long. The blade is round, pubescent below, leathery, and 16cm-14cm x 15cm-13cm. The blade shows 10 pairs of secondary nerves which are sunken above and raised below, with scalariform tertiary nerves. The fruits consist of pairs of follicles which are woody, lanceolate, and 17 cm x 1cm (Fig. 262).

Fig. 262. Chonemorpha fragrans (Moon) Alston. From: KLU 039088. Field collector: SC Chin, 14 June 1986. Botanical Identification: David Middleton. 1993. Geographical localization: Gunung Kamaseh, on a massive limestone range near Kampung Lambatorang, Sulawesi.

Pharmaceutical interest: The ame-bicidal principle of Chonemorpha fragrans (Moon) Alston is chonemorphine. This steroidal alkaloid cures 100% of experimental hepatic infection in golden hamsters at 100mg/Kg x 4 and clears 90% of the intestinal infection in weanling Wistar rats at 200 mg/Kg x 4 (Chatterjee DK etal, 1987).

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