Citrus grandis L Osbeck
[From Latin, citrus = citron and grandis = large]
Synonymy: Citrus maxima (Burm.) Merr., Citrus decumana L.
Common names: Shaddock, Thai grapefruit; limau bali, limau besar, limau betawi, limau serdadu (Malay); pamplemousse doux des Antilles (French); you, youzi (Chinese); riesenorange (German); pampaleone (Italian); jerukbali (Indonesian); bhogate (Nepalese).
Physical description: It is a fruit tree native to Malaysia which is cultivated in southern China, southern Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, New Guinea and Tahiti. The first seeds are believed to have been brought to the New World late in the 17th Century by Captain Shaddock on his way to England and who stopped at Barbados. The tree grows to a height of 15 m. The bole is not straight. The bark is greyish. The stems are angular, greenish, and hairy with single axillary spines at the apex. Leaves: simple and alternate. The petiole is broadly winged. The blade is ovate, ovate-
oblong, or elliptic, 5cm-20cm x 2cm-12cm, leathery, glossy above, dull and minutely hairy beneath. The flowers are fragrant, solitary or packed in clusters by 2 to 10 in the leaf axils, or sometimes by 10 to 15 in the terminal 10 cm-30 cm long racemes. The calyx comprises of 4-5 sepals which are hairy. The corolla comprises of 4 to 5 petals. The petals are yellowish-white, 1.5 cm-3.5 cm long and somewhat hairy outside and dotted with yellow-green glands. The andrecium consists of 4-5 stamens which are prominent and grouped in a few bundles. The nectary disc is short and ring-like. The fruits are giant hes-peridia which are pear-shaped, and to 30cm in diameter (Figs. 238 and 239).
Pharmaceutical interest: The peel of Citrus grandis (L.) Osbeck abound with neohesperidosideflavanones and essential oils which are responsible for their carminative and anti-inflammatory properties. Note that flavonoids of Citrus or citroflavonoids are of value for the treatment of vascular disorders (Hesperidin, Mar-tindale, 1967). Citrus grandis (L.) Osbeck is also known to produce coumarins, limonoids, and acridone alkaloids (Wu TS et al., 1993; 1996). It will be interesting to learn whether a more intensive study of the acridone alkaloids of this plant, such as buntan-bismine, will reveal any molecules of therapeutic interest.
Uses: In the Asia-Pacific, a decoction of the leaves, flowers, and rind of Citrus grandis (L.) Osbeck are used to treat epilepsy, chorea and convulsive coughing. A hot leaf decoction is applied to swellings and ulcers. The fruit juice is drunk to combat fever. In China, the peel is used to promote digestion, stop vomiting, treat cholera, assuage itchiness and heal boils. A decoction of the leaves is used to dispel humors and assuage inflammation. In Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, the dried young fruits are used to promote digestion. In the Philippines, an infusion of leaves, flowers and peel is used to treat anxiety.
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