Euphorbia antiquorum L

[From Latin, Euphorbus = physician to Juba II and from Latin, antiquorum = antique]

Common names: Pyathal (Burmese); chanlat (Cambodia); simhunda (Sanskrit), shadurak (Tamil).

Uses: In Burma, the latex of Euphorbia antiquorum L. is used to remove warts and to relieve the bowels of costiveness. In China, the plant is used to resolve inflammation and treat cholera. In Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, the latex is used to induce vomiting, promote urination and relieve the bowels of costiveness. In Indonesia, the latex is used relieve the bowels of costiveness, remove warts, resolve inflamed skin and assuage toothache.The pharmacological properties of Euphorbia antiquorum L. are known. One might set the hypothesis that the acridity of the latex is attributed to the complex phorbol diterpenoid esters.

Fig. 205. Euphorbia antiquorum. From: KLU Herbarium 2175. Flora of Malaya. Field collector and botanical identification: J Boey 3 Nov 1971. Geographical localization: Pulau Langkawi, P. Bumbon Besar. From: KLU Herbarium 27555. Plants of Ceylon. Geographical localization: Central Province. Matale District: Erawalaga Mtn. just east of the Kandalama Tank and ca. 6 miles directly East of Dambulla, 29 Oct 1974. Field collectors: Gerrit Davidse and DB Sumithraarachchi. Botanical Identification: LC Wheeler, 1976.

Fig. 205. Euphorbia antiquorum. From: KLU Herbarium 2175. Flora of Malaya. Field collector and botanical identification: J Boey 3 Nov 1971. Geographical localization: Pulau Langkawi, P. Bumbon Besar. From: KLU Herbarium 27555. Plants of Ceylon. Geographical localization: Central Province. Matale District: Erawalaga Mtn. just east of the Kandalama Tank and ca. 6 miles directly East of Dambulla, 29 Oct 1974. Field collectors: Gerrit Davidse and DB Sumithraarachchi. Botanical Identification: LC Wheeler, 1976.

Physical description: It is a cactus-shaped shrub which grows to a height of 4 m. It is native of Southeast Asia and cultivated as an ornamental plant. The stems are thorny, strongly 3-angled, and exude a copious milky latex upon an incision. The thorns are purple, occuring in pairs, and are straight and 2.5 mm-3 mm long. The flowers are solitary or cymose, and terminal on 8 mm-5 cm long pedicels. The gynecium is 3-lobed and 3 mm in diameter (Fig. 205).

Warning: The plant is toxic.

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