Mallotus philippensis Lamk Muell

[From Latin, Mallotus = woolly]

Synonymy: Croton philippense Lam.

Common name: Kamala tree; balek (Malay).

Physical description: It is a small, bushy tree which grows to a height of 9 m, in a geographical zone spanning the West Himalayas, Ceylon, Formosa, Southern China, New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Australia. The plant is found in forest fringes and open places or limestone. The stems, young leaves and inflorescences are covered with scarlet glands. Leaves: simple, spiral, and stipulate. The petiole is 5 cm long and slender. The blade is ovate, trinerved, and 5cm-20cm x 1cm-5cm. The margin is entire or sinuate-lobed, and the lower surface glaucous, puberu-lous and covered with scarlet glands. The apex is acuminate and the base is acute. Tertiary nerves are scalari-form. The flowers are arranged in axillary racemes. The stigmas are characteristically plumose. The calyx is 5-lobed. The andrecium comprises of several stamens. The fruits are depressed, globose, trisulcate, 6 mm-7 mm-diameter capsules and covered with scarlet glands (Fig. 213).

In Burma, kamala powder is used to relieve the bowels of costiveness. In China, a decoction of capsules and the leaves is taken to treat cold; while

Fig. 213. Mallotus philippensis (Lamk.) Muell, Arg.

Uses: The drug or kamala powder is a dull, reddish-brown, tasteless and odorless powder, used to expel intestinal worms from ancient times. The Arab physicians became acquainted with it at an early date, and through them, it appeared to have reached Europe, and to have been known to the Greek physicians in the 7th century. This powder consists of red radiating groups of unicellular curved trichomes which cover particularly the capsules (kamala, Glandulae Rottlerae, British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1934). Ibn Sina writes: "It is a grain like sand, red,... hot and dry in the third degree."

kamala powder is used to expel intestinal worms. In Indonesia, kamala powder is used to expel intestinal worms. In Malaysia, the leaves are used to prevent bed-wetting in children. In India, kamala powder is used to expel intestinal worms and relieve the bowels of costiveness. Kamala powder is used by Asians living in Britain to expel intestinal worms, relieve the bowels of costiveness, facilitate abortion and treat skin diseases. Kamala powder has long been used to dye red silk.

Constipation Prescription

Constipation Prescription

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