Morinda citrifolia L

Fig. 347. Lasianthus stipularis Bl.

[From Latin, morus = mulberry, Indus = from India, citrus = citron and folium = leaf]

Common names: Indian mulberry; gaiu (Vietnamese); tombongaso (Filipino); ashyuka (Sanskrit); mengkudu daun besar (Malay); nonu (Samoa), man-galwe (Caroline Island).

Physical description: It is a tree which grows to a height of 9 m in a geographical zone, ranging from India to Polynesia. The bark is greyish-brown and shal-lowly fissured. The inner bark is yellowish-red. Leaves: simple, 10 cm-15 cm x 20cm-30cm, decussate and stipulate. The stipules are interpetiolar, triangular to round. The petiole is 1 cm long. The blade is broadly elliptic to obovate, glossy, soft, succulent and shows 5-8 pairs of secondary nerves. The flowers are white, small and characteristically fused into solitary and succulent, mulberry-shaped 8mm-3cm long green heads. The corolla is tubular, 1 cm-1.2 cm long, hairy at the throat inside and develops 4-5 valvate lobes. The sigma is bifid. The fruits are succulent, light greyish-green and smelly syn-carps that is yellowish when ripe (Fig. 348).

Uses: All parts of Morinda citrifolia L. are used to treat dysentery. The leaves are used to alleviate cough, nausea and to assuage colic. The ripe fruits are palatable and used to alleviate cough, combat fever, expel intestinal worms, promote urination, treat diabetes, gynecologic diseases, asthma and lumbago. The roots are used to counteract putrefaction and to lower blood pressure. In Vietnam, the backed fruits are used to treat dysentery, asthma and to promote menses.

Fig. 348. Morinda citrifolia L.
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