Myristica iners Bl

[From Greek, muron = a sweet juice distilled from plants and from Latin, iners = soft]

Physical description: It is a timber tree found in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Burma. The wood is of good quality, red and exploited for commercial purposes. The bark is black and fissured and exudes a blood-like sap when cut. Leaves: simple, alternate and exstipulate. The blade is papery, oblong, lanceolate, and 12 cm-20 cm x 5 cm-6 cm. The blade is tapering at the base and the apex and shows 12-15 pairs of secondary nerves. The margin is slightly recurved. The fruits are ovoid, pale yellow, and 5 cm long drupes. The seed is embedded in a finely divided red aril (Fig. 18).

Common names: Laka (Malay).

Uses: Malays have been known to burn the wood of this tree as incense. In Indonesia, the sap of Myristica iners Bl. is drunk to promote urination. The therapeutic potential of Myristica iners Bl. is unknown but one might set the hypothesis that cytotoxic or antiviral lignans could be characterized from it as several lignans are known to occur in Myristica argentea Warb. (Filleur F etal., 2002).

Fig. 18. Myristica iners Bl.
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