Parameria laevigata Juss Moldenke

[From Latin, laevus = left]

Physical description: It is a large rainforest climber which grows to a length of 3 m long. The plant is found in a geographical zone spanning from India to Indonesia. The stems are smooth, slender and pubescent at the apex. Leaves: simple, decussate and without stipules. The petiole is 2 mm-4 mm long and thin.The blade is lanceolate and 6.4 cm x 2.4 cm-2.7 cm x 1 cm. The apex is acuminate in a 1 cm long tail. The midrib is sunken below, and flat or raised above. The margin is slightly wavy and obscurely recurved. The blade shows 5-7 pairs of secondary nerves

Synonymy: Ecdysanthera glandulifera A. DC., Parameria barbata (Bl.) K. Schum., Parameria glandulifera Benth., Parameria vulneraria Radlk.

Common names: Akarserapatputeh (Malay); gembor(Javanese).

and scalariform tertiary nerves. The flowers are tiny and arranged in terminal cymes. The calyx is pale green, tubular and shows 5 lobes which are contorted, hairy and broad. The corolla is 3 mm long, creamy with the throat being pale yellow. The fruits consist of pairs of thin, articulate follicles filled with comose seeds (Fig. 269).

Uses: In Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam: Parameria laevigata (Juss.) Moldenke is used to treat fever, rheumatism, renal diseases, to promote digestion, and to stop dysentery. In Malaysia and Indonesia, a decoction of the bark is used to tighten the uterus after childbirth and to counteract putrefaction of the skin. In the Philippines, Parameria laevigata (Juss.) Moldenke is used to counteract putrefaction of the skin, to resolve inflammation, to soothe itchiness, promote menses and to treat skin diseases.

Fig. 269. Parameria laevigata (Juss.) Moldenke. From: KLU 043389. Field collector & botanical identification: AJM Leeunwen-berg. 28 Nov 1994. Geographical localization: Indonesia, Kalimantan Timor, Waraniset area, off Km 1.5 Waraniset-Semoi Road Forest, altitude: 50 m, 1° 07' South-117° 00' East.

Fig. 269. Parameria laevigata (Juss.) Moldenke. From: KLU 043389. Field collector & botanical identification: AJM Leeunwen-berg. 28 Nov 1994. Geographical localization: Indonesia, Kalimantan Timor, Waraniset area, off Km 1.5 Waraniset-Semoi Road Forest, altitude: 50 m, 1° 07' South-117° 00' East.

Pharmaceutical interest: The pharmacological potential of Parameria laevigata (Juss.) Moldenke remains unexplored. One might set the hypothesis that the medicinal properties mentioned above involve the astringency of proan-thocyanidins (Kohei K et a/., 2001). It will be interesting to learn whether a more intensive study on this plant will reveal any molecules of therapeutic interest.

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