- A Modern Herbal, by Mrs. M. Grieve Home Page


Botanical: Taraktogenos kurzii (KING)
Family: N.O. Bixaceae

---Synonyms---Chaulmugra. Chaulmogra.
---Part Used---The oil from the seeds.

---Description---Seeds are ovoid, irregular and angular, 1 to 1 1/4 inches long, 1 inch wide, skin smooth, grey, brittle; kernel oily and dark brown. A fatty oil is obtained by expression, known officially as Gynocardia oil in Britain, as Oleum Chaulmoograe in the U.S.A.

---Constituents---The oil contains chaulmoogric acid and palmitic acid, and the fatty oil has been found to yield glycerol, a very small quantity of phytosterol and a mixture of fatty acids.

---Medicinal Action and Uses---Employed internally and externally in the treatment of skin diseases, scrofula, rheumatism, eczema, also in leprosy, as a counterirritant for bruises, sprains, etc., and sometimes applied to open wounds and sores. Also used in veterinary practice. Dose of oil, 5 or 10 to 60 minims. Gynocardia Ointment, I.C.A.

---Other Species---The seeds of Gynocardia odorata have been erroneously given as the source of the oil.

Some of the commercial oil on the market probably comes from the allied species Hydnocarpus.


Common Name Index

Bear in mind "A Modern Herbal" was written with the conventional wisdom of the early 1900's. This should be taken into account as some of the information may now be considered inaccurate, or not in accordance with modern medicine.

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