Okay ... enough with its decorative uses! Let’s talk about its healing powers.
According to this Malaya article, Dr. Gerard L. Penecilla of the West Visayas State University (WVSU) in Iloilo City, has developed an alternative to expensive ear medication based on an extract of kalachuchi. Its intended to bring relief to patients using very expensive and imported anti-fungal medications.
"It is the first anti-fungal solution derived from a natural extract and not on a synthetic base," he said. "The kalachuchi-based broad spectrum anti-fungal is safe, effective, without side-effects and comparable to the standard drugs in the market today."
The kalachuchi formulation costs about P15 per 15-milligram otic solution compared with the P350 price of the standard 15-ml anti-fungal medication now available, he said, adding "no competitive product is in the market today except imported ones."
The kalachuchi is a small, deciduous tree with a crooked trunk known for its fleshy, thick branches and sticky, milky sap. It is mainly grown in the Philippines as an ornamental plant. Its flowers – usually white, orange, red or pink – are its main attraction. The beautiful petals produce a fragrant smell that can usually fill an entire room or garden.
Some of the healing uses of the kalachuchi are:
· Decoction of bark is used as purgative, emmenagogue, and febrifuge.
· Preventive for heat stroke: the material may be taken as a cooling tea.
· For dysentery, diarrhea during summer season: use 12 to 24 gms of dried material in decoction.
· Arthritis, rheumatism, pruritic skin lesions: Mix the latex (sap) with coconut oil, warm, and apply to affected area.
· Decoction of the bark is used as a counter-irritant on the gums for toothache.
· The latex mixed with coconut oil is used for itching.
· The juice is rubefacient in rheumatic pains, and with camphor, is also used for itching.
· A poultice of heated leaves is beneficial for swellings.
· Decoction of leaves for cracks and eruptions of the soles of the feet.
· Infusion or extract from leaves is used for asthma.
· In Mexico, decoction of flowers used in diabetes.
The kalachuchi trees are quite popular here in Bohol. Many homeowners proudly plant these trees in front of their yards. In certain cultures, however, the thought alone of giving a kalachuchi tree such landscaping prominence is often dreaded. They believe that kalachuchi trees are harbingers of marital strife. In Manila, due to the lack of real estate space, kalachuchi trees adorn cemeteries and parks.
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