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Page:Indian Medicinal Plants (Text Part 1).djvu/160

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Parts used:—The seeds, and roots.

Uses:—The yellow juice of this plant is used as a medicine for dropsy, jaundice, and cutaneous affections. It is also diuretic, relieves blisters, and heals excoriations and indolent ulcers. (Watt). The seeds yield on expression a fixed oil, which has long been in use amongst West India practitioners as an aperient. The unfavorable report of Sir W. O'Shaugh- nessy [Bengal Oisp., p. 183; led to its being neglected; but more recent trials of its properties by several medical officers in Bengal serve to prove that in half drachm doses it acts as a gentle aperient, and at the same time allays, apparently by a sedative action, the pain in colic. The smallness of the doses, and the mildness of its operation are recommendations to its employment. Age apparently affects its activity, the freshly prepared oil proving more energetic and uniform in operation than that which has been long on hand. Applied to herpetic and other forms of skin disease, it is reported to exercise a well-marked soothing influence, according to Dr. Bonavia and others {Indian Med. Gaz. 18C6, vol. i., p. 206). As a local application to indolent and ill-conditioned ulcers, the expressed yellow glutinous juice of the plant is held in much esteem by the natives. Dr. W. Dymock, of Bombay reports having used it thus with good effect. The native practice of applying this juice to the eye in ophthalmia is dangerous. Both in a chemical and therapeutical point of view, this plant appears worthy of investigation. (Ph. Ind.).

"The seeds are laxative, emetic, nauseant, expectorant and demulcent; the oil, a drastic purgative, nauseant and expectorant; and the root, an alterative tonic. The seeds and oil have also a beneficial effect over asthma.

"The seeds are useful in cough and catarrhal affections of the throat and pulmonary mucous membrane, and in pertussis and asthma. Though they do not appear to possess any anti- spasmodic property, they have a distinct control over asthma, apparently, from their combined actions of nauseant, emetic, expectorant and demulcent. As their use is often accompanied by more or less vomiting and nausea, they are more suited