|Scientific names||Common names|
|Gmelina philippensis Cham.||Alipung (Tag.)||Paniktik (Sbl.)|
|Gmelina asiatica Blanco||Alipuñga (Tag.)||Sousou (Ig.)|
|Gmelina hystrix Kurz.||Baga babui (Tag., Bis.)||Tuloñgan (P. Bis.)|
|Gmelina inermis Blanco||Betebet (Pang.)||Asiatic beechberry (Engl.)|
|G. asiatica (L.) var. philippensis Bakh.||Bosel-bosel (Ilk.)||Asian bushbeech (Engl.)|
Asian bushbeech is an erect, branched, nearly smooth shrub or small tree, 3 to 8 meters high, usually with a few stout spines on the trunk and branches. Leaves are elliptic, 4 to 8 centimeters long, entire, usually rounded or blunt at the apex and pointed at the base, and smooth beneath. Flowers are borne in short, terminal racemes, each subtended by a large, pale-green bract. The calyx is green, about 5 millimeters long. Corolla is yellow, about 4 centimeters long. Fruit is fleshy, smooth, yellow, pear-shaped, about 2 centimeters long.
– Common in thickets and secondary forests at low and medium altitudes.
Folkloric medicinal benefits and uses
• Juice of fruit applied to portions of the feet affected by “alipuñga,” a kind of eczema.
• Fruit of juice is also considered an “anti-limatik” (a species of leech of the genus Haemadipsa).
• Fruit poultice pounded with lime, applied to the throat, for coughs.
• Mixture of the fruit with lime and garlic vigorously applied to the body in cases of dropsy.
• In India, traditionally used for diabetes. Also, used for dandruff – fruit juice applied every three days in the morning externally on the scalp.
Scientific studies on Asian bushbeech benefits and uses
Study of eight Pakistani medicinal plants showed Gmelina asiatica roots exhibited prominent oral antipyretic activity.
(1) C. viscosa and G. asiatica were tested for antimicrobial activity. The ethanolic extracts of the roots of G asiatica exhibited a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity, esp against E coli, P vulgaris and P aeruginosa.
(2) Study showed the aqueous extract to be active against P. pseduoalcaligenes, while the methanol extract could inhibit B subtilis.
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