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Akapulko
Cassia alata Linn.
RINGWORM BUSH

 

 Other scientific names 

Herpetic alata Raf. 

Common names

Adadisi (Ting.) 

Akapulko (Sul., Tag.)

Ancharasi (Ig.)

Andadisi (Ilk.)

Andadasi-a-dadakdel (Ilk.)

Amdadasi-ñg-bugbugtong (Ilk.)

Andalan (Sul.)

Bayabasin (Tag.)

Bikas-bikas (Tag.)

Buni-buni (Bag.)

Gamotsa-buni (Tag.)

Kapurko (Tag.)

Kapis (Sub.)

Katanda (Tag.)

Kasitas (Bik., Bis.)

Pakagonkon (Tag.)

Pakayomkom-kastila (Pamp.)

Palo-china (Bis.)

Sunting (C. Bis.)

Sonting (Tag.)

Ringworm bush or shrub (Engl.)

 

What is Akapulko?

Akapulko is used an herbal medicine and is a shrub that grows wild in the tropical climate of Philippines. Akapulko is widely used in the Philippines as herbal medicine. The akapulko leaves contain chrysophanic acid, a fungicide that is used to treat fungal infections, like ringworms, scabies and eczema. Akapulko leaves are also known to be sudorific, diuretic and purgative, used to treat intestinal problems including intestinal parasites. Akapulko is also used as herbal medicine to treat bronchitis and asthma. Because of Akapulko’s anti-fungal properties, it is a common ingredient in soaps, shampoos, and lotions in the Philippines. The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) has helped develop the technology for akapulko herbal medicine lotion.

 

Family

Leguminosae

 

Botany

Akapulko is an erect, shrubby legume with dark green compound leaves attached to stout branches. Akapulko leaves have orange rachis that has 16-28 leaflets. Akapulko produces an axis of golden yellow flowers that has 4-winged pods containing 50-60 flattened, triangular seeds. Akapulko flowers are enclosed by yellow-orange bracts that are later shed in time.

 

Constituents

Chrysophanic acid (chrysophanol); oxymethyl anthraquinone, 2.2%; aloe-emodin; rhein; cassiaxanthone; tannins; saponins; alkaloids. 

 

Distribution

Sporadic in open wastelands near watery areas. Propagated rapidly by seeds (dispersed by waters) or stem cuttings. Basal stem may produce coppices (suckers). Seeds from mature pods can be collected during the season and immediately planted or stored for six months.

 

Ecological Distribution

Native to South America, now distributed throughout the tropics; abundantly naturalized in South East Asia, and occasionally planted throughout the region for medicinal and ornamental purposes.


Herbal Medicine for Skin Disease

Akapulko is used as herbal medicine for the following skin diseases:

  • Tinea infections,
  • insect bites,
  • ringworms,
  • eczema,
  • scabies and
  • itchiness.

v      Preparation and application of Akapulko herbal medicine:

Pound Akapulko leaves, squeeze the juice and apply topically on affected area twice a day until cured. There are commercially available Akapulko herbal medicine lotions in the Philippine market for skin diseases treatment. If symptoms persist or irritation occurs, stop the use and consult your doctor.

 

Herbal Medicine for Stomach Problems

Akapulko is used as herbal medicine for the following stomach problems:

  • laxative to expel intestinal parasites,
  • diuretic,
  • purgative,
  • strong decoction of leaves are also known to cause abortion in pregnant women.

v      Preparation and application of Akapulko herbal medicine for treatment of stomach problems:

Pound or cut a cup of Akapulko seeds, Akapulko leaves and flowers into manageable sizes then let it seep in boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes to creat an Akapulko herbal tea.  Let it cool and drink a cup three times a day. The potency of Akapulko herbal tea is good to last for one day. Make new Akapulko herbal tea as needed. When symptoms persist or irritation occurs stop the use and consult your doctor.

 

Herbal Medicine for Lung and Mouth Problems

Akapulko is used as herbal medicine for the following lung and mouth problems:

  • expectorant for bronchitis and dyspnea,
  • mouthwash in stomatitis,
  • alleviation of asthma symptoms.


 

v      Preparation and application of Akapulko herbal medicine for lung and mouth problems:

Ø      As expectorant and for the alleviation of asthma attacks, drink a cup of Akapulko herbal medicine tea (see above for the preparation) three times a day until symptoms improved.

Ø      For the treatment of mouth infections such as stomatitis, gargle the Akapulko herbal tea three times a day until symptoms improve.

If symptoms persist and irritation occurs, stop the use and consult your doctor.

 

PREPARATION OF ALKAPULKO HERBAL OINTMENT

There are two methods for preparing ointments:  the cold process and the hot process.  Both produce standard ointments and are easy to perform.  They differ from one another in more ways than just the temperature.  Note the differences as you go through the procedure.

 

The Cold Process:

Materials: fresh chopped akapulko leaves, 95% ethyl alcohol, glass jar with cover, strainer, shallow bowl, white petroleum, mortar and pestle/mixing bowl and spoon, ointment jars, labels.

 

Procedure:

1.  Macerate/soak the leaves in ethyl alcohol in a glass jar for at least 3 days.  Cover and set aside.  Add more alcohol to keep the leaves always immersed in the alcohol. 

2.  On the 4th day, filter the extract through a clean piece of cheesecloth/filter paper.

3.  Using a water bath (in a big kettle with water, place your enamel “tabo” containing the extract) and under medium heat evaporate the solvent (the ethyl alcohol) until you get a thick, concentrated extract.

4. Upon reaching the desired consistency, remove the extract from the water bath.

5. Mix thick extract with the white petrolatum in a 15% proportion (15 grams/1 tablespoon extract for every 100 grams of white petrolatum) until the extract is blended well with the petrolatum.

 6. Transfer the akapulko ointment in the desired containers. Label properly.

 

 

  The Hot Process :

Materials: fresh chopped leaves, vegetable oil, candle (Sperma #5), frying pan, strainer, ointment jars, labels

Proportion:

 

1 cup fresh chopped leaves: 1 cup vegetable oil, 2 candles, grated.

  Procedure:

Wash fresh leaves of Akapulko thoroughly and cut in small pieces.

  1. Add one cup of vegetable oil to one cup of cut fresh leaves.
  2. Fry until crispy.
  3. Remove from the heat; strain and cool.
  4. Discard the leaves.
  5. Grate 2 white candles (Esperma No. 5).
  6. In a clay or glass pot, pour the strained oil together with the grated candle pieces; stir over low heat until the candle has melted.
  7. Pour the mixture into a clean container; cover when cool.
  8. Apply the Akapulko herbal ointment to affected areas twice daily.