Quassia Medicinal Uses And Its Facts
Tsunami struck the coast of Japan during the year 2011 and one of the towns named Rikuzentakata was almost completely destroyed leaving behind misery and sorrow.
This place was named ‘Place of Scenic Beauty’ since it had thousands of pine trees before tsunami struck the coast.
After the devastation only one pine tree remained in the vicinity which was also removed since it was badly damaged. The Japanese proudly quoted “the miracle pine gave us the strength and hope to carry on living’.
This topic will deal with plant named Quassia. The botanical name of this plant is Quassia Amara. The other common names of this plant are Amargo, bitter-ash and bitter-wood. It comes under the genus Quassio and considered as the sole species in the genus.
Growth And Native
- This plant is used as an insecticide, traditional medicine and as an additive in the food industry.
- The genus was named after the first botanist, Surinamese freedman Graman Quassi.
- This small tree grows to a height of 3 m.
- The compound leaves measures 25 cm long and pinnate with 3 to 5 leaflets.
- The bright red flowers measures 3.5 cm long. The fruit measures 1.5 cm long.
This plant is native to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Suriname, Colombia, Argentina, French Guiana and Guyana.
- A Chemical named Quassin which is found in the plant is considered as one of the most bitter substances found in the nature.
- The other chemical components found in this plant are beta-carbolines, beta-sitostenone, beta-sitosterol, dehydroquassins, gallic acid, gentisic acid, hydroxyquassins, isoparain, isoparaines, isoquassins, malic acid, methylcanthins, methoxycanthins, methoxycantins, nigakilactone A, nor-neoquassin, parain, paraines, quassialactol, quassimarin, quassinol, quassol and simalikalactone.
- Extracts of this small tree is used as a natural insecticide.
- It fights wonderfully against different types of pests like aphids, Colorado potato beetle, Anthonomus pomorum, Rhagoletis cerasi, Caterpillars of Tortricidae.
- For Switzerland, a licensed formulation is available for organic farming.
- Studies conducted on rats in 1997 found that Quassia extract may reduce fertility and sperm production.
Benefits of Quassia
It is used for digestive disorders, to treat fever and as an mosquito repellent.
In French Guyana tea made out of extracts of the leaves is very famous.
Extracts of wood or bark are used as a flavor in soft drinks, aperitifs and bitters which can be added to liquors or baked goods.
The plant is partially drought tolerant and depends on partial sunlight.