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Tropical Seashores  : Mangrove

Avicennia officinalis Indian mangrove Api-api ludat Acanthaceae

 

Avicennia-officinalis, Indian mangrove, api api ludat

 

Avicennia officinalis

Avicennia-officinalis, Indian mangrove, api api ludat

This species is not as common as Avicennia alba.

Uses as food: Although the fruits and seeds are bitter, the Javanese eat them after some elaborate processing. Leafy branches are chopped off as cattle fodder, and the tree rapidly re-grows new branches.

Other uses: The tree produces a hard, heavy timber which is hard to saw. But it is valued for making boats, houses, and wharves; the timber has an attractive grain which is good for making furniture. It is also made into chipwood and is being researched as a source of paper pulp. Tannin is extracted from the bark and roots. It also produces a dye, and the ashes used in making soap.

Traditional medicinal uses: Fruits are plastered onto boils and tumours (India). A poultice of unripe seeds stop inflammations, and heal abscesses, ulcers, boils, and smallpox sores. Roots are considered an aphrodisiac. The bark is used to treat skin problems, especially scabies (Indochina). The cut bark oozes a rubber-like, green, bitter resin that is mixed with bananas and taken by women as a contraceptive that is successful and has no long term side-effects (West Java and Sulawesi). Seed for ulcers, the resin for snakebite (Philippines).

 

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