Friday, February 12, 2016

Yellow Bell (Allamanda cathartica) - Ornamental and Medicine

Yellow Bell (Allamanda cathartica) - Ornamental and Medicine 
Dr Abe V Rotor 

Yellow Bell, Allamanda cathartica , Family Apocynaceae,

Native to the Americas (Mexico to Argentina), probably introduced to the Philippines from Mexico by the Spaniards. It is cultivated as ornamental plant owing to its large, bright yellow flowers. Another species, A. blanchetii bears pink flowers. The genus name Allamanda honors the Swiss botanist and physician Frédéric-Louis Allamand (1735–1803).

Allamanda species have been used as traditional medicine to treat liver tumors, jaundice, splenomegaly, and malaria. [In analyses, some species have shown some activity against carcinoma cells, pathogenic fungi, and HIV. 

In lab analyses Allamanda species have yielded several chemical compounds, including iridoid lactones such as allamandin, plumericin, and plumierides. Plumericin particularly was demonstrated to be a highly potent NF-κB inhibitor with anti-inflammatory activity in vitro and in vivo, while its structurally related derivatives plumierdin, plumeridoid C, and allamandicin did not have activity. The lignan pinoresinol and coumarins such as scopoletin and scoparone have been isolated from A. schottii. (Wikipedia)

Caution:  Allamanda cathartica is notable for its medicinal properties although all parts of the plant contain allamandin, a toxic iridoid lactone. The leaves, roots and flowers are used as a laxative and emetic in traditional medicine in a number of tropical countries. 
Although the milky sap is known to contain antibacterial and possibly anticancer properties it is poisonous and ingesting large amounts can be toxic. Effects of poisoning can also include rashes, itch, and blisters.

Don’t allow children to sip the nectar of the flowers, which is somewhat sweet. Initial numbness of lips and tongue indicates allergic reaction. Seek medical attention.       

NOTE: Photographs were taken by the author at Terrazas de Punta de Fuego, Nasugbu, Batangas, February 7, 2016

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