Eurycoma longifolia

Eurycoma longifolia known as herbal viagra

 

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Eurycoma Longifolia the Amazing Aphrodisiac Herb

Description

Eurycoma longifolia (Simaroubaceae) is a small tree that grows up to 15 metres high. The flowers on the plant are either male or female. Leaves compound, long, and crowded at the tips of the branches. When the leaves fall they leave large scars on the stems. Leaflets are ovate-lanceolate, sessile or nearly so, and opposite. Flowers are borne in axillaries panicles, mostly large and lax, and puberulous with short hairs. Flowers are unisexual; male flower has sterile pistil, female flower has sterile stamens. Fruits ellipsoid or ovoid, 10-20 x 5-12 mm, green to blackish-red when ripe.

Ecology

E. longifolia prefers acid and sandy soils at low altitude up to 700 m above sea level. Plants usually grow in beach forests, primary and secondary forests, mixed dipterocarp forests and also in heath forests. In Riau Province, Sumatra, 1991, the author found that plants were growing in areas with an average temperature of 25C and 86% humidity. The soils in this area were found to be poor in nutrients, but mycorrhizal fungi were found growing near the plants and may indicate an association. Seedlings require shade, during which time they develop an extensive root system. Following juvenile stages, plants need stronger light to develop vegetative and reproductive parts. E. longifolia flowers and fruits throughout the year, with peak flowering from June-July and peak fruiting in September.

Distribution

E. longifolia originates from South East Asia, including Indonesia, Malay Peninsula, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. In Indonesia, this species only occurs naturally in Sumatra and Kalimantan.

Uses

Though E. longifolia is currently mostly known as an aphrodisiac, in South East Asia, all parts of E. longifolia plants have long been used medicinally. The plant is commonly used throughout the region as a tonic after childbirth. The bark of the roots is used in the Malay Peninsula to cure fever, ulcers in the mouth, and intestinal worms. The Malays also use the paste of the plant to relieve headache, stomachache, pain caused by syphilis, and many other general pains.

In parts of Sumatra and Kalimantan, the root is used as an anit-pyretic. In Lampung and Belitung it is used as a medicine for dysentery. The people of Sabah and Kalimantan make a decoction of the bark that is drunk to relieve pain in the bones or applied for washing itches. In Vietnam, people use the flowers and fruits as a medicine for treating dysentery. In Riau, where the author carried out research, people living in the surrounding forests boil the root or stem to cure malaria.

One of the most unique uses for E. longifolia is that of the Sakai ethnic group in Sumatra who use the plant as an amulet to protect people from the smallpox virus.

Phytochemistry

The active constituents in E. longifolia, and many other species in the Family Simaroubaceae, include quassin, neo-quassin, glaukarubin, sedrin, eurycomanol that are mostly derivatives from compounds with 20 carbon atoms.

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