Thursday, June 24, 2010

Caballero (Caesalpinia Pulcherrima)

Caballero or Caesalpinia is a small and smooth tree reaching 1.5 meters up to 5 meter in height. It is armed with scattered spines along its branches. Its yellow and red, few flowered clusters are borne on terminal portions. It is commonly planted as ornamental shrub because of its striking beauty especially when flowers starts to bloom.

In some countries, caballero is called peacock flower because of the leaves that forms like a peacock tail. This particular plant is the national flower of the Caribbean Island of Barbados.

Its medicinal properties were used long ago by the medicine men of the Amazon rain forest.
  • Fresh leaves are applied externally to relieve rheumatism. If the leaves are heated, it can remedy stomach aches. 
  • A decoction from the crushed seeds is used as an emetic and believed to be remedy for dysentery.
  • Roots are diuretic and useful in cases of stone formation in the bladder.
  • The juice of its stem and roasted fruits are used for eye ailments.
  • The finely powdered  leaves are given as uterine tonic to women immediately after giving birth.
These are just some medicinal properties of this beautiful shrub. Most of us just use this as ornamental, not knowing its healing touch. Natural and no side-effects.

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