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Common Names: bloodwood, bois campeche, campeche, campechier, kampes agaci, logwood, palo de campeche
Parts Used: Bark, Leaves
| CAMPECHE |
| HERBAL PROPERTIES AND ACTIONS |
||Decoction: 1 cup twice daily
||Tincture: 1-2 ml twice daily
Campeche is a fast growing ornamental tree that can reach up to 50 feet in height. It produces numerous delicate round leaflets and extremely fragrant yellow flowers. The tree trunk and branches are thorned and become more gnarled with age, lending to it's attractive appearance. The wood of the tree is heavy and extremely hard. A black to blue dye, also called logwood extract, is obtained from the heartwood. This tropical hardwood was introduced into Europe as a dyeing agent for textiles soon after the discovery of America in the 1500's. Campeche is native to Belize, Guatemala and Mexico, however it has been naturalized in many South American countries as well. The genus is a small one, with only two species found in Latin and Southern America.
TRIBAL AND HERBAL MEDICINE USES
Campeche wood is generally prepared as a decoction for the treatment of diarrhea; it is an effective astringent (drying agent). In herbal medicine systems in Mexico it is employed as a natural remedy for anemia, dysentery and diarrhea, intestinal parasites, tuberculosis, and for menstrual disorders. In Brazilian herbal medicine, the bark is used internally for diarrhea, and dysentery; externally as an astringent disinfectant for wounds and skin ulcers.
The main compounds discovered in campeche include acetic acid, ellagic acid, ethyl gallate, haematoxylin, haematoxylol A, myricetin, oxalic-acid, phlobaphane, quercetin, resin, tannin, and tetra-o-methylhematoxylol-B.
WORLDWIDE ETHNOMEDICAL USES
|| as an astringent; for diarrhea, dysentery, ulcers, wounds |
|| for amenorrhea, circulation problems, puerperium, swelling, trauma, and as an anodyne and decoagulant |
|| as an astringent, bactericide, and depurative; for bedsores, cancer, diarrhea, dysentery, and gangrene |
|| as an abortive, antiseptic, hemostat; for amenorrhea, anemia, diarrhea, dysentery, leucorrhea, sores, sprains, trauma, and toothache |
|| as an astringent and tonic; for dysentery, diarrhea, dyspepsia, and leucorrhea |
||as an astringent; for amenorrhea, anemia, dysentery, diarrhea, hematochezia, parasites, and tuberculosis |
|| as an astringent and hemostat |
|| as an astringent for diarrhea |
The following is excerpted from the 9th edition (1982) of the Encyclopedia Britannica:
"Logwood is a valuable dyewood, leguminous, native of Central America. The tree
attains a height not exceeding 40 feet. It is said to be ready for felling when about 8
years old. The wood, deprived of its bark and sap-wood, is sent the market in the form
of large blocks and billets. It is very hard and dense, and exteriorally has a dark
brownish red.colour. The best qualities come from Campeachy, but is obtained there
only in small quantity. A large export trade of logwood of good quality is carried on
from Honduras and Jamaica. The wood was introduced into Europe as a dyeing
substance soon after the discovery of America, but for many years (from 1581 to
1662) its use in England was prohibited by legislative enactment on account of the
interior dyes which at first were produced by its employment. The chemical reaction of
heamatoxylin is extremely rapid and delicate, rendering that body a valuable laboratory
test for alkalis. Logwood is prepared for use by dyers, etc., in the form of chips and
raspings and as a solid brittle black extract. Chipped logwood is moistened with water
and spread in thin layers until a gentle fermentation sets up, whereby, under the influence
of liberated ammonia, haematoxylin is formed from the glucoside. By exposure to air,
through repeated turnings of the mass, haematein is developed from the haematoxylin,
and the chips gradually become coated with the brilliant metallic green crystals of
haematein. Logwood extract (haematein), largely used in calico [cotton dress material
printing, is obtained from the chips that are oxidized by the haematein, by lixiviation
(leaching), the solution being concentrated at as low a temperature as possible.
Logwood is also used for dying woolen goods, in which it produces with various
mordants, shades of blue, from a light lavender to a dense blueblack. Logwood blacks
assume a bright red tint by the action of dilute acids, a test by which they can readily be
distinguished from aniline dyes and other fast blacks. Logwood is also largely used in
the preparation of ink and to a small extent in medicine. The imports of logwood into
the United Kingdom during the year 1880 amounted to 69,290 tons, estimated value of
which was 192,392 pounds sterling."
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Last updated 12-17-2012