Strychnos potatorum seeds, Clearing Nut Tree

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Strychnos potatorum seeds

 

Strychnos potatorum istree also known as Clearing Nut tree. Its synonym is Strychnos heterodoxa. It is said to belong to the family Loganiaceae (Logania family) and genus strychnosit. It is believed to have originated from many rural parts of Burma East Asia-India Myanmar and tropical Africa-DR Congo due to availability of muddy water in the area. In India, the Clearing Nut tree is a common tree of medicinal importance.

It is a medium-sized deciduous tree species with an approximate height of up to 12m on maturity. Besides, it has bole growth diameter of up to 100 cm, bark 1-2 cm thick, corky with narrow vertical cracks and simple leaves; leaf stalk of 2-8 mm, it consists of base nerves and lateral nerves from the base and another from the midrib. Flowers are rather white sessile, axillary cymes with short pedicels and peduncles. Strychnos potatorum seeds are non-poisonous, acrid, alexipharmic and highly tolerant to drought on its maturity. It produces green, thin glossy leaves with a cluster of flowers which changes periodically from white to yellow-green.

Strychnos potatorum flourish in red aerated alluvial soil. It also grows profusely under a wide range of temperature which varies from 320C to 40.90C during the hottest month and 110C to 180C during the coldest months.

The species thrives in black cotton soil; however, the growth is slow due to most soil conditions as a result of rainy seasons. Clearing nut tree produces round, soft fleshy fruits. Barked and crushed fruits are used as Fish poison; nonetheless, young fruits are consumed locally as food. The pulp of the fruit is recurrently consumed as food.

Strychnos potatorum produces pounded leaves which are used to treat aching eyes. Roots and leaves are decocted extracted liquid is reserved and used to treat cough. The plant species, especially the root bark, contains complex molecules (dimeric indo alkaloids) and monomeric. Alkaloid cantleyine which is removed from the barks of the root is believed to provide a relaxation effect on tracheal disorders by smoothening muscles; however, its biological activity is responsible for anti-asthmatic as well as anti-cough.

Seeds consist of an outer black coating used for a variety of treatment which includes Liver effect, kidney, chronic diarrhoea and bladder stones. Strychnos potatorum seed is rubbed on a clear stone and its paste collected and applied as collyrium, which is used in the treatment of eye diseases and gonorrhoea. However, Strychnos potatorum seeds are submerged in dirty water, which settles the dirt to the bottom of the vesse, thus providing a clear supernatant surface.

Clearing Nut tree seed is the best propagation material for growing the crop since it’s viable for up to one year after collection.

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