|CASSIA ALATA L. - CANDLE BUSH.|
Fleur palmiste, fleur dartre, candlestick senna, wild senna, ringworm cassia, guajava, ketepeng badak, flor del Secreto, Tarantana, candle bush, akapulko, man-slabriki, akapulco, gelenggang.
Caesalpinaceae (Caesalpinia family).
An erect tropical, annual herb with leathery compounded leaves. It grows up to 6' tall. This perennial shrub has erect waxy yellow spikes that resemble fat candles before the individual blossoms open.
The large leaves are bilateral - symmetrical opposed and fold together at night.
The fruit is a pod, while the seeds are small and square.
Wild senna is indigenous to Suriname and it is found in secondary vegetation or along riverbanks on moist and even wet spots.
It is also a host plant to many species of sulphur caterpillars, included the orange barred sulphure.
Senna is a fast grower and will flower in the first year.
The leaves have laxative properties and can be effective as such.
It also has antimicrobial - and antifungal activity and can be used against dermatophyte infections such as tidea pedis (athlete's foot).
It also used for superficial mycoses and in the treatment of pityriasis versicolor (a chronic fungal infection).
The flowers also have antifungal properties.
This plant has both internal- and external uses.
External: treatment of skin diseases (Anti-acne), Tinea infections, insect bites, ringworms, eczema, scabies and itchiness.
Internal: Expectorant for bronchitis, alleviation of asthma symptoms, a laxative to expel intestinal parasites and other stomach problems, weight loss.
Suriname's traditional medicine
The leaves of this plant are used in the treatment of ringworm, the seeds as an anthelmintic while the roots can be used against uterus disorders. The crushed leaves are used for skin infections.
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USDA zone 8 - 11.
Seeds and cuttings.
Full sun / light shade, drought tolerant, moist well drained soil, soak seeds twenty four hours (24) before sowing.
Senna can also be kept as a container plant; it is a fast grower and will flower in the first year.
It should be planted after last frost or better; start indoors and transplant.
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