CHENOPODIUM AMBROSIOIDES Linn.
Local names: Adlabon (Ig.); alpasote, alpasotis, aposotis, pasotis (Tag., Bik., Ilk., all corruptions of the Mexican alpazoti); bubula (Bon.); libug (If.).
Alpasotis is found throughout the Philippines in the settled areas, cultivated and spontaneous, at medium and higher altitudes (Benguet), often very abundant. It is a native of Mexico and is now of pantropic distribution.
It is an erect or ascending, branched, glandular herb, often nearly 1 meter high. The stems are angled, smooth or glandular-pubescent. The leaves are oblong to oblong-lanceolate, 3 to 10 centimeters in length, with a rank aromatic odor when crushed, and have lobed margins. The flowers are small and spicate. The sepals number 5, sometimes only 3, and enclose the utricle, which is less than 1 millimeter long. The seed is horizontal, smooth, and shining.
Wehmer records that the plant yields volatile oil 0.25 to 0.45 per cent, with ascaridol and geraniol. Henry and Paget, who investigated the oil from Chenopodium ambrosioides var. anthelminticum, say that in addition to ascaridol, cymene and terpinene have been identified. Jimenez, who studied the oil extracted from Philippine material of Chenopodium ambrosioides, reports that ascaridol is apparently present in a fractional amount. He further states that properties of the oil obtained from Philippine Chenopodium were very close to those properties required in the United States Pharmacopoeia.
According to Bruntz and Jaloux the flowering tops of the plant are official in the Australian (1-5,7,8); Belgian (1,2); French (1,3,4); Greek (1-3); German (1); Mexican (1-4); Rumanian (1-3); Russian (1-3); Serbian (1); Spanish (2-6); and Venezuelan (1,2) Pharmacopoeias.
Burkill states that the characteristic smell of the plant, as well as its action, is due to ascaridol. He reports further that the oil is chiefly distilled from the fruit contains more oil then the old. Santos, who has made a thorough pharmacognostical study of the plant, distinguishes two types of hairs and says that the sac type contains the oil. He concurs with previous findings that the younger fruit contains more oil.
Burkill reports that the fruit is well known for its vermifuge properties. It may be administered as (a) bruised fruit in small doses, or (b) juice expressed from the plant given straight or as a decoction in milk or water. Hookworms (Ankylostoma duodenale) and the amoebae, which cause dysentery, are destroyed by the oil. It is also applied sometimes in treating tropical ulcers.
Father Clain mentions in his book, “Remedios faciles para diferentes enfermedades” in 1857, the juice of this plant given as anthelmintic. Guerrero says that the leaves and tops, crushed and mixed with cooked rice, are used as a carminative in poultices applied to the abdomen of children suffering from dyspepsia. This plant is considered also to be an emmenagogue. Corre and Lejanne report that in the Antilles, the plant is used as an antispasmodic, and a decoction is administered as an internal haemostatic. The bruised plant is also used here for ulcers. Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk, writing of its uses in southern Africa, say that the Sutos and Zulus use the infusion for colds and stomachache; as an enema for intestinal ulceration, and as a sudorific. Martinez, mentions its use in Mexico as an emmenagogue and vermifuge. An infusion is administered as a diuretic and a sudorific. Kirtikar and Basu say that the oil from this plant is used as a substitute for Chenopodium anthelminticum. They continue that it is employed in pectoral complaints and in nervous affections. This oil is employed in Martinique as a stomachic, according to Eberhardt.