Agoho herbal medicine






Local names: Ago (Ibn., Neg.); agoho (Tag., Ilk., Bis., Bik.); agoo (Pang., Ilk., Kuy.); agoko (Pang.); ago-o (Ilk.); agoso (Pang., Tag.); ague (Ibn.); alaut (Bon.); antong (Is.); aro (Ilk.); aroho (Ilk., Ting.); aya (Bis.); karo (Ilk.); mahohok (Mbo.); malabohok (Bis.); maribuhok (Bis.); iron wood, Queensland swamp oak (Engl.); taraje, taray (Sp.).


Agoho is found throughout the Philippines along sandy sea-shores, extending inland in open sandy valleys along streams, and sometimes growing at altitudes as high as 800 meters. It is usually gregarious. It also occurs in Tropics of the Old World from Africa to Polynesia, near the sea, and is now pantropic in cultivation.


Agoho is a large, evergreen tree, tall and straight, being 20 meters high or less. The crown is narrowly pyramidal, resembling some of the conifers in appearance. The bark is brown and rough. The branchlets, which are very slender, are about 20 centimeters long or less, mostly deciduous, and composed of many joints, fulfill the functions of leaves. The internodes are about 1 centimeter long or less, and somewhat 6- or 8-angled. The flowers are unisexual. The staminate spikes are slender and 1 to 3 centimeters long. The cones are usually ellipsoid, 1 to 2 centimeters long, and composed of about 12 rows of achenes enclosed in the hardened bracts.


Agoho is cultivated in Manila and large towns as an ornamental foliage tree. Sometimes it is grown as a hedge. It resembles a pine tree in appearance. It is planted also to check erosion. The wood is used for fuel, poles, and rafters. The bark yields tannin, and is good for tanning and dyeing.


Chopra affirms that the coloring matter is casuari. Wehmer reports that the bark contains 18 per cent tannin.


Delgado writes that an infusion of the braches is used as a diuretic.

 The bark, according to Ridley, Daruty, Chopra, Standley, and Corre and Lejanne is astringent. Guerrero reports that the bark in decoction is employed as an emmenagogic and embolic when taken in large doses. He adds that the decoction is also helpful for hamoptysis. Burkill states that the bark is used to arrest diarrhea and dysentery in Malaya and India. A lotion of it is also used for beriberi. Burkill and Haniff report that a decoction of the twigs is used in Malaya as a lotion for swellings. The same is reported from Sarawak. Gimlette and Burkill declare that in Malaya a powder of the bark is prescribed for pimples on the face. Rumpf says that in Macassar a decoction of the bark is used for colic. Kirtikar and Basu mention that a decoction of the bark is an excellent stringent in the treatment of chronic diarrhea and dysentery, and that an infusion in employed as a tonic.


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