Alipung herbal medicine






Gmelina asiatica Blanco

Gmelina asiatica Linn. var. philippinensis Bakh.

Gmelina hystrix Kurz

Gmelina inermis Blanco


Local names: alipung (Tag.); alipuñga (Tag.); baga-babui (Tag., Bis.); betebet (Pang.); hosel-bosel (Ilk.); kalulut (Pamp.); paniktik (Sbl.); sousou (Ig.); tuloñgau (P. Bis.).


Alipung is found common in thickets and secondary forest at low and medium altitudes in Cagayan, Benguet, Pangasinan, Zambales, Bataan, Pampamga, Bulacan, Rizal, and Laguna Provinces in Luzon; and in Panay. Merrill doubts if it is endemic in the Philippines as Bakhuizen [Bull. Jard. Bot. Buitenz. III 3 (1921) 70] gives the range of this plant as Siam. Tenasserim. Cochin-China, and the Philippines.


This plant is an erect, branched, nearly smooth or small tree 3 to 8 meters high, usually with a few stout spines on the trunk and branches. The leaves are elliptic, 4 to 8 centimeters long, entire, usually rounded or blunt at the apex and pointed at the base, and smooth beneath. The flowers are borne in short, terminal racemes, each subtended by a large, pale-green bract. The calyx is green, and about 5 millimeters long. The corolla is yellow, and about 4 centimeters long. The fruit is fleshy, smooth, yellow, pear-shaped, and about 2 centimeters long.


In the Philippines it is said that the juice of the fruit is externally applied to portions of the feet affected by “alipuñga,” a kind of eczema. The juice of the fruit is also considered anti “limatik,” (limatik is a species of leech of the genus Haemadipsa).

Burkill quotes Gimlette, who found the fruit to be used as a poultice for coughs when pounded lime and applied to the throat. Ridley says that a mixture made of the acid fruit rubbed with lime and garlic is vigorously applied to the body in cases of dropsy.



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