Known as piñon in Honduras, physic nut is widely used in Maya medicine. It is a shrub that grows to more than 6 feet tall, and has spreading branches with leaves that ooze a clear sap when broken from the stem. Its flowers are white.
WHERE IT CAN BE FOUND:
Caribbean, Africa, Australia, India, Middle East, Asia, Central America, Florida, Hawaii
PROPERTIES AND USE:
Treats arthritis, hot flashes, anger, backache, inflammation of the ovaries, vaginal conditions, mouth sores, infantile thrush, constipation, incontinence
For mouth sores, chew on and swallow a leaf and piece of stem at night. Repeat for three nights. For infantile thrush, rub the sap directly inside the mouth. For all conditions, boil 1 leaf per cup water. Consume 1 to 3 cups per day. To treat arthritis, the roots of 9 young trees are chopped and soaked in 2 quarts water for one day; the infusion is sipped throughout the day.