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Family Fabaceae / Leguminosae

Siit
Caesalpinia sumatrana Roxb.
CAT'S CLAW

Scientific names Common names
Mezoneuron sumatranum (Roxb.) W. & A. Siit (Tag.)
Caesalpinia sumatrana Roxb. Cat's claw (Engl.)
Mezoneuron koordersii Backer  
Mezoneuron rubrum Merr.  
Mezoneuron sulfureum Miq.  


Botany
Siit is a robust, prickly climber, 6 to 10 meters in length. Leaves are compound, 30 centimeters or more in length. Pinnae are 6, about 10 centimeters long. Leaflets are firm, smooth, oblong or obovate-oblong, 5 to 8 centimeters in length, 2.5 to 3.5 centimeters wide. Racemes are forked, as long as the leaves, hairy and obtuse at the tip. Calyx is smooth, 1 to 1.3 centimeters long, with the upper teeth minute, the lowest longer, and the tube splitting at the insertion of the glabrous filaments. Petals are a little exserted, reddish-yellow, permanently imbricated and oblanceolate-spatulate. Pods are thin, about 15 centimeters long, 4 to 5.5 centimeters wide, furnished with a moderately broad wing, containing 4 to 5 seeds.

Distribution
Found in thickets, at low altitudes in Palawan.
Also known to occur in Sumatra, Borneo, Singapore and the Malay Peninsula.

Parts utilized
Leaves.

Constituents
• The active substance is a saponin.
• Leaf and bark yield a weak alkaloid.

Uses
Folkloric
• The Malays use a decoction of leaves used as a vermifuge and for intestinal complaints like diarrhea.
• Also used after childbirth.

Studies
No studies found.

Availability
Wild-crafted.

Last Update August 2013


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