polynesian ethnobotany

C. Richter richter at gpu.utcs.utoronto.ca
Fri Dec 11 18:00:43 EST 1992

In article <nking.724101804 at unix1.tcd.ie> nking at unix1.tcd.ie (Nev's family recipe) writes:
>i am currently doing a dissertation on the biology of thespesia
>populnea (miro, milo ,portia tree, mahoe)
>and its use by pitcairn islanders.
>If anyone has any information on its medicinal, or other uses of the
>plant.... E Mail me at nking at unix1.tcd.ie

I checked some issues of _Economic Botany_ which were close at hand; here 
are some items on Thespesia populnea. Interesting plant; enjoyed learning 
about it.  
 Bhargava N 1983. Ethnobotanical studies of the tribes of Andaman and 
     Nicobar Islands, India. 1. Onge. 37:110-119
     p. 113.  "...tebokala. Tree. Leaves eaten raw for constipation."
 Whistler WA 1984. Annotated list of Samoan plant names. 38:464-489.     
     p. 477.  "Milo -- ... common, small to medium-sized tree of the 
              littoral forest, well known to most Samoans because of its 
              highly esteemed wood. It is also known as milo in the rest 
              of western Polynesia, and miro in most of eastern Polynesia."
 Banack SA, Cox PA 1987. Ethnobotany of ocean-going canoes in Lau, Fiji.
     p. 154.  "malomalo... alternate wood for minor pieces"
 Cox PA, Sperry LR, Thuominen M, Bohlin L 1989. Pharmacological activity of    
     the Samoan ethnopharmacopoeia. 43:487-497.
     p. 493.  (Table I. Pharmacological activity of crude extracts of 
              Samoan medicinal plants.)
              plant part -- leaves
              in vivo screen, mice, 1000 mg/kg dose, P.O. -- no activity
              in vivo screen, mice, 1000 mg/kg dose, I.P. -- caused death
              in vitro screen, guinea pig ileum, inhibition of electrically 
                     induced contractions, 0.2 mg/ml -- 21-49% inhibition
              in vitro screen, guinea pig ileum, inhibition of electrically
                     induced contractions, 2 mg/ml -- 100% inhibition
 Awasthi AK 1991. Ethnobotanical studies of the Negrito Islanders of Andaman 
     Islands, India -- The great Andamanese. 45:274-280. 
     p. 277.  "...tree/rammo/Logs are used as fuel during rains; according  
              to tribals, even the wet wood catches fire.."

Conrad Richter                     richter at gpu.utcs.utoronto.ca
Richters Herbs                     71550.3411 at compuserve.com
Goodwood, ON L0C 1AO Canada        Tel 416-640-6677 / Fax 416-640-6641

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