Philippine Herbal Medicine: Akapulko / Acapulco (Cassia alata)
Akapulko or Acapulco in English is a shrub found throughout the Philippines. A medicinal herb that contains chrysophanic acid, a fungicide used to treat fungal infections, like ringworms, scabies and eczema. Akapulko also contains saponin, a laxative that is useful in expelling intestinal parasites.
The extracts from the Akapulko plant is commonly used as an ingredient for lotions, soaps and shampoos.
Uses of Akapulko:
• Treatment of skin diseases:
Tinea infections, insect bites, ringworms, eczema, scabies and itchiness.
Expectorant for bronchitis and dyspnoea, mouthwash in stomatitis, alleviation of asthma symptoms, used as diuretic and purgative, for cough & fever, as a laxative to expel intestinal parasites and other stomach problems. A strong decoction of the leaves is an abortifacient.
• For external use, pound the leaves of the Akapulko plant, squeeze the juice and apply on affected areas.
• For internal use: cut the plant parts into a manageable size then soak and boil for 10 to 15 minutes let cool and use as soon as possible. Note: The decoction looses its potency if not used for a long time. Dispose leftovers after one day.