Prosopis juliflora DC

Nota de alcance (en)

Ethnobotanical and general use

Nutritional use
The flowers are eaten by man (nectar). The flowers, which are much frequented by bees, yield a good grade of a light-coloured honey. The sweet pods are an important source of forage for stock of all kinds. They are also eaten by man. Non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks are prepared from the pulp. Ground pods are also used as a meal to bake bread, cakes and cookies. The gum of the bark 'mesquite gum' is used for the preparation of sweets.

Economical utilization
The inner bark of the root supplies fiber for cordage and coarse fabric. An amber-coloured translucent gum similar to gummi-arabicum exudes from the trunk through incisions in the bark and is employed industrially for alimentary purposes and for preparation of sweets. The gum is also used in textile industries. Fruit, bark and wood contain tannins which are used for tanning and dyeing. Roots contain 6-7% tannin. The wood is not only valuable for firewood and fuel, but also serves for railway cross ties, vehicle construction, fence posts, and for paving blocks. The heartwood is dark brown, with fine vessel lines. The sapwood is yellow, rather sharply demarcated, and has an aromatic taste. The wood is hard, heavy and strong. It is coarse-textured, mostly with irregular grain, easy to work, finishing smoothly and assuming a high natural polish. It is also very resistant to decay probably due to its tannin content. The species is also appropriate for afforestation (see below).

Medical use
Drugs: folia, cortex, radix, fructus. The plant is purgative and emetic, helps against diarrhoea, bronchitis, catarrh and cough, diseases of the eyes, cures dysentery and asthma, regulates the intestinal pH, absorbs toxic substances and regulates hyperperistalsis (mucilage) and is used as a vulnerary.

Method of use
Gum of the bark dissolved in water is used against dysentery and as a gargle for infections of the throat. The bark has a bitter taste. A decoction of the shoots mixed with milk is used as an eye bath and for conjunctivitis. Together with Saccharum officinarum the drug is applied as an abortive. A decoction of the bark cures the flu.

Healing properties
Antipyretic disinfectant, pectoral, ophtalmic, vulnerary, antibacterial antispasmodic, diuretic, antimycotic, hypothermic.

Chemical contents
The plant contains flavonoid glycosides, tryptamine; the leaves contain alkaloids such as juliprosopine, juliprosine, juliflorinine, julifloricine; the bark contains tannins, the fruit coumarin and kaempferol.

Nota bibliográfica (en)

South American medicinal plants : botany, remedial properties, and general use / I. Roth, H. Lindorf. Berlin ; New York : Springer, c2002. -- p. 492.

Prosopis juliflora DC
Término aceptado: 29-Dic-2016