Rhamnus jujuba Linn.
Zizyphus mauritiana Lam.
Local names: Manzanas (Sp.); mansanitas (Sp., Tag.).
Mansanitas is widely scattered in the Philippines as a semi-cultivated tree. It is scarcely to be considered naturalized. It was introduced from tropical Asia.
This is a small tree 5 to 10 meters high. The branches are armed with short, sharp spines. The leaves are elliptic-ovate, 5 to 8 centimeters long, 3 to 5 centimeters wide, rounded at the base, green and smooth on the upper surface and densely covered with woolly, pale hairs beneath. The flowers are greenish white, about 7 millimeters in diameter, and borne on axillary cymes 3 centimeters in diameter or less. The fruit is fleshy and mealy, smooth, orange or red, ovoid or somewhat rounded, and 1.5 to 2 centimeters in diameter, with a bony and irregularly furrowed stone within.
According to Nadkarni the bark contains much tannin and a crystallizable principle, ziziphic acid. The fruit contains mucilage and sugar in addition to fruit acids. Dey states that the tannin in the bark is named ziziphotannic acid. Wehmer records that the bark contains 4.1 per cent of tannin, and the root 2.6 to 9.3 per cent of tannin.
According to Guerrero, in the Philippines, a decoction of the bark and leaves is employed as an effective astringent in dysentery and diarrhea and is used in bowel trouble of all kinds.
The root has some purgative effect, and is said to be drastic if taken in excess. In Angola it is taken to promote menstruation. In decoction, it is used for fevers. The powdered root is applied to ulcers and wounds. The juice of the root bark is used as a purgative, and, externally, in gout and rheumatism.
The bark is bitter and is sometimes used for colic; it is probably emetic in larger doses. It is also used for tanning in India. The bark in powdered form, or in decoction, is astringent and a simple remedy for diarrhea. The powdered bark is a domestic dressing for old wounds and ulcers. In Cambodia, the bark is prescribed in dysentery and gingiritis.
The leaves are an ingredient used by some Benue tribes in prescription for gonorrhea. The pounded leaves are applied as a dressing to wounds. The leaves, in plaster form are used in strangury. A paste made from the tender leaves and twigs is applied to boils, abscesses, and carbuncles to promote suppuration.
The fruit is said to be nourishing, mucilaginous, pectoral and styptic, and is said to purify the blood and assist in digestion. In Abyssinia the fruit is used to stupefy fish. The fruit is considered cooling, anodyne and tonic. The fruit of the wild variety is very acid and astringent; the cultivated fruit is less acid. The dried and ripe fruit is a mild laxative and expectorant. The fruit in China is employed to relieve coughs.