Monday, August 20, 2012

Sweet sap of the Ixora (Jungle Flame)

If you grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida, or probably anywhere else on the protruding member of America that is the Sunshine State, there is a good chance you tasted the sweet sap of the Ixora flower.

When I was a kid my friends and I wouldn't hesitate to taste a handful of the flowers, but I doubt any of us knew the name or anything more about the free treat. If I had ever confessed any of this to my mother she would have surely forced me to drink an entire gallon of milk like that time she thought I ate Oleander.

The Ixora is common mostly in tropical Asia but has become a popular hedging plant in Florida. Its fiery blooming bundles have long been used as a natural remedy for a number of ailments including treatment of the poo poos. According to

". . . it has been identified that the plant contains important phytochemicals that are known to have antioxidative, antibacterial, gastroprotective, hepatoprotective, antidiarrhoeal, antinociceptive, antimutagenic, antineoplastic and chemopreventive effects. This analysis suggests the validity of the plant’s folkloric and erthnomedicinal uses.  "

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