This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
COMMON NAMES. Cutch, Gambir, Terra Japonica.
MEDICINAL PART. Extract of the wood.
Description.--Catechu is a small-sized tree from fifteen to twenty feet high. The bark is thick, and branches spreading. Leaves bipinnate. Flowers numerous, white or pale yellow, and the fruit a legume.
History. -- This tree is common to the East Indian continent, thriving in Bengal, and on the Malabar coast. As found in the shops it is in square, round, and irregular pieces, variable in color, friable, odorless, astringent taste. Soluble in hot water, depositing a reddish matter on cooling.
Properties and Uses. -- This is a strong astringent. In chronic diarrhoea, chronic catarrh, chronic dysentery, it proves beneficial, and it is a valuable agent as a local application in throat diseases, especially such as singers are subject to. The tincture is often useful as a local application to fissured nipples of nursing women.
Dose. -- Of the powder, from five to twenty grains; of the tincture, from twenty minims to half an ounce.