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.
MEDICINAL PART. Extract of the leaves and young shoots.
Description. -- Gambir is a stout climbing shrub with round branches. Leaves ovate, lanceolate, acute, smooth, and have short petioles. Flowers in loose heads, green and pink; calyx short, corolla funnel-shaped; stamens five, and the fruit a two-celled capsule.
History. -- It is an inhabitant of the East Indian Archipelago, where it is extensively cultivated. On the island of Bingtang alone there are 60,000 Gambir plantations. It affords what is known as pale catechu. It is chiefly imported from Singapore. It is found in cubes which float on water, externally brown, internally pale brick red, breaking easily. Taste bitter, very astringent, and mucilaginous. Boiling water almost completely dissolves it. It is used in the arts for tanning.
Properties and Uses. -- It is employed as an astringent. In various affections of the mouth it is an efficacious astringent. It is also excellent as a stomachic in dyspeptic complaints, especially when accompanied with pyrosis. It should be used just before taking food. It is an excellent astringent in chronic diarrhoea and dysentery.
Dose. -- From ten to forty grains.