Benefits of Guaiacum

This is a tropical tree native to the W. Indies, with some growing, in So. California and So, Florida. The common name given to it, lignum vitae, means “wood of life,” evidently referring to its medicinal properties.(Guaiacum)

All parts of the tree possess medicinal properties, but the WOOD and the CONCRETE JUICE (gum resin) only are official. The bark, considered much more efficacious than the wood, is not available.

Guaiacum wood is imported from Haiti, Jamaica, and other W. Indies Islands in the shape of logs. These are used for the fabrication of various instruments and utensils for which the wood is well adapted by its extreme hardness and density. It is kept by druggists only in the state of chips or raspings which they obtain from the turners.

The wood is almost without smell unless rubbed or heated, when it then becomes odorous. When burnt, it emits an agreeable odor. It is bitterish and slightly pungent and requires to be chewed for some time before the taste is developed. Its medicinal properties are probably dependent on the guaiac with which it is impregnated. It yields its virtues but partially to water. Alcohol is the best solvent.

Gum guaiacum or guaiac is the concrete juice of the tree obtained by spontaneous exudation or by incisions made into the trunk. There are also other methods. Guaiac is brought to the market from the West Indies. It is readily pulverized. Though commonly called gum guaiac and till recently considered a gum resin, it has been ascertained to be a substance neither containing nor consisting of gum or resin. It is therefore properly designated by the simple title, guaiacum. Both the WOOD and the GUM RESIN are used by botanic practitioners.

The wood is largely used in the manufacture of blood purifiers, often combined with sarsaparilla.

Guaiacum is most beneficial in mercurial cachexia, secondary syphilis, venereal rheumatism especially chronic rheumatism, gout, scrofulous affections, impurities of the blood, cutaneous 56 eruptions, eczema, and protracted diseases dependent on a depraved or debilitated condition of the system. A decoction is preferred in combination with compound decoction of sarsaparilla. The wood, however, seems to be favored in these complaints. It is said to be useful in amenorrhoea.

It influences the digestive, urinary, and genital organs, stimulates the circulation, and induces a good capillary flow. It is best suited to languid and depressed conditions of the mucous membranes and a clogged condition of the secements.

Refer Here for the Abbreviations and Measurement Units

The gum resin is not a good remedy to use in irritated or inflamed conditions as it is too stimulating. In large doses, it purges.

The following is considered effective in the treatment of rheumatism: 1 dr. powdered gum guaiacum, 2 Dr. powdered rhubarb, 1 oz. each cream of tartar, and finely powdered nutmeg. Mix with 1# honey. Take 2 large spoonfuls night and morning.

The Dominion Herbal College claims excellent results in rheumatism from the following: all in powder: 1 oz. of each gum guaiacum, cayenne, sulphur, turkey rhubarb. Mix and fill #1 capsules and take 4 of the capsules 2 or 3 times daily.

A simple decoction of the wood is prepared by boiling 1 oz. in 3/2 pts. water down to 1 pt., the whole of which is taken during 24hrs.

The gum is taken in substance or tincture. The dose of the powder is from 10 to 30 gr. which may be taken in pills or mixed with sugar and taken in capsules or in an emulsion made with gum arabic, sugar, and water. An objection to the powder is that it quickly aggregates. The resin does not readily combine with other remedies.

The simple infusion of the wood is made by steeping 1 oz. in 1 pt. boiling water, 1 wine-glassful to be taken.

Cold doses are usually best for chronic diseases.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *