Jamalgota or Gum plant, Jatropha curcas

Jamalgota or Gum plant (Jatropha curcas, family: Euphorbiaceae) is a small-sized deciduous or semi-deciduous tree with soft wood and branches, attaining a height of 6 m. Bark is whitish grey, smooth and shiny; it releases thin scales. On injury it produces a kind of milky substance. The shrubby tree is called Gum plant for this kind of sticky juice. The plant is originated in tropical America and gradually spread to other tropical and subtropical areas. It is found mainly in the medicinal gardens of Bangladesh. 

Other names : Chanda, Bag-verenda, Bon-verenda, Shada jeol (Bang); Posion nut, Physic nut, Barbados nut, Bubble bush, Purging nut (Eng). 

Leaves are light green, long petioled, cordate at base, and slightly palmate, 10-15 cm long, alternate or opposite, pointed lobes 3-5. The palmate veins have sub-veins.

Flowers are yellowish green, small, without any pedicel, gathering at the ends of branches. Female and male flowers are produced separately in the same inflorescence. Flowering occurs summer to autumn. Flowers and fruits can be seen on the same tree, at the same time.

Fruit is capsule, globose, 3-5 cm in wide; dehiscent (Seeds come out by bursting ripe fruits.). Seeds are poisonous. Dried fruits are seen hanging on the tree for a long time. Propagation of the plant is caused by seeds or cuttings.

The nuts roasted are used as a purgative. The twigs are for tooth brushing when the gums are swolen. It cures toothache. Nuts are also used in toothache and stopping tooth bleeding. The oil from the seeds is applied topically in rheumatis, herpos and pruritus. Juice has been very successfully used in the treatment of scabies, eczema and ringworm. Biodiesel is available from the seeds. Soap can be made from its seed-oil.

Synonyms: Castiglionia lobata, Curcas adansonii, Curcas curcas, Curcas drastica, Curcas indica, Curcas lobata, Curcas purgans, Curcas purgans, Jatropha acerifolia, Jatropha afrocurcas, Jatropha condor, Jatropha edulis, Jatropha yucatanensis, Manihot curcas, Ricinoides americana, Ricinus americanus, Ricinus jarak. 

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