Kapok is a tropical tree that grows all throughout the Philippine Archipelago.
KAPOK (Ceiba pentandra)
Kapok is an erect, deciduous tree that can grow up to 15 m in height. It is known among Ilocanos as “kapasanglay” or “kapas”. The trunk of Kapasanglay is cylindrical, usually bearing scattered, large spines. The branches of this tropical tree are in distant whorls, and spread horizontally. The leaves of this tree which is native to Mexico and nearby areas are compound with 5-8 lanceolate leaflets, 6-15 cm long, pointed on both ends.
- Kapok bark decoction has been used as a diuretic, aphrodisiac and headache.
- The decoction is used as well for type II diabetes.
- The bark is used as a vomitive.
- It is used to treat fever and diarrhea.
- The bark is also applied on wounds and swollen fingers.
- A decoction of the flowers is used for constipation.
- The young leaves are administered for gonorrhea.
- An infusion of the leaves is used for cough, hoarseness, intestinal catarrh and urethritis.
- The tender fruit is used as emollient.
- The unripe fruit is regarded as a demulcent (soothing medicine; provides a protective coating on mucus membranes) and an astringent.
- A decoction of the roots is given for chronic dysentery, diarrhea, ascites (abnormal accumulation of serious fluid in the abdominal cavity) and anasarca (edema characterized by the accumulation of serum in the connective tissue of the body).
- The gum is an astringent and useful as a styptic (having a harsh acrid, acid flavor). It is given with milk as a cooling laxative to children.
- It is also used for incontinence of urine of children.