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Bursera Simaruba: Uses and Applications

Bursera Simaruba (red trunk-belize) adapts very well to different habitats, saline or calcareous soils, that’s why it is perfect as a street tree in coastal areas.  It is very tolerant to winds, and is among the hurricane resistant species in South Florida. The hexane extracts of its leaves have anti-inflammatory properties. And its bark is an antidote to Metopium toxiferum that grows in the same habitat and causes extreme irritations similar to poison ivy.

In countries like Honduras, Bursera Simaruba is common as live fences. Especially in the micro- basins of the commonwealth of municipalities of northern Choluteca. Maybe it is the almacigo one of the most popular plants in Cuba.

Besides, traditionally parts of this tree are popular as a home remedy for certain diseases and disorders of the body, mainly in rural areas of the country. The Cuban scholar Juan Tomás Roig collects it in his book Medicinal, aromatic or poisonous plants of Cuba. 3 He states: “…as a stomach tonic, in colds and in diarrheas.” And then detail that for the first two cases the root, the husk, the leaves and the heart (which is also antispasmodic). When citing other authors, the botanist says that the parts are to prepare in tisanes by means of a decoction; preparing them with a bunch of them and half a bottle of water.

Let it boil for no less than 20 minutes, and after straining and sweetening; it is administered by cups at the end of the day. A resinous substance that has the same properties as leaves leaves from the natural cracks of the seedbed.

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