Convolvulus purga Wender
Exogonium purga (Wender) Benth.
Ipomoea schiedeana Zucc.
Common Name: Jalap
Jalap ia a stout, perennial herb, producing annual stems from a large, fusiform, tuberous rootstock[
]. These stems scramble over the ground or twine into nearby vegetation for support.
An important medicinal herb, jalap is widely used in modern medicine as a laxative and purgative. The medicinal properties of the roots have been known since pre-Conquest times, being first introduced into Europe in the mid-16th century. Initially the large natural populations were exploited, though the high demand forced cultivation in Mexico beginning in the mid-19th cent[
]. Cultivation has spread, on a more limited scale, to several other tropical American countries and also to India, Indonesia etc, whilst the plant has at times also been cultivated as an ornamental in glasshouses in Europe and elsewhere[
Central America - Mexico. Often naturalized in other parts of the tropics.
Thickets, hedges and waste places, from sea-level up to 2,000 metres[
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
The roots are hydragogue, laxative and purgative[
]. In small doses, they are employed in the treatment of gastritis, colitis and chronic dysentery[
The fresh roots need special processing (smoke drying) after harvest[
The roots contain 8 - 12% of a resin and an essential oil[
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