Herb latin name: Prinsepia utilis
Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family)
Medicinal use of Prinsepia utilis:An oil from the seed is rubefacient. It is applied externally as a treatment for rheumatism and muscular pain caused by hard work. The oil is also applied to the forehead and temples in the treatment of coughs and colds. The heated oilcake is applied as a poultice to the abdomen in the treatment of stomachaches. A paste of this seedcake is used as a poultice to treat ringworm or eczema. The fruit is used in Chinese medicine. We have no more details.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Forest, scrub and hedges, 1200 - 2700 metres. Usually found in sunny open places on dry hillsides near any spring or water-course.
Edible parts of Prinsepia utilis:Fruit - raw or cooked. Liked by children. Sloe-like, it has rather an astringent flavour. The fruit is up to 17mm long and contains a single large seed. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. It is used in cooking.
Other uses of the herb:The seed contains 21% of a fatty oil. As well as being edible, it can also be used for lighting. The oilcake is used for washing clothes. A deep purple colour btained from the fruits is used for painting windows and walls. Plants are grown as a hedge in the Himalayas. Plants have an extensive root system and are used for binding the soil. Wood - very hard, compact, very liable to split.
Propagation of Prinsepia utilis:Seed - best if given 2 months cold stratification. Sow the seed in autumn if possible, otherwise in late winter or early spring in a cold frame in light shade. Germination may be inhibited by light. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle into individual pots. Grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame.
Cultivation of the herb:Forest, scrub and hedges, 1200 - 2700 metres. Usually found in sunny open places on dry hillsides near any spring or water-course.
Known hazards of Prinsepia utilis:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.