Pithecellobium dulce (Roxb.) Benth.
Guamachil, Manila tamarind
Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished.
- Folk Medicine
- Yields and Economics
- Biotic Factors
Often planted for living fence or thorny hedge, eventually nearly impenetrable,
guamachil furnishes food, forage, and firewood, while fixing a little nitrogen.
The pods, harvested in Mexico, Cuba, and Thailand, and customarily sold on
roadside stands, contain a thick sweetish, but also acidic pulp, eaten raw or
made into a drink similar to lemonade. Pods are devoured by livestock of all
kinds; the leaves are browsed by horses, cattle, goats, and sheep; and hedge
clippings are often gathered for animal feed. The plants withstand heavy
browsing. The seeds contain a greenish oil (20%), which, after refining and
bleaching, can be used for food or in making soap. The presscake, rich in
protein (30%), may be used as stockfeed. Bark used as a fish poison in the
Philippines (Perry, 1980). Known in the Philippines as "Kamachil", the wood,
malodorous when cut, is used for boxes, crates, fuel, and wagon wheels. The
gum exuding from the trunk can be used for mucilage, the tannin for tanning.
The bark is harvested for tanning in Mexico. Tree seems promising for the
cultivation of the lac insect. Flowers make good honey.
Reported to be abortifacient, anodyne, astringent, larvicidal, guamachil is a
folk remedy for convulsions, dysentery, dyspepsia, earache, leprosy, peptic
ulcers, sores, toothache, and venereal disease (Duke and Wain, 1981). The bark
of P. avaremotem, the "avaremo-temo" from Brazil, is a folk cancer
elixir (Hartwell, 19671971).
The fruit, more probably the aril, is reported to contain, per 100 g, 78
calories, 77.8% water, 3.0% protein, 0.4% fat, 18.2% total carbohydrate, 1.2%
fiber, 0.6% ash, 13 mg Ca, 42 mg P, 0.5 mg Fe, 19 mg Na, 222 mg K, 15 mg
b-carotene equivalent, 0.24 mg thiamine, 0.10 mg riboflavin, 0.60 mg niacin,
and 133 mg ascorbic acid. The essential amino acids in the aril are 143 mg/100
g valine, 178 lysine, 41 phenylalanine, and 26 tryptophan. An Indian aril (60%
of the pod) contained 21.0 mg Ca/100 g, 40.0 Mg, 58.0 P, 1.1 Fe, 3.7 Na, 377 K,
0.6 Cu, and 109 S. As calcium pectate, pectin occurs as 0.96% of the sugars
(mostly glucose) analysis of the aril (C.S.I.R., 19481976). The whole fruit,
with husk and seeds (58% refuse) contains 33 calories, 32.7% moisture, 1.3 g
protein, 0.2 g fat, 7.6 g total carbohydrate, 0.5 g fiber, 0.2 g ash, 5 mg Ca,
18 mg P, 0.2 mg Fe, 8 mg Na, 93 mg K, 5 mcg b-carotene equivalent, 0.10 mg
thiamine, 0.4 mg riboflavin, 0.2 mg niacin, and 56 mg ascorbic acid (Leung et
al, 1972). Per 100 g, the seed is reported to contain 13.5 g H2O, 17.7 g
protein, 17.1 g fat, 41.4 g starch, 7.8 g fiber, 2.6 g ash. On alcoholic
extraction, the seeds yield a saponin, a sterol glucoside, a flavone, and
lecithin. The fatty acid composition of the seed is 24.3% saturated acids,
51.1% oleic, and 24.0% linoleic. Hager's Handbook (List and Horhammer,
19691979) reports 0.3% caprylic, 0.3% caprinic, 0.3% lauric, 0.8% myristic,
12.1% palmitic, 6.9% stearic, 3.1% arachidic, 13.1% behenic, 4.9% lignoceric,
32.2% oleic, and 26.0% linoleic acids in the fatty acids. Further listed is a
saponin containing oleanolic- and echinocytic acids, with the sugar sequence
xylose, arabinose, and glucose; also pithogenin, (C28H44O4), hederagenin and
sodium nimbinate (which latter two are said to be antiarthritic and antiedemic
in rats). Wax, hexacosanol, L-proline, L-leucine, L-valine, and asparagine,
are also reported from the fruit, leucoro-binetinidin, leucofisetinidin, and
melacacidin from the wood. After extraction of ca 20% edible oil, the seed
cake, with 29.7% protein, can be used as animal feed. Bark contains up to 37%
of a catechol type tannin. Bark also yields a yellow dye and 1.5% pectin. It
is said to cause dermititis and eye inflammation. According to Roskoski et al
(1980), studying Mexican material, the seeds contain 14.00% humidity, 2.66%
ash, 25.69% CP, 8.12% EE, 22.16% CF, 26.97% carbohydrates with a 80.84% in
vitro digestibility. The foliage contains 6.46% humidity, 15.34% ash, 17.17%
CP, 6.83% EE, 3095% CF, 23.25% carbohydrates, and 71.46% in vitro
digestibility. For comparison, the Wealth of India reports (ZMB): 29.0% CP,
4.4% EE, 17.5% fiber, 43.6% NFE, 5.6% ash, 1.14% Ca, and 0.35% P. The manurial
value of dry leaves is 4.91% N, 0.78% P2O5, 1.04% CaO, and 2.67% K2O. The
antitumor compound, b-sitosterol (perhaps ubiquitous), and campesterol,
stigmasterol, and a-spinasterol occur in the heartwood (C.S.I.R.,
A large, nearly evergreen tree that grows up to 20 m or more in height, Manila
tamarind has a broad crown (to 30 m across) and a short bole (to 1 m thick).
At the base of each leaf is normally found a pair of short, sharp spines,
though some specimens are spineless. (NAS, 1980a).
Reported from the American Center of Diversity, guamachil, or cvs thereof is
reported to tolerate drought, heat, poor soil, salt, sand, and shade.
(2n = 26).
Native to Mexico through Central America to Colombia and Venezuela. Introduced
in southern Florida, Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and St. Croix. Widely
planted and naturalized in tropical regions, including the Old World (Little
and Wadsworth, 1964). Listed as a common weed in Hawaii.
Ranging from Tropical Desert (along water courses) to Moist through Subtropical
Desert to Moist Forest Life Zones, guamachil is reported to tolerate annual
precipitation of 1.4 to 22.0 dm (mean of 43 cases = 14.7), annual temperature
of 18.0 to 27.9°C (mean of 37 cases = 25.4), and pH up to 8.3
(Duke, 1978, 1979). Occurs up to 1,800 m in Mexico and 1,500 m in Burundi.
Suitable for most dry regions, it is drought resistant, in low rainfall areas
developing an extensive root system. In Burundi it grows well at 800 m
elevation and 600 mm, spread evenly year-round. In southern Florida rainfall
averages 1,650 mm or more. It has great adaptability and grows on most soil
types, including clay, oolitic limestone, and rather barren sands. It can also
be found in wet sands that have a brackish water table (NAS, 1980a).
Reproduces easily by seeds or cuttings. For hedges, seeds may be sown in site,
spaced 15 cm apart in two rows 30 cm apart.
Cut as needed for fuel, the tree has a fast rate of growth, coppices vigorously
and can withstand "any amount of pruning, lopping, or browsing by animals."
In favorable soils and climates, the Manila tamarind may reach a height of 10 m
in 5 or 6 years (NAS, 1980a). With no specific data available, I project that
well established trees would produce forage somewhere between 620 MT/ha/yr,
the 6 projected for Prosopis tamarugo and the 20 for Leucaena, by
Felker (1981). Pod yields, according to my visual estimation, should approach
those of Prosopis juliflora, a rather productive legume.
The reddish-brown wood is usually hard, heavy, and strong, though it is also
brittle and rather difficult to cut. It is used (in India, Africa, and
America) as a fuel, but smokes condiserably and is not best quality. Calorific
value, 5,2005,600 kcal per kg. In parts of India it is used as fuel for brick
kilns (NAS, 1980a).
Normally pest damage is insignificant; can become affected by leaf spot
diseases, Phyllosticta inga-dulcis and Colletotrichum sp., and a
number of defoliating and boring insect pests. It is a favorite host of the
thornbug. (NAS, 1980a). The nematode Meloidogyne is reported as a pest
in Florida, the twig blight Phomopsis sp., the leaf spot Phyllosticta
pithecolubis in Texas and Puerto Rico, Physalospora fusca and
Physalospora rhodina in Florida, the wood rot Polyporus gilvus in
Hawaii. Since several rhizobial cultures from guamachil failed to nodulate on
several other taxa, this species was considered highly selective. Other tests
with Baptisia, Crotalaria, and Dalea incurred nodulation (Allen and Allen,
1981). Browne (1968) lists: Fungi. Corticum salmonicolor, Phyllosticta
ingae-dulcis. Coleoptera. Celosterna scabrator, Sternocera
sternicornis. Hemiptera. Kerria lacca, Nipaecoccus vastator.
Lepidoptera. Cryptophlebia illepida, Eucosma stereoma, Euproctis
scintillans, Hypanartia hecabe, Macroplectra nararia.
Complete list of references for Duke, Handbook of Energy Crops
- Allen, O.N. and Allen, E.K. 1981. The Leguminosae. The University of Wisconsin
- Browne, F.G. 1968. Pests and diseases of forest plantations trees. Clarendon
- C.S.I.R. (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research). 19481976. The wealth
of India. 11 vols. New Delhi.
- Duke, J.A. 1978. The quest for tolerant germplasm. p. 161. In: ASA Special
Symposium 32, Crop tolerance to suboptimal land conditions. Am. Soc. Agron.
- Duke, J.A. 1979. Ecosystematic data on economic plants. Quart. J. Crude Drug
- Duke, J.A. and Wain, K.K. 1981. Medicinal plants of the world. Computer index
with more than 85,000 entries. 3 vols.
- Felker, P. 1981. Uses of tree legumes in semiarid regions. Econ. Bot.
- Hartwell, J.L. 19671971. Plants used against cancer. A survey. Lloydia 3034.
- Little, E.L., Jr., and Wadsworth, F.H. 1964. Common trees of Puerto Rico and
the Virgin Islands. Ag. Handbook 249, USDA, Washington, DC.
- N.A.S. 1980a. Firewood crops. Shrub and tree species for energy production.
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC.
- Perry, L.M. 1980. Medicinal plants of east and southeast Asia. MIT Press,
Last update Wednesday, January 7, 1998 by aw