BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON TRUMPET TREE AS A MEDICINAL HERB:-
The Trumpet Tree is native to Central and South America and now grows all over the Caribbean. It often reaches a height of up to 20 metres. The tree is incredibly fast growing and the trunk is hollow, it has large, lobed leaves which can be up to 30cm in diameter and bears grey-brown fruits, which seem to be popular with bats.
It has many colloquial names, some being Snake Wood Tree, Bois Trompette, Bois Canon, Embauba
TRADITIONAL USES AS A MEDICINAL HERB:-
The leaves of the tree are generally used in herbal remedies. In Jamaica trumpet tree is reputed to be a remedy for sore throat, hoarseness and for nerves.
In Cuba the latex from the trunk is used to treat warts, corns, calluses, herpes and skin ulcers. The leaves are used to treat liver disorders and to increase menstruation.
In Trinidad, the leaves are used to treat colds, fever, flu, snake and scorpion bites.
Across Latin America a tea made from trumpet tree leaves is regarded as a treatment for asthma and is popularly used for various upper respiratory tract infections. Trumpet tree is also used to treat diabetes and high blood pressure, for childbirth and menstruation and to strengthen the heart.
Modern Research & Uses
Many traditional uses of the plant have been confirmed by recent clinical research. The ability of trumpet tree to reduce high blood pressure could be the result of ACE-inhibiting activity in some of its plant chemicals. In 2002 a US Patent identified phytochemicals which have cardiotonic and diuretic properties.
Independent research has not yet confirmed the anti-asthmatic activity of trumpet tree. There is, however, research to suggest that an alcohol extract of trumpet leaf is active against staphylococcus aureus.
Trumpet tree has among its plant chemicals: glycosides; lipids; alkaloids; flavonoids; isoorientin; chlorogenic acid; tannins; resins; ambain; cecropin; cardenolid; leucocyanidin; methyl-salicylate; proanthocyanidins; ursolic and stearic acids. The latex contains an alkaloid, cowleyin.