A deliciously fragrant essential oil is obtained from the leaves. The dried and powdered leaves are scattered amongst clothes to sweeten them and repel insects. The small fruits are dried and used as beads in necklaces. When warmed by the body or the sun they release the scent of cinnamon.The wood is used for making charcoal.
The leaves are analgesic, antiseptic (urinary), bitter, cholagogue, diuretic, stimulant and tonic. They are considered a valuable cure for gonorrhoea in S. America. The plant is taken internally in the treatment of liver disease (though the bark is more effective here), gallstones, urinary tract infections, intestinal parasites and rheumatism. It has been used in the past as a substitute for quinine in the treatment of malaria. The leaves are harvested during the growing season and are dried for later use. Some caution is advised, the plant should not be used by pregnant women. See also the notes above on toxicity. A volatile oil obtained from the plant destroys internal parasites.Alkaloids contained in the bark are a stimulant for the liver.
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Hardy in climatic zone 9 (tolerating occasional light frosts), this plant normally requires greenhouse protection in Britain but is capable of withstanding light frosts and might succeed outdoors in the mildest areas of the country, especially if grown against a sunny wall. One report says that the plant succeeds outdoors at Kew Gardens in London, where it often flowers all year round. All parts of the plant are sweetly aromatic. The leaves have a lemon-camphor aroma.Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if fruit and seed is required.
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