English: Barbados nut, bubble bush, physic nut, purging nut;
Tagalog: Tuba Bakod
Physic nut is a drought resistant shrub that grows up to 20′ tall under favorable condition with spreading branches. There are male – and female plant of Jatropha curcas. The black thin shelled seeds are considered toxic; they contain the toxalbumin curcin and this make them fatally toxic.
Roasting the seeds seems to kill the toxin. However, they also contain a high percentage of clean oil used for candles, soap and bio-diesel production. The fruit contains 2 or 3 large black, oily seeds.
Physic nut has insecticidal – and fungicidal properties. It has yellow-green flowers and large (pale) green leaves.
It is a drought resistant shrub with a smooth gray bark.
Barbados nut has latex that contains an alkaloid (jatrophine) which shows anticancerous properties.
Caution is advised when using physic nut!
When irrigated it procedure seeds during the whole year.
The seeds contain 37% of this non edible oil.
In traditional medicine, the leaves of this plant are used against stomachache, diagnosed in children: boiled leaves for conditions of the gums and throat; tea of the leaves for stoppage of urine, constipation, backache and inflammation of ovaries.