Wednesday, December 28, 2011

(Cassia Alata)

Tåke' Biha is not to be ingested internally, but is for external use only.  Pounded or boiled, it is used as a remedy for fungal infections of the skin and ringworms.  I wonder if a local entrepreneur could market it as a treatment for athlete's foot.

It is native to Mexico and is called, in fact, Akapulko in the Philippines.  Acapulco is a city in Mexico.  More than likely, the plant was brought to the Marianas and the Philippines from Mexico.  Why it is called Old Woman's Excrement (Tåke' Biha) is anybody's guess, but it points to the foreign origin of the plant, since part of its name is Spanish.  Biha is the Chamorro form of vieja, which is Spanish for "old," in the feminine.

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