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Specimen jar of panicled acacia pods, India, 1840-1920

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The bark of the plant panicled acacia (shown on the far left) is used in Indian medical traditions to treat skin complaints. It also treats leprosy, fevers, vomiting, diarrhoea and dysentery. The pods or fruit of the plant are used for food. The specimen is shown here with other plants used in herbal medicine, cajanus bicolor seeds (A669371) and Tanner’s cassia seed pods (A669388).

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Glossary: sample

Individual units, segments, or small quantities taken as evidence of the quality or character of the entire group or lot

Glossary: diarrhoea

Frequent movement of the bowels, commonly in liquid form.

Glossary: leprosy

A chronic disease that affects the skin, mucous membrane and nerves. It is now confined mainly to the tropics and is transmitted by direct contact. Previously a widely feared disease, leprosy is not highly infectious.

Glossary: dysentery

Infectious disease with symptoms including diarrhoea, bleeding, and abdominal cramps. It spreads in contaminated food and water, especially in the tropics.