Aframomum exscapum

Aframomum exscapum

Aframomum exscapum (Aframomum exscapum (Sims) Hepper) is a herbaceous species belonging to the Zingiberaceae family.

Systematic –
From a systematic point of view it belongs to the Eukaryota Domain, Plantae Kingdom, Magnoliophyta Division, Liliopsida Class, Zingiberales Order, Zingiberaceae Family, Alpinioideae Subfamily and therefore to the Genus Aframomum and to the Species A. exscapum.

Etymology –
The term Aframomum comes from afer, afra, African afrum and from the genus amomum, name of an oriental aromatic plant cited by Virgil from which a precious balm was extracted (from the Greek ἄμωμος ámomos irreproachable, perfect, derived from the prefix privative α- a- without and from μῶμος mómos blame, criticism), aromatic plant of southern Asia.
The specific epithet exscapum comes from ex- in the sense of ‘no longer, without’ and from scapus stem: without stem.

Geographical Distribution and Habitat –
Aframomum belongs to a genus of plants, from the ginger family, widespread throughout tropical Africa and in some islands of the Indian Ocean (Madagascar, Seychelles and Mauritius).
Its original habitat is that of the forest that goes from Guinea to the Ivory Coast.

Description –
Aframomum exscapum is a perennial herbaceous plant, with stems that can reach a height of 1-2 m and leafy at the upper end and with the leaves, small, green in color and present at the top.
The flowers are white – yellowish, with shades of pink too.
The fruits are red, pubescent and deeply wavy longitudinally when they are fresh, the undulations become indistinct on drying and are often difficult to distinguish.
The seeds are shiny black, pungent.

Cultivation –
Aframomum exscapum is a plant that grows in tropical climates, with warm temperatures, in full sun and in the presence of high levels of atmospheric humidity, well-drained soils.
Plants must be watered regularly and the soil kept constantly humid.
The plant reproduces both by gamic way, by means of seeds, and by agamic way by means of rhizomes.

Uses and Traditions –
The leaves and seeds of this plant are aromatic and the powdered roots are used in the Ivory Coast together with the purgative and anthelmintic cedar.
This plant has, in general, both medicinal properties, used for lung problems (using the root), such as laxatives (root), wormers (leaves and seeds).
Contains aromatic substances in fruits and can be used as forage.
An essential oil can be extracted from the leaves of Aframomum exscapum. The oil obtained by hydro distillation, contains various active ingredients, including 1,8-cineol.

Method of Preparation –
This plant is mainly used as a medicinal plant, especially in the area between the Ivory Coast and Guinea.

Guido Bissanti

– Acta Plantarum – Flora of the Italian Regions.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Lord’s Pharmacy, Tips and experiences with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Editore
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (edited by), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.

Warning: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for information purposes only, they do not in any way represent a medical prescription; therefore, no responsibility is accepted for their use for healing, aesthetic or food purposes.

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