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Niyog-niyogan

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NIYOG-NIYOGAN or Rangoon Creeper (Quisqualis Indica L.) is an excellent vine for outdoor gardens. It is also known as Burma or Rangoon Creeper, Liane Vermifuge and Chinese honeysuckle. Niyog-niyogan is perfect for covered walkways as it grows at least 2.5m long and reaches up to 8m long when it matures.

This active climber, which belongs to the combretaceae family grows best in tropical areas and demands constant sunlight. Perhaps due to its tropical characterization that it is found in primary and secondary forests of countries like Africa, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea and other Asian regions.

Niyog-niyogan is cultivated in greenhouses and can be naturalized in tropical areas. This vine starts as a shrub about 3-feet tall with branches growing from all directions. The mother shrub seizes to grow and dies after six months allowing the creeper to rapidly climb walls, trees, and the like. The branches of niyog-niyogan are filled with oblong-shaped leaves growing on opposite sides attached to 6mm to 10mm long petioles. The leaves of niyog-niyogan can grow up to 15cm long and more than 5cm wide with a pointed tip. Its flowers grow in clusters and it blossoms year-round. Its flowers open at night with five bright red petals and gives out a distinct perfume. The young flowers of niyog-niyogan start with white-colored petals that turn pink then red as it matures. It also bears fruits, which can grow up to 3cm long with five angles on its sides. (see picture here)

The niyog-niyogan plant grows in haste during the rainy season, hence constant pruning is especially recommended during this time. It is advised to place this plant in spacious areas to avoid crowding with a temperature of at least 60°F with evenly moistened soil to produce flowers. Niyog-niyogan can thrive in almost all kinds of soil and can even tolerate moderate amount of drought in cold seasons.

Benefits and how to apply for treatment
Almost all of its parts are used individually, or mixed with other ingredients, as remedy to different ailments. In the Philippines, these are taken to rid people of parasitic worms. Some also use these to help alleviate coughs and diarrhea. Caution! Medical experts advice patients to consult their doctors as improper dosing may cause hiccups.

Niyog-niyogan’s leaves are used to cure body pains by placing them on specific problematic areas of the body. Compound decoctions of the leaves of niyog-niyogan are used in India to alleviate flatulence.

Preparation and how to use
Seeds of niyog-niyogan can be taken as an anthelmintic. These are eaten raw two hours before the patient’s last meal of the day. Adults may take 10 seeds while children 4 to 7 years of age may eat up to four seeds only. Children from ages 8 to 9 may take six seeds and seven seeds may be eaten by children 10 to 12 years old. Decoctions of its roots are also sometimes used as a remedy for rheumatism while its fruits are used as an effective way to relieve toothaches.

Source: Adapted from Philippine Herbal Medicine, http://www.philippineherbalmedicine.org/niyog-niyogan.htm

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