Guaiacum officinale is an evergreen Tree growing to 10 m (32ft) by 10 m (32ft) at a slow rate. It is hardy to zone (UK) Suitable for: light (sandy), medium. Guaiac is a natural resin extracted from the wood of the Guaiacum officinale plant . The basis of the test depends on the presence of the heme moiety from the. Synonyms, Guajacum officinale L. Common names, gayak, gayak fran, frazostrae , pokhout, guaiacum, lignum-vitae tree, arbre de vie, bois saint, gaïac, gaïac.

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A plant of the moist, lowland tropics, where it is found at elevations up to metres.

Guaiacum officinale – Useful Tropical Plants

The resin is also used medicinally for chronic forms of rheumatism, skin diseases, scrofula, dysmenorrhea, toothache, etc. The wood is hard, close-grained, tough, dense, and durable.

Prefers a pH in the range 5 offciinale 7. Thomas were dated by carbon dating and found to be over years old. Guaiacum officinale is the national flower of Jamaica. Small tree Photograph by: It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 22 – 28? The blue flowers have five petals that yield a bright-yellow-orange fruit with red flesh and black seeds. This QR Code is unique to this page. If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating.

Leaves and fruits Photograph by: Prefers a sunny position[ ]. The name lignum-vitae wood of life originated from the supposition offivinale the material was possessed of extraordinary remedial powers.


QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone smartphone cameras. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Guaiac cards are impregnated with the resin and are used in determining whether stool contains blood. The wood is hard, close-grained, tough, dense, and durable. Its great strength and tenacity, combined with the self-lubricating properties due to the resin content, make this wood especially adapted for bearing underwater[ ]. Views Read Edit View history. Some of the resins offjcinale ingredients are effective anti inflammatory agents.

It is also added to edible oils to prevent acidification. Now containing plants. The heme portion of hemoglobin contains peroxidase and will catalyze the oxidation of guaiaconic acid when hydrogen peroxide is officinxle on the Guaiac card if oficinale is present in the stool. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Guaiaum bijugum Stokes; Guiacum breynii Spreng. Year ISBN Description The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.

Light Blue Medium Blue. Rather dated, so many of the names have been changed since then.

David Stang Small tree Photograph by: Zygophyllaceae Synonyms Guajacum officinale L. The deep reddish brown colour of the resin changes upon oxidation to a blue or blue-green, a property made use of for differential staining[ ].

Where it still occurs, populations are now severely reduced. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1, – 2,mm, but tolerates – 3,mm[ ].

Guaiacum officinale Lignum Vitae, Guaiacum, Guayacan PFAF Plant Database

Apothecaries use shavings and raspings of the wood for medicinal purposes, in the same way the bark is employed for medicine. The leaves are compound, 2. The wood is used for pulleys, blocks, pestles, rulers, skittle ball etc[ ]. For more information about QR Codes click here. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


Steel and tube officinzle are made using lignum-vitae in increasing amounts to replace brass and babbit metal for bearings in roller mills and pumps, as the initial cost is less than metal, the life is several times longer, and lubrication is unnecessary[ ].

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For a list of references used on this page please go here A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

The plant is grown from seed.

The most important as well as guiacum most exacting use for it is for bearing or bushing blocks lining the stern tubes of propeller shafts of steamships[ ]. David Stang Cultivated tree in Hawaii Photograph by: Also available for download from the Internet.

It is distinctly ornamental on a lawn. It is used for pulleys, blocks, pestles, etc. America – Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas to the Caribbean. Leaves, flowers and immature fruits Photograph by: