a genus of flowering plants in the family Rubiaceae, native to Asia, Africa,
and South America. They are known colloquially as Gambier, Cat's Claw or Uņa
(U. gambir) is a large tropical vine with typical leaves.The leaves are oval
or oblong in shape measuring 8 to 14 cm. in length with 4 to 5 pairs of
heads measure around 2.5 cm in length and are separated across by 3 to 4.5
cm. The flowers are slender with white coloured lobes and a red coloured
Traditional gambier is prepared by boiling the young leaves, pressing them
to extract juice, making the juice into a concentrated form and drying it.
There are different ways of moulding the final produce, in a block, cube or
cake form. Different ways of boiling parts of the gambier plant result in
different products of a varying taste.
Besides catechol tannins, which predominate, GAMBIER also contains sugars,
salts, waxes, oils and even mineral substances.
"usually in cubical or rectangular pieces from 20 to 30 mm. in diameter;
externally pale grayish-brown to reddish-brown, more or less dull and
porous; friable; internally of a light brown or dull earthy color;
inodorous; taste bitterish and very astringent.
light and porous, so that it floats when thrown in water. It is partially
soluble in cold water, and almost wholly so in boiling water, which deposits
a portion upon cooling.
- Gambier is used in
Malaysia for chewing with areca and betel, for tanning, and for dyeing.
- Cat's claw and the
Chinese species are used medicinally. The glycosidic compounds have
anti-inflammatory properties, while the alkaloids increase the reactivity
of lymphocytes, granting higher response to viral infection.
- Gambier is widely
used for Leather Tanning, as Eco friendly dyes and as Mouth Freshener.
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