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"Guayacán" redirects here. Guaiacum_sentence_0

For other uses, see Guayacán (disambiguation). Guaiacum_sentence_1

"Guaiac" redirects here. Guaiacum_sentence_2

For the stool test, see Stool guaiac test. Guaiacum_sentence_3

For other uses, see Guaiac (disambiguation). Guaiacum_sentence_4


Conservation statusGuaiacum_header_cell_0_1_0
Scientific classification GuaiacumGuaiacum_header_cell_0_2_0
Kingdom:Guaiacum_cell_0_3_0 PlantaeGuaiacum_cell_0_3_1
Clade:Guaiacum_cell_0_4_0 TracheophytesGuaiacum_cell_0_4_1
Clade:Guaiacum_cell_0_5_0 AngiospermsGuaiacum_cell_0_5_1
Clade:Guaiacum_cell_0_6_0 EudicotsGuaiacum_cell_0_6_1
Clade:Guaiacum_cell_0_7_0 RosidsGuaiacum_cell_0_7_1
Order:Guaiacum_cell_0_8_0 ZygophyllalesGuaiacum_cell_0_8_1
Family:Guaiacum_cell_0_9_0 ZygophyllaceaeGuaiacum_cell_0_9_1
Subfamily:Guaiacum_cell_0_10_0 LarreoideaeGuaiacum_cell_0_10_1
Genus:Guaiacum_cell_0_11_0 Guaiacum


Type speciesGuaiacum_header_cell_0_12_0

Guaiacum (/ˈɡwaɪ.ə.kəm/), sometimes spelled Guajacum, is a genus of flowering plants in the caltrop family Zygophyllaceae. Guaiacum_sentence_5

It contains five species of slow-growing shrubs and trees, reaching a height of approximately 20 m (66 ft) but usually less than half of that. Guaiacum_sentence_6

All are native to subtropical and tropical regions of the Americas and are commonly known as lignum-vitae, guayacán (Spanish), or gaïac (French). Guaiacum_sentence_7

The genus name originated in Maipurean, the language spoken by the native Taínos of the Bahamas; it was adopted into English in 1533, the first word in that language of American origin. Guaiacum_sentence_8

Members of the genus have a variety of uses, including as lumber, for medicinal purposes, and as ornamentals. Guaiacum_sentence_9

The trade of all species of Guaiacum is controlled under . Guaiacum_sentence_10

Guaiacum officinale is the national flower of Jamaica, while Guaiacum sanctum is the national tree of the Bahamas. Guaiacum_sentence_11

Uses Guaiacum_section_0

The genus is famous as the supplier of lignum vitae, which is the heartwood of several species in the genus. Guaiacum_sentence_12

It is the fourth-hardest variety of wood as measured by the Janka hardness test, requiring a force of 4,500 lbf (20,000 N) to embed a steel ball 0.444 in (1.13 cm) in diameter half that distance into the wood. Guaiacum_sentence_13

The Spanish encountered guaiacum wood when they conquered San Domingo in the sixteenth century. Guaiacum_sentence_14

It was soon brought back to Europe, where epidemic syphilis had been raging for nearly a century. Guaiacum_sentence_15

Gum guiacum quickly acquired a reputation as a cure for syphilis, a practice Benvenuto Cellini records in his memoirs. Guaiacum_sentence_16

Thomas Nashe referred to its supposed medical properties in his tract Nashe's Lenten Stuff, alluding to the exotic sound of the word itself: "Physicians deafen our ears with the honorificabilitudinitatibus of their heavenly panacaea, their sovereign guiacum." Guaiacum_sentence_17

The detailed engraving, Preparation and Use of Guayaco for Treating Syphilis, published by Philips Galle after a design by the Flemish artist Jan van der Straet, depicts four servants preparing a concoction of gum guiacum for their wealthy master under the supervision of a physician. Guaiacum_sentence_18

Paracelsus, the famous if controversial Swiss physician, disputed the effectiveness of this treatment and was censured for his criticism. Guaiacum_sentence_19

Gum guaicum was used to stimulate menstruation; in a 1793 Virginia court case, Martha Jefferson Randolph testified that she had provided gum guaiacum to a female relative to "produce an abortion", suggesting that it was also used as an abortifacient. Guaiacum_sentence_20

In A Treatise of the Materia Medica (1789), Scottish physician William Cullen noted: "Several physicians have apprehended mischief from the use of the guaiacum in a spirituous tincture." Guaiacum_sentence_21

The 1955 edition of the Textbook of Pharmacognosy states: "Guaiacum has a local stimulant action which is sometimes useful in sore throat. Guaiacum_sentence_22

The resin is used in chronic gout and rheumatism, whilst the wood is an ingredient in the compound concentrated solution of sarsaparilla, which was formerly much used as an alternative in syphilis." Guaiacum_sentence_23

A phenolic compound derived from the resin of Guaiacum trees is used in a common test for blood in human stool samples. Guaiacum_sentence_24

The presence of heme in the blood causes the formation of a coloured product in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. Guaiacum_sentence_25

The effect of peroxidases in horseradish on guiacum was first noted in 1810. Guaiacum_sentence_26

As a food additive, Guaiacum is designated E314 and classified as an antioxidant. Guaiacum_sentence_27

A widely used derivative drug is the expectorant known as guaifenesin. Guaiacum_sentence_28

The soap fragrance oil of guaiac comes from Bulnesia sarmientoi, a South American tree from the same family. Guaiacum_sentence_29

Members of the genus are grown in Florida and California as ornamental plants. Guaiacum_sentence_30

Species Guaiacum_section_1


Formerly placed here Guaiacum_section_2


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