Health benefits of Honduran mahogany

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Honduran mahogany Quick Facts
Name: Honduran mahogany
Scientific Name: Swietenia macrophylla
Origin South America, Mexico and Central America, but naturalized in the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Hawaii
Colors Light grey to brown
Shapes 5-lobed capsule, oblong or ovoid fruit, 11.6–38.7 cm in length, 6.7–12.0 cm in diameter
Taste Bitter
Health benefits Control Blood Sugar, Boost Fertility, Improves Heart Health, Hypertension, Boosts Immune System, Cures Fever and Malaria, Increases Appetite, Wound-Healing Abilities, Insect repellent, Treat Constipation, Menstrual Pain, Make Women Fertile, Cure Fever and Cold, Eczema and Rheumatism
Swietenia macrophylla, commonly known as mahogany, Honduran mahogany or big-leaf mahogany is a species of plant in the Meliaceae (Mahogany family). The plant is native to Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Venezuela. However, it is nearly extinct in Ecuador, Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica; close to commercial extinction in Bolivia; declining in Mexico, Belize and Brazil; and in severe decline in Guatemala, Peru, Nicaragua and Honduras. The species has been extensively planted mainly in Southern Asia and the Pacific including India, Indonesia, Philippines and Sri Lanka. It has also been introduced into West Africa. Some of the popular common names of the plants are American mahogani, Baywood, Bigleaf mahogany, Broadleaf mahagony, Honduras mahogany, Mahogany, Large-leaved mahogany, Honduran mahogany, Brazilian Mahogany, West Indian mahogany, Large-leaved Mahogany and New World Mahogany.

The genus epithet Swietenia is derived from the botanist and physician to Maria Theresa of Austria, Gerard von Swieten. The specific epithet macrophylla refers to large leaves, which is derived from the Greek makros meaning large and phyllon meaning leaf. Various medicinal uses of this plant have been reported. Bark is used to treat diarrhea and fever. The tree is not cultivated for food for no plant part is edible. Else, it is used in reforestation projects or as a shade tree in plantation crops. Crushed fruit shells are used as a potting medium. Bark produces gums, and used for dyeing and tanning leather. Seed kernels yield oil which is very bitter and purgative. Wood is valued for high quality woodwork and furniture, musical instruments, veneer, etc.

Honduran Mahogany Facts

Name Honduran mahogany
Scientific Name Swietenia macrophylla
Native South America, Mexico and Central America, but naturalized in the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Hawaii
Common Names American mahogani, Baywood, Bigleaf mahogany, Broadleaf mahagony, Honduras mahogany, Mahogany, Large-leaved mahogany, Honduran mahogany, Brazilian Mahogany, Large-leaved Mahogany, New World Mahogany, sky fruit tree
Name in Other Languages Afrikaans: Mahonie
Albanian: Sofër
Amharic: Mahogany (ማሆጋኒ)
Arabic: Shajarat almahughani (شجرة الماهوغاني)
Armenian: Karmrap’ayt tsarr (կարմրափայտ ծառ)       
Azerbaijani: Qırmızı ağaj
Basque: Mahogany
Belarusian: Cyrvonaje dreva (чырвонае дрэва)
Bengali: Mēhagani br̥kṣa (মেহগনিবৃক্ষ)
Bolivia: Mara
Bosnian: Mahagonija
Brazil: Acaju, aguano, araputanga, araputango, caoba, cedro, cedro-aguano, cedroí, cedro-mogno, cedrorana, mara, mara-vermelho, mogno, mogno, mogno-aroeira, mogno-branco, mogno-brasileiro, mogno-cinza, mogno-claro, mogno-de-marabá, mogno-do-Rio-Jurupari, mogno-escuro, mogno-peludo, mogno-rosa, mogno-róseo, mogno-vermelho
Bulgarian: Makhagon (махагон), Edrolistno makhagonovo dŭrov  (Едролистно махагоново дъров)
Catalan: Caoba
Cebuano: Mahogany
Chichewa: Ananyamula
Chinese:  Da ye tao hua xin mu (大叶桃花心木 ), táohuā xīn mù (桃花心木)
Corsican: Machja            
Croatian: Od mahagonija
Czech: Mahagon
Danish: Mahogni, Bredbladet Mahogni 
Dutch: Mahonie, Amerikaans Mahonie
English:  American mahogani, Baywood, Bigleaf mahogany, Broadleaf mahagony, Honduras mahogany, Mahogany, Large-leaved mahogany, Honduran mahogany, Brazilian Mahogany, Large-leaved Mahogany, New World Mahogany
Esperanto: Mahagono, Grandfolia svitenio
Estonian: Mahagon        
Finnish: Mahonki, Amerikanaitomahonki
Filipino: Kamagong
French:  Acajou à feuille large, Acajou d’ Amérique, Acajou des Antilles, Mahogany à grandes feuilles, Swiéténie, Mahogani Grands Feuilles, acajou
Frisian: Mahony              
Galician: Carballo
Georgian: Ts’iteli (წითელი)
German:  Amerikanisches Mahagoni, Echtes Mahagoni, Honduras-Mahagoni, Nicaragua-Mahagoni, Tabasco-Mahagoni, Honduras-Mahagonibaum
Greek: Maóni (μαόνι)
Gujarati: Mahōganī  (મહોગની)
Haitian Creole: Akajou
Hausa: Mahogany
Hawaiian: Mahogany
Hebrew: מַהֲגוֹנִי
Hindi: Mahoganee vrksh (महोगनी वृक्ष)
Hmong: Mahogany
Hungarian: Mahagóni   
Icelandic: Mahogany     
Igbo: Mahogany
Indonesian: Mahoni
Irish: Mahagaine             
Italian: Mogano, mogano americano
Japanese:  Ooba mahoganii (オオバマホガニー), Mahoganī (マホガニー)
Javanese: Mahoni
Kannada: Mara (ಮರ)
Kazakh: Qızıl ağaş (қызыл ағаш)
Kinyarwanda: Mahogany
Khmer: Kreabbek I (គ្រាប់បែក I), mahogany
Korean: Mahogani (마호가니)               
Kurdish (Kurmanji): Mahogany
Kyrgyz: Mahogany
Lao: Ma hok kani  (ມະຮອກການີ)
Latin: Mahogany
Latvian: Sarkankoks       
Lithuanian: Raudonmedis           
Luxembourgish: Mahagony       
Macedonian: Mahagoni (махагони)
Malagasy: Rotra
Malay: Mahogani
Malayalam: Mahagani (മഹാഗണി), Manthagani
Maltese: Kawba              
Maori: Mahogany
Marathi: Tyācē jhāḍa (त्याचे झाड)           
Mongolian: Zandan (зандан)
Myanmar (Burmese): Lout aalayyhkyane shitae (လောက်အလေးချိန်ရှိတဲ့)
Nepali: Mahoganee (महोगनी)
Norwegian: Mahogni
Odia: Mahogany
Pashto: مهوگني
Persian: چوب ماهون
Peru: Aguano
Philippines: Arawakan
Polish: Mahon
Portuguese:  Caóba, Mogno, Araputangá, Cedroaraná, Cedroi, Águano, mogno-das-Honduras, Mogno-do-Brasil
Punjabi                : Mahōganī  (ਮਹੋਗਨੀ)
Romanian: Mahon         
Russian: Krasnoye derevo (красное дерево)
Samoan: Mahogany, mahoki, mahokani
Scots Gaelic: Mahogany              
Serbian: Mahagoni (махагони )
Sesotho: Mahogany
Sindhi: Mahuni  (مهوني                )
Sinhala: Mahogani, mæhōganī  (මැහෝගනී)
Shona: Mahogany
Slovak: Mahagón
Slovenian: Mahagoni
Somali: Caawitaanka
Spanish:  Aguano, Araputanga, Caoba, Caoba de Centro América, Caoba de hoja ancha , Caoba de Honduras, Caoba del Atlántico, Caoba del Sur , Cóbano, Crura, Gateado,  Mara, Mara boliviana, Mogno, Mogu, Orura, Sapoton, Venadillo, Yulu, Zapatón, Zopilote, Ahuano
Sundanese: Mahoni
Swahili: Mahogany
Swedish: Hondurasmahogny, mahogany
Tajik: Mahogany
Tamil: Mahōkaṉi (மஹோகனி), Thenkani (தேன்கனி), Makākaṉi (மகாகனி)
Tatar: Machohany  (махоганы)
Telugu: Mahagani, peddakulamaghani
Thai: Maḥxkkānī  (มะฮอกกานี), Maḥxkkānī bı h̄ıỵ̀ (มะฮอกกานีใบใหญ่)
Tonga: Mahokani
Turkish: Maun  
Turkmen: Mahogany     
Ukrainian: Chervone derevo (червоне дерево)
Urdu: مہوگنی 
Uyghur: Mahogany        
Uzbek: Maun    
Vietnamese: Cây gụ, Nhạc ngựa
Welsh: Mahogany
Xhosa: Mahogany           
Yiddish: Makhagani (מאַכאַגאַני)
Yoruba: Mahogany        
Zulu: Mahogany
Plant Growth Habit Beautiful, fast growing, evergreen or briefly deciduous, shade tolerant tropical tree
Growing Climates Semi evergreen and evergreen rain forests, forest edges, dry forests, disturbed sites, secondary forests, riparian forest, mixed hardwood forest belts, along riverbanks
Soil It tolerates soils ranging from deep, poorly drained, acid clays of the wooded swamps, to well drained alkaline soils of the limestone uplands. Maximum development is attained on deep, fertile, moist, well-drained, neutral to mildly alkaline soils
Plant Size 30 – 40 meters tall  and 2 meters in diameter, but specimens up to 60 meters tall can be found in favorable conditions
Root Buttress roots up to 5 meters above the base, which increases the diameter of the trunk to more than 10 meters, making it necessary to cut the tree at more than 2 meters above the ground
Bark Bark grey and smooth when young, turning dark brown, ridged and flaky when old
Leaf Leaves are usually paripinnate, sometimes imparipinnate, 12-45 cm long and made up of 3-6 pairs of ovate or ovate-lance shaped leaflets. The leaflets are asymmetric, 5-12 cm long, and 2-5 cm wide, with pointed or long pointed tip
Flower Tree produces small, fragrant, white unisexual flowers 0.5–1.0 cm in length, which are held in inflorescences called panicles including both male and female.
Fruit Shape & Size 5-lobed capsule, oblong or ovoid fruit, 11.6–38.7 cm in length, 6.7–12.0 cm in diameter and light grey to brown with 4–5 valves
Fruit Color Light grey to brown
Seed Seeds with large wing, flat, 7.5–10 cm long, dark brown, hanging down and overlapping in fruit; cotyledons thin
Taste Bitter
Plant Parts Used Roots, seeds, leaves, and bark
Propagation By seeds
Health Benefits
  • Control Blood Sugar
  • Boost Fertility
  • Improves Heart Health
  • Hypertension
  • Boosts Immune System
  • Cures Fever and Malaria
  • Increases Appetite
  • Wound-Healing Abilities
  • Insect repellent
  • Treat Constipation
  • Menstrual Pain
  • Make Women Fertile
  • Cure Fever and Cold
  • Eczema and Rheumatism

Plant Description

Honduran mahogany is a beautiful, fast growing, evergreen or briefly deciduous, shade tolerant tropical tree with an open, rounded crown.  The plant normally grows about 30 – 40 meters tall but specimens up to 60 meters tall can be found in favorable conditions. The bole is straight and cylindrical with a buttressed base – it usually has a diameter of 100 – 120 cm, but in exceptional conditions up to 280 cm has been recorded. It usually has buttress roots up to 5 meters above the base, which increases the diameter of the trunk to more than 10 meters, making it necessary to cut the tree at more than 2 meters above the ground. Bark is reticulate, grey and smooth when young, turning dark brown, ridged and flaky when old. The outer bark of older trees is scaly, shaggy, deeply longitudinally furrowed and brownish-grey to reddish-brown, and the inner bark is red-brown or pinkish-red. Young branches are glabrous, with fine patterns.

It is a very well-known and valuable timber; mahogany is regarded as the world’s finest timber for high-class furniture and cabinet work. The tree has been heavily exploited within its native range, becoming virtually extinct in some areas, with populations everywhere in steep decline. It is now cultivated in plantations in many parts of the tropics. It is planted as an ornamental lawn tree in peninsular Malaysia. The plant is found growing in semi evergreen and evergreen rain forests, forest edges, dry forests, disturbed sites, secondary forests, riparian forest, mixed hardwood forest belts and along riverbanks. It tolerates soils ranging from deep, poorly drained, acid clays of the wooded swamps, to well drained alkaline soils of the limestone uplands. Maximum development is attained on deep, fertile, moist, well-drained and neutral to mildly alkaline soils.

Leaves

The leaves are usually paripinnate, sometimes imparipinnate, 12-45 cm long and made up of 3-6 pairs of ovate or ovate-lance shaped leaflets. The leaflets are asymmetric, 5-12 cm long, and 2-5 cm wide, with pointed or long pointed tip. The leaflets are even in number and are connected by a central midrib. Young leaves are pink or red, and gradually change to dark green when mature.

Flowers               

The tree produces small, fragrant, white unisexual flowers 0.5–1.0 cm in length, which are held in inflorescences called panicles including both male and female.

Fruit

Fertile flowers are followed by 5-lobed capsule, oblong or ovoid fruit, 11.6–38.7 cm in length, 6.7–12.0 cm in diameter and light grey to brown with 4–5 valves. Outer valves are woody; 5-7 mm thick while inner valves are much thinner. In the center is a woody, 5 angled columella extending to the apex. The fruits split open from apex or base when they are ripe and dry. Each fruit consists of 22–71 developed seeds.

Seeds

Seeds are brown, oblong, compressed, crested, samaroid, bulky at their base, 7–12 cm long and 2–2.5 cm wide including the wing.

Wood

Mahogany wood is strong and is used for construction materials, plywood, high-grade furniture and cabinet making. It is also suitable for paneling, framing, flooring, automobile bodies, interior trim of boats, radio and phonograph cabinets, bodies of musical instruments, moldings and other ornaments.

Health benefits of Mahogany

Listed below are some of the popular health benefits of using Honduran mahogany

1. Control Blood Sugar

Drinking the extract from mahogany bark is effective in controlling blood sugar levels. This is due to the presence of saponin, which is a natural anti-diabetic remedy. Research reported that mahogany bark extract showed significant hypoglycemic activity might be used in the future for the development of phyto-medicines for diabetes mellitus.

2. Boost Fertility

Parts of the mahogany tree, including the bark, have been used as local treatment of fertility in men and women. In men, it has been said to cure impotence or erectile dysfunction as it improves erection. In women, it increases the chances of getting pregnant. However, there is still very little scientific evidence to support this claim.

3. Improves Heart Health

Mahogany bark also has a positive effect on the heart. Flavonoid content in the bark decreases the risk of heart diseases and also reduces the buildup of bad cholesterol and fats in the blood. Flavonoids also improve blood circulation and usually improve the cardiovascular system.

4. Hypertension

Mahogany seed is able to treat hypertension. Simply collect 8 grams of mahogany seeds, then brewed with 2 glasses of hot water. After cool then filter and divide into two parts / glass. Drink in the morning and afternoon. It is helpful in treating hypertension.

5. Boosts Immune System

Flavonoids are regarded as antioxidants, which help to fight free radicals in the body. Free radicals can cause harm by contaminating cells. This causes cancer in some cases. Antioxidants also boost the immune system and make it easy for the body to fight infections and diseases.

6. Cures Fever and Malaria

Mahogany bark has also been used as a local cure for fever and malaria. Just boil the bark in water and drink it while still hot or warm. One research stated that mahogany had potential antimalarial properties.

7. Increases Appetite

Drinking mahogany bark extract might help to increase appetite. This can be great for those who are recovering from fever or malaria. So, using mahogany bark would not only fight off the illness but would also bring back one’s appetite.

8. Wound-Healing Abilities

Mahogany bark has wound-healing abilities. A 2020 research published in the Journal of Medicinal Plants Research showed to this. Research also stated that the bark had antibacterial properties.

9. Insect repellent

Mahogany seed also acts as an insect repellent. When the mahogany seed is made into a powder, it can serve as an insect spray. For those who live in the tropics or where there are enough insects can use mahogany powder as an additional intake to help strengthen the body against diseases caused by insects or transmitted by insects.

10. Treat Constipation

Mahogany seeds can also be used to cure constipation. Consumption of this fruit (mashed) then mixed with warm water to relieve constipation.

11. Menstrual Pain

To overcome the pain during menstruation use herbal medicine from the seeds of mahogany. Consuming mahogany seeds early in the menstrual cycle will reduce the pain.

12. Make Women Fertile

Consuming 1 mahogany per day will increase fertility. Especially if you are a woman who has not had children and want to feel the pregnancy.

13. Cure Fever and Cold

Mahogany seeds are able to cure flu (colds) and fever. Take 1/2 teaspoon mahogany powder mixed with 1/4 cup hot water with a tablespoon of honey. Drink while still warm; drink 2-3 times a day.

14. Eczema and Rheumatism

Take 1/2 teaspoon of mahogany powder and put in 1/2 cup hot water, add one tablespoon of honey. Drink while still warm. Do it three times a day.

Traditional uses and benefits of Honduran Mahogany

  • The bark is astringent, bitter and febrifuge.
  • An infusion is used to treat diarrhea and fevers.
  • Fruit has been used commercially in health care products for the improvement of blood circulation and skin condition.
  • In Malaysia, the seeds are used traditionally to treat hypertension, diabetes, and relieve pain.
  • Seeds have been reported to have anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenicity and antitumor activity.
  • A Bolivian Amazonian ethnic group has used the seeds for leishmaniasis and as an abortion medicine.
  • In Indonesia, seeds have been used as a folk medicine for treatment of diabetes, hypertension, and malaria.
  • Bark extract has been used as an astringent for wounds and used occasionally for tanning because of the rich red color it provides.
  • It is said to repair tissue, promote blood circulation, and regulate blood pressure and sugar levels.
  • It helps to slow the aging process and prevent disease plus colds and flues.
  • Mahogany seeds powder lowers cholesterol and helps to boost your immune system.
  • Mahogany seeds increases circulation and lower blood pressure and have anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Seeds help to prevent cardiovascular disease and strokes.
  • It helps get rid of plaque formation within the vessels of the heart, plus reduces pain and bleeding.
  • Researches have been done showing that Mahogany seeds may be great for treating Hepatitis C.
  • Mahogany Seed powder can help prevent insect bites.
  • Mahogany seed treat hypertension, blood sugar disorders, poor appetite, fever, and facilitate maintain sturdiness.
  • In Bolivia the Mesetemo Indians use a decoction of the crushed seeds to bring about an abortion, and use the crushed seeds with the oil from Attalea phalerata for skin problems and children’s skin allergies.
  • In Malaysia the seeds are chewed, or swallowed in powder form to treat high blood pressure.
  • In Indonesia a decoction of the seeds is given against malaria and other diseases.
  • Decoction or infusion made with the crushed seeds is said to increase the male libido and so has a reputation as an aphrodisiac, touted in supplements for erectile dysfunctions.

Other Facts

  • It is used as a shade tree for cacao, coffee and young plantations of dipterocarps.
  • Farmers have planted it among subsistence crops such as corn, beans, bananas, sweet potatoes and cassava in Puerto Rico.
  • Crushed fruit shells have been used as a potting medium.
  • Gum is produced from cuts in the bark.
  • It is marketed in both pure form and mixed with other gums.
  • The bark is used for dyeing and tanning leather.
  • Oil, which is very bitter and purgative, can be extracted from the seed kernels.
  • Heartwood is reddish, pinkish, salmon colored, or yellowish when fresh; deepening with age to deep rich red or brown; it is distinctly demarcated from the up to 40mm wide band of yellowish or whitish sapwood.
  • Lustre is high and golden; the texture rather fine to coarse; the grain straight to roey, wavy, or curly, often with an attractive figure.
  • The dense wood is of medium weight, it is reasonably durable, but it is not considered suitable for applications in contact with the ground.
  • It seasons well, without much checking or distortion.
  • Attractive wood is mostly valued for high-class furniture and cabinet work; it has also been used in interior paneling, joinery work, turnery, plywood and heavy construction work.
  • Its outstanding technical qualities make it particularly suitable for precision woodwork such as models and patterns, instrument cases, clocks, printer’s blocks and parts of musical instrument.
  • Veneer quality is limited by color variation, wavy grain, pin knots and pinhole borer damage.

References:

https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=29027#null

http://www.hear.org/pier/species/swietenia_macrophylla.htm

https://pfaf.org/USER/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Swietenia+macrophylla

https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/SWIMA

https://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/231280

http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl/record/kew-2601504

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swietenia_macrophylla

https://www.cifor.org/publications/pdf_files/Books/BKrisnawati1110.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6270564/

https://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Swietenia+macrophylla

https://plants.usda.gov/home/plantProfile?symbol=SWMA

https://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Big-Leaf%20Mahogany.html

https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/52155

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The content and the information in this website are for informational and educational purposes only, not as a medical manual. All readers are urged to consult with a physician before beginning or discontinuing use of any prescription drug or under taking any form of self-treatment. The information given here is designed to help you make informed decisions about your health. It is not intended as a substitute for any treatment that may have been prescribed by your doctor. If you are under treatment for any health problem, you should check with your doctor before trying any home remedies. If you are following any medication, take any herb, mineral, vitamin or other supplement only after consulting with your doctor. If you suspect that you have a medical problem, we urge you to seek competent medical help. The Health Benefits Times writers, publishers, authors, its representatives disclaim liability for any unfavorable effects causing directly or indirectly from articles and materials contained in this website www.healthbenefitstimes.com