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Etymology - There are 2 sources that claim the naming after Ignatius.
The first is it is named after the founder of the Order of Jesuits. The second claims it was named after a Portuguese Jesuit, the Blessed Ignacio de Azevedo ( 1527-1570 ), who was murdered ,with another 39 missionaries, by Huguenot privateers.
ignatia - Fiery ;
amara - Unfading ;
Other Names: Bean of St. Ignatius. Strychnos ignatii. Bergius. Strychnos phillipensis ( Blanco ), Ignatiana philpinnico ( Loureiro )
Common Names: Faba Sancti Ignatii. St. Ignatius Bean. Semen ignatiae
Names in other languages –
Ignatiustrae - Norwegian
Ignatius- Bohne - German
Feve de Saint- Ignace, Feve igasurique, Igasure - French
Ignatiusboon – Dutch
Homeopathic preparation: Tincture and trituration of seeds. (Bradford’s Index).
N.O. Subclass: Asteridae; Order: Gentianales; Family: Loganaceae or Strychnine Family
Provings: Allen: Cyclopoedia, V. 5. Cyclop. Drug Path., V. 2. Hahnemann: Fragmenta de viribus. Mat. Med. Pura. Hufeland's Jl., 1797. Hering: Guid. Symptoms, V. 6. Jahr: Symp. Codex.
Berridge: N. A. J. Hom., V. 21, p. 501.
Bruckner: A. H. Z., V. 57, p. 164.
Helbig: Heraklides, V. 1, p. 48.
Hartl. u Trinks: Mat. Med., V. 3.
Jorg: Materialien, V. 1.
Knorre: A. H. Z., V. 6, p. 35.
Wibmer: Die Arzneimittel, V. 5. (Bradford’s Index).
Description of the substance
Botanical Information: The plant is a tall, woody, climbing shrub found in the Philippine Islands. The ovate glabrous leaves are in opposite pairs; white tubular flowers give rise to a large puriform berry, about 10 cm. in diameter, which contains up to 24 pebble-like seeds, embedded in a bitter pulp.
The seeds are heavy, hard, somewhat pyramidal in shape with flattish sides and roughly 20 mm. by 15 mm. in size. The color is greyish or reddish black, the surface smooth with few or no hairs, and if fractured the endosperm is seen to be translucent and to enclose an irregular hollow cavity in which an oblong embryo. The seeds are inodorous but are intensely bitter in taste. One characteristic of the Ignatia subject is bitterness of spirit.
The seeds, which are used for preparation of the mother tincture, contain proportionately more strychnine than those of Nux vomica. The powdered seeds contain 2.5 to 3 per cent. of strychnine and brucine. (Gibson’s Studies of Remedies).
A small tree. Stem erect, branches opposite, glabrous, leaves petiolate, ovate opposite, acute, 12.5 - 18 cm. long. Flowers numerous,while, long, in small axillary panicles having the odour of jasmine. Fruit pear shaped having seeds 20 - 24 in number, imbedded in a bitter pulp. Seeds having a shape like almond but irregular, apparently from compression while soft, blackish grey or clear brown in colour with a brownish horny, translucent shell, very hard and difficult to split. appearing glabrous, but having fine down, odourless, with a lasting bitter taste.
Macroscopical: Beans are heavy, hard, angularly ovate with obtuse angles, from 20 to 30 mm in length and about 15mm in breadth and thickness, externally greyish or reddish - black, nearly smooth with few or no hairs, fracture granular and translucid in small fragments, a small irregular cavity in the centre.
Microscopical: Greyish brown, exhibiting thin cells of the epidermis and the subjacent layer of the seed coat, polygonal cells with thickened pitted walls; hairs characteristic, spreading and thickened at the base and heavy linear markings; endosperm tissue, the outer cells small, contents granular, the inner larger, with thickened walls, lumen irregular in size and shape. (Pharmcopea).
This is the seed of the strychnos ignatii, a climbing bush of the genus strychnos, which, like the strychnos nux vomica, grows on the Philippine Island, and in India, where it goes by the name of papreta. It is known that the name of St. Ignatius' bean, was given to this seed, by Father Camelli, in honor of the founder of the order of the Jesuits. The fruit of the strychnos Ignatii, which is of the size of a small melon, or a large pear, is ovoid, smooth, and contains from fifteen to twenty seeds, which are of an irregular shape, angular, hard, of the size of olives, o a pale - brown color, and striated on the outside, inodorous, but very bitter. (Teste’s Homeopathic Materia Medica).
Habitat: Phillipine Islands and in China. (Pharmacopea).