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800 tropical species occur in 35 to 75 ill-defined genera. Many furnish useful products, especially gutta-percha and balata.
Poisoning by several Brazilian woods of this family causes alopecia (Friese 1932 cited by Senear 1933).
[Summary yet to be added]
- Argania spinosa Skeels
- (syns Argania sideroxylon Roem. & Schult., Lyciodes spinosum Kuntze, Sideroxylon spinosum L., Tekelia spinosa Scop.)
The fruit of this thorny North African tree provides an edible oil known as argan oil (Morton & Voss 1987).
The genus is monotypic (Mabberley 2008).
[Further information available but not yet included in database]
- Autranella congolensis A.Chev.
- (syn. Mimusops congolensis De Wild.)
The wood-dust from this tropical African tree is irritant to the respiratory tract (Orsler 1973). Hausen (1970) cites CTFT (1954) for mucosal irritation from the wood.
The genus is monotypic (Mabberley 2008).
- Baillonella toxisperma Pierre
- (syns Baillonella djave Pierre ex Dubard, Mimusops djave Engl., Mimusops toxisperma A.Chev.)
- Djave, Moabi
The wood from this tropical West African tree is said to be injurious (Bois Tropicaux 1966, Helig 1957, cited by Hausen 1970).
The genus is monotypic (Mabberley 2008).
- Chrysophyllum L.
150 species are found in tropical regions, especially in America. Chrysophyllum cainito L. is cultivated for its edible fruit — the star apple.
A Brazilian species of this genus was reported to produce dermatitis from the fine dust produced in making veneers (Friese 1932).
- Madhuca Ham. ex J.F.Gmel.
85 species are native to Indo-China, Indo-Malaysia and Australia. The botanical name Bassia All. refers to a genus of Chenopodiaceae. The botany is complex (Hausen 1970); he confused the genus with Bassia of the Chenopodiaceae.
- Madhuca betis J.F.Macbr.
- (syns Azaola betis Blanco, Bassia betis Merr., Illipe betis Merr., Isonandra betis Baehni, Payena betis Villar)
The powdered bark is sternutatory (Quisumbing 1951).
- Madhuca longifolia J.F.Macbr.
- (syns Bassia longifolia J.Koenig ex L., Illipe longifolia — of no botanical standing, Madhuca indica J.F.Gmel., Vidoricum longifolium Kuntze)
- Butter Tree, Butter-Nut Tree, Moah Wood, Mahua, Mahwa, Mowa, Arbre à Beurre, Indische Illipe
The flowers are edible and are distilled to make a liquor. The leaves yield an essential oil.
The wood was reported to produce dermatitis in all woodworkers who were exposed, suggesting an irritant effect (Pflanz 1908, Matthes and Schreiber 1914). The wood of Bassia longifolia was listed as irritant by Schwartz et al. (1947, 1957). The juice from the bark of Madhuca indica is irritant and is used as a rubefacient (Behl et al. 1966).
According to Record (1925) the moah wood or edelteak which Matthes and Schreiber (1914) identified as Illipe longifolia (or Illipe latifolia; see below) was actually Paratecoma peroba. All lists which include Bassia, Illipe and Madhuca as toxic woods appear to result from Matthes and Schreiber's error. Woods and Calnan (1976) suggest that the wood named moah (Pflanz 1908) may have been Flindersia australis. The statements of irritation re Madhuca indica above and M. parkii below are possibly irrelevant by reason of the error noted in the report of Matthes and Schreiber (1914).
The thick sticky juice from the bark is irritant and workers with a meal derived from the plant can develop cellulitis of the hands and feet (Lewin 1962, Behl et al. 1966).
Thomson (1971) does not accept reports that the wood yields lapachol, a sensitiser of teak (Tectona grandis L.f., fam. Labiatae).
- Madhuca longifolia J.F.Macbr. var latifolia A.Chev.
- (syns Bassia latifolia Roxb., Illipe latifolia F.Muell., Madhuca latifolia J.F.Macbr., Vidoricum latifolium Kuntze)
- Butter Tree, Champa, Illupai, Mahua, Mahwa, Arbre à Beurre
The seeds are the source of the cosmetic product ingredient Bassia Latifolia Seed Butter, also known as Illipe Butter.
The wood of Bassia latifolia was listed as irritant by Schwartz et al. (1947, 1957).
- Manilkara bidentata A.Chev.
- (syn. Mimusops balata)
- Balata, Balata Rouge, Assapookoo
This West Indies species is reported to be injurious (Heilig 1957). The fine dust produced in making veneers produced dermatitis (Freise 1932). Woods and Calnan (1976) cite an incompletely referenced report that the wood of assapookoo is very poisonous.
This species yields a gutta-percha.
- Manilkara huberi A.Chev.
- (syns Manilkara jaimiqui Dubard, Mimusops huberi Ducke, Mimusops jaimiqui C.Wright ex Griseb.)
- Masaranduba, Níspero, Sapotilla
The fine dust produced in making veneers produced dermatitis (Freise 1932).
- Manilkara zapota
- (syn. Achras zapota)
- Sapodilla Plum
This species is cultivated for its edible fruit and the latex is extracted to form chicle, a chewing gum.
Burkill (1935), referring to Achras zapota, notes that the wood-dust is irritant to the nasal passages.
- Mimusops sp.
The wood is injurious (Hanslian and Kadlec 1966).
- Mimusops toxisperma
- African Pearwood
The wood is injurious (Hanslian and Kadlec 1966). Conjunctivitis, possibly allergic, occurred in 80 per cent of workers with the wood of this species (Kubena et al. 1968).
Manilkara appears to be the preferred name for Mimusops spp. Woods and Calnan (1976) and the above reports appear to stem from Freise (1932) who reported dermatitis from this group of woods.
- Niemeyera acuminata T.D. Penn.
- (syns Sebertia acuminata Pierre ex Engl. & Prantl, Sersalisia acuminata Pierre ex Baill.)
- Sève Bleue
This New Caledonian tree accumulates extraordinary amounts of nickel from the soil in which it grows. The nickel content of its blue-green latex can reach 25% on a dry weight basis (Jaffré et al. 1976). The nickel occurs predominantly as a negatively charged citratonickelate (II) complex with [Ni(H2O)6]2+ as the major cationic constituent (Lee et al. 1977). Whilst the contact sensitising properties of nickel and its salts are well documented (Cronin 1980), there appear to be no reports of contact dermatitis attributable to this plant.
More than 115 species are found in Formosa, south-eastern Asia, Indo-Malaysia and the Solomon Islands.
Gutta-percha, a trans isomer of rubber, is derived from Palaquium gutta in cultivation and from other species (Willis 1973).
- Pouteria procera K.Hammer
- (syns Calocarpum procerum Dubard, Lucuma procera Mart., Urbanella procera Pierre, etc.)
The fine dust produced when making veneers from a Brazilian wood with the common name massaranduba, and the trade name ebano, listed as being derived from this Brazilian species, has been reported to cause dermatitis (Friese 1932, Gottwald 1958). Similar effects from wood with the common name abiuranda, and listed as being derived from various Lucuma L. species, were also noted. However, the botanical sources of these woods may not have been correctly assigned. The name massaranduba is now most commonly applied to the timber from Manilkara bidentata A.Chev. or Manilkara huberi A.Chev. (see above).
- Pouteria sapota H.E.Moore & Stearn
- (syns Achras mammosa L., Calocarpum mammosum Pierre, Calocarpum sapota Merr., Pouteria mammosa Cronquist, Sideroxylon sapota Jacq., etc.)
- Mamey Apple, Mammee Sapote, Marmalade Plum, Sapota, Zapote
Referring to Calocarpum mammosum, Allen (1943) noted that the sap of the entire plant is caustic and vesicant, and that care should be exercised in gathering the [edible] fruits not to break the branches, or to rub the fresh sap into the eyes.
- Synsepalum dulcificum Daniell
- Miraculous Fruit
After eating the fruit pulp, everything, even lime juice, tastes deliciously sweet. This effect persists for about an hour, depending upon the amount consumed (Fairchild 1930, Menninger 1967). See also Sphenocentrum jollyanum Pierre, fam. Menispermaceae and Thaumatococcus daniellii Benth., fam. Marantaceae.
- Tieghemella africana Pierre
- (syns Baillonella africana Baehni, Dumoria africana Dubard, Mimusops africana Lecomte)
- Douka, Makoré, Afrikanischer Birnbaum
Nasal and respiratory irritation with haemoptysis occurred in men sawying woods from Spanish Guinea probably mainly Tieghemella africana (Dantin-Gallego and Armayor 1952). This wood is less often exported than Tieghemella heckelii but equally irritant (CTFT (1955), Subiza Martin 1971).
- Tieghemella heckelii Pierre ex A.Chev.
- (syns Baillonella heckelii Baehni, Dumoria heckelii A.Chev., Mimusops heckelii Hutch. & Dalziel)
- Douka, Makoré, Afrikanischer Birnbaum
This West African tree provides a timber known variously as African cherry, makoré, baku, agamokwe, douka, or dumori. The wood can cause dermatitis, conjunctivitis and respiratory symptoms (Malespini 1935, Turc et al. 1950, Sandermann & Barghoorn 1955); this has discouraged its use (Bois Tropicaux 1966). Makore was listed by Oleffe et al. (1975) as a cause of dermatitis in the Belgian timber industry.
A saponin, which is a glycoside of bassic acid, has been isolated from the wood (Sandermann and Barghoorn 1955, King et al. 1955).
- Vitellaria paradoxa C.F.Gaertn. ssp paradoxa
- (syns Bassia parkii G.Don, Butyrospermum paradoxum Hepper ssp parkii Hepper, Butyrospermum parkii Kotschy, Lucuma paradoxa A.DC.)
The wood of Bassia parkii was listed as irritant by Schwartz et al. (1947, 1957).
- Allen PH (1943) Poisonous and injurious plants of Panama. American Journal of Tropical Medicine 23(Suppl): 3-76 [doi] [url]
- Behl PN, Captain RM, Bedi BMS, Gupta S (1966) Skin-Irritant and Sensitizing Plants Found in India. New Delhi: PN Behl [WorldCat]
- Bois Tropicaux (1966) 3rd edn. Publ. No. 12. Centre Technique Forestier Tropical. 94-Norgent-sur Marne, France.
- Burkill IH (1935) A Dictionary of the Economic Products of the Malay Peninsula, Vols 1 & 2. London: Crown Agents [doi] [WorldCat] [url] [url-2]
- Cronin E (1980) Contact Dermatitis. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone [WorldCat]
- CTFT (1954) Mukulungu. Bois et Forêts des Tropiques (36): 25-28 [url] [url-2]
- CTFT (1955) Douka. Bois et Forêts des Tropiques (42): 37-40 [url] [url-2]
- Dantin-Gallego, J., Armayor, A.F. and Fiesco, J. (1952) Some new toxic woods: some new manifestations of toxicity. Industr. Med. Surg. 21: 42.
- Fairchild, D. (1930) Exploring for Plants. New York. Macmillan.
- Freise FW (1932) Gesundheitsschädigungen durch Arbeiten mit giftigen Hölzern. Beobachtungen aus brasilianischen Gewerbebetrieben. [Impairment of health by working with toxic woods. Observations from Brazilian industry]. Archiv für Gewerbepathologie und Gewerbehygiene 3(1): 1-14 [doi] [url] [url-2]
- Gottwald, H. (1958) Handelsholzer. F. Hamburg. F. Holzmann Verlag. Cited by Hausen (1970).
- Hanslian L and Kadlec K (1966) Drevo z hlediska hygienického (VII). Biologicky silne agresívní dreviny. Drevo 21: 157-160.
- Hanslian L and Kadlec K (1966) Drevo z hlediska hygienického (VIII). Biologicky úcinné a málo úcinné dreviny. Drevo 21: 229-232.
- Hausen, B.M. (1970) Untersuchungen uber Gesundheitsschadigende Holzer. Thesis, Hamburg.
- Heilig, P.M. (1957) Ziekten veroorzaakt door berwerking van mekere houtsoorten. Vakbl. Meubslind. 38: 1440. Cited by Hausen (1970).
- Heinc, A. and Kubena, K. (1969) Maladies oculaires externes par action directe d'elements exterieurs. Ophthalmologica 158: 181.
- Jaffré T, Brooks RR, Lee J, Reeves RD (1976) Sebertia acuminata: a hyperaccumulator of nickel from New Caledonia. Science 193(4253): 579-580
- King, F.E., Baker, J.A. and King, T.J. (1955) A saponin constituent of malore (Mimusops heckelii). J. Chem. Soc. 1338.
- Kubena, K., Kadlec, K. and Hanslian, L. (1968) Poskozeni oka drevnym prachem. Klin. Oczna. Leden. Cited by Heinc and Kubena (1969).
- Lee J, Reeves RD, Brooks RR, Jaffré T (1977) Isolation and identification of a citrato-complex of nickel from nickel-accumulating plants. Phytochemistry 16(10): 1503-1505
- Lewin, L. (1962) Gifte und Vergiftungen, Haug, Ulm. Cited as Lewis (1962) by Woods and Calnan (1976).
- Mabberley DJ (2008) Mabberley's Plant-Book. A portable dictionary of plants, their classification and uses, 3rd edn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press [WorldCat]
- Malespini, E. (1935) L'eczema du bois. Annales d'Hygiene Publique, Industrielle et Sociale 13: 313.
- Matthes, H. and Schreiber, E. (1914) Über hautreizende Holzer. Ber. Dtsch. Pharm. Ges. 24: 385.
- Menninger EA (1967) Fantastic Trees. New York: Viking Press [WorldCat]
- Morton JF, Voss GL (1987) The argan tree (Argania sideroxylon, Sapotaceae), a desert source of edible oil. Economic Botany 41(2): 221-233 [doi] [url] [url-2]
- Oleffe JA, Sporcq J, Hublet P (1975a) Epidemiological study of the wood industry in Belgium. Contact Dermatitis 1(5): 315-316 [doi] [url] [url-2] [pmid]
- Orsler, R.J. (1973) Personal communication to JC Mitchell from Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough, Bucks, England.
- Pflanz, V. (1908) Interessante Falle von 'dermatitis venenata'. Med. Klin. 4: 832.
- Quisumbing E (1951) Medicinal Plants of the Philippines. Technical Bulletin 16, Philippines Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Manila, Philippine Islands: Manila Bureau of Printing [WorldCat]
- Record, S.J. (1925) Lapachol. Tropical Woods 1: 7.
- Sandermann W, Barghoorn A-W (1955) Über die Inhaltsstoffe von Makoré- und Peroba-Holz sowie ihre gesundheitsschädigende Wirkung. [On the toxic constituents of makoré and peroba woods]. Holzforschung 9(4): 112-117 [doi] [url]
- Schwartz L, Tulipan L, Peck SM (1947) Occupational Diseases of the Skin, 2nd edn. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger [WorldCat] [url] [url-2]
- Schwartz L, Tulipan L, Birmingham DJ (1957) Occupational Diseases of the Skin, 3rd edn. London: Henry Kimpton [doi] [WorldCat] [url] [url-2]
- Senear FE (1933) Dermatitis due to woods. Journal of the American Medical Association 101(20): 1527-1532 & unpubl. table accompanying reprints [doi] [url]
- Subiza Martin, E. (1971) Etudes experimentales avec le bois d'oukola (Dumoria africana). Les Bronches (Paris) 21: 517.
- Thomson RH (1971) Naturally Occurring Quinones, 2nd edn. London: Academic Press [doi] [WorldCat] [url]
- Turc H, Brunel R, Tolot F (1950) Accidents allergiques dus au bois de Makoré. [Allergic accidents due to Makoré wood]. Archives des Maladies Professionnelles, de Médecine du Travail et de Sécurité Sociale 11(5): 490-492
- Willis JC (1973) A Dictionary of the Flowering Plants and Ferns, 8th edn. (Revised by Airy Shaw HK). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press [WorldCat]
- Woods B, Calnan CD (1976) Toxic woods. British Journal of Dermatology 95(Suppl 13): 1-97 [doi] [url] [url-2] [pmid]