The Malacca Bean-Tree.

Botanical name: 

Anacardium legitimum.

THIS is a large tree, native of Malabar and the Philippine islands; it grows to the height and bigness of our tallest elms, and has much of their manner of growth, as to the branches. The leaves are vastly large, of an oblong figure, and obtuse; the flowers are small and white, they grow in bunches, and have somewhat of the smell of the syringa flower but fainter. The fruit is of the bigness of a pear, and much of the same shape; it is of a deep red, when ripe, and of a pleasant taste; the kernel is not within this, as is commonly the case in fruits, but it hangs out loose at the end. This kernel or seed is of the shape of an heart; it is as big as an olive. and has a dusky red coat or shell, but it is white within. This is the part used in medicine, for the whole fruit is not regarded. The anacardium, or kernel, is said to be a cordial, and a strengthener of the nerves, but we do not much use it. There is a very sharp liquor between the outer and inner rinds of the shell, which will take away freckles from the skin, but it is so sharp that the ladies must be cautious how they use it.

The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.