Tamarix gallica, sometimes referred to as the French tamarisk or manna plant, is a shrub common in northern Africa that has been used for the treatment of a number of issues due to its numerous medicinal qualities. It has anti-diarrheal properties that make it useful for treating diarrhea and dysentery, as well as laxative properties to help with constipation. The plant is both astringent and anti-microbial, so it may help stop wounds and other openings on the skin from bleeding as well as speed their healing. It is also thought to have positive and stimulant effects on liver function, and may be used to treat disorders of the liver. The anti-inflammatory quality of tamarix gallica makes it useful for relief of the pain of rheumatism and treatment of gingivitis.
One of the primary medical uses of tamarix gallica is the treatment of gastrointestinal issues. Known for helping to stop diarrhea, it can help treat dysentery and other diseases that cause loose stools. It is also known to have laxative properties, and so may give relief if taken by those with constipation. Tamarix gallica may also help with the treatment of hemorrhoids and intestinal parasites.
Extracts taken from the leaves and flowers of tamarix gallica can help with the treatment of open cuts, sores, and other wounds on the skin. The astringent properties of the plant make it ideal for a compress to help stop bleeding. Its anti-microbial properties can then help keep infection from setting in and speed healing. This ability to fight bacteria and viruses also makes it useful when taken internally to fight off colds and other infections.
The liver can also benefit from the use of tamarix gallica. It is thought to have the ability to stimulate and improve liver function, and contribute to the overall health of the organ. Diseases that affect the liver, such as hepatitis or cirrhosis, have also traditionally been treated with extracts from the plant.
Tamarix gallica can be used for certain other ailments as well due to its anti-inflammatory properties. The joint pain and swelling associated with rheumatism may be eased by an external application; one traditional form of treatment involves lying on the fresh leaves to get relief. The inflammatory gum disease gingivitis can also be treated with tamarix gallica, likely benefitting from its anti-inflammatory properties but also from its ability to stop bleeding and kill bacteria.