Ringworm Bush (Akapulko) – Cassia alata

An erect, shrubby legume reaching 6 ft tall, Akapulko grows throughout the Philippines. It has dark green leaves and yellow-orange flowers, producing as much as 50 to 60 small, triangular seeds. For medicinal purposes, leaves, flowers and seeds are used.

The akapulko leaves contain chrysophanic acid, a fungicide that is used to treat fungal infections, like ringworms, scabies and eczema

Medicinal Uses:

  • Decoction of leaves and flowers is very effective in easing asthma, cough and bronchitis.
  • The seeds are effective in expelling intestinal parasites.
  • Juice from leaves aids in controlling fungal infections like; eczema, athlete’s foot, ringworm, scabies, and herpes.
  • Pounded leaves reduce injury-related swellings, treat insect bites, and ease rheumatism.
  • Leaves and flowers concoction used as mouthwash in treating stomatitis.
  • Juice from leaves ease fetid discharges.
  • The leaves stain is an effective purgative.

News about Ringworm Bush (Akapulko)

Propagation of Senna Alata

By Bonnie Singleton (Demand Media)

Senna alata is known as Christmas candle because it has yellow flower spikes on its evergreen shrubbery that look like thick, waxy candlesticks. The plant is an easy-to-grow perennial that thrives in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 11. It also grows as an annual in zones 8 and 9. Simple propagation techniques will produce healthy specimens that provide a lovely floral display for your home garden and will also attract butterflies.

Senna alata

Senna alata is from the bean family and originally found in tropical regions of Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands and America. It can reach a height of up to 30 feet in its native habitat, although 5 to 8 feet is more typical in a backyard garden, with a spread approximately half that width. An aggressive grower, especially in areas with a high water table, Senna alata often forms thickets through natural propagation. For this reason, the shrub is a good choice for borders. As a specimen plant, it could also be grown in outdoor containers or tubs.

Propagation Source

You may propagate the plant by growing seeds, which may be sold under the plant’s various alternate names including candle bush, candlestick tree, candelabra bush, Christmas candle, Empress candle, golden candlestick, popcorn senna and ringworm tree. If you have access to Senna alata plants, collect seeds from the six-inch long seed pods, which can contain as many as 60 seeds each. On their own, senna alata pods and seeds can be distributed by water or animals, or the plant will sucker from roots.


If you’re collecting your own seeds, harvest pods in the fall and store them in a dry location over the winter. Pop open the pods in the spring and start cultivating seeds indoors from February through March, or several weeks before the last average frost date, to give the seedlings a head start. For best results, first soak seeds in warm water overnight before planting. Because they’re fast growers, seedlings usually bloom the first year from seed.


Plant seeds about three quarters of an inch deep in a well-drained soil and humus mixture with a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5. Find an area with full sun for the seedlings’ permanent home and feed with a balanced fertilizer after planting and then once a month during the growing season. Senna alata plants are drought-tolerant, but they will still benefit from being watered regularly and given a layer of mulch during the hottest summer months. As young plants develop, pinch new growth to increase the number of future flower spikes, and prune mature plants back in spring to improve flowering.


All parts of the Senna alata plant are poisonous if swallowed and should be kept away from children or pets. Because this shrub can become invasive under certain conditions, some areas have banned the introduction of the plant or seeds into the region. This is less of a problem in the U.S. than in other places, such as some areas of Australia. Use caution when adding Senna alata to your garden and keep any eye on where it goes to prevent its invasion into natural habitats.

The wise man says:

June 1, 2023
If you live out in the country and you have to bury a dead animal, plant a tree on its grave.

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