Small plant up to 8 m high; leaves alternate, twice compound, 15-25 cm, base of petiole enlarged; leaflets 9 to 18 pairs, 7 to 12 mm long, linear-oblong, unequilateral; flowering stalks axillary, 3.5 to 5 cm long; flowers in dense globule heads 2 to 3 cm in diameter, white; fruit a pod, strap-shaped, flattened, 12 to 18 cm long, 1 to 2 cm wide, papery, green turning brown and splits open along two edges when mature, several fruits develop from each flower head; seeds obovate, 5 to 8 mm long, 3 to 5 mm wide, shiny, brown.
Constituents: Fat, 8.68%; crude fiber, 22.59%; nitrogen-free material other than fiber, 9.78%; nitrogen, 6.42%; sucrose; water, 14.8%; ash, 4.2%.
Intestinal parasitism: ascaris and trichinosis. Adults: 1 teaspoon of powdered dried seeds, alone or mixed with condensed milk and followed by half a glass of water, taken as a single dose 2 hours after a meal; repeated after one week as needed. Children: 7-8 years old: 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon; 9-12 years old: 1/2 to 2/3 teaspoon. Adverse effects: Abdominal pain, diarrhea.
Recent Studies and Uses R&D on seed gum for a pharmaceutical substitute for the imported guar gum used as a binder in tablet formulation. In 1996, ipil-ipil was found to be an excellent liquid excipient as a suspending and thickening agent.