Būkōr (Torulinium odoratum- Cyperaceae)

Description: Būkōr is a perennial sedge (grass-like plant) with stems 40-100 cm (1.5 to 3 ft) long. Sedges belong to their own plant family, Cyperaceae, and generally grow in wet places, such as near or in swampy areas (pat). One simple way to distinguish a sedge from a grass is to look at and feel the stems of the plant and remember that generally "sedges have edges and grasses are round."

Distribution: Būkōr, an indigenous plant in the Marshall Islands, is widespread in tropical regions of Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. Here it is found on several atolls, including Likiep, Mājro, Jālooj, Mājeej, Epoon, Ānewetak, and Namwo.

Uses: This sedge species is used to make a medicine for healing burns. The medicine includes the following ingredients: one būkōr flower cluster with green leaves attached to its stem, and parts of one ripe and one unripe (green) coconut. The coconuts should be collected from bunches that face eastward. These ingredients are prepared as follows: the leaves of būkōr are trimmed to about 7 cm (3 in); the flowers and leaves are pounded together well; this is mixed with grated coconut from the mature nut; and, the juice of this mixture is then strained into an open hole in the green coconut. After the green nut is shaken well, the patient drinks it all. This potion is given in the same dose once a day for three days. Būkōr is also a name for one of the varieties of bōb (Pandanus tectorius).

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