Kaar (Premna serratifolia - Verbenaceae)

Description: This native shrub or small tree grows to heights of about 7 m (20 ft). It produces oval to elliptical leaves 5-18 cm (2-8 in) long and numerous flowers in dense, multi-branched clumps at the tips of leaf stems. The many small fruits are fleshy and dark blue to black when mature.

Distribution: Kaar is widespread throughout Micronesia and much of the tropical Pacific and tropical Asia. It grows mainly in rocky areas near the shore or in open forest.

Uses: The use of this species for medicinal and magical purposes is widespread in the Pacific. In the Marshall Islands, kaar is used for baby medicine, for enchantment (love potions), and to improve people's luck and protect them from illness. It is often mixed with other plants to make medicinal potions. The leaves are used to cure "weakness of limbs," and the leaves and leaf sap are used to alleviate headache.

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