Diospyros mollis – Deworming medicine and natural black dye
Diospyros mollis, known as mặc nưa in Vietnamese, is a medium-sized tree of the genus Diospyros. In Vietnam, D. mollis is cultivated mainly in southern Vietnam, especially in Tân Châu (An Giang province).
- Family: Ebenaceae
- Genus: Diospyros
- Species: Diospyros mollis
- Vietnamese: mặc nưa
Like another Diospyros species in central Vietnam, Diospyros mun, D. mollis is a good source for ebony wood. Ebony wood has a shiny black color, hard, very durable, and is high-prized for woodworking, especially in premium handicrafts. Bothe two plants are in Vietnam’s red list.
The seeds of mặc nưa contains diospyrol, and are believed to have the anthelmintic effects.
In Vietnam, D. mollis is cultivated mainly for its fruits that is used silk dying. Its fruits contains high amount of tannin, and based on traditional practice, they are suitable for dying black color. In An Giang province, the fruits are used to dye the famous black Lãnh Mỹ A silk of Tân Châu district. Similarly, the fruits of Diospyros mun can also be used for the same purpose.
Lãnh Mỹ A silk is a premium silk because it’s natural silk, and the dyeing practice requires the dyeing workers repeat the process about 100 times.
Silk dyed with the black color of the mặc nưa fruits are described as shiny, elegant, and very cool in the summer, and very warm in the winter.