Trumpet tree has large heart shaped leaves and grows to about 15 metres in height. It has a knotty hollow trunk that resembles a coconut palm and belongs to the Bignoniaceae family it is also well known as Tabebuia. It is easy to grow and loves full sun. Each country has different uses for extracts of this plant, such as treatment for bronchitis and snakebites in Trinidad and a cure for diabetes and hypertension in Guatemala.
The tree is regularly used throughout the world by herbalists for treating respiratory disorders such as bronchitis, coughs, whooping cough, and pneumonia and diabetes. It also has been used for sores on the mouth and tongue.
In Cuba, virtually every part of the plant is employed in herbal medicine. The latex is considered corrosive and astringent, and is used topically against warts, calluses, herpes (and other venereal diseases), and skin ulcers. The bark is used to reduce mucus; the roots for bile complaints; and the fruit is considered emollient (soothing and softening the skin).
It can be found almost everywhere in Jamaica and it can become a nuisance as well. It is however a very good tree to have around because of the medicinal benefits that can be derived from the leaves and other parts of the tree. Other parts of the trumpet tree may be used as medicinal herbs as well.
The sap may be used to make an ointment which is excellent for all kinds of skin ailments and the sap may also be used to make rubber. Despite serious safety concerns, people use trumpet tree as a recreational drug to induce hallucinations and euphoria. They also use it to treat asthma.
The fruit is burned with cow dung and crushed for treating malarial fevers, and an oil prepared from the flower mixed with other herbs can be used directly in the ear for pain relief.