KAMALA, a red powder formerly used in medicine as an anthelmintic and employed in India as a yellow dye. It is obtained from Mallotus philippinensis, Mull., a small euphorbiaceous tree from 20 to 45 ft. in height, distributed from southern Arabia in the west to north Australia and the Philippines in the east. In India kamala has several ancient Sanskrit names, one of which, kapila, signifies dusky or tawny red. Under the name of wars, kanbil, or qinbil, kamala appears to have been known to the Arabian physicians as a remedy for tapeworm and skin diseases as early as the 10th century, and indeed is mentioned by Paulus ^Egineta still earlier. The drug was formerly in the British Pharmacopoeia, but is inferior to many other anthelmintics and is not now employed.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)