Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Helicteres isora L.

Family : Sterculiaceae

English Name : East Indian Screw Tree

Origin : Australia

It is a sub-deciduous small tree or shrub of about 1.5 to 3.0 ml height. Young branches are rough with scattered stellate hairs. Leaves are serrate obliquely cordate or obovate, shortly acuminate and rough above and pubescent beneath. The flowers are solitary or in sparse clusters with red reflexed petals, becoming pale blue when old. The fruits are 5.0 cm long, greenish - brown, beaked and cylindrical with 5 spirally twisted carpels. Seeds are tubercled and many.

Scrub jungles and forests of India.

Parts Used : Root, fruit, bark, seed and aerial part

Herb Effects
Alleviates spasms (aerial part); cytotoxic, astringent, demulcent, diuretic and antigalactagogue (root); stimulates the uterus, demulcent and astringent(fruit); astringent (root and bark).

Active Ingredients
Cucurbitacin and iso-cucurbitacin (root); diosgenin (seed).

Medicinal Use
Snakebite antidote, diabetes and infections in the abdomen (root); stomachache(fruit); dysentery and diarrhea (fruit and bark); in dysentery and diarrhoea (bark); in otorrhoea (seed powder and mixed with pure castor oil or coconut oil); diarrhoea, dysentery, and gripping pain in the bowels, flatulence and in diabetes (root decoction); to children to kill intestinal worms (fried fruits). Besides, a decoction of its fruits with Achyranthes aspera plant also prescribed to give in fever.


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