Sunday, February 1, 2009

Aerva lanata (L.) JUSS. EX SCHULT

Family : Amaranthaceae

English Name : Aerva, Polpala, Sunny Khur

Origin : Africa, India, southeast Asia, Australia, Madacascar

This herb is described as "one of the best known remedies for bladder and kidney stones." Perennial herb, frequently woody (0.1-) 0.3-2 m, branched from the base and often also above. Stem and branches terete, striate with whitish or yellowish shaggy hairs. Leaves alternate, suborbicular to lanceolate-elliptic, cuneate at the base, rounded and apiculate to acute at the apex. Flowers (in Asia) hermaphrodite. Outer 2 tepals hyaline, oval-oblong, abruptly contracted at the tip to a distinct mucro formed by the excurrent nerve, 0.75-1.25 mm, inner 3 slightly shorter and narrower, acute with a broad central green vitta along the midrib, which extends for about three-quarters of their length and is furnished with a thickened border of two lateral nerves; all tepals densely lanate dorsally. Style and two short, divergent stigmas together subequalling the ovary in length at anthesis.

Habitat : In the Flora Zambesiaca area in open forest on mountain slopes, on waste and disturbed ground, deserted cultivation and coastal scrub sea-level–1490 m. Wastelands of the warmer areas of India.

Parts Used : Root and plant

Herb Effects : Diuretic and anthelmintic (plant); tonic (root decoction).

Active Ingredients
Palmitic acid, beta-sitosterol, betulin, alpha-amyrin (plant).

Medicinal Use
In strangury (root); as a snakebite antidote (plant), to cure headache (roots and flowers); for removing kidney stones and gonorrhea, as a poultice for minor skin inflamations (root decoction)


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