Sunday, February 15, 2009

Desmodium pulchellum (L.) Benth.

Family : Fabaceae

Origin : Philippines

An erect undershrub, 0.5 to 1.5 m in height. Leaves are 3-foliate. Leaflets finely hairy beneath, the terminal one being oblong, 8-13 cm long and more than twice as large as the lateral ones. Inflorescence terminal and axillary and 8 to 25 cm long; flowers white and about 6 mm long, umbellate or fascicled, hidden by the distichous, orbicular bracts which are 1 to 1.5 cm in diameter. Stamens 10, upper one free, other 9 united. Ovary few- to many-ovuled, superior. Pods oblong, hairy and usually of 2, rarely 1- or 3 joints.

Common in open thickets and waste places in settled areas at low and medium altitudes.

Parts Used : Plant, leaf, bark, root and flower

Herb Effects
Used as tonic after childbirth (decoction of roots); antipyretic (plant); antihemorrhagic (bark).

Active Ingredients
Betulin (root)

Medicinal Use
Used to treat cold and fever, malaria, swelling and enlargement of liver and spleen, rheumatism, bone pains and swelling due to contusion or sprain (decoction of dried leaves); to reduce excessive menstrual flow (charred roots); applied to ulcers and skin sores (leaves); in hemorrhages, diarrhea, poisoning, and eye diseases (decoction of bark); for biliousness (decoction of flowers); the whole plant is used in Chinese medicine to treat rheumatic fever, infant convulsions, toothache, to dissolve internal blood clots, and to aid digestion.


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