Sunday, February 15, 2009

Enicostema axillare (LAM.) RAYNAL

English Name : Indian Gentian

Family : Gentianaceae

A glabrous perennial herb 10 to 50 cm high with ribbed, quadrangular stems; younger parts glacous green; rootstock stout. Leaves opposite, decussate, sessile, linear to elliptic-oblong or lanceolate, 3.2 to 6.3 cm long and 0.3 to 1.6 cm wide, apex obtuse or acute, tapering at base, 3-nerved. Flowers white or bluish, sessile in whorled axillary clusters; calyx 3 mm long, lobes 1.5 mm long, ovate-oblong, obtuse, with narrow membranous margins. Fruit (capsule) ovoid to subglobose, 3 to 4 mm long and 3 mm in diameter, faintly grooved on 2 opposite sides; seeds subglobose to rhomboid, 0.5 mm long, reticulate.

Herb Effects
The plant is pungent and very bitter; anthelmintic. It is also considered to have tonic, stomachic and laxative properties, stimulates the heart; antipsychotic and antiinflammatory (plant); carminative.

Active Ingredients
Erythrocentaurins, enicoflavin, gentianine, gentiocrucine, genkwanin and apigenin (plant).

Medicinal Use
Snakebite and fever (plant decoction); as a carminative, a restorative agent and in diabetes. The crushed plant mixed with water is used as a restorative. The whole plant, dried, powdered and mixed with honey, is used as a blood-purifier and to relieve dropsy, rheumatism, abdominal ulcers, hernia, swellings, itches, insect poisoning and to expel worms.


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