Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Heliotropium indicum L.

English Name : Indian heliotrope

Family : Boraginaceae

Origin : Tropical America

An annual herb, 15-60(-100) cm tall, stem simple or with a few branches, hairy. Leaves ovate, (1.5-)2-10(-12) cm x 1-8(-9) cm, base truncate but narrowly long-decurrent, apex acute, with tubercules of mineralized cells and bristly hairs, petiole 1-9 cm long. Inflorescence consisting of 1 to several spike-like cyme(s), elongated, 5-20 cm long, ebracteate; calyx with patent, bristly, white hairs, corolla salver-shaped, tube 3-4.5 mm long, lobes rounded, about 1 mm long, pale-violet, blue or white, apex of carpels strongly bidentate, strongly divergent at anthesis. Fruit 2-3 mm long, fruit halves 2-celled, cells 2-locular, outer partition with one seed, inner one larger, empty.

Found in sunny places, on waste land, in periodically desiccating pools and ditches and other anthropogenic habitats, in general up to 800 m altitude.

Parts Used : Whole plant, leaf and root

Herb Effects
Applied as an antipyretic and anti-inflammatory (decoction of aerial parts)

Active Ingredients
Beta-sitosterol, campesterol, indicine, indicine N-oxide, stigmasterol, tannin (plant); heliotrine (seed).

Medicinal Use
Used against thrush, dysentery and haemorrhoids (decoction of leaves); to stop internal bleeding (leaf juice); used both internally and as a poultice to treat inflammation, swelling, sprain, contusion, pharyngitis, abscesses and rheumatism and externally for warts (whole plant); as a poultice in the treatment of herpes and rheumatism (leaves); to wash wounds and sores and taken as a gargle to relieve sore throat (infusion of leaves); used for eye diseases and as a poultice in the treatment of eczema and impetigo (roots).


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