Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Merremia tridentata (L.) Hallier f.

English Name : African morningvine

Family : Convolvulaceae

An annual twiner, occasionally prostrate, 0.6—2 m long, stems slender, glabrous, root stout. Leaves linear-oblong to narrowly linear, 2.5—10 cm x 0.5—2 cm, more or less contracted above the base, lobes more or less stem-clasping, basal lobes dentate, apex attenuate, acute to obtuse, mucronulate, margin entire or slightly undulate, petiole 1—3 mm long. Flowers in 1—few-flowered cymes, peduncle 1—8 cm long, bracts minute; flower-buds narrowly conical, acute, pedicel 6—8 mm long, in fruit clavate, up to 15 mm long, tips of sepals curved outwards, sepals subequal, 6—7 mm long, ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, corolla funnel-shaped, 12—20 mm long, pale yellow or white, centre purple or dark brown, filaments sparsely hairy at base. Capsule globose to ovoid, pericarp papery, glabrous. Seeds 2.5—3 mm long, dull black, glabrous.

Occurs in open grasslands, waste places, teak forests, and along roadsides, from sea-level up to 1200 m altitude.

Parts Used : Whole plant, leaf and seed

Herb Effects
Acts as purgative, astringent and tonic (whole plant); anthelminthic, diuretic and antibilious (roasted seeds).

Medicinal Use
A poultice of the leaves is applied to the head for fever, and on snakebites. A decoction of the roots is used as a mouthwash for toothache. A decoction of the whole plant, together with natron, is taken for gonorrhoea.


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