Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Phyllanthus maderaspatensis L.

English Name : Madras Leaf-flower

Family : Phyllanthaceae

Origin : Madagascar

A monoecious, annual or perennial, erect to spreading, unbranched to much branched, glabrous herb up to 90(-120) cm tall with unspecialized branching. Leaves arranged spirally, linear to oblanceolate, (5-)10-30(-60) mm x (1-)2-7(-17) mm, cuneate to broadly cuneate at base, acute to rounded at apex, on a petiole about 1 mm long, with ovate-lanceolate stipules. Flowers membranous, in axillary fascicles; proximal axils of branches with solitary female flowers, distal ones with 1-4 male flowers and a single female one; male flowers with 6 calyx lobes, yellowish-green or whitish, disk segments 6, stamens 3, filaments partly united, anthers free, vertically dehiscing; female flowers pedicellate, with 6 calyx lobes, dark green, sometimes flushed with red or pink, margins white, disk with 6 free segments, styles free, shortly bifid. Fruit an oblate capsule, about 3 mm in diameter, smooth. Seeds with longitudinal rows of tubercles on the back.

Found in deciduous woodland, wooded savanna, beaches, dunes, also along streams and ponds, in cultivated and disturbed places, on a wide variety of soils, up to 1850 m altitude.

Parts Used : Plant, leaf and seed

Herb Effects
Laxative, carminative and diuretic (seeds).

Medicinal Use
A leaf infusion is used to treat headache. Powder from dried plant material mixed with cow milk is given orally for eight days to treat jaundice.


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