Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Phyllanthus reticulatus Poir.

English Name : Reticulated leaf-flower, Potato bush

Family : Phyllanthaceae

A monoecious, glabrous to pubescent, bushy shrub or small tree up to 5(-18) m tall with disagreeable scent, with phyllanthoid branching, bark rough, brown or grey, cataphylls lanceolate, with triangular stipules; deciduous branchlets steeply ascending, (8.5-)10-20(-25) cm long, with (10-)13-20(-25) leaves. Leaves elliptical to elliptical-ovate or elliptical-obovate, 10-50 mm x 5-27 mm, cuneate to rounded at base, apex obtuse to emarginate, shortly petiolate, stipules lanceolate. Cymules usually axillary or sometimes on leafless shoots and resembling a raceme, usually bisexual and composed of 1(-2) female flowers and up to 8 male ones; flowers with 5-6 calyx lobes and 5(-6) disk segments; male flowers with 5-6 stamens, in two sets, one with longer filaments fused into a central column and one with shorter, free filaments, anthers free, dehiscing longitudinally; female flowers on a slender pedicel, styles bifid, free but connivent over the top of the ovary. Fruit a berry, globose or oblate, 4-6 mm in diameter, smooth, blueish-black when ripe. Seeds nearly smooth.

Frequently grows along watercourses, but also in scrub and hedges, on waste places, and in mixed evergreen forest. It is found in India and Taiwan up to 2000 m altitude. In Malesia it is usually confined to the lowlands, up to 800 m. This species is often common in moist places.

Parts Used : Plant, leaf, stem and bark

Herb Effects
Diuretic, alterative, depurative, refrigerant and odontalgic (decoction of the leaves or bark).

Medicinal Use
Applied to the abdomen as a remedy for pinworms (leaves); rubbed onto the chest to alleviate asthma (stems and leaves); taken internally for asthma (infusion of the roots); to treat a sore throat (decoction of leaves); dusted over wounds to aid the healing process (dried and powdered leaves); a cure for dysentery (infusion of the bark); to treat smallpox and syphilis (plant).


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