Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Phyllanthus virgatus G.FORSTER

English Name : Seed-under-leaf

Family : Euphorbiaceae

An erect or procumbent, annual or perennial woody herb usually up to 20 cm tall. Leaves distichous, closely placed and often overlapping on branchlets, linear-oblong to obovate, 5 to 20 mm long and 3 to 6 mm side, apex apiculate, base rounded, glaucous beneath; stipules peltate, reddish-brown. Flowers minute, axillary; male flowers brownish-purple, usually 2 to 3 together, sessile; female flowers white, solitary on slender pedicels, usually larger than the male; sepals 0.8 mm long, oblong, obtuse, those of female flowers slightly enlarged in fruit. Fruits (capsules) depressed-globose, slightly 3-lobed, 2.5 mm in diameter, smooth to slightly rough, long stalked, dark brown; seeds 1.2 to 1.5 mm long, trigonous, rounded on the back, with red tubercles.

Often found in gardens and fields in India.

Parts Used : Leaf, root, fruit, flower and plant

Herb Effects
Antigonorrheic (fruit and flower) and antiseptic (plant)

Active Ingredients
Ascorbic and alpha-ketoglutaric acids (leaf)

Medicinal Use
The bruised fresh leaves mixed with buttermilk is used to treat ophthalmia and as a wash to relieve itching. The fresh leaves, flowers and fruits are made into an electuary with cumin seed and sugar to treat gonorrhoea. A preparation of the root is applied to promote healing of mammary abscesses.


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