Uses.—The Sanscrit writers often mention this plant as an important remedy for the fevers due, according to their theories, to disordered bile, i. e., remittent fevers, accompanied by gastric irritability and nervous depression. The entire plant is used to make a decoction, often combined with aromatics. Dymock observed in Goa that this plant could be gotten in all the shops of the herbvenders, and that it was widely used as an alterative in mild fevers in combination with “Hydrocotyle Asiatica and Adiantum lunulatum.” In Concan they apply the juice to the hands and feet in fevers, giving at the same time a dose of one “tola” (6.80 grams) in sweetened water or milk. This juice is obtained by soaking the bruised plant in water. In remittent fever the decoction is also used as a liniment for the whole body. It is given internally for skin eruptions due to excessive heat, especially “lichen tropicus.” BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A small herb, stem straight, about 30 centimeters high, glabrous, dichotomous. Leaves opposite, linear, green, lanceolate, stipulate.
Flowers small, hermaphrodite, axillary, solitary, or in pairs, alternate or opposite.
Calyx gamosepalous with 5 short teeth. Corolla gamopetalous, funnel-shaped.
Stamens 5, free, inserted in the tube of the corolla. Ovary inserted in the hollow of the receptacle, 2 many-ovuled locules. Style simple, ending in a bifid stigma.
Capsule rounded-oval, membranous. Seeds numerous, polyhedrous, albuminous, surface granular.
HABITAT.—In the rice fields.
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