USES.—We are not familiar with the medicinal uses of this plant in the Philippines, but believe that its sole use is in the soap-making industry; the ash of the plant is rich in soda and potash salts and lye is prepared from it.
In Goa the leaves, rich in mucilage, are used locally in fomentations for rheumatism and neuralgia. Rheede mentions as useful the application of the bruised sprouts to snake bites. Bontius attributes expectorant properties to the plant. The natives of Siam and Cochin China use it as a cordial and as a medicine for paralysis and asthma.
In Concan the sweetened decoction of the plant with a little cumin seed is given for dyspepsia with pyrosis.
BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A plant about 3° high, stem straight, beset with sharp eminences. Leaves opposite, membranaceous, lanceolate, pinnatifid, large teeth ending in prickles. Petioles very short, 2 thorns at the base. Flowers purplish white in spikes. Calyx double; the outer one of 2 parts, the inner 4. Corolla bellshaped, lower lip broad, keeled, fleshy, notched above. Upper lip wanting, a notch in its place. Stamens 4, didynamous. Ovary superior, conical. Style of equal length with stamens. Stigma bifid. Seed vessels 2-celled, each cell with 2 heart-shaped, flattened, rough seeds.
HABITAT.—Very common in regions inundated by salt water.
© Copyright 2020 Qouh - All Rights Reserved