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Coleus Aromaticus

The fleshy, aromatic leaves of this plant are bruised and applied locally for the bites of centipedes and scorpions

USES.—The fleshy, aromatic leaves of this plant are bruised and applied locally for the bites of centipedes and scorpions. They are also applied to the temples and forehead for headache, held in place by a bandage. In Cochin China they are used in asthma, chronic bronchitis, epilepsy and other convulsive diseases. The juice of the leaves is a carminative and is given to children suffering with wind colic. Dr. Wight claims to have observed occasional intoxicating effects following its use, but Dymock states that he has never observed such effects. The plant contains a coloring matter, colein (C10H10O3), red, insoluble in ether, soluble in alcohol, slightly soluble in water. On the addition of ammonia the solution changes to purple, then violet, indigo, green, and, finally, greenishyellow.

Another species, the C. atropurpureus, Benth. (C. grandifolius, Blanco), well known in the Philippines by its common name mayana, is used in the treatment of bruises, the bruised fleshy leaves being the part employed; these leaves are downy and dark violet in color.

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—Leaves opposite, nearly sessile, cordate, obtuse, downy and very fleshy. Flowers in a quadrangular raceme, each group of these flowerets having a concave scale at the base. Calyx bell-shaped, 2-lipped; the upper lip longer and entire; the lower with 4 narrow teeth. Corolla a pale violet, 5 times longer than the calyx. Stamens didynamous, straight, longer than the corolla. Style bifid. Seeds 4.

HABITAT.—Universally abundant.

Reference book: The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines

Tags: Medical plants, Medicine, healing, Injuries, Doctors,

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