Scientific name:Boerhavia diffusa L.

English names: Pigweed, Spreading Hog-weed.

Local names:Punarnava, Gondhapurna.

Family name:Nyctaginaceae

Botanical Description

Habit:A perennial creeping or climbing herb, 0.4-2.0 m tall, puberulous to glabrescent, with club-shaped or stalked glands and glandular hairs.

Leaves:Leaves simple, opposite or subopposite, base obtuse, cordate or truncate, apex acute to obtuse, lower surface often white, sometimes with red marginal glands, petioles 1.0-3.5 cm long.

Flowers:Flowers 5-10 in umbelliform clusters, pedicels 0.3-2.0 mm long. Perianth campanulate, 3-4 mm long, with a distinct constriction in the middle, white, red, pink or violet.

Androecium:Stamens 2-3, exserted.

Gynoecium: Ovary oblique, stipitate, stigmas peltate.

Fruits:Fruits small, 5-ribbed, glandular.

Economic Importance: Plan tastes bitter and is stomachic, laxative, expectorant, emetic. Roots and leaves are effectively used as a diuretic in dropsy and anasarca. It is also used in epilepsy and bacillary dysentery. Leaves and roots are also useful in jaundice, anaemia, ascites, ophthalmia, gonorrhoea, and as blood purifier and possess significant anti-inflammatory property. Plant powder is used against abdominal tumour and cancer. It is also useful in inflammatory renal diseases.

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