Botanical Name : . Bryophyllum pinnatum
Family : Crussulaceae
Species: K. pinnata
synonyms.: Bryophyllum calycinum, Bryophyllum pinnatum,also known as the Air Plant, Life Plant, Miracle Leaf, Goethe Plant and the Katakataka (Filipino)
Common names : Vernacular names for Kalanchoe pinnata include Cathedral Bells, Air Plant, Life Plant, Miracle Leaf, Goethe Plant and the Katakataka. The first two of these are also commonly names for plants of other species and genera. Also called “Wonder of the World” in the English speaking Caribbean.’Oliwa Ka Kahakai [Hawai’i], Mother Of Thousands, Air Plant [USA], Herbe Mal Tete [Dominica] Never Dead, Parvu, Hoja Del Aire [Bolivia]
Sanskrit Name:: Pashanabheda;
Hindi Name:: Patharchur;
Western Functions: Anti-inflammatory, hemostatic; reduces swelling, promotes healing
Energetic Functions: Clears heat and toxin, clears heat and cools the blood, invigorates blood
Habitat :It is a succulent plant native to Madagascar. It is distinctive for the profusion of miniature plantlets that form on the margins of its leaves, a trait it has in common with the other members of the Bryophyllum section of the Kalanchoe genus.It is a popular houseplant and has become naturalized in temperate regions of Asia, the Pacific and Caribbean.
Distribution and introduction
Kalanchoe pinnata has become naturalized in temperate regions of Asia, Australia, New Zealand, West Indies, Macaronesia, Mascarenes, Galapagos, Melanesia, Polynesia, and Hawaii. In many of these, such as Hawaii, it is regarded as an invasive species. It is also widely distributed in the Philippines and it is known as katakataka or kataka-taka which is also an adjective meaning astonishing or remarkable.
Much of the reason for the widespread naturalization of this plant can be traced to its popularity as a garden plant. The writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – who also was an amateur naturalist of some repute – was “passionately fond” of this plant and liked to give the baby plantlets as gifts to friends who visited his home. He also discussed his air plant at length in an essay titled Geschichte meiner botanischen Studien (“History of my botanical studies”).
Description : The plant is smooth, robust and un branched herb can grow 30-200 cm. tall.
The leaves are fleshy and leathery when older.The younger ones have simple arrangement, egg-shaped with cordate or rounded base while the upper ones is pinnate with -3-5 leaflets that are sized at 5-9(20) am x 2.5 – 5 cm.Its base is wedge shaped while the apex is blunt. The margin is notched with blunt or rounded teeth.
* Digestive: Vomiting blood [China]
* Ears, nose, throat: Tonsillitis, otitis media, opthalmia. Leaf poultice or juice in the ear for earache.[China, Caribbean, Trinidad]
* Infection: Boils and pyodermas, mastitis. [China, Caribbean]
* Musculoskeletal / Trauma: Traumatic injury – fracture. Strains, sprains, bruises, swellings, Mash leaves and apply externally to lesion.[China, Ecuador, Caribbean, Trinidad] Bleeding from wounds [China]
* Parasites: Heated leaves for “tay tay worms”. [Trinidad]
* Psychospiritual: Leaves in bath for “bewitchment”. [Trinidad]
* Reproductive: Leaf poultice for dysmenorrhea. [Caribbean]
* Respiratory: Poulticed for head cold. [Caribbean] Coughing blood [China]
* Urinary: Leaves decocted to clean the bladder. [Trinidad]
* Veterinary: Toxic to cattle
* Other: Topical for headaches. [Caribbean]
Part Used: Whole plant
* Contraindicated in cases of impaired digestive function.
* Topical treatment may produce severe skin blisters
Preparation: Collect all year round. Use fresh and squeeze the juice, or prepare as decoction
Dosage: 30 – 60 gm
Toxicity and traditional medicine:
In common with other Crassulaceae (such as the genera Tylecodon, Cotyledon and Adromischus), Kalanchoe pinnata has been found to contain bufadienolide cardiac glycosides. These can cause cardiac poisoning, particularly in grazing animals.
In traditional medicine, Kalanchoe species have been used to treat ailments such as infections, rheumatism and inflammation. Kalanchoe extracts also have immunosuppressive effects. Kalanchoe pinnata has been recorded in Trinidad and Tobago as being used as a traditional treatment for hypertension and for the treatment of kidney stones in India where is goes by the name of Pather Chat or Paan-futti.
Bufadienolide compounds isolated from Kalanchoe pinnata include bryophillin A which showed strong anti-tumor promoting activity, and bersaldegenin-3-acetate and bryophillin C which were less active. Bryophillin C also showed insecticidal properties
It is madhura, tikta; cures polyuria; allays thirst, alleviates burning sensation and dysuria; sheetala (sheetaveerya); heals urinary calculi.
Part Used: roots
Therapeutic Uses: Leaves: externally applied after toasting in the treatment of bruises, boils and bites of venomous insects; poultice or powder applied to sloughing ulcers.
The roots are bitter, astringent, cooling ,diuretic, laxative, useful in haemorrhoids, renalaand vesical calculi, diabetes and venereal diseases.
Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.