Centipeda minima

Botanical Name : Centipeda minima
Family : Asteraceae/Compositae
Genus : Centipeda Lour.
Species :  Centipeda minima (L.) A.
Kingdom :  Plantae
SubkingdomTracheobionta
Superdivision :  Spermatophyta
Division : Magnoliophyta
Class : Magnoliopsida
Subclass : Asteridae
Order  : Asterales
Synonyms : Artemisia minima – L.,Centipeda minuta – C.B.Clarke.,Centipeda orbicularis – Lour
Common Name : Chikani, Chikika, Kshavaka

Habitat :
E. Asia to Australia. Grows on floodplains and damp areas on most soils.

Description:
Annual herb, ± glabrous to woolly; stems prostrate to ± ascending, 10–20 cm high, much-branched.

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Leaves narrow-ovate or elliptic to cuneate or spathulate, c. 10 mm long, 1–4 mm wide; apex acute to obtuse, base narrowed, margins entire or toothed, often coarsely so near apex; glabrous to woolly; petiole usually indistinct.

Heads ± sessile, usually solitary, hemispherical, 2–4 mm diam.; involucral bracts c. 1 mm long, obtuse. Female florets 3–5-seriate. Bisexual florets c. 10.

Achenes obconic, 1.5–2 mm long, ribs extending ± to apex (mostly NT, CT, ST, NWS, SWS) or achenes c. 1 mm long and similar to C. cunninghamii.

It is hardy to zone 0. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

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Cultivation:
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Propagation

Seed – sow in a seed tray in mid spring, planting out after the last expected frosts. If you have sufficient seed, the it can be sown in situ outdoors in late spring.

Medicinal Uses:

Anodyne; Antitussive; Depurative; Diuretic; Skin; Sternutatory.

Anodyne, antitussive, depurative, diuretic, stimulates blood circulation. When the aroma of the squeezed flower heads is inhaled it induces sneezing and so is used to relieve nasal conjestion, especially during coughs and colds. A paste made from the flower heads is applied externally in the treatment of swellings and skin inflammations.

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.

Resources:
http://server9.web-mania.com/users/pfafardea/database/plants.php?Centipeda+minima
http://vaniindia.org.whbus12.onlyfordemo.com/herbal/plantdir.asp
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CEMI5
http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Centipeda~minima

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