Herbs & Plants

Indian Acalypha

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Botanical Name: Acalypha Indica

Indian Name: Khokali

Chamorro: hierba del cancer

English: copperleaf, Indian acalypha, Indian-nettle

Niuean: hongohongo, ogoogo, ongoongo

Spanish: hierba de cancer, ricinela


Habitat/ecology: “Occasional in disturbed and cultivated places” (Whistler, 1988; p. 17). In Guam, “abundant in waste ground and in towns” (Stone, 1970; p. 367).

Propagation: Seed

Native range: Africa, southern Asia to the Philippines; Taiwan (GRIN).


Description: “A small erect annual herb up to 60 cm tall or a little more, with a few ascending branches, these angled and pubescent; leaves broadly ovate, subdeltoid, rather coarsely toothed, on petioles as long as or longer than the 3-5 cm long blades; nerves 3-5 from base, thereafter pinnately arranged; stipules minute; flowers sessile on erect axillary spikes longer than the leaf; male flowers minute, crowded distally; stamens 8, female flowers scattered along the inflorescence axis, each subtended by a conspicuous semicupular foliaceous toothed green bract nearly 7 mm long; capsule hispid, 1 mm broad, 3-locular”. It has numerous long ,angular branches covered with soft hair. Its thin egg-shaped leaves have smooth surfaces.The plant contains the alkaloid acalyphine which is an active principl.

Uses: The root,leaves and young shoots of the plant have several medicinal value.The drug made from it increases the secretion and discharge of urine.It is a very good laxative.The juice of the leaves is an efficient emetic for inducing vomiting.The root in small dose s is expectorant and nauseant. It helps remove catarrhal matter and phelgm from the broncal tubes.The drug is useful as an external application of skin diseases. A paste of its fresh leaves is applied to the affected parts. The juice of the fresh leaves can be applied for scabies and other skin diseases, such as syphilitic ulcers,bedsores,maggot-infested sores and wounds. Indian acalypha is a popular remedy for rheumatism. The juice of the fresh leaves mixed with lime and onion and a mixture of fresh juice and oil can also be applied in rheumatic arthritis.

The herb is of special value in treating croup, a disease mostly occuring in chieldren. It is characterized by caugh and difficulty in breathing and is caused by an obstruction in the larynx. Ther herb is safe to use in this condition and also act fast. The juice can be used beneficially in dose of one tsp. The herb is useful in killing intestinal worms.The juice of the leaves or its decoction , mixed with a little garlic can be given for such symptoms.A decoction of the leaves is very effective laxative and can be used in constipation. A suppository of the fresh leaves , introduced in the rectum of small chieldren suffering from constipation, induces free motions.

The following are the strongest indications of Acalypha Indica for its use in homeopathy. Entries on a white backgorund are from Boericke’s Materia Medica, other entries are from a reversed Kent’s repertory.

A drug having a marked action on the alimentary canal and respiratory organs. It is indicated in incipient phthisis, with hard, racking cough, bloody expectoration, arterial hemorrhage, but no febrile disturbance. Very weak in the morning, gains strength during day. Progressive emaciation. All pathological hemorrhages having notably a MORNING worse.
WORSE in morning.

Burning in intestines
Spluttering diarrhea with forcible expulsion of noisy flatus, bearing down pains and tenesmus
Rumbling distention, and griping pain in abdomen
Rectal hemorrhage; worse in morning.
Burning in pharynx, oesophagus, and Stomach.
Pulse soft and compressible
Blood bright red and not profuse in morning; dark and clotted in afternoon
Constant and severe pain in chest
Cough dry, hard, followed by hemoptysis; worse in morning and at night
Itching and circumscribed furuncle-like swellings.
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Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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