Herbs & Plants

Emilia sonchifolia

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Botanical Name : Emilia sonchifolia
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Emilia
Species: E. sonchifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Cacalia sonchifolia.
Sanskrit Synonyms: Sasasruti, Akhukarni, Dravanti, Sambari

Common Names: lilac tasselflower,Cupid’s Shaving Brush
Hindi; Kirankari, Hirankhuri
Malayalam; mMuyalchevi

Habitats: Native to Tropical Asia.   Waste ground in C. and S. Japan. Moist areas and uncultivated ground at elevations up to 1700 metres in Nepal.

Emilia sonchifolia is a soft  annual  growing to 0.6 m (2ft).  Leaves simple, lyrate –pinnate with large terminal lobe; flowers purplish in corymbose heads, fruits oblong containing many seeds; seeds long, compressed, having terminal tuft of soft hairs for wind dispersal.

It is hardy to zone 9 and is frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to October, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It cannot grow in the shade.It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :
An easily grown plant, succeeding in most well-drained soils in a sunny position. Plants flower better when growing on nutritionally poor soils, producing much lusher growth on rich soils. Plants are drought tolerant once established. Plants are not frost hardy, but they succeed outdoors in Britain as a spring-sown annual. Slugs can be a problem with this plant in a wet spring. The leaves are frequently sold in local markets in Java.

Propagation :
Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out after the last expected frosts. The seed can also be sown outdoors in situ in the middle of spring

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves.

Leaves and young shoots – raw or cooked. Used as a vegetable. The whole plant, including the flowers, can be eaten raw or cooked. The leaves are usually harvested and used before the plant flowers. A nutritional analysis of the leaves is available. The powdered plant is used to prepare a cake fermented with yeast (called marcha in Nepal) from which liquor is distilled.

Constituents :
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Dry weight)
•308 Calories per 100g
•Water : 0%
•Protein: 22g; Fat: 3.3g; Carbohydrate: 64.3g; Fibre: 11g; Ash: 10.4g;
•Minerals – Calcium: 2187mg; Phosphorus: 648mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
•Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Medicinal Uses :
Astringent;  Depurative;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  ExpectorantFebrifuge;  Odontalgic;  Ophthalmic.

A tea made from the leaves is used in the treatment of dysentery. The juice of the leaves is used in treating eye inflammations, night blindness, cuts and wounds and sore ears. The plant is astringent, depurative, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge and sudorific. It is used in the treatment of infantile tympanites and bowel complaints. The juice of the root is used in the treatment of diarrhoea. The flower heads are chewed and kept in the mouth for about 10 minutes to protect teeth from decay.

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.


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