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Botanical Name: Hydrophilia spinosa
Synonym: Asteracantha Longifolia.
Parts Used: Root, seeds, dried herb.
Habitat: India, widely distributed in the sub-tropical regions of the world.
commonly known as: Marsh barbel, Bengali: KULEKHARA, shulamardan Hindi: gokula kanta, kantakalia Kannada: kalavankabija, kolavalike, kolavanke Konkani: kalaso Malayalam: culli, voyal-chullai Marathi: kolisa, kolshinda, talimkhana Sanskrit: kokilaksha, shrinkhali Tamil: nirmulli Telugu: kokilaksakamu, niti gobbi
perennial herb, 1-2 m high … erect unbranched stems, hairy near swollen nodes … flowers in 4 pairs at each node … the 3 cm long purple-blue flowers are 2-lipped – the upper lip is 2-lobed and the lower one 3-lobed with lengthwise folds … flowers bloom in opposite pairs.
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The name is derived from the Greek, and refers to the medical doctrine of fluids in the body. It has tapering roots, a number of rootlets, and upright square stems; leaves and branches opposite, nodes swollen near them; the stem and leaves have three- to five-celled stiff hairs. Flowers, four pairs awl-shaped and like leaves in shape. Corolla glabrous on lower lip. Fruit has four to eight flattened brownish seeds, which contain a quantity of strong mucilage. The drug has no special odour or taste.
Constituents: Chiefly mucilage, fixed oil, phytosterol, and a trace of an alkaloidal substance, properties similar to Couchgrass.
Medicinal Action and Uses: Demulcent and a diuretic for catarrh of the urinary organs; the dried herb and root, or rhizome, has long been used in India for dropsy, especially when accompanied by hepatic obstruction. It is a popular aphrodisiac. In Southern India the root is the commercial part, but in Bombay the seeds are mostly used.
Preparation: Decoction, 2 oz. of root to 3 pints of water boiled down to 1 pint. Dose, 1/2 to 2 fluid ounces. Official in India and the Eastern Colonies.
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