ACALYPHA INDICA L.

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Bengali/vernacular name: Muktajhuri, Swetbasanta, Biralhatchi.
English name: Indian Acalypha.

Description of the plant:
ACALYPHA INDICA L. is an annual, erect herb, up to 1 m high. Leaves 2.5-7.5 cm long, ovate or rhomboid-ovate, crenate-serrate. Flowers in numerous lax, erect, elongated axillary spikes, the male minute, clustered near the summit of the spike, the females scattered, surrounded by a large, dentate, cuneiform bracts. Capsules small, hispid.

Using information:
Plants are emetic, expectorant, laxative and diuretic; useful in bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma and pulmonary tuberculosis. Leaves are laxative and antiparasiticide; ground with common salt or quicklime or lime juice applied externally in scabies. Leaf paste with lime juice prescribed for ringworm. Leaf juice is emetic for children.

A decoction of the leaves is given in earache. Powder of the dry leaves is given to children to expell worms; also given in the form of decoction with little garlic. In homoepathy, the plant is used in severe cough associated with bleeding from lungs, haemoptysis and incipient phthisis.

Leaf extract possesses antifungal activities (Asolkar, et al., 1992).


Acalypha Indica
ACALYPHA INDICA L.


Chemical constituents:
The plant contains kaempferol, a cyanogenetic glucoside, a base, triacetonamine and an alkaloid, acalyphine. It also contains the amide, acalyphamide and some other amides, 2-methylanthraquinone, tri-O-methyl ellagic acid and γ-sitosterol, ß-sitosterol, ß-sitosterol glucoside, stigmasterol, n-octacosanol, quinine, tannin, resin and essential oil (Ghani, 2003).

Distribution:
In fallow lands throughout the country.