B. rubra L.

Bengali/vernacular name: Poi, Puishak, Rakto Pui.
Tribal name: Jhum Poi Shak (Tanchangya).
English name: Indian Spinach, Malabar nightshade.

Description of the plant:
BASELLA ALBA L. is a glabrous, much branched, succulent climber. Leaves large, thick, broadly ovate, cordate or orbicular, 5-17.75 cm diam. Spikes 2.5-15 cm, axillary, peduncled, simple or branched; flowers white or red, sessile. Fruit, the size of a pea, black.

Using information:
The leaves are demulcent, diuretic and laxative; used in gonorrhoea and balanitis. It is also used in urticaria, catarrhal affactions, as a poultice for sores and to hasten suppuration. The juice of the leaves is used in constipation, particularly in children and pregnant women. Root chewed for toothache.

Basella Alba HH

Chemical constituents:
Various parts of the plant contain mucilage (a water soluble polysaccharide), vitamins A and B, ascorbic acid, protein, fats, sterols and minerals. The ß-cyanins, gomphrenins I and II, isogomphrenins I and II, gomphrenin III and their derivatives are present in the juice of the plant. Spinacosides C and D have been isolated from the aerial parts (Ghani, 2003).

Cultivated throughout the country