Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sri Lanka Herbs: Anoda or Abutilon Indicum

A large number of plants of medicinal value are common weeds; some agricultural and horticultural crops commonly cultivated also have medicinal properties. Many of our herbal plants have eco­nomic use as well and therefore they can be described as useful plants too. These plants are used in making perfumery extracts and even cosmetics.

The Anoda or Abutilon Indicum grows mostly on waste lands. It is better known as bethanoda, a shrubby plant. The leaves are smashed and boiled with rice flour for use as a poultice for sores. The flowers and leaves are used as a local application for boils and ulcers. A decoction of the leaves is used as a mouth-wash for tooth ache and tender gums. A decoction of the leaves gives a soothing effect to the inflammation of the bladder and urethra. The roots are diuretic and their infusion makes a cooling drink in case of fevers.

The seeds are used in a decoction for hemorrhoids. These seeds are poisonous when taken in large quantities, but in old books it is said that women ate the seeds as a contraceptive.