Botanical name: Helicterus isora Linn / Helicteres isora
PLANT NAME IN DIFFERENT LANGUAGES
Sanskrit: Avartani, Murva, Mrigasringi, Marodhaphali Mriga Shringa
English: East Indian screw tree, Nut-leaved screw tree
Hindi: Marorphali, Maror phali
Malayalam: Idampiri valampiri
The plant occurs often gregariously, throughout India, from Jamuna eastwards to Nepeal, Bihar, Bengal, South wards in centreal, western, southern India and Andaman Islands. In Himachal Pradesh, it grows in Jwar forest, dada Siba, Nalagarh and Tattapani, Paonta, Mubarakpur areas in dry forests, Neri, Sarkaghat, Hamirpur, Kangra and Nahan.
The plant is a sub-deciduous shrub or a small tree with stem 2.5-12.5cm in diameter, reaching a height of 1.5-4.5m. Bark is gray in colour and in young parts is covered by stellate hairs. Leaves are simple, palmately nerved or obliquely cordate with serrated margin, scabrous above and pubescent beneath. Flowers are solitary or in sparse clusters, 2.5-5cm long, with red petals turning pale blue when old. Fruits are about 5 cm long; greenish brown, beaked, cylindrical composed of 5 siorally twisted follicles which on ripening untwine and scatter the small seeds contained in them. Two varieties of the plant are distinguished ie 'tomentosa' and 'glabres-cens'.
The Fruits, Root, Bark of the East Indian screw tree is used colic, diarrhea, wounds, flatulence, haemorrhoids and diabetes.