Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Abutilon
Botanical name: Abutilon indicum
Sanskrit: Dhamargava, Svadukoshataki
English: Country mallow, Indian Mallow, Abutilon, Indian abutilon
Hindi: Kabi, Kakahi, Chambi
Malayalam: Oorakam, Velluram
Country mallow is an erect velvety-pubescent shrub with circular-ovate or heart-shaped leaves with coarsely crenate-serrate margins. The plant can reach up to 1-2 m. The leaves are alternately arranged, and have long stalks and have velvety, soft, pale hairs on them. Orange-yellow flowers, 2-3 cm across, occur solitary in axils, on long stalks, 4-7 cm. Orange-yellow petals are triangular-obovate, 1 cm long or slightly more, staminal-tube hairy with stellate hairs. Fruit is quite interesting - it is circular in shape, consisting of 11-20 radiating hairy carpels, brown when dry; each carpel flattened, somewhat boatshaped. Seeds are kidney-shaped. The plant is a weed commonly found on disturbed land.
In traditional medicine, Country mallow various parts of the plant are used as a demulcent, aphrodisiac, laxative, diuretic, sedative, astringent, expectorant, tonic, anti-inflammatory, anthelmintic, and analgesic and to treat leprosy, ulcers, headaches, gonorrhea, and bladder infection. The whole plant is uprooted, dried and is powdered. In ancient days, maidens were made to consume a spoonful of this powder with a spoonful of honey, once in a day, for 6 months until the day of marriage, for safe and quick pregnancy.
The plant is very much used in Siddha medicines. The root, bark, flowers, leaves and seeds are all used for medicinal purposes by Tamils. The leaves are used as adjunct to medicines used for pile complaints. The flowers are used to increase semen in men.
Abutilon indicum
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