Botanical name: Plectranthus amboinicus (Lour.) Spreng.
PLANT NAME IN DIFFERENT LANGUAGES
Sanskrit: Karpooravalli, Sugandhavalakam
English: Indian borage
Hindi: Pathar choor
Malayalam: Panikkoorkka, Kannikkoorkka, Navara
Plectranthus amboinicus is a large succulent herb, fleshy and highly aromatic, much branched, possessing short soft erect hairs, with distinctive smelling leaves. The stem is fleshy, about 30–90 cm, either with long rigid hairs (hispidly villous) or tomentose (densely covered with soft, short and erect hairs, pubescent). Leaves are undivided (simple), broad, egg/oval-shaped with a tapering tip (ovate) and very thick, they are pubescent (thickly studded with hairs), with the lower surface possessing the most numerous glandular hairs, giving a frosted appearance. The taste of this leaf is pleasantly aromatic with agreeable and refreshing odour. Flowers are on a short stem (shortly pedicelled), pale purplish in dense whorls at distant intervals in a long slender raceme.
The leaves have also had many traditional medicinal uses, especially for the treatment of coughs, sore throats and nasal congestion, but also for a range of other problems such as infections, rheumatism and flatulence. In Indonesia Cuban Oregano is a traditional food used in soup to stimulate lactation for the month or so following childbirth.