Family: Verbenaceae
Genus: Clerodendrum
Botanical name: Clerodendrum viscosum Vent / Clerodendrum infortunatum
English: Hill glory bower , Clerodendrum
Sanskrit: Bhandira Sthauneya.
Hindi: Bhates, Titabhamt
Malayalam: Periyalam, Peruku, perigalam
Periyalam is a flowering shrub or small tree, and is so named because of its rather ugly leaf. The stem is eresct, 0.5–4 m high, with no branches and produce circular leaves with 6 inch diameter. Leaves are simple, opposite; both surfaces sparsely villous-pubes-cent, elliptic, broadly elliptic, ovate or elongate ovate, 3.5–20 cm wide, 6–25 cm long, dentate, inflorescence in terminal, peduncled, few-flow¬ered cyme; flowers white with purplish pink or dull-purple throat, pubescent. Fruit berry, globose, turned bluish-black or black when ripe, enclosed in the red accrescent fruiting-calyx. The stem is hollow and the leaves are 6-8 inch (15–20 cm) long, borne in whorls of four on very short petioles. The inflorescence is huge, consisting of many tubular snow white flowers in a terminal cluster up to 2 ft (0.6 m) long. The tubes of the flowers are about 4 inch (10 cm) long and droop downward, and the expanded corollas are about 2 inch (5 cm) across. The fruits are attractive dark metallic blue drupes, about a half inch in diameter. Fruit usually with 4 dry nutlets and the seeds may be with or without endosperm. It flowers from April to August
In Ayurvedic and Siddha traditional medicines, the leaves and roots of C. infortunatum are used as herbal remedy for alopecia, asthma, cough, diarrhoea, rheumatism, fever and skin diseases. It is also known to have hepato-protective and antimicrobial activities. The roots and bark of stem of this plant prepared as decoction and given in the dose of 60-80 ml twice daily for respiratory diseases, fever, periodic fever, cough, bronchial asthma, etc. The leaves are ground well and applied externally to induce ripenning of ulcers and swellings. A paste of leaves and roots are applied externally over skin diseases especially fungal infections and alopecia. Fresh leaves are given for diarrhoea, liver disorders and headache.
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