Crested Lepidagathis
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Crested Lepidagathis
ative Photo: Jayesh Patil
Common name: Crested Lepidagathis • Hindi: बुख़ार जडी Bukhar Jadi • Marathi: भूई गेंद Bhui Gend, भू तेरडा Bhu terada • Tamil: Karappanpoondu • Kannada: ಗಂಟುಕಾಳುಗೆಡ್ಡೆ Gantukaalugedde, Surya Kantha • Telugu: Mullabanthi
Botanical name: Lepidagathis cristata    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)

Crested Lepidagathis is a perennial herb, with almost no stem. Branches, 20 cm long, arise out of a globose head on the ground, and spread out. Leaves are stalkless, 3-6 x 0.5-1 cm, linear-lanceshaped, velvet-hairy, pointed at both ends, margin entire to toothed. Flowers are also arise stalkless from this globose head. Flowers are pale pink, 2-lipped. The upper lip is notched, and the lower lip is divided into 3 lobes. It appears in dry places and waste lands.
Medicinal uses: Crested Lepidagathis, called Mullabanthi in Telugu, has been used by the yanadi tribe in Andhra Pradesh as a traditional medicine. It is used in the treatment of fever. It is also used in treating inflammations - aqueous extract of leaves mixed with Ocimum juice and the tuberous flower ash mixed with coconut oil is a concoction, which is applied on parts affected by inflammation. In Chhattisgarh, people use leaf extract for treating malaria. Leaf extract is also used in cleaning the cattle in rainy season. People also use it for relieving skin itch, burns and wounds. Recent research has identified phytoconstituents like alkaloids and glycosides and has provided support to the theraptic effects believed in traditional medicine.

Identification credit: Rahul Prabhu Khanolkar Photographed in Maharashtra.

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