Botanical name: Elephantopus scaber Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Scabiosa cochinchinensis, Asterocephalus cochinchinensis
Elephant Foot is a rather coarse, rigid, erect, hairy herb 30 to 60 cm high. Stems forked, and stiff. Leaves are mostly in basal rosette and oblong-ovate to oblong-lancelike, 10-25 cm in length and often very much notched on the margins. Those on the stem few and much smaller. Purple flowers are 8-10 mm long. Each head comprises about 4 flowers. Flowering heads borne in clusters at the end of the branches and usually enclosed by 3 leaf-like bracts which are ovate to oblong-ovate, 1 to 1.5 cm long, and heart-shaped at the base. The flowering heads many-crowded in each cluster. Fruits are achenes, ribbed. Pappus from 4 to 6 mm long with rigid ristles.
Medicinal uses: Roots and leaves are used as emollient for dysuria, diarrhoea, dysentery, swellings and stomach pain. Root is prescribed to prevent vomiting. Powdered with pepper it is applied for tooth-ache. Leaves are used in applications for eczema and ulcers.
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