Indian Fumitory   
Foto info
Indian Fumitory
ative Photo: T.A. Kain
Common name: Indian Fumitory • Garo: Pid-papra, शहतरा Shahtra • Hindi: पापड़ा Papara, पित्तपापड़ा Pit papra • Malayalam: Parpatakam • Nepali: धुकुरे Dhukure • Sanskrit: पर्पट Parpata, पर्पटकः Parpatakah • Telugu: Chatarashi • Nepali: धुकुरे Dhukure, कोइरे कुरो Koire Kuro, शम्पु फूल Shampu Phool
Botanical name: Fumaria indica    Family: Fumariaceae (Fumitory family)
Synonyms: Fumaria parviflora var. indica, Fumaria vaillantii var. indica

Indian Fumitory is a delicate much-branched annual herb with clusters of tiny pale-pinkish to whitish flowers, each 5-6 mm long. Sepals are minute. Upper petal has short, somewhat down-curved sac-like spur. Flower-stalks are erect, as long or slightly shorter than the laceshaped bracts. Leaves are 2-3 times cut into narrow pointed segments, about 1 mm broad. Stems are glaucous, leafy, 5-30 cm long. Fruit is round, about 2 mm. Indian Fumitory is found throughout the Himalayas, up to altitudes of 2400 m. Flowering: April-May.
Medicinal uses: The plant is sold under the name pitpapra in Ayurvedic bazaars. It is also used in the Unani system of medicine and incorporated into trifala shahtara. Indian Fumitory is used in aches and pains, diarrhoea, fever, influenza and liver complaints. The herb mixed with honey mar be taken internally to prevent vomiting. A cold infusion of the plant is used to treat wasting diseases of children and to help cooling during fever and in the treatment of constipation and dyspepsia. It is used as a blood purifier for skin diseases and applied externally in leucoderma and as a fomentation for swollen joints. The dried plant is also used as an anthelmintic, diuretic and diaphoretic and, in combination with black pepper, for jaundice.

Identification credit: T.A. Kain
Photographed in Bhood Baral, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh.
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