Botanical name: Hygrophila auriculata Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Hygrophila schulli, Hygrophila spinosa, Barleria hexacantha
Marsh Barbel is a stout aquatic perennial herb, 1-2 m high. Erect unbranched stems are hairy near swollen nodes. Densely hairy, lance-like, stalkless leaves, 10-15 cm long, occur in whorls of 6 at each node on the stem. Straight, yellow, 4 cm long spines are present in the axil of each leaf. Flowers occur in 4 pairs at each node. The 3 cm long purple-blue flowers are 2-lipped - the upper lip is 2-lobed and the lower one 3-lobed with lengthwise folds. Flowers open in opposite pairs. Flowering: October-April.
Medicinal uses: Kokilaksha, as it is known in sanskrit, was extensively used in Ayurvedic system of medicine for various ailments like rheumatism, inflammation, jaundice, hepatic obstruction, pain, etc.
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The flower labeled Marsh Barbel is ...