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ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Rasna • Hindi: Phaar • Kannada: Chithramoolaka • Marathi: रसना Rasna, Rashna • Sanskrit: Elaparni, रसना Rasna, Rasya, Sreyasi, सुगंधा Sugandha, सुरभी Surabhi, surasa, suvaha, युक्ता yukta • Telugu: Rasna
Botanical name: Pluchea lanceolata    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Berthelotia lanceolata

Rasna is an undershrub, growing up to 1.5 m tall, with whitish or greyish branches. Leaves are sessile, 1-7 cm long, 0.3-2 cm wide, oblong-invert-ed-lanceshaped, with a tiny point at the tip, leathery, minutely velvety on both surfaces. Margin is entire or obscurely toothed at the tip. Flower-heads are purplish, ovoid or bell-shaped, 3-5 mm in diameter, arranged in compound corymbs at the end of branches. Phyllaries are 2-3 seriate, outer ones purple tinged at the apex, broadly, obovate, obtuse, entire, pubescent, 2.5-3.5 mm long, silky pubescent, inner linear entire, 4-6 mm long. Florets are pink, outer female florets many, thread-like, disc florets tubular, few, 4-18, bisexual but functionally male. The one-seeded fruit is small, white, linear, hairless. Pappus hairs 20-26, distinctly fused at base. Flowering: March-August.
Medicinal uses: Rasna is a medicinal herb in Ayurveda and Tibetan medicine. The plant is used for the inflammations and bronchitis, psoriasis, cough and piles. It is also used as antipyretic, analgesic, laxative and nervine tonic. The decoction of plant is used to prevent the swellings of joint in arthritis, rheumatism and neurological diseases. The roots are antipyretic, bitter, laxative and thermogenic and are used for allaying the pain caused by the sting of scorpions.

Identification credit: K. Ravikumar Photographed in Hauz Rani City Forest, Delhi.

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