Cork Swallow-Wort
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Cork Swallow-Wort
ative Photo: S. Kasim
Common name: Cork Swallow-Wort • Hindi: dori, jhumka, jumka, meethi dodi • Kannada: bugudi hoovina gedde • Malayalam: atakodiyan, atapatiyan, curinil • Marathi: bhuidodi, dodi, khaandodkee • Sanskrit: arkapushpi, caksusya, jivaniya, जीवन्ती jivanti • Tamil: paalai keerai • Telugu: guttipaala, kalasa, mukku thummudu
Botanical name: Leptadenia reticulata    Family: Apocynaceae (Oleander family)
Synonyms: Cynanchum reticulatum

Cork Swallow-Wort is a twining shrub, with numerous branches. The stems have a cork-like, deeply cracked bark, hairless when young. Leaves are leathery, ovate, pointed, hairless above, finely velvety below. Flowers are greenish-yellow, in lateral or subaxillary cymes, often with small hairs. Seed-pods may be woody. The external surface of the root is rough, white or buff coloured with longitudinal ridges and furrows, and in transverse section, the wide cork, lignified stone cell layers and medullary rays can be seen. Cork Swallow-Wort is found in the sub-Himalayan tracts of Punjab and Uttarakhand and throughout the Deccan peninsula up to an altitude of 900 m and found particularly in hedges. It is also distributed throughout Mauritius, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, the Himalayas and Burma.
Medicinal uses: The plant is galactogogue, cooling, nutritive, aphrodisiac, stimulant, diuretic, and eyetonic. Useful to cure eye-diseases, seminal debility, general weakness, cough, dyspnoea, fever, asthma, constipation, sore throat, and gonorrhea. Extracts of roots and leaves of the plant act as antibacterial and anti-fungal agent. It promotes health and vigour, improves voice, alleviates the three dosas vata, pitta and kapha. It also cures eye diseases, hematemesis, emaciation, cough, dyspnoea, fever and burning sensation.

Identification credit: S. Kasim Photographed in Tamil Nadu.

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