Asteracantha lindaviana De Wild. & T.Durand
Asteracantha longifolia (L.) Nees
Barleria auriculata Schumach.
Barleria longifolia L.
Hygrophila lindaviana (De Wild. & T.Durand) Burkill
Hygrophila longifolia (L.) Kurz
Hygrophila schulli (Buch.-Ham.) M.R.Almeida & S.M.Almeida
Hygrophila spinosa T.Anderson
Asteracantha macracantha Hochst. ex A.Rich.
Bahel schulli Ham.
Barleria cornigera Very ex Nees
Barleria glabrata Very ex Nees
Barleria hexacantha Bertol.
Barleria hexacantha Moris
Barleria macracantha R.Br.
Barleria spinosa Hook. ex Nees
Ruellia longifolia (L.) Roxb.
Hygrophila auriculata is an erect, stout, branched or unbranched, annual herb growing 150cm or more tall[
]. Occasionally the basal part of the stem is creeping and rooting[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and a medicine. It is cultivated in water beds in west Africa both as a vegetable and for the vegetable salt it can yield[
], and is sold as a vegetable in the local markets of Sri Lanka[
Widespread through tropical Africa; through Asia to Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Malaysia.
Wet places, often brackish, littoral, estuarine[
]. Does well at the edges of seasonal pools or other stagnant water bodies, at elevations from 900 - 2,100 metres in Tanzania[
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
In Tanzania it grows in areas where the mean annual rainfall is in the range 700 - 1,600mm[
Thrives in yellowish sediments and black-cotton soil[
The plant has pungent spines and is considered to be a serious weed of pastures in some areas[
The plant is used as a vegetable[
]. The young leaves are chopped and cooked alone, or are combined with other vegetables such as peas or amaranth. Coconut milk or groundnut paste is then added and the dish is served with a staple such as rice[
A vegetable salt is commonly prepared from the ashes of the plant[
The plant is often used in traditional medicine, being valued especially as a diuretic. Modern research has confirmed the presence of various medically active compounds.
A number of alkaloids have been recorded as present in plant material obtained from India, as well as mineral salts, fixed oil and mucilage[
The seeds contain a semi-drying oil, sugars and enzymes[
The essential oil from the roots has been found to possess bacteriostatic action against both gram positive and gram negative organisms[
The whole plant, but particularly the roots, is said to have diuretic properties. It is used especially in the treatment of blennorrhoea, hydropsy and anuria, as well as catarrh, stomach ache, craw-craw etc[
]. The whole plant, or its ashes, and the roots are used as a cooling medicine and diuretic in cases of hepatic obstruction, dropsy, rheumatism, etc[
It is combined with another plant, identified only as kisâdor, to induce menstruation, particularly in young mothers on weaning a baby[
People with fever are bathed in water in which leaves have been boiled[
]. A remarkable treatment with good result of a sting-ray’s sting on the sole of the foot by a decoction of the plant by alternation of bathing and steam fumigation is recorded[
The leaves and stems are burnt and the smoke used to fumigate the eyes in order to treat corneal ulcers[
The seeds are demulcent and diuretic[
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