Anthemiopsis macrophylla Boj. ex DC.
Verbesina biflora L.
Wedelia biflora (L.) DC.
Wedelia canescens (Gaudich.) Merr.
Wollastonia biflora (L.) DC.
Wollastonia zanzibarensis DC.
Melanthera biflora is a coarse-growing perennial plant with stems that can become woody, at least at the base. The branching stems, which are usually 1 - 3 metres long but can reach 6 metres, can scramble over the ground or grow into other plants for support[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine.
East tropical Africa - Kenya to Mozambique; subtropical and tropical Asia - from India and China to Malaysia, Indonesia; Australia and Pacific Islands
Near seashores in Japan[
]. Along coasts, on edges of mangrove swamps, in thickets and waste places, and on grassy hills and the edges of forest at elevations from sea level to about 450 metres[
Plants can flower and produce fruit all year round[
The leaves are used for wrapping food, imparting a flavour when the food is baked[
]. They are stuffed with grated coconut, rolled and then boiled or steamed[
A tea is made from the leaves and roots[
The plant is used extensively for medicinal purposes in Papua New Guinea where it is employed to treat a wide range of complaints[
The leaves are diuretic and vulnerary[
]. They have various medicinal uses, but are particularly valued for the relief of stomach pains[
]. The juice of fresh leaves, crushed and mixed with lime and seawater, is drunk as a remedy for malaria[
]. An infusion of the leaves is used in the treatment of bad coughs and malaria[
]. An infusion of the stems or leaves is taken to treat stomach aches, dysentery and diarrhoea[
]. Combined with ginger (Zingiber officinale), it is used to treat flatulence[
The juice of fresh leaves is inhaled as a treatment for headaches[
]. The crushed leaves are rubbed on the forehead to relieve headache[
The sap of the leaves is applied topically to treat sores, bleeding cuts, wounds etc[
]. It is used to cleanse and dress ulcers[
The stem is crushed with water and used as a treatment for diarrhoea and sore throats with coughing[
]. It is gently heated on a fire and then chewed to relieve toothache and gum inflammation[
The young stem is made into a poultice to treat abscesses, boils, infected sores etc[
The roots are slightly purgative and stomachic[
]. The fresh roots are chewed to relieve a toothache[
The flowers are a violent purgative[
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