The genus Microstachys is not universally accepted. We are following the treatment in works such as the 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families' and 'Euphorbiaceae of Malesia'[
], which accept the genus as distinct, but some other works, such as the 'African Plants Database'[
], treat this genus as part of the genus Sebastiania, which would make this species Sebastiania chamaelea (L.) Müll.Arg.[
Cnemidostachys chamaelaea (L.) Spreng.
Cnemidostachys linearifolia Miq.
Elachocroton asperococcum F.Muell.
Excoecaria chamelaea (L.) Baill.
Sebastiania chamaelea (L.) Müll.Arg.
Stillingia asperococca (F.Muell.) Baill.
Stillingia chamaelea (L.) Müll.Arg.
Tragia chamaelea L.
Microstachys chamaelea is an erect to sprawling, annual to perennial plant or a many-stemmed shrub with slender stems, growing from a yellowish-brown tap root around 15cm long. It usually grows up to 50cm tall, occasionally to 100cm[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.
Africa - Ghana to Chad and the Central African Republic; subtropical and tropical Asia from India, Sri Lanka and China to Australia and the Solomon Is
Beaches, sandy sites, roadsides and waste places, also on lateritic outcrops, dry dipterocarp forest, grassfields, and open woodland, often gregarious; at elevations up to 300 metres[
]. A weed in Pennisetum and Sorghum cultivations on sandy soils[
Found in the wild on sandy, alluvial and lateritic soils[
The plant is a weed of cultivated crops on sandy soils[
The plant flowers and produces fruit all year round, but especially in the rainy season[
A decoction of the leafy stems is used as a bath to relieve teething pain in babies[
]. In India, such a decoction taken with butter is considered a tonic, and is applied to the head as a treatment for vertigo[
When cooked together with meat and vegetables, whole young plants are used for giving a speedy recovery to women after giving birth[
The plant sap is an astringent tonic that is taken to treat syphilis and diarrhoea[
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