Malva rhombifolia (L.) E.H.L.Krause.
Sida alba Cav. Non L.
Sida compressa Wall.
Sida insularis Hatus.
Common Name: Broom Jute
Broom jute is a perennial plant producing more or less herbaceous, many-branched stems around 1 metre long from a strong, woody rootstock[
]. The stems can be erect or prostrate and are usually more or less woody[
The plant is gathered from the wild as a local source of medicines and fibre. It is one of the best known native remedies in Australia, where it is seen as an excellent treatment for diarrhoea[
Scrub, open slopes and streamsides in southern China[
]. Uncultivated land and open areas in Sal forests at elevations up to 1,500 metres in Nepal[
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Grows wild in a range of soil types, from fertile to degraded condition[
The awned seeds are spread by adhering to clothing and livestock, in mud on vehicles, and as contaminants in hay and seed crops. The plant has become established in habitats through much of the tropics and has been classified as 'Invasive' in many areas[
A tea is made from the leaves[
Leaves - cooked and eaten as a vegetable[
]. The leaves contain around 7.4% protein[
A decoction of the whole plant is used as a treatment for fevers[
]. A paste of the plant is used to treat indigestion[
]. It is also used as a poultice in the treatment of headaches, boils, cramps, rheumatism, toothache, chapped lips and pimples[
The plant is ground and mixed with soft grease and sugar to make a poultice that is applied to soften abscesses and release pus[
The leaves are diuretic[
]. An infusion is used to treat dysentery[
]. The juice of the leaves is mixed with vinegar to make an anti-inflammatory and digestive remedy[
A decoction of the leaves is used to bathe wounds[
]. The leaves are applied to the head as a poultice to remedy headache[
The yellow flowers are eaten with wild ginger in order to ease labour[
The root is scraped into sea water and the mixture drunk as a treatment for diarrhoea, dysentery and abdominal upsets[
A paste of the root is applied to boils[
The plant contains cryptolepine, ephedrine and vasicine[
A good quality fibre obtained from the bark is used for making ropes and twine[
]. Easily extracted, it is a fine, strong, lustrous, white fibre[
]. Experiments made with the fibre show that a cord 12.5 mm in circumference can sustain a weight of 180 kilos[
The stems are gathered in the morning, tied into bundles and then used as brooms[
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