Dracontium spinosum L.
Lasia aculeata Lour.
Lasia spinosa is an evergreen, herbaceous perennial plant growing 1 - 2 metres tall, spreading by means of a long, creeping, stoloniferous stem[
The plant is harvested from the wild for its edible leaves and various medicinal uses. It is also sometimes cultivated as a vegetable crop along the margins of ponds[
Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a family where most of the members contain calcium oxalate crystals. This substance is toxic fresh and, if eaten, makes the mouth, tongue and throat feel as if hundreds of small needles are digging in to them. However, calcium oxalate is easily broken down either by thoroughly cooking the plant or by fully drying it and, in either of these states, it is safe to eat the plant.
People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones and hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet[
E. Asia - China, Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Thailand, Indo-China, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea.
Swamps, riverbanks, ditches, moist places in tropical and subtropical forests at elevations below 1,500 metres in China[
Found in the wild at low to moderate elevations in tropical and subtropical areas.
Grows in shallow water and swampy soils[
Young leaves and petioles - cooked and used as a vegetable[
]. The peeled leaf stalks and young leaves are used as a pot herb[
]. They are used in curries and also added to rice[
The rhizomes are used medicinally for treating lymphotuberculosis, lymphonoditis, stomach aches, snake and insect bites, injuries, and rheumatism[
The roots are used in the treatment of throat ailments[
The leaves and roots are used as a remedy for piles[
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