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N. O. MENISPERMACEÆ

tomentose, then glabrous. Leaves membranous from a straight or cordate, sometimes slightly peltate base, suborbicular, obtuse, acute or retuse; pale beneath; 5 basal nerves (Brandis). Petiole 1-2 in. Inflorescence. Cymes 2-3-chotomous, often many and superposed. Peduncles 1-2 in., axillary. Sepals villous, 6, with three bracts, outer smaller, inner spathulate. Petals 6 cuneate-acute, says Hooker, margins incurved. Male flowers:— 6 stamens; filaments cylindrie, anthers adnate, bursting transversely. Female flowers:— Staminodes 6, clavate, ovaries 3; styles bifid, segments subulate. Drupes red, subglobose, the size of a pea. Endocarp horse-shoe-shaped, dorsally crested and echinate; sides excavated, seed curved. Cotyledons elongate, flat, scarcely broader than the radicle.

Part used:—The root.

Use:—The roots have long been held in great repute among snake-charmers in India as an antidote to the bites of poisonous snakes. Surgeon-Colonel D D. Cunningham has proved that a fluid extract of the roots, when injected into the bitten place, possesses decided remedial power, though it has no general action. It acts by precipitating the poison, and thus rendering it inert when brought into direct relation with it, prior to the absorption of the venom into the system generally.


46. Stephania hernandifolia, Walp. H.F.B.I., I. 103.

Syn.:—Cissempelos hexandra, Roxb, G. hernandifolia, Willd., Clypea hernandifolia, W. and A. Wight Ic. t. 939.

Sans.:—Ambasthâ; pâthâ,

Vern.:— A'knâdi; Nemuka; agnad (B.) Lupukêtiya-wel (Sinhalese).

Habitat:— From Nepal to Chittagong. Singapore, Ceylon, Malaya.

A slender twiner, shoots glabrous. Leaves 2-4 in., round-ovate, acute or obtuse, peltate, cordate or truncate at base, glabrous, glaucous beneath. Petiole 1-2 in., slender, divaricate. Flowers greenish- white, very small, nearly sessile in small umbels