Open main menu

Page:Indian Medicinal Plants (Text Part 1).djvu/86

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
6
INDIAN MEDICINAL PLANTS.

Stem usually 6-12 in., sometimes 1-3 ft., succulent, hollow. Radical leaves 1/2 - 1 3/4 in. across, long-stalked, deeply 3-lobed, segments lobed, obtusely toothed, near the top. Stem leaves shortly stalked, 3-parted, segments narrow, lobed and toothed. Flowers 1/4 - 1/3 in. diam., numerous, petals pale-yellow. Sepals reflexed. Receptacle oblong, hairy. Achenes glabrous, in oblong heads, ultimately becoming cylindrical and longer.

Parts used:—The whole plant.

Uses:—It was formerly used in Europe by professional beggars to produce or maintain blisters or open sores intended to excite sympathy. Roxburgh remarks that it has no native name, and that its properties are apparently unknown. It certainly possesses a very powerful principle, and one would expect to find it taking a place in the practice of herbalism. Water distilled from a decoction retains its acrid character, and, if this be allowed to slowly evaporate, it leaves behind a quantity of highly insoluble crystals of a very inflammable character.

The fresh plant is poisonous, and produces violent effect if taken internally. The bruised leaves form an application to raise blisters, and may also be used to keep open sores caused by vesication, or by other means (Murray).


7. Caltha palustris, Linn. h.f.br.i., I. 21.

Vern.:—Mamiri, baringû (Pb.).

Eng.:—The marsh marigold.

Habitat:—Marshes of the Western temperate Himalaya, from Kashmir to Nepal, altitude 8-10,000 feet Simla, common on marshy grounds of Chor.

A glabrous perennial herb. Rootstock thick, creeping. Stems 6-18 in. often tufted, erect, robust. Leaves shining, chiefly radical, 2-5 in. across, long-stalked, orbicular or kidney-shaped, deeply serrate; teeth small, close, regular. Stem-leaves alternate, smaller, the upper sessile, embracing the stem like an involucre. Flowers regular, few, 1-2 in. diam., terminal. Sepals 5-6, petal-like, bright yellow, oval or oblong-obtuse,