Indian mallow is an erect, woody plant with velvety, shrubby and grayish green in color. It has solitary yellow flowers which bloom in the evening. The fruits are flat-topped, with radiating points and grey, kidney shaped seeds.
The plant grows up to one and half meter in length and is covered with an aromatic oily substance. This oil coating is less pronounced in young plants than in well grown plants. The herb is laxative and tonic. Its bark, root, leaves and seeds are all used in medicine. The plant contains an alkaloid asparagin.
Botanical Name: Abutilan indicum
Indian Name: Kanghi
Below are some of the medicinal properties of Indian mallow:
- The roots and the mucilaginous bark of Indian mallow increase the secretion and discharge of urine.
- Indian mallow is effective remedy in treating fevers. Its infusion is used for this purpose.
- It has a soothing effect on the skin and mucous membranes. Its paste can be applied either by itself or mixed with coconut milk on the affected parts in case of abscess, carbuncle, scabies and itches. A poultice of the leaves can also be applied on boils and ulcers.
Indian mallow is effective in allaying irritation of the skin and alleviating swelling and pain. Its decoction can be used effectively as fomentation on painful parts of the body. It can also be used as a mouthwash for toothache and tender gums.
- The seeds of Indian mallow are useful in killing threadworms, if the rectum of the affected child be exposed to the smoke of the powdered seeds.
- A decoction of Indian mallow can be given in bronchitis, catarrh and biliousness.
- Its seeds are laxative and very effective in curing piles, if administered in doses of 4 to 8 grams.
The leaves should be dried in the shade and powdered for use when required. A decoction can also be extracted from the herb.