Acalypha indica L

Common names: Common acalypha; cika mas, cika emas (Malay); kuppaimeni (Tamil); hierbal del cancer (Spanish).

[From Greek, a = without, kalyphos = a cover and from Latin, indica = from India]

Physical description: It is a light green and smelly herb found in shady vacant plots in the tropical regions which grows to a height of 90 cm. lt is slightly hairy and branched, and its odour is adored by cats. The stems are woody at the base. Leaves: simple and alternate.The petiole is 5 cm long.The blade is broadly ovate, 3 cm x 4.5 cm, and dentate. The base of the blade is wedge-shaped, and the apex blunt. The inflorescences are 2.5cm-10cm

Common names: Common acalypha; cika mas, cika emas (Malay); kuppaimeni (Tamil); hierbal del cancer (Spanish).

Cika Flowers

Fig. 192. Acalypha indica L.

Uses: Acalypha indica L. is principally used to relieve the bowels of costiveness and to expel intestinal worms. The fresh or dried entire flowering plant (Acalypha, British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1934) was used in Western medicine to promote expectoration and to induce vomiting, in a way similar to ipecacuanha in the form of a liquid extract (1 in 1, dose 0.3 mL to 2 mL) or a tincture (1 in 8, dose 2 mL to 4 mL). In Malaysia, a decoction of the whole plant is drunk to expel intestinal worms. A decoction of the roots is drunk to treat asthma, pneumonia and rheumatism. In the Philippines, the juice expressed from the plant is used to promote expectoration and to induce vomiting. In Vietnam, the leaves are used to expel intestinal worms and the roots to relieve the bowels of costiveness. Note that the young shoots are often used as vegetables.

Fig. 192. Acalypha indica L.

long spikes, the lower part of which shows rather large and showy, green, conical and lobed bracts, concealing the female flowers. The male flowers consist of 4 sepals and 8 free stamens packed together at the apex of the spikes. The fruits are small 3-lobed capsules hidden in the bracts (Fig. 192).

Pharmaceutical interest: Acalypha indica L. elaborates a cyanogen glycoside: acalyphine, which is responsible for the smell and is possibly involved in some of the properties described above. Extracts of Acalypha indica L. display antimicrobial properties, and petroleum ether and ethanolic extracts of Acalypha indica L. (600mg/Kg) inhibit the implantation in female albino rats (Camabadusuriy et al., 1994; Lamabadusuriya SP et al., 1994, Sellahewa K, 1994). This antifertility property is reversible upon withdrawal of the treatment of the extracts and could be of oestrogen origin (Hiremath SP et al., 1999). Of recent interest is the neutralization potential of Viper russelli russelli (Russell's viper) venom by an ethanol extract of the leaves (Shirwaikar A et al., 2004).

HOHO-

HOHO-

Acalyphine

Acalyphine

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