Bhumyamalaki (Phyllanthus niruri - feather foil plant)
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This medicinal plant is known as Bhu Amla in Hindi and Bhumi Amalaki in Sanskrit language. It is a common annual herb found throughout the hotter parts of India, and on the hills up to 3000ft. It tends to grow wildly during the rainy season in fallow land and in shade. It flowers and fruits from April to September. As the name suggests, the plant appears as a miniature Amla tree. It ranges from 4-12 inches high. Leaves subsessile, elliptic, just as Amla leaves, 0.15 to 0.75 inches long. Flowers; axillary, small, yellow, or greenish white, 1-3 male flowers with solitary female flowers. Fruit; globose, smooth like Amla fruit. Seeds; pale brown with 6-7 straight longitudinal ribs.
You can use Bhu Amla (Phyllanthus niruri) in your homes and communities in the following ways:
· Malaria: A decoction of the whole plant can be taken.
· Swelling and Ulcers: Prepare a poultice by powdering the whole plant, then pulverizing with rice water. Apply to affected area.
· Dysentery: An infusion can be prepared from the young shoots of the plant by pouring boiling water on them after they have been dried and cleaned. Leave for 20 minutes. Then filter the liquid and drink.
· Jaundice: Prepare a decoction by boiling the root in a covered vessel. Use 1 cup of root to 4 cups of water and boil till the liquid is reduced to 1 cup. Let it infuse for 20 minutes, then filter and drink. Dosage: one cup to be drunk on an empty stomach, daily for a week. Alternatively take 10 gm. of root, ground in milk, twice a day.
· Stomach upset: Prepare an infusion of the leaves, again by pouring boiling water on dry clean leaves. Leave to infuse, filter and then drink.
· Sores: Wash the plant, grind, and strain the juice through a clean cloth. Use the milky juice as an application on the sore.
· For constipation or use as a diuretic or digestive: Make a decoction of the whole plant, reduce to a quarter. Leaves in powdered form can also be taken in one teaspoon doses. Dosage; one cup of decoction on an empty stomach to be taken daily for a week.
· The leaves can also be used for gonorrhea and other genito-urinary tract problems.
· The latex is beneficial in indolent ulcer when mixed with oil and is also used in opthalmia.
· Popular remedy for fever and excessive menstrual bleeding.
Important Research Findings of this plant: A number of experimental and clinical research findings have revealed the very good effect of this plant on patients suffering from Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C infections. It is equally effective in acute illness and at the carrier stage of infections from these dreaded viruses.