Indian Abutilon / Indian Mallow is an erect velvety-pubescent shrub with circular-ovate or heart-shaped leaves with coarsely crenate-serrate margins. The plant can reach up to 1-2 m. The leaves are alternately arranged, and have long stalks and have velvety, soft, pale hairs on them. Orange-yellow flowers, 2-3 cm across, occur solitary in axils, on long stalks, 4-7 cm. Orange-yellow petals are triangular-obovate, 1 cm long or slightly more, staminal-tube hairy with stellate hairs. Fruit is quite interesting - it is circular in shape, consisting of 11-20 radiating hairy carpels, brown when dry; each carpel flattened, somewhat boatshaped. Seeds are kidney-shaped. The plant is a weed commonly found on disturbed land. Flowering: September-April.
Medicinal Uses In traditional medicine, A. indicum is used as a demulcent, aphrodisiac, laxative, diuretic, pulmonary and sedative (leaves). The bark is astringent and diuretic; laxative, expectorant and demulcent (seeds); laxative and tonic, anti-inflammatory and anthelmintic (plant); analgesic (fixed oil); diuretic and for leprosy (roots). The whole plant is uprooted, dried and is powdered. In ancient days, maidens were made to consume a spoonful of this powder with a spoonful of honey, once in a day, for 6 months until the day of marriage, for safe and quick pregnancy. The leaves can also be used to treat ulcers, headaches, gonorrhea & bladder infection. The plant is very much used in Siddha medicines. In fact, the root, bark, flowers, leaves and seeds are all used for medicinal purposes by Tamils. The leaves are used as adjunct to medicines used for pile complaints. The flowers are used to increase semen in men. A methanol extract of A. indicum had some antimicrobial properties. A chemical compound, β-sitosterol, which has been identified as the active ingredient in many medicinal plants, is present in A. indicum and a petroleum ether extract provided larvicidal properties against the mosquito larvae Culex quinquefasciatus.
Lat: 22.95, Long: 72.61
Spotted on Jun 16, 2012
Submitted on Jun 18, 2012