Botanical name: Leea asiatica Family: Vitaceae (Grape family)
Synonyms: Leea aspera, Leea crispa, Phytolacca asiatica
Banchalita is an erect gergarious shrub with angular stem swollen above the nodes and internodes. Petioles and peduncles usually have narrow crisped wings. Leaves are pinnately compound - not double-pinnate like Bandicoot Berry. Leaflets are 3-5, laterals opposite, ovate or ovate-oblong, serrate, tip sharp, base rounded or heart-shaped. Flowers, 5-6 mm across, greenish white, are borne in short, cymes at the end of branches. Calyx united, cup-like, teeth 5, obscure, often glandular-tipped. Petals 5, connate, 2-3 mm long, ovate, acute. Stamens 5, united; staminal tube 5-lobes, 2-celled. Ovary inserted on the disc; style short; stigma 2-lobed. Leaf extract is mixed with water and used for washing hair by Chiru tribe in NE India. Flowering: September.
Medicinal uses: Root tuber is used against guineaworms. The root with bark of Boswellia serrata is made into paste which is prescribed in case of snake-bite by the tribes of Hazaribag district of Bihar.
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