Common name: Indian Whitehead • Hindi: छोटा चिरायत Chota chirayata, katvinayi, नामे Naame, Nahli, Nawari • Kannada: ಚಿಕ್ಕಾ ಚಿರಾಯತ Chikka chiraayuta • Malayalam: വല്ലാരി Vallari, Vellaruku • Sanskrit: Mamajjakah, नागजिह्वा Nagajihva, Nahi • Tamil: Vallari, Vellarugu, Arukumuli, Chakkiraviraiyanantan • Telugu: Nelagolimidi, Nelagurugudu
Botanical name: Enicostema axillare Family: Gentianaceae (Gentian family)
Identification credit: Shrikant Ingalhalikar
Indian Whitehead is a perennial herb growing up to 40 cm tall, with
4-angled stems. Leaves are narrow-oblong, lanceshaped. STalkless white
flowers are borne in dense clusters in leaf axils. This species is
globally distributed in West Indies, tropical Africa, India and Sri Lanka.
It is found almost throughout India upto an altitude of about 450 m., from
Punjab and the Gangetic plains southwards, most commonly in coastal areas.
costal areas. Flowering: June-January.
The plant is used in folk medicine to treat
diabetes mellitus, rheumatisum, abdominal ulcers, hernia, swelling,
itching and insect poisoning.