Botanical name: Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides Family: Apiaceae (Carrot family)
Synonyms: Hydrocotyle nitidula, Hydrocotyle splendens, Hydrocotyle tenella
Water Pennywort is a strongly aromatic herb with weak threadlke stems, and round leaves 0.5-2 cm across. The plant produces small creamish flowers. Flower clusters are simple and flat-topped or rounded. There are unnoticeable bracts at the base of each flower and indistinct sepals. Petals greenish white, about 1.2 mm, with yellow glands. Styles are 0.6-1 mm, spreading. The leaves are simple, kidney-shaped to round, with edges scalloped. Leaves are hairless and often have 5-7 shallow lobes around the edge. Fruit broadly spherical, greenish yellow when young, covered with purplish stains when mature; intermediate ribs very prominent. Water Pennywort is found in forests, slopes, wet valleys, grassy places and stream banks in the Himalayas, Western Ghats, other parts of India and S. Asia at altitudes of 600-2500 m.
Medicinal uses: Juice of Water Pennywort is used in the treatment of fevers. A paste made from the plant is applied externally to wounds and boils. A decoction of the plant is used in the treatment of abscesses, boils, bruises, cirrhosis, colds, coughs, hepatitis, hepatoma, influenza, itch, jaundice, sinusitis and sore throat. It is a Chinese herbal drug for hepatoma.
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