Arogya Pacha
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Arogya Pacha
P Native Photo: Preetha P.S.
Common name: Arogya Pacha • Malayalam: അരൊഗ്യ പാചാ Arogya pacha, Saasthankizhangu • Tamil: Sattithanpatchilai
Botanical name: Trichopus zeylanicus    Family: Dioscoreaceae (Yam family)
Synonyms: Trichopodium zeylanicum, Trichopodium travancoricum, Trichopus malayanus

Arogya Pacha is a perennial herb, with slender rhizome. Leaves are ovate-lanceshaped, pointed or blunt, apiculate, base deeply heart-shaped, up to 12 x 7 cm; 5-7 ribbed, leaf-stalk up to 5 cm. However, leaves can be quite variable in shape. Flowers are fascicled at the base of the leaf-stalk. Flowers are dark brown, bell-shaped, tepals lanceshaped. Stamens are 6, anthers apiculate. Fruit is three-sided, purple-brown; seeds dorsally grooved. Arogya Pacha is found in Southern Western Ghats, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Flowering: March-October.
Medicinal uses: Arogya Pacha has been in use for centuries by the Kaani tribal community of the Agastya Koodam ranges in Kerala, for its medicinal properties. It was an accidental discovery made a team lead by Scientists of TBGRI during the Ethnomedico-Botanical exploration to the Agastyar valley areas of Thiruvananthapuram District, Kerala, India, which is located in the southern most part of the Western Ghats that this plant has restorative and anti-fatigue properties. The discovery of the unique property of the plant was based on the leads obtained from disclosures by the Kani tribe people who accompanied the group as Porters and Guides.

Identification credit: Preetha P.S. Photographed in Kollam distt., Kerala.

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