Dayak Onion
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Dayak Onion
P Introduced Photo: Amber Srivastava
Common name: Dayak Onion, Tears of the Virgin
Botanical name: Eleutherine bulbosa    Family: Iridaceae (Iris family)
Synonyms: Galatea bulbosa, Eleutherine americana, Bermudiana bulbosa

Dayak Onion is a herbaceous plant which can reach up to 40 cm high. The stem (bulb) is erect or drooping; subterranean, elongated ovoid and red in colour. The leaves are radial, lanceshaped and hairless measure 25-60 cm x 1-2.5 cm. The flowers are white or yellow in colour and open in the evening for 2 hours. The flowers are borne in long erect stems and each flower is about 3 cm across. Dayak Onion is native to Caribbean to South Tropical America, widely cultivated in SE Asia.
Medicinal uses: The red bulb is crushed and mixed with water then drunk to kill intestinal parasites and worms. The sap of the bulb is mixed with salt and used as a remedy for epileptic fits. It is also sometimes mixed with rum and rubbed on the body for that same purpose. The bulb is used in the form of a plaster to treat sprains, to encourage cicatrization of wounds. The root is used in the treatment of female infertility and haemorrhages.

Identification credit: Amber Srivastava Photographed in Dehradun.

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