Elephant Foot
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Elephant Foot
ative Photo: Mayura Asra
Common name: Elephant Foot, Prickly-leaved elephant's foot, Bull's Tongue, Ironweed • Hindi: Samdudri, बन तम्बाखू Ban-tambakhu • Marathi: हस्तीपात Hastipata • Tamil: Anashovadi • Malayalam: Anayatiyan • Telugu: Enugabira • Kannada: ಹಕ್ಕರಿಕೆ Hakkarike, ನೆಲಮುಚ್ಚಿಲು Nela mucchilu, ನೆಲಮುಚ್ಚಳಿಕೆ Nela mucchalike, ಹಸ್ತಿಪಾದ Hastipaada, ಆನೆಕಾಲುಗಿಡ Aane kaalu gida, ನಾಯಿನಾಲಿಗೆಗಿಡ Naayi naalige gida • Bengali: হস্ী পদ Hasti pod • Sanskrit: गोजिह्वा Gojivha • Nepali: सहस्र बुटी Sahastra Buti, छत्रे Chhatre, मुला पाते Mula Pate, गोमुखी Gomukhi, हलहले Halahale • Santali: ᱢᱮᱡᱽᱨᱩᱡᱷᱩᱴᱤ Mejurjhuti
Botanical name: Elephantopus scaber    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Scabiosa cochinchinensis, Asterocephalus cochinchinensis

Elephant Foot is a rather coarse, rigid, erect, hairy herb 30 to 60 cm high. Stems forked, and stiff. Leaves are mostly in basal rosette and oblong-ovate to oblong-lancelike, 10-25 cm in length and often very much notched on the margins. Those on the stem few and much smaller. Purple flowers are 8-10 mm long. Each head comprises about 4 flowers. Flowering heads borne in clusters at the end of the branches and usually enclosed by 3 leaf-like bracts which are ovate to oblong-ovate, 1 to 1.5 cm long, and heart-shaped at the base. The flowering heads many-crowded in each cluster. Fruits are achenes, ribbed. Pappus from 4 to 6 mm long with rigid ristles.
Medicinal uses: Roots and leaves are used as emollient for dysuria, diarrhoea, dysentery, swellings and stomach pain. Root is prescribed to prevent vomiting. Powdered with pepper it is applied for tooth-ache. Leaves are used in applications for eczema and ulcers.

Identification credit: Nongthombam Ullysess Photographed in Kerala & Manipur.

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