Indian Moon-Seed
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Indian Moon-Seed
ative Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Indian Moon-Seed, buckler-leaved moon-seed • Kannada: ಪಡಾವಲ Padaavala ಪಾಡಾವಲಿ ಬಳ್ಳಿ Paadaavali balli ಹಾಡೇಬಳ್ಳಿ Haadeballi • Malayalam: Padakizhangu, Padathali, Padavalli, Pattichevian • Marathi: पाकर pakar • Oriya: ପାଠା Patha • Sanskrit: बृहत् पाठा bruhat patha, राज पाठा raj patha • Tamil: பாடா pata, பொன்முசுட்டை pon-mucuttai
Botanical name: Cyclea peltata    Family: Menispermaceae (Moonseed family)
Synonyms: Cyclea burmanii, Cyclea versicolor, Cyclea discolor

Indian Moon-Seed is a slender twining shrub, frequently climbing up on tall trees. Leaves are alternate, heart shaped, 2.5-10 cm long, 2.5-3.75 cm broad, stipule 5-10 cm long and nerves 7-11. The flowers are unisexual, pale yellow. Male flowers are borne in panicles of congested cymes 20-30 cm long, finely velvet-hairy, stalked. Flowers are stalked, green; calyx bell-shaped, lobed for 1/4 of the tube into 4-6 sepals, hairy inside, finely velvet-hairy outside; petals are cyathiform, hairless; stamens 4; synandrium peltate, included, 6 - 8-loculed. Female flowers are borne in panicles, 2.5-5 cm long, hairy; bracteoles ovate-lanceshaped or linear, hairy. Flowers are stalkless, sepal 1, round, hairy; petal 1, round, hairless; staminodes 6; carpels 3, ovoid, hairy; style short. The fruits are spherical drupes, white in color. Indian Moon-Seed is found in Western Ghats.
Medicinal uses: The roots of patha have great medicinal value and are used for medicinal purpose, both, internally as well as externally. External application of the paste of its roots and leaves is extremely beneficial, in infected wounds, sinuses, and skin diseases like erysipelas and pruritus. The external application of this paste is said to be useful in serpant bite also. The root juice is salutary in headache, as nasal drops. The roots have anti-inflammatory activity and hence alleviated the edema. Patha is a valuable wound healer and antidermatosis herb.

Identification credit: Dinesh Valke Photographed at Girivan near Lonavala, Maharashtra & Wagaman, Kerala.

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