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ative Photo: Anne Thingnam
Common name: Lomba • Manipuri: ꯂꯣꯝꯕꯥ Lomba • Maring: Tikta • Mizo: Lengser, Lengmaser • Tangkhul: Yongpa • Zomi/Mizo: Lengmasel • Angami: Neihu, Runou, Neipfu
Botanical name: Elsholtzia griffithii    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)

Lomba is an annual herb up to 50 cm tall, with strong lemony fragrance. Stems are erect, sometimes purple-red, densely covered with white velvet-hairy, much branched at base. Leaf-stalks are 2-5 mm, densely white velvet-hairy. Leaves are ovate to oblong, above white hairy, below velvet-hairy, yellowish glandular, margin sawtoothed. Tiny lilac or white flowers are borne in spikes at branch-ends, which are cylindric, compact, 1-4.5 cm long, 0.8-1 cm wide. Axis is densely white hairy; bracts linear, up to 3.5 mm, densely white hairy. Flower-stalks are about 1 mm, densely white hairy. Calyx is tubular, up to 4 mm in fruit, tip recurved, densely gray woolly-hairy outside; teeth nearly equal, slightly closed in fruit. Flowers are funnel-shaped, about 3 mm, hairy, glandular outside, obscurely hairy annulate inside; upper lip oblong, notched, fringed with hairs; lateral lobes of lower lip less than half as wide as middle lobe. Stamens are 4, protruding out, hairless. Nutlets are 4, oblong, about 0.7 mm, sparsely brown hairy. Lomba is used in seasoning food in NE India. It is found in disturbed forest or mountain valleys, at 400-600 m altitude, in NE India. It is also widely cultivated in NE India. Flowering: October-December.
Medicinal uses: Lomba is used as tonic, astringent, carminative and antiseptic. Decoction of leaves and flowers is given in tonsilities, fever, cough, high blood pressure, nose bleeding, menstraual disorder, treatment of body itching

Photographed in Imphal, Manipur.

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