Minnie Root
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Minnie Root
ntroduced Herb elliptic Photo: Pravin Kawale
Common name: Waterkanon, Watrakanu, Minnie Root, Iron root, Feverroot, Popping pod • Marathi: Ruwel • Tamil: Tapas kaaya • Tamil: Chetapatakaayala
Botanical name: Ruellia tuberosa      Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)

Minnie Root is a West Indian herb with curiously shaped blue flowers and fusiform tuberous roots. A tropical perennial growing up to a height of 6.5 inches with a hairy stem. The simple leaves are opposite and elliptic; the plant only flowers after the start of the rainy season. It has thick finger-like roots. The big bisexual flowers are violet. The ripe fruits, in a pod with 7-8 seeds each, burst open, when they get wet and the black seeds are hurdled away.
Medicinal uses: In folk medicine and Ayurvedic medicine it has been used as a diuretic, anti-diabetic, antipyretic, analgesic, antihypertensive, gastroprotective, and to treat gonorrhea.

Identification credit: Navendu Pagé, Pravin Kawale Photographed in Alibag, Maharashtra.

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