Worm Killer
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Worm Killer
P Native Photo: P.S. Sivaprasad
Common name: Worm Killer, Dutchman's Pipe, Bracteated Birth Wort • Assamese: অৰ্ক মূল arka mula, ঈশ্বৰী মুল iswari mul • Bengali: ঈশ্বরমূল isvaramula • Gujarati: ઈશ્વરમૂળ iswarmul, નાની નોળવેલ nani nolvel, સાપસૂન sapsun • Hindi: ईशरमूल isharmul, विषापहा vishapaha • Kannada: ಆಡುಮುಟ್ಟದಗಿಡ Adu Muttada gida, ಕುರಿಗಿಡ Kurigida, ಕತ್ತೆಕಿರುಬನಗಿಡ Kattekirubana gida, ಕತ್ತೆಹೊಟ್ಟೆಗಿಡ Kattehotte gida, ಕೀಟಮಾರಿ Keetamaari • Konkani: ಸಾಪ್ಸಿಕಡ್ಡೂಲ sapsikaddula, सापुर sapur • Malayalam: ഈശ്വരമൂലി eeswaramooli, കടലിവേഗം kadalivegam, കരളവേകം karalavekam, കരളേകം karalekam • Marathi: सापसण sapsan, सापसंद sapasanda • Nepali: इसहरमूल isaharamool, इश्वरी ishwaree • Odia: ଇଶରମୂଳ isharamula, ଇଷୁ ishu, ସୁଗନ୍ଧା sugandha • Sanskrit: अर्कमूला arkamula, ईश्वरी isvari, रुद्रजटा rudrajata, सुनन्दा sunanda, विषापहा vishapaha • Tamil: ஈச்சுரமூலி ishvara-muli, மாம்பாஞ்சான் mampancan, பெருமருந்து peru-maruntu • Telugu: ఈశ్వరవేరు ishvara-veru, దూలగోవిల dulagovila • Tibetan: na ku li dri z im po • Tulu: ಇಸರಬೇರು isaraberu, ಇಸ್ವರ ಬಳ್ಳು iswara ballu Source: Names of Plants in India
Botanical name: Aristolochia bracteolata    Family: Aristolochiaceae (Birthwort family)
Synonyms: Aristolochia kotschyi, Aristolochia abyssinica

Worm Killer is a herb mentioned in Ayurveda for the treatment of intestinal worms. It is a perennial, or rarely annual, mostly prostrate but occasionally climbing or nearly erect, unpleasantly smelling herb growing from 10-40 cm long. The stem is smooth and little twining. The branches are sharp and small. The leaves are 2-3 inches long, kidney shaped and membranous. The under-surface has small mesh like structure. The flowers are purple colored, single, 1.5-2 inches long. They are inflated and spherical at the base, continuing as a long flower tube, ending in a tongue-shaped, brightly colored lobe. There are no petals. The calyx is 1-6 1-3 whorled, and 3-6 toothed. The sepals are united. There are 6-40 stamens in one whorl. They are united with the style, forming a gynostemium. These flowers have a specialized pollination mechanism. The plants are aromatic and their strong scent attracts insects. The inner part of the flower-tube is covered with hairs, acting as a fly-trap. These hairs then wither to release the fly, covered with pollen. The fruits are oval to round shape, 1 inch long. The seeds are triangular and flat. Worm Killer is found in North and South India.
Medicinal uses: The paste of the leaf of Kitamari is applied over the wounds for helping in quick healing. The decoction of the leaf is consumed in a dose of 50 ml to treat dysmenorrhea and difficulty in labor. The decoction of the bark or whole plant is taken in a dose of about 40 ml to treat intestinal worm. The paste of the leaf of Kitamari is applied over eczema for its treatment. The powder of the seed is given with powder of black pepper to treat fever. The paste of the root is applied over the area over localized swelling for its treatment.

Identification credit: P.S. Sivaprasad Photographed in Nilambur, Coimbatore distt., Tamil Nadu.

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