Scientific name: Acanthus ilicifolius L.

Family: Acanthaceae

Synonym: Acanthus doloarin Blanco, Dilivaria ilicifolia (L.) Juss.

Bengali/Vernacular name: Hargoza, Hurkcuh, Kotki, Harkuch kanta (Bengali); Kekanta (Sandwip).  

English name: Sea holly, Holly-leaved acanthus, Holly mangrove. 

Description of the plant: A mangrove shrub. Leaves petiolate, with a pair of short basal spines, thick, coriaceous, green and shining, oblong to oblong-lanceolate, margin irregularly lobed, spini-tipped. Flowers bluish-purple, in terminal interrupted spikes. Fruit a capsule, ellipsoid-oblong, seeds 4 per capsule.

Acanthus ilicifolius 

Plant parts used: Leaf, root.

Ethnomedicinal uses: A decoction is made with the leaves and roots of the plant used to treat asthma.

Roots of the plant boiled in milk used for leucorrhoea and general debility.

Decoction prepared from leaves and roots of the plant is used for gargling to treat toothache and sore in mouth.

A balm is made with the juice extracted from the leaves of the plant and added mustard oil, after warming it is used for massaging on the affected parts of the body thrice a day until the paralysis is cured.

Syrup made from the leaves and roots of the plant is administered for the treatment of dyspepsia.

A paste is made with the leaves of the plant is applied to treat rheumatism, snake bite, and wound.

Decoction of whole plant is used to treat kidney stone and pain.

Distribution: It is found in the coastal areas of the districts of Satkhira, Khulna, Bagerhat, Pirojpur, Barguna, Patuakhali, Bhola, Noakhali, Chittagong, and Cox’s Bazar.

Is this plant misidentified? If yes, please tell us….


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