Scientific name: Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb.
Synonym: Achyranthes philoxeroides (Mart.) Stand.
Bengali/Vernacular name: Helencha, Hinchashak, Harahcho (Bengali); Elisa hata (Noakhali).
Tribal name: Anlochi, keckrock shag (Chakma); Tidi dog (Marma); Rohakhoine (Tripura).
English name: Alligator weed.
Description of the plant: A perennial, polymorphic herb, emergent or rooted floating. Stems pinkish, can become hollow when larger. Leaves opposite, oblong or linear-oblong, lanceolate, occasionally a few indistinct teeth on margin. Flowers whitish, papery ball-shaped, grow on long stalks from upper leaf axils.
Plant parts used: Leaf and stem.
Medicinal uses: Decoction made from leaves and stems of the plant is taken in empty stomach to treat night blindness.
Taken as a decoction with salt, it’s used to stop vomiting.
Distribution: It is found in almost all parts of the country.