Scientific name: Basella alba L.

Family: Begoniaceae

Synonym: Basella rubra L.

Bengali/Vernacular name: Puishak, Poi, Rakto pui (Bengali); Holy-hata (Noakhali).
Tribal name: Pujok dadi (Chakma), Jhum poi shak (Tanchangya), Kadikkabreng (Chak), Thlawrdawk (Lushai), Cumbishi (Marma), Kantor (Murang), Anhar (Pangkhoa).

English name: Indian spinach, Sri Lankan spinach, Malabar nightshade.

Description of the plant: A much branched, fleshy twiner, stem green or coloured, twining to the right. Leaves fleshy, simple, petiolate, alternate, exstipule, petioles up to 3 cm long, lamina 10-12 cm long, cordate or ovate, entire. Flowers sessile, regular, bisexual, white, green or reddish, often violet, remaining closed. Fruits berry-like due to the fleshy persistent lobes, black when ripe with red or purplish juice. Seed more or less globose or oblong.

Basella alba

Plant parts used: Leaf.

Medicinal uses: Leaf paste is applied externally to treat boils.

Decoction of leaves is taken to treat constipation.

Leaves are used as a poultice for sores.

Distribution:  It is cultivated throughout the country.

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


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