Scientific name: Melastoma malabathricum L.
Synonym: Melastoma candidum D. Don
Bengali/Vernacular name: Bontejpata, Datranga, Lutki.
Tribal name: Magapittungulu (Chakma), Ustal-lo-goh (Chak), Kakku-phang (Garo), Soh-lot-ot (Khasia), Masmatairum (Marma), Ak-mio (Murang), Koin-phey-bawn (Rakhaing), Khom-took (Tripura).
English name: Indian rhododendron.
Description of the plant: A much-branched bushy shrub. Leaves 5-20 cm long, elliptic to lanceolate, 5-nerved, slightly rough, and hairy on both surfaces. Flowers 5-merous, pink to mauve, or purple. Fruit a capsule, dark purple.
Plant parts used: Leaf, root.
Ethnomedicinal uses: Pea-sized pills are made from leaves of the plant is taken to treat body pain and flatulence.
Juice extracted from roots applied to lessen the soreness associated with thrush in children.
A paste is made with the leaves of the plant is applied on the boils to treat it.
Pea-sized pills are made from the leaves are taken with warm water thrice a day (one pill each time) for one week to treat gynecological complexity.
Decoction prepared from the roots of the plant is used as mouthwash to relieve toothache or to treat epilepsy.
A fresh juice is extracted from the leaves of the plant is applied on the biting place twice a day to treat snake bite.
Young leaves are eaten to treat diarrhoea; premature leaves are taken in raw to cure dysentery.
Powder of root is applied on the infected skin to treat smallpox.
Leaves are chewed up, pounded, and applied as poultice to cut or wound.
Distribution: This species is commonly found throughout the country, especially in the hilly areas of greater Sylhet, Chittagong, Dhaka, Mymensingh, Tangail districts, and the Chittagong Hill Tracts.
Is this plant misidentified? If yes, please tell us….