Scientific name: Trichosanthes tricuspidata Lour.

Family: Cucurbitaceae

Synonym: Trichosanthes bracteata (Lam.) Voigt

Bengali/Vernacular name: Makal.

Tribal name: Mamalaru (Garo), Choim-chapray (Khumi), Caha-sthei (Rakhaing), Hedaphal (Chakma).

English name: Indrayan. 

Description of the plant: A large climber, 5-20 m long. It has strong, woody and grooved stem, with trailing branches. Tendrils are divided into 2-3 parts. Leaves, 6-12 cm across, are broadly heart-shaped, but palmately 3-5 lobed. The leaf margin is toothed. Flowers occur either singly or in 5-10 flowered racemes, in leaf axils. Sepal cup is tubular, 3-4 cm long. Flowers 4-5 cm, white, with 5 wedge-shaped petals with frilly margins. Fruit is spherical, 4-5 cm across, red when ripe, streaked with 10 orange streaks.

Trichosanthes tricuspidata

Plant parts used: Leaf.

Ethnomedicinal uses: Pea-sized pills are made with the leaves of the plant is taken three times a day (one pill each time) for seven days to treat abdominal pain.

Leaf-paste of the plant is applied on the infected skin to treat allergy.

A fresh juice is extracted from the leaves of the plant is taken twice a day (10 ml amount each time) for seven days to treat dysmenorrhoea.

Pea-sized pills are made with the leaves of the plant is taken thrice a day (one pill each time) for two days to treat flatulence.

Paste prepared from the leaves of the plant is applied externally to treat boils, rheumatism, and snake bite.

Distribution: This species is found in Tangail, Chittagong, and the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

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

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