Acanthus Ilicifolius Linn. - Traditional Importance of Less Known Medicinal Plants

Herbs are vital source of drugs from the ancient time holding the scenario of the Indian system of medicine. Acanthus ilicifolius Linn. (Acanthaceae) is relatively lesser-known, yet important medicinal plant of Herbal Materia Medica. The plant is used in traditional systems of medicine, including Traditional Indian Medicine.

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In traditional medicine, the plant is used in the treatment of diseases ranging from snake bite to skin diseases. The present paper enumerates the medicinal, traditional value and folk remedies of this herb, which may help the researchers to set their minds for approaching the utility, efficacy and potency of Acanthus ilicifolius. 
Acanthus ilicifolius occurs in tropical Asia and Africa, through Malaya to Polynesia. It is a viny shrub or tall herb, upto 1.5 m high, scarcely woody, bushy, with very dense growth. Shallow tap roots, but occasionally stilt roots are conspicuous. Leaf simple, opposite, decussate, cauline, exstipulate, petiole short, flattened, glabrous, pulvinous to sheathing base. Flower bisexual, typically zygomorphic, complete, erect, sessile, hypogynous. Fruit 1 cm green and 2.5 - 2.0 cm long, kidney shaped 4 seed drupe, Seed 0.5 - 1.0 cm long (Xie et al 2005).

The whole 5 pages article is available for download here.