Traditional uses and benefits of Aquatic Rotula

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Aquatic Rotula Quick Facts
Name: Aquatic Rotula
Scientific Name: Rotula Aquatica
Origin Eastern Brazil, western Africa, and from India, throughout continental South-East Asia, to southern China and the Malesian region
Colors Initially green turning to yellowish to brownish-red
Shapes Somewhat rounded, subglobose, fleshy drupes that are about 4 mm in diameter, and contain four seeds
Taste Bitter, Astringent
Health benefits Support for piles, diabetes, venereal diseases, kidney and bladder stones, coughs, heart problems, dysuria, blood disorders, fever, poisonings, ulcers and uterine diseases
Aquatic Rotula scientifically known as Rotula aquatica is a species of aromatic flowering shrub in the borage family, Boraginaceae. It is a rare rheophyte plant native to eastern Brazil, western Africa, and from India, throughout continental South-East Asia, to southern China and the Malesian region, where it is found in Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, the Philippines, Sulawesi and New Guinea. Apart from Aquatic Rotula it is also known as kallurvanchi. The plant is a mandatory component of many Ayurvedic drug preparations and is an important traditional medicine for kidney and bladder stones.

Aquatic Rotula Facts

Name Aquatic Rotula
Scientific Name Rotula Aquatica
Native Occurs in eastern Brazil, western Africa, and from India, throughout continental South-East Asia, to southern China and the Malesian region, where it is found in Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, the Philippines, Sulawesi and New Guinea
Common Names Aquatic rotula, kallurvanchi
Name in Other Languages Chinese: Lun guan mu (轮冠木), Lún guān mù shǔ (轮冠木属)
English: Aquatic rotula, kallurvanchi
Garo: Singkhantha
Hindi: Pashanabhed (पाषाणभेद)
Kannada: Paashaanabheda (ಪಾಷಾಣಭೇದ)
Khasi: La khowang
Malayalam: Kallorvanchi- കല്ലൂർവഞ്ചി
Marathi: Machim (मचिम)
Mizo: Tuipui-suthlah
Oriya: Jamchi, Jamoch
Philippines: Takad, kulutai, bongtal
Sanskrit: Ashmahabhedah (अश्मःभेदः), Mutrala (मूत्रल), Pashanabhedah (पाषाणभेदः)
Tamil: Ceppunerinji (செப்புநெரிஞ்சி)
Telugu: Pashanabhedi (పాషాణభేది)
Vietnam: Rù rì cát
Plant Growth Habit Small branched aromatic flowering shrub or bush
Growing Climates Among rocks crevices, rocky riverbeds, forested lowland areas, where it grows in rocky, gravelly or sandy localities that are periodically inundated, especially along streams and trailing over gravel bars in stream beds
Plant Size 2 to 3 meters
Root Cylindrical,  often develops from lateral branches
Leaf Leaves are arranged alternately or clusters, overlapping, oblong to obovate or linear-oblong, usually 0.6-2.5 cm long and 0.2-0.9 cm wide, and short-stalked
Flower Flowers are small and crowded, and are borne in clusters at the end of branches. There are 5 narrow sepals which are about 4.5 mm long, with sharp points. The flowers are purplish or pink, 5-6 mm long, with 5 petals.
Fruit Shape & Size Somewhat rounded, subglobose, fleshy drupes that are about 4 mm in diameter, and contain four seeds
Fruit Color Initially green turning to yellowish to brownish-red
Taste Bitter, Astringent
Plant Parts Used Stems, leaves, tuberous roots

Plant Description

Aquatic Rotula is a small branched aromatic flowering shrub or bush that normally grows about 2 to 3 meters tall. The plant is found growing among rocks crevices, rocky riverbeds, forested lowland areas, where it grows in rocky, gravelly or sandy localities that are periodically inundated, especially along streams and trailing over gravel bars in stream beds. It is pantropic in distribution. The plant has numerous short lateral arrested branchlets often rooting, aromatic, pinkish and glabrous, mostly found in the rocky riverbeds. The  plant  is  distributed  throughout  peninsular  and  Western Ghats  of India  in the  sandy and  rocky  beds of  streams and rivers. Roots are cylindrical, often develops from lateral branches.

Leaves

The leaves are arranged alternately or clusters, overlapping, oblong to obovate or linear-oblong, usually 0.6-2.5 cm long and 0.2-0.9 cm wide, and short-stalked. They are entire or shallowly toothed, glabrescent or sparsed scabrous, ciliate along the margins, cuneate at base, obtuse or shortly apiculate at apex; petioles 0.5-3 mm long and greenish.

Flower

The flowers are small and crowded, and are borne in clusters at the end of branches. There are 5 narrow sepals which are about 4.5 mm long, with sharp points. The flowers are purplish or pink, 5-6 mm long, with 5 petals. Nearly 5 Stamens are exserted at the base of the corolla tube, with filaments up to 0.3 cm long and oblong-ovate anthers almost 0.2 cm in length.

Fruit

Fertile flowers are followed by somewhat rounded, subglobose, fleshy drupes that are about 4 mm in diameter, and contain four seeds. Fruits are initially green turning to yellowish to brownish-red with a strongly 4-lobed endocarp breaking up into 4 single-seeded pyrenes at an early stage. Seeds are oblong, without endosperm.

Traditional uses and benefits of Aquatic Rotula

  • Decoction of stems is used as sudorific and diuretic.
  • In Ayurveda, plant used for piles, diabetes, venereal diseases, kidney and bladder stones.
  • Root decoction is used as diuretic and laxative.
  • In Indian traditional system, it is used for cancer treatment.
  • Root tuber is astringent, bitter and diuretic and is used for treating coughs, heart problems, dysuria, blood disorders, fever, poisonings, ulcers and uterine diseases.
  • In Kerala, plant is reportedly used by tribal people as a psychoactive agent.
  • Leaves and tender stems are sliced in tiny pieces and sun dried for half an hour or warmed on hot earthen or metals pots, then mixed with bidi tobacco in 1:1 ratio, wrapped in bidi leaves and smoked.
  • Adding a little tea powder or decaying of leaves is reported to enhance the psychoactive property.
  • It is an important traditional medicine for kidney and bladder stones.
  • Traditionally roots are used in renal and vesicle calculi, hemorrhoids, venereal diseases and diabetes.
  • The roots also used for the treatment of piles and as a laxative.
  • In the Philippines and Thailand a stem decoction is used as a sudorific and diuretic.
  • In the Ayurvedic system of medicine the root is well known for the treatment of urinary troubles.
  • In Kerala (India) tender stems and leaves are used as a psychoactive agent; they are dried and smoked in combination with tobacco, or drunk mixed with coconut milk.
  • It is said that R. aquatica provokes physical and mental stimulation and boosts thought processes.
  • The plant is a mandatory component of numerous Ayurvedic drug preparations and is an important traditional medicine for kidney and bladder stones.
  • Root decoctions are both diuretic and laxative and are used to treat bladder stones and sexually transmitted diseases.
  • The Malapandram tribes in achenkovil forest of Kollam district in Kerala use Aquatic Rotula root for treating skin disease.
  • Ground root boiled in milk is taken internally on an empty stomach for one week against body heating and prickles.
  • The Malamalasar tribes of Parambikulam wildlife sanctuary in Kerala use the decoction of Aquatic Rotula for treating urinary disorders.
  • They use Aquatic Rotula root decoction for treating stomach ulcers.
  • They are used in the treatment of piles, kidney stones and venereal diseases.
  • In India, especially in the states of Kerala and Karnataka, Aquatic Rotula is one of the most extensively used medicinal plants in the Ayurvedic system to dissolve urinary calculi and kidney stones.

References:

https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/RWAAQ

http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2422805

http://www.stuartxchange.com/Takad.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotula_aquatica

http://www.medicinalplantsindia.com/aquatic-rotula.html

http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Aquatic%20Rotula.html

https://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/230961

https://uses.plantnet-project.org/en/Rotula_aquatica_(PROSEA)

https://sites.google.com/site/efloraofindia/species/a—l/b/boraginaceae/rotula/rotala-acquatica

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