Herb: Devil's Horsewhip


Latin name: Achyranthes aspera


Family: Amaranthaceae (Amaranth Family, Pigweed Family)



Medicinal use of Devil's Horsewhip:

One of the more important mdicinal herbs of Nepal, it is widely used in the treatment of a range of complaints. Ophthalmic. The root is astringent, diuretic and antispasmodic. It is used in the treatment of dropsy, rheumatism, stomach problems, cholera, skin diseases and rabies. The juice extracted from the root of this plant, mixed with the root of Urena lobata and the bark of Psidium guajava, is used in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery. The plant is astringent, digestive, diuretic, laxative, purgative and stomachic. The juice of the plant is used in the treatment of boils, diarrhoea, dysentery, haemorrhoids, rheumatic pains, itches and skin eruptions. The ash from the burnt plant, often mixed with mustard oil and a pinch of salt, is used as a tooth powder for cleaning teeth. It is believed to relieve pyorrhea and toothache. The leaf is emetic and a decoction is used in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery. A paste of the leaves is applied in the treatment of rabies, nervous disorders, hysteria, insect and snake bites.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Annual


Height:
90 cm
(2 feet)

Flovering:
July to
September

Habitat of the herb:

Open dry places at elevations up to 2000 metres in Nepal. More or less naturalized as a weed in waste ground in southern Europe.

Edible parts of Devil's Horsewhip:

Leaves - cooked. Used as a spinach substitute. Seed - cooked. he seeds are said to be eaten with milk in order to check hunger without loss of body weight.

Other uses of the herb:

The ash from the burnt plant, often mixed with mustard oil and a pinch of salt, is used as a tooth powder for cleaning teeth. The dried twigs are used as toothbrushes. The ash of the burnt plant is a rich source of potash. It is used for washing clothes.

Propagation of Devil's Horsewhip:

Seed - sow spring in situ.

Cultivation of the herb:

Open dry places at elevations up to 2000 metres in Nepal. More or less naturalized as a weed in waste ground in southern Europe.

Known hazards of Achyranthes aspera:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.