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NAMES
Family Boraginaceae (Borage Family)
Genus Species Heliotropium indicum
Synonyms
Common Names Indian Heliotrope, Turnsol
Etymology The name heliotrope originates from the old idea that the inflorescence of these plants turned their rows of flowers to the sun. The meaning of helios in Greek is sun and tropein from where the word tropium is derived means to turn.
Names Comments
Names Notes
DESCRIPTION
Duration
Habit Forb herb
Size
Leaves
Leaf Retention
Flowers
Flower Colors
Bloom Time
Fruit
Seeds
Thorns or Spines
Stems and Trunk
Bark
Roots
Similar To
Description Comments
Description Notes
LOCATION
Distribution
County Cameron, Hidalgo
USDA Profile HEIN
USDA Hardy Zone
Native to Area
RGV Sightings
On Display
Location Comments
Location Notes Resaca de la Palma State Park, Harlingen Arroyo Colorado
PROPAGATION
Water Requirement
Light Requirement
Soil Moisture
Soil Type
Habitat
Propagation Comments
Propagation Notes
USES
Commercial
Ornamental
Garden
Hedges
Lawn
Exotic
Uses Comments
LEGAL STATUS
Invasive
Pest
Endangered
Legal Notes
ETHNOBOTANY H. indicum has been used in different traditional and folklore systems of medicine for curing various diseases. An ethnopharma-cological survey revealed that, the traditional healers in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu, India use H. indicum to cure skin diseases, poison bites, stomachache and nervous disorders [Chellaiah M, Muniappan A, Nagappan R and Savarimuthu I: Medicinal plants used by traditional healers in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu. Indian J Ethnobiol Ethnomed 2006; 2: 43].

In some African countries, another ethnopharma-cological survey reports that H. indicum is believed to be useful in treating malaria, abdominal pain and dermatitis. The highest number of usages (22%) was reported for the treatment of malaria. [Togola A, Diallo D, Dembélé S, Barsett H and Paulsen BS: Ethnopharmacological survey of different uses of seven medicinal plants from Mali, (West Africa) in the regions Doila, Kolokani and Siby. J Ethnobiol Ethnomedicine 2005; 1(1): 7.]

The infusion of the flower is taken orally by females for the treatment of menorrhagia in Jamaica. [Asprey GF and Thornton P: Medicinal plants of Jamaica, Part-III. West Indian Med J 1955; 4(4): 69-82.]

In Rodrigues, the decoction of the entire plant is used externally for treating herpes and the paste of fresh plant is used externally for cleansing and dressing of wounds and ulcers. The sap of the stem is used orally by females for treating dysmenorrhea. [Gurib Fakim A, Swaeraj MD, Gueho J and Dulloo E: Medicinal plants of Rodrigues. Int J Pharmacog 2000; 34(1): 2-14.]

The hot water extract of the flower is taken orally by the females as an emmenagouge in small dose and abortive in large dose while a paste of fresh entire plant is used externally for treatment of head lice in the West Indies. [Ayensu ES: Medicinal plants of the West Indies. J. Pharm. 1978; 1(2): 100.]

In Thailand, the dried inflorescence is believed to produce permanent sterilization when taken orally in females. One gram of the dried and powdered inflorescence mixed with milk or water is used for three days beginning with the fourth day of menses to achieve the desired result. [Panthong A, Kanjanpothi D and Taylor WC: Ethnobotanical review of Medicinal plants from Thai traditional books, Part-I: Plants with antiinflamatory, antiasmatic and antihypertensive properties. J Ethnopharmacol 1986; 18(3): 213-228.]

Other folk remedies include use of decoction of the leaves for treatment of fever, insect bites, stings, diarrhoea, skin rashes, menstrual disorder and urticaria. The decoction of the leaves is also credited to be useful in curing insect stings (macerated with sugar cane juice), scorpion stings 10 and as abortive in large dose and emmenagouge in small dose. [Duttagupta S and Dutta PC: Pharmacognostic study of the leaf of Heliotropium indicum. J Crude Drug Res 1977; 15: 141.]

The leaf paste is applied externally to cure rheumatism in Rayal Seema in Andhra Pradesh, India 16 and skin infection in Nicaragua. [Barrett B: Medicinal plants of Nicaraguas Atlantic coast. Econ Bot 1994; 48(1): 8-20.]

The decoction of both leaf and root together is also used for treating whooping cough in children in Eastern Nicaragua. [Coee FG and Anderson GJ: Ethnobotany of the Garifuna of Eastern Nicaragua, Econ Bot 1996; 50(1): 7l-107.]

In Amazon, the paste of both leaf and root together is applied externally in scorpion stings, bug bites 19 while the paste is recommended for treating sores and warts in Taiwan. [Lin CC and Kan WS: Medicinal plants used for the treatment of hepatitis in Taiwan. Amer J Chinese Med 1990; 18(112): 35-43.]

In Malaysia, a paste made from the plant is applied to counteract putrefaction, to treat pyoderma and ringworm infection. In Burma, a decoction of the whole plant is used to treat gonorrhea while in Indonesia, an infusion of the leaves is used to soothe mouth sprue. A decoction of the dried roots is drunk in the Philippines to promote menses, while the seeds are used to treat cholera, malaria, and for wound-healing. [Wiart C: Medicinal Plants of the Asia-Pacific: Drugs for the Future? 2006, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., Singapore.]
Folk Wisdom
Edible
Symbolism or Ceremonial
Poisonous
Fuel
Construction
Wood
Fibers
Oil
Soap
Wax
Dye
Chemicals
Solvents
Adhesives
Reactants
Fluids
Alcohol
Fragrance
Utility Comments
Utility Notes
DOMESTIC ANIMAL USE
Horses
Cattle
Sheep
Goat
Swine
Domestic Animal Comments
Domestic Animal Notes
WILDLIFE USE
Deer
Predators
Small Mammals
Rodents
Birds
Butterflies
Insects
Reptiles
Worms
Wildlife Notes
Wildlife Comments
Field Notes
References
Photography Credits John Wagman 04/20/2016, Cameron County TX, Resaca del la Palma State Park
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Family: Boraginaceae (Borage Family)
Genus Species: Heliotropium indicum
Synonyms:
Common Names: Indian Heliotrope, Turnsol


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