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Akarkara (Spilanthes acmella Murr.)

Pankaj Oudhia
Society for Parthenium Management (SOPAM)
28-A, Geeta Nagar, Raipur - 492001 India
pankaj.oudhia@usa.net
www.pankajoudhia.com

Copyright © 2004. All Rights Reserved. Quotation from this document should cite and acknowledge the contributor.

Scientific Name: Spilanthes acmella Murr.
Family: Compositae
English Name: Pellitary
Hindi Name: Akarkara

General Description: A herb distributed throughout India. Since generations, it is in use as folk medicine.

Botanical differences between Spilanthes species.

Characters Spilanthes acmella syn. S. paniculata Spilanthes calva
Plant Annual erect or ascending stout herbs, 20-50 cm high. Annual erect or ascending herbs, 15-40 cm high.
Leaves Opposite, petiolate, broadly ovate, narrowed at base, acute or obtuse at apex. opposite, petioled, ovate, acute, subcrenate at margins.
Heads In axillary and terminal panicles; Involucral bracts 2-seriate; Ray florets few, in conspicuous; Disc florets companulate, Achenes dorsally compressed, black. Ovoid, usually solitary; Involucral bracts ovate, acute; Ray florets absent; Disc-florets yellow; Achenes dark brown.
Flowering and Fruits March-April. November to December.

Useful Parts: Roots and flower heads mainly.

Traditional Medicinal Uses: The flower heads are chewed to relieve the toothache and other mouth related troubles. Leaves are used externally in treatment of skin diseases. Root decoction is used as purgative. Leaf decoction is used as diuretic and lithotriptic. Whole plant is used in treatment of dysentery.

Internet Resources
New record of white flowered Akarkara (Spilanthes species, family Compositeae) in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, India http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/197_akarkara.html
Traditional Medicinal Knowledge about herbs used in Dental Care in Chhattisgarh, India
http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/29_dental.html
http://www.botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/gallery/slides/121.html

References
Agharkar, S.P. (1991). Medicinal plants of Bombay presidency. Pbl. Scientific Publishers, Jodhpur, India : 200-201.
Verma, D.M., Balakrishnan, N.P. and Dixit, R.D. (1993). Flora of Madhya Pradesh vol. I Pbl. Botanical survey of India, Kolkata, India : 612-613.

Pankaj Oudhia
Society for Parthenium Management (SOPAM)
28-A, Geeta Nagar, Raipur - 492001 India
pankaj.oudhia@usa.net
www.celestine-india.com/pankajoudhia