This plant has a large number of medicinal properties and is used for treating various health issues. The juice of its leaves can be used for tightening loose teeth. The juice of the leaf is also used for curing diarrhea, sore throat, cough and mouth ulcers. It also helps in relieving pain caused by rheumatism and arthritis.
In Ayurveda this herb is considered as a valuable blood purifier and thus it helps to cure dysentery and jaundice (Kunde 2010). This herb has several health benefits such as: seed extract of this plant can prevent cancer, heart diseases, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral activities (Sujatha 2008). The presence of saponin in the leaves and roots of this plant makes it useful in curing skin diseases like ring worm, itching and eczema (Garg 2002).
Toxicity: All parts of this plant are considered poisonous. The plant may cause dermatitis in sensitive individuals.
Medicinal Uses: The juice of the leaves is applied externally to get relief from fevers and arthritic pain. The leaves are taken internally to cure liver ailments, jaundice and stomachache. The plant is also used in Ayurveda and Unani medicine for skin diseases and leprosy. As an external remedy, it is a popular anti-rheumatic remedy, used in the treatment of rheumatism, ascites, diuretic and purgative purposes. It is also used as a remedy for scabies, eczema and other skin diseases.
The species name aspera refers to its rough stems. In Australia, A. aspera is known as saltwater or seaside spinach. It is also called 'Sea Spinach', 'Wetland Asparagus' and 'Beach Spinach'.
Achyranthes asperas is a perennial herb growing from short rhizomes. It has rough hairy stems that are triangular in cross section, and can grow up to 2 m (7 ft) tall.
The leaves have an arrow-shaped or heart-shaped base, which taper to a point at the tip. They are alternately arranged on the stem, and measure up to 20 cm (8 in) long by 5 cm (2 in) wide.
The flowers are small and inconspicuous, with five green sepals and five yellow petals surrounding a bundle of 20 stamens. The fruit is a dry capsule containing numerous minute brown seeds that may be dispersed by wind.
Location: Achyranthes asperas grows in coastal areas around the world, including North Africa, South Africa, Australia, Japan and North America.