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Acanthus illicifolius L.

Duration: Perennial
Family: Acanthaceae - Acanthus family
Group: Dicot
Growth Habit: Herb

Bangla/Vernacular Name: Hargoza, Harkuch Kanta, Kotki.

Tribal Name: Shuvam (Rakhaing).

English Name: Holy-leaved Acanthus.

Description of the Plant:

Erect prickly shrub, up to 1.5 m high, in clumps. Leaves are simple, opposite and decussate; stipules are lacking. Flowers are bisexual, zygomorphic, and usually are associated with conspicuous, often brightly colored bracts. Fruit is commonly an elastically dehiscent loculicidal capsule. Seed stalk or funiculus of each seed is modified into a hook shaped jaculator orretinaculum that functions in flinging out the seeds during dehiscence.

Acanthus Illicifolius

Acanthus Illicifolius L. All Rights Reserved.

Chemical Constituents:

Aerial parts contain the alkaloids, acanthicifoline, oleanolic acid, ß-sitiosterol, lupeol, quercetin, its glucopyranoside and trigonelline. Roots contain triterpenoid, saponin and glycosides (Asolkar et al., 1992). Apigenin-7-O-glucuronide and a new flavone glycoside, methylapigenin-7-O- ß-D-glucuronate has been isolated from the leaves (Ghani, 2003).

Mode of Uses:

  • Extract prepared from root is taken three tea spoonfuls twice daily until cured for the treatment of high blood pressure. (Rakhaing)
  • Root possesses expectorant properties; used in cough and asthma.
  • Leaves are used as fomentation in rheumatism and neuralgia.
  • As a stimulant the decoction of plant with sugarcandy and cumin is given in dyspepsia.
  • Spines are entered into the boils in order to mature them. After few days boils are removed from the body. (Sandwip)


In maritime swamps of Bangladesh.

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