Home >> Plants Profile: Part-B >> Basella alba L.

Basella alba L.

Basella cordifolia Lam.
Basella rubra L.

Group: Dicot
Family: Basellaceae - Basella family
Duration: Annual
Growth Habit: Herb

Bangla/Vernacular Name: Pui, patika, Raktapui, Holy hata (Noakhali).

Tribal Name: Pujok dadi (Chakma), Cumbishi (Marma), Kantor (Murang), Jhum Poi Shak (Tanchangya), Meferai bukung (Tripura).

English Name: Indian Spinach, Malabar nightshade.

Description of the Plant:

A fleshy, glabrous, much branched twining herbs. Leaves large, thick, broadly ovate, cordate or orbicular. Spikes, axillary, peduncled, simple or branched; flowers white or red, sessile. Fruit, the size of a pea, black when ripe.

Chemical Constituents:

Various parts of the plant contain mucilage (a water soluble polysaccharide), vitamins A and B, ascorbic acid, protein, fats, sterols and minerals. The ß-cyanins, gomphrenins I and II, isogomphrenins I and II, gomphrenin III and their derivatives are present in the juice of the plant. Spinacosides C and D have been isolated from the aerial parts (Ghani, 2003).

Basella alba L.

Basella alba L.

Mode of Uses:

  • Paste prepared from leaf and applied to the affected areas for burning, also in head for headache, general weakness and insomnia twice daily for three days (Marma).
  • Curry prepared from leaves is taken for the treatment of anaemia (Murang).
  • Bark of Bombax insignis, young shoots of Pteris pellucida and the whole plant of Basella alba are crushed together and taken for the treatment of spermatorrhoea (Tripura).
  • The Tender stem and leaves cooked as vegetables. The seeds are also eaten as vegetables (Chakma, Tripura, Marma, Bawm).


Cultivated throughout the country.

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