Aristolochia bracteata | Aristolochia Bracteolata is an amazing plant that belongs to the genus Aristolochia which has more than 400 species. Most of these species have medicinal uses and are commonly called birthworts. They are used especially in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.
In Southern India, you can find Aristolochia bracteata and Aristolochia Indica growing in abundance. Aristolochia bracteata is more commonly found than Aristolochia indica. It is called aadu thoda ilai | aadu thina palai| aadu theenda palai in Tamil, worm killer in English and aadu tintap pala in Malayalam.
Aristolochia Bracteata Plant:
It is a small plant that grows to about 10 to 50 cm. It has oval-shaped leaves and the most distinctive feature of this plant are the flowers. They are dark purple, long, and tubular with a trumpet-shaped mouth. You can easily identify this plant with the flowers. We have this plant growing all over our farm.
The last few months we didn’t have proper rains and most of the herbs died out except aadu theenda palai. The word aadu theenda palai means a plant that goats will not eat, this plant is very toxic to goats and usually, they never go near it but if they accidentally eat it, it is very toxic. This plant has wonderful medicinal uses and every part of this plant is used as medicine.
Aristolochia Bracteata Medicinal Uses:
1. Anti Bacterial Properties:
This plant has been used as a remedy for treating all bacterial skin infections very effectively, we apply the leaf paste as a poultice on the affected area. You can read the study that supports this claim here.
2. For Wound Healing:
Traditionally the leaves are pounded in a mortar and pestle and applied directly over minor cuts and wounds, this remedy has been backed by research, you can read the study here.
3. Anti Fungal Activity:
This wonderful plant possesses anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-microbial properties. This is also the reason that it is extensively used for treating skin diseases. You can read the study that proves it here.
4. Anthelmintic Activity:
It is because of the wonderful property of destroying parasitic worms that it is called a worm killer in English. The leaf decoction should be taken for it on an empty stomach in the precise dosage.
5. Anti Pyretic Properties:
Aristolochia bracteata decoction is a very good remedy for treating fevers if taken in the correct dosage and this remedy also has been proven through research.
Aristolochia Bracteata Side Effects:
Although this plant has all these wonderful properties, like all Aristolochia plants, Aristolochia bracteata also contains aristolochic acid which is said to cause kidney failure and cancer with overconsumption. Aristolochia plants have been used for centuries for treating many diseases.
But ever since a group of women who took a plant called Aristolochia frangchi as a weight loss aid suffered kidney failure, many countries have banned the consumption of herbs containing aristolochic acid. Certain herbs are very very dose-dependent and all Aristolochia plants including Aristolochia bracteata are perfect examples of that.
These herbs should only be strictly taken under expert medical supervision as most of the time we get the dosage wrong if we use them as home remedies. You can read about the toxic presence of aristolochic acid in Aristolochia bracteata here.
I would suggest using this plant only for an external application like the oil given below to treat bacterial infections, fungal infections, and inflammations at home, it is safer and will not cause any side effects. Take it internally only under expert guidance.
How To Use Aristolochia Bracteata For Medicinal Purposes:
1. Three oils can be used for making this oil. They are neem, pungam oil and unrefined sesame oil in the order of importance.
2. Grind the leaves of the plant along with little water and extract the juice.
3. Mix the juice and the oil together and heat in a high flame. Once it starts bubbling, reduce the flame to low and boil till the spluttering sound stops completely.
5. Remove, let cool, strain and bottle it.
- Makes sure the oil does not get burnt.
- Always use freshly plucked leaves for making the extract.
- This oil can be used for treating all bacterial and fungal skin infections very very effectively.