Herb Information Indian Acalypha

Indian acalypha is an annual herb and can be found as weed widely distributed throughout the plains of India.  Indian Acalypha has been extensively used in Ayurveda for various ailments. The plant reported to possess hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, antitussive, antifungal, wound-healing and antibacterial properties.


Taxonomic Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Euphorbiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily: Acalyphoideae
Genus: Acalypha
Species: Acalypha indica Linn

Common names of Acalypha indica

Sanskrit: Arittamanjarie
English: Indian acalypha
Hindi:  Kuppu, Khokali
Bengali: Muktajhuri, Muktabarsi
Gujrati: Vanchi kanto
Tamil: Kuppivaeni, Kuppaimeni, Poonaivanangi
Oriya: Indramaris
Kannada: Kuppi, Kuppigida
Malyalam: Kuppameni
Marathi: Khokhali
Telugu: Kuppichettu,  Harita-manjiri Kuppinta, Kuppinta, Kuppintaku, Muripindi
German: Brennkraut
Brazil: alcalifa
Spanish: Ricinela

Plant Description

An annual, erect herb, 70-80 high. Leaves 2.5-7.5 cm long, ovate or rhomboid-ovate, crenate-serrate. Flowers in numerous lax, erect, elongated axillary spikes, the male minute, clustered near the summit of the spike, the females scattered, surrounded by a large.

It is found as a weed in fields and waste places throughout the hotter part.

Plants parts used
Root, leaves

Uses in traditional medicine

Acalypha indica is used as a purgative for which the plant is boiled and the extract is drunk. It is a very good remedy in the treatment of piles. The roots are used to remove intestinal parasites in children, and given in the morning empty stomach. It work as mild laxative and also expels worms. Its leaves juice is given to children for getting relief from cold, cough and congestion.  Leaves with turmeric are used getting relief from acne and pimples. The tribes in the Nilgiri hills uses its leaves paste to wash and clean their bodies.

Indian Acalypha leaves juice can be applied externally in scabies and other skin diseases.

Its leaves are also useful in bed sores. In congestive headache a piece of cotton saturated with its leaves juice can be inserted into each nostril.  In cases of obstinate constipation of children the leaves ground into a paste and made into a ball and introduced into the rectum, relax the sphincter ani and produces free motions.

In Studies

The studies shows Indian Acalypha plant leaves have anthelmintic activity.  

The effect produced by Acalypha indica leaves is comparable with Piperazine citrate (standard drug). The leaves extracts of Acalypha Indica contains cynogenic glycosides, inositol methylether, resin, triacetomamine and volatile oils. The presence of terpenoids, flavonoids and polyphenols are responsible for plant's anthelmintic activity.

Acalypha Indica also show antibacterial activity against gram positive and gram negative pathogenic bacteria.

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