Climbing wool plant

Ouret sanguinolenta (L.) Kuntze

OVERVIEW

Native to Southern China, Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines. The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine. It is sometimes cultivated as an ornamental, especially the form with a purplish tinge.

VERNACULAR NAMES

Mông gà (Vietnamese), Khruea khaao tok (Thailand), Do:k khaix ped (Laos).

AGROECOLOGY

Locally common in abandoned fields, brushwood and hedges, at elevations up to 200 m in Java but ascending to 2,000 m in Indo- China.

MORPHOLOGY

  • Stem – branches terete, densely appressedly tomentose in younger parts.
  • Leaves – alternate or opposite (often on a single specimen), simple and entire, densely clothed with appressed white hairs on both surfaces (but especially beneath), petiole short, stipules absent.
  • Inflorescence – an axillary and terminal spike, solitary or fascicled and sometimes forming a paniculate inflorescence.
  • Flowers – small, usually bisexual but sometimes unisexual, solitary in the axil of persistent bracts, subtended by 2 bracteoles, white or tinged with purple.
  • Fruit – a much compressed utricle, about 1 mm in diameter, bursting irregularly, 1- seeded.
  • Seed – reniform, shiny black.

CULTIVATION

  • Propagation is by stem cuttings.

CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS

  • Tannins, flavonoids, terpenoids, sphingolipids, polyphenolic compounds and betacyanins.

TRADITIONAL MEDICINAL USES

  • As diuretic (valued in cases of lithiasis and catarrh of the bladder, and for prostatic ailments) and as vermifuge.
  • It is used in treatment of, rheumatic arthritis and pain in muscles.
  • It exhibits diuretic, anti-inflammatory, antihyperglycemic, and anti-leishmania activities.
  • The whole plant is used as a tonic, sedative and dermatitis. The decoction made from young branches of the plant used internally against haematuria and irregular or painful menstruation.
  • The roots are used for dysentery and paste of the roots is applied externally for headache.
  • In India the dried plants are used against diabetes and malaria.
  • The seeds are used against bronchitis.
  • Leaves and roots of the plant have been used for body pain and the paste of the leaves and roots is applied to the affected area
  • Decoctions of young branches are used internally against haematuria and irregular or painful menstruation.