Leucas aspera commonly known as ‘Thumbai’ is distributed throughout India from the Himalayas down to Ceylon. Found wild mainly in sunny positions and in a range of soils, especially sandy and well-drained. The plant shows a high tolerance to copper and zinc concentrations in polluted soil. The plant is used traditionally as an antipyretic and insecticide. Medicinally, it has been proven to possess various pharmacological activities like antifungal, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antinociceptive and cytotoxic activity. Further, studies reveal the presence of various phytochemical constituents mainly triterpenoids, oleanolic acid, ursolic acid and b-sitosterol, nicotine, sterols, glucoside, diterpenes, phenolic compounds. Medicinal Uses. Eating the plant (as a pot herb) is believed to increase resistance to disease. The leaf sap is used to treat sores of the eyes and nose. The juice of the plant is used in the treatment of fevers, coughs and colds. The bruised leaves are considered to be active against bites of poisonous insects and snakes. The crushed plant is applied hot as a poultice on to wounds, sores. In general, the crushed leaves of Leucas species are applied to wounds, sores, especially those of the eyes and nose, chronic skin diseases, such as psoriasis and scabies. The crushed leaves are also used to treat mild fevers, colds, rheumatism and snake bites, and as a decoction against roundworm, mainly for children.
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