Parthenium hysterophorus is not popular among the local people of India though according to the practitioners of medicine, the plant serves effective in curing many diseases. This plant is named as `Parthenium gida` in Kannada. However, although Parthenium hysterophorus has a foreign origin, this plant is found in India as a weed in many parts of the country.
Parthenium hysterophorus is an annual herb and grows up to one metre in length with a longitudinally grooved stem. The leaves are alternate, sessile, irregularly dissected and pubescent. The florets are white, borne in terminal or axillary, peduncled, paniculate and the heads are approximately 0.5 cm in diameter. The fruits are broadly obovoid, narrowed below, compressed and dark brown in colour. The pappus comprises two awns. The plant bears flowers and fruits throughout the year.
The rural inhabitants of Bhavnagar District in Gujarat use a decoction of the whole Parthenium hysterophorus plant to treat high fever. In Indian as well as in foreign countries people as well as the people of abroad the plant is reported to be used as a tonic, febrifuge, emmenagogue and as an analgesic in neuralgia. A decoction of the root is used in the treatment of dysentery.
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