Kaliziri is hugely used in various purposes in all over India and is well known in different states by different names. This plant is well admired by the name of 'Kalijiri' in Gujarat and Maharashtra, 'Somraj' in Orissa, 'Kalazira' in West Bengal, 'Kattuchiragam' in Tamil Nadu, and 'Bukoki' in Punjab.
Kaliziri a widely distributed plant occurs naturally throughout India. As the seed of the plant has a vast culinary usage, this plant is cultivated and sold in the market. It grows naturally on roadsides, to an altitude of 1700 metre. Not only in India, this plant is found in many places around the world.
Kaliziri is an erect, pubescent, annual herb and the length of the plant differs up to 90cm. The leaves of Kaliziri plant are elliptic lanceolate, 5cm to 9 cm long and 2.5 cm to 3.2 cm wide, apex acute, base tapering into the petiole, margins are coarsely serrate; the presence of pubescent is found on both surfaces of the leaf. Florets of Kaliziri is violet or purple in colour and blossom in abundance at a time, homogamous, solitary, axillary or terminal heads that are 1.3 cm to 2 cm in diameter, with a linear bract near the top of the peduncle; and hairy. The fruits are 4.5 mm to 6 mm long, oblong-cylindrical in shape and have 10-ribbed, pubescent.
Kaliziri plant is considered as entirely therapeutic. The seeds of Kaliziri are considered strongly anthelmintic. The seeds are used in many areas as a febrifuge and for treating skin diseases and leucoderma in Ayurvedic practice. The seeds are also credited with the properties of tonic, stomachic and diuretic. In Unani practice the seeds of Kaliziri are used to relieve asthma and kidney troubles.
This seeds of Kaliziri are also applied externally to treat inflammatory swellings. The seeds of Kaliziri are used for treating snakebites and scorpion sting, in combination with other plant drugs. The people of Malabar coastal area, an infusion of the seeds is given to treat coughs and flatulence. In Siddha practice, the leaf and seed are reportedly used for treating leucoderma, abdominal and urinary disorders, skin diseases, eczema and mental disorders.
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