One simple herb that is used for treating skin diseases like eczema, ringworm and rashes both for human beings and pets alike, is Kuppaimeni. An Indian counterpart of Catmint or Catnip of Europe, cats of peninsular India love Kuppaimeni very much. It is a fun to watch them nibble at the root and treat it like a sweet in the hands of a child!
Kuppaimeni or Acalypha indica is a common weed that comes up in Chennai after the rain in the open areas. It grows luxuriously on heaps of manure or rubbish (kuppai) and thus it was called Kuppaimeni in Tamil. This plant is of the Euphorbiacea family.
Kuppaimeni is weed that grows to a height of about a foot. The leaves are serrated at edges and look deep green oval to round in shape. When viewed from above the leaves look like arranged petals of rose. There is no mention of this plant in Ayurvedic texts.
The root spreads wide and do not go deep which makes it easy to pull it out. This weed grows fast after rains and finishes its lifecycle before the hot April and May .
Siddha texts do mention the properties of Kuppaimeni and the ways to use it medicinally. The root, leaves and the total plant are used. It is of bitter taste. The leaves are useful in treating burns, itch, stomachache, haemorrhoids, etc.
Two to three teaspoons of decoction of kuppaimeni leaves when taken internally can help in expelling tape worms from the intestines.
The leaves are ground to a fine paste and applied on rashes, ringworms etc. Adding salt to the paste increases its potency.
The paste mixed with lime can be applied on boils. In case of earache, this paste can be applied around the ear.
The paste mixed with turmeric can be applied at the site of poisonous insect bites.
Juice of the leaf can be applied on forehead and temples in case of headache.
To treat dogs that suffer from rashes, the paste of the whole plant with turmeric is applied on the rashes with a comb. Application of this paste for a couple of times can cure your pet dog.
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