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Cleome Gynandra, Ajagandha / African Spider Flower & its uses.

Cleome gynandra also botanically referred to as Gynandropsis Gynandra is a floral plant that grows 0.6 to 1m high and has dense roots. Harvesting of this plant is practiced for its medicinal and nutritional properties. Although the plant is 85% water, It still holds 189 mg of Calcium, 478 mg of Potassium and 2603 mcg of Beta-Carotene from a 100 gram sample size. Some rural parts of Africa and even South America find this floral plant very nutritious and often make soup based dishes to be had as a savoury along with their meal. The plant is said to have multi-functional health benefits which are popularised through generations as an alternative traditional treatment.

The claims made for being a anti-rheumatic plant, the traditional practitioners often mean a topical use of the leaves to relief from pain by causing numbness due to its pungent nature. If kept for too long, the leaves tend to leave a rash & blisters. When rubbed between palms and used as inhalation the scent leaves you with an even more pungent smell which is referred to as a treatment for mild-migraines.

Traditional uses also account for some evidence which suggests use of this root and seed as an insecticide and even reptile repellant.

The seeds contains a compound named Glucosinolates Cleomin and Glucocapparin, which are plant metabolites and (S)-5-Ethyl-5-methyl-2-oxazolidinethione that has vermifungal properties hence making it an Anthelmintic which helps in expulsion of parasitic worms.

Inconclusive study, many traditional medicinal benefits are sourced from its pungent nature and behind that works a belief system of healing. In more scientific nature, the plant does show potential as an Anthelmintic. Source: The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia Of India.


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