Acalypha siamensis (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
Introduction
List of species


Acalypha siamensis Oliv. ex Gage

Protologue: Rec. Bot. Surv. India 9: 238 (1922).
Family: Euphorbiaceae

Synonyms

  • Acalypha evrardii Gagnep. (1923),
  • Acalypha sphenophylla Pax & K. Hoffm. (1924).

Vernacular names

  • Wild tea (En)
  • Indonesia: pokok teh (Sumatra), teh-tehan (Javanese)
  • Malaysia: teh hutan, teh kampung, tumput
  • Cambodia: taè préi
  • Thailand: cha-khoi (northern), cha-ruesei (central), phakduk (south-western)
  • Vietnam:trà cọc rào, tai tượng xiêm, chè mãn hảo, trà rừng, trà hàng rào.

Distribution

Native in Peninsular Malaysia, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam and currently cultivated in Thailand, peninsular Malaysia and Indonesia.

Uses

In Indo-China an infusion of the leaves and flowers is taken as a diuretic. A hot infusion of dried leaves is drunk as a substitute for tea and considered beneficial for intestinal complaints by the Thais and Malays. The leaves are considered a remedy for worms, fever, bowel complaints and kidney diseases, they are an emetic and expectorant, and said to have antipyretic properties. A poultice of the leaves is applied as a febrifuge. The plant is often cultivated as a hedge plant.

Observations

  • A shrub or small scrambling tree to 4 m tall.
  • Leaves rhombic, margin serrate, 2-10 cm × 1-5 cm, glabrous, coriaceous, narrowed into a blunt base, with characteristic serrate blunt tips and 5 slender vein pairs with 1 pair from the leaf base; petiole less than 1 cm long.
  • Inflorescence an axillary, slender, puberulous raceme, about 5 cm long, upper part male, with 2 or 3 female flowers at the base.
  • Male flowers minute, in small tufts; sepals ovate, acute, ciliate; stamens about 10, filaments hairy, scale-like, lanceolate acuminate; female flowers enclosed in a large herbaceous bract.
  • Fruit a capsule, 2.5 mm long, covered with long protuberances.


A. siamensis is locally common in dry, evergreen or mixed forest or scrub vegetation, up to about 400 m altitude; often on sandy soils, sometimes on limestone. It can be propagated by seed or stem cuttings. The potential use of A. siamensis as a raw material in the herbal and pharmaceutical industry is worth exploring.

Selected sources

31,

  • Burkill, I.H., 1966. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Revised reprint. 2 volumes. Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Vol. 1 (A-H) pp. 1-1240, Vol. 2 (I-Z) pp. 1241-2444.

331, 786, 788, 841. medicinals

1, 15, 50, 55, 59, 69, 75. stimulants

Authors

  • Arbayah H. Siregar
  • M.S.M. Sosef