Premna serratifolia L.
Synonym : Premna integrifolia L.
Family : Verbenaceae
Local Names : Appel, Munja, Kozhichedi, Headache tree
Flowering and fruiting period: May - November
Habitat: Moist sandy soil and scrub jungles along seacoasts and mangrove forests
IUCN status: Data Deficient
Uses: Leaves - cooked and eaten as a vegetable. The leaves and roots are used in traditional medicine as a diuretic, stomachic and febrifuge. The leaves, combined with those of Morinda citrifolia, are squeezed into water and the solution drunk twice a day to treat severe malarial fevers. A steam bath made from the leaves and young stems is breathed in as a treatment for fevers. The cooled solution is then used to bathe the body. The leaves are boiled into medicinal tea that is reputed to have analgesic effects. This home remedy is used mostly in the treatment of backaches. The leaves and roots are used to perfume coconut oil. The bark is used as a binding material.
Key Characters: Large shrub to small trees, to 7 m high. Leaves simple, opposite; lamina elliptic, elliptic-oblong, margin entire. Flowers bisexual, greenish-white, in terminal corymbose panicled cymes; bracts small; calyx small campanulate, 2 lipped, 5 lobed; corolla tube short, lobes 5; stamens 4, didynamous; ovary superior, 2-4-celled, ovules 4; style linear; stigma shortly bifid. Fruit a drupe, globose, purple; seeds oblong.