Acalypha, Indian Herb

Family : Euphorbiaceae

Synonym(s) : Acalypha ciliata Wall., Acalypha canescens Wall., Acalypha spicata Forsk..

English Name : Indian Acalypha and Indian Nettle

Origin : India


An annual erect herb with hairy angular branches and growing as high as 75 cm. Leaves 2.5 - 7.5 cm long and 2-2.5 cm broad, ovate or rhomboid- ovate, acute or sub-obtuse, crenate- serrate, glabrous, thin, base cuneate, somewhat 3- nerved; petioles usually longer than the blade, slender; stipules minute. Flowers unisexual, in numerous lax, erect, elongate axillary spikes; the male flowers minute, terminal or axillary; the female flowers scattered, 3-7, surrounded by a short pendunculate, large, leafy, truncate, dentate, cuneiform, many-nerved bract, 6-8 mm in diameter. Ovary hispid. Capsules small, hispid, quite concealed by the bract, often only 1-seeded. Seeds ovoid, smooth, pale-brown.


Commonn annual shrub in Indian gardens and throughout the Gangetic plains of India.

Parts Used : Root, leaf, stalk and flowers

Herb Effects

Expectorant and induces nausea (root); antibacterial (plant); diuretic and laxative; Cathartic, anthelmintic, emetic, anodyne and hypnotic, antimicrobial activity (extract of dried leaves).

Active Ingredients

Kaempferol, beta-sitosterol, gama-sitosterol, and "HCN" (plant); acalyphin (a cyanogenic, alkaloidal glucoside) (aerial part).

Medicinal Use

For cough (leaf extract); bronchitis and pneumonia (plant decoction); skin diseases (leaf); as a vermifuge, in constipation and rheumatism; in asthma, cough, bronchitis and earache (fruit) .


Ayurveda : 0.3 to 2.0 ml
Homoeopathy: Third to sixth potency
Decoction: 15 to 60 mils (1/2 to 2 fluid ounces).
Infusion: 8 to 30 mils (2 to 8 fluid drachms).
Juice: 4 to 15 mils (1 to 4 fluid drachms).