Because of its leaf form which lies flat on the ground and covers more than its share of space; the Malays equate it with the pentacle seal of Solomon by which confines the jins underground. As Solomon's seal, it is traditionally reputed to be potent for all diseases. So far, this crop has not been domesticated in Malaysia, but collected from the wild by traditional healers for preparing herbal remedies
These are erect, stiff, perennial herbs growing up to a height of 50cm. The leaves are mostly concentrated on the lower portion of the stem and arranged in a rosette manner. The leaves are slightly serrated, covered with white hairs, variable in shape and size, oblonged or rounded near the tip and narrower to the base. The petiole are very short and hairy.
These plant can be found growing wildly on roadside, grassy fields and forest borders.This herb can be propagated easily through seeds. The seeds are collected by enclosing the flowers with a piece of paper. The seeds are minute and very light and therefore during sowing they are normally mixed with loose dampen soil and then sprinkled on the nursery beds. Germination success is about 70-80%.
PLANT PARTS USED
Whole herb, roots.
USES IN TRADITIONAL MEDICINE
The plant is primarily used as a diuretic, febrifuge and to relieve anuria and blennorrhagia. Other applications include employment as an antibiotic, antiswelling agent, anti-inflammatory bechic and emollient. It is believe to be a good remedy for leucorrhea, anaemia and beneficial during parturition. In Malaysia, tutup bumi is taken internally as a diuretic, febrifuge and applied externally as a poultice for abdominal pains and other complaint. A decoction made from the leaves or roots is used as a tonic for eliminating roundworms and treating coughs and venereal diseases. A decoction made from the fresh roots and sireh is prescribed to arrest vomiting whilst the leaves are recommended for treating dropsy.