False pimpernel

Lindernia crustacea (Linn.) F. Muell. - ROUND-FRUITED LINDERNIA - Mu cao

Scientific names

Lindernia crustacea (Linn.) F. Muell.
Capraria crustacea Linn.
Torenia paniculata Blanco
Vandellia crustacea Benth.

Common names

Malaysian false pimpernel (Engl.)
Brittle false pimpernel (Engl.)
Round-fruited lindernia (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

BRUNEI: Kerak nasi.
CAMBODIA: Chiek to:k.
CHINESE: Mu cao.
HIMALAYA: Pitt papadi.
MALAYSIA: Akar kerak nasi, Akar kelurut, Rumput jari chechak.
THAILAND: Yaa kaaphoi tua mia, To ti ke kang.
VIETNAM: M[aax]u th[ar]o, D[aa]y l[uw] [owr]i d[oof]ng.

False pimpernel

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Lindernia crustacea (L.) F. Muell. / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED

(2) Phytoremediation of Mercury-Contaminated Soil Using Three Wild Plant Species and Its Effect on Maize Growth / N. Muddarisna, B.D. Krisnayanti, S.R. Utami, E. Handayanto / AEES, Vol 1, Issue 3.

(3) Ethno-medicinal Plants of the Garhwal Himalaya Used to Cure Various Diseases: A Case Study / L.R Dangwal, Antima Sharma*, C.S Rana / New York Science Journal 2010;3(12)

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Botany
Lindernia crustacea is a diffusely branched, smooth, suberect or spreading herb, growing to a height of 8 to 20 centimeters. Leaves are ovate, 8 to 15 millimeters long, pointed at both ends, and distantly toothed in the margins. Flowers are borne singly in the axils of the leaves, with stalks 1 to 3 centimeters long. Calyx is green or purplish, 4 to 5 millimeters long, with pointed lobes about 1.5 millimeters long. Corolla is purple, about 9 millimeters long. Capsules are oblong-ovoid to ellipsoid, 5 to 6 millimeters long, and included in the persistent calyx, whose length they approximate.

Distribution
– Common throughout settled areas in the Philippines, in open places, rice paddies, and disturbed soil, at low and medium altitudes.
– Introduced in the New World.
– Occurs in tropical and subtropical Asia from India to Australia and Polynesia.

Constituents
Plant yielded two bitter substances, neither a glycoside nor alkaloid.

Parts used
Whole plant.

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Uses 
Folkloric
– Malays used it for poulticing boils, sores, etc, especially those caused by forest ticks.
– Also used for ringworm and itches.
– Malays also use the decoction after childbirth.
– In Indo-China used for biliousness affections and dysentery; in poultices for boils, sores, ringworm and itches.
– In Kerala, expressed juice from crushed plant taken early morning on an empty stomach to clear the stomach.
– In India, leaf paste with lemon juice taken orally to cure excess bile secretion. Applied externally on ringworm and boils.
– In the Himalaya, decoction of herb used twice daily for abdominal ailments. Paste of herb with cow’s urine is applied on cuts and wounds to facilitate healing.

Study Findings 
• Phytoremediation / Mercury / Effect on Maize Growth: A study of six wild plant species for phytoremediation potential showed three species with potential for phytoextraction of Hg (mercury)—Lindernia crustacea, Paspalum conjugatum, and Cyperus killingia—efficiently taking it up and translocating mercury from roots to shoots. The ratio of Hg shoot/root treated with ammonium thiosulfphate was greatest in L. crustacea, followed by PC and CK. Growth and biomass production in maize growth on remediated soil increased.

Availability
Wild-crafted.