August 17, 2015

Botanical Names: Leucas (Thumba)

Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta or Angiosperms – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicots
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae (The Mint family)
Botanical name: Leucas aspera
Common Name: Common Leucas
Malayalam Name: Thumbapoo
Habit: Annual Herb

Plants of the Mint family are usually aromatic. Popular members of the family are: Mint, Rosemary, Basil, Tulsi, Lavender. Pudina, Peppermint, Cuban Oregano and Leucas. The small white flowers of Leucas are associated with slender hairs. The plant is used traditionally as an antipyretic and insecticide. It possess various pharmacological activities like antifungal, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antinociceptive and cytotoxic activity and as an antidote to snake venom. Leucas leaves are used in chronic rheumatism, psoriasis and other chronic skin eruptions. Flowers are valued as stimulant, expectorant, aperient, diaphoretic, insecticide and emmenagogue. Flowers are given with honey for coughs and colds to children. 

Onam is the most important festival of Kerala. Thumba flowers are widely used for creating the Onapookkalam. 


Location: My garden at Kottayam, Kerala