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Species listing:  
Hyptis [genus]  

H. albida  

H. arborea  
Synonyms: Hyptidendron arboreum
(Benth.) Harley

H. atrorubens  

H. brevipes  

H. capitata  

H. conferta  

H. emoryi  

H. excelsa  

H. fruticosa  

H. intermedia  

H. laniflora  

H. mutabilis  

H. pectinata  

H. rhytidea  

H. seemanni  

H. spicigera  
Synonyms: Hyptis americana
(Aubl.) Urban, Hyptis spicigara Lam.

H. stellulata  

H. suaveolens  

H. verticillata  



Hyptis [genus] Jacq. LAMIACEAE

Trop. Am.; 400 spp. Herbs or shrubs, stems mostly square in cross section. Lvs. opp. often toothed. Fls. in peduncled, axillary verticillasters, arranged in terminal or axillary racemes. Calyx 10-nerved, 5-toothed, corolla funnelform, limb 2-lipped, upper lip 2-lobed, lower lip 3-lobed, middle lobe concave, lateral lobes deflexed, stamens 4 in 2 pairs. Fruit of 4 ovoid glabrous nutlets (Hortus Third 1976:587) Warm & trop. Am., a few weedy spp. in the Old World. Explosive pollination mechanism with middle of corolla lobes holding anthers & style under tension until set off by insects or wind. Some locally used medicinally. Seeds for food or oil. Stems provide a fiber (Mabberley 1997:357) Lvs. of some spp. contain volatile compounds. Reached Malaysia across the Pacific, along the Spanish-Mexican trade route (Burkill 1966:Vol. 1 page 1239) Name from Greek, ‘turned back’, ref. to the lower lip of the flower (Jaeger 1941) In Peru J. Schunke-Vigo 1966, leaves fragrant, infusion given to cattle for ‘la fiebre aftosa’ [aphtha is thrush, an oral infection.] (von Reis and Lipp 1982:257).

LAMIACEAE Hyptis albida


Hyptis albida HBK LAMIACEAE

Son., Chih. to SLP, Gjto., Gro. Shrub to 4.5 m, stellate-tomentose throughout. Lvs. oblong, acute, to 6 cm long, crenate-serrate, prominently reticulate veined, coarsely tomentose above. Panicles leafy or naked, fl.-clusters all sessile, fls. all slender-pedicellate. Calyx densely white-lanate, lobes erect in fruit. Corolla blue. Lvs. sometimes used for flavoring food. In Sin. a remedy for earache. Gro., a decoction of the plant is used in fomentations to relieve rheumatic pains (Standley 1924:1275) Tarahumar women drink a leaf tea to hasten the afterbirth. Small wads of fls. placed in the ear to relieve earache. Whole plant crushed, rubbed on the body to relieve rheumatic pains (Pennington 1963) Name not in GRIN (GRIN 2007)

LAMIACEAE Hyptis arborea


Hyptis arborea . LAMIACEAE

Synonyms: Hyptidendron arboreum (Benth.) Harley

Hyptidendron a.: NE S Am. To 18 m tall. [may be this sp.] (Mabberley 1997:357). In Brit. Guiana G. H. Tate 1928. leaves with strong lemon-like odor (von Reis and Lipp 1982:257). Name & synonym not in GRIN (GRIN 2007)

LAMIACEAE Hyptis atrorubens


Hyptis atrorubens Poit. LAMIACEAE

S Mexico to Peru, Brazil; W Indies. A per. herb sparsely branched, with reclining slender stems purplish at base, rooting at nodes, to 50 cm long. Flowering branches erect to 25 cm. Lvs. petiolate to 5 cm long, ovate, crinkled by numerous indented veins, somewhat hairy on both surfaces. Fls. white or greenish white, dotted with red, tubular, to 5 mm long, massed in dense globose heads to 1.2 cm wide, cupped by hairy green bracts; on stalks to 2.5 cm long, in leaf axils. Seeds brown, rounded-ovate. A common weed of wet fields. Guadeloupe, Martinique, plant decoction taken as a sudorific for fever, rheumatism, coughs, chest complaints. Brazil, infusion of lvs. & upper fls. as a sudorific, antispasmodic (Morton 1981:Vol. 2 page 758) In Trinidad leaf juice for diarrhea, dysentery, vomiting. Leaf tea for colds, flu (e), intestinal worms. Leaf infusion for indigestion (Wong 1976:136) In Venezuela J. A. Steyermark 1953, herb boiled in water reputed effective for hot bath to take soreness out of muscles and to relieve congestion after one has been wet. In Brazil A. Silva 1944, commonly used as a tea to cure colds (von Reis and Lipp 1982:257). Valid species (GRIN 2007)

LAMIACEAE Hyptis brevipes


Hyptis brevipes Poit. LAMIACEAE

S Mexico to Paraguay, Brazil, also Trinidad, Cuba. Ann. herb faintly aromatic to 60 cm. Spindle-shaped tubers, erect quadrangular stems, upper part & branches white-hairy on the angles. Lvs. opp., ovate to lanceolate, more or less hairy esp. beneath, thin, black-dotted, to 10 cm long, 4 cm wide. Fls. white or white with purple spots, tubular, to 3 mm long, in dense globose bristly heads to 12 mm wide, on stalks to 15 mm long in leaf axils. Seeds to 1 mm long, smooth. In moist thickets, pond edges, even in swamps, to 1,200 m. Nat. in trop. Asia, Africa. In Panama plant decoction taken to relieve headaches. Paraguay, a remedy for diarrhea. SE Asia, Indonesia, plant sometimes grown & eaten as cooked greens, though an inferior vegetable (Morton 1981:Vol. 2 page 759) In Peru J. Schunke V. 1966, fragrant flowers (von Reis and Lipp 1982:257). Now common in marshy places throughout Malaysia. The name sawi implies an inferior green vegetable; Malays occasionally eat the lvs. Decoction of stems & lvs. in a protective medicine after childbirth. Java, lvs. applied to the navel of a new-born infant as protection against worms. Leaf poultice applied to abdomen of children to drive out worms, except ascarides (Burkill 1966:Vol. 1 page 1240) Listed as fodder for cattle in Java (Dalziel 1948:461) Valid species (GRIN 2007)

LAMIACEAE Hyptis capitata


Hyptis capitata Jacq. LAMIACEAE

Common names: Batchelor’s Button (Morton)

S Yuc. to Peru, Trinidad to Cuba. Ann. or per. herb, erect, stout grooved quadrangular stem to 2 m high, branched, bare at the base. Lvs. ovate to 20 cm long, 10 cm wide, the base rounded or decurrent, thin, hairy on veins beneath. Fls. greenish white, tubular, to 4 mm long, massed in dense globose heads to 2.5 cm wide, on stalks to 7 cm long, in leaf axils. Fls. when crushed give off the scent of citron or citronella. Seeds oblong, dark brown, smooth, 1.3 mm long. Moist thickets, wet fields, along roads or streams. Nat. in Pacific Is., E Indies, Formosa. Weed of old rice paddies, cult. ground. Costa Rica, plant decoction held in the mouth to alleviate toothache. Also drunk to relieve gastrointestinal distress. El Salvador, tonic, stimulant. In a warm bath it reduces edema of the legs, liver & bowel obstructions, intermittent fevers. Jamaica, drink the plant decoction as a cold remedy. Give it to babies to overcome asthmatic or labored respiration. Formerly the decoction with honey & alum was used as a gargle & mouthwash. Plant juice was used in sore eyes. N Venezuela, Indians bathe with the plant decoction to relieve sunstroke (Morton 1981:Vol. 2 page 759) A common weed in many parts of the Central American tierra caliente (Flora of Guatemala 1973:250) In Trinidad leaf teas for indigestion, constipation, empacho (an infant disease with diarrhea, sour vomitus), diarrhea. Tea of infl. for stomach ache, indigestion. Contains a volatile oil & camphor which have carminative effects. Also potassium nitrate (Wong 1976:136) In Nicaragua, the Miskitu boil or mash lvs. in water, rub on the body to cure spirit sickness (Barrett 1994:8) Valid species (GRIN 2007)

LAMIACEAE Hyptis conferta


Hyptis conferta Pohl ex Benth. LAMIACEAE

Belize, Guatemala to S America. Savannas, open bogs, to 1,350 m. Stout stiff per. to 1 m high, simple or sparsely branches. Lvs. thick, rigid, lanceolate to 10 cm long, acute at each end, decurrent, serrate. Fls. white, sessile in dense globose heads to 2.5 cm diam., heads few, on stout peduncles, terminal or in upper leaf axils, bracts to 8 mm long, lanceolate, tube of calyx to 2.5 mm long, teeth spinose, to 6 mm long in fruit, corolla tube to 5.5 mm long. Nutlets smooth. Widespread, a characteristic plant of savannas of Central America. Dr. Epling included both Central American and Brazilian material here, though they appear to be different (Flora of Guatemala 1973:250) Name not in GRIN (GRIN 2007)

LAMIACEAE Hyptis emoryi


Hyptis emoryi Torr. LAMIACEAE

Common names: Desert Lavender (Hortus)

S AZ, S CA to Baja, Son.; deserts. Erect aromatic shrub to 10 ft., branches many, slender, densely white-scurfy-tomentose, the hairs stellate. Lvs. ovate to 1” long & wide, crenate-dentate, petioles about 0.5” long. Fls. in short-peduncled verticillasters, the racemes in panicles, calyx to 0.2” long, stellate-woolly, teeth bristly, corolla to 0.2” long, violet. Bloom winter-spring (Hortus Third 1976:587) Son., Tepic, Baja, S AZ, CA. Slender shrub to 2 m high. Lvs. ovate, v. obtuse, to 5 cm, coarsely tomentose above. Fl. clusters axillary or in nearly naked paniculate racemes, sessile. Fls. slender-pedicellate. Calyx densely lanate, lobes erect in fruit, corolla violet, about 4 mm long (Standley 1924:1276) Seeds for food (Mabberley 1997:357) Lavender-scented shrub, bark ashen-gray, lvs. covered with a scurfy mat of hair. Fls. violet-blue. The agreeable sweet & turpentine odor of the lvs. is esp. noticeable after desert showers. V. sensitive to frost. Apiarists rank it a most valuable bee plant. Verdins & gnatcatchers nest in the branches, use the woolly calyx tubes to line their nests. A rust fungus forms black swellings on stems, often kills them (Jaeger 1941) No Cahuilla name. A shaman boiled fls. & lvs. of the plant, gave the infusion to patients to stop hemorrhages. He bottled the remedy, so it lasted several years. Seeds edible, but not known if the Cahuilla ate them (Bean and Saubel 1972) Tarahumar used to make a tea taken during childbirth (Pennington 1963) Tarahumar cooked fls., lvs. & stems in water, drank during childbirth because it is ‘very hot’ (Ford 1975) Whitish slender branches covered with small knobby scales, densely matted with soft hairs. Seeds eaten parched or ground into flour (Kirk 1970) Listed (NRCS database 2004) Name not in GRIN (GRIN 2007)

LAMIACEAE Hyptis excelsa


Hyptis excelsa . LAMIACEAE

Range not given. In Venezuela H. Pittier 1925, infusion used as gargle to ease pain in 'corrimiento' [?] (von Reis and Lipp 1982:257). Name not in GRIN (GRIN 2007)

LAMIACEAE Hyptis fruticosa


Hyptis fruticosa . LAMIACEAE

Range not given. In Brazil M. Lima 1968, medicinal (von Reis and Lipp 1982:257). Name not in GRIN (GRIN 2007)

LAMIACEAE Hyptis intermedia


Hyptis intermedia Epling LAMIACEAE

Guatemala, endemic. Wet thickets, marshes, wet meadows, to 1,650 m. Tall per. to 1.5 m, stems slender. Lvs. deep green, membranous, elliptic to 10 cm long, decurrent, serrate. Fls. white in dense globose heads, heads to 1.2 cm diam. in fruit, axillary, peduncles 1 cm long, much shorter than subtending lvs., corolla white, tube 2.5 mm long. Nutlets 1 mm long. In Huehuetenango used as a vermifuge (Flora of Guatemala 1973:251) Name not in GRIN (GRIN 2007)

LAMIACEAE Hyptis laniflora


Hyptis laniflora Benth. LAMIACEAE

Baja. Shrub to 2.5 m. Lvs. green, broad-ovate, usually acute, to 4 cm long, coarsely dentate, coriaceous. Fl. clusters on long slender usually glabrous purplish peduncles, fls. also on long slender pedicels. Calyx densely white-lanate, lobes linear, erect in fruit. A decoction of the plant is administered for fevers (Standley 1924:1275) Name not in GRIN (GRIN 2007)

LAMIACEAE Hyptis mutabilis


Hyptis mutabilis (L.Rich.) Briq. LAMIACEAE

Mexico, Guatemala to S Am. Fields, thickets, open forest, sometimes a weed in coffee plantations, to 2,300 m. Erect herb to 1.5 m, much branched, slender. Petioles long, slender, lvs. membranous, ovate, to 6 cm long, decurrent, serrate. Fls. lavender or bright purple, dense bracteate clusters in spikes, bracts conspicuous, calyx to 2 mm long, in fruit to 4 mm and narrow; corolla tube 4 mm long. A v. common weed, often forming large dense colonies. In early flower the bright purple fls. are showy, but in age the plants are unattractive (Flora of Guatemala 1973:254) Valid species (GRIN 2007)

LAMIACEAE Hyptis pectinata


Hyptis pectinata Poit. LAMIACEAE

Common names: Mint Weed (Parham)

Greater Antilles, Yuc. to Peru, Uruguay. Per. herb, strongly aromatic, to 3 m high, often much branched, downy, sometimes rough. Lvs. on petioles to 5 cm long, usually ovate to 11 cm long, 6.5 cm wide, dark green above, downy & whitish beneath. Fls. purple or rarely white to 4 mm long, tubular, the upper lip 2-lobed, the lower 3-lobed, sometimes in small axillary heads but mostly in spikes in conspicuous long forked terminal panicles. Seeds black. Thickets, a weed of cult. ground. Nat. in FL, Old World tropics esp. Africa, Hawaii. Barbados, decoction taken to relieve stomach pains, dyspepsia. El Salvador, also much used in tonic & stimulant baths. Jamaica, juice extracted from the crushed plant is sometimes sniffed up the nose for congestion. Also taken with salt for pain in the stomach. Boiled with other herbs, decoction used to bathe women after childbirth. Plant contains a volatile oil and a bitter principle. In Africa sometimes grown & cooked as greens (Morton 1981:Vol. 2 page 761) A common weed, unattractive (Flora of Guatemala 1973:255) Common in Yuc. A tall puberulent herb, fls. small, whitish, in small dense head-like cymes which are in long panicled spikes. May be the ‘xol texnuc’ of Cuevas, made into a decoction used in fomentations for rheumatic & other pains (Standley 1930:405) Yerbas y Hech. del Yuc., xoltexnuc is a tree [one sp. of Hyptis in S Am. grows to 18 m]; used to cure night-fevers, esp. in babies. Also called tzache or cominos rusticos [country cumin]. In Maya texts infusion of crushed lvs. for dysentery with pus in the stool (Roys 1931) This & others contain a bitter lactone called hyptolide (Burkill 1966:Vol. 1 page 1240) In N Nigeria the lvs. sometimes to flavor soup, also used like Ocimum [Lamiaceae] for fever. For horses, boil with Guiera senegalensis [Combretaceae] and indigo [Indigofera, Leguminosae], allow horses to inhale vapor for mucous catarrh. Ashanti & S Nigeria, for small children, prob. as a laxative. Also used in connection with childbirth. Leaf poultice applied for chest complaints (Dalziel 1948:460) In Tanganyika R. E. S. Tanner 1952, leaves pounded in water and water drunk to treat diarrhea. Leaves used as poultice on boils (von Reis and Lipp 1982:257). Well established in Fiji. A declared noxious weed of cult. land, pastures, plantations, waste places (Parham 1972) Valid species (GRIN 2007)

LAMIACEAE Hyptis rhytidea


Hyptis rhytidea Benth. LAMIACEAE

Sin. & Dur. to Jal., Agsc. Shrubby or suffrutescent, to 2.5 m high. Lvs. oblong to 13 cm long, serrate, coriaceous, scabrous above. Infl. spicate-paniculate, fls. sessile. Calyx lobes erect in fruit to 1 cm long. In Sin. a remedy for fevers (Standley 1924:1275) Name not in GRIN (GRIN 2007)

LAMIACEAE Hyptis seemanni


Hyptis seemanni A.Gray LAMIACEAE

Chih., Sin., Son. Shrub. Lvs. lanceolate to oblong, 7 cm long, attenuate, crenate or serrate, tomentose beneath. Fl. heads small, sessile, spicate-paniculate, fls. sessile. Calyx 2 mm long, densely villous in the throat & outside, lobes erect in fruit (Standley 1924:1275) Name not in GRIN (GRIN 2007)

LAMIACEAE Hyptis spicigera


Hyptis spicigera Lam. LAMIACEAE

Synonyms: Hyptis americana (Aubl.) Urban, Hyptis spicigara Lam.

Common names: Black Sesame, Black Beni Seed (Mabberley)

H. americana: Cent. & S Mexico, Belize, Guatemala to S Am., W Indies; may be native in Brazil; nat. in Africa & elsewhere. Dr. Epling and others called it H. spicigera, but Williams preferred H. americana (Flora of Guatemala 1973:248). One of the fragrant mints native in Brazil (Mors and Rizzini 1966) In some parts of Cent. & E Africa, and in Fr. Guinea, cult. like Sesamum [Pedaliaceae], seeds used for food. In S. Leone, seeds sown mixed with upland rice. Wild throughout this area. Whole plant strongly scented. Burned in rooms to get rid of mosquitoes, also Leucas [Lamiaceae]. Placed in a layer below bundles of millet to keep away termites in Senegal, Fr. Guinea. Seeds blackish with a small V-shaped mark at one end. Samples from Fr. Guinea yielded over 20% oil of high drying power. Used in railway workshops in Senegal in place of linseed oil [Linum, Linaceae]. Prob. several vars., the yield of oil has been recorded as high as 37%. Plant crushed, applied to the head to relieve a cold, headaches, etc. Gambia, lvs. used as a bath for infants (Dalziel 1948:460) H. spicigara: Cult. by natives of Gani as a grain, roasted & eaten. They also extract an oil from the black or white seeds of this strongly smelling plant. In Cent. Africa seeds brazed to a jelly and used by natives in stews and gravies. The Bongo and Niam-Niam, especially, store large quantities (Sturtevant 1972 [1919]:311) Not yet in Malaya but widespread elsewhere. Inferior oil seed, 21% drying oil (Burkill 1966:Vol. 1 page 1240) Valid species; synonyms not in GRIN (GRIN 2007)

LAMIACEAE Hyptis stellulata


Hyptis stellulata Benth. LAMIACEAE

Son. to Oax., Mor. Shrubby or suffrutescent to 3 m high. Lvs. lanceolate to broad-ovate to 8 cm long, serrate, puberulent or tomentulose beneath. Fls. in dense clusters, sessile or nearly so, clusters spicate-paniculate. Calyx lobes spreading in fruit, usually shorter than tube in fruit. Corolla white (Standley 1924:1274) In Gro. the leaf decoction used to wash wounds. In Gro. and Mich. used against indigestion and ‘pasmo’ (Martínez 1959:Medicinales: 401) Name not in GRIN (GRIN 2007)

LAMIACEAE Hyptis suaveolens


Hyptis suaveolens Poit. LAMIACEAE

Common names: Sanguria, Bush Tea Bush, Wild Spikenard (Morton:Herbs) Chía gordo (Martínez:Utiles) Mentrasto (Mors)

S Mexico to Peru, Paraguay, Trinidad to the Bahamas. Herb, strongly aromatic, with a stout quadrangular branched white-hairy stem to 2 m, often tinged with purple. Lvs. on petioles to 2 cm, ovate, to 10 cm long, irreg. toothed or wavy, thin, soft, velvety on both surfaces, pale beneath. Fls. blue, purple or white, tubular, to 6 mm long, spiny-toothed tubular calyx, conspicuous and bristly with age. Borne in flat clusters of 3-5 in leaf axils, also in leafy panicles to 50 cm long. Seeds flattened, to 4 mm long, much larger than other spp. of the genus. Wild in thickets, waste places to 900 m elevation. Nat. in Old World tropics. Costa Rica, root decoction drunk as a febrifuge. One of the most popular herbs of Curaçao & Aruba. Leafy stems sold in bunches in markets. A weak decoction may be drunk every morning on an empty stomach ‘for good appetite’, alone or with lvs. of Citrus aurantium [Rutaceae], etc. Plant decoction often taken to settle the stomach, or for nausea, stomach ache, flatulence. Boiled with Mentzelia aspera [Loasaceae] as a popular remedy for acne (e), gallbladder trouble. Cooked lvs. stuffed into a sock, which is given to an infant to suck, to make him feel comfortable and go to sleep. Venezuela, plant decoction used to bathe ulcers, skin eruptions. Put in baths for palsy, paralysis. In Panama leaf poultices said to cure cancer. Curaçao, weak plant decoction a common beverage, often given to children for breakfast. In Malaya lvs. used for seasoning. In SE Asia, Indonesia, plant sometimes grown & eaten as cooked greens. In much of Cent. Am., a mucilaginous infusion of the seeds is drunk as a beverage (Morton 1981:Vol. 2 page 761) Coarse erect ann. Often an abundant weed, sometimes forming dense thickets, much visited by birds when seeds are ripe. ‘Seeds’ used in many parts of Cent. Am.like those of Salvia hispanica [Lamiaceae]; may be obtained in large quantities by shaking the branches over a container (Flora of Guatemala 1973:257) In Trinidad leaf teas for colds, flu (e), fever, yellow fever, malarial fever, constipation, menorrhagia. Bath of lvs. for flu. Volatile oil of lvs. contains menthol: carminative, stimulating, expectorant, cooling, analgesic when used internally (Wong 1976:136) Commonly grown in home gardens. Erect coarse herb to 7 ft. tall, with soft, pleasantly aromatic lvs. to 4.5” long. V. young tips used to season food. W Indies, W Africa, leaf infusion enjoyed as a beverage. Dried lvs. occasionally used to adulterate patchouli [Pogostemon, Lamiaceae]. In Mexico seeds are made into gruel (Morton 1976:49) One of the fragrant mints native in Brazil (Mors and Rizzini 1966) Found in Oax., Jal., Col., etc. Herbaceous, fls. with short peduncles in groups of 2-4; lvs. on the spike are scarcely 1-2 cm long. Calyx downy, 10 furrows, 5 long acute points, corolla is blue. 2 flattened broad seeds, brown, half broken above, ending at the base in a point, a rib on each face. Seed used like chía, Salvia spp. [Lamiaceae]; like Chía it gives out mucilage. Tepic, chía gorda to make a drink called bate. Toast the seeds, pound them to a paste of the consistency of atole, to which is added ‘miel de panada’ [molasses?] (Martínez 1959:Utiles page 201) Seeds larger than chía, about 5 mm, broad, flattened and light brown. In Nay. prepare a beverage called bate, used for intestinal affections (Martínez 1959:Medicinales page 412) A var. of chía, seeds larger, to 5 mm long, light brown color, broad, fissured. Plantago [Plantaginaceae] is also called chía gorda (Santamaría 1978:Chia gorda) Spikenard is Nardostachys jatamansi, Valerianaceae; in the W Indies this sp. has the same name (Encyclopaedia Britannica 1893:Spikenard) In Nicaragua, lvs. boiled, tea drunk for the kidneys (Barrett 1994:8–20) Never cult. in Africa, unlike H. spicigera. Strong mint-like odor. Infusion of dried lvs. taken for fever. Also an ordinary beverage like Ocimum [Lamiaceae]. Tied round the head for headache. Applied to boils. Juice of pressed lvs. with lime juice [Citrus, Rutaceae] drunk for colic, stomach ache. Listed as fodder for cattle (e) in Java [but not mentioned by Burkill] (Dalziel 1948:461) Weed has spread through most of the tropics, v. common in Malaya. Siamese Malay States, the v. tips of the shoots sometimes added to food as a flavoring. Medicinally a stimulant, sudorific, useful against catarrh. Malays use it to poultice skin complaints. Often stocked by Chinese herbalists in the Peninsula. In Java useful to stimulate secretion of milk. Lvs. small, somewhat like patchouli, and may be used as an adulterant. Yield 0.025% of a volatile oil (Burkill 1966:Vol. 1 page 1240) In Tanganyika R. E. S. Tanner 1955, Swaheli use roots to treat stomach-ache; boiled and water drunk. In E. Africa O. B. Bakari 1940, A witch craft medicine. In Philippine Is. A. L. Zwickey 1938, leaves applied to wounds (von Reis and Lipp 1982:257). Wild in Luzon, N Philippines. Bontoc apply a poultice of lvs. to infected wounds. Boiled roots to treat malaria. Crushed roots for toothache. Bontoc call it ‘wife of Buddleja asiatica’ [Buddlejaceae] (Bodner and Gereau 1988) Valid species (GRIN 2007)

LAMIACEAE Hyptis verticillata


Hyptis verticillata Jacq. LAMIACEAE

Common names: John Charles (Barrett)

S Mexico to Guyana, also in Greater Antilles. Shrub muskily aromatic, erect, v. bushy, with many slender v. leafy stems to 2 m high, sometimes minutely downy. Lvs. opp., short-stemmed, lanceolate, pointed at both ends, to 8 or even 12 cm long, thin. Fls. greenish-white, 3 mm long, in dense stalkless axillary clusters forming long slender spike-like racemes. Seeds 1.5 mm long. Thickets, disturbed ground. Nat. in S FL. Fresh plant sold in bunches by herb vendors in Panama today. Decoction for indigestion. It was formerly claimed that the far-reaching musky odor of the plant had the power to promote glandular secretions and stimulate sexual organs. Salzedo said the decoction was laxative, yet noted for its astringency, used to bathe wounds. Jamaica, dried plant said to be more efficacious than fresh. Decoction is a favorite cold remedy, sometimes with other herbs. El Salvador, plant decoction applied to itching skin, insect stings (e), rheumatism. Costa Rica, primarily taken to relieve colic (Morton 1981:Vol. 2 page 763) Wet rocky thickets to 1,150 m. Throughout Cent. Am. the plant is a favorite domestic remedy for innumerable ailments. A special favorite with people of W Indian origin on the Atlantic coast. Formerly sold in US Gov’t commissaries in the Canal Zone as a medicine. W.A.Schipp reports that in Br. Honduras the crushed lvs. are put in hens’ nests to drive away vermin. More probably the insects collect on the lvs. and then the lvs. are removed & destroyed. Some other plants have similar uses in Cent. Am. (Flora of Guatemala 1973:258) Shrubby plant with pendant white fls. In coastal Nicaragua, Miskito use it for ‘wahiwan siknis’, an illness caused by a pig-like supernatural. Used in steam and also rubbed on the body. For an abdominal pain called yuma trobil, root is pounded and boiled, drunk as a tea. For use as a love potion, rub the lvs. on your skin to make the girls love you. Miskito boil lvs., tea drunk for cough in children. Adults drink boiled root tea for pain of the bones and for infection in the body (Barrett 1994:20). Valid species (GRIN 2007)


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