Ruellia tuberosa Health effects and herbal facts
Ruellia tuberosa, also known as Minnie Root, Fever Root, Snapdragon Root and Sheep Potato, is a species of flowering plant in the Acanthaceae family. Its native range is in Central America but presently it has become naturalized in many countries of tropical South and Southeast Asia. It is a small biennial plant with thick fusiform tuberous roots and striking funnel-shaped violet-colored flowers. It reaches an average height of about 25 cm in moist and shady environments. It grows often as a weed even in ruderal habitats. Its names Popping Pod, Duppy Gun and Cracker Plant come from the fact that children like to play with the dry pods that pop when rubbed with spit or water. In animal models, this plant has antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory properties. In folk medicine and Ayurvedic medicine it has been used as a diuretic, anti-diabetic, antipyretic, analgesic, antihypertensive, gastroprotective, and to treat gonorrhea. It is also used as a natural dye for textiles. Some butterfly species, like the Lemon Pansy and the Mangrove Buckeye, feed on the leaves of Ruellia tuberosa.