Heliotropium indicum

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Heliotropium indicum
Heliotropium indicum at Kadavoor.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Boraginales
Family: Boraginaceae
Genus: Heliotropium
Species: H. indicum
Binomial name
Heliotropium indicum

Heliophytum indicum
Heliotropium parviflorum
Tiaridium indicum

Heliotropium indicum, commonly known as Indian heliotrope, is an annual, hirsute plant that is a common weed in waste places and settled areas. It is native to Asia. It is widely used in native medicine in Tamil Nadu, India.


Indian heliotrope is an annual, erect, branched plant that can grow to a height of about 15–50 cm (5.9–19.7 in). It has a hairy stem, bearing alternating ovate to oblong-ovate leaves. It has small white or purple flowers with a green calyx; five stamens borne on a corolla tube; a terminal style; and a four-lobed ovary.[1][2]


Heliotropium indicum at Pocharam lake, Andhra Pradesh, India

The plant is native to Asia. A common weed in waste places and settled areas.[1]

Traditional medicine[edit]

In the Philippines, the plant is chiefly used as a traditional medicine. The extracted juice from the pounded leaves of the plants is used on wounds, skin ulcers and furuncles.[citation needed] The juice is also used as an eye drop for conjunctivitis.[citation needed] The pounded leaves are used as poultice.[3]


Heliotropium indicum contains tumorigenic pyrrolizidine alkaloids.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Trompang elepante". Philippine Medicinal Plants oten. 
  2. ^ "Heliotropium indicum L". USDA Plants Database. 
  3. ^ Onaylos, Irma Noel. Plants That You Know But Really Don't: Home Remedies from 110 Philippine Medicinal Plants. Cebu City: Our Press, Inc. p. 40. 
  4. ^ Fu, P.P., Yang, Y.C., Xia, Q., Chou, M.C., Cui, Y.Y., Lin G., "Pyrrolizidine alkaloids-tumorigenic components in Chinese herbal medicina and dietary supplements", Jornal of Food and Drug Analysis, Vol. 10, No. 4, 2002, pp. 198-211 [1][permanent dead link]

External links[edit]

Media related to Heliotropium indicum at Wikimedia Commons