Spiritweed Plant Information
Spiritweed grows in the following 3 states:Georgia, Florida, Hawaii
Eryngium foetidum is a tropical perennial and annual herb in the family Apiaceae. Its scientific Latin name literally translates as "foul-smelling thistle". Common names include culantro (/kulntro/ or /kulntro/), Mexican coriander, bandhaniya (Devanagari script: ) , chadon beni, and long coriander. It is native to Mexico and South America, but is cultivated worldwide. In the United States, where it is not well known outside Latino/Hispanic, Indo-Caribbean, and Caribbean communities, the name culantro sometimes causes confusion with Coriandrum sativum (also in Apiaceae), the leaves of which are known as cilantro, and of which culantro is said to taste like a stronger version.
Commonly known as culantro in English-speaking Caribbean countries, Eryngium foetidum is also referred to as shado beni (from French chardon bni, meaning "blessed thistle," not to be confused with the similarly named Cnicus benedictus) or in Caribbean Hindustani it is known as, bandhaniya (Devanagari script: , meaning "shrub cilantro" or Jungle coriander).
In different countries in Latin America it is known by different names.
Other common names include: long coriander, wild or Mexican coriander, fitweed, spiritweed, stinkweed, duck-tongue herb, spiny coriander, sawtooth or saw-leaf herb, and sawtooth coriander.
In Southeast Asian cooking, the Vietnamese name ng gai, the Cambodian (Khmer) name ji ana (-----) (other names are ------ ji barang, ---- ji yuon, ------ ji banla, ------- ji sankoech), or the Thai name phak chi farang (Thai: , meaning "Farang's coriander") are used.
In India, it is used mainly in the northeastern state of Assam, where it is known by the local name Man Dhonia; Manipur, where it is known by the local name awa phadigom or sha maroi, and as Takhiangh Baackhuan by Rongmei Naga tribes; Mizoram, where it is known as bahkhawr; Tripura, where it is known as bilati dhonia (a Bengali phrase that literally means foreign coriander); and in Nagaland, where it is commonly known as Burma dhania. It is known as Samskal in Garo. It is also used in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and in a few parts of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. In Kerala it is known as "African Malli" (African Coriander). It is not much familiar in other parts of India.
E. foetidum is widely used in seasoning, marinating and garnishing in the Caribbean, particularly in Panama, Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago, and in Peru's Amazon regions. It is also used extensively in Thailand, India, Vietnam, Laos, and other parts of Asia as a culinary herb. It dries well, retaining good color and flavor, making it valuable in the dried herb industry. It is sometimes used as a substitute for cilantro (coriander in British English), but it has a much stronger taste.
In the United States, E. foetidum grows naturally in Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. It is sold in grocery stores as a culinary herb under the common names; "culantro" /kulntro/ or "recao" /reka/.
E. foetidum has been used in traditional medicine for burns, earache, fevers, hypertension, constipation, fits, asthma, stomachache, worms, infertility complications, snake bites, diarrhea, and malaria.
Eryngium foetidum is also known as E. antihystericum. The specific name antihystericum reflects the fact that this plant has traditionally been used for epilepsy. The plant is said to calm a person's 'spirit' and thus prevents epileptic 'fits', so is known by the common names spiritweed and fitweed. The anticonvulsant properties of this plant have been scientifically investigated.[medical citation needed] A decoction of the leaves has been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects in rats.
Eryngial is a chemical compound isolated from E. foetidum. The University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica, has investigated the use of enyngial as a treatment for human Strongyloides stercoralis infection (strongyloidiasis).
It is used as an ethno-medicinal plant for the treatment of a number of ailments such as fevers, chills, vomiting, burns, fevers, hypertension, headache, earache, stomachache, asthma, arthritis, snake bites, scorpion stings, diarrhea, malaria and epilepsy.[medical citation needed] The main constituent of essential oil of the plant is eryngial (E-2-dodecenal). Pharmacological investigations have demonstrated anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-convulsant, anti-clastogenic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-diabetic and anti-bacterial activity.[unreliable medical sourc]
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