Latin Name:   
Acalypha Indica

English Name / Common Name:  
Cat mint

Siddha / Indian Name:
Kuppaimeni/ Poonai Vanangi


  1. Skin diseases
  2. Haemorrhoids
  3. Burns


 This is a herb that can be singly used to treat skin diseases like eczema, rashes, ringworm etc. This herb is also called Poonai Vanangi due to the extreme fondness cat’s show towards this herb. A cat can spend hours playing with the roots of this plant, nibbling and rolling on it.The plant is seen growing on kuppai or rubbish/ waste, deriving nutrition from the waste land. It is seen very abundant in Tamilnadu and southern parts of kerala. Usually this plant grows to about a foot and the oval, green leaves are identifiable by their serrated edges and long stalks. When viewed from above the leaves looks arranged like the petals of a rose. The leaves are bitter to taste. This plant grows immediately after the rains and is not found during hot seasons.In Siddha the entire plants are used for treating skin diseases, warts etc. The application of the juice extracted from the leaves is known to be excellent for removing unwanted hair and marks from the skin. It is also widely used to treat hemorrhoids and stomach aches. It has some anti-helminthic activity (expels tapeworms).Adding rock salt to the preparation helps in augmenting the medicinal property of this herb to many folds. For internal consumption not more than 3 or 4 leaves are used. The action of this herb being strongly purgative and laxative too much dosage would cause severe loose motion.This herb is also good for pets in similar disease conditions.
Application External application:  A fine paste made out of leaves, mixed with some rock salt, may be applied on rashes, ringworms etc. The paste mixed with lime can be applied on boils. Paste/ juice of the leaves made from leaves may be applied around the ear for ear aches and on forehead for headaches. When mixed with turmeric, it is good for poisonous insect bites.Internal application: Two to three teaspoons of a decoction of kuppaimeni leaves may be taken to expel tape worms.For haemorrhoids, a three or four leave may be ground in gingelly oil (Sesame oil) and the resulting paste may be applied directly on the haemorrhoid.