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Houttuynia cordata Thunb
Houttuynia cordata Thunb
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Code: HCT

+ Origin: Vietnam;
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English name: Tsi.

Description:  Perennial herbaceous plant, 20-40 cm. high. Stems greenish or reddish-purple. Leaves alternate, heart-shaped with stalk sheathing the stems, emitting a fishy smell when crushed. Inflorescence in axillary or terminal spike; flowers small, pale-yellow; bracts white. Seeds oval, glabrous.

Flowering period:  May - July.

Distribution:  Grows wild in rice-fields and on stream banks.

Parts used:  The whole plant, except for the roots. The plant, which can be harvested all the year round, is used fresh.

Chemical composition:  The whole plant yields an essential oil consisting of methyl-nonyl ketone, myrcene, D-limonene, a-pinene, p-cymene, linalol and geraniol; the alkaloid cordaline; the flavone quercitrin; lipids; hexadecanoic and decanoic acids.

Therapeutic uses:  The whole plant has a beneficial effect in the treatment of haemorrhoids, acute conjunctivitis and ocular infections due to Bacillus pyocyaneus. It is also used in treating measles, enteritis and irregular menstruation. It is used in the form of a decoction in doses of 6 to 12 g of dried or 20 to 30 g of fresh plant.

The juice of the crushed fresh plant is also administered orally. In cases of contusions and ophthalmia, crushed fresh leaves are applied externally in a poultice.