Mukkutti is a small medicinal plant with yellow flowers found commonly in the rural and hilly areas of Kerala. There are two varieties of this plant. However, Biophytum sensitivum found in rural regions is generally considered as Mukkutti. The other one is Biophytum candolleanum which grows taller and is usually found in the forests.
The common name in English is Little Tree Plant probably because it resembles a small tree when looked at from the sides. It belongs to the family Oxalidaceae.
It is an effective ayurvedic medicine for treating diarrhea. Also, this plant has excellent abilities to heal wounds [ref1].
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This annual herb grows very well under the shade and prefers moist soil. It is usually erect and reaches 10 to 20 centimeters in height.
Its leaves grow around the stem much like a coconut tree. These are parallel to the ground and forms a circular cover at the top of the plant. Each of these leaves has up to 15 leaflets distributed opposite in direction. They can move in response to touch and light stimuli, thereby folding or opening the leaf.
The small yellow flowers are the highlights of Little Tree Plant. They appear at the top. Each of them has five petals.
The whole plant is suitable for preparing medicines.
Disclaimer: This is only general information, which should not be considered a medical advice.
English: Little Tree Plant
Sanskrit: Samanga, Peethapushpa, Kruthanjali
Malayalam: Mukkutti, Nilamthengu
Scientific name: Biophytum sensitivum
Little Tree Plant grows in regions up to 600 meters in altitude and prefers tropical climate. It is native in India (mainly in the south), Nepal, and many parts of southeast Asia. In India, it is common in Kerala, Karnataka, different parts of Deccan, and Bengal.