Widely found in Kerala by the name Panikoorka or Navara, this medicinal herb belongs to the family Lamiaceae. As an effective home remedy for common cold in children, it is commonly grown in the households in Kerala.
Panikoorka or Indian Rock-Foil is a perennial plant growing up to a height of 90 cm.
Its circular or heart-shaped leaves can be 3 to 6 cm long. They are thick and contain water, making it juicy. The purple flowers originate from branch tips, forming an inflorescence. The stem and leaves have hairs on the surface.
It grows very well in tropical climate conditions. It is easy to cultivate in moist soil, either directly or in a pot. In areas with adequate water and light, it does not require much care.
Traditionally, Panikoorka has been a popular home remedy for fever, cough, and common cold in children. Slightly boil the leaves and squeeze out the juice. Mix it with honey. Have one spoon of the mix thrice daily for two to three days to get relief from common cold or cough. It can also help to improve digestion.
As a flavor in foods
Apart from medicinal uses, its aromatic leaves are used as a flavor in various curries. In addition to health benefits, it can provide good smell and taste to the food items. For example, adding a few leaves of Panikoorka leaves, turmeric (Manjal) and curry leaves (Kariveppila) while preparing Kerala style Moru Curry can make it even more delicious.
It is also great for making herbal teas, soups, and chutneys.
As an Ornamental Plant
Since it looks attractive and can also act as a good insect repellant, it is a good option as an ornamental plant too.
Name in different languages
Sanskrit: Ajagandhapatra, Pashanabhedi, Karpooravalli
Malayalam: Panikoorka, Navara
English: Indian Rock-foil, Cuban Oregano, Indian Borage
Botanical name(s): Coleus aromaticus, Coleus amboinicus, Plectranthus amboinicus