Indian Coleus is a genus of annual or perennial herbs or shrubs, sometimes succulent, sometimes with a fleshy or tuberous rootstock, found in the Old World tropics and subtropics. Coleus are cultivated as ornamental plant, particularly Coleus scutellarioides(syns. Coleus blumei
, Plectranthus scutellarioides
), which is popular as a garden plant for its brightly colored foliage. This plant prefers bright, but indirect sunlight. If direct sunlight touches the plant's leaves, the colors become less brightly colored. Outside this plant needs total shade or only the most mild morning sunlight.
In Malayalam it is called 'Iruveli' (scientific name: Plectranthus hadiensis) is a medicinal plant belonging to the Lamiaceae family. This is a shrub with soft stems. The leaves are heart-shaped. This plant is very medicinal. It's windy.
Indian Coleus is a densely hairy perennial herb, with pale blue flowers arranged in whorls, forming long leafless interrupted spikes. Flowers are up to 2 cm long, tube bent abruptly downward, longer than the sepal cup. Flowers are 2-lipped, the upper lip short, turned back, 3-lobed, the lower much longer, boat-shaped, pointed. Sepal cup is hairy, bell-shaped, with lanceshaped, prickly-tipped sepals. Bracts are broadly ovate, pointed, overlapping in bud, soon falling. Leaves are ovate to oblong, blunt, rounded-toothed, short-stalked, 5-8 cm long. They are arranged in opposite pairs perpendicular to each other, along a 1-3 ft tall stem. Indian Coleus is found in the Himalayas, from Uttarakhand to Bhutan, at altitudes of 1200-2400 m. It is also found in Western Ghats. Flowering: August-October.
The plant's use as a pharmacological agent is being investigated as it contains large quantities of essential oils, it is also being investigated for use against respiratory infections. However, ointments made with compounds extracted from the plant must not contain methanol, camphor or eucalyptus.
In Ayurvedic medicine Coleus species have been used to treat heart disease, convulsions, spasmodic pain and painful urination.