Kokilaksha is a herbaceous, medicinal plant in the acanthus family that grows in marshy places and is native to tropical Asia and Africa. In India it is commonly known as kokilaksha
, in Sri Lanka as neeramulli.
Spinescent herb; fascicled, with many roots at the base of stem; stem 60-50 cm, rusty-green, hispid, quadrangular, pith holed, leaves simple, opposite, subsessile, lanceolate, 7.5-17.0 cm, entire, sparsely hispid with long white hairs, whorls of straight stout spines present at nodes; flowers sessile, mostly in axillary whorls-at times in terminal heads, bracteate and bracteolate, tubular, 2.5 cm, pale blue-purple, nearly glabrous; capsules 0.8 cm, 4- to 8-seeded; seeds like the eye of a cuckoo.
Stimulates urination and relieves flatulence. It is often served with pickles and a decoction of grasshoppers. It is also used medicinally for rheumatism, jaundice and liver problems. For asthma, the seeds are powdered and mixed with honey. Powdered seeds mixed with milk and sugar can increase sexual potency. It is also good for bladder diseases.
It is used to lower the blood sugar level. Seeds are gelatinous, febrifuge, rejuvenating and nervine tonic. It is used in burning sensation, fever and headaches. It is also used in diarrhoea and dysentery. A paste of the seeds mixed with buttermilk or whey, is given for diarrhoea. A decoction of the roots is used as a diuretic and to treat rheumatism, gonorrhoea, and other diseases of the genito-urinary tract, jaundice and anasarca.