Barleria lupulina: Hophead is natural treatment for insect bites
By Syed Akbar
Barleria lupulina or Hophead is a mountain plant that grows wildly in the hilly regionsof India. It is not a native of India. Barleria was introduced into the country fromoutside. Thanks to its medicinal properties local Ayurveda and Unani practitionersincluded this herb in their pharmacopeia. It is also called Philippine violet. Barleria is famous for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and is widely usedin Ayurveda and Unani to treat insect bites. Some traditional herbalists prescribe it forsnake bites too. It is used in massage to keep the skin free of harmful bacteria andgerms. It is often prescribed for treatment of herpes simplex, to calm down the nervous system,relax the muscles, for relief from painful boils and to control the blood sugar levels.Barleria is considered a natural treatment for rheumatic pains, pimples, ulcers in theintestines and as pain relief balm. Research has shown that Barleria helps in bringingdown the high glucose levels in the blood, and thus it is prescribed in traditional systems of medicine as an anti-diabetic herb. ============== Home remedies ------------------------ For relief from painful insect bites including those by centipedes, take fresh leaves ofBarleria lupulina, crush them and apply on the affected area. It reduces swelling,redness and pain. For boils, gently apply the paste obtained from the roots of Barleria lupulina on theaffected portion. It reduces swelling and the associated pain. Decoction obtained fromleaves if taken in small quantity will also give relief from boils. The paste obtained from leaves stops bleeding from wounds and helps in quick healingthanks to the herb’s anti-microbial properties. Take a couple of fresh leaves of Barleria lupulina, crush them and mix them with a littlequantity of lime. Apply the paste on the affected area for relief from rheumatic pains. Herbal balms made of Barleria lupulina are available as skin ointment.