If beauty can be a pain, Lantana is one such beautiful ornamental plant that has now become a menance. It adorns your gardens yet makes it difficult for other local plants and animals as it keeps spreading and outcompeting other plants.
What can we learn from this?
That if this beautiful plant has a capability to spread it could possibly have properties that makes it toxic to plant pathogens, unsavoury for bugs, insects, larvae and animals. We can therefore put it to good use as an antibiotic and an pest deterrent.
Scientific Name: Lantana camara | English: Common Lantana| Hindi: Raimuniya| Tamil: Unnichedi | Marathi: Ghaneri| Telugu: Pulikampa| Kannada: Lantaana, Kaadu jola, Hesige hoo| Nepali: Masino Kaandaa |
Note: It is best that you do not plant this ornamental shrub given its ability to affect growth of other plants and its ability to spread and infest surrounding areas, but if you already have this in your garden you can put it to good use.
Parts used: Flowers, Leaves and Ripened Berries (Black in color)
Medicinal uses: Antibacterial, Antihelmintic, For Scabies, Leprosy, Ringworm, Anti-tuberculosis, Larvicidal, Antifungal, Antidiabetic, Anti-hypertensive, Anthelmintic- expel worms,
The essential oil of Lantana camara has a pleasant basil like smell. This can be used as a mosquito and insect repellent.
The essential oil can also be used for skin diseases caused by parasites - e.g for scabies and ringworm. A few drops of the oil of Lantana camara can be added to a tsp of Pongamia pinnata oil and this mixture can be used for topical application.
1-2 leaves and a couple of flowers could be added to your regular herbal tea to enhance the healt benefits of your brew.
To protect plants from bug infestation: The leaves and shoots of the Lantana can be used to extract a juice which can then be diluted with 3-4 times water and sprayed on plants as a pest deterrent.
5. The bark of Lantana has sharp thorns and hence care should be taken while handling the plant. Its ironical that the very plant that can give you bad nicks is also good at healing cuts. A paste of the leaves can be applied on cuts and bruises to help arrest bleeding and to prevent it from getting infected. Just make sure that you dont get additional cuts as you harvest the leaves from the plant.
Disclaimer: For the untrained eye, many plants appear similar. Do not attempt to harvest and use herbs until and unless you are familiar with herb identification and usage.
If you want to use any of the herbs mentioned on these blogs, please do so under the guidance of a doctor or a holistic practitioner. You can also write to us at email@example.com for usage information specific to your issue.
The anti-mycobacterial activity of Lantana camara a plant traditionally used to treat symptoms of tuberculosis in South-western Uganda
A Review on Medicinal Properties of Lantana camara