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Mirabilis jalapa (Four O'Clock Plant)

Scientific Name: Mirabilis jalapa | English: FourO'clock Plant | Sanskrit: Krishnakeli | Hindi: Gulbakshi | Tamil: Andhi Mandarai | Marathi: Gulbas, Divasmauli| Telugu: Chandrakantha | Bengali: Granthika | Kannada: Madhyaahna mallige, Naalku gante hoo | Malayalam: Anthimalari, Anti-mantaram

Medicinal Uses: Excellent for Wound Healing , Anti-inflammatory, Purgative and Diuretic

Traditional uses:

  1. Vaidyas (Ayurvedic Practitioners) have used it since time immemorial to help with suppuration: drain out the contents of stubborn and painful abscesses. A poultice of leaves or the tuber is applied on painful carbuncles.

  2. Decoction of the leaves is used for Kidney and Urinary tract infections. Being a diuretic, it also helps increase urine output and due to its anti-inflammatory properties it helps reduce pain and inflammation.

  3. The above decoction can also be taken to help with arthritic and rheumatic pains.

  4. Natives of Shivalik Hills in Himachal pradesh consume the root tubers by making a pickle. Besides their nutritive value, the roots contain small quantity of an alkaloid 'Trigonelline'

  5. The root paste is also used to check the growth of tumors.

  6. Paste of the seeds mixed with coconut oil is applied externally for relief from headaches.

  7. Flowers can be used for making herbal tea. The colors from these flowers have been used for food coloring also.

Draining an Abscess with Mirabilis Jalapa:


8-10 Four-O-Clock Leaves

Other Requirements:

Mortar and Pestle

Sterilised Gauze and Cotton

Surgical Tape or bandage


Harvest fresh leaves of Mirabilis Jalapa. Grind them to a fine paste using a mortar and pestle. Cover the abscess with generous amounts of paste. Once you have applied this poultice, cover it with cotton pad placed between a folded piece of gauze. Use surgical tape or a bandage to hold the pack in place. You will have to make fresh paste every time you want to change the bandage.

If the abscess is very painful and has not yet ruptured, keep the bandage on for 10-12 hours before applying fresh paste again. After the boil has ruptured and is oozing contents, you can change the bandage every 6-8 hours depending on the size of the abscess and the volume of contents.

Note: If you are unable to find Mirablis jalapa then you can use the leaves of Vinca rosea plant in a similar fashion.

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 for usage information specific to your issue.



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