The plant grows all over India, especially in dry regions. It is a straggling shrub, with softly villous young parts and resembles the plant path. The leaves are simple, alternate, truncate at the base and ovate-oblong in upper parts.
The flowers are very small, unisexual and green. The male flowers in axillary cymose panicles and female flowers, The fruits, drupes, green when raw and purplish black on ripening. The plant flowers from November to April and fruits in April-May. The plant is used medicinally throughout its range. The plant is a rich source of alkaloids, but little research into their medicinal properties has been carried out.
An aqueous extract of the leaves has shown diuretic and laxative properties. An infusion of the leaves is used to treat stomach-ache. A decoction is drunk to remedy female sterility. The leaf sap is used to treat nervous illnesses. The cooked leaves are eaten to treat night blindness
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