Yaro

Premna cf. serratafolia (Lamiaceae)

Characteristics

Small tree or shrub, up to 7 m high. Leaves simple, opposite. Flowers greenish-white. Fruit is a purple drupe. The plant is extensively used in Indian traditional medicine.

Distribution

Spread in tropical and subtropical regions, mostly in moist sandy soil along seacoasts and mangrove forests.

Natural Medical  Properties

The leaves and roots are used in traditional medicine as a diuretic, stomachic and febrifuge.
The root has a warm bitter taste and agreeable smell, it is prescribed in decoction as a gentle cordial and stomachic in fevers.
The leaves are used as a galactagogue, and also to treat rheumatic arthritis; colic and flatulence; coughs, headaches and fevers.
The leaves, combined with those of Morinda citrifolia, are squeezed into water and the solution drunk twice a day to treat severe malarial fevers. A steam bath made from the leaves and young stems is breathed in as a treatment for fevers. The cooled solution is then used to bathe the body. The leaves are boiled into medicinal tea that is reputed to have analgesic effects. This home remedy is used mostly in the treatment of backaches.
A tea made from the boiled bark is used to treat neuralgia.

Did you know?

During flowering season, it attracts a large number of butterflies and bees.

Related (same family) to many herbs like basil, rosemary, mint etc.

Further reading:

Literature

World Flora Online
WorldChecklist of Selected Plant Families
A working list of all plant species