Ghaghra or Bon okra, Xanthium strumarium

Ghaghra or Bon okra (Xanthium strumarium, family: Asteraceae) is an annual upright herb with rough hairs, attaining a height of 150 cm. Stem is black or brown-spotted and short with fewer branches. The plant is found everywhere in Bangladesh.

Other names: Bicha-phol, Lehora, Khagra, Hagra, Choto khagra, 

Leaves are hairy in in both parts, opposite, 5-12 cm long, triangular, dentate, almost look like Brinjal leaf; long-petioled. 

Flowers are borne in disc inflorescence, terminally in pairs, whitish. 

Fruits are ovoid, thorny and easily caught by clothes and bodies of animals. Each fruit contains two flattened black-seeds. 

The plant produces flower in spring and fruits in the summer. Propagation of the plant is caused by seeds. It is grown in fallow land, in field and roadside.

It boosts energy, sex potency, breast milk and cures blood dysentery, gonorrhea and rheumatism. 

Roots taste bitter. Village doctors mention that, these can be used in goiter and cancer. It leaves are used as vegetable in village area of Bangladesh. Its original home are Indian subcontinent and tropical Africa.


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