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Tephrosia purpurea is a species of flowering plant in the pea family, Fabaceae, that has a pantropical distribution. It is a common wasteland weed. In many parts it is under cultivation as green manure crop. It is found throughout India and Sri Lanka in poor soils.
Common Names :
English: Fish Poison, Wild Indigo
Hawaiian: Auhuhu, Ahuhu, Auhola, Hola
Hindi Name: Sarphonk, Sharpunkha
Used as a fish poison; the leaves and seeds contain tephrosin, which paralyzes fish. Larger doses are lethal to fish, but mammals and amphibians are unaffected. It is also used traditionally as folk medicine. According to Ayurveda, the plant is anthelmintic, alexiteric, alterative, and antipyretic; it is used in the treatment of leprosy, ulcers, asthma, and tumors, as well as diseases of the liver, spleen, heart, and blood. A decoction of the roots is given in dyspepsia, diarrhea, rheumatism, asthma and urinary disorders. The root powder is salutary for brushing the teeth, where it is said to quickly relieve dental pains and stop bleeding.