East Indian Rosebay is a small perennial shrub. It has a round stem of about 25 cms diameter, with a greyish white, rough, cracked, silvery bark. It grows unto two metres in height.
The plant has numerous branches forming a dense crown. It has long, simple, elliptic leaves, dark green in colour. The flowers are large, soft white and very delicate with a sweet fragrance. The plant produces a thick milky juice when any pan is cut.
East Indian Rosebay contains alkaloids, tabemaemontanine and coronarine, a crystalline resin alcohol, caoutalline and some other substances.
The leaves of the plant do not have any prominent taste. When crushed, they turn soapy. The cellulose content is very soft. It is used in curing worms and certain skin disorders.
The root of the plant is anthelmintic and is used for killing intestinal worms. The milky juice of the plant too has similar property and is used for this purpose.
For allaying toothache, the root of the plant is chewed.
The herb is beneficial in the treatment of several eye disorders. A paste of the plant made with water and lime juice or the latex of the plant mixed with lime juice can be applied to clear opacity of the cornea of the eyes. The juice or the milk from the leaves, either by themselves or mixed with charcoal of the plant, can be used with beneficial results as a soothing application in opthalmia, that is, inflammation of the eye.
The juice of the flowers mixed with some bland oil such as refined coconut oil can be used with gratifying results for sore eyes and inflammation of the cornea.
East Indian rosebay is valuable in certain skin disorders. The juice of the leaves is a soothing application in skin irritation and wounds. The herb is useful as a local anodyne and relieves pain. The latex mixed with the juice makes a soothing dressing for wounds. It also prevents inflammations.
Preparation and Doses: About 20 grams of the leaves of East Indian rosebay plant with five grams of holy basil (tulsi) or ecliplta alba (bringaraj) may be chewed well" and swallowed. Fresh petals can also be used with the leaves.