LANTANA CAMARA LANTANA INVOLUCRATA
The lantana genus is found in all the tropical or sub-tropical regions of the world.
Both species L. camara and L. involucrata are probably native to the West Indies and South America and have been intentionally or accidentally spread throughout the tropics.
They are bushy thorny shrubs (L.camara) or unarmed (L.involucrata), very resistant to the climatic conditions of hot countries, withstanding long periods of drought in full sun but also heavy rains.
They are decorative plants, their discreet inflorescence is of varied color (white, pink, mauve, yellow, red) but in the temperate countries, they are annual or are kept in the shelter during winter.
By their ability to spread (fruits are consumed by birds and small seeds are very quickly spread), the fact that their leaves are not edible for animals, they are often considered as plant pests, especially in the high islands of the Pacific where they can grow into impenetrable bushes choking the native plants.
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION AND MEDICINAL PROPERTIES
The Creole or Indian populations of the Antilles and South America drink the infusion of leaves as antipyretic tea , in case of "flu like" fever, and respiratory virus infections.
Some people consider this infusion as a substitute for quinine, the febrile fall being very fast.
The terpenes present in the leaf are also antidyspeptic and the decoction of the leaves is suppose to be anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic.
A warm bath in a diluted infusion of leaf is tonic, febrifuge , very used by the Indians of South America to calm the children fever and also to treat scabies or skin infections due to ectoparasites and the bites of insects ( antiseptic and antibiotic effect)
A PRETTY FLOWER THAT CALMS FEVER
Lantana are very common in warm regions but can also be grown
in temperate countries.
Infusion of leaves is anti-flu and calms rheumatic pains.
Beware the FRUIT of this shrub is TOXIC.
Copyright 2018 : Dr Jean-Michel Hurtel