choy root

Oldenlandia umbellata

Oldenlandia umbellata (called chay root or choy root, from its Tamil name) is a low-growing plant native to India. A colour-fast red dye can be extracted from the root bark of (preferably) a two year old plant. Chay root dye was once used with a mordant to impart a red colour to fabrics such as calico, wool, and silk.

It is grown on the Coromandel Coast in India.

Medicinal use

This plant is well-known in Siddha Medicine for its styptic property. It is also a drug that can be administered for bronchial asthma, as a decoction of the entire plant, a decoction made from its root and liquorice in the ratio-10:4, or the powdered root is given either with water or honey.

A decoction of the root also is a febrifuge.


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