GENSANarium will be on hiatus for the next two years or so. For the mean time, posts subtitled as SIDE TRIPS will be featured which highlight other places and events in the Philippines. Enjoy! - Admin, 2/10/14

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Amazing Imelda Grass



They are everywhere. Sometimes pleasing to the eyes, but more oftentimes a hindrance to our path. Yellow flowers. Tiny dark green leaves. Thorns. Vines. For any General, these descriptions point to a very common grass in the city – the Imelda Grass.

The Imelda grass is also locally known as Imelda creeper and yellow creeper. According to legends, the name is taken from the former First Lady Imelda Marcos. She was supposed to introduce the plant in the area during the 70s. I guess she found the plant perfect for the hot desert-like place.

Internationally, the plant is called as puncture vine. It is also known in some other names like:
  • Bindii
  • Bullhead
  • Burra gokharu
  • Caltrop
  • Cat’s head
  • Devil’s eyelashes
  • Devil’s thorn
  • Devil’s weed
  • Goathead
  • Tackweed

Its scientific name is Tribulus terrestris and is common to southern Europe, southern Asia, throughout Africa, and Australia. The plant can thrive in hot areas and sandy, poor soil.

Its flowers are 4-10 mm wide with five lemon-yellow petals. These are really beautiful flowers, especially after a rain when they are in full refreshing bloom. A drawback to this plant is its thorny fruit. The fruit is composed of four to five single-seeded nutlets which easily fall on the ground and spread. These nutlets are hard and very annoying. They can even puncture bicycle and motorcycle tires.

But wait, the Imelda grass is not only about beauty and pain. It has great medicinal values. According to studies, its leaves contain the steroid saponins which can increase levels of the hormones testosterone and estrogen. Consequently, it can boost sexual behavior and prevent erectile dysfunction, as well as improve exercise performance. Wow, can you believe that – Imelda grass can increase sexual vigor? Moreover, the plant is also used in Turkey to address high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Well, there is really more than meets the eye, like the unrecognized goodness of these thorny weeds.

Sources:

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