Leucas aspera: Thumbapoovu

Family: Lamiaceae
Common name: Thumba, Thumbapoovu

A plant commonly seen in the wild, it is also listed under the name Leucas Zeylanica. Thumba is seen all over India, especially in southern India. The plants grow to a height of 1.3 feet with a crown of white flowers.

The plant has been traditionally used for medical purposes in Ayurveda and Siddha medicine as an anti-pyretic, for respiratory illnesses, sinus infections, gastric problems; and even for snake and scorpion bites. It is also used as an insecticide due to it’s anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties.

The flowers are pretty and white, and have as special significance in Onam festival. Children go around the yard plucking these flowers to make flower carpets or pookalams for Onam. The leaves are also used in cooking.

Photo Courtesy: Slomo vlogs

2 thoughts on “Leucas aspera: Thumbapoovu

    1. To the best of my understanding, thumbapoo is what we call Leucas aspera. And that is used for Onam flower decorations or pookkalam. Please send me pictures of other thumba, and I would love to include that information the website.

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