Roots and leaves.3,4
Supportive treatment. Activated charcoal therapy has been used for gastrointestinal decontamination in P. zeylanica poisoning. For skin exposure, affected area could be irrigated with water.5
Semi-climbing subshrubs, 1–2 m tall. Leaves alternate, or sometimes in cluster of 3 unequal on branches; leaf blades 3–10 × 2–2.5 cm. Spikes 8–17 cm long; rhachis glandular. Calyx-tubes about 1.1 cm long, 5-ribbed, with glandular hairs. Corolla white or bluish; tubes 1.7–2 cm long; lobes about 5 mm long, spreading. Style single, 5-lobed at apex. Capsules 5–7 mm long.10
Whole plant or roots used in TCM: dispel wind-dampness, dissipate stasis and disperse swelling, move qi and activate blood, remove toxin, kill parasites. Recommended dose: 9–15 g. Generally, do not apply for more than 30 minutes when used externally.2,11,12
In 2016, a middle-aged man developed stinging pain and skin changes on his foot, 3–4 hours after external application of self-made herbal poultice. The poultice, aimed to treat foot sore, was prepared from blending 20 pieces of fresh leaves of “Dujiaolian” picked from the countryside and other TCM. The patient recovered with supportive management. The left-over plant (photo A) was morphologically identified as P. zeylanica.
Plumbagin can be detected by HPLC-DAD, GC-MS and LC-MS/MS.13–15