Anthelmintic; Febrifuge; Rubefacient; Stings.
A decoction of the root is used to treat fevers. The juice of the root is used to relieve scorpion stings. The leaves, applied as a poultice, are used as a vesicant and rubefacient in the treatment of rheumatism. The juice of the leaves is a remedy for pain in the ear. The seeds are anthelmintic and rubefacient. The whole plant is used in the treatment of scorpion stings and snake bites. The juice of the leaf is a vesicant which is used in French Guiana as a substitute for cantharides (spanish fly) without having an unpleasant affect on the urinary tract. The whole plant is used as an infusion for treating colic in babies.
Prefers a light fertile soil in a warm dry sunny position with plenty of room to spread.
Seed - surface sow or only lightly cover the seed in spring in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 5 - 14 days at 25°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in late spring. Day time temperatures below 20°c depress germination but a night time fall to 20° is necessary.