Common Name: Himalayan May Apple
Scientific Name: Podophyllum hexandrum Royle
Nepali Name: Laghupatra
Family Name: Berberidaceae
Parts Used: Rhizome and Root
Main Uses: used in liver wounds
Medicinal Properties: N/A
Active Compounds: Podophyllin

Introduction: Erect, unbranched, sticky, fleshy herb about 60 to 70 cm high. Leaves long petioled, orbiculate to cordate, deeply three lobed, lobes obovate, acuminate, serrate. Rhizome creeping, rooting. Flower white or pinkish, bowl shaped, solitary terminal. It flowers from June to July.

Availability: Distributed in high hilly and Himalayan region throughout Nepal from 2400 to 4500 m in slope forests and open areas.

Harvesting Time: October to November.

Part used in Trade: Rhizome and Root

Description of traded part: Root is irregular, like having nodes, 3 to 4 cup like trace seen in upper part. Lower part contains many scars. It lightly smells but little acerbic when eaten.

Uses: Root contains chemical called Podophyllin, used in liver wounds. Recently, it is discovered that Podophyllin might be used to prepare medicine that possibly cures cancer.

Conservation Status: Government of Nepal has prioritized it for Cultivation and Conservation. It also falls under Appendix II of CITES.