Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats Specimen Records:69 Specimens with Sequences:75 Specimens with Barcodes:44 Species:18 Species With Barcodes:11 Public Records:12 Public Species:8 Public BINs:0
In the Indian state of Odisha it is called ରୁକୁଣା ହାତପୋଛା (rukuna haatapochhaa), in Andhra Pradesh (in Telugu) it is called కప్పరిల్లాకు kapparillaaku and vaamaaku, in Karnataka it is called ದೊಡ್ಡಪತ್ರೆ ಸೊಪ್ಪು doddapatre soppu, in Tamil Nadu it is called கற்பூரவள்ளி karpooravalli and in Kerala it is called as പനിക്കൂർക്ക panikoorka and has various uses in treating cold / cough / fever.
Plectranthus amboinicus is a large succulent herb, fleshy and highly aromatic, much branched, possessing short soft erect hairs, with distinctive smelling leaves. The stem is fleshy, about 30–90 cm, either with long rigid hairs (hispidly villous) or tomentose (densely covered with soft, short and erect hairs, pubescent). Leaves are undivided (simple), broad, egg/oval-shaped with a tapering tip (ovate) and very thick, they are pubescent (thickly studded with hairs), with the lower surface possessing the most numerous glandular hairs, giving a frosted appearance. The taste of this leaf is pleasantly aromatic with agreeable and refreshing odour. Flowers are on a short stem (shortly pedicelled), pale purplish in dense whorls at distant intervals in a long slender raceme.
The leaves are strongly flavoured and make an excellent addition to stuffings for meat and poultry. Finely chopped, they can also be used to flavour meat dishes, especially beef, lamb and game. Such use as a flavouring and its geographic spread is indicated by some of the common names, and documented for Cambodia and South Africa It is also used as a vegetable, for example in South East Asia. The herb is used as a substitute for oregano in the food trade and food labelled "oregano-flavoured" may well contain this herb.
The leaves have also had many traditional medicinal uses, especially for the treatment of coughs, sore throats and nasal congestion, but also for a range of other problems such as infections, rheumatism and flatulence. The plant is cultivated in home-gardens throughout India for use in traditional medicine, being used to treat malarial fever, hepatopathy, renal and vesical calculi, cough, chronic asthma, hiccough, bronchitis, helminthiasis, colic, convulsions, and epilepsy, Shenoy and others refer to further Indian traditional medicinal uses such as for skin ulcerations, scorpion bite, skin allergy, wounds, diarrhoea, with emphasis on the leaves being used as a hepatoprotective, to promote liver health. In Indonesia Plectranthus amboinicus is a traditional food used in soup to stimulate lactation for the month or so following childbirth. In Cambodia 2 uses are recorded: juice from the leaves is sweetened and then given to children as protection from colds; and leaves are applied to the lips. In Bahia, Brasil, people use the plant to treat skin lesions caused by Leishmania braziliensis. Just to the north, in Paraiba of the same country, the plant was extremely commonly known for use in home medication. As noted above, medicinal use also occurs in Southern India, it also documented in other parts of South East Asia and South Africa.
Other uses include as an ornamental, and for its essential oils.
Indian borage is very commonly grown as a potted plant. Indian Borage is a fast-growing plant. Propagation is via stem cuttings. To encourage a bushy plant, cut the tip of the top, insert into the soil and instantly, you have another plant as the cutting will grow within days. Indian borage ideally should be grown in a semi-shaded and moist location as the leaves will remain a beautiful jade-green colour. If it is getting too much sun, the leaves turn yellow, start curling and look unsightly; if not enough sun, the leaves turn a dark shade of green and space out.
The herb grows easily in a well-drained, semi-shaded position. It is frost tender (USDA hardiness zones 10-11)  and grows well in sub-tropical and tropical locations, but will do well in cooler climates if grown in a pot and brought indoors, or moved to a warm sheltered position in winter. The plant should be watered only sparingly.
Some published literature on the plant includes:
African Flowering Plants Database - Base de Donnees des Plantes a Fleurs D'Afrique (AFPD), 2008
Aldén, B., S. Ryman & M. Hjertson, 2009, Våra kulturväxters namn - ursprung och användning, Formas, Stockholm (Handbook on Swedish cultivated and utility plants, their names and origin)
Balick, M. J., M. Nee & D. E. Atha, 2000, 'Checklist of the vascular plants of Belize, Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 85: i–ix, 1–246
Brako, L., A.Y. Rossman & D.F. Farr, 1995, Scientific and Common Names of 7,000 Vascular Plants in the United States
CONABIO, 2009, Catálogo taxonómico de especies de México, 1. in Ca. nat. México. CONABIO, Mexico City
Davidse, G., M. Sousa Sánchez, S. Knapp & F. Chiang Cabrera, ed, 2012, 'Rubiaceae a Verbenaceae', Fl. Mesoamer. 4(2): in publication
Dyer, R. A., et al., eds, 1963–', Flora of southern Africa
Erhardt, W., et al., 2008, Der große Zander: Enzyklopädie der Pflanzennamen
Gibbs Russell, G. E., W. G. Welman, E. Reitief, K. L. Immelman, G. Germishuizen, B. J. Pienaar, M. v. Wyk & A. Nicholas, 1987, 'List of species of southern African plants', Mem. Bot. Surv. S. Africa, 2(1–2): 1–152(pt. 1), 1–270(pt. 2)
Hanelt, P., ed, 2001, Mansfeld's encyclopedia of agricultural and horticultural crops, Volumes 1-6
Hedge, I. C., R. A. Clement, A. J. Paton & P. B. Phillipson, 1998, 'Labiatae', Fl. Madagasc, 175: 1–293
Hokche, O., P. E. Berry & O. Huber, 2008, Nuev. Cat. Fl. Vas. Venezuela 1–860. Fundación Instituto Botánico de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela
Huxley, A., ed, 1992, The new Royal Horticultural Society dictionary of gardening
Markle, G. M., et al., eds, 1998, Food and feed crops of the United States, 2nd Ed.
McGuffin, M., J. T. Kartesz, A. Y. Leung, & A. O. Tucker, 2000, Herbs of commerce, 2nd Ed.
Molina Rosito, A., 1975, Enumeración de las plantas de Honduras, Ceiba 19(1): 1–118
Orrell, T., Custodian, 2012, ITIS Regional: The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (version Apr 2011), in: F. Bisby et al., ed,Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life, 25 June 2012, digital resource at www.catalogueoflife.org/col/. species 2000, Reading, England
Padua, L. S. de, et al., eds, 1999, 'Medicinal and poisonous plants 1', in I. Faridah Hanum & L. J. G. van der Maesen, eds, Plant Resources of South-East Asia (PROSEA), 12(1):407
The PLANTS Database, 2000
Porcher, M. H., et al., Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND)
Rehm, S., 1994, Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants
Suddee, S., et al., 2004, 'A taxonomic revision of tribe Ocimeae Dumort. (Lamiaceae) in continental South East Asia II. Plectranthinae', Kew Bull. 59:391–393.
^FRANCA, F., et al., 'Plants used in the treatment of leishmanial ulcers due to Leishmania (Vannia) braziliensis in an endemic area of Bahia, Brazil', Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical, 29(3): 229-32
^Catherine W. Lukhobaa, Monique S.J. Simmonds, and Alan J. Paton (3 January 2006). "Plectranthus: A review of ethnobotanical uses". Journal of Ethnopharmacology 103 (1): 1–24. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2005.09.011. PMID16289602.
Annual or perennial herbs or subshrubs. Stems herbaceous or woody below, sometimes succulent. Inflorescence paniculate, racemose or subspicate, usually terminal. Flowers in whorls, few-flowered cymes or dichasia, occasionally solitary. Bracts small, clearly differentiated from the leaves. Calyx 2-lipped (the upper lip consisting of a large single tooth, the lower lip of 4 lanceolate-triangular or subulate teeth) or subequally 5-toothed. Corolla 2-lipped, tube usually bent and expanded near the base; upper lip usually 4-lobed, shorter than the boat-shaped lower lip. Stamens 4; filaments free or united at base. Stigma shortly 2-lobed. Nutlets smooth.