Thathiripoovu, Woodfordia Fruticosa, Fire-flame Bush
Thathiripoovu is a light red coloured flower of a medicinal plant called Fire-flame Bush scientifically known as Woodfordia Fruticosa. It is a beautiful shrub with fluted stems and long spreading branches, commonly seen across the Northern parts of India. This shrub is also cultivated as a flowering plant. Once it flowers, the bush appears twiggy and formless but entirely swathed in red. This is because the small flowers grow singly or in groups all the way along the branches and side twigs. At this time, almost whole of the leaves would fall. Each flower, borne on a tiny stem, is a slender tube, slightly curved, the greenish base of which is the sepal. Swelling slightly, the tube divides into narrow, pointed lobes and from within emerges a bunch of long stamens.
Woodfordia is an accepted source of Ayurvedic drug throughout India. The flowers are acrid, astringent, styptic, depurative, uterine sedative, constipating, antibacterial, corrective of urinary pigments, febrifuge and alexiteric. They are known to be useful in the conditions of Kapha and pitta, leprosy, burning sensation, skin diseases, diarrhoea, dysentery, fever, headache, haemorrhoids, herpes, internal haemorrhage, leucorrhoea, liver disorders, menorrhagia, ulcers and wounds. Juice from the leaves are used for bilious sickness.