Lantana Camara (Kantutay) is a flowering plant that is found in America, Asia, Europe, and Africa. It is known for its broad, oval leaves with a rough surface as well as clustered flowers that have bright tinges of orange, pink, red and yellow. This herb bears fruit that looks like a berry.
In most areas, L. Camara is considered as a weed and seems to thrive in almost any place. Despite this, researchers found that it has hidden potentials in treating various health issues. Traditionally, Lantana leaves are used to produce herbal medicines, including being used as a poultice, tea, and inhalant.
Health Benefits of Lantana Camara
Helps Provide Relief From Respiratory Problems
Making a tea out of L. Camara leaves can provide some relief from colds, flu, cough, and other common respiratory problems.
It has been an effective relaxing expectorant that can help get rid of mucus and phlegm that is present in the lungs, trachea, and bronchi. According to studies, a decoction made from its dried flowers can help cure pulmonary tuberculosis.
For these benefits, pound lantana leaves and boil in water for 5 minutes using a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Uncover and inhale the steam directly from the pot or pour into a container with a narrow mouth and inhale the steam.
Helps Treat Multiple Skin Disorders
This herb is recommended for common skin disorders such as chickenpox, scabies, measles, and skin fungus. It has fast-acting antimicrobial and antiseptic properties that can heal wounds quickly.
Lantana Camara can be used to clean and disinfect minor wounds. According to studies, it can increase the rate of wounds (wounds sustained from burns) contraction by almost 90%.
For healing proposes pound fresh leaves of L. Camara and then apply it topically on the skin. Aside from this, the leaves can also be placed in a mesh bag and then dip it in bathwater.
Helps Promote Digestive System Health
Present in the herb is potent antimicrobial compounds that help flush out harmful bacteria that are present in the stomach. The use of L. Camara can help alleviate stomach disorders including diarrhea, ulcers, bloating, stomachache, and indigestion.
Helps Relieve Pain
L. Camara leaves have been used traditionally in alleviating pain. It has been applied topically to soothe insect stings and bites and alleviate joint pain, toothache, headaches, wounds, sprains, and other types of pain.
Aside from these medicinal uses, dried lantana leaves are also burned in a glass jar and are used as a natural mosquito repellent. Meanwhile, its crushed leaves are used as a furniture polish.
Caution: There are no known severe lantana leaf side effects. However, the lantana seeds and green berries are toxic and should not be consumed.