Recently, my friend asked me about kulitis. I thought it was a “kulitiw” an eye disease characterized by inflammation of eyelid. Then she emphasized that her Chinese boss is looking for it because the said kulitis is a claimed kidney stone cure.
After few minutes of googling, I found out that kulitis is uray or amaranth, The thorny weed that causes scratches on my feet and legs every time I go to my Dad’s farm. Other name of kulitis are as follows:
Local names: Akum (Mag.); alayon (If.); ayantoto (Pamp.); baoan (Bon.); bayambang (Tag.); gitin-giting (Sul.); harum (Bis.); kalitis (Bis.); kalunai (Ilk.); kilitis (Tag., Bik.); kuanton (Ilk.); kuantung (Iklk.); kulitis (P. Bis.); oort (Tag.); orai (Tag.); tadtad (Bon.); talkuda (Sul.); tilitis (Bis.); urai (Tag.); uri (Tag.); thorny Amaranth (Engl.).
I hate this thorny weed but the young plant is good for stews, sinigang and other dishes. Choose young uray with no thorns. Discard thorny plants.
This weed has a lot of Medicinal Uses. Listing courtesy of BPI.
- Decoction of the root is useful in the treatment of gonorrhea. A common venereal disease caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae; symptoms are painful urination and pain around the urethra.
- Bruised leaves are used locally for eczema. Generic term for inflammatory conditions of the skin; particularly with vesiculation in the acute stages.
- Plant is used as a sudorific and febrifuge and is recommended in eruptive fevers.
- Used as an antidote for snake-poison and as a lactagogue (enhance production of mother’s breastmilk).
- The plant is used as an expectorant and to relieve breathing in acute bronchitis.
- The root is known elsewhere as an effective diuretic. It is also useful in treatment of menorrhagia, an abnormally heavy or prolonged menstruation; can be a symptom of uterine tumors and can lead to anemia if prolonged.
update as of June 2016
Study of Teklit Amabye et. al. 2015, entitled “Evaluation of Physiochemical, Phytochemical, Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Screening Parameters of Amaranthus spinosus Leaves”, shows it is effective against food borne and pathogenic organisms. It also exhibit antifungal activity, but not as effective as antibacterial. The leaves contain phytoconstituents like fixed oils and fats, carbohydrates, glycosides, gum, mucilage, phenolic compounds, protein amino acids, tannins and saponins which may be responsible for various pharmacological actions.