Lasia spinosa; Kohila; කොහිල

Lasia spinosa is an evergreen, herbaceous perennial plant growing 1 - 2 metres tall, spreading by means of a long, creeping, stoloniferous stem. The plant grows best in waterlogged soils that are rich in nutrients. Lasia plants spread by means of a stem. Stems are long creeping and stoloniferous, erect or ascending, 2.5 cm in diam., internodes with stout prickles. The stem and leaves of the plant are edible and have various medicinal uses.

The plant is harvested from the wild for its edible leaves and various medicinal uses. It is also sometimes cultivated as a vegetable crop along the margins of ponds.

Medical Usage

  • Lasia spinosa is used ethnobotanically for the treatment of various diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation of the lungs, bleeding cough, hemorrhoids, intestinal diseases, stomach pain, and uterine cancer.
  • Leaves are used for treating coughs, stomachaches, and other pains.
  • Rhizomes and leaves are used medicinally for treating lympho-tuberculosis, lymphonoditis, stomach aches, snake and insect bites, injuries, and rheumatism.
  • Leaves and roots are used as a remedy for piles.
  • This plant is also recommended as effective for the treatment of sore throat, constipation, to purify the blood, on lung inflammation, bleeding cough, and uterine cancer.
  • Leaves are used in Ancient Sinhalese medicine to help reduce symptoms of digestive problems.