It is a shrub endemic to South West India, found in evergreen forests.
It is a medicinal plant endemic to the southern parts of Western Ghats of India and Sri Lanka could offer scientists the key to new herbal formulations and modern drugs for the treatment of cancer and wounds and burns.
Recent researches suggests this plant has wound-healing, burn-healing, anti-cancer, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, immuno- enhancing, platelet-augmentation and anti-oxidant effects.
The scientists came to know of the miracle plant in 1988 during a biological survey deep inside the Nilambur forests.
It is used by the Cholanaickan tribe, one of the particularly vulnerable groups in Kerala, to treat inflammations and wounds.
Animal trials have proved that the leaves of N.calycinus possess wound-healing properties comparable to the standard drug Povidone/ Iodine in the early phase of inflammation.
The anti-inflammatory activity of the leaves was found comparable to the drug diclofenac sodium.
The presence of high Vitamin E content and potent cytoprotective activity in cell lines in the plant species has also enhanced the prospects of developing an anti-cancer drug.