Kalanchoe Pinnata: The "Wonder of the World" Plant
A Plant of Many Names
Kalanchoe Pinnata goes by many different names. Some may know it as the Air Plant, others may have heard of it as the Life Plant or Miracle Leaf. Still other names for this plant are Katakataka, Pather Chat, and Paan-futti. It is even known as the Goethe Plant, named after the writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who in addition to being a writer was also a part-time naturalist. He adored the plant; he was amazed at its ability to reproduce in the most strained conditions. Finally, this plant is also known as the Wonder of the World—and that is due to its many medicinal uses.
My Experience With the Wonder of the World Plant
I remember finding out about the plant quite by accident. A neighbour who was quite in love with all different sorts of plants decided to ask me if I would like a cutting from her own plant. When I asked her what it was, she told me about the plant. She said it was easy to grow (a leaf begins to grow when it is placed between the pages of a book) and then she said that it was used to treat many different ailments as well. Intrigued, I took the cuttings.
It was not much later when I began to get a problem with styes. I had many exams to take and I believe that stress was the cause for my body's reaction. I began to get painful styes that would not go away. Then I remembered the Wonder of the World plant, and I searched for information about it. I found out that if heated and placed on the eye, the stye would disappear in a matter of days.
Well, I had nothing to lose and so I tried it. What do you know—I got immediate relief after the first application. My eye no longer felt as though there was a baseball hanging onto it, and within a few days' time it was as though I'd never had a stye! Even better was the fact that the styes, which had been recurring again and again, did not return again (and still has not, to this day).
Since I had success with using the plant for my stye, I decided to try it for other problems, as well. I can report that it has helped with pain I have in both my foot and my back.
Ways to Use the Plant for Treatment
I have mentioned before that the Wonder of the World is a plant that helps to ease muscle aches. One simply has to heat the leaf and apply it to the area, and the pain will miraculously disappear. If you are suffering from sore feet due having been on them all day, you can add a few leaves to some hot water and soak your feet. If you wish you can add any other ingredients that you usually use in your foot soak, as well.
It can also help with headache, hypertension (high blood pressure), rheumatism, and cough. It is even used to treat kidney stones!
What makes this plant so very amazing is its ability to grow anywhere. if you pick a leaf of the plant and place it within the pages of a book and leave it there, you will be surprised to see, after a few days, that the leaf will begin to sprout and the life of a new plant has begun in your book! This plant it also able to grow by itself from a leaf simply placed on top of the soil. There is no prepping or planting to do. It is a do-it-yourself plant. No wonder Goethe was so fond of gifting his friends with this plant. Not only is it easy to grow, but it cures many ills!
Headache: Heat leaf or leaves in microwave or on stove until hot. Place on the forehead as soon as you are able so that there is still a significant amount of heat left in it. Re-warm the leaf accordingly placing it on the forehead repeatedly for at least ten minutes.
Backache/Rheumatism: Heat leaves until hot. Place them as hot as you can bear them on the aching area and lie down on your stomach. If available place a heat pad or a hot water bottle over the leaf so that continuous heat will help it to release its properties. When you are on the go, place the warmed leaf on the sore spot and wrap it so that it stays in place for the day.
Foot Soaks: Using at least three Wonder of the World leaves, place in basin and fill with hot water. You can also add those bubbles and things that smell nice if you like. Menthol, peppermint or eucalyptus oil is a good one to put in with this. Submerge feet for at least half and hour and for a through treatment, take two other leaves, warm them and put them under your feet and then put a pair of comfy socks on for the night. Let it work its magic while you sleep.
Styes: Again you must heat the leaf. Place it over the eye for a minute or two, three to six times a day. You can alternate this treatment with a boric solution wash as well. But keeping the leaf over the eye reduces the size and redness of the stye.
Scientific Research on the Kalanchoe Pinnata
Before there was scientific research, the peoples of South America already knew the benefits of the Kalanchoe Pinnata plant. From treating cancer and inflammation to treating boils and skin ulcers, epilepsy, earaches, and even helping with childbirth, it seems as though there is nothing that this plant cannot assist with.1
Now, it seems that scentists are finding out the truth behind this herbal remedy and are also encouraged by their findings. In a study done concerning the wound healing abilities of the Wonder of the World plant, it was found that rats that were treated with the plant were healed by 86% by the 11th day.2 A study was also done that shows the plant's ability to reduce histamines. This study targeted mast cells and the key role they play in an allergic asthma attack. These mast cells were hindered by properties from the plant and did not allow degranulation.3 The anti-inflammatory, antiedematogenic, and antinociceptive ( ability to reduce sensitivity to pain) ability in the plant have been described as a 'major breakthrough'. The list seems to be endless and filled with good news.
According to one article there is evidence that shows the plant is:
- anti parasitic
- anti- bacterial
I certainly can attest to its abilities concerning my maladies. It is advised that women who are pregnant should refrain from using it and that long-term use causes an immunity-suppressant effect.
1. Taylor, Leslie. 1998. Herbal Secrets of the Rainforest.
2. B Shivananda Nayak*, Julien R Marshall & Godwin Isitor Department of Preclinical Sciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences. The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad. Wound healing potential of ethanolic extract of Kalanchoe pinnata Lam. leaf—A preliminary study. February 2010. http://imsear.li.mahidol.ac.th/bitstream/123456789/145009/1/ijeb2010v48n6p572.pdf
© 2010 North Wind