Family:           Euphorbiaceae 
Synonym:     Euphorbia.pilulifera
Common name: Asthma weed, Tawa-Tawa
Local name: Dudhi(दूधी), Sheiru

Dudhi is a annual hairy herb of Western Himalayas. It is widely growing herb of  mid -hill region and occur in open grasslands, roadsides and pathways of warmer parts of Western Himalayas.  up to an altitudinal range of 900 meter. Dudhi plant is native to India and generally considered a weed in Himachal Pradesh.

Dudhi in natural habitat

  Dudhi is a pot herb and its young leaves and tender shoots tips are cooked as a leafy vegetable saag.  This vegetable is treated a famine food and used when all else fails. People in Mandi dist. prepare dudhi saag along with leaves of other pot herbs. Traditionally plant is used in herbal medicine to treat asthma that’s why plant is commonly known as asthma weed.

Harvesting dudhi tops

Dudhi can be collected from late spring to late autumn period of the year.

Dudhi Plant:

           Plant is annual herb, 15-50cm tall, stem hairy, Branched, often 4 angled branches reddish or purplish.

       Leaves opposite, 1.3-3.8 by 0.6-1.6cm. elliptic-oblong to oblong-lanceolate, 1-2.5 cm long, edge toothed. Lateral veins 2-4 on each side of the midribStipules linear, about 1.5-2 mm long, hairy, petioles about 2-4 mm long

 Flowers, purplish to greenish, dense, axillary, short-stalked clusters or crowded cymes,1 mm in length.

Capsules ovoid, hairy, three-angled, 1.5 cm. 

Seeds 0.8 mm long, ovoid-trigonums, light reddish brown

Dudhi Plant

Edible plant parts of Dudhi can be harvested from early summer to early winter. It is in luxuriant growth in rainy season, as it is very common weed of Western Himalayas so can be harvested without any fear of extinction,

Edible Uses:

Leaves and tender shoot tips of dudhi along with leaves of other wild herb are used in saag preparation. In villages saag prepared in this manner is known as bhujji and is served with rice or chapatti. In other parts of India dried plant parts viz.  root, stem and leaves are used as a green tea for its medicinal value. Extract of dudhi plant due to rich nutrient content is used as a herbal dietary supplement and also sold in market.

Harvested fresh terminals of Dudhi

Dudhi Vegetable :


Chopped leaves and tender shoot tips of dudhi , 1/2 kg; ; cheese, 1/2 kg; or mushroom, 2 packet or potato, 1/2 kg; mustard oil, 2 table spoons; coriander powder 1 table spoon; fenugreek powder, ½ table spoon; cumin seed ¼ table spoon;  turmeric powder, 1/4 table spoon; red chillies, 2-3; chopped onions 2-4; garlic, 4-5 cloves; ginger paste ½ table spoon and salt according to taste


Heat mustered oil in a pan and saute leaves of dudhi with spices listed above and cook for 25 to 20 minutes. Now add to it cubical pieces of cheese.or mushroom or potato. Cook for another 10 to 20 minutes depending upon ingredient taken (cheese,mushroom or potato ) . For cooking mushroom or potato add one to three cup of water, when potato or mushroom get soft garnish with garam masala and chopped coriander leaves.Now recipe is ready to serve.

Dudhi leaves and cheese vegetable ready to serve
Dudhi leaves and mushroom vegetable curry.

Dudhi saag :


Chopped leaves and tender shoot tips of dudhi and other wild herbs, 1 kg; mustard oil, 2 table spoons; coriander powder 1 table spoon; fenugreek powder, ½ table spoon; cumin seed ¼ table spoon;  turmeric powder, 1/4 table spoon; red chillies, 2-3; chopped onions 2-4; garlic, 4-5 cloves; ginger paste ½ table spoon and salt according to taste

Saag prepared from Dudhi l and other pot herb leaves


Boil chopped leaves and tender tips with till they are soft. Then mesh these manually or in a mixer. Then sauté with hot mustard oil and the spices listed before in sequence. This sauted sag is then ready to serve with rice or chapattis

Food Value:

Nutrient analysis of Arial  parts of dudhi par 100 grams on a dry weight basis  shows 75.18 g moisture; 12.57 g protein, 36.59 g; fibre, 13.9 g carbohydrates, 3.67 g fat. Minerals content is Na,175.8 mg ; K,5536.27 mg ; Ca,116.94 mg ; Li,39.44 mg;  N, 1981.32 mg;  P, 241 .89 mg; S,1746.11 mg; Fe,82.82 mg; Cu, 2.60 mg; Mn, 8.71 mg; Zn,5.44 mg par 100g  . Vitamin C, 91.18mg; β-carotene 297.44 mg par 100g.The calorific value has been found to be 141 kcal. (Kundan Prasad, 2014)

Value added traditional Sepu-badi with Dudhi

Seek advice from a professional before using this plant medicinally.

Medicinal Value:

Antidote to snake bite, asthma, boils of mouth, kidney disease, pain in joints, veterinary. bone fracture, Extracts of E. hirta have been found to show anticancer activity Decoction of dry herbs is used for skin diseases. 

Dudhi as a source of income:

People in Himachal Pradesh exploit dudhi plant for its medicinal and food value only and unaware of the fact that it can be excellent source of livelihood option for them. Dudhi plant is known for its   tremendous  economical potential in other parts of country. Dried root, leaf and stem of dudhi are sold as green tea in the name of Twa-Twa tea, and a herbal dietary supplement in the name of EUPHORBIA is prepared from its extract due to its rich nutrients contents in different  parts of India. Thus poor people can treat dudhi plant a good source of  livelihood option.

Marketing of Dudhi plant Herbal Dietary Supplement



Herbal tea of Dudhi plant is available in market as a Tawa-Tawa Tea

                   Dried plant parts of dudhi


Kundan Prasad , 2014. Evaluation of Antioxidant, Vitamins, Phytochemicals and Nutritive Values of Euphorbia hirta Linn.. Research Journal of Phytochemistry, 8: 47-51.

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