|Corona de Espina, Euphorbia milli Desmoul, Crown of Thorns|
Consisting of around 300 genera and 7,500 species, Euphorbia, sometimes known as spurges, is one of the most diverse genera in the plant kingdom. This specie of Euphorbia is a native of Madagascar, and widely cultivated in the Philippines. A few years ago, there was a craze of collecting Euphorbias in every color. My aunt and her friends traveled all over looking for Euphorbias.
Popularly used in South Brazil with "dragon's blood", the red latex from Christ's Crown of Thorns is used as treatment for warts. In Chinese folk medicine, Euphorbia compounds are used in cancer treatment.
In a study of 41 plants tested against E. Coli, Shigella spp (a bacteria that causes dysentery) and Vibrios spp (a bacteria causes foodborne disease) among others, Euphorbia milli was one of the 28 that showed anti-bacterial activity. Dry flower powder of Euphorbia milli was found to have 100% total inhibition of Aspergillus (a fungi, mold species). The crude latex of Euphorbia milli is a potent plant molluscicide (pesticides against molluscs to control snails, slugs) and a promising alternative to synthetic molluscicide used in schistosomiasis (also known as snail fever, a chronic parasitic disease) control.