The tahi ayam plant is scientifically known in Latin as Lantana camara. Internationally this plant is known as common lantana, Spanish flag, West Indian lantana or marigold. In Indonesia, this plant has many other names according to the local language. In Java, this plant is known as tahi kotok or tembelek and tamanjho in Madura.
The name Lantana comes from the Latin name of the wandering tree Viburnum lantana, whose flowers are very similar to those of Lantana camara. Meanwhile, camara comes from Greek, which means 'curved', 'chambered' or 'domed'.
Origin and History of the Spread of Common Lantana
Common lantana is said to originate from the tropical regions of the American continent and then spread to various countries as a border or decoration plant. This plant has been naturalized in more than 60 countries as an invasive noxious weed and is considered one of the world's 100 worst invasive alien species.
Now common lantana can easily be found in open, unshaded areas such as grasslands and crop fields, as well as disturbed areas such as roadsides, railway tracks, and fire-scarred forests.
Common lantana was introduced to India in the early 19th century and grew abundantly to cover 13.2 million ha of land there. This plant was first reported in 1841 in Australia and has spread and formed pure stands covering an area of 4 million ha throughout Australia. In South Africa this plant was first introduced in 1858.
This species globally has invaded millions of hectares of grassland and has invaded large crop plantations, such as tea, coffee, sugar cane, and cotton plantations. The invasion of this species also causes a reduction in biodiversity in the invaded ecosystem. This species is declared a threat to the habitat of 83 native plant species in New South Wales Australia (Hisashi Kato-Noguchi, 2021).
Shape Description and Growth
Chicken lantana is a perennial shrub that forms a dense upright with a height that can reach up to 1 to 4 m.
The leaves sit opposite each other with an oval, egg-like shape, hairy, and serrated edges. The leaves can grow to 5 to 8 cm in length with a width of approximately 3.5 to 5 cm.
This species flowers all year round if conditions are adequate. A pair of flowers appear in the leaf axils. The flowers are small with a variety of colors that include white, pink, orange, and yellow densely arranged in flat-topped clusters. Each inflorescence produces 10 to 30 fruits, in the form of small round drupes containing 1–2 seeds.
Ingredients and Other Benefits of Common Lantana for Health
Lantana camara or common lantana is known to contain chemical compounds such as alpha-lantadene, beta-lantadene, lantanolic acid, lantic acid, essential oils (pungent smelling which insects don't like), beta-caryophyllene, gamma-terpidene, alpha-pinene and p -cymene.
A scientific report written by Etuh and colleagues states that the leaves of the common lantana plant or Lantana camara have traditionally been used as an anti-tumor, antibacterial, antihypertensive, tonic and expectorant. while the roots are known for treating rheumatism, skin rashes, and malaria. The infusion method of extracting the leaves and other parts is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and is added to baths as an anti-rheumatic agent. The boiled leaves of the chicken dung plant are widely used in herbal medicine for healing wounds, treating fever, treating coughs, treating influenza, stomach aches, malaria, etc. It has also been recorded that it can be used to treat cancer, chicken pox, rheumatism, measles, and ulcers.
The common lantana plant, especially the fruit, is also said to be poisonous because it contains alpha-lantadene. These chemical compounds can have negative effects on the body if consumed because they can cause illness such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, kidney failure, heart failure and even death (Yusuf, 2018).