Abutilon indicum (L.) Sweet

Last updated: 03 Nov 2016

Scientific Name

Abutilon indicum (L.) Sweet


Abutilon albidum (Willd.) Sweet, Abutilon album Hill [Invalid], Abutilon arborescens Medik., Abutilon asiaticum (L.) Sweet, Abutilon cavaleriei H.Lév., Abutilon croizatianum Moscoso, Abutilon cunninghamii Benth., Abutilon cysticarpum Hance ex Walp., Abutilon elongatum Moench [Illegitimate], Abutilon frutescens Medik., Abutilon grandiflorum G.Don, Abutilon hirsutissimum Moench [Illegitimate], Abutilon leiospermum Griseb., Abutilon malvifolium (Benth.) J.M.Black, Abutilon populifolium (Lam.) Sweet, Abutilon pubescens (Cav.) Urb. [Illegitimate], Abutilon subpapyraceum Hochr., Abutilon vesicarium (Cav.) Sweet, Beloere cistiflora Shuttlew. ex A.Gray, Sida albida Willd., Sida asiatica L., Sida indica L., Sida populifolia Lam., Sida vesicaria Cav. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Bunga kisar, kambang lobo, kambong lubok, kembang lohor, kembang lubok, kisar, malbar, pokok kembang lohor [2]
English Country mallow, Indian abutilon, Indian mallow, moon flower, sunflower [2]
China Mo pan cao [2]
India Adavibenda, adivibenda, advi benda, bavachi, belocre, benda, bhoka, chakrabhenda, debi, dudi, ghanti phool, hetakisa, hettukisu, hettutti, itawari, jhapa, jhili, jhonkapedi, kakai, kakkati, kansuli, katturam, kikkaci, madmi, mirubaha, mudrika, noogoobenda, ottuttutti, patappori, pedipedica, peruntutti, petaari, selamchi-petari, son-patari, tara kanchi, thellabenda, tutti, tutti-p-pattai, uram, urki, velluram, vhadli petari, vikankati [2]
Indonesia Belangan sumpa, cemplok, kecil [2]
Thailand Khrop fan see, ma kong khaao, phong phaang [2]
Laos Houk phao ton [2]
Philippines Dalupang, dulupang, giling-gilingan, kuakokuakohan, kuakuakohan, lulupau, lup-luppau, luplupau, malbas, malis, malvas, malvas de Castilla, malvis, marbas, palis, pilis, tabing, takbi-takbi, taratakopes, taratakupis, yampong [2]
Cambodia Dok toc lai [2]
Vietnam Co tó ép, coi xay, c[oos]I xay, d[awf]ng xay, giang xay, phao tôn, quynh ma [2]
Hong Kong Tung k’uei tzu [2].

Geographical Distributions

Abutilon indicum occurs in tropical and warm temperate countries throughout the world. Some varieties are restricted to the Old World. [3]

Botanical Description

A. indicum is a member of the Malvaceae family. It is a shrub that can grow up to 2 m high. [4]

The leaves are stalked measuring 2.5-10 cm long with 2-7.5 cm wide, ovate or orbiculate to cordate, irregularly crenate or dentate, acuminated, minutely hoary tomentose on both surfaces. [4]

The flowers are orange-yellow in colour, solitary, axillary. The fruiting carpels 15-20 in number, flat-topped, forming a head, measuring 2-2.5 cm across, black and hairy. [4]

The fruits are hispid, scarcely longer than the calyx and the awns are erect. [4]

The seeds are three to five in number, kidney-shaped, dark brown or black in colour, tubercled or with minutely stellate hairs. [4]


A. indicum is very common ruderally around villages and roadsides, along the beach and in secondary bushes, at low altitudes.[3]

Chemical Constituent

A. indicum has been reported to contain gallic acid, asparagine, fructose, galactose, glucose, beta-sitosterone, vanillic acid, p-coumaric acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, caffeic acid, fumaric acid, p-β-D-glycosyloxybenzoic acid, leucine, histidine, threonine, serine, glutamic acid, aspartic acid and galacturonic acid, alantolactone, isoalantolactone, threonine, glutamine, serine, proline, glycine, alanine, cycteine, methionine, isoleucine, valine, leucine, tyrosine, phenylalanine, histidine, lysine, and arginine. [5]

Plant Part Used

Roots, seeds. [5][6]

Traditional Use

Ancient Indian doctors including Charak and Sushruta made used of extract of the entire plant to promote vitality to their patients. They considered it a revitalizing nervine tonic and an aphrodisiac. The root is considered the better part for this purpose. In southern India the root is used for neurological disorders including treatment of hemiplagia, Bell’s palsy, sciatica and debility. [5]

The demulcent property of extracts of A. indicum is made used of in the treatment of various gastrointestinal disorders. The extract together with clrified butter treats diarrhoea and billiousness [5][6]. The high fibre content of the leaves and the mucilagenous property is taken advantage of in the treatment of haemorrhoids. A decoction of the leaves is a good mouthwash for toothaches and gum ailments [5]. Finely powdered seeds are given as a laxative [6].

The powdered flowers of A. indicum are a remedy for cough as recommended by the Ayurvedic and Unani systems [5]. In the west it is the roots that are used to protect the respiratory system. A decoction of it is given to treat bronchitis and chest pains [6].

Western herbal medicine believed A. indicum has protective properties towards the urinary system. The roots are considered diuretic and its decoction is given for all types of dysurias. It is the medicine prescribed by Unani practitioners for strangury, polyuria and haematuria. The seeds on the other hand were given to treat impotency and spermatorrhoea [5]. The seeds are distinctly useful in gonorrhoea, gleet and chronic cystitis. The leaves and roots too could be used to treat gonorrhoea and other forms of urethritis [6].

The powdered herb was used for meno-metrorrhagia. The leaves are used to treat various skin diseases including wounds and ulcers while the seeds are used for leprosy [5][6]. In Nepals the infusion of the roots is employed for leprosy [4]. In China the plant is used to treat deafness, tinnitus and earache, colds, high fever, mumps, hives, pulmonary tuberculosis, anuria, carbuncle, hernia [7].

Preclinical Data


Antidiabetic activity

Both the aqueous and alcoholic extracts of the leaves of A. indicum were found to have significant hypoglycaemic effects in normal rats 4 hours after administration [8]. It was further looked into the alcoholic (methanol) leaf extract’s hypoglycaemic activity and found that the extract was able to suppress the postprandial hyperglycaemia by inhibiting a-glucosidase and sucrase activities in the intestine [9]. The study on the effects of aqueous leaf extract showed that in addition to inhibition of a-glucosidase and sucrase, this extract was found to stimulate the insulin production by the b-cells of the pancreas [10].

Hepatoprotective activity

The aqueous extract of A. indicum showed significant hepatoprotective activity when it was found to be able to reduce biochemical parameter changes as a result of exposure of experimental rats to CCl4 and Paracetamol. [11]

Analgesic activity

Eugenol was isolated from A. indicum using bioactivity guided isolation. Eugenol was found to possess the ability to inhibit acetic acid induced writhing in mice and prolonged tail flicking time. This indicate that the extract possess significant analgesic activity via both peripheral and central mechanism [12]. Methanol extract showed more potent activity than hydroalcoholic and aqueous extracts [13].

Immunomodulatory activity

Aqueous and ethanol extracts of the leaves of A. indicum were assessed for the immunomodulatory activity using various animal models. The results showed that there were significant increases in the production of circulating antibody titre in response to sheep red blood cells, increase in both primary and secondary haemagglutination antibody, a significant potentiation of delayed type hypersensitivity reaction. There was also a significant increase in percentage of neutrophil adhesion to nylon fibre and phagocytic activity. The results indicate that the extracts were able to trigger both specific and non-specific immunological activity and that this could be attributed to the flavonoid content. [14]

Antimicrobial activity

Methanolic extract of the leaves of A. indicum was found to have remarkable antifungal activity against Trichophyton rubrum. This activity may be due to the presence of flavonoids in the extract especially Quercetin. [15]

Antioxidant activity

Organic solvent extracts of aerial parts and roots of A. indicum showed antioxidant activity of. They found that all the extracts contain both slow reacting and fast reacting antioxidant. [16]


Acute toxicity studies on the aqueous leaf extract showed that the LD50 value is more than the dose of 4 g/kg body wt. [11]

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of A. indicum. [3]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Abutilon indicum (L.) Sweet [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2016 Nov 03]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2610698
  2. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume I A-B. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p. 13.
  3. Perumal B. Abutilon indicum (L.) Sweet. In: van Valkenburg JLCH, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers, 2001; p. 31.
  4. Manandhar NP. Plants and people of Nepal. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press, 2002; p. 65-66.
  5. Khare CP. Indian herbal remedies: Rational western therapy, ayurvedic, and other traditional usage, botany. Berlin: Springer, 2004; p. 5.
  6. Nadkarni KM. Dr. K.M. Nadkarni’s Indian materia medica. Volume 1. Mumbai: Popular Prakashan, 1976; p. 9.
  7. Earth Medicine Institute. Abutilon indicumAbutilon grandifolium. [homepage on the Internet]. No date [cited 2016 Nov 03] Available from: http://earthmedicineinstitute.com/more/library/medicinal-plants/abutilon-indicum/
  8. Seetharam YN, Chalageri G, Setty SR, Bheemachar. Hypoglycemic activity of Abutilon indicum leaf extracts in rats. Fitoterapia. 2002;73(2):156-159.
  9. Adisakwattana S, Pudhom K, Yibchok-anun S. Influence of the methanolic extract from Abutilon indicum leaves in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Afr J Biotechnol. 2009;8(10):2011-2015.
  10. Krisanapun C, Peungvicha P, Temsiririrkkul R, Wongkrajang Y. Aqueous extract of Abutilon indicum Sweet inhibits glucose absorption and stimulates insulin secretion in rodents. Nutr Res. 2009;29(8):579-587.
  11. Porchezhian E, Ansari SH. Hepatoprotective activity of Abutilon indicum on experimental liver damage in rats. Phytomedicine. 2005;12(1-2):62-64.
  12. Ahmed M, Amin S, Islam M, Takahashi M, Okuyama E, Hossain CF. Analgesic principle from Abutilon indicum. Pharmazie. 2000;55(4):314-316.
  13. Chakraborthy GS, Ghorpade PM. Antinociceptive activity of Abutilon indicum (Linn) Sweet stem extracts. Arch Pharm Sci Res. 2010;2(1):241-245.
  14. Dashputre NL, Naikwade NS. Immunomodulatory Activity of Abutilon indicum linn on Albino Mice. Int J Pharm Sci Res (IJPSR). 2010;1(3):178-184.
  15. Rajalakshmi Padma Vairavasundaram,.and Kalaiselvi Senthil Antimycotic activity of the componenets of Abutilon indicum(Malvaceae) Drug Invention Today 2009, 1(2):137 – 139
  16. Yasmin S, Kashmiri MA, Asghar MN, Ahmad M, Mohy-Ud-Din A. Antioxidant potential and radical scavenging effects of various extracts from Abutilon indicum and Abutilon muticum. Pharm Biol. 2010;48(3):282-289.