Boerhaavia diffusa

 

Boerhaavia diffusa

Synonyms

Boerhaavia repens

Vernacular Name

Hogweed, pig weed, tar vine, horse purslane.

Description

Boerhaavia diffusa is used in traditional medicinal systems throughout tropical climates of the world, and in some areas it is used as rabbit food.[1] The medicinal use dates back thousands of years in India. It should be noted that a few studies have found that the plant is most effective, medically, when harvested in the month of May.[1],[2]

B. diffusa is a prostrate herb found growing in tropical, wet areas, mostly during rainy seasons. The creeping, hairy and sometimes purplish stems yield small red or white flowers. The leaves of this plant are smooth and oblong or cordite. 

Origin / Habitat

B. diffusa needs full sunlight in order to flourish. It can withstand droughts although it prefers a moist soil.

Chemical Constituents

Beta-sitosterol, chlorides, chlorates, hentriacontane, nitrates, potassium nitrate, Punarnavine, sulfates, ursolic acid,[3] beta-ecdysone, boeravine, boeravinones, flavons, hypoxanthine-9-L-arabinofuranoside, liridoderdin, punarnavoside, syringaresinol mono Beta-D-glucoside.

Plant Part Used

Whole Plant

Medicinal Uses

General

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Hepatic Disorders

Glucose Levels

Antifungal

Inflammation

Constipation

Cancer

Antispasmodic

 

Most Frequently Reported Uses

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Hepatic Disorders

Glucose Levels

Antifungal

Dosage

Dosage Range 

Herb infusion: One to three teaspoons (5–15g) whole herb up to three times per day.

Root – 250-500mg,1-2 times per day.

 

Most Common Dosage

1g dried herb daily

 

Standardization Dosage

No standardization known.

Pharmacology

Pre-clinical

B. diffusa, or Hogweed, is presently being studied for its potential role in diabetes and liver disorders. Numerous laboratory and animal studies have proven the efficacy of B. diffusa as a hypoglycemic.[1],[4],[5] This is probably due to its regenerative actions upon Beta-cells in the pancreas.[6] One study suggested that the effect of B. diffusa on blood glucose was comparable to glibenclamide.[4]

B. diffusa has been used to treat hepatic disorders for thousands of years. Today there are many studies that verify this claim. One animal study evaluated the effect of B. diffusa on rats with ethanol-induced liver damage. The liver damage consisted of increased levels of cholesterol, free fatty acids and triglycerides in the liver and kidneys, all of which were reversed after treatment with B. diffusa.[7] Additional studies have confirmed the usage of B. diffusa as a hepatoprotective2 with no signs of toxicity.[8]

B. diffusa also may play a role in cancer treatment. Animal studies have shown the effectiveness of using B. diffusa as both a chemopreventive in mice[9] and radioprotective in mice.[10]

Animal studies have also confirmed the effectiveness of B. diffusa as a dermatological antifungal.  These studies show that treatment decreases the growth of various species of fungus from the Microsporum genus.[11],[12] Additional research has indicated that B. diffusa, particularly the chemical Punarnavine, has the ability to inhibit the metastasis of certain melanomas in mice.[13],[14],[15]

In other research settings animal and preclinical studies have showed that B. diffusa exhibits spasmolytic,[16],[17] analgesic,[18] and immunomodulatory[19] activity.

Clinical

There are not any clinical studies at this time.

Interaction and Depletions

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation

Interaction with Drugs

Based on pharmacology, B. diffusa should not be used by those taking medications for blood sugar regulation.

Not to be used by those taking medication for hepatic disorders as this herb may alter treatment outcomes.

Precautions and Contraindications

Side effects

B. diffusa is generally considered safe when used as directed.

Pregnancy

Not to be used by pregnant and nursing women.

Age limitation

Not to be used by children.

Adverse reaction

No documentation

Read More

  1) Botanical Info

  2) South Central American Herbs

  3) South African Herbs

  4) Ayuverda

 

References

  1. Chude MA, Orisakwe OE, Afonne OJ, Gamaniel KS, Vongtau OH, Obi E.  Hypoglycaemic effect of the aqueous extract of Boerhavia diffuse leaves.  Ind J Pharmacol. 2001;33:215-216.
  2. Rawat AK, Mehrotra S, Tripathi SC, Shome U. Hepatoprotective activity of Boerhaavia diffusa L. roots--a popular Indian ethnomedicine. J Ethnopharmacol. Mar 1997;56(1):61-66.
  3. Premila, M.S. Ayurvedic Herbs: A Clinical Guide to the Healing Plants of Traditional Indian Medicine. Binghamton, NY: The Haworth Press; 2006.
  4. Pari L, Amarnath Satheesh M. Antidiabetic activity of Boerhaavia diffusa L.: effect on hepatic key enzymes in experimental diabetes. J Ethnopharmacol. Ma r2004;91(1):109-113.
  5. Satheesh MA, Pari L. Antioxidant effect of Boerhavia diffusa L. in tissues of alloxan induced diabetic rats.  Indian J Exp Biol. Oct 2004;42(10):989-992.
  6. N. Koteswara Rao, MM. Annapurna, Boini KM, S. Nammi. Antidiabetic Activity of Boerhaavia diffusa L. Leaf Extract in Streptozotocin-Induced IDDM Model Rats. Asia Pacific Journal of Pharmacolog. 2004;16:67–70.
  7. Devaki, T., Shivashangari, K. S., Ravikumar, V., Govindaraju, P.Hepatoprotective activity of Boerhavia diffusa on ethanol-induced liver damage in rats. J  Nat Rem. 4(2); 2004.
  8. Chandan BK, Sharma AK, Anand KK. Boerhaavia diffusa: a study of its hepatoprotective activity. J Ethnopharmacol. Mar 1991;31(3):299-307.
  9. Bharali R, Azad MR, Tabassum J. Chemopreventive action of Boerhaavia diffusa on DMBA-induced skin carcinogenesis in mice. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. Oct 2003;47(4):459-464.
  10. Manu KA, Leyon PV, Kuttan G. Studies on the protective effects of Boerhaavia diffusa L. against gamma radiation induced damage in mice. Integr Cancer Ther. Dec 2007;6(4):381-388.
  11. Agrawal A, Srivastava S, Srivastava MM. Antifungal activity of Boerhavia diffusa against some dermatophytic species of Microsporum. Hindustan Antibiot Bull. Feb 2003- Nov 2004;45-46(1-4):1-4.
  12. Agrawal A, Srivastava S, Srivastava JN, Srivastava MM. Inhibitory effect of the plant Boerhavia diffusa l. against the dermatophytic fungus Microsporum fulvum. J Environ Biol. Jul 2004;25(3):307-311.
  13. Manu KA, Kuttan G. Anti-metastatic potential of Punarnavine, an alkaloid from Boerhaavia diffusa Linn. Immunobiology. 5 Dec 2008. [Epub ahead of print]
  14. Manu KA, Kuttan G. Boerhaavia diffusa stimulates cell-mediated immune response by upregulating IL-2 and downregulating the pro-inflammatory cytokines and GM-CSF in B16F-10 metastatic melanoma bearing mice. J Exp Ther Oncol. 2008;7(1):17-29.
  15. Manu KA, Kuttan G. Effect of Punarnavine, an alkaloid from Boerhaavia diffusa, on cell-mediated immune responses and TIMP-1 in B16F-10 metastatic melanoma-bearing mice. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2007;29(3-4):569-586.
  16. Borrelli F, Ascione V, Capasso R, Izzo AA, Fattorusso E, Taglialatela-Scafati O. Spasmolytic effects of nonprenylated rotenoid constituents of Boerhaavia diffusa roots. J Nat Prod. Jun 2006;69(6):903-906.
  17. Borrelli F, Milic N, Ascione V, Capasso R, Izzo AA, Capasso F, Petrucci F, Valente R, Fattorusso E, Taglialatela-Scafati O. Isolation of new rotenoids from Boerhaavia diffusa and evaluation of their effect on intestinal motility. Planta Med. Oct 2005;71(10):928-932.
  18. Hiruma-Lima CA, Gracioso JS, Bighetti EJ, Germonsén Robineou L, Souza Brito AR. The juice of fresh leaves of Boerhaavia diffusa L. (Nyctaginaceae) markedly reduces pain in mice. J Ethnopharmacol. Jul 2000;71(1-2):267-274.
  19. Mehrotra S, Mishra KP, Maurya R, Srimal RC, Singh VK. Immunomodulation by ethanolic extract of Boerhaavia diffusa roots. Int Immunopharmacol. Jun 2002;2(7):987-996.