Abutilon indicum


 Sida indica, Sida grandifloraAbutilon graveolens, Sida rhombifolia [1] [2]

Vernacular Names:


Kembang Lohor

English Country Mallow, Flowering Maples, Chinese Bell-flowers

Atibala, Kankatikaa, Rishyaproktaa, Vaatyaayani, Vaatyapushpi, Valikaa, Bhaaedwai, Uraksha gandhini, Naagbala, Vishvadevaa, Gavedhuka (Ayurvedic); Kanghi, Kangahi, Kakihiya, Kakahi, Nusht-ul-ghoul, Darakht-e-shaan (Unani); Thuthi (Siddha); Coongoonie (Hindi); Petaree (Bengali); Perin-tutte (Tamil); Nugubenda (Telagu) Thama-khyoke (Burmese); Anda (Cinghalese)


Poti (Majhi); Kangiyo (Nepali)


Dong Kui Zi, Mi Lan Cao [1]

General Information


Abutilon indicum is a member of the Malvaceae family. It is a shrub that can grow up to 2m high. The leaves are stalked measuring 2.5-10cm long with 2-7.5cm wide, ovate or orbiculate to cordate, irregularly crenate or dentate, acuminated, minutely hoary tomentose on both surfaces. The flowers are orange-yellow in colour, solitary, axillary. The fruiting carpels 15-20 in number, flat-topped, forming a head, measuring 2-2.5cm across, black and hairy. The fruits are hispid, scarcely longer than the calyx and the awns are erect. The seeds are three to five in number, kidney-shaped, dark brown or black in colour, tubercled or with minutely stellate hairs. [4]

Plant Part Used

Roots and Seeds [1] [3]

Chemical Constituents

Gallic acid, asparagine, fructose, galactose, glucose, beta-sitosterone, vanillic acid, p-coumaric acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, caffeic acid, fumaric acid, p-beta-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, arginine. [1]

Traditional Used:


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. [1]

Gastrointestinal Diseases

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.[1] [3] 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 mouothwash for toothaches and gum ailments. [1] Finely powdered seeds are given as a laxative. [3]

 Respiratory Diseases

The powdered flowers of A. indicum is a remedy for cough as recommended by the Ayurvedic and Unani systems. [1] In the west it is the roots that is used to protect the respiratory system. A decoction of it is given to treat bronchitis and chest pains. [3]

Genito-urinary Diseases

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. [1] 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. [3]

Other uses

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. [1] [3] 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. [5]

Pre-Clinical Data


Antidiabetic activity

Seetharam et al. [6] found that both the aqueous and alcoholic extracts of the leaves of A. indicum had significant hypoglycaemic effects in normal rats 4 hours after administration. Adisakwattan et al. [7] 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. 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. [8]

Hepatoprotective activity

The aqueous extract of A. indicum showed significant hepatoprotective activity when it was found the it was able to reduce biochemical parameter changes as a result of exposure of experimental rats to CCl4 and Paracetamol. [9]

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. [10] This indicate that the extract posses significant analgesic activity via both peripheral and central mechanism. Chakraborthy [11] found that the methanolic extract was more potent than hydroalcoholic and aqueous extracts.

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 increase 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. [12]

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. [13]

Antioxidant activity

Yasmin et.al [14] studied the antioxidant activity of organic solvent extracts of aerial parts and roots of A. indicum. They found that all the extracts contain both slow reacting and fast reacting antioxidant.


Acute toxicity studies on the aqueous leaf extract showed that the LD50 value is more than the dose of 4g/kg body wt. [9]

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

No documentation

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

No documentation

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

No documentation


No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation


Interactions with drugs

No documentation

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation


  1. C.P. Khare Indian Herbal Remedies: Rational Western Therapy, Ayurvedic and other Traditional Usage, Botany Springer-Verlag Berlin  2004 pg. 5
  2. Peter Hanelt Mandeld’s Encyclopedia of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops, Volume 2 Springer-Verlag Berlin 2001 pg. 1622
  3. K.M.Nadkarni Dr.K.M.Nadkarni’s Indian Materia Medica: Volume 1 Popular Prakashan Pvt. Ltd. Mumbai 1976 pg. 9
  4. N.P.Manandhar, Sanjay Manandhar Plants and People of Nepal Timber Press, Inc. Portland 2002 pg. 65 – 66.
  5. Abutilon indicum – Medicine at Your Feet Herbal Medicine (http://www.medicineatyourfeet.com/abutilonindicum.html) Accessed on 16th August 2010
  6. Seetharam YN, Chalageri G, Setty SR, Bheemachar. Hypoglycemic activity of Abutilon indicum leaf extracts in rats. Fitoterapia. 2002 Apr;73(2):156-9.
  7. S. Adisakwattana, K. Pudhom and S. Yibchok-anun Influence of the methanolic extract from Abutilon indicum leaves in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 8 (10), pp. 2011-2015, 18 May, 2009
  8. 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 Aug;29(8):579-87
  9. Porchezhian E, Ansari SH. Hepatoprotective activity of Abutilon indicum on experimental liver damage in rats. Phytomedicine. 2005 Jan;12(1-2):62-4.
  10. Ahmed M, Amin S, Islam M, Takahashi M, Okuyama E, Hossain CF. Analgesic principle from Abutilon indicum. Pharmazie. 2000 Apr;55(4):314-6.
  11. Guno Sindhu Chakraborthy, Prashant M Ghorpade Antinociceptive Activity OF Abutilon indicum (Linn) Sweet Stem Extracts Arch Pharm Sci & Res Vol 2 No 1 241 - 245 January 2010
  12. N. L. Dashputre, N. S. Naikwade. Immunomodulatory Activity of Abutilon Indicum linn on Albino Mice International Journal of Pharma Sciences and Research (IJPSR) Vol.1(3), 2010, 178-184
  13. Rajalakshmi Padma Vairavasundaram,.and Kalaiselvi Senthil Antimycotic activity of the componenets of Abutilon indicum (Malvaceae) Drug Invention Today 2009, 1(2):137 – 139
  14. 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 Mar;48(3):282-9.