Pluchea indica (L.) Less.

Last updated: 2 November 2016

Scientific Name

Pluchea indica (L.) Less.


Baccharis indica L. Conyza corymbosa Roxb. Conyza foliolosa Wall. ex DC. Conyza indica (L.) Blume ex DC. Erigeron denticulatum Burm. f., Erigeron denticulatus Burm.f. Eupatorium foliolosum Wall. ex DC. [Illegitimate]. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Beluntas, beluntas paya [2]
English Indian (Marsh) fleabane, Indian pluchea [2][3]
China Luan Yi, cuc tan [3]
India Kukronda (Hindi) [2]
Indonesia Beluntas (Indonesian); luntas (Javanese); baruntas (Sundanese) [2][3]
Thailand Khlu (Central); nuat ngua, naat wua (North-eastern) [2]
Laos Nat luat [2]
Philippines Kkalapini (Tagalog); banig-banig (Sulu) [2]
Cambodia Pros anlok [2]
Vietnam C[us]c t[aaf]n, l[as] l[uws]c [2]
German Indische pluche [3][4]
Japan Hiragi-giku [2]

Geographical Distributions

Pluchea indica is found from India to southern China, through Indo-China, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, to Australia (including Christmas Island) and the Pacific Islands (including Hawaii). [2]

Botanical Description

P. indica is a member of Compositae family. [1] P. indica is an evergreen, slender, erect, much-branched shrub that can reach 1-3 m tall. The branches are cylindrical, ribbed and woody. They are dark brown but green towards the tip, hairless but the young shoots have soft hair. [2]

The leaves are alternate, simple, ovate to reverse egg-shaped, 2.5-8 cm x 1-5 cm. Leaf base is attenuate while its apex is acute or mucronate. Its margin is serrate, obscurely glandular on both surfaces. The leaf has short stalk or nearly sessile and no stipules. It is aromatic when crushed. Inflorescence consists of many heads in either a hemispherical terminal or arising from the axils corymb or panicle, more or less dense, 2.5-12.5 cm wide. Its peduncles are short, with rings of bracts that are 6-7-seriate. The outer bracts are ovate and hairy, whereas the inner ones are lance-shaped, shiny, ciliate at the apex. They fall off together with the ripe small dry indehiscent one-seeded fruit. The heads are narrowly cylindrical size 7 mm across. [2]

The flowers are all tubular, the marginal female flowers consist of 5-5 mm long petal, 5-6-fid. There are 2-6 central flowers, bisexual but functionally staminate, petal is slender, 4-6 mm long, lilac or pale violet. It has 5 anthers. The ovary is inferior and style arms long and exerted. [2]

The one-seeded fruit is a cylindrical dry indehiscent 1 mm long and hairless. It is brown with about 5 ribs. The small dry indehiscent one-seeded central flowers are rudimentary; with spreading white tufts of hairs, 3-4 mm long. [2]

The seed is with epigeal germination. [2]


P. indica occurs especially along the sea shore and tidal streams and swamps, on clayish or hard and stony soils, occasionally near salt springs in the interior, in sunny or slightly shaded localities. It is cultivated as a hedge in the lower regions, sometimes up to 1000 m altitude, on fertile soils. [2]

Chemical Constituent

P. indica has been reported to contain linaloyl glucoside, linaloyl apiosyl glucoside, 9-hydroxylinaloyl glucoside, plucheosides A and B. [2]

Plant Part Used

Leaves and roots. [3][5]

Traditional Use

P. indica is one of the favourite ulam amongst the Malays, especially those staying along the mangrove region where it is easily found in abundance. It is also used in treatment of various conditions. The plant is considered aromatic, astringent, febrifuge, stomachic, digestive, diaphoretic, antipyretic, tonic, stimulant and vulnerary. [3][5]

The aromatic leaves are believed to reduce body odour and halithosis. This makes it popular as raw vegetable amongst those living in the vicinity of the mangrove swamps. It also helps in improving appetite. [3]

The leaves are used to treat irregular menses, and reduce leucorrhoea. Its aromatic properties were taken advantage of in reducing the foul smell of infective vaginal discharge. [3]

Other uses of P. indica include scrofuloderma, rheumatism, lumbago, osteoalgia and fever. [3]

Preclinical Data


Antivenom activity

P. indica has been reported to be able to antagonize the venom-induced coagulant and anti-coagulant activity of Vipera russellii venom. In 2007 they were successful in identifying two compounds (b-sitosterol and stigmasterol) from the root extract to be responsible for the antivenom activity not only for viper but also for cobra. The active fractions containing b-sitosterol in the main was found to significantly neutralize viper venom-induced lethal haemorrhagic, defibrinogenation, oedema and PLA(2) activity. It also antagonized the cobra-induced lethality, cardiotoxicity, neurotoxicity, respiratory changes and PLA(2) activity. They also found that these active fractions were able to potentiate commecial snake venom antiserum action against venom induced lethality in male albino mice. [6][7]

Antimicrobial activity

P. indica has been reported to showed significant anti-proliferative activity against HM1 strain of Entamoeba histolytica from a compound called R/J/3. It showed marked activity on cell lysis of trophozoites 4 hours after administration comparable to metronidazole. [8]

Antioxidant activity

P. indica has been reported to have antioxidant activity as evidenced by a study carried out by Sen et al. They found that the methonolic extract of the roots of P. indica was able to produce significant anti-inflammatory activity against glucose oxidase induced paw oedema; inhibited hydroxyl radical and superoxide generation, lysis of erythrocyte induced by H202, CCl4-induced lipid peroxidation and also deoxygenase activity of lipoxygenase. [9]

Antiulcer activity

P. indica has been reported to prevent gastric ulcer formation induced by acetylsalicylic acid, serotonin and indomethacin in rats. They also found that it protects guinea pigs from chemically induced duodenal ulcer formation while at the same time enhance healing processes in acetic acid-induced chronic gastric lesions in the extract-treated animals.

P. indica has been reported to involve in the 5-lipogenase pathway of prostaglandin synthesis. This is evidenced by the significant anti-inflammatory activity of the fraction on Arachidonic acid, Platelet Activation Factor and Compound 48/80-induced paw oedema, inhibition of spontaneous as well as compound 48/80-induced histamine release from mast cells and its protective action against chemically induced ulceration. [11]

Anti-inflammatory activity

P. indica has been reported to have anti-inflammatory potentials against several models of inflammation. The extract was proven to be effective in the exudative, proliferative and chronic stages of inflammation. They also found in another study that the extract of P. indica was able to significantly inhibit inflammation and lower gastric damage induced by Platelet Activation Factor. [12][13]

Neuoropharmacological activity

P. indica has been reported to produced alteration in behaviour patterns, reduced spontaneous motility, prolonged phenobarbitone induced sleep, suppress aggressive behaviour pattern and conditioned avoidance response. All these suggest that the extract possesses a potent central nervous system depressant action. [14]

P. indica has been reported that the extract in a dose of 50–100 mg/kg orally, significantly decrease locomotor activity and prolonged phenobarbital sleep in isolated mice but not in group-housed mice. At a dose of 400 mg/kg orally it decreased locomotor activity and prolonged phenobarbital sleep in group-housed mice. The effect of the extract on prolonging phenobarbital sleep was found to be attenuated by flumazenil. It suppressed social isolation-induced aggressive behaviour but not pentylenetetrazole-induced convulsion, motor coordination in rotarod test, or nocicpetive response in tail pinch test ion group-housed mice. These results suggest that the extract attenuates pathophysiological changes caused by social isolation stress in mice and that a GABAergic system is partly involved. [15]

Hepatoprotective activity

P. indica has been reported to exhibited hepatoprotective activity. This is evidenced by the significant reduction of elevated serum enzyme levels (AST, ALT, LDH and serum alkaline phosphatase) and serum bilirubin content in CCl4-induced acute liver damage in rats and mice. Further, there were also significant reduction of serum total protein, albumin and albumin/globulin ratio, reduced prolonged phenobarbitone-induced sleeping time, reduce plasma prothrombin time and reduction of the increased bromosulphalein retention. These proved that the methanolic extract of the roots of P. indica indeed has a potent hepatoprotective effect. [16]


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of P. indica [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Pluchea indica L. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Nov 2; cited 2016 Nov 2]. Available from:
  2. Raharjo I, Horsten SFAJ. Pluchea indica (L.) Less. In: van Valkenburg JLCH, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher, 2001; p. 441-443
  3. Setiawan Dalimartha. Atlas tumbuhan obat. Indonesia: Trubus Agriwidya, 1999; p. 18
  4. Johannes Seidemann. World spice plants. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2005; p. 300
  5. Nadkarni KM. Dr. K. M. Nadkarni’s Indian materia medica. Volume 1. Mumbai, India: Popular Prakashan, 1976; p. 596
  6. Gomes A, Alam MI, AuddY B. Viper venom neutralization by Indian medicinal plant (Hemidesmus indicus and Pluchea indica) root extracts. Phythotherapy Res. 1996;10(1):58-61
  7. Gomes A, Saha A, Chatterjee I, Chkravarthy AK. Viper and cobra venom neutralization by b-sitosterol and stigmasterol isolated from the root of Pluchea indica Less (Asteraceae). Phtyomedicine. 2007;14(9):637–643
  8. Biswas R, Dutta PK, Achari B, et al. Isolation of pure compound R/J/3 from Pluchea indica (L.) Less. and its anti-amoebic activities against Entamoeba histolytica. Phytomedicine. 2007;14(7-8):534-537.
  9. Sen T, Dhara AK, Bhattacharjee S, Pal S, Chaudhuri NAK. Antioxidant activity of the methanol fraction of Pluchea indica root extract. Phytother Res. 2002;16(4):331-335.
  10. Siddhartha P, Chaudhuri AKN. Studies on the effects of Pluchea indica less root extract on gastroduodenal ulcer models in rats and guinea pigs. Phytotherapy Res. 1989;3(4):156–158
  11. Sen T, Ghosh TK, Chaudhuri AK. Studies on the mechanism of anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcer activity of Pluchea indica - probable involvement of 5-lipooxygenase pathway. Life Sci. 1993;52(8):737-743
  12. Sen T, Chaudhuri AKN. Antiinflammatory evaluation of a Pluchea indica root extract. J Ethnopharmacol. 1991;33(1-2):135-141.
  13. Sen T, Ghosh TK, Bhattacharjee S, Chaudhuri NAK. Action of Pluchea indica methanol extract as a dual inhibitor on PAF-induced paw oedema and gastric damage. Phytotherapy Res. 1996;10(1):74–76
  14. Sen T, Chaudhuri AKN. Studies on the neuropharmacological aspects of Pluchea indica root extract. Phytotherapy Res. 1992;6(4):175–179
  15. Thongpraditchote S, Matsumoto K, Temsiririrkkul R, Tohda M, Murakami Y, Watanabe H. Neuropharmacological actions of Pluchea indica Less. root extract in socially isolated mice. Biol Pharm Bull. 1996;19(3):379-383.
  16. Sen T, Basu A, Ray RN, Chaudhuri AKN. Hepatoprotective effects of Pluchea indica (less) extract in experimental acute liver damage in rodents. Phytotherapy Res. 1993;7(5):352–355.