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Celosia argentea


Celosia cristata Linn, Celosia splendens Schum. & Thonn, Celosia debilis S. Moore.

Vernacular Names:

Malaysia: Balong Ayam
Indonesia: Talas; Bayam Ekor Belanda (Sumatera); Bayam Kucing (Maluku); Boroco, Sangsri (Sunda); Sangsri, Cuca (Jawa); Kuntha (Kangean); Baya Kasubiki (Ternate)
Thailand: Ngon Kai Thai, Ngornkai Dong

Kudiapa, Redtap (Bisaya); Kudiapa (Cebuano); Balunsay, Lofoi, Pudpudo, Sansandok (Ilocano); Kudiapa (Ilongo); Kadayohan, Kindayohan, Taling-taling (Tagalog)



Vietnam:  Mong-ga
Laos:  Nya Dok Hone Kai
China:  Qing Xiang Zi
India:  Chilmili, Safed Murg
Bangladesh:  Sheth Morogful
English:  Cock’s-comb, Quail Grass
French:  Celosie, Celosie Argentee, Crete de Coq
German:  Brandschopf, Hahnenkamm
Portuguese: Amaranto Branco [2] [3] [4]

General Information


Celosia argentea is a member of the Amaranthaceae family. It is an erect annual herb that can reach up to 2m high. The stem is ridged, glabrous and branching profusely. The leaves are simple, alternate without stipules. The petiole is indistinctly demarcated. The blade is ovate to lanceolate-obling or narrowly linear. They measures 15-20cm long and 7-9cm wide, tapering at base and acute to obtuse and shortly mucronate at the apex. The margin is entire, the leaf surface is glabrous and venations pinnate. The inflorescence is a dense, multiple flowered spike, at first conical but becoming cylindrical up to 20cm long. The flowers are small, bisexual, regular, 5-merous, tepals free, narrowly elliptical-oblong, 6-10mm long. The stamens are fused at the base. The ovary is superior, 1-celled with style filiform, up to 7mm long. The stigmas are 2-3 in numbers, very short. The fruit is ovoid to globose 3-4mm long, circum-sessile. The seeds are lenticular, 1.0-1.5mm long, black and shiny and shallowly reticulate. [3]

Plant Part Used

Seeds [4]

Chemical Constituents

2-descarboxy-betanidin; 3-methoxytyramine; 4-O-β-D-apifuranosyl-(1→2)-β-D-glucopyranosyl-2-hydroxy-6-methoxyacetophenone; amaranthin; betalimic acid; celogenamide A, celogentin A – D, H, J and K, celosian; celosin E, F, G; cristatain; dopamine; lyciumin A methylate; lyciumin C methylate; moroidin; nicotinic acid; (S)-tryptophan.  [1] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]

Traditional Used:

The seed of C. argentea are bitter and cold and has antipyretic, anti-inflammatory and hypotensive properties. The flowers are haemostatic, diuretic and tonic. [4]

Inflammatory conditions

The petioles are remedies for sores, wounds, boils and swellings. The seeds are used in treatment of eye infections like keratitis, uveitis and conjunctivitis. [1] [4]

Haemorrhagic conditions

The seeds are prescribed for haemorrhagic conditions including menorrhagia, haematuria, haematemesis, haemoptysis, epistaxis, acute retinal haemorrhage and bleeding haemorrhoids. The flowers are sometime use for the same purpose. [1] [4]

Gynaecological disease

C. argentea is useful for treatment of gynaecological disorders like excessive menstruation and leucorrhoea. [1] [4]

Other uses

The whole plant can be used to treat dysentery and dysuria while a poultice can be applied over broken bones. It is also good for use in hepatitis, mouth sores and as an aphrodisiac. [1] [4]

Pre-Clinical Data


Anti-DNP suppressive activity

The extract of C. argentea was found to have the ability to markedly suppress the Anti-DNP IgE production in rats. This could render it useful for use in suppression of IgE antibody in some allergic conditions. [11]

Immunomodulating activity

The seeds of C. argentea contain an acidic polysaccharide called celosian which exhibit immunomodulating activity. The following are evidence to show this activity:

  1. It induced tumour necrosis factor-alfa (TNF-alpha) production in mice
  2. It induced the production of interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) and nitric oxide (NO) in macrophage cell line J774.1
  3. It induced IL-1 beta secretion in human mononuclear cells
  4. It enhanced gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) production activity of concanavalin A in mice spleen while alone no significant influence was seen. [12]

Hepatoprotective Activity

The celosian was found to have the ability to inhibit elevation of serum enzyme (GPT, GOT, LDH) and bilirubin levels in carbon tetrachloride-induced liver injuries in rats. It also suppressed the rise of GPT or mortality in fulminant hepatitis in mice. Thus, its hepatoprotective activity can be considered two-pronged i.e. chemical and immunological. [13]

Antimetastatic activity

The extract of C. argentea seeds was found to inhibit liver metastatis following intraportal injection of colon 26-L5 carcinoma cells after 7 days after intreperitoneal injection of the extract. The inhibitory mechanism is likely to be associated with activation of macrophages as evidenced by inactivity of the extract when macrophages were removed from the system. This is effect then is related to its immunomodulating properties including induction of the cytokines i.e. IL-12, IL-2 and IFN-gamma leading to a Th1 dominant immune state and activating macrophages to tumericidal state. [14]

Antioxidant activity

The aqueous extract of C. argentea leaves was able to attenuate Cd-induced oxidative stress attributable to the presence of phenolic (3.26%) and flavonoid (2.38%) compounds in the extract. This is done probably through induction of antioxidant enzymes and scavenging of free radicals. [15]

Antidiarrhoeal activity

The alcoholic extract of C. argentea leaves proved to be an effective antidiarrhoeal in a dose dependent manner. The antidiarrhoeal activity was found to be centrally mediated, through inhibition of PGE(2) and anti-muscarinic activity. [16]

Wound healing activity

The alcoholic extract of C. argentea leaves in a formulated ointment (10% w/w) enhances healing in a rat burn wound model. This was seen to be through its ability to promote cell motility and proliferation of primary dermal fibroblast. This is through mitogenic and motogenic promotion of dermal fibroblasts. [17]

Antidiabetic activity

The alcoholic extract of C. argentea seeds exhibited antidiabetic activity in a dose dependent manner. It was able to normalize elevated blood glucose level in alloxan-induced diabetic rats while at the same time decrease the body weight. [18]


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

No documentation

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

The emmenagogue property as claimed traditionally used may render the plant unsafe to use during pregnancy. [1] [4]

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

No documentation


No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation


Interactions with drugs

The ability to reduce elevated blood glucose level may warrant a cautionary measure in diabetics on antidiabetic therapy. They may be a tendency to hypoglycaemic attacks if taken together. [18]

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



Contraindicated in cases of glaucoma, and liver and kidney dysfunction. [4] [5]

Case Reports

No documentation


  1. Koh HL, Chua TK, Tan CH. A Guide to Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated, Scientific and Medical Approach. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co.Pte. Ltd.; 2009. p. 42–43.
  2. Galinato MI, Moody K, Piggin CM. Upland Rice Weeds of South and Southeast Asia. International Rice Research Institute Los Banos; 1999. p. 10.
  3. Grubben GJH. Plant Resources of Tropical Africa: Vegetables. PROTA Foundation Wageningen; 2004. p. 168.
  4. Dalimartha S. Atlas Tumbuhan Obat Indonesia, Vol 3. Jakarta: Niaga Swadaya; 2007. p. 2–4.
  5. Wu JN. An Illustrated Chinese Materia Medica. Oxford University Press Oxford; 2005. p. 168.
  6. Schliemann W, Cai Y, Degenkolb T, Schmidt J, Corke H. Betalains of Celosia argentea. Phytochemistry. 2001 Sep;58(1):159-65.
  7. Kobayashi J, Suzuki H, Shimbo K, Takeya K, Morita H. Celogentins A-C, new antimitotic bicyclic peptides from the seeds of Celosia argentea. The Journal of Organic Chemistry. 2001 Oct 5;66(20):6626-33.
  8. Morita H, Suzuki H, Kobayashi J. Celogenamide A, a new cyclic peptide from the seeds of Celosia argentea. Journal of Natural Products. 2004 Sep;67(9):1628-30.
  9. Shen S, Ding X, Ouyang MA, Wu ZJ, Xie LH. A new phenolic glycoside and cytotoxic constituents from Celosia argentea. Journal of Asian Natural Products Research. 2010 Sep;12(9):821-7.
  10. Wu Q, Wang Y, Guo M. Triterpenoid saponins from the seeds of Celosia argentea and their anti-inflammatory and antitumor activities. Chemical & Pharmaceutical Bulletin (Tokyo). 2011;59(5):666-71.
  11. Imaoka K, Ushijima H, Inouye S, Takahashi T, Kojima Y. Effects of Celosia argentea and Cucurbita moschata extracts on anti-DNP IgE antibody production in mice. Japanese Journal of Allergology. 1994 May;43(5):652-9.
  12. Hase K, Basnet P, Kadota S, Namba T. Immunostimulating activity of Celosian, an antihepatotoxic polysaccharide isolated from Celosia argentea. Planta Medica. 1997 Jun; 63(3):216-9.
  13. Hase K, Kadota S, Basnet P, Takahashi T, Namba T. Protective effect of celosian, an acidic polysaccharide, on chemically and immunologically induced liver injuries. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin. 1996 Apr;19(4):567-72.
  14. Hayakawa Y, Fujii H, Hase K, Ohnishi Y, Sakukawa R, Kadota S, Namba T, Saiki I. Anti-metastatic and immunomodulating properties of the water extract from Celosia argentea seeds. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin. 1998 Nov;21(11):1154-9.’
  15. Malomo SO, Ore A, Yakubu MT. In vitro and in vivo antioxidant activities of the aqueous extract of Celosia argentea leaves. Indian Journal of Pharmacology. 2011 May;43(3):278-85.
  16. Sharma P, Vidyasagar G, Singh S, Ghule S, Kumar B. Antidiarrhoeal activity of leaf extract of Celosia argentea in experimentally induced diarrhoea in rats. Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research. 2010 Jan;1(1):41-8.
  17. Priya KS, Arumugam G, Rathinam B, Wells A, Babu M. Celosia argentea Linn. leaf extract improves wound healing in a rat burn wound model. Wound Repair and Regeneration. 2004 Nov-Dec;12(6):618-25.
  18. Vetrichelvan T, Jegadeesan M, Devi BA. Anti-diabetic activity of alcoholic extract of Celosia argentea Linn. seeds in rats. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin. 2002 Apr;25(4):526-8.

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