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Elephantopus tomentosus Linn.


Elephantopus mollis Kunth.

Vernacular Names:


Litup Bumi


Devil's Grandmother


Malatabako (Tagalog); Tabtabako (Iloko); Kaburon (Igorot) [1]

General Information


A herb up to 100cm tall, stems whitish pilose; the leaves basal and cauline, elliptical-ovate or elliptical-obovate to elliptical-lanceolate, measuring about 8-22cm x 3-7cm; glomerules terminal, generally long-peduncled, glomerule bracts generally shorter than the involucral bracts; flowers with corolla about 5mm long, whitish or sometimes pinkish or purplish; the fruit was measure about 2.5-3mm long with pappus bristles equal and measuring 3.5-4mm long. Elephantopus mollis occurs in open waste places and grasslands up to 2000m altitude. [1]

Plant Part Used

Leaves. [1] [3]

Chemical Constituents

2b-methoxy-2-deethoxy-8-O-deacylphantomolin-8-O-tiglinate;2-dethoxy-2-hydroxyphantomolin; tomenphantopin A, B, H; tomenphantin A and B.[5] [6] [8]

Traditional Used:

This plant had its origins from the American continent and is used by the American Indian. Knowledge of its used travelled with it to the tropical east. The plant is believed to have diaphoretic, expectorant and emetic properties in its native land. In Hong Kong it is considered a diuretic, antihepatic and antibronchitis. [1] [4] 

Inflammatory diseases

The leaves are used fresh in the form of a poultice to treat inflammatory conditions like wounds, erysipelas, tonsillitis and various respiratory disorders. In Malaysia it’s recorded use include treating inflammatory conditions and to relieve pain. Decoction of the whole plant is prescribed for fever in Hong Kong. [1] [2] [3]

Other uses

In the Philippines, the leaves (fresh and crushed or dried and powdered) are applied to wounds as a vulnerary. A decoction of the plant is prescribed as diuretic and febrifuge. It is also reported to act as an emetic. In Hong Kong, the entire plant is used for its diuretic, antihepatic and antibronchitis properties. It is also used to induce vomiting and to treat headaches. [1] [3] [4]

Pre-Clinical Data


Anti-inflammatory activity

Ethanol extract of E. tomentosus was found to significantly reduced carrageenan-induced hind paw edema at a dose of 1000mg/kg. [7]

Antinociceptive activity

The ethanol extract of E. tomentosus at a dose of 1000mg/kg was able to increase the hyperalgesia pain threshold and inhibited writhing activity but did not affect the hot plate and tail flick tests. This antinociceptive effect was comparable to standard NSAID. [7]

Cytotoxic activity

E. tomentosus contain a number of compounds which proved to have cytotoxic activity. These compounds includes tomenphantopin A and B which are sesquiterpene lactones, and  tomenphantin A and B which are germacronolides. [8] [9]

Antibacterial activity

Three compounds isolated and characterized from extracts of E. tomentosus exhibited antibacterial activity. They are tomenphantopin H, 2b-methoxy-2-deethoxy-8-O-deacylphantomolin-8-O-tiglinate, and 2-dethoxy-2-hydroxyphantomolin. [7]

Antioxidant activity

The ethanol extract of E. tomentosus exhibited antioxidant activity, lipid peroxidation inhibition, hydrogen peroxide and free radical scavenging activities. This is attributed to the 10% total phenolic content in the lypholized ethanol extract. [10]

Hepatoprotective activity

Oral administration of 500mg/kg of ethanol extract of E. tomentosus was found have the ability to reduce liver damage in CCl4 treated rats. This was evidenced by the reduction of liver enzymes aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) together with histopathological changes to normalization. The hepatoprotective effects had been attributed to its antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties. [10]


No documentation.

Teratogenic effects

No documentation.

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.PROSEA. Available from: Accessed on 14th March 2013.

2.Central Nervous System Agents: Advances in Research and Application 2011 Edition Scholarly Editions, Atlanta 2012 pg. 192. Available from

3.Crellin JK, Philpott J. Herbal Medicine Past and Presence: A Reference Guide to Medicinal Plants. Duke University Press,  1989pg. 202 Available from:

4.Available from; Accessed: 21st March 2013-03-21

5.Wang B, Mei WL, Zeng YB, Guo ZK, Liu GD, Dai HF. A new sesquiterpene lactone from Elephantopus tomentosus. J Asian Nat Prod Res. 2012;14(7):700-3.

6.Hayashi T, Nakano T, Kozuka M, McPhail DR, McPhail AT, Lee KH. Antitumor agents. 190. Absolute stereochemistry of the cytotoxic germacranolides, tomenphantins A and B, from Elephantopus tomentosus. J Nat Prod. 1999 Feb;62(2):302-4.

7.Yam MF, Ang LF, Ameer OZ, Salman IM, Aziz HA, Asmawi MZ. Anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of Elephantopus tomentosus ethanolic extract. J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2009 Dec;2(4):280-7.

8.Hayashi T, Nakano T, Kozuka M, McPhail DR, McPhail AT, Lee KH. Antitumor agents. 190. Absolute stereochemistry of the cytotoxic germacranolides, tomenphantins A and B, from Elephantopus tomentosus. J Nat Prod. 1999 Feb;62(2):302-4.

9.Toshimitsu Hayashi, Junko K. Oyama, Andrew T., Kuo-Hsiung Lee, Structure and absolute stereochemistry of tomenphantopin-A and -B two cytotoxic sesquiterpene lactones from elephantopus tomentosus. Phytochemistry Volume 26, Issue 4, 1987, Pages 1065–106810.

10.Mun Fei Yam, Rusliza Basir, Mohd. Zaini Asmawi, Rosidah, Mariam Ahmad and Gabriel Akyirem Akowuah Antioxidant and Hepatoprotective Activities of Elephantopus tomentosus. Ethanol Extract Pharmaceutical Biology 2008, Vol. 46, No. 3 , Pages 199-206.


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