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Gynura divaricata (Linn.) DC.


Gynura ovalis DC, Cacalia ovalis Ker, Senecio divaricatus Linnaeus, Cacalia incana Linnaeus, C. ovalis Ker Gawler, Gynura auriculata Cassini, G. hemsleyana H. Léveillé, G. ovalis (Ker Gawler) Candolle, G. ovalis var. pinnatifida Hemsley, G. panershenia Z. Y. Zhu. [1] [2]

Vernacular Names:


Daun Dewa


Daun Dewa


Bai Zi Cai. [2]

General Information


Gynura divaricata is a member of the Asteraceae family. It is a perennial herbaceous plant with erect or ascending stems arising from the base. The stem is woody, simple or with synflorescence branched in upper parts. It is glabrous or shortly pubescent, purplish in colour and can reach up to 60cm high. The leaves are thick, usually crowded in lower part, ovate, elliptic or oblanceolate, measuring 2-15cm x 1.5-5cm. The petiole is measure about 0.5-4cm, shortly pubescent with ovate, dentate auricle at base. The blade is purple below and green above, shortly pubescent; lateral veins are 6-10 pairs. The base is cuneate-attenuate or decurrent into the petiole, subtruncate or slightly cordate. The margins are coarsely dentate, sometime lyrately lobed with the apex obtuse or acute. The upper leaves are usually smaller, bractlike, narrowly lanceolate or linear, pinnatifid, sessile. The capitula is measuring  1.5-2cm in diameter, usually 3-5 in terminal laxly corymbose-paniculate and often divaricately branched. The peduncle is between 1-15cm, densely pubescent; with linear bracts. Involucres are campanulate, measuring 8-10 x 68mm. The florets are orange-yellow in colour, fragrant, slightly exceeding involucres. The achenes are brown, cylindric, 5mm, puberulent, 10-ribbed. The pappus white, silky and measuring about 10-12mm. [2]

Plant Part Used


Chemical Constituents

1-O-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-(2S,3S,4R,10E)-2-[(2'R)-2'-hydroxyltricosanoyl-amino]-10-octadecene-1,3,4-triol; 1-O-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-(2S,3S,4R,10Z)-2-[(2'R)-2'-hydroxylignocenoyl-amino]-10-octadecene-1,3,4-triol; kaempferol; kaempferol 3-O-glucoside; kaempferol 3-O-rhamnosyl(1 --> 6)glucoside; beta-sitosteryl glucoside-6'-O-heptadecoicate; 2-(1', 2', 3', 4'-tetrahydroxybutyl)-6-(2'', 3'', 4''-trihydroxybutyl)-pyrazine; 2-(1', 2', 3',4'-tetrahydroxybutyl)-6-(2", 3", 4"-trihydroxybutyl)-pyrazine;  2-(1', 2', 3',4'-tetrahydroxybutyl)-5-(2", 3", 4"-trihydroxybutyl) –pyrazine; nicotinic acid; 5-hydroxy-picolinic acid; methyl-5-hydroxy-2- pyridinecarboxylate; adenosine; uridine; stigmasterol-5-O-beta-D-glucoside; dibutylterephthalate; methyl chlorogenate; quercetin; kaempferol; kaempferol-3-O-β-D-glucopyranoside; quercetin-3-O-rutinoside; kaempferol-3,7-di-O-β-D-glucopyranoside; kaempferol-3-O-rutinoside-7-O-β-D-glucopyranoside; 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid. [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Traditional Used:

In Malaysia the plant was traditionally used as a vulnerary and styptic. It is believed that the same plant is used to treat opium addiction. 

Pre-Clinical Data


Antidiabetic activity

Preliminary studies on the aerial parts of G. divaricata showed that it has antidiabetic activity. Water, 95% ethanol, ethylacetate and n-butanol extracts showed significant hypoglycaemic activity. In vitro studies on the activities of these extracts on alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidease indicated that the extracts had inhibitory activities against these enzymes. The ethyl acetate and n-butanol fractions seem have higher alpha-amylase inhibitory activity. The n-butanol further showed inhibitory activity against alpha-glucosidase. It is believed that the flavonoid and alkaloid content could be responsible for this activity. Polysaccharide from G. divaricata was found to inhibit activities of sucrose and maltase too. These polysaccharides had been identified as fructooligosaccharides including beta-D-fructofuranose, sucrose, 1-kestone, nystose and 1(f)-beta-fructofuranosylnystose. Of these nystose was found to be the most potent. [8-12]

Antihypertensive activity

The aqueous extract of G. divaricata showed inhibitory activity against ACE. This activity was not affected by fractionation of the extract, which probably indicate that this activity is the result of the synergistic effects of all compounds in the extract.[10]

Antioxidant activity

G. divaricata extract was found to have antioxidant and free radical-scavenging activities. It was found that extraction temperature does influence this activity and the total phenolic and flavonoid content. At higher temperature the TPC and TFC were high and so does the antioxidant activities. [13]


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

Patients on drug therapy for hypertension and diabetes should be cautious when taking this plant or products derived from this plant. Significant reduction of blood sugar level may occur when both drugs and plant product is taken together and the fear of hypoglycaemia exists. The same could be anticipated with hypertensive on antihypertensive drugs. They may suffer from attacks of hypotension. [8-12]

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation.



No documentation.

Case Reports

No documentation.


1.Merril EM. Louriero’s “Flora Cochinchinensis” Transactions, American Philisophical Society, Philadelphia June 1935 Vol 24(2):394 Available from

2.Flora of China. Available from: Accessed on: 9th March 2013

3.Chen L, Li H, Song H, Zhang G. A new cerebroside from Gynura divaricata. Fitoterapia. 2009 Dec;80(8):517-20.

4.Chen L, Wang JJ, Zhang GG, Song HT, Qin LP. A new cerebroside from Gynura divaricata. Nat Prod Res. 2009;23(14):1330-6.

5.Chen L, Song ZY, Wang JJ, Song HT, Zhang GG, Wang JH. Studies on the chemical constituents from aerial parts of Gynura divaricata. Zhong Yao Cai. 2010 Mar;33(3):373-6.

6.Wan C, Yu Y, Zhou S, Tian S, Cao S. Isolation and identification of phenolic compounds from Gynura divaricata leaves. Pharmacogn Mag. 2011 Apr;7(26):101-8.

7.Chen J, Adams A, Mangelinckx S, Ren BR, Li WL, Wang ZT, De Kimpe N. Investigation of the volatile constituents of different Gynura species from two Chinese origins by SPME/GC-MS. Nat Prod Commun. 2012 May;7(5):655-7.

8.Chou SC, Lee SS. Quantitative analysis of fructo-oligosaccharides in Gynura divaricata subsp. formosana by high performance anion exchange chromatography-pulsed amperometric detection. Nat Prod Commun. 2012 Aug;7(8):1063-4.

9.Li WL, Ren BR, Min-Zhuo, Hu Y, Lu CG, Wu JL, Chen J, Sun S. The anti-hyperglycemic effect of plants in genus Gynura Cass. Am J Chin Med. 2009;37(5):961-6

10.Wu T, Zhou X, Deng Y, Jing Q, Li M, Yuan L. In vitro studies of Gynura divaricata (L.) DC extracts as inhibitors of key enzymes relevant for type 2 diabetes and hypertension. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Jun 22;136(2):305-8.

11.Deng YX, Chen YS, Zhang WR, Chen B, Qiu XM, He LH, Mu LL, Yang CH, Chen R. Polysaccharide from Gynura divaricata modulates the activities of intestinal disaccharidases in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Br J Nutr. 2011 Nov;106(9):1323-9

12.Chou SC, Chuang LM, Lee SS. Hypoglycemic constituents of Gynura divaricata subsp. formosana. Nat Prod Commun. 2012 Feb;7(2):221-2.

13.Wan C, Yu Y, Zhou S, Liu W, Tian S, Cao S. Antioxidant activity and free radical-scavenging capacity of Gynura divaricata leaf extracts at different temperatures. Pharmacogn Mag. 2011 Jan;7(25):40-5.14.

14.Burkill IH., A Dictionary of Economic Products of the Malay Peninsula Volume 1, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur 1966 pg. 1139 - 1140



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