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Gynura procumbens


Cacalia procumbens Lour., Gynura sarmentosa Blume, Gynura affinis Turcz, Gynura scabra Turcz. [1]

Vernacular Names:


Akar Sebiak, Kelemai Merah, Kacam Akar, Sambung Nyawa


Daun Dewa, Sambung Nyawa, Ngokilo, Beluntas Cina


Pra-kham Dee Khwaai, Ma Kham Dee Khawaai, Mu Maeng Sang


Ping Wo Ju San Qi [2] [4]

General Information


Gynura procumbens is a member of the Asteraceae family. It is a scandent herbaceous plant that can rach up to 1.5m high. The stem has brownish or purple striate, glabrous or slightly pubescent when young. The leaves are with petioles measuring 5-15mm long, glabrous. The leaf blade is light green above and a lighter green below, ovate, ovate-oblong or elliptic and measures 3-8cm x 1.5-3.5cm. Both surfaces are rarely pubescent, lateral veins are measures between 5-7 pairs. The base in rounded-obtuse or cuneately attenuate into the petiole, the margins are entire or repand-dentate, and apex acute or acuminate. The capitula is 3-5 in each corymb, in terminal or axillary corymbs. The peduncles are long, slender and often with 1-3 linear bracts, sparsely shortly pubescent. Involucres campanulate or funneliform. The florets 20-30 in number with orange corolla. The achenes are brown, cylindric measuring about 4-6mm glabrous 10 ribbed. Pappus are white and silky. [5]

Plant Part Used


Chemical Constituents

Miraculin [6]

Traditional Used:

Gynura procumbens is believed to be cooling, neutral and has antineoplastic, antipyretic, hypotensive, hypoglycaemic and diuretic.

Over the past decade, this plant has been promoted as an antidiabetic and antihypertensive remedy by many in Malaysia. Traditionally, it has been used to treat sorethroat, sinusitis, gastritis and snakebites. The Indonesian also promote this plant as a remedy for diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolaemia. [3] [4]

Pre-Clinical Data


Antidiabetic activity

Both ethanol and aqueous extracts of the leaves of G. procumbens exhibit significant hypoglycaemic activity comparable to those of metformin or biguanides. It was found that the aqueous extract exerted its hypoglycaemic effect by promoting glucose uptake by muscles. This hypoglycaemic effect apparently only affects elevated blood sugar level but not when blood sugar level was normal. [7] [8] 

Anti-inflammatory activity

The hexane and toluene fractions of the ethanol extract of G. procumbens showed significant anti-inflammatory activity which is comparable to hydrocortisone. Further analysis of these fractions pointed to the possibility of phytosteroids being responsible for the anti-inflammatory activity. The ethanol extract was able to inhibit the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and IL-8) in human HaCat keratinocyte. [9] [10]

Anti-photoaging activity

Matrix-metalloproteinase (MMP) -1 and -9 could be induced by exposure to UV-B irradiation in human primary dermal fibroblasts. It was found that the ethanol extract of G. procumbens was able to inhibit MMP-1 and MMP-9 expression. It is deduced that this action is due to the ability of the extract to inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokine mediator release and ROS production. [10]


Acute toxicity studies of the methanol extract of the leaves of G. procumbens  at 1000-5000mg/kg did not produce any mortality nor any significant changes in the general behavior, body weight, or gross appearance of organs in rats. Neither was there any siginificant changes in hematological, clinical chemisty, or gross and microscopic appearance of the organs. In subchronic toxicity studies, the NOAEL (no observed adverse effect levels) of the methanol extract was 500mg/kg/day for 13 weeks. [11]

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

While there is some relevance in the use of G. procumbens in the treatment of diabetes as evidenced in the above citation on antidiabetic activity, those on antidiabetic drug therapy should use this with great caution. Regular monitoring of blood glucose levels should be done to ensure that no hypoglycaemia will occur. [3] [4] [7] [8]

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation.



No documentation.

Case Reports

No documentation.

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  1)  Botanical Info

  2)  Malaysian Herbal Plants


1. Merrill EM. Loureiro’s “Flora Cochinchinensis” Transactions,.American Philosophical Society Volume 24(3):395, Philadelphia 1935 pg. 395 []
2. Takao PH, Supritanto RI, Nursal BI. Five hundred plant species in Gunung Halimun Salak National Park, West Java CIFOR Bogor Barat 2010 pg. 184 []
3. Permadi A. Membuat Kebun Tanaman Obat Niaga Swadaya, Jakarta. 2008 pg. 49 []
4. Suryo J. Herbal Penyembuh Imptensi and Ejakulasi Dini P.T. Mizan Publika. Jakarta. 2010 pg. 112 – 113 []
5. Flora of China. Available from [] Accessed on 11th March 2013.
6. Hew CS, Gam LH. Proteome analysis of abundant proteins extracted from the leaf of Gynura procumbens (Lour.) Merr. Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2011 Dec;165(7-8):1577-86.
7. Zhang XF, Tan BK. Effects of an ethanolic extract of Gynura procumbens on serum glucose, cholesterol and triglyceride levels in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Singapore Med J. 2000 Jan;41(1):9-13.
8. Hassan Z, Yam MF, Ahmad M, Yusof AP. Antidiabetic properties and mechanism of action of Gynura procumbens water extract in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Molecules. 2010 Dec 8;15(12):9008-23. doi: 10.3390/molecules15129008.
9. Iskander MN, Song Y, Coupar IM, Jiratchariyakul W. Antiinflammatory screening of the medicinal plant Gynura procumbens. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2002 Fall;57(3-4):233-44.
10. Kim J, Lee CW, Kim EK, Lee SJ, Park NH, Kim HS, Kim HK, Char K, Jang YP, Kim JW. Inhibition effect of Gynura procumbens extract on UV-B-induced matrix-metalloproteinase expression in human dermal fibroblasts. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Sep 1;137(1):427-33. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2011.04.072. Epub 2011 Jun 6.
11. Rosidah, Yam MF, Sadikun A, Ahmad M, Akowuah GA, Asmawi MZ. Toxicology evaluation of standardized methanol extract of Gynura procumbens. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jun 22;123(2):244-9.


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