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Ruellia repens Linn.


Dipteracanthus lanceolatus Nees, Dipteracanthus repens (Linn.) Hasskarl. [6]

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Akar Keremak, Deras Malam, Rumput Halyor, Daun Patok Tuau, Seranam
English Creeping Ruellia
China Nan Cao
Indonesia Plinten, Remah, Sekatan
Thailand Chaa Horn, Faa Maeng
Vietnam Qu[ar] n[oor[ b[of], Song d[uw]c [1][2][3]

General Information


Ruellia repens is a member of the Acanthaceae family. It is a perennial and creeping herbaceous plant that can reach up to 50cm tall. Roots are non-tuberous. The stems are almost quadrangular, finely pubescent or glabrescent. The petiole measures 3-5mm long. The leaf blade is ovate to linear-lanceolate measuring 1.4-4 x 0.8-2cm, thinly papery and both surfaces sparsely strigose. There are 4-5 secondary veins on each side of the midvein. The base is broadly cuneate to rounded, the margin is subentire and the apex is acuminate to acute. The flowers appear at the axilla, usually solitary with ovate to ovate-oblong bracteoles. The calyx lobe is lanceolate measuring 5mm with ciliated margins. The corolla is white to light purple measuring 1.2-2cm, outside pilose. The stamens with longer pair are 5mm long and shorter pair are 2mm, filaments are glabrous and anther thecae about 1mm long. The ovary is comose and the style 1cm long hirsute. The stigma lobes are unequal.  The capsules are brownish yellow, stipitate and slightly pilose with 12-16 seeds. [1]

Plant Part Used

Leaves [5]

Chemical Constituents

No documentation

Traditional Uses:

The plant is used to treat cough, heal wounds, scalds, ulcers, toothache and stomachache. [3][5]

The pounded leaves are used as poultice for ulcers and sore legs. The powdered dried leaves when mixed with saffron and rice can dissipate heat when applied over the whole body in children who are restless and perspiring heavily. [5] It also can be mixed with warm water and drank to remove kidney stones. [4]

Pre-Clinical Data


No documentation


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. Flora of China. Nan Cao. Available from [Accessed on 18th April 2013]
  2. Plant Resources of South-east Asia No: 12(3): Medicinal and Poisonous Plants
  3. Akhtar MF, Rashid S, Ahmad M, Usmanghani K. Cardiovascular Evaluation of Ruellia patula and Ruellia brittoniana Journal of Islamic Academy of Sciences. 1992;5(1):67-71
  4. Samuel AJSJ., Kalusalingam A., Chellappan DK., Gopinath R., Radhamani S., Husain HA., Muruganandham V., Promwichit P., Ethnomedical survey of plants used by the Orang Asli in Kampong Bawong, Perak, West Malaysia Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine. 2010; 6:5
  5. Burkill IH., A Dictionary of Economic Products of the Malay Peninsula Volume 2, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Malaysia Kuala Lumpur. 1966; pg. 1953 - 1954
  6. Tropicos. Accessed on 16th July 2014. Available from 

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