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Sesbania grandiflora (Linn.) Pers.


Aeschynomene coccinea L.f., Aeschynomene grandiflora (L.) L., Agati coccinea (L.f.) Desv., Agati grandiflora (L.) Desv., Coronilla coccinea (L.f.) Willd., Coronilla grandiflora (L.) Willd., Dolichos arboreus Forssk., Emerus grandiflorus (L.) Kuntze, Resupinaria grandiflora (L.) Raf., Robinia grandiflora L., Sesban coccinea (L.f.) Poir., Sesban grandiflora (L.) Poir. [Spelling variant], Sesban grandiflorus (L.) Poir., Sesbania coccinea (L.f.) Pers. [20]

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Geti, Turi
English Agati Sesbania, Swamp Pea, Pea Tree, Vegetable Humming Bird
Indonesia Turi, Tuwi
Thailand Khae Baan
Philippines Agati, Bacule, Katural
India Agati (Sanskrit); Basna, Agasti (Hindi); Agati (Bengali); Agati, Akkati (Tamil)
France Fagotier
Germany Turibaum [1][2][3]

General Information


Sesbania grandiflora is a member of the Fabaceae family. It is a small tree that could reach up to 15 m tall. The leaf is compound and pinnate measuring 30 cm long. There are about 10-25 pairs of leaflets. The inflorescence contains 2-4 flowers and appears at the axils. The flowers may be pink, red, yellow or white. The pod is long and measures 20-60 cm, 6-9 mm thick with 15-50 seeds per pod. The mature seeds are dark brown.  [2]

Plant Part Used

Root bark, leaves, flowers, fruits. [2][4][5]

Chemical Constituents

Agathine, bassorine, resin, tannin, zanthoagathine. [2]

Traditional Used:

S. grandiflora bark is considered acrid, astringent, cooling, bitter, tonic, anthelmintic, and febrifuge. [5] Infusion of the bark is traditionally used to treat smallpox [5]. Decoction of the bark is drunk to treat stomach-ache and diarrhoea [6]. Either decoction or infusion of the bark has been used for fever, haemoptysis, sprue disease, stomach ailments, thrush, tongue and alimentary canal ulcers, colic, diarrhoea, dysentery and other bowel complaints. It also used as a gargle to treat mouth ulcers, sore gums, throat infection and applied externally on bruises, boils and ulcers [2]. The bark juice can be used for dyspepsia, diarrhoea, and gastralgia. [4] The pounded bark is topically applied for scabies and by gargling for mouth ulcers [2] [4] [6].  

S. grandiflora leaves are also considered acrid, aperient, anthelmintic, bitter, coolant, diuretic, laxative and tonic. [5] The leaves has been reported to be used to treat haematemesis, toxicosis, itching, stomalgia, and as a mouth and throat disinfectant [4] [5]. Decoction or infusion of the leaves is taken as an aperients and laxative while liquid infusion of leaves in alcohol or vinegar is used to massage the non-infective inflammation like rheumatism, sprains and muscle pains on the affected area. The juice of the leaves can be applied over mouth ulcers, sore gums, toothache and mixed with a little water to gargle as a remedy for similar conditions of the mouth and sore throat [2]. It can be applied to treat mental agitation where the juice is to be massaged over the head before taking the shower. [5] The juice is also used to relieve of nyctalopia, cephalgia and nasal catarrh [4]. Pounded leaves could be used topically over bruises, pains, sprains and swelling [2].

The pods are considered laxative and bitter. It is used to enhance memory power as well as to treat anameia, consumption, and grandular enlargement. [5]

The fruits are sweet, bitter, laxative and alexiteric. It is traditionally used to treat flatulent-colic, anaemia, and emaciation. [4]

The flower is astringent, acrid, cooling, bitter and antipyretic [4][5]. It is used to treat catarrh, cough, fevers, consumption, nignt blindness and as an emollient and laxative. [2][5] The flower juice is used to treat intermittent fevers and applied to nyctalopia eyes [4].

Decoction or pounded gum is used as an astringent. Decoction or infusion of the roots is taken to treat malaria [2]. Furthermore, the juice of the flowers and roots is regarded as an ideal expectorant [5].

Preclinical Data


Anticonvulsive activities

Benzene:ethyl acetate fraction (BE) of acetone soluble part from the petroleum ether extract of S. grandiflora leaves exhibit potent anticonvulsive activity strychnine (STR)-induced seizures in mice, significantly (p<0.05) delayed the latency  to seizures in pentylenetetrazol (PTZ)-induced seizures in mice from 264.3±12.4 s to 36.6±23.1 s, reduced the duration of tonic hindleg extension in the maximum electroconvulsive shock (MES),  inhibited electrically-induced kindled seizures in mice from 3.86±0.2 to 0.6±0.1 and  induced the status epilepticus in rats lithium-pilocarpine. The dose of BE that protected 50 % of animals (PD50) from seizures was determined as 43.6±7.4 mg/kg (p.o.), comparable with standard phenytoin calculated as 45.2±4.2 mg/kg (i.p.). The BE was identified to has triterpenes as its major component and it also raised the levels of γ-aminobutyric acid and serotonin in the brain, which is the known major endogenous anticonvulsants. [8]

Anxiolytic activity

Benzene:ethyl acetate fraction (BE) also showed anxiolytic activity indicated as the BE treated mice was preferred to remain in the open arm of the elevated plus maze for duration of 280.5±6.0 min compared to vehicle treated (190.5±12.5 s).  The PD50 of BE significantly (p<0.05) increased the brain content of γ-aminobutyric acid from 51.72±4.7 µg/g to 77.59±3.5 µg/g and serotonin from 0.9±0.04 µg/g to 1.8±0.1 µg/g of tissue. These effects were attributed to the presence of triterpenes in the extract. [8]

Antioxidant activity

Aqueous suspension of S. grandiflora leaves (1000 mg/kg bw/ day) administered orally to cigarette smoke-induced oxidative damage (90 days of exposure) in adult male Wistar-Kyoto rats for duration of three weeks showed significant antioxidant activity by able to reverse the damage caused by cigarette smoke on the liver and kidneys. The extract significantly decreased the elevated hepatic marker enzymes levels (i.e. aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP)), renal markers (i.e. urea and creatinine), lipid peroxidation marker (i.e. thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS)), micronutrient (i.e. copper), lactate dehydrogenase activity in serum, plasma nitric oxide levels, protein carbonyl and activities of cytochrome P450, NADPH oxidase, and xanthine oxidase. It also significantly ameliorated the diminished enzymatic antioxidant levels (i.e. superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione reductase (GR), glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) activity), non-enzymatic antioxidants levels (i.e. reduced glutathione, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and α-tocopherol (vitamin E)), micronutrients (i.e. zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn) and selenium (Se)), total thiol, protein thiol, non-protein thiol, nucleic acids, and tissue protein.  [10][11] [15]

In addition, S. grandiflora administered to alcohol and polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA)-induced oxidative stress in male albino Wistar rats showed that it can reduced the elevated TBARS and lipid hydroperoxides level and restored the decreased of antioxidant levels of the rats. [14]

The juice of the S. grandiflora leaves showed antioxidant activity which exhibited scavenging activity for nitric oxide and 2-diphenyl-2-picryl hydrazyl free radicals and increased the in vivo antioxidant parameters such as lipid peroxidation, GR and CAT. [9]

Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors activity

Two α-glucosidase inhibitors (SGF60 and SGF90) isolated from the flowers of S. grandiflora were found to have similar partial amino acid sequences with a p27SJ protein in Hypericum perforatum which was discovered to suppress HIV-1 gene expression while SGF90 matched a β-glucosidase from Arabidopsis thalian. [12]

Hepatoprotective activity

Ethanol extract of S. grandiflora leaves administered orally (200 mg/kg/day) to erythromycin estolate-induced hepatotoxicity in rats for duration of 15 days was shown to provide hepatic damage protection to the rats. The extract reduced the expected increase in levels of serum enzymes (aspartate transaminase, alanine transaminase, and alkaline phosphatase), bilirubin, cholesterol, triglycerides, phospholipids, fatty acids, plasma thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and hydroperoxidases. [13]

Antimicrobial activity

Ethyl acetate and butanol fractions of the ethanol extract of S. grandiflora bark showed pronounced antibacterial activity with the latter being the most effective against Gram negative bacteria. Moreover the polyphenolic extract of the S. grandiflora flowers has inhibitory effects against Staphylococcus aureus, Shigella flexneri 2a, Salmonella typhi, Escherichia coli and Vibrio cholera. It shows growth promoting activity of Lactobacillus acidophilus[16][17]

Anticancer activity

SF2 (Sesbania fraction 2), the protein fraction of S. grandiflora flowers were seen to inhibit cell proliferation and induced apoptosis by DNA fragmentation and externalization of phosphatidylserine in Dalton’s Lymphoma ascites (DLA) and colon cancer cells (SW-480). This was associated with the activation of caspases 3, 8, and 9, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage and cytochrome C release which supports apoptosis induced death. There is down-regulation of phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) induced NF-kappaB and anti-apoptotic factors such as Bcl-2, p-Akt and cyclooxygenase-2 induced by the tumour promoter PMA. This study showed that SF2 administration could increase the life span and decrease the tumour volume in mice bearing tumours under study. In vivo toxicological studies indicate that SF2 is pharmacologically safe. [18]

The ethanol extracts of the S. grandiflora leaves and flowers (100 and 200mg/kg body weight) administered intraperitoneally against Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma (EAC)-bearing Swiss albino mice for duration of 14 days were also found to be effective in inhibiting the tumour growth comparable to 5-Fluorouracil. The extracts significantly (p<0.01) decreased the tumor volume, viable cell count, tumor weight and elevated the life span of EAC bearing mice. It also significantly (p<0.05) decreased the levels of lipid peroxidation and increased the levels of GSH, SOD and CAT and reverted the hematological profile such as RBC, hemoglobin and lymphocyte count to normal level. [19]


Aqueous extract of the S. grandiflora leaves was found to cause haemolysis of human and sheep erythrocyte even at very low concentrations and is more favourable in acidic medium. The activity was evidenced by the release of phospholipids and sterols in the supernatant which is possibly due to the damage of erythrocyte membrane. [7]

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

The intake of the plant with any drug is believed to neutralize the efficacy of the drug. [5]

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation


  1. Natural Research Council, Tropical Legumes: Resources for the Future, National Research Council New York 2002, pg. 185
  2. Hean CO, Vegetables for Health and Healing, Utusan Publications and Distributors Sdn. Bhd., Kuala Lumpur 2008 pg. 26 – 27.
  3. Hanelt P, Mansfeld’s Encyclopedia of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops, Springer Berlin 2001, pg. 775.
  4. Warrier PK, Nambiar VPK, Ramankutty C, Indian Medicinal Plants: A Compendium of 500 species Volume 5, Orient Blackswan, New Delhi 1996  pg. 117.
  5. Sairam TV, Home Remedies: A Handbook of Herbal Cures for Common Ailments Penguin Books, New Delhi 2000, pg. 176.
  6. Zakaria M, Mohamed MA, Traditional Malay Medicinal Plants, ITBM Kuala Lumpur pg. 82.
  7. Kumar VR, Murugesh N, Vembar S, Damodaran C. Studies on erythrocyte membrane. VII. In vitro haemolytic effect of Sesbania grandiflora leaves. Toxicol Lett. 1982 Feb;10(2-3):157-61.
  8. Kasture VS, Deshmukh VK, Chopde CT. Anxiolytic and anticonvulsive activity of Sesbania grandiflora leaves in experimental animals. Phytother Res. 2002 Aug;16(5):455-60.
  9. Doddola S, Pasupulati H, Koganti B, Prasad KV. Evaluation of Sesbania grandiflora for antiurolithiatic and antioxidant properties. J Nat Med. 2008 Jul;62(3):300-7. Epub 2008 Apr 12.
  10. Ramesh T, Begum VH. Protective effect of Sesbania grandiflora against cigarette smoke-induced oxidative damage in rats. J Med Food. 2008 Jun;11(2):369-75.
  11. Ramesh T, Sureka C, Bhuvana S, Hazeena Begum V. Sesbania grandiflora diminishes oxidative stress and ameliorates antioxidant capacity in liver and kidney of rats exposed to cigarette smoke. J Physiol Pharmacol. 2010 Aug;61(4):467-76.
  12. Boonmee A, Reynolds CD, Sangvanich P. Alpha-glucosidase inhibitor proteins from Sesbania grandiflora flowers. Planta Med. 2007 Sep;73(11):1197-201. Epub 2007 Sep 7.
  13. Pari L, Uma A. Protective effect of Sesbania grandiflora against erythromycin estolate-induced hepatotoxicity. Therapie. 2003 Sep-Oct;58(5):439-43.
  14. Kumaravel M, Karthiga K, Raviteja V, Rukkumani R. Protective effects of Sesbania grandiflora on kidney during alcohol and polyunsaturated fatty acid-induced oxidative stress. Toxicol Mech Methods. 2011 Jun;21(5):418-25. Epub 2011 Mar 21.
  15. Ramesh T, Mahesh R, Sureka C, Begum VH. Cardioprotective effects of Sesbania grandiflora in cigarette smoke-exposed rats. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2008 Oct;52(4):338-43.
  16. Anantaworasakul P, Klayraung S, Okonogi S. Antibacterial activities of Sesbania grandiflora extracts. Drug Discov Ther. 2011 Feb;5(1):12-7.
  17. China R, Mukherjee S, Sen S, Bose S, Datta S, Koley H, Ghosh S, Dhar P. Antimicrobial activity of Sesbania grandiflora flower polyphenol extracts on some pathogenic bacteria and growth stimulatory effect on the probiotic organism Lactobacillus acidophilus. Microbiol Res. 2012 Sep 6;167(8):500-6. Epub 2012 May 12.
  18. Laladhas KP, Cheriyan VT, Puliappadamba VT, Bava SV, Unnithan RG, Vijayammal PL, Anto RJ. A novel protein fraction from Sesbania grandiflora shows potential anticancer and chemopreventive efficacy, in vitro and in vivo. J Cell Mol Med. 2010 Mar;14(3):636-46. Epub 2009 Jan 14.
  19. Sreelatha S, Padma PR, Umasankari E. Evaluation of anticancer activity of ethanol extract of Sesbania grandiflora (Agati Sesban) against Ehrlich ascites carcinoma in Swiss albino mice. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Apr 12;134(3):984-7. Epub 2011 Jan 18.
  20. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Sesbania grandiflora (L.) Pers. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2010 Jul 14; cited 2015 Jun 29]. Available from:

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