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Sambung Nyawa

Plant Part Used

Leaves

Active Constituents

Sterols (beta-sitosterol and stigmasterol), sterol glycosides (3-O-beta-D-glucopyranosyl beta-sitosterol, 3-O-beta-D-glucopyranosyl stigmasterol), nonadecane, phytyl valerate, adenosine, kaempferol-3-O-neohesperidoside, methyl hexadecanoate, methyl 9-octadecenoate, 4-hydroxy-4-methyl-2-pentanone, stigmasterol acetate, quercetin, kaempferol-3-glucoside, quercetin-3-O-rhamnosyl(1-6)galactoside, quercetin-3-O-rhamnosyl(1 –6)glucoside, 3,5-di-O-caffeoyl quinic acid, 4,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid, 1,2-bis-dodecanoyl-3-alpha-O-D-glucopyranosyl-Sn-glycerol. (1) , (2) , (3) , (4) , (5) , (6)

Introduction

Gynura procumbens (Merr.) Compositae is an annual evergreen shrub with a fleshy stem with a purple tint. In South East Asia, especially, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, the plant is considered to be of considerable medicinal value. In Thailand, it has been used traditionally as a topical anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy agent. (7) In Indonesia, the stem and leaves are used as an antipyretic in eruptive fevers. The dried leaves rubbed with oil and mashed are used as a salve for rashes. Gynura procumbens is also used as a remedy for kidney trouble and hypertension. (8)

In Malaysia, the plants are widely used in folk medicine to self medicate a variety of conditions and ailments ranging from migraines, constipation, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and cancer. For the Chinese community in Malaysia, this plant has earned its common name, bai bing cao (meaning hundred ailments plant), among the enthusiasts of the Chinese community. Use of this plant for similar complaints is gaining popularity among the Malays. (9) Information regarding the pharmacognosical evaluation of the leaves is reported in the Malaysian Herbal Monograph Volume 2. (10)

Standardization

No standard marker has been reported. Other standard profiles have been documented in the Malaysian Herbal Monograph. (11)

Toxicities & Precautions

Introduction

It was reported that this plant is non-toxic based on studies in laboratory mice. (12)

Side Effects

Information is not available

Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

Information is not available

Age Limitations

Safety in the young and elderly persons has not been established.

Pharmacology

Gynura procumbens leaves have been reported to show hypoglycaemic effects in laboratory animals. (13) The ethanol extract of Gynura procumbens was reported to show anti-hyperglycaemic and anti-hyperlipidaemic activities in diabetic rats. The extract showed effects similar to metformin by improving glucose tolerance in STZ-induced diabetic rats, but these results were not seen in normal rats. Therefore, the extract may have activity similar to biguanide agents.

Hypoglycaemic activity of Gynura procumbens following serial extraction and fractionation was also reported. (14) , (15) , (16) The methanol extract and n-butanol fraction (17) , (18) exerted a significant hypoglycaemic effect when administered orally to streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.

Repeated screening of petroleum ether and methanol extracts respectively on normal rats, neither of the extracts reduced blood glucose levels. However, the methanol extract was found to significantly reduce the blood glucose levels of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. (19) Similarly in a glucose tolerance test where rats were loaded with glucose 500mg/kg intraperitoneally to induce hyperglycaemia, only the methanol extract inhibited the rise in glucose levels. In addition, fractionation of the methanol extract into chloroform, ethyl acetate, n-butanol, and aqueous fractions showed that only ethyl acetate caused a significant anti-hyperglycaemic effect in rats loaded with glucose and a reduction in the blood glucose levels of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. (20)

Studies also reported that Gynura procumbens in an ethanolic extract possessed anti-herpes simplex viral activity, in vitro. The powdered whole plant was successively extracted with petroleum ether, chloroform, and ethanol. Bio-assay-guided fractionation of the ethanolic extract resulted in the isolation of a mixture of 3,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid and 4,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid as the active components. The extract showed virucidal and anti-replicative activity with IC50 of 96.0 and 61.0 mg/ml against HSV-2, respectively. Other compounds found to posses anti-HSV activity included mixtures of phytosterols and their glycosides as well as a glycoglycerolipid, namely 1,2-bis-dodecanoyl-3-alpha-D-glucopyranosyl-Sn-glycerol, with an IC50 of 40.0mg/ml against HSV-2. (21)

Gynura procumbens was screened for anti-inflammatory activity using a croton oil-induced inflammation in the ears of mice. (22) The ethyl acetate fraction of the ethanolic extract significantly inhibited the increase in ear thickness in response to the croton oil. The activity of 0.75mg/ear of the ethyl acetate fraction showed similar anti-inflammatory activity (inhibition 62.5%) to that of 6 mg/ear hydrocortisone 21-hemisuccinate sodium salt (inhibition 64.8%). On further fractionation, hexane and toluene sub-fractions showed significant inhibitions of 44.6% and 34.8%, respectively. These two fractions had similar activities to 4mg/ear of hydrocortisone (inhibition 35.0%). The petroleum ether extract of Gynura procumbens also reported analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities by inhibiting oedema and hyperalgesia in the treated animals with carrageenan. (23)

A preliminary liver metabolism study, reported that the petroleum ether extract of Gynura procumbens could increase the metabolism of aminopyrine on adult male rats at a concentration of 100mg/ml. However the chloroform fraction of the methanol extract reduced the metabolism of aminopyrine on young female rats at a concentration of 10mg/ml, 1mg/ml, and 100ng/ml respectively. (24)

The plant is also reported to lower blood pressure. Anaesthetized rats, weighing 250-300g, were given intravenous bolus injections of pH 7.4-adjusted aqueous extracts of the plant at various concentrations. Results showed that aqueous extracts of the plant consistently and significantly (p

References

  1. Aminah Hasan Idrus. Kajian Fitokimia Daun Sambung nyawa,Gynura procumbens (Lour.) Merr. Compositae. Tesis M Sc. Universiti Sains Malaysia. 1994.
  2. Akowuah Akyirem Gabriel. Phytochaemical and Hypoglycaemic Studies of Gynura procumbens (Lour) Merr(Compositae). M Sc ThesisUniversiti Sains Malaysia. 2000.
  3. Akowuah G, Amirin S, Mariam A, Aminah I. Blood Sugar Lowering Activity of Gynura procumbens Leaf Extracts. J Trop Med Plants. 2001;2(1):5-10.
  4. Jiratchariyakul W, Jarikasem S, Siritantikorn S, Somanabandhu A, Frahm W. Antiherpes Simplex Viral Compounds from Gynura procumbens Merr.(No.498). Mahidol University Annual Research Abstracts, 28, Abstract No. 498. 2000.
  5. Perry, LM . Medicinal Plants of East and Southeast Asia. Massachusetts: The MIT Press; 1980:94.
  6. Lam SK, Idris A, Bakar ZAA,Ismail R. Gynura procumbens and Blood Pressure in the rat: Preliminary Study. Asia Pacific Journal of Pharmacology. 1998;13(S1):S14-S15.
  7. Jiratchariyakul W, Jarikasem S, Siritantikorn S, Somanabandhu A, Frahm W. Antiherpes Simplex Viral Compounds from Gynura procumbens Merr.(No.498). Mahidol University Annual Research Abstracts, 28, Abstract No. 498. 2000.
  8. Perry, LM . Medicinal Plants of East and Southeast Asia. Massachusetts: The MIT Press; 1980:94.
  9. Lam SK, Idris A, Bakar ZAA,Ismail R. Gynura procumbens and Blood Pressure in the rat: Preliminary Study. Asia Pacific Journal of Pharmacology. 1998;13(S1):S14-S15.
  10. Zhari Ismail, Norhayati Ismail, Jaafar Lassa. Malaysian Herbal Monograph Volume 2. 2003.
  11. Zhari Ismail, Norhayati Ismail, Jaafar Lassa. Malaysian Herbal Monograph Volume 2. 2003.
  12. Zhari Ismail, Norhayati Ismail, Jaafar Lassa. Malaysian Herbal Monograph Volume 2. 2003.
  13. Zhang XF, Tan BKH. Effect 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;41(1):1-5.
  14. Akowuah G, Amirin S, Mariam A, Aminah I. Blood Sugar Lowering Activity of Gynura procumbens Leaf Extracts. J Trop Med Plants. 2001;2(1):5-10.
  15. Akowuah GA, Sadikun A, Mariam A. Flavonoid identification and Hypoglycaemic studies of butanol fraction from Gynura procumbens. Pharmaceutical Biology. 2002;40(6):405-410.
  16. Zhang Hua Ying. Treating 36 cases of chronic diarrhea with modified Shen Ling Bai Zhu Tang. Journal of Applied TCM. 1998;14(10):22.
  17. Akowuah G, Amirin S, Mariam A, Aminah I. Blood Sugar Lowering Activity of Gynura procumbens Leaf Extracts. J Trop Med Plants. 2001;2(1):5-10.
  18. Akowuah GA, Sadikun A, Mariam A. Flavonoid identification and Hypoglycaemic studies of butanol fraction from Gynura procumbens. Pharmaceutical Biology. 2002;40(6):405-410.
  19. Akowuah GA, Sadikun A, Mariam A. Flavonoid identification and Hypoglycaemic studies of butanol fraction from Gynura procumbens. Pharmaceutical Biology. 2002;40(6):405-410.
  20. Rosidah, Amirin Sadikun, Mariam Ahmad, M Zaini Asmawi. Antihyperglycaemic effect of Gynura procumbens extracts in normal and diabetic rats. Abstract of 18th Malaysian Society of Pharmacology and Physiology (MSPP) Scientific Meeting. 2003;48.
  21. Jiratchariyakul W, Jarikasem S, Siritantikorn S, Somanabandhu A, Frahm W. Antiherpes Simplex Viral Compounds from Gynura procumbens Merr.(No.498). Mahidol University Annual Research Abstracts, 28, Abstract No. 498. 2000.
  22. Iskander MN, Song Y, Coupar IM, Jiratchariyakul W. Antiinflammatory Screening of the medicinal plant Gynura procumbens. Plant Foods For Human Nutrition. 2002;57:233-244.
  23. Kew Miaw Fung, Norhayati Ismail, M Zaini Asmawi. Analgesic and antiinflammatory activities of Gynura procumbens leaves. Abstract of 17th Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society Scientific Conference. 2002;93.
  24. Lee CY, Abas HH, Amirin S. Phytochemical analysis and preliminary liver drug metabolism study of Gynura procumbens. Abstract of 17th Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society Scientific Conference. 2002;85.

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