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Physalis minima Linn.


Physalis minor

Vernacular Names:

Malaysia: Letup-letup, leletup, letup, chipluan, ubat pekong, cepulan[1]

Sunberry, ground cherry, wild cape gooseberry[2]


Cheplukan, chiplukan, chichiplukan[1]


Chechendet, chechendetan[1]

General Information


This bushy annual weed of 0.5 m height belonging to the Solanaceae family, is generally found in the tropics. It is commonly found in peninsular Malaysia and apparently grows in the variety indica. It occurs wild everywhere especially in places where rubbish is burnt and is known as a common widespread weed of disturbed areas.[3]

Plant Part Used

Leaf, stem, root, fruit.[1]

Chemical Constituents

It contains about 6% sugars, 2.7% protein, 1.2% ash, 0.6% tannin and 0.5% pectin. A good quantity of about 24.5 mg vitamin C is found in 100 ml of the fruit juice.[4

Physalin F and physalin B ( 13,14-seco-16, 24-cycloergostane compounds) were isolated from methanolic extraction of the stems and leaves of Physalis minima.[5] Three new physalins and a new withanolide have been isolated from Physalis minima besides physalin H, isophysalin B, and 5-β,6-β-epoxyphysalin B.[6

Most recently, another two new types of physalins; 16,24-cyclo-13,14-secoergosta-2-ene-18,26-dioic acid-14:17,14: 27-diepoxy-11β,13,20,22-tetrahydroxy-5α-methoxy-1,15-dioxo-g-lactone d-lactone, and 16,24-cyclo-13,14-secoergosta-2-ene-18,26-dioic acid-14:17,14: 27-diepoxy-5α,11β,13,20,22-pentahydroxy-1,6,15-trioxo-g-lactone d-lactone have been isolated from the whole plant.[2]

Traditional Use:

This plant has been claimed to be a diuretic and a laxative. The Malays use it as a poultice to treat headache, gastralgia and intestinal pains. It is also used to treat fever and abscesses. The decoction of the plant is taken to ensure normal urination as well as to treat hypertension. It is also known to protect against worm infestation.[1

The Malays apply the leaves, which have been smeared with oil and heated, to ulcers, wounds and pustules. A decoction of this plant’s leaves and the leaves of Plantago major is used to treat gonorrhoea. The leaves are also used to relieve headache. A paste of the leaves and stems is used to treat dizziness and lumbago.[1

In Java, the root is used as an anthelmintic and its extract is used to treat fever. In Indonesia, the edible fruit has been claimed as a diuretic.[1] The fruit is said to be appetizer, bitter, diuretic, laxative and tonic. 

The juice of the leaves, mixed with mustard oil and water, has been used as a remedy for earache. The leaf and stem paste is traditionally used to treat cancer.[3]

Pre-Clinical Data

In the screening of extracts and isolated constituents of some traditional medicinal plants from Malaysia and Thailand against human cancer cell lines, followed by subsequent bioassay-guided fractionation, two cytotoxic components physalin F and physalin B were isolated.[5]

This plant extracts containing physalins have been reported to display antimycobacterial activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, M. avium, M. kansii, M. malmoense and M. intacellularc.[7]


Antileishmanial activity

The chemical compounds: 3 new physalins, physalin H, isophysalin B and 5-β,6-β-epoxyphysalin B showed significant in vitro leishmanicidal activities (0.92-19.4 mg mL-1) against promastigotes of Leishmania major.[6]


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

No documentation

Use 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

Case Reports

No documentation

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  1)  Botanical Info


  1. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research, Kuala Lumpur. Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. 2002; 2:221.
  2. Choudhary, M.I. et al. New leishmanicidal physalins from Physalis minima.Nat. Prod. Res. 2007; 21(10):877-83.
  3. Chopra,R.N., et al. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. 1986.
  4. Parmar,C. & Kaushal, M.K. Wild Fruits of the Sub-Himalayan Region. Kalyani Publishers, New Delhi. 1982.
  5. Lee, C.C.& Houghton,P. Cytotoxicity of plants from Malaysia and Thailand used traditionally to treat cancer. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2005; 100:237-243.
  6. Choudhary, M.I. et al. Antileishmanial physalins from Physalis minima. Chem. Biodivers. 2005; 2(9):1164-1173.
  7. Pietro,R.C. et al. In vitro antimycobacterial activities of Physalis angulata L. Phytomedicine 2000; 7: 355-358.

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