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Hedyotis corymbosa


Oldenlandia corymbosa Linn., Oldenlandia brumanniana G.Don, Oldenlandia affinis Blanco [1]

Vernacular Names:


Siku-siku, Lidah Ular, Rumput Mutiara

English:  Old-world Diamond Flower, flat-top mille graines, Diamond Flower, Wild Chayroot
China Shui Xian Cao, Baihua She She Cao
Indonesia: Rumput Mutiara, Rumput siku-siku, Bunga Telor Belungkas (Indonesia); Daun Mutiara, (Jakarta); Katepan, Urek-urek Polo (Java); Pengka (Makasar)

Mala-ulasiman-aso, Ulasiman-aso, Malaulasiman (Tagalog)

India:  Daman pappar, Pitpapra (Hindi); Parpata hullu (Kanada); Parppatakappullu, Parppatakam (Malayalam); Parpatah, Parpatakah (Sanskrit); Parpatagam (Tamil); Vernela-vemu (Telagu)
Nepals:  Piringo
Sri Lanka:  Wal-patpadagam
Ivory Coast:  Abure Owoné (B&D)

Huasa Rààtsà-háníí ; Igbo (Agukwu) ùlì mbè

Sierra Leone:  Mende Tuŋgaibui, Temne ka-fonkoyarie; ε-kbilinεfira [3]

General Information


Hedyotis corymbosa is considered a weed of the Rubiaceae family. It grows in both dry and wet lands. It is an erect ascending and spreading slender plant. The leaves are simple, opposite, subsessile, linear, narrow with recvurved margins. The stipules are short, membranous, with a few short bristles. The flowers are white in pairs or in threes, pedicelled and on a very slender axillary peduncle. The fruits are loculicidal capsules, globose or pyriform. The seeds are minute, pale brown, angular with testa reticulate. [1]

Plant Part Used

Whole plant and roots [1][2]

Chemical Constituents

6α-hydroxygeniposide, 6β-hydroxygeniposide, 10-O-benzoylscandoside methyl ester, 10-O-p-hydroxybenzoylscandoside methyl ester, (+)-lyoniresinol-3α-O-β-glucopyranoside, arabinose, asperulosidic acid, asperuloside, Beta-sitosterol, baihuasheshecaosu, caffeine, deacetylasperuloside, flavonoid glycosides, fumaric acid, galactose, glucose, geniposide, hentriacontane, mannose, oleanolic acid, p-coumaric acid, rhamnose, rutin, stigmasterol, sitisterol-D-glucoside, ursolic acid and xylose [11]

Traditional Used:

H. corymbosa is a weed yet it has found an important place in traditional medicine of the tropical world where it grows. All tradtional practitioners are in agreement as to the properties of this plant and used them in the treament of similar conditions. Amongst the most notable properties are its febrifuge, depurative, liver protective and anthelmintic properties.

H. corymbosa is considered a digestive, stomachic, aperients and anthelmintic. The Indians boiled the whole plant in milk with sugar to treat heartburns while the Filipinos made a decoction of the plant to treat stomachache. [1] The Indonesians on the other hand use the decoction to treat acute appendicitis. 

As a liver protective it has been advocated in the treatment of hepatitis. It was mentioned that the decoction of the whole plant (root, stem and leaves) is used in Traditional Indian Medicine to treat liver diseases including hepatitis. [2] 

It is also used in the treatment of flatulence, diarrhea, dysentery and constipation in India. 

H. corymbosa is considered an anti-inflammatory drug with antibacterial properties. Various societies uses it to treat conditions with inflammatory elements in them which includes various infective conditions both external and internal (tonsillitis, pharyngitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, mumps, acute appenidicitis, hepatitis, cholecystitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, urinary tract infection, abscesses, carbuncles, sores and deep rooted ulcers); rheumatic pains and gout. It has also been used to treat snakes and scorpions bites by the Chinese, Malays and Indians. In this case the whole plant is pounded and applied over the lesion. [3][4] 

Its use as a febrifuge is universal. Low grade fever with gastric irritability and nervous depression is one form of fever where a decoction of the whole plant is used as a remedy. It is also being used in the treatment of chronic malaria. [2] 

Most societies made use of the plant as a vermifuge with no specific entity. In Matinique tinctures of the roots has been made into an anthelmintic. [1] 

H. corymbosa is used in the treatment of giddiness, cancers (lymphosarcoma, cancer of the stomach, cancer cervix, cancer breast, cancer rectum, fibrosarcoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma). Africans made use of the sap to treat dropsy, swellings and as painkillers while the roots are given as genital stimulants and depressants. [2][3][5] 

Pre-Clinical Data


Hepatoproctective activity 

Both the Indians and the Chinese traditional practitioners had advocated the use of H. corymbosa in the treatment of various hepatic disorders. 

Lin et al. studied the hepatoprotective effects of component Chinese herbal preparation called peh-hue-juwa-chin-cao where H. corymbosa is part of it. They found that all three (Hedyotis diffusa, Hedyotis coryumbosa and Mollugo pentaphylla) significantly reduced the acute elevation of serum glutamate oxalate transaminase (SGOT) and serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase (SGPT) concentration, and alleviate the degree of liver damage 24 hours after intraperitoneal administration of hepatotoxins. [7] 

A study of the hepatoprotective effects of the methanolic extract of the whole plant of H. corymbosa found that the plant showed significant hepatoprotective effects when it was demonstrated a decreased in serum enzyme activities, SGPT, SGOT, SAKP and serum bilirubin and an almost normal histological architecture of the liver in mice treated with the extracts after being given an overdose of paracetamol. They also found that the extract shortened hexobarbitone-induced sleeping time and significat antilipid perocifant effects. [6] 

Anti-inflammatory activity

H. corymbosa has been used in the treatment of various inflammatory conditions both infective and non-infective forms. A study on the anti-inflammatory activity of this plant was carried out and it was proven that the extract did inhibit carrageenan-induced paw oedema. [6] 

Antimalarial activity 

H. corymbosa had been used in ancient times as an antipyretic. Investigation of its antimalarial potentials against chloroquine sensitive (MRC-pf-20) and resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum. They found that the methanolic extract was able to inhibit the parasite at IC50 of 10.8mg/mL. When combined with extracts of Andrographis paniculata there was noted an enhancement of this antimalarial activity. The activity was further enhanced when curcumin was added. [8] 

Anti-oxidant activity 

H. corymbosa formed part of Chinese medicine preparation called peh-hue-juwa-chi-cao. Studies of the anti-oxidant activities of the components of this medicine reported that H. corymbosa did show antioxidant activities as proven by its ability to moderately inhibit the FeCl2,-ascorbic acid induced lipid peroxidation in rat liver homogenate. Using the Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) analysis it showed the highest superoxide anion scavenging activity as compared to the other component herbs. [9] 


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

Dryness of mouth was observed after consumption of the herb for more than 10 days. Injection of high doses resulted in mild reduction of leukocyte count which is reversible upon cessation of medication. [10]

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. Philippine Alternative Medicine. Available from: [Accessed on 11th December 2010].
  2. P.K. Warrier, V.P.K. Nambiar, C. Ramankutty. Indian medicinal plants: a compendium of 500 species, Volume 3. Orient Blackswan;1993.120.
  3. Sentra Informasi IPTEK. Available from: [Accessed on 11th December 2010].
  4. C. Hson-Mou, P.H.B. Paul, Y. Sih-Cheng, L. L. Wang, S. C. S. Yeung. Pharmacology and Applications of Chinese Materia Medica, Volume 1. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing; 2001. 369.
  5. Aluka African Plants Data Library. Available from: [Accessed on 11-02-2010].
  6. C.C. Lin, L.T. Ng, J.J. Yang, Y.F. Hsu. Anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective activity of peh-hue-juwa-chi-cao in male rats. Am J Chin Med. 2002;30(2-3):225-234.
  7. S. Sini, P.G. Lathab, J.M. Sasikumara, S. Rajashekaranb, S. Shyamalb and V.J. Shine Hepatoprotective studies on Hedyotis corymbosa (L.) Lam. Journal of Ethnopharmacology.June2006;106(2): 245-249.
  8. M. Kirti, P.D. Aditya, K.S. Bijay and D. Nrisingha. Anti-malarial activities of Andrographis paniculata and Hedyotis corymbosa extracts and their combination with curcumin. Malaria Journal.2009;8:26.
  9. C.C. Lin, L.T. Ng, J.J. Yang. Anti-oxidant activity of extracts of peh-hue-juwa-chi-cao in a cell free system. Am. J. Chin. Med. 2004; 32(3): 339-349.
  10. W. Hembing. Atasi Kanker dengan Tanaman Obat. Puspa Swara Cimanggis; 2008.55.
  11. P. Noiarsa, S. Ruchirawat, H. Otsuka, T. Kanchanapoom. Chemical constituents from Oldenlandia corymbosa L. of Thai origin. J Nat Med. 2008 Apr;62(2):249-50.

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