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Barleria lupulina Lindl


Barleria macrostachys Bojer, Hort. Maur. 260

Vernacular Names:

Malaysia: Bisa Ular Jantan, Penawar Seribu Bisa
English:  Landik, Sujen trus (Java); Jarong Landak
Indonesia:  Sa’ledpa’ngpon [1]
Thailand:  Hua Je Jia Du Juan
China:  Hop-headed barleria
Rodrigues Island:   Piquant tac-tac

General Information


Barleria lupulina Lindl. is a shrub of the family Acanthaceae. The plant can reach up to a height of 1.5m high. Stems glabrous with much branching, 4 angled, armed with one, two or three pairs of spines 5-20mm long in the leaf axils. The leaves are linear-oblong, 3-9.5 x 0.9-1.4cm, cuneate at base and obtuse, mucronulate and glabrous. Petiole up to 0.6cm long. The upper surface is dark green in colour with a distinct red midrib while the under surface is of a lighter shade of green. Inflorescences in the form of spikes that are erect, terminal, hop-like, up to 9cm long; bracts erect, broadly ovate, 1.8 x 1.3cm, muconulate, ciliolate, on the back at base with copular glands, brateoles lanceolate, 4 x 1mm, mucronulate; calyx-lobes broadly ovate, unequal, 6-9 x 1-4 mm, shortly aristate; corolla yellow; tube 3cm long, bent at the base, expanded above; stamens exserted; capsules not seen. [1]

Plant Part Used

Leaves, roots, bark [1]

Chemical Constituents

Scutellarein-7-rhamnosyl glucoside; acetylbarlerin; 6-O-acetylshanzhiside methylester; 8-O-acetyl-6-O-trans-p-coumaroylshanzhiside; saletpangponosides A-C and 8-O-acetylmussaenoside; ipolamiidoside; barlerin; shanzhiside methyl ester; mussaenosidic acid; 8-O-acetylshanzhiside; and shanzhiside

Traditional Use:

Leaves are used to treat snakebites, dog bites, swelling due to fall or assault, boils, bleeding wounds and rheumatism. For boils and traumatic swelling a decoction of the leaves is being given orally in a dose of ½ glass twice per day. For snakebites a glass of the decoction of 9g of leaves being taken immediately while still hot. The leaves are pounded and applied over the bite site. For rheumatic pains 15g of the leaves are pounded and mixed with ¼ teaspoon of lime (kapur sirih) and this is applied over the affected part. [1]

Pre-Clinical Data


Antimicrobial activity:

Organic extracts of B. lupulina, were tested against HSV-2(G) and five clinical HSV-2 isolates. It was found that the extract exhibited activity against all five isolates but not the standard strain. However, when the activities were verified by yield reduction assay, anti-HSV-2 activities were observed against HSV-2(G) too. [2] 

The chloroform extract of B. lupulina was shown to be active against Entamoeba histolytica strain HM1:IMSS at IC(50) 78.5 microg/ml. [3] 

Crude extracts of B. lupulina, has strong inhibitory effects against Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis. [4] 

Anti-inflammatory activity:

Sabu et al studied the anti-inflammatory activity of Methanol extract of B. lupulina in acute and subacute inflammation models in albino rats. They found that at all tested doses there were significant reduction in the inflammatory processes compared to untreated groups. There was also a reduction in granulation tissue weight. [5] 

A more recent study performed by Wanikiat et al demonstrated that the extract induced a powerful dose-dependent inhibitory effects on oedema in two rat models i.e. carrageenan-induced paw oedema and ethyl phenylpropiolate-induced ear oedema. There was a significant inhibition of MPO activity in the inflamed tissue indicating that the anti-inflammatory effect of the extracts is associated with reduced neutrophil migration. Treatment of neutrophils with the extracts concentration-dependently inhibited fMLP-induced chemotaxis, SAG, and MPO and elastase release. These findings suggest that the powerful anti-inflammatory properties of B. lupulina extract is mediated, in part, by inhibition of neutrophil responsiveness. [6] 

Analgesic activity:

In their anti-inflammatory studies Sabu et al found that the methanol extract of B. lupulina inhibited acetic acid induced writhing in rats indicating some analgesic properties. [5]

Antiulcerogenic activity:

Gastric cytoprotective activity of the methanol extract of aerial parts of the plant B. lupulina in albino rats were studied using various models of ulcers such as drug induced ulcers, restraint ulcers, duodenal ulcers and pylorus ligated ulcers. The effect of the extract on gastric secretion and lipid peroxidation (thiobarbituric acid reacting substances TBARS) was also studied in rats. It was found that the extract at a dose of 200mg/kg effectively reduced the volume of gastric juice, total acidity and the ulcer index in pylorus ligated rats. It also afforded significant protection against alcohol and indomethacin induced ulcer as well as stress induced ulceration. It also afforded protection against the development of duodenal ulcers. [7] 

Acute administration of methanol extract of B. lupulina (300mg/kg) did not induce ulcer formation in stomach of rats as reported by Sabu et al. [5] 

Antidiabetic activity:

The methanol extracts of the aerial parts of Barleria lupulina Lindl. Show a significant reduction in blood glucose levels in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats at dose of 100, 200 and 300mg/kg. The most effective dose was at 300mg/kg which is comparable to glibenclamide 10mg/kg. [8] 

Neuropharmacological activity:

The central nervous system activity was tested in several experimental models, in mice and rats: general behavioru, exploratory behavior, muscle relaxant activity, conditioned avoidance response and phenobarbitone sodium-induced sleeping time tests. The methanol extract (100, 200 and 300 mg/kg) showed reduction in general behavioural pattern (spontaneous activity, alertness, awareness, pain response and touch response) in a dose dependent manner. The extract was found to produce a significant reduction of the exploratory behavioral profile (Y-maze test, head dip test) and conditioned avoidance response with all the tested doses. The methanolic extract showed significant motor incoordination and muscle relaxant activity. The extract also potentiated phenobarbitone sodium induced sleeping time. Preliminary investigation showed that the methanol extract of B. lupulina has significant psychopharmacological activity. [9]


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

The extracts should be given to diabetics on antidiabetic therapy with caution due to its hypoglycaemic activities. It should not be given with phenobarbitone.[8][9]

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation


  1. H. Arief Hariana Tumbuhan Obat dan Khasiatnya 2 Penebar Swadaya Jakarta 2008 pg. 81 – 82.
  2. C. Yoosook, Y. Panpisutchaia, S. Chaichanab, T. Santisukc and V. Reutrakulb Evaluation of anti-HSV-2 activities of Barleria lupulina and Clinacanthus nutans Journal of Ethnopharmacology November 1999, 67(2):179-187.
  3. Sawangjaroen N, Phongpaichit S, Subhadhirasakul S, Visutthi M, Srisuwan N, Thammapalerd N. The anti-amoebic activity of some medicinal plants used by AIDS patients in southern Thailand. Parasitol Res. 2006 May;98(6):588-92.
  4. Chomnawang MT, Surassmo S, Nukoolkarn VS, Gritsanapan W. Antimicrobial effects of Thai medicinal plants against acne-inducing bacteria. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Oct 3;101(1-3):330-3.
  5. Suba V, Murugesan T, Kumaravelrajan R, Mandal SC, Saha BP. Antiinflammatory, analgesic and antiperoxidative efficacy of Barleria lupulina Lindl. extract. Phytother Res. 2005 Aug;19(8):695-9.
  6. Wanikiat P, Panthong A, Sujayanon P, Yoosook C, Rossi AG, Reutrakul V. The anti-inflammatory effects and the inhibition of neutrophil responsiveness by Barleria lupulina and Clinacanthus nutans extracts. J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Mar 5;116(2):234-44.
  7. Suba V, Murugesan T, Pal M, Mandal SC, Saha BP. Antiulcer activity of methanol fraction of Barleria lupulina Lindl. in animal models. Phytother Res. 2004 Nov;18(11):925-9.
  8. Suba V, Murugesan T, Arunachalam G, Mandal SC, Saha BP. Anti-diabetic potential of Barleria lupulina extract in rats. Phytomedicine. 2004 Feb;11(2-3):202-5.
  9. Suba V, Murugesan T, Rao RB, Pal M, Mandal SC, Saha BP. Neuropharmacological profile of Barleria lupulina Lindl. Extract in animal models. J Ethnopharmacol. 2002 Jul;81(2):251-5.

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