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Euphorbia neriifolia L.


Ligularia Rumph., Euphorbia ligularia Roxb.Miq. Backer & Bakh.f., Euphorbia edulis Lour. Boiss. (as probable var.) Merr. (as syn. nov.).

Vernacular Names:

Malaysia: Sesudu
English:  Common Milk Hedge, Hedge Euphorbia, Oleander Spurge
Thailand:  Som Chao (Central)
Phillipines:  Carambuaya, Karimbuaya, Sobog-sobog, Sobo-soro, Sorogsorog
Burma:  Thassaung, Thazavn-mina

Snoohi, Vajra, Vijri, Patrasnuk, Svarasana (Sanskrit); Sehund, Sij, Patton-ki-send, Thohar (Hindi); Mansasij, Hij-daont, Patasij (Bengali)l Akujumudu (Telagu)l Haikkali (Tamil)

 Arabic: Dihu Minguta [2]

General Information


Euphorbia neriifolia has an erect shrub, to 4m tall, fleshy and slightly succulent, base diameter to 6cm, spiny, branching, usually with terminal leaves; stem and branches without articulation, base nearly terete, otherwise with 5 indistinct angles (not winged) and spine-shields in 5 distinct rows, younger branches c. 15mm in diameter, sinuses between spine-shields shallow to absent. Spine-shields 2-3cm apart, spines in pairs, 2mm long, grey-brown to blackish, persistent. Indumentum absent. Stipules transformed into spines. Leaves subsessile, obovate, 10-18 by 3-4cm, base attenuate, margin entire, apex rounded, persistent during the vegetation period. Cyathia not seen in Thailand, outside of Thailand arranged in axillary groups of 3, the central one subsessile, the lateral ones with a peduncle of 6-7mm, bracts 4mm long, cyathial glands 5, 1 by 3mm. Flowers and fruits not seen. [2] 

Plant Part Used

Whole plant including the latex. [1]

Chemical Constituents

Euphol, monohydroxy triterpene, nerifoliol, taraxerol, beta-amyrion, glut-5-(10)-en-1-one, neriifolione, cycloartenol

Traditional Use:

The latex is a drastic purgative and has been used to treat obstinate constipation. Sushruta prescribe this to treat actue constipation and other abdominal conditions including jaundice and ascites. Here the juice is mixed with water. It has found used also in the treatment of anal problems like haemorrhoids and fistula-in-ano. There are many different ways whereby these conditions are addressed; one is by mixing tumeric powder with the latex and applying it over the lesion another is by steaming the leaves, crushing it and then applying over the lesion. The Indians use the roots as an antispasmodic. [1]

The latex is used to remove warts by directly applying it over the lesion. The juice expressed from the heated leaves is a remedy for otalgia and otitis. There are various ways of application at least amongst the Malaysian society. It is supposed to be the first choice in the treatment of earache amongst the Malays. In Sarawak instead of squeezing the juice out of the leaves they simply rolled the leaves insert it into the ear canal and blow air through it. [2] The root and pulp of the stem is considered antiseptic. The antibacterial activity had been taken advantage of by traditional practitioners as seen in its application for treatment of ulcers, dressing of wounds and treating anal fistula. [3]

The root mixed with black pepper is applied to cure snake bites. [1] The latex is also prescribed by Shusruta for obstinate skin diseases, urinary disorders including diabetes. [3] 

In order to detoxify the latex: 1 tola of leaf juice of amlika (Tamarindus indica), after being filtered through a cloth is mixed into 2 palas of the milky juice. The liquid is then dried in the heat of the sun. Thus dried, the milk becomes purified and can be used when necessary. The adverse effects can be remedied by taking internally amlika leaves made into a paste with water. [4]

Pre-Clinical Data


Wound healing  activity:

Sugically produced cutaneous woundd when treated with topical application of 0.5% and 1.0% steruile aqueaous solution of the aqueous extract of the latex of E. neriifolia showed facilitated healing process as evidenced by the increase in tensile strength, DNA content, epithelization and angiogenesis. [5] 

Psychopharmacological activity:

In a study done on the pharmacological activities of the leaf extract of E. neriifolia the investigators found that the leaf extracts has anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic and anticonvulsant activities in mice and rats. [2][6] 

Antioxidant activity:

Crude saponin saperated from hydroacoholic extract of E. neriifolia leaf contains Euphol as a major sapogenin. Crude saponins showed good antioxidant as evidenced by the potent antioxidant activity on all parameters (hydrogen donating ability, reducing power, antilipid peroxidation including scavenging activity against superoxide) except scavenging activity against hydroxyl radicals. [3][7] 

Anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity:

70% v/v Hydro-alcoholic extract of dried leaves of E. neriifolia demonstrated greater anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect than standard doses of indomethacin and diclofenac sodium. The peripheral inhibitory activity as evidenced by inhibition of carrageenan-induced paw inflammation is probably due to the presence of a number of flavonoids which possesses anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities. [4][8] 

Cytotoxic activity:

The ethylacetate extract of E. neriifolia showed significant cytotoxicities against the following cell lines: Lewis lung carcinoma, B16F10 melanoma and SW480 human colon adenocarcinoma in a dose dependent manner. [9] 

Antibacterial activity:

Ethanol extract of leave and petroleum ether extracts of the pods of E. neriifolia were tested for their antibacterial activities against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. The results showed that these extracts were more effective in inhibiting E. coli growth than for P. aeruginosa and S. aureus. [10] 


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

Latex is toxic to skin and mucous membranes to certain individual and caution has to be taken when handling the plant. [1]

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

The latex of E. neriifolia is believed to have corrosive effect on contact with skin and mucous membrane. Sadananda reported a case of ingestion of the latex with the attendant clinical manifestations. [5] [11] 

Keratouveitis caused by E. neriifolia involves a 51 year old man was pruning his overgrown E. neriifolia when some sap entered his left eye. The eye became irritable and was immediately irrigated with tap water. Four hours later there were conjuctival hyperaemia, moderate corneal oedema and mild anterior chamber reaction. The following day the visual acquity was reduced to counting fingers at 1 metre. There was moderate lid oedema and conjuctival congestion. Slit-lamp revealed a large corneal epithelial defect and moderate stromal oedema. The corneal epithelium completely healed by the seventh day. By two weeks all signs and symptoms were resolved and the patient regained full vision. [6] [12]  

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  1) Botanical Info


  1. H. Panda Herbs cultivation and medicinal uses National Institute of Industrial Research New Delhi 2000 pg 286 – 288.
  2. I.H. Burkill A Dictionary of Economic Products of the Malay Peninsula Volume 1 Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative Malaysia Kuala Lumpur 1966 pg.
  3. C. P. Khare. Indian herbal remedies: rational Western therapy, ayurvedic, and other traditional usage, botany Springer, Berlin 2004 pg. 209.
  4. Saligrama Krishna Ramachandra Rao. Encyclopaedia of Indian Medicine: Materia medica - herbal drugs Dr. Parameshvara Charitable Trust Bangalore 2005 pg. 251.
  5. A.M. Rasik, A. Shukla, G.K. Patnaik, B.N. Dhawan, D.K. Kulshrestha, S. Srivastava. Wound Healing activity of latex of Euphorbia Neriifolia Linn. Indian Journal of Pharmacology 1996; 28: 107-109.
  6. Bigoniya P, Rana AC. Psychopharmacological profile of hydro-alcoholic extract of Euphorbia neriifolia leaves in mice and rats. Indian J Exp Biol. 2005 Oct;43(10):859-62.
  7. Bigoniya, P | Rana, AC Hemolytic and In vitro Antioxidant Activity of Saponin Isolated from Euphorbia neriifolia Leaf Natural Products II. pp. 359-376. Recent Progress in Medicinal Plants. Vol. 18.
  8. G. Kalpesh, A. C. Rana, R. K. Nema, M. L. Kori, C. S. Sharma. Anti-Inflmmatory and analgesic activity of hydro-alcoholic leaves extract of Euphorbia Neriifolia Linn. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research Volume 2, Issue 1, January- March,2009.
  9. Chien-Fu Chen An investigation on the antitumor activities of Euphorbia neriifolia Master's Thesis (Accessed date: 28th April 2010 -
  10. Cachola,-E.R Phytochemical and microbiological analysis of "Karimbuaya", Euphorbia neriifolia Linn. Proceedings of the 29th Annual Convention of the Philippine Society for Microbiology, Inc. Quezon City (Philippines). [2000]. 211 p.
  11. Naik  B Sadananda, Consultant Physician Common Milk Hedge (Euphorbia neriifolia) Juice Ingestion: A Clinical Case Report Journal of the Indian Society of Toxicology Year : 2009, Volume : 5, Issue : 2
  12. K.B. Samar, K.B. Partho, B. Sabitabrata and B. Soham. Keratouveitis caused by Euphorbia plant sap. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2009 Jul–Aug; 57(4): 311–313.

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