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Commelina nudiflora


Aneilema malabricum, Aneilema nudiflorum, Commelina communis, Lechea chinensis, Commelina loureirii, Lechea chinensis, Commelina caroliniana, Commelina agraria, Murdannia nudiflora, Murdannia malabarica, Phaeneilema malabarica, Tradescantia malabarica [1] [2] [3]

Vernacular Names:

Malaysia Rumput Aur, Rumput Kupu-kupu, Rumput Tahi Itek (Malays); Soriau Ngadau (Kadazan Dusun)
English Creeping Dayflower, Common Spiderwort, Spreading Dayflower, Wandering Jew, Naked Stem Dewflower, Doveweed

Tapak Burung, Aur-aur, Kekupu (Malay), Auwe-auwe (Minangkabau); Gewor, Kali Kandang, Gewar Lalakina (Sunda), Brambangan, Jeboran (Java); Awarang (Makasar), Awerang (Bugis), Dobidobiki (Halmahera Utara)


Kabilao (Bisaya); Kolasi, Kulkulasi (Ilocano); Alikbangon (Tagalog); Sakusaku; Philippines spinach


Rau Tlai An, Loa-trai Hoa-tran

India Choti Kankaua, Vashapazhathi (Tamil); Kanduri, Kendru (Bengali)


Nepal Ban Kane

Chat Yu Tsao, Ya Zhi Cao

Japan Tsuyu Kusa

Akpafri-ikang (Efik – Southern Nigeria); Agbenokui Nokui, Agbomaku Maku (Ewe – Ghana); To Lilei (Ga); Balasa, Balasana, Balasaya (Hausa–Northern Nigeria); Obogu (Igbo); Nyamenle Wua Me Nge Wu (Nzima); Esulerobat (Timne); Nyame Bewu Na Mawu (Twi); Godogbo-odo, Itopere (Yoruba–Southern Nigeria)

French Herbe Grasse, Herbe aux Archons
Hawaii Honohono, Makolokolo
Samoa Mau’utoga
Fiji Kabocola, Luna
Bontoc Katkatauang
Ibatan Kohasi
Ifugao Bangar Na Lalake
West Indies French Weed


Dominica Zeb Gwa
Spanish Codillo [4-10]

General Information


Commelina nudiflora is a member of the Commelinaceae family. It is a slender, nearly smooth, creeping annual or perennial herb. The stem is simple to branched 15-30cm long, reclining on the ground with rooting at the nodes. The roots are fibrous. The leaves are rather thick, linear to linear oblong, alternate, narrowed into a base sheath, entire, acute, tapering to a point with sides incurved, measuring 3-10cm long and 4-10mm wide. The sheath is 5-10mm long, with fine and soft hair in front. The inflorescence terminal or axillary, peduncles measure 3-7cm long, sometimes with a single bract. The flowers numerous, measure about 5mm across, blue or pink-purple, racemosely clustered near the ends of the few branches. The pedicels measure 3-4mm long, slightly recurved; bracts about 3mm long, boat-haped, falling off very early; sepals 3, measure 1.5-2.5mm long, oblong, hairy, obtuse; petals 3. The capsules nearly spherical, three angled, measure 4mm long, about 2mm broad, membranous, tipped with an abrupt short point, 3-loculed with 2 seeds in each locule. The seeds measure about 1mm long, subtriangular, tubercles, dark brown. [11]

Plant Part Used

Whole plant [18]

Chemical Constituents

No documentation

Traditional Used:

Gastrointestinal Diseases

In China the plant is used to treat intestinal obstruction and a decoction of the whole plant is used to treat diarrhoea. It is topically applied on haemorrhoids, a remedy used by the Chinese and Mexicans for this common malady. The Egyptians made use of the plant for stomach problems while the Fijians use is as a digestive aid.[20]

Respiratory Diseases

Symptoms of Influenza, common cold is treated by the use of this plant amongst the Chinese and in the Carribean and Trinidad. It is also used to ally cough especially those with sticky phlegm, haemoptysis and tuberculosis.[18]

Urinary Tract Diseases

Like most weeds C. nudiflora also possesses diuretic properties. This had been made used of in the treatment of various urinary diseases notably urinary tract infections including cystitis, dysuria and strangury. It is also used in cases of oedema including ascites. [18]

Haematological Diseases

The Hawaians considered the plant as a blood purifier and an infusion of the plant together with other plants are given for this purpose. It’s haemostatic properties are being made used of in treating bleeding wounds in the field. It also form the basis of its use in the treatment of haemorrhoids and of epistaxis. In Sierra Leone, the plant is made used of in the dressing of circumcision. [18]

Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Diseases

The juice of the plant is dropped into the eyes to treat conjunctivitis and other ophthalmia. Interestingly, it is used in removing dirt and grit from the eyes by the Hawaians effectively. The Chines made use of the juice or decoction as a gargle to treat various throat infections including acute tonsillitis, laryngitis and pharyngitis. Juice from the plant is dropped into the ears to treat otitis media in India and China. [18]

Dermatological Diseases

The Indians considered the plant as antidermatosis.[13] Thus, the bruised plants is applied over burn, itches and boils.[14] In Malaysia the starchy leaves are applied over scurfs. [16]

Musculoskeletal Diseases and Trauma

The plant is useful for the relieve of pain and swelling related to the musculo-skeletal system. The Chinese uses it to treat Rheumatoid arthritis, the Fijians use it for fracture bones. It has also been advocated in the treatment of cramps. [18]

Infectious Diseases

Apart from its use in skin infections and influenza, C. nudiflora is also used to treat Mumps and for this the juice of the fresh plant is given orally to the patient. [18]

Venomous Bites

C. nudiflora is a universal plant for the treatment of venomous bites. This include its used in the treatment of snake bites by various tribes. For snake bites the juice of the plant is given orally and it is advised that this is followed by local application of an antidote. [18] In Malaysia it is used to treat scorpion bites. [15]

Gynaecological Disease

The plant is used to eas flow of mentruation and as an emmenagogue 15g of the fresh leaves in the form of a decoction is given twice a day. [16] The Latin Americans and Indians uses the plant to treat inflammed uterus, dysmenorrhoea and abnormal uterine bleeding. It is also used to treat vaginal discharge, gonorrhoea. The Nigerians made used of decoction of the roots for this purpose. In the Congo the people believed the leaves to possess aphrodisiac properties. [18]

Pre-Clinical Data


Nutritive and antinutritive activity

The aqueous leaf extract of C. nudiflora conatins saponin, alkaloids and flavonoids. It contains 88.63% moisture, 5.67% carbohydrate, 41.60mg/100g dry weight vitamin C, 66.20mg/100g vitamin B3 and 8.70 mg/100g vitamin B2. Mineral contents of defatted leaf extract were Na (75.55mg/100g), Ca (240.00mg/100g) and Mg (6.63mg./100g). This suggest that the leaves can be a cheap source of vitamin C, B3 and B2, as well as other macro- and micro-nutrients and can be incorporated into human and animal diet to meet their recommended daily allowances. [19]


C. nudiflora is harmful to sheep. It can cause foaming at the mouth and death if taken in big amounts. [20]

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

No documentation

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. Marita Ignacio Galinato, Keith Moody, Colin M. Piggin, International Rice Research Institute Upland rice weeds of south and southeast Asia pg. 33
  2. Merrill: Loureiro’s “Flora Cochinchinensis” Transactions, American Philosophical Society (vol. 24, Part 2, 1935-June) The American Philosophical Society Philadelphia 1929 pg. 101
  3. Nathaniel Lord Britton An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions Read Books 2009 pg. 457
  4. Muhamad Zakaria & Mustafa Ali Mohd  Traditional Malay Medicinal Plants Institut Terjemahan Negara Malaysia Bhd. Kuala Lumpur 1994 pg. 130
  5. Nsekuye Bizimana Traditional veterinary practice in Africa Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH, Eschborn 1994 pg. 827
  6. Derwent Publications, Ltd Thesaurus of agricultural organisms: pests, weeds and diseases, Volume 1 CRC Press LLC. Boca Raton 1990 pg. 310
  7. Marita Ignacio Galinato, Keith Moody, Colin M. Piggin, Upland rice weeds of south and southeast Asia International Rice Research Institute Los Banos 1999 pg. 33
  8. Medicine at your feet ( Accessed on 19th July 2010
  9. ( Accessed on 19th July 2010
  10. ( Accessed on: 19th July 2010
  11. Marita Ignacio Galinato, Keith Moody, Colin M. Piggin, Upland rice weeds of south and southeast Asia International Rice Research Institute Los Banos 1999 pg. 33
  12. C. P. Khare Indian Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated Dictionary Springer-Verlag Berlin 2007 pg 168
  13. K. M. Nadkarni Dr. K. M. Nadkarni's Indian materia medica: Repr, Volume 1 Popular Prakashan Pvt. Ltd. Mumbai 2005 pg. 374
  14. Daniel E. Moerman Native American Medicinal Plants: An Ethnobotanical Dictionary Timber Press Inc Portland 1998 pg. 316
  15. Muhamad Zakaria & Mustafa Ali Mohd  Traditional Malay Medicinal Plants Institut Terjemahan Negara Malaysia Bhd. Kuala Lumpur 1994 pg. 130
  16. H.C. Ong, M. Nordiana Malay ethno-medico botany in Machang, Kelantan, Malaysia Fitoterapia 1999 70: 502 – 513 ( Accessed on 19th July 2010
  17. Fasihuddin B. Ahmad and Ghazally Ismail Medicinal Plants used by Kadazandusun communities around Crocker Range ASEAN Review of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation (ARBEC) ( Accessed on: 19th July 2010
  18. Philippines Medicinal Plants ( Accessed on: 19th July 2010
  19. C.O. Ujowundu, C.U. Igwe, V.H.A. Enemor, L.A. Nwaogu and O.E. Okafor Nutritive and Anti-Nutritive Properties of Boerhavia diffusa and Commelina nudiflora Leaves Pakistan Journal of Nutrition 7 (1): 90-92, 2008
  20. Nsekuye Bizimana Traditional veterinary practice in Africa Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH, Eschborn 1994 pg 434

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