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Strobilanthes crispus


Sericocalyx crispus

Vernacular Names:


Pecah Kaca, Pecah beling, Karang Jin, Bayam Karang


Keji beling, daun picah beling (Jakarta), pecah beling (Sunda) enyoh kela, kecibeling, ngokilo (Java)


Hei Mian Jiang Jun (Black Face General)[1] [2]

General Information


Strobilanthes crispus is a member of the Acanthaceae family. It is a woody spreading shrub which reaches up to 1m. The stem has a diameter of between 0.2-0.7cm with the external bark being purplish in colour when young and brown when matured. The leaves are dark green, elliptical in shape, opposite and have an attractive, glossy sheen. They are rough in texture and measures 5-8cm long and 2-5 cm wide. The flowers are funnel-shaped, produced in clustered inflorescence with leafy sheaths.

Plant Part Used

Leaves [1] [2]

Chemical Constituents

(+)-catechin, (−)-epicatechin, rutin, myricetin, luteolin, apigenin, naringenin and kaempferol.

Traditional Used:

Gastrointestinal Diseases

S. crispus is considered a laxative and is used to treat constipation. It is also used in the treatment of Gall bladder stones and liver problems. The part used has always been the leaves in a decoction. It is also used in the treatment of haemorrhoids and hepatitis. [1] [2]

Kidney Disease

The Malaysian name of the plant is Karang Jin which in a way tells us of its use. Generally the leaves of S. crispus is considered a diuretic and is used extensively to treat kidney and bladder stones successfully. A decoction of the leaves in combination with baby corns can expell kidney stone within a short period of time. [1] [2]

Other uses

S. crispus had been advocated in the treatment of poisonous bites including snakebites. It is also used in the treatment of various skin diseases including eczema. It has been used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus too. [2]

Pre-Clinical Data


Antioxidant activity

In a study on the antioxidant activity of leaves of S. crispus, it was found that the catechin of the leaves showed highest antioxidant activity as compared to Yerbamate and Vitamin E. The content of Vitamins C, B1 and B2 together with catechin, caffeine and tannin were the major contributors to the antioxidant activity. Ismail suggested that daily consumption of the tea could contribute to enhancing the defence system especially towards the incidence of degenerative diseases. This is further strengthened when Iqbal found that S. crispus extracts was able to inhibit peroxidation of membrane lipid and DNA damage induced by Fe-NTA and H2O2. [3] [4]

Abu Bakar [12] found that tea made of old or matured leaves of S. crispus has higher antioxidant activity than the young leaves. Between fermented and unfermented leaves they found unfermented leaves has higher antioxidant activity.

Cytotoxic activity

In vitro cytotoxic screening of leaf extract of S. crispus indicated that the fifth fraction of the solid phase extraction Vac Master of the methanolic extract was found to have potent cytotoxic effect. [13] Shreeraman, in a prelimirary study of the effects of S. crispus 5%(w/v) crude extract, found that this extract could reduce gross changes in liver during hepatocarcinogenesis. They attribute this to the presence of antioxidant activities in the extract. However, they did not see complete resolution of the cancer growth and attribute this to the short duration of their study period. In several of their research published, Fauziah found that after 12 weeks of treatment with S. crispus, extract there was an overall decreas e of liver GST activity to almost normal and histological examination showed normalization of the cells. [14] [15] [16] They further demonstrated that the mechanism of action of the extract is via its ability to induce apoptosis in the liver cells. Finally, they concluded that S. crispus, could ameliorate the cancer incidence in the liver but could not completely cause recovery from the disease. This chemopreventive action is probably due to the antioxidant activity as well as inhibition of the enzymes responsible for the activation of DEN. [17] [18] [19]

Renal activity

S. crispus has been used traditionally to treat kidney stones. Afrizal found that it was the phenolic compound present in the leaf extracts that is responsible for this action. The phenolic compounds has inhibitory actions on Calcium oxalate crystal growth. Of all five solvent extracts, methanol extract was found to be the most effective and the highest in phenolic compound content. [5] Nurul Rosidah [6] found that the aqueous extract of the leaves of S. crispus also has diuretic properties which furthe enhance its ability to erode renal stones.

Antidiabetic activity

Preliminary study on the antidiabetic property done by Fadzelly proved that the hot water extract of both fermented and unfermented leaves of S. crispus was able to lower blood glucose level in streptozocin-induced diabetic rats. The unfermented tea also reduced glucose level in normal rats. Norfarizan-Hanoon demonstrated that the juice of S. crispus had significant hypoglycaemic properties, hypolipidemic and anitoxidnat effect in streptozocin-induced diabetic male and female rats.

Antiobesity activity

In a study on the effects of S. crispus extract on lipolysis in high-fat diet-induced obese rats, studies [7] found a lowered mean body weight in rats fed the extract after 14 weeks of treatment. She also found that there was a significant lower adipose tissue and liver weight and leptin level in the treated rats. There was also lower glucose level and hepatic steatosis combined with high lipolysis rate and LPL mRNA expressed in adiposed tissue. These results indicated that 1% (w/w) S. crispus has anti-obesity effects on obese rats.

Antiviral activity

In a study to evaluate the antiviral activity of three medicinal plants Hosni et.al9 found that the methanol extract of S. crispus had a significant antiviral activity. It is found to be an effective virucidal agent.


No documentation

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

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  1)  Botanical Info


    1. Tanaman Obat. [Accessed on 07-06-2010]
    2. Asia Maya Jamu. [Accessed on 07-06-2010]
    3. Ismail M, Manickam E, Danial AM., Rahmat A., Yahya A., Chemical composition and antioxidant activity of Strobilanthes crispus leaf extract. J. Nutr. Biochem. 2000 Nov; 11(11-12): 536-542
    4. Iqbal M., Shah MD., Lei CA., San CK. Strobilanthes crispus attenuates renal carcinogen, iron nitrilotriacetate (Fe-NTA)-mediated oxidative damage of lipids and DNA. Mol. Cell Biochem. 2010 Apr.
    5. Afrizal Itam, Zhari Ismail and Amin Malik Shah Abdul Majid In vitro studies of calcium oxalate crystal growth inhibition of Strobilanthes crispus extracts. Malaysian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Supplement No. 2(2007) pgs. 96-97
    6. Rosidah N. Pengaruh Dekok Daun Keji Beling (Strobilanthes crispus) Terhadap Diuretik Pada Tikus (Rattus norvegicus) Wistar Jantan .Undergraduate Theses from JIPTUMMPP / 2008-04-16
    7. Zawawi, Norhasnida Effect of "Jin Batu" (Strobilanthes Crispus) Leaf Extract On Lipolysis in High-Fat Diet-Induced Obese Rats  Masters thesis (2007), Universiti Putra Malaysia.
    8. Hosni, Hanisa (2006) Anti-Viral Activities Of Centella Asiatica L., Curcuma Longa L. And Strobilanthes Crispus L. Against Pseudorabies Virus In Animal Cell Lines. Masters thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.
    9. Hosni, Hanisa (2006) Anti-Viral Activities Of Centella Asiatica L., Curcuma Longa L. And Strobilanthes Crispus L. Against Pseudorabies Virus In Animal Cell Lines. Masters thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.
    10. Fadzelly AB, Asmah R, Fauziah O. Effects of Strobilanthes crispus tea aqueous extracts on glucose and lipid profile in normal and streptozotocin-induced hyperglycemic rats. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2006 Mar;61(1):7-12.
    11. N.A. Norfarizan-Hanoon ; R. Asmah ; M.Y. Rokiah ; O. Fauziah ; H. Faridah Antihyperglycemic, Hypolipidemic and Antioxidant Enzymes Effect of Strobilanthes crispus Juice in Normal and Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Male and Female Rats International Journal of Pharmacology 5(3):200-207, 2009
    12. Abu Bakar, Mohd Fadzelly (2006) Effects of Strobzlanthes Crispus Crude and Tea Extracts in Streptozotocin-Induced Hyperglycemic Rats. Masters thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.
    13. Susi Endrini, Asmah Rahmat, Taufiq Yap, Y. H. In vitro anti-tumour activity of the leaf extract of Strobilanthes crispus.  Towards modernisation of research and technology in herbal industries. Proceedings of the Seminar on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, 24-25 July 2001
    14. O. Fauziah, P. Hanachi, S. Yogespiriya and R. Asmah Reducing Effect of Strobilanthes crispus Leaf extract in Hepatocarcinogenesis Rats. International Journal of Cancer Research 1(2-3): 109-112, 2005
    15. O. Fauziah, P. Hanachi, S. Yogespiriya and R. Asmah Evaluation of Lesion Scoring and Aniline Hydroxylase Activity in Hepatocarcinogenesis Rats treated with Strobilanthes crispus. J. Med. Sci., 5(1):26-30, 2005
    16. Suherman, J., Asmah, R., Fauziah, O., Patimah, I., Haslinda, A. N. Effect of Strobilanthes crispus on the histology and tumour marker enzymes in rat liver during hepatocarcinogenesis. 2005 J. Med. Sci. 5(2):130-135
    17. Susi Endrini, Suherman, Asmah Rahmat, Patimah Ismail, Y.H. Taufiq-Yap, Fauziah Othman Effects of Strobilanthes crispus extract on the apoptotic pathway of human liver carcinoma cell lines Jurnal Kedokteran YARSI, Vol 15, No 1 (2007)
    18. Hanachi P., Fauziah O.A.R. Lesion scoring and P450 isoenzyme activity in liver of hepatocarcinogenesis rats treated with Strobilanthes crispus. Iranian Journal of Cancer Prevention. 2008; 1(1):11-15.

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