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Pluchea indica


Baccharis indica, Pluchea foliosa, Gymnema balsamicum [1] [3] [5]

Vernacular Names:



English Marsh Heabane, Indian Fleabane, Indian Pluchea, Indian Camphorwood

Beluntas (Sumatera); Baluntas, Luntas (Java); Baruntas (Sunda); Baluntas (Madura); Lamutas (Makasar); Lenabou (Timor)




Banig-banig, Bauing-bauing (Suluk);  Kalapini, Lagunding late (Tagalog; Tulo-lalaki (Bisayas)


Phat pha, Tu Bi


Luan Yi




Kukronda (Hindi)


Indische Pluche [1] [2]

General Information


Pluchea indica is a member of the Asteraceae family. It is a shrubby herb which can grow up to 1.5 m tall. The leaves are spirally alternate, thich, oblong, measuring 2-6 cm long, toothed with short stalk. Flower heads are in dense sessile terminal corymb, cylindric, and much branched. The flowers are wall tubular, purplish or white. The involucre ovoid in shape, about 3 lines long; the outer bracts short and very obtuse, passing into the inner linear ones which are almost acute. The female florets very numerous. The disk-florets seldom above 6, often sterile. [4] [6]

Plant Part Used

Leaves and roots [1] [5]

Chemical Constituents

linaloyl glucoside, linaloyl apiosyl glucoside, 9-hydroxylinaloyl glucoside, plucheosides A and B.

Traditional Used:

P. indica is one of the favourite ulam amongst the Malays, especially those staying along the mangrove region where it is easily found in abundance. It is also used in treatment of various conditions. The plant is considered aromatic, astringent, febrifuge, stomachic, digestive, diaphoretic, antipyretic, tonic, stimulant and vulnerary. [1] [5]

Improving odour

The aromatic leaves are believed to be have to ability to reduce body odour and halithosis. This makes it popular as raw vegetable amongst those living in the vicinity of the mangrove swamps. It also helps in improving appetite. [1]

Gynaecological diseases

The leaves are used to treat irregular menses, and reduce leucorrhoea. Its aromatic properties were taken advantage of in helpigng reduce the foul smell of infective vaginal discharge. [1]

Other uses

Other uses of P. indica include scrofuloderma, rheumatism, lumbago, osteoalgia and fever. [1]

Pre-Clinical Data


Antivenom activity

Studies on the antivenom activity had been done by Gomez A. In 1996 they published their first paper on the antivenom activity of P. indica methanolic roots extract. The extract was found to be able to antagonize the venom-induced coagulant and anti-coagulant activity of Vipera russellii venom. In 2007 they were successful in identifying two compounds (b-sitosterol and stigmasterol) from the root extract to be responsible for the antivenom activity not only for viper but also for cobra. The active fractions containing b-sitosterol in the main was found to significantly neutralize viper venom-induced lethal haemorrhagic, defibrinogenation, oedema and PLA(2) activity. It also antagonized the cobra-induced lethality, cardiotoxicity, neurotoxicity, respiratory changes and PLA(2) activity. They also found that this active fractions were able to potentiate commecial snake venom antiserum action against venom induced lethality in male albino mice. [7] [8]

Antimicrobial activity

Biswas et al [9] isolated a compound they called R/J/3 from the methanolic root extract of P. indica. This pure compound showed significant anti-proliferative activity against HM1 strain of Entamoeba histolytica. It showed marked activity on cell lysis of trophozoites 4 hours after administration comparable to metronidazole.

Antioxidant activity

Like most plants P. indica too has antioxidant activity as evidenced by a study carried out by T.Sen [10] They found that the methonolic extract of the roots of P. indica was able to produce significan anti-inflammatory activity against glucose oxidase induced paw oedema; inhibited hydroxyl radical and superoxide generation, lysis of erythrocyte induced by H202, CCl4-induced lipid peroxidation and also deoxygenase activity of lipoxygenase.

Antiulcer activity

Siddhartha [11] was able to establish the fact that the methanolic extract of the roots of P. indica was able to prevent gastric ulcer formation induced by acetylsalicylic acid, serotonin and indomethacin in rats. They also found that it protects guinea pigs from chemically induced duodenal ulcer formation while at the same time enhance healing processes in acetic acid-induced chronic gastric lesions in the extract-treated animals.

T.Sen et al [12] in their studies suggested that this acitivity involved the 5-lipogenase pathway of prostaglandin synthesis. This is evidenced by the significant anti-inflammatory activity of the fraction on Arachidonic acid, Platelet Activation Factor and Compound 48/80-induced paw oedema, inhibition of spontaneous as well as compound 48/80-induced histamine release from mast cells and its protective action against chemically induced uleceration.

Anti-inflammatory activity

T. Sen et. al found that the methanolic fraction of the chloroform extract of the roots of P. indica had anti-inflammatory potentials against several models of inflammation. The extract was proven to be effective in the exudative, proliferative and chronic stages of inflammation. They also found in another study that the extract of P. indica was able to significantly inhibit inflammation and lower gastric damage induced by Platelet Activation Factor. [13] [14]

Neuoropharmacological activity

Three studies were carried out to determine the neuropharmacological activity of extracts of P. indica. T. Sen [15] found that the root extract produced alteration in behaviour patterns, reduced spontaneous motility, prolonged phenobarbitone induced sleep, suppress aggressive behaviour pattern and conditioned avoidance response. All these suggest that the extract possesses a potent central nervous system depressant action.

Thongpradichote [16] found that the extract in a dose of 50 – 100 mg/kg orally, significantly decrease locomotor activity and prolonged phenobarbital sleep in isolated mice but not in group-housed mice. At a dose of 400mg/kg orally it decreased locomotor activity and prolonged phenobarbital sleep in group-housed mice. The effect of the extract on prolonging phenobarbital sleep was found to be attenuated by flumazenil. It suppressed social isolation-induced aggressive behavior but not pentylenetetrazole-induced convulsion, motor coordination in rotarod test, or nocicpetive response in tail pinch test ion group-housed mice. These results suggest that the extract attenuates pathophysiological changes caused by social isolation stress in mice and that a GABAergic system is partly involved.

Hepatoprotective activity

The methanolic extract of roots of P. indica exhibited hepatoprotective activity as reported by T.Sen This is evidenced by the significant reduction of elevated serum enzyme levels (AST, ALT, LDH and serum alkaline phosphatase) and serum bilirubin content in CCl4-induced acute liver damage in rats and mice. Further, there were also significant reduction of serum total protein, albumin and albumin/globulin ratio, reduced prolonged phenobarbitone-induced sleeping time, reduce plasma prothrombin time and reduction of the increased bromosulphalein retention. These proved that the methanolic extract of the roots of P. indica indeed has a potent hepatoprotective effect. [17]


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. Setiawan Salimartha Atlas tumbuhan obat Indonesia Trubus Agriwidya Jakarta 1999 pg.18
  2. Johannes Seidemann World Spice Plants Springer-Verlag Berlin 2005 pg. 300
  3. Peter Hanelt Mansfeld’s Encyclopedia of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops,Volume 2 Springer-Verlag Berlin 2001 pg. 2019
  4. Hsuan Keng, Ro-Siu Ling Keng Keng The Concise Flora of Singapore: Gymnosperms and dicotyledons Singapore University Press 1990  pg. 169
  5. K.M. Nadkarni Dr. K.M.Nadkarni’s Indian Materia Medica: Volume 1 Popular Prakashan Pvt. Ltd. Mumbai 1976 pg. 596
  6. George Bentham Flora Hongkongensis: A description of the flowering plants and ferns of the Island of Hongkong Lovell Reeve, London 1861 pg. 179
  7. A.Gomes, M.I.Alam, B.Auddy Viper venom neutralization by Indian Medicinal plant (Hemidesmus indicus and Pluchea indica) root extracts. Phythotherapy Research February 1996 Volume 10(1):58 – 61
  8. A.Gomes, A. Saha. I. Chatterjee, A.K Chkravarthy Viper and Cobra venom neutralization by b-sitosterol and stigmasterol isolated from the root of Pluchea indica Less (Asteraceae). Phtyomedicine, 2007 Sep.; 14(9):637 – 43
  9. Biswas R, Dutta PK, Achari B, Bandyopadhyay D, Mishra M, Pramanik KC, Chatterjee TK. Isolation of pure compound R/J/3 from Pluchea indica (L.) Less. and its anti-amoebic activities against Entamoeba histolytica. Phytomedicine. 2007 Aug;14(7-8):534-7. Epub 2006 Dec 15.
  10. Sen T, Dhara AK, Bhattacharjee S, Pal S, Nag Chaudhuri AK. Antioxidant activity of the methanol fraction of Pluchea indica root extract. Phytother Res. 2002 Jun;16(4):331-5.
  11. Siddhartha Pal, A. K. Nag Chaudhuri Studies on the effects of Pluchea indica less root extract on gastroduodenal ulcer models in rats and guinea pigs  Phytotherapy Research 1989 Volume 3(4):156–158
  12. Sen T, Ghosh TK, Chaudhuri AK. Studies on the mechanism of anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcer activity of Pluchea indica--probable involvement of 5-lipooxygenase pathway. Life Sci. 1993;52(8):737-43
  13. Sen T, Nag Chaudhuri AK. Antiinflammatory evaluation of a Pluchea indica root extract. J Ethnopharmacol. 1991 May-Jun;33(1-2):135-41.
  14. T. Sen, T. K. Ghosh, S. Bhattacharjee, A. K. Nag Chaudhuri Action of Pluchea indica methanol extract as a dual inhibitor on PAF-induced paw oedema and gastric damage Phytotherapy Research February 1996 Volume 10(1):74–76
  15. T. Sen, A. K. Nag Chaudhuri Studies on the neuropharmacological aspects of Pluchea indica root extract Phytotherapy Research July/August 1992 Volume 6(4):175–179
  16. Thongpraditchote S, Matsumoto K, Temsiririrkkul R, Tohda M, Murakami Y, Watanabe H. Neuropharmacological actions of Pluchea indica Less root extract in socially isolated mice. Biol Pharm Bull. 1996 Mar;19(3):379-83.
  17. T. Sen, A. Basu, R. N. Ray, A. K. Nag Chaudhuri Hepatoprotective effects of Pluchea indica (less) extract in experimental acute liver damage in rodents Phytotherapy Research September/October 1993Volume 7( 5): 352–355

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