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Oxalis corniculata


Oxalis corniculata, Oxalis langloisii, Oxalis pusilla, Oxalis repens, Oxalis villosa, Xanthoxalis corniculata, Xanthoxalis langloisii, Oxalis javanica [1]

Vernacular Names:


Daun Asem Kecil

English Creeping Wood-sorrel [2] [3]



(Darasig (Bicolano)_; Gumao (Bisaya); Marasiksik (Ilocano); Layo, Kungi (Pampango); Tiangang-daga (tagalog)


Nya Som Sen Ka




Me-dat nho


Amlalonika, Changeri (Sanskrit); A’mrulsak (Bengali)


Amboli, Amrul, Amrulshak, Chukatripati, Fingraphuli, Tripatrishak


Amaraundha (Bhopuri); Kanthamal (Chepang); Chari amilo (Danuwar); Chino, Kyuba, Khursan, Kyunpro, Nawamle, Nawar kyun, Mwakyumro, Syu, Tumdusyu (Gurung); Namachyormuk (Lepcha) Charamma (Limbu); Chari amilo (Magar); Chariumal (Majhi); Amati (Mooshar); Amili, Boksi jhar, Chari amilo, Khorsane jhar; Kugute jhar (Nepal); Pam pam ghyan, pauglryan, Wauncha ghyan (Newari); Chalmaro (Raute); Tandi chatum arak (Satar) Charmlo (Sunwar); Khurcheni mran, Kunya dhap, Nakhachu kungwa, Nakhrupan gyan, Tintinchung (Tamang); Amchaucha, Kanthamalai jhar (Tharu)

General Information


Oxalis corniculata is a member of the Oxalidaceae family. It is a perennial or sometimes annual herb with stoloniferous stems. They grow up to 50 cm long. The stem lay flat on the ground or semi-erect, hairy, rooting at the nodes. The leaves are alternate with long petiole and three leaflets at the top. The leaflets measure 4-15 mm long and 8-32 mm wide, inversely heart-shaped, the notch apical, clothed with soft slender to wooly hairs. The flowers are solitary or in 2-5 flowered axillary umbels at the top of a peduncle measuring 3-9 cm long. The pedicel measures 5-15 mm long, bent downwards in the fruit. The bracts are 3-5 in number, linear; sepals 5, linear-lanceolate and hairy. The petals 5, oblong in shape, yellow in colour, measuring 4-8 mm long and 15 mm across. The filaments smooth and the carpels 5 are hairy. The styles are longer than the shorted filaments. The fruit an erect green, hairy, oblong in shape and beaked. The capsule measures 1-2 cm long while the seeds are ovoid measuring 1.5 mm long, reddish brown in colour, flattened and transversely ribbed.[4]

Plant Part Used

Whole plant [3] [6] [9]

Chemical Constituents

2'-O-(beta-D-glucopyranosyl)-isovitexin; ascorbic acid; carotene; tartaric acid; citric acid; mallic acid; isoorietin; isovitexin; swertsin;[12]

Traditional Used:

The plant is considered cooling, refrigerant, appetizing and stomachic.[3]

Juice of the fresh leaves of O. corniculata is useful in the treatment of dysentery, prolapsed of the rectum, typanites and piles.[3] This juice in a dose of six teaspoons three time per day is given in cases of stomach acidity, peptic ulcer, diarrhea and dysentery.[6] In Tonga the plant is used to treat mouth ulcers in children.[9] Infusion of the leaves is given to children with hookworms and also as antiemetic.[10]

The Punjabis make use of the leaves to treat various skin conditions. The juice of the plant mixed with onion is used to remove warts and corns and excrescence of the skin. Juice of the leaves with pepper powder and ghee is applied on red-spots or eruptions on the skin. Poultice made from the leaves when applied on inflammatory skin condition helps relieve pain and inflammatory symptoms.[8]

Fresh leaf juice of O. corniculata is an antidote for datura intoxication and is said to be useful in difficult micturation.[3] This juice can be used for conjunctivitis, removal of foreign bodies in the cornea and corneal opacity and earaches.[3] [6] [8] In Tonga the plant is used to treat umbilical infection and enhance closure of the fontanels.[9]

Pre-Clinical Data


Antimicrobial activity

Antibacterial activity

Powdered leaves of O. corniculata were subjected to extraction by the following solvents: petroleum ether, benzene, chloroform, methanol and ethanol and these extracts were tested for their antibacterial activity against three important Xanthomonas and fourteen human pathogenic bacteria. Only two extracts i.e. the methanol and ethanol extracts showed significant antibacterial activity when compared with K-cycline and Bact-805 for plant pathogens. It was found that the phenolic components were responsible for the antibacterial activity.[11]

Antiprotozoal activity

A study conducted to determine the antiprotozoal activity of extracts of O. corniculata lead to the characterization of a galacto-glycerolipid which showed significant activity against two protozoal i.e. Entamoeba histolytica and Giardia lamblia two organisms which causes dysentery in humans.[14]

Cardio-protective activity

Isoproterenol induced myocardial infarct in rats and mice cause significant increase in activity of cardiac injury marker enzymes like creatine phosphokinase (CPK) and lactase dehydrogenase (LDH) and increased concentration of serum lipids. Abhilash et al found that by giving aqueous extract of Oxalis corniculata prior to experimental induction of myocardial infaction using isoproterenol in rats, there was a significant reduction in concentration of CPK, LDH and total serum cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Apart from this, there were also reduced activities of lipogenjc enzyme, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, oxidative stress was reduced evidenced by the increased activities of antioxidant enzymes (catalase and superoxide dismutase) and reduced concentration of lipid peroxidation products (TBARS and conjugated dienes). Concentrations of vitamin C, protein sulfhydryl groups and reduced glutathione (GSH) were also high. All these findings is believed to have contributed to the protective effects of the extract on the rat myocardium.[13]

Antioxidant activity

The aqueous extract of O. corniculata reported antioxidative activities as evidenced by increased antioxidant enzymes (catalase and superoxide dismutase) activities and reduced concentration of lipid peroxidation products (TBRAS and conjugated) dienes) i.e. significant radical scavenging activity against DPPH, superoxide and nitric oxide radicals.[13]

Antihyperlipidemic activity

The aqueous extract of O. corniculata reported antihyperlipidemic activity as evidenced by the reduction of total serum cholesterol, LDH cholesterol and triglycerides.[13]


The high content of oxalic acid in the leaves can pose a potential problem of oxalate poisoning and caution should be taken when consuming this herb. [8]

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



Interactions with drugs

No documentation

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



Its use is contraindicated in gouty persons.[8]

Case Reports

No documentation

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  1)  Botanical Info


    1. Hong Qian, K. Klinka Plants of British Columbia: scientific and common names of vascular plants, Bryophytes and Lichens UBC Press, 1998  pg. 94
    2. Marita Ignacio Galinato, Keith Moody, Colin M. Piggin Upland rice weeds of south and southeast Asia International Rice Research Institute Makati City 1999 pg. 60
    3. U.C. Dutt The Materia Medica Of the Hindus Mittal Publications New Delhi 1995 pg. 124
    4. Marita Ignacio Galinato, Keith Moody, Colin M. Piggin Upland rice weeds of south and southeast Asia International Rice Research Institute Makati City 1999 pg. 60
    5. John Kallas Edible Wild Plants: Wild Foods from Dirt to Plate Gibbs Smith Layton 2010 pg. 179
    6. N.P. Manandhar, Sanjay Manandhar Plants and People of Nepal Timber Press Inc. Portland 2002 pg. 344
    7. Udoy Chand Dutt Materia Medica of the Hindus, Compiled from Sanskrit Medical Works Thacker, Spink & CO Culcutta 1877 pg. 124
    8. K.M. Nadharni, A.K. Nadkarni  Dr. K.M. Nadkarni’s Indian Materia Medica Volume 2 Popular Prakashan Pvt. Ltd. Mumbai 2007 pg. 891
    9. W. Authur Whistler Tongan Herbal Medicine Isle Botanica Hawaii 1992 pg. 74
    10. Daniel E. Moerman Native American Medicinal Plants: An Ethnobotanical Dictionary Timber Press Inc. Portland 2009 pg. 333
    11. M.P. Raghavendra, S. Satish and K. A. Raveesha Phytochemical analysis and antibacterial activity of Oxalis corniculata; a known medicinal plant mySCIENCE 2006, 1(1):72–78
    12. Mizokami H, Tomita-Yokotani K, Yoshitama K. Flavonoids in the leaves of Oxalis corniculata and sequestration of the flavonoids in the wing scales of the pale grass blue butterfly, Pseudozizeeria maha. J Plant Res. 2008 Jan;121(1):133-6. Epub 2007 Dec 8.
    13. Abhilash PA, Nisha P, Prathapan A, Nampoothiri SV, Lijo Cherian O, Sunitha TK, Raghu KG. Cardioprotective effects of aqueous extract of Oxalis corniculata in experimental myocardial infarction. Exp Toxicol Pathol. 2010 May 10. [Epub ahead of print]
    14. Manna D, Dutta PK, Achari B, Lohia A. A novel galacto-glycerolipid from Oxalis corniculata kills Entamoeba histolytica and Giardia lamblia. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2010 Nov;54(11):4825-32. Epub 2010 Aug 16.

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