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Jatropha gossypifolia


No documentation

Vernacular Names:

Malaysia Jarak Belanda, Jarak China
English Cotton Leaf, Physic Nut, Wild Physic Nut
China Ye Lie Yan Ma Feng Shu
Jarak Landi, Jarak Ulung
Balautandoiong, Tagambau-a-nalabaga, Taua-taua (Ilicano); Tuba-sa-budia, Tuba-tuba (Bisaya); Lansi-lansindan (Tagalog)
 Kammatti, Seemayavanakku (Malayalam); Seemayamanakku, Kattamanakku (Tamil) [2-5]

General Information


Jatropha gossypifolia is a perennial herb from the Euphorbiaceae family. It forms a small, spreading shrub with a sparse, open canopy reaching to 1m in height. It releases a sticky, yellow, translucent sap when injured. The leaves are alternate, 10cm wide with hairy margins and are deeply divided into 3 to 5 pointed lobes and may have strong red to purple tinges.The flowers are 5-petaled in small, terminal clusters and are deep rich maroon in colour. The fruits are 3-lobed, mature; the dry fruit is seldom seen because it splits open explosively when dry, scattering the 3 enclosed seed in all direction.[1]

Plant Part Used

Leaves, stem bark and seeds [2][3][6]

Chemical Constituents

2,3-bis-(hydromethyl)-6,7-methylenedioxy-1-(3’,4’-dimethoxyphenyl)-naphthalene; cyclogossine A & B;   gossypidien;  gossypifan; hydroxyisojatrophone;  hydroxyjatrophone; isogadain; jatrodien; jatrophatrione; jatrophenone; jatropholone A and B; jatrophone [1][2][14-22]

Traditional Used:

Gastro-intestinal Diseases

The leaves and seeds of J. gossypifolia is considered a purgative and is widely used to treat obstinate constipation. In Malaysia and Indonesia the leaves are oiled with coconut oil, heated over open fire and applied over the abdomen to help relieve abdominal colic due to constipation. To relieve the constipation the seeds were burnt and pulverized and this is taken orally.[2][6]

Dermatological Problems

Paste of the leaves is used to treat skin diseases which include infective processes like carbuncle furuncle and abscesses, and other conditions like eczemas, rashes including chicken-pox and measles. It is also used to treat.[3]

Other Uses

The bark is considered an emmenagogue and had been used to procure abortions.  Seeds cause insanity and act as an emetic. The seed oil is used to treat constipation, leprosy and in paralytic affections. The leaves in a decoction is used to treat fever in the form of a bath, while the juice is given to treat sores on the tongue of infants.[2-6]

Pre-Clinical Data


Haemostatic activity

Oduola et al. [7] study on the coagulating and anti-coagulating activity of the leaves of J. gossypifolia . In their initial study they recommend that the leaf extract could be used as an anticoagulant for haematological analysis provided it is further refined. The latex from the stem of J. gossypifolia is known to have coagulant activity. The effect [8] found that the whole blood clotting time and the bleeding time were significantly reduced by the stem latex. This procoagulant activity was proposed to be due to precipitation of coagulant factors. To further determine the safety of the latex, they studied the effects of repeated application of the latex on incisions in Wistar rats on a daily basis for 18 days. There were no significant difference in the biochemical and haematological parameters between the treated group and the control group. This renders the use of the latex as an emergency haemostatic safe.[9]

Antimicrobial activity

Both the chloroform and methanol extracts of the leaves of J. gossypifolia were found to be active against Salmonella typhi, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeroginosa. This antibacterial activity is comparable to the standard antibiotics. Study also found that the extract was active against Candida albicans. Phytochemical screening showed the presence of saponin and tannin along with phlobatannins and alkaloids.[10]

Anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity

The methanol and petroleum ether extracts of the dried aerial parts of J. gossypifolia was found to show significant anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity better than the standard drugs, indomethacin and diclofenac sodium. Between the two extracts the methanol extracts was found to be more potent.[11]

Hepatoprotective activity

In a dose of 200mg/kg of extracts of the aerial part of J. gossypifolia given to Wistar albino rats with liver damage induced by carbon tetrachloride, it was found that there was normalization of the serum levels of liver enzymes (serum glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase (SGOT), serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase (SGPT), serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total bilirubin, SOD and catalase). This indicate the presence of hepatoprotective activity in all three extracts tested. Amongst the three extracts, the petroleum ether seems to be the most potent.[12]


The seeds contain the toxic protein curcin and a purgative oil containing the irritating diterpene 12-deoxy-16-hydroxyphorbol. The toxic, bitter alkaloid jatrophine occurs in the roots and bark while the leaves contain histamine and tannin. The seeds and seed oil rapidly produce abdominal pain followed by vomiting and diarrhoea when consumed in excess.[1]

A study by Saulo et al. [13] on the acute toxicity of ethanol extract of the aerial parts of J. gossypifolia about the important signs of toxicity include ptosis, reduction of body weight and hind limb paralysis. In males they found in addition to these signs there were also increase in creatinine, AST, sodium and potassium levels; reduction of urea and albumin levels; leukopenia and small alterations in the colour and consistency of viscera. The LD50 in males was more than 4.0g/kg while in females it was more than 5.0g/kg.

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

No documentation

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

The use of the bark for whatever purposes in pregnancy should be carefully evaluated due to its emmenagogue activity.

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. David W. Nellis Poisonous Plants and Animals of Florida and the Carribean Pineapple Press Inc. Sarasota 1997 pg.178
    2. C.P.Khare Indian Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated Dictionary Springer-Verlag Berlin 2007 pg 346
    3. Tolu Odugbemi A Textbook of Medicinal Plants from Nigeria University of Lagos Press Lagos 2008 pg. 116
    4. KM Nadkarni, AK Nadkarni Dr. K.M. Nadkarni’s Indian Materia Medica Volume 2 Popular Prakashan Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi 1976 pg. 707
    5. Philippine Medicinal Plants ( [Accessed on: 19th December 2010]
    6. Tanaman Obat Indonesia ( [Accessed on 19th December 2010]
    7. T. Oduola, O.G Avwioro, T.B Ayanniyi Suitability of the leaf extract of Jatropha gossypifolia as an anticoagulant for biochemical and haematological analyses. African Journal of Biotechnology 2005 Vol. 4 (7):679-681
    8. Oduola, Taofeeq; Adeosun, Ganiyu Oyebola; Oduola, Tesleem Aderemi; Avwioro, Godwin Ovie; Oyeniyi, Mutiyat Adeyoola Mechanism of Action of Jatropha gossypifolia stem latex as a haemostatic agent European Journal of General Medicine 2005 Vol 2(4)
    9. T. Oduola; G.B.Popoola; O.G.Avwioro; T.A. Oduola; A.A. Ademosun and M.O. Lawal Use of Jatropha gossypifolia stem latex as a haemostatic agent: how safe is it? Journal of Medicinal Plants research 2007 vol 1(1):014 – 017
    10. A.O. Ogundare Antimicrobial Effect of Tithonia diversifolia and Jatropha gossypifolia Lead Extracts Trends in Applied Sciences Research 2007 Volume 2(2):145 – 150
    11. B.B Panda; Kalpesh Gaur; ML Kori; LK Tyagi; RK Nemal CS Sharma and AK Jain Anti-inflammatory and Analgesic Activity of Jatropha gossypifolia in Experimental Animal Models Global Journal of Pharmacology 2009 Vol. 3(1):01 – 05
    12. B.B Panda, G.  Kalpesh,  R. K. Nema,  C. S. Sharma, Abhishek K. J.,  C. P. Jain, Hepatoproctective activity of Jatropha gossypifolia against carbon tetrachloride- induced hepatic injury in rats. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research 2009 Vol. 2(1): 50 – 54
    13. Saulo R. MarizI,*; Gilberto S. CerqueiraII; Washington C. AraújoIII; José C. DuarteIII; Arquimedes F.M. MeloIV; Hosana B. SantosV; Kardilândia OliveiraV; Margareth F.F. Melo DinizIII; Isac A. Medeiros Acute toxicological studies of the ethanol extract of the aerial parts of Jatropha gossypiifolia L. in rats Rev. bras. farmacogn. 2006 vol.16(3)
    14. Horsten SF, van den Berg AJ, Kettenes-van den Bosch JJ, Leeflang BR, Labadie RP. Cyclogossine A: a novel cyclic heptapeptide isolated from the latex of Jatropha gossypifolia. Planta Med. 1996 Feb;62(1):46-50.
    15. Das B, Rao SP, Srinivas KV. Isolation of isogadain from Jatropha gossypifolia. Planta Med. 1996 Feb;62(1):90.
    16. Catherine Auvin-Guette,* Carine Baraguey, Alain Blond, Jean-Louis Pousset, and Bernard Bodo Cyclogossine B, a Cyclic Octapeptide from Jatropha gossypifolia J. Nat. Prod., 1997, 60 (11), pp 1155–1157
    17. Ravindranath N, Venkataiah B, Ramesh C, Jayaprakash P, Das B. Jatrophenone, a novel macrocyclic bioactive diterpene from Jatropha gossypifolia. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2003 Jul;51(7):870-1.
    18. B. Dasa and J. Banerji Arylnaphthalene lignan from Jatropha gossypifolia Phytochemistry 1988 Volume 27(11):3684-3686
    19. Biswanath Das  and G. Anjani  Gossypidien, a lignan from stems of Jatropha gossypifollia Phytochemistry 1999 Volume 51(1):115-117
    20. Das B., Rao SP., Srinicas KVNS, Das R., Jatrodien, a lignan from stems of Jatropha gossypifolia Phytochemistry 1996, vol. 41(3):985 – 987
    21. B. Das and R. Das Gossypifan, a lignin from Jatropha gossypifolia Phytochemistry 1995 Vol. 40(3): 931 – 932
    22. Biswanath Das, S. Padma Rao; KVNS Srinivas and Ratna Das Jatrodien, a lignin from stems of Jatropha gossypifolia Phytochemistry 1996 Volume 41(3):985 – 987

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