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Coix lacryma-jobi

Synonyms

Coix lacryma, Lithagrostis lacryma, Coix agrestis, Coix pendula, Coix ovate Stokes., Coix exaltata, Sphaerium lacryma [3]

Vernacular Names:

Malaysia
Jelai
English Job’s Tear
China Da Wan Si, YI Yi Ren
Indonesia
Penggong Ileum, Singkoru Batu, Singkiru Eme, Cingkeru, Lingkih-lingkih, Anjalai Bareh, Sipiluit, Jelim, Lahya, Togua (Sumatra); Hanyere, Hanjeli, Jali-jali, Jali Watu, Japen, Jhangle (Java); Kemangge, Dele (Nusa Tenggara); Jelei, Pare, Pelindas, Luwong (Kalimantan); Buklehang, Tandei Ula, Rungkerang, Tataokok, Tie, Boeyango, Lele, Irule, Kalide, Jole kojo,To ulope (Sulawesi); Kase Lore, Baba Samond, BGafu, Manji-manji Banga, Rore, Jejeane, Sare, Sale, Lore, Minyak (Maluku); Karisi, Klumba (Irian)
Philippines Adlay
Japan
Hatomugi
India Gavethu, Jargadi (Sanskrit); Sankru (Hindi); Gurgur (Bengal)
Arab Damu Daud, Damu Ayub
German
Hoibstrane
Spanish Lagrima de San Pedro, Ruema
French
Larmes-de-Job [2] [3]

General Information

Description

Coix lacryma-jobi is a member of the Poaceae family. It is a small herbaceous plant which grows up to 2.5m high. The leaf sheaths are glabrous and the leaf blades are narrowly lanceolate, measuring 20-50cm long and 1.5-4cm wide. The midrib is prominent. The flowers are monoecious, both male and female flowers can be found on the same plant.  Fruit is tear-shaped 8mm by 1.1cm, with glossy berries which turn black upon maturity.[1]

Plant Part Used

Roots, leaves and seeds [1] [2]

Chemical Constituents

4-ketopinoresinol; alpha-coixin;   alpha-sitosterol; beta-sitosterol; coicin; coixan A;  coixan B;  coixan C;   coixenolide;  coixlactam; coixol;   coixspirolactam A; coixspirolactam B; coixspirolactam C;   coniferyl alcohol; ferulic acid; gamma-sitosterol;  glucose;  methyl dioxindole-3-acetate;  myuenolide; palmatate;  phytin; potassium chloride, stearate, stigmasterol; syringic acid; syringaresinol; vitamin B1;   peracetylated forms of glucose, maltose, maltotriose, maltotetraose, and maltopentaose;[1] [4] [5] [36] [37]

Traditional Used:

Gastrointestinal Diseases

C. lacryma-jobi is utilized in the treatment of common gastrointestinal symptoms including diarrhoea and dysentery. The seeds are the most frequently used part to be used. Seeds are given for enteritis and persistent diarrhoea in children. It has also been advocated in the treatment of acute appendicitis. The seeds again are vermifuge and is used to treat worms infestation while the roots are specifically given for ascariasis.[1] [2]

Respiratory Diseases

A decoction of C. lacryma-jobi is believed to be beneficial for the breath. The seeds are remedy for various pulmonary conditions amongst them includes bronchitis, pleurisy, pneumonia, pulmonary abscess, hydrothorax and lung cancer. Infusion of the seed is prescribed for bronchitis, pulmonary abscess and hydrothorax.[1] [2]

Genito-urinary Diseases

The seeds and roots of C. lacryma-jobi has diuretic properties and this had been taken advantage and used in the treatment of urinary complaints. The seeds had been prescribed for dysuria while the roots are given for urinary tract infection, nephrolithiasis, dysuria and oliguria.[1] [2]

Other Uses

The traditional practitioners recognized its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and utilized them in the treatment of infective processes like appendicitis, tuberculosis, gonorrhoea, leucorrhoea, puerperal fever and as mentioned above in both pulmonary and urinary tract infections. The fruits are given for intestinal and lung cancers, cervical and chorionic epithelioma and viral skin affections like warts, verruca plana and eczema. The roots are used in the treatment of fever with drying of saliva and intense thirst, oedema, beri-beri, amenorrhoea and jaundice.[1] [2]

Pre-Clinical Data

Pharmacology

Central muscle relaxant activity

One of the pharmacologically active compound isolated from C. lacryma-jobi is coixal (6-methoxybenzoxazolone). Gomita et al. [6] reported these activities which includes behavioural and EEG effects on mice and rats. In rats it was observed that it could decrease locomotor activities and produced hypothermia. It is able to potentiate thiopental induced sleep, attenuates writhing syndrome induced by 1% acetic acid, increased the threshold of jumping response to foot shock and prevent convulsion induced by maximal electro-convulsion. On the EEG it could induce drowsy patterns and inhibit EEG arousal response to external auditory stimulus, but failed to suppress the arousal response to midbrain reticular stimulation. These results indicate that coixol can act as a central muscle relaxant with an anti-convulsant effect very much similar to chlorzoxazone.

Anti-inflammatory activity

Two out of six benzoxazinoids isolated from the roots of C. lacryma-jobi was found to exhibit anti-inflammatory activity. It is observed that the free hydroxyl group at the 2-position in the benzoxazone skeleton is important fot the expression of the inhibitory activity.[7]

Effects on Lipid Metabolism

Park et al. [8] studied the effects of C. lacryma-jobi on lipid metabolism in Sprague-Dawley male rats. They found that it may have an inhibitory action on cholesterol synthesis in liver, a facilitating effect on the biliary excretion of triglyceride, and an acceleratory action on phospholipid synthesis in liver. Kim et al. [9] found that the crude extract of the seeds could modulated the expression of leptin and TNF-alpha and reduced body weights, food intake, fat size, adipose tissue mass and serum hyperlipidaemia in obese rats. Based on this they suggested that it could be considered for use in  antiobesity therapy. They further found that the water extracts of the seed exhibit anti-obesity activity through regulating neuroendocrine activity in the brain.[10] Huang et al. [11] the effects of C. lacryma-jobi sees oil on plasma lipids, insulin and leptin in rats and found that it could decrease low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), insulin, leptin and thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) concentrations after 4 weeks of feed.

Antidiabetic activity

A screening activity of twelve antidiabetic plants used in Mexico by Ramon et al. [13] showed that C. lacryma-jobi does have hypoglycaemic effects. Yeh PH14 confirmed this when they found that the dehulled seed of C. lacryma-jobi could reduce the blood glucose level in diabetic rats (streptozocin induced).

Fibrinolytic inhibition activity

Chek et al. [17] found that coix-mixed diet given to Wistar rats for 30 days could lower fibrinogen level while at the same time created the tendency to reduced fibrinolytic activity.

Macrophage activation activity

Water extract of C. lacryma-jobi seeds and several separated components (dissolved with Tris-Cl buffer and the supernatant (WC1), ammonium sulfate treatment supernatant (WC2) and the pellet (WC3), QAE column chromatography of WC1 and the peak portions; WC4, WC5 and WC6.) were used to determine their effects on murine peritoneal macrophages infected with Toxoplasma gondii. Soh et al. [18] found that the addition of modulators (C. lacryma-jobi seeds and several separated components) could enhance the production of nitrite by the macrophages and that there was a retroverse relationship between the amount of nitrite produced and the phagocytic index of macrophages and the fold increase of tachyzoites in the macrophages. They concluded that some components other than the non-proteinous and defatted components of C. lacryma-jobi seeds may contribute to activate macrophages through induction of NO for the biostatic activity.

Cytotoxic activity

A number of studies were done to determine the cytotoxic activity of seeds of C. lacryma-jobi . This cytotoxic activity is seen in lung, colon, pancreatic, breast cancers and hepatoma. Numata et al. [19] found the acid fraction of the acetone extract to have antitumour activity against transplantable mouse tumour. This acid fraction was found to be four free fatty acids i.e. palmitic, stearic, oleic and linoleic acids. Chang HC et al. [20] found that their methanol extract was not only effective in inhibition of growth of A549 lung cancer cells (inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis) but also prevented lung tumourigenesis. This action was attributed to inhibition of COX-2.[21] Dong et al. [22] obtain similar results when they use Kanglaite (extracts of seeds of C. lacryma-jobi ) injections on A549 lung cancer cells. Shih et al. [23] found that the feeding of dehulled seeds could suppress early events in colon carcinogenesis but not the formation of tumours. Lee et al. [24] isolated five active compounds that inhibited cancer cells (A549 lung cancer, HT-29 colorectal carcinoma and COLO 205). These five compounds are of the lactam group (coixspirolactam A, B. C, coixlactam and methyldioxindole-3-acetate). Li SC [33] reported that their seed bran and its ethanol extract and residue could inhibit colonic preneoplastic lesions at an early stage. Another compound that could be responsible for this effect could be ferulic acid through an anti-inflammatory pathway.[34] A neutral lipid isolated from the endosperm of Job’s tears showed anticancer activity against PaTu-8988 and SW1990 human pancreatic cancer cells.[25]

A number of mechanism had been attributed to the anticancer activity of the seeds of C. lacryma-jobi . As already mentioned above the inhibition of COX-2 is one of them. The characteristic gene expression changes noted were recognized by Woo et al. [26] to be characteristic of inhibition of NF kappaB-dependent transcription. This was found to be associated with reduced translocation of Rel-A/p65 subunit of NF kappaB to the nucleus. Bao et al. [25] found that they neutral lipid isolate blocked cell cycle progression at the G(2)/M phase with increase in annexin V binding and DNA fragmentation. They found that the expression of signals of 24 genes was significantly altered after 24 hours of treatment. These genes were involved in cell cycle control, apoptosis regulation and signal transduction.

Uterine contractile activity

Tzeng et al. [27] when studying the abortifacient activity of extracts of seeds of C. lacryma-jobi found that the water extract of the seeds could cause foetal resorptions and postimplantation mortality without causing foetal malformations. There was spontaneous uterine contraction when an isolated pregnant uterus of rats was exposed to the water extract. This action was attributed to induction of COX-2 protein expression along with enhancement of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) ½ phosphorylation and protein kinase C(PKC)-alpha translocation from cytosolic to particulate fraction in the uterus.

Hsia SM et al. [28] further fractionated using four solvents (water, 1-butanol, ethyl acetate and n-hexane) of the seed hull and studied the uterine contractility activity. All four extracts and their subfractions inhibited uterine contractions induced by PGF(2 alpha), the Ca2+ channel activator Bay K 8644 and high K+; the most active being the ethylacetate extract. It seems that this extract suppressed the increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentration induced by PGF(2 alpha) and high K+. They found that the major pure chemical components to be responsible for this effect was naringenin and quercetin

Effects on production of hormones activity

The bran extract of seeds of C. lacryma-jobi were used traditionally to treat endocrine dysfunction and inflammatory conditions. Hsia et al. [29][30] studied this effect and found that it decreased the production of progesterone and estradiol by inhibition of the cAMP-PKA and PKC signal transduction pathway, P450scc and 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3beta-HSD) enzyme activity; P450scc and StAR protein and mRNA expressions and the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 in rat granulosa cells.

Chang et al. [31] used the seed hull acetone extract of C. lacryma-jobi to study its effects on cortisone production from rat zona fasciculate-reticularis cells. The results showed that the extract could inhibit corticosterone release; stimulate prehnenolone release; non-competitively inhibit P450 side chain cleavage enxyme (P450scc) and 11beta-hydroxylase; and inhibit the expression of StAR protein. This indicates that the extract has a direct action of rat ZFR cells to diminish corticosterone releases.

In a recent study Hsia et al. [32] were able to demonstrate that their methanol extract of hull of seeds of C. lacryma-jobi could inhibit production of testosterone by rat Leydig cells. This action is mediated through inhibition of the PKA and PKC signal transduction pathways; 17beta-HSD enzyme activity in rat Leydig cells and in vitro Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone induced LH secretion.

Antiosteoporotic activity

Water extract of the seeds of C. lacryma-jobi could reverse the decreased alkaline phosphatise activities and calcium levels and increased tartarate-resistant acidic phosphatise activities induced by parathyropid hormone in cultured metaphyseal tissues. In ovarectomized rats, it could reverse the osteoporotic effects.[35]

Toxicities

No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

Yu  et al. [12] did a clinical trial on the effects of C. lacryma-jobi (adlay) on plasma lipids and LDL oxidation in hyperlipidaemic smokers. They found that adlay could reduce the total and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C)  while at the same time increase the lag phase of LDL oxidation. The antioxidative effects was found to be less pronounced in smokers than in non-smokers.

Hidaka et al. [15] [16] studied the antiviral activity of C. lacryma-jobi seeds based on traditional uses in China and Japan for the treatment of verruca vugaris and verrucae planae juveniles. They found that in seven healthy volunteers who took six tablets of C. lacryma-jobi seeds the percentage of CD3+, CD5+ cells and CD16+, CD57+ cells increased significantly. The increase in the peripheral cytotoxic lymphocytes could be the mechanism of antiviral activity i.e. through the enhancement of cytotoxic activity.

Adverse Effects in Human:

No documentation

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

The abortifacient activity would contraindicate the use of seeds of C. lacryma-jobi for whatever reasons during pregnancy.

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

No documentation

Geriatrics

No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation

Interactions

Interactions with drugs

No documentation

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation

Contraindications

Contraindications

No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation

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  1) Botanical Info

References

    1. Hwee Ling Koh, Chua Tung Kian, Chay Hoon Tan A Guide to Medicinal Plants: An Illutrated, Scientific and Medicinal Approach World Scientific Publishing Singapore 2009 pg 53 – 54
    2. Setiawan Dalimartha Atlas Tumbuhan Obat Indonesia Volume 5 Pustaka Bunda  Jakarta 2008 pg. 41 – 44
    3. Peter Hanelt Mansfeld’s Encyclopedia of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops Volume 5 Springer-Verlag Berlin 2001 pg. 2748
    4. Kuo CC, Chiang W, Liu GP, Chien YL, Chang JY, Lee CK, Lo JM, Huang SL, Shih MC, Kuo YH. 2,2'-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical-scavenging active components from adlay (Coix lachryma-jobi L. var. ma-yuen Stapf) hulls. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Oct 9;50(21):5850-5
    5. Lee MY, Lin HY, Cheng F, Chiang W, Kuo YH. Isolation and characterization of new lactam compounds that inhibit lung and colon cancer cells from adlay (Coix lachryma-jobi L. var. ma-yuen Stapf) bran. Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 Jun;46(6):1933-9. Epub 2008 Feb 12.
    6. Gomita Y, Ichimaru Y, Moriyama M, Fukamachi K, Uchikado A, Araki Y, Fukuda T, Koyama T.  [Behavioral and EEG effects of coixol (6-methoxybenzoxazolone), one of the components in Coix Lachryma-Jobi L. var. ma-yuen Stapf] Nippon Yakurigaku Zasshi. 1981 Mar;77(3):245-59.
    7. Otsuka H, Hirai Y, Nagao T, Yamasaki K. Anti-inflammatory activity of benzoxazinoids from roots of Coix lachryma-jobi var. ma-yuen.  J Nat Prod. 1988 Jan-Feb;51(1):74-9.
    8. Park Y, Suzuki H, Lee YS, Hayakawa S, Wada S. Effect of coix on plasma, liver, and fecal lipid components in the rat fed on lard- or soybean oil-cholesterol diet. Biochem Med Metab Biol. 1988 Feb;39(1):11-7.
    9. Kim SO, Yun SJ, Jung B, Lee EH, Hahm DH, Shim I, Lee HJ. Hypolipidemic effects of crude extract of adlay seed (Coix lachrymajobi var. mayuen) in obesity rat fed high fat diet: relations of TNF-alpha and leptin mRNA expressions and serum lipid levels. Life Sci. 2004 Jul 30;75(11):1391-404.
    10. Kim SO, Yun SJ, Lee EH. The water extract of adlay seed (Coix lachrymajobi var. mayuen) exhibits anti-obesity effects through neuroendocrine modulation. Am J Chin Med. 2007;35(2):297-308.
    11. Huang BW, Chiang MT, Yao HT, Chiang W. The effect of adlay oil on plasma lipids, insulin and leptin in rat. Phytomedicine. 2005 Jun;12(6-7):433-9.
    12. Yu YM, Chang WC, Liu CS, Tsai CM. Effect of young barley leaf extract and adlay on plasma lipids and LDL oxidation in hyperlipidemic smokers. Biol Pharm Bull. 2004 Jun;27(6):802-5.
    13. Román Ramos R, Alarcón-Aguilar F, Lara-Lemus A, Flores-Saenz JL. Hypoglycemic effect of plants used in Mexico as antidiabetics.  Arch Med Res. 1992 Spring;23(1):59-64.
    14. Yeh PH, Chiang W, Chiang MT. Effects of dehulled adlay on plasma glucose and lipid concentrations in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats fed a diet enriched in cholesterol. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2006 Sep;76(5):299-305.
    15. Hidaka Y, Kaneda T, Amino N, Miyai K. Chinese medicine, Coix seeds increases peripheral cytotoxic T and NK cells. Biotherapy. 1992;5(3):201-3.
    16. Kaneda T, Hidaka Y, Kashiwai T, Tada H, Takano T, Nishiyama S, Amino N, Miyai K. [Effect of coix seed on the changes in peripheral lymphocyte subsets] Rinsho Byori. 1992 Feb;40(2):179-81.
    17. Check JB, K'Ombut FO. The effect on fibrinolytic system of blood plasma of Wister rats after feeding them with Coix mixed diet. East Afr Med J. 1995 Jan;72(1):51-5.
    18. Soh CT, Kim SH, Kim KY, Park H, Chung HT, Kim TU, Jeon SM, Han YB. Biostatic activity of Coix lacryma seed extract on Toxoplasma gondii in macrophages. Korean J Parasitol. 1996 Sep;34(3):197-206.
    19. Numata M, Yamamoto A, Moribayashi A, Yamada H. Antitumor components isolated from the Chinese herbal medicine Coix lachryma-jobi. Planta Med. 1994 Aug;60(4):356-9.
    20. Chang HC, Huang YC, Hung WC. Antiproliferative and chemopreventive effects of adlay seed on lung cancer in vitro and in vivo. J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Jun 4;51(12):3656-60.
    21. Hung WC, Chang HC. Methanolic extract of adlay seed suppresses COX-2 expression of human lung cancer cells via inhibition of gene transcription. J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Dec 3;51(25):7333-7.
    22. Dong QH, Zhong X, Zheng S. [Effect of Kanglaite injection oncyclooxygenase activity in lung carcinoma A549 cell] Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2005 Oct;30(20):1621-3, 1633.
    23. Shih CK, Chiang W, Kuo ML. Effects of adlay on azoxymethane-induced colon carcinogenesis in rats. Food Chem Toxicol. 2004 Aug;42(8):1339-47.
    24. Lee MY, Lin HY, Cheng F, Chiang W, Kuo YH. Isolation and characterization of new lactam compounds that inhibit lung and colon cancer cells from adlay (Coix lachryma-jobi L. var. ma-yuen Stapf) bran. Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 Jun;46(6):1933-9. Epub 2008 Feb 12.
    25. Bao Y, Yuan Y, Xia L, Jiang H, Wu W, Zhang X. Neutral lipid isolated from endosperm of Job's tears inhibits the growth of pancreatic cancer cells via apoptosis, G2/M arrest, and regulation of gene expression. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005 Jul;20(7):1046-53.
    26. Woo JH, Li D, Wilsbach K, Orita H, Coulter J, Tully E, Kwon TK, Xu S, Gabrielson E. Coix seed extract, a commonly used treatment for cancer in China, inhibits NFkappaB and protein kinase C signaling. Cancer Biol Ther. 2007 Dec;6(12):2005-11. Epub 2007 Oct 13.
    27. Tzeng HP, Chiang W, Ueng TH, Liu SH. The abortifacient effects from the seeds of Coix lachryma-jobi L. var. ma-yuen Stapf. J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2005 Sep;68(17-18):1557-65.
    28. Hsia SM, Kuo YH, Chiang W, Wang PS. Effects of adlay hull extracts on uterine contraction and Ca2+ mobilization in the rat. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Sep;295(3):E719-26. Epub 2008 Jun 24.
    29. Hsia SM, Chiang W, Kuo YH, Wang PS. Downregulation of progesterone biosynthesis in rat granulosa cells by adlay (Coix lachryma-jobi L. var. ma-yuen Stapf.) bran extracts. Int J Impot Res. 2006 May-Jun;18(3):264-74.
    30. Hsia SM, Yeh CL, Kuo YH, Wang PS, Chiang W. Effects of adlay (Coix lachryma-jobi L. var. ma-yuen Stapf.) hull extracts on the secretion of progesterone and estradiol in vivo and in vitro. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2007 Oct;232(9):1181-94.
    31. Chang LL, Wun AW, Hung CT, Hsia SM, Chiang W, Wang PS. Effects of crude adlay hull acetone extract on corticosterone release from rat zona fasciculata-reticularis cells. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2006 Nov;374(2):141-52. Epub 2006 Sep 21.
    32. Hsia SM, Tseng YW, Wang SW, Kuo YH, Huang DW, Wang PS, Chiang W. Effect of adlay (Coix lachryma-jobi L. var. ma-yuen Stapf.) hull extracts on testosterone release from rat Leydig cells. Phytother Res. 2009 May;23(5):687-95.
    33. Li SC, Chen CM, Lin SH, Chiang W, Shih CK. Effects of adlay bran and its ethanolic extract and residue on preneoplastic lesions of the colon in rats.  J Sci Food Agric. 2010 Nov 19. [Epub ahead of print]
    34. Chung CP, Hsu HY, Huang DW, Hsu HH, Lin JT, Shih CK, Chiang W. Ethyl acetate fraction of adlay bran ethanolic extract inhibits oncogene expression and suppresses DMH-induced preneoplastic lesions of the colon in F344 rats through an anti-inflammatory pathway. J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Jul 14;58(13):7616-23.
    35. Yang RS, Chiang W, Lu YH, Liu SH. Evaluation of osteoporosis prevention by adlay using a tissue culture model. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008;17 Suppl 1:143-6.
    36. Sugimoto N, Fukuda J, Takatori K, Yamada T, Maitani T. Identification of principal constituents in enzymatically hydrolyzed coix extract. Shokuhin Eiseigaku Zasshi. 2001 Oct;42(5):309-15.
    37. Kuo CC, Chiang W, Liu GP, Chien YL, Chang JY, Lee CK, Lo JM, Huang SL, Shih MC, Kuo YH. 2,2'-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical-scavenging active components from adlay (Coix lachryma-jobi L. var. ma-yuen Stapf) hulls. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Oct 9;50(21):5850-5.

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