Cyanthillium cinereum (L.) H.Rob.

Last updated: 26 April 2016

Scientific Name

Cyanthillium cinereum (L.) H.Rob.


Cacalia cinerea (L.) Kuntze, Conyza cinerea L., Cyanopis erigeroides DC., Eupatorium myosotifolium Jacq., Seneciodes cinereum (L.) Kuntze ex Kuntze, Serratula cinerea (L.) Roxb., Vernonia cinerea (L.) Less., Vernonia cyanonioides Walp., Vernonia dendigulensis DC., Vernonia diffusa Decne., Vernonia erigeroides (DC.) DC., Vernonia lentii Volk. & O.Hoffm., Vernonia leptophylla DC., Vernonia montana Hook.f., Vernonia parviflora Reinw., Vernonia physalifolia DC., Vernonia rhomboides Edgew., Vernonia villosa W.F. Wright, Cyanopis erigeroides var. erigeroides, Cyanthillium cinereum var. cinereum, Cyanthillium cinereum var. ovatum Isawumi, Vernonia cinerea var. antoniensis (L.) Bolle, Vernonia cinerea var. erigeroides (DC.) H.O.Forbes, Vernonia cinerea var. parviflora (Reinw. ex Blume) DC. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Rumput sabagi, sebagi, tambak bukit [2], bujang semalam, chenderong hari, chongchong hari, ekor kuda, jenduang hari, rumput sepagi, rumput tahi babi, sembong hutan, susor daun, tahi babi, tambak-tambak, tombak bukit [2][3]
English Ash coloured Fleabane, purple Fleabane [4], ashy coloured ironweed, blue fleabane, inflammation bush, ironweed, little ironweed, small ironweed, strongman bush, tropical fleabane, vernonia [2]
China Ye xiang niu [3]
India Bairali bon, biranji, birinch, hopal, jurjuri, kali zizri, kuksunga, mookkuthipoondu, mukuttipoondu, poovan kurunnal, pooovamkkurinnila, ranu, sahadevi, sahdela, sahdevi, seera chengashuneer, seera shengalaneer, shedevi, vaikranta bhasma [2]
Indonesia Buyung-buyung, maryuna, sasawi langit [2]
Thailand Kaan thuup, yaa dokkhaao, yaa saam wan [2], suea saam khaa, ya la ong [3]
Philippines Kulong-kugon, magmansi, sagit, tagulinai, tagulinaw, yayulinau, bulak-manok [2], agas-moro, kolong-kugon, tagulinai [2][3]
Myanmar Bach dau ong [5]
Laos Nya phaen din yen [5]
Vietnam B[paa]c d[aaf]u, d[aj] h[uw][ow]ng ng[uw]u [2]
Bangladesh Kukaim [5]
Japan Mura-saki-mukashi-yomogi, yambaru-higotai [2]
Nepal Pramalamram [2]
Kenya Budzi, chesuwarian, chibudzi, chibuzi, chikuse, eleleshwa-ekop, kibudzi, kifuka, lufia, n’dufulukwa [2]
Tanzania Kifuha, kifusa, mhadu [2]
Yoruba Jedi jedi, bojure, oorungo [2]
Pacific islands Ayapana sauvage, chaguan Santa Maria, edngeong, enen chukó, etngeong, fisipuna, jấn-aelốñ-ñan-aelốñ, janaelon-nan-aelon, janaelong, janailiñ, ñönailiñ, janailin-nonailin, kaukamea, opusar, senailing nagailing, tho vuka, vutikaumondro [2].

Geographical Distributions

Cyanthillium cinereum is native to Africa, Arabian in West Indian Ocean, South East USA, Pacific and South America [3] and tropical Asia. [5] This plant widespread in Carribean countries, and Asia through peninsular Malaysia to Australia and New Zealand. [5]

C. cinereum can be found in waste places and road side. [4]

Botanical Description

C. cinereum is a member of the Asteraceae family. [5]

It is an erect, slender, rarely branching annual herb that grows up to 3 cm tall. The stems are ribbed, finely pilose and glandular. [5]

The leaves are alternate, lower ones being perioled while the upper ones are reduced and sessile, oval or broadest about or above the middle and tapering to each end, shallowly toothed. They measure between 2-6 cm long; more or less densely and finely hairy. The heads are small, pedunculed, in open, loose corymbs, about 7 mm long, and 2.5 mm in diameter. [5]

The flowers are all tubular, rather brigh purple, pink, or white, about 20 in each head, twice as long as the involucral bracts. The pappus bristles while, dentate, measuring 3-5 mm long. The achenes are rounded, nearly ribless and measure about 1.5 mm long. [5]


No documentation

Chemical Constituent

C. cinereum are reported to contain luteolin-7-mono-b-D-glucopyranoside; b-amyrin acetate; lupeol acetate; stigmasterol; alpha-spinasterol; phenolic resin; potassium chloride [4]; 3beta-acetoxyurs-19-ene; lupeol acetate [6]; vernocinolide A [7]; vernolides C; vernolides D; 8a -tigloyloxy-hirsutinolide-13-O-acetate; 8a–tigloyloxyhirsutinolide; 8a-(4-hydroxymethacryloyloxy)-hirsutinolide-13-O-acetate; 8a-epoxymethacryloyloxy-hirsutinolide-13-O-acetate; hirsutinolide-13-O-acetate; piptocarphin D [8]; (+)-lirioresinol B; stigmasterol; stigmasterol-3-O-beta-D-glucoside; 4-sulfo-benzocyclobutene [9]; (-)-clovane-2,9-diol; caryolane-1,9-b-diol; apigenin; chrysoeriol; luteolin; thermopsoside; luteolin-7-O-beta-D-glucoside; quercetin; apigenin-4'-O-beta-D-glucoside; hyperin; beta-amyrin aceate [10]; stigmast-5,17(20)-dien-3-b-ol; 26-methyl-hepatocosanoic acid and sitosterol [11].

Plant Part Used

Seed, root, leaves [4][5][12][13][14]

Traditional Use

C. cinereum is considered a diuretic, antispasmodic, and anthelmintic [4][13]

Gastrointestinal Diseases

A root decoction of C. cinereum is used in the treatment of stomachache and diarrhea. [5]

Respiratory Diseases

In the Philippines, the infusion or decoction of the plant is used for cough and asthma. [4][5]

Urinary Tract Diseases

Being considered as a diuretic and antispasmodic, the plant is used in the treatment of urinary disorders including dysuria, spasms of the bladder and strangury. The juice is given to the childen to treat urine incontinence. It is also used to treat dropsy regardless of its origin. [4][5][14]

Dermatological Diseases

Decoction of the plant is used to treat various skin diseases and to dress wounds. Amongst the diseases where this plant had been used include leucoderma, psoriasis, pityriasis versicolor, blisters and boils. [4][5]

Gynaecological Diseases

C. cinereum is used as a specific herb for leucorrhoea and as a remedy for vaginal discharge [4][14]. Small quantities of decoction can be used to treat menstrual pains. [15]


Many societies make use of the plant to treat fevers [13][14]. In combination with quinine it benefits well malarial fevers. [4][14] Ayurvedic practioners use it to treat haematological disorders and they consider it a blood purifier and a styptic. [4]

Other uses

Apart from the above uses C. cinereum is used in the treatment of venomous bites including snake bites and scorpion stings. In cases of snake bite the root is pounded and infusion is given to the victim [12]. A poultice of the leaves applied to the forehead relieves headache. [5]

Preclinical Data


Antimicrobial activity

Benzene extract of C. cinereum has been found to have a broad spectrum antibacterial activity [16] . A study on the effect of C. cinereum extract’s antibacterial activity revealed that its action was through the destruction to the bacterial cell walls by formation of holes, invaginations and morphological disorganization [17]

Three sesquiterpene lactones isolated from C. cinereum was found to be active against chloroquine resistant Plasmodium falciparum strain (W2). [8]

Antioxidant activity

Methanolic extract of C. cinereum showed antioxidant activity by scavenged the hydroxyl radical generated by Fenton reaction, superoxide generated by photo reduction of riboflavin and inhibited lipid peroxidation significantly. It also scavenged nitric oxide and inhibit the PMA induced Superoxide formation in mice peritoneal macrophages. The extract increased significantly the levels of catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione-S transferase in blood and liver whilst it decreases significantly lipid peroxidation activity. [18] 

In evaluating the effects of C. cinereum supplements and exercise on the oxidative stress biomarkers, beta-endophin release and the rate of cigarette smoking, it was found that this provided benefit related to reducing smoking rate. This is attributed to changes to oxidative stress biomarkers and beta-endophine levels. [19]

Immunomodulatory activity

The methanolic extract of C. cinereum was found to modify the immune system of mice. This is evidenced by the fact that intraperitoneal administration of the extract was able to enhance the total white blood cell count, bone marrow cellularity and the number of alpha-esterase positive cells. When treatment was given alongside the antigen, sheep red blood cells, it enhances the circultating antibody titre and the number of plaque forming cells in the spleen. In addition to this, it also enhances the proliferation of splenocytes, thymocytes and bone marrow cells both in the presence and absence of specific mitogen in vitro and in vivo. Aministration of the extract significantly reduced the lipopolysaccharide induced elevation of nitric oxide and proinflammatory cytokines, down regulate the inducible NO synthase and cyclo-oxygenase-2 mRNA expression in LPS-stimulated macrophages. [20]

Further to this it was found that C. cinereum extract was able to ameliorate the immunospression and oxidative stress induced by cyclophosphamide in mice. It is evidenced by the fact that the extract showed similar effects as stated above in animals treated with cyclophosphomide. This renders the drug as a possible adjuvant to cyclophosphamide treatmen of cancer patients to help enhance their immune system and reduces some of the toxic effects of the cytotoxic drug. [21]

Anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic activity

The alcoholic extract of the flowers of C. cinereum was found to have the ability to reverse the inflammatory processes in adjuvant arthritic rats i.e. changes in paw volume, body and tissue weights and serum and tissue enzyme activities of ALT, AST, ACP and cathepsin-D [22]. The methanol extract of the whole plant also showed anti-inflammatory activity both in acute and chronic conditions comparable to those of phenylbutazone [23]. The chloroform, methanolic and ether extracts of the leaves showed significant analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic activities [24][25]. The changes in writhings and behavioral activities in mice, the pyrexia and paw volumes in rates were significantly reduced while the pain threshold on oedematous limb of rats was increased. [24]

Cytotoxic activity

A number of compounds isolated from C. cinereum showed cytotoxic activities. Vernolide-A is potent against human KB, DLD-1, NCI-661 and Hela tumour cell lines, and Vernolide-B had marginal cytotoxicity for KB, NCI-661 and Hela. [26]


The median lethal dose (LD50) of the methanol extract of C. cinereum was greater than 2000mg/kg with no significant pathological changes macroscopically in mice. The Brine shrimp test did not show any significant toxicity. [10]

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

No documentation


No documentation

Side effects

No documentation

Pregnancy/Breast Feeding

Large amount of doses reported can cause abortion and its use during pregnancy is prohibited. [15] 

Age limitation

No documentation

Adverse reaction

No documentation

Interaction & Depletion

No documentation

Interaction with drug

No documentation

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation


No documentation

Case Report

No documentation


Dosage Range

The dosage range of the whole plant juice is 10 – 20 ml dose and 5 – 10g powder for external use. [4]

Most Common Dosage

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing

No documentation


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  11. Misraa TN, Singh RS, Upadhyay J, et al. Isolation of a natural sterol and an aliphatic acid from Vernonia cinerea. Phytochemistr. 1984;23(2):415-417.
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  13. Ghazanfar SA, Fisher M. Vegetation of the Arabian Peninsula. Dordrecht, The Netherland: Springer Science & Business Media, 1998; p. 251, 248.
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  18. Kumar PP, Kuttan G. Vernonia cinerea L. scavenges free radicals and regulates nitric oxide and proinflammatory cytokines profile in carrageenan induced paw edema model. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2009;31(1):94-102.
  19. Leelarungrayub D, Pratanaphon S, Pothongsunun P, et al. Vernonia cinerea Less. supplementation and strenuous exercise reduce smoking rate: relation to oxidative stress status and beta-endorphin release in active smokers. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010;26(7):21.
  20. Pratheeshkumar P, Kuttan G. Modulation of immune response by Vernonia cinerea L. inhibits the proinflammatory cytokine profile, iNOS, and COX-2 expression in LPS-stimulated macrophages. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2010:33(1).
  21. Pratheeshkumar P, Kuttan G. Ameliorative action of Vernonia cinerea L. on cyclophosphamide-induced immunosuppression and oxidative stress in mice. Inflammopharmacology. 2010;18(4):197-207.
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