Anisomeles indica (L.) Kuntze

Last updated: 31 May 2016

Scientific Name

Anisomeles indica (L.) Kuntze


Ajuga disticha (L.) Roxb., Ajuga glabrata Benth. ex Wall. [Invalid], Ajuga mollissima Wall. ex Steud., Anisomeles albiflora (Hassk.) Miq., Anisomeles disticha (L.) B.Heyne ex Roth, Anisomeles glabrata Benth. ex Wall. [Invalid], Anisomeles mollissima Wall. [Invalid], Anisomeles ovata W.T.Aiton [Illegitimate], Anisomeles secunda Kuntze [Illegitimate], Anisomeles tonkinensis Gand., Ballota disticha L., Ballota mauritiana Pers., Epimeredi indicus (L.) Rothm., Epimeredi secundus Rothm., Marrubium indicum (L.) Burm.f., Monarda zeylanica Burm.f., Nepeta amboinica L.f., Nepeta disticha (L.) Blume, Nepeta indica L., Phlomis alba Blanco [Illegitimate] [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Babadotan, bandotan [2]
English Catmint [2], Indian catmint, Indian epimeredi, Malabar catmint [3]
China Fang feng cao [3], guang fang feng [4]
India Adabeera, apang, basing, bhonsri, chodhara, dayyam marri, enakkompu, gobara, hennu karee thumbe, ilacukanari, kalabangra, maari soppu, perunkurinja, phoongiyo, ramtulsi, thoiding-angouba, vetuppatakki, visakali, et al. [3]
Indonesia Celangking (Javanese); ki hileud, patuk bangkong (Sundanese) [2]
Thailand Komko huai (Northern); saapsuea (Central); yaa farang (South-eastern) [2]
Laos San nga (Louang-Prabang) [2]
Philippines Kabling-parang, kabling-lalake (Tagalog); lilitan (Iloko) [2]
Vietnam Thi[ees]n th[ar]o, ph[of]ng, phong th[ar]o [2]
Nepal Rato charapate [3]
Japan Bakari-gusa, busoroi-bana [3].

Geographical Distributions

Anisomeles indica is native to Southeast Asia, and is nowadays widely distributed from Africa, though not common there, through India, China, Japan and southwards from Malesia to Australia. [2]

Botanical Description

Anisomeles indica is a member of the Lamiaceae family. It is a large herb which can reach up to 2 m tall. The stems are quadrangular and sparsely hairy to densely hairy. [2]

The leaves are (broad-)ovate, measuring 5-12 cm x 2-7 cm, hairy on both sides and with 5-celled hairs. The petiole is 1.5-4 cm long and covered with soft hairs. [2]

The inflorescence is a terminal spike, accompanied by more than 2 lateral spikes. The sepal measures 6 mm x 6.5 mm with the longest teeth 1.7-2 mm long. [2]

The fruit is 9-10 mm long where the upper part of the tube and teeth are hairy inside and the petal is up to 11 mm long while the lower lip measures about 8 mm x 3 mm, greenish to whitish, and with dark red lines inside but sometimes purple or blue. The filaments are didymous and 5-6 mm long with the style about 9 mm long. The nutlets are subglobular, measuring 1.2 mm x 1 mm and shiny black. [2]


A. indica grows in sunny and open locations, grasslands, also in teak forests, and on wet soils along streams and irrigated rice fields. It is usually scattered, sometimes locally numerous, at 600-1800 m altitude. It flowers throughout the year when enough water is available. [2]

Chemical Constituent

Methanol extract of A. indica whole plant has been reported to contain pedalitin, apigenin, ovatodiolide, methylgallate, 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid, 7-O-β-D-glucuronide methyl ester, apigenin 7-O-glucuronide, 7-methoxy-3 ,4 ,5,6-tetrahydroxyflavone, methylgallate, desrhamnosylverbascoside (calceolarioside), cistanoside F, betonyoside A, campneoside II, acteoside, isoacteoside and apigenin 7-O-β-D-(6-O-p-coumaroylglucopyranoside) (terniflorin). [5]

Plant Part Used

Leaves. [6]

Traditional Use

People in Ceylon, Sri Lanka uses the infusion of the A. indica for stomach illness, bowels ailments, catarrh, and intermittent fever. The leaves juice is used to treat colic dyspepsia and fever due to teething in children. A decoction of the plant is used as a remedy for rheumatic joints and severe pains. In the Dutch East Indies, the decoction is given for gravel in the kidneys. The oil distilled from A. indica is used to treat uterine affections. [6]

Preclinical Data


Antimicrobial activity


The cytoprothic effects of HIV-1 infection was inhibited by ovatodiolide over a modest concentration range with EC50 of 0.10 μg/mL and IC50 of 1.20 μg/mL with maximum cellular protection of 80-90%. Ovatodiolide was completely cytotoxic to the host cells at 5.0-6.0 μg/mL. The anti-HIV activity of ovatodiolide was compared to that of AZT, a known anti-HIV drug which showed an EC50 of 0.0037 μg/mL. [7]


The ethanol (95%) extracts of the leaf and stem of A. indica showed strong anti-H. pylori activities with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values ranging from 2.56 to 5.12mg/mL against 3 strains of H. pylori. [8]

Analgesic and anti-hyperalgesic activities

The leaves and stems of pre-flowering and flowering A. indica were extracted with water and tested for analgesic and anti-hyperalgesic activities with aspirin as the control compound. Testing for analgesic activity was conducted in male and female rats using the hot plate and the tail flick techniques. While testing for antihyperalgesic activity was conducted in male rats which were injected with 1% carrageenan suspension and the reaction time assessed using the hot plate technique. The extract from pre-flowering plant showed a dose-dependent analgesic effect up to 6 h of treatment in both tests. The analgesic effect of the pre-flowering plant extract was not affected by the gender nor by the stage of the estrous cycle and was not abolished by naloxone. This extract also showed a dose-dependent antihyperalgesic activity. In contrast, the extract obtained from flowering plants showed no analgesic activity at 500 mg/kg. [9]

The extract from pre-flowering plants of A. indica  reduced the amplitude of spontaneous contractions of the isolated diestrous rat uterus and induced plasma membrane stabilization of rat erythrocytes in a dose-dependent manner, all of which suggests that the analgesic and antihyperalgesic effects are mediated by the impairment of prostaglandin synthesis through inhibition of COX-1. [9]

Anti-inflammatory activity

Anti-inflammatory activity of A. indica extracts was evaluated using carrageenan-, formaldehyde- and adjuvant-induced paw edema models in rats. The pre-flowering plant extract elicited a dose-dependent anti-inflammatory effect in all 3 models while no significant anti-inflammatory effects were seen with the extract from flowering plants. The extract from pre-flowering plants also showed significant and dose-dependent anti-histamine and free radical scavenging activities, although the in vitro activity of lipoxygenase was not affected.  Both its antihistamine and its free radical scavenging effects were thought to contribute to its anti-inflammatory activity. [10]

It was found that the diterpenoid , flavonoids and acteoside compounds of A. Indica showed anti-inflammatory properties [5]. A. indica also inhibit DNA replication by inhibiting NO, TNF-α and IL-12 without affecting cell viability in a dose-dependent manner [11].

Anticancer activity

The ovatodiolide compound of A. indica  showed cytotoxicity effects by causing apoptosis in producing reactive oxygen species and down-regulation of FLICE inhibitory protein leading to cell cycle arrest towards oral squamous cell carcinoma. [13]


Aqueous extracts obtained from pre-flowering plants (125, 250 and 500 mg/kg) and flowering plants (500 mg/kg) administered orally to rats did not show any overt signs of acute toxicity or stress. The body weights of the rats were not altered nor were the serum activities of AST and ALT (liver marker enzymes) or serum concentration of albumin. Rats given the extract from pre-flowering plants for 30 days showed a markedly reduced serum creatinine concentration. [10]

Phytotoxicity effect from A. Indica leaf and root towards little seed canary grass makes it a useful herbicide in wheat fields. [12]

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of A. indica. [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Anisomeles indica (L.) Kuntze [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2016 May 31]. Available from:
  2. Ng LT, Ling SK. Anisomeles indica (Linnaeus) Kuntze. In: van Valkenburg JLCH, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers, 2001; p. 77-78.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume I A-B. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 306.
  4. Flora of China. Volume 17. Anisomeles indica (Linnaeus) Kuntze, Revis. [homepage on the Internet]. No date [cited 2016 May 31] Available from:
  5. Rao YK, Fang SH, Hsieh SC, Yeh TH, Tzeng YM. The constituents of Anisomeles indica and their anti-inflammatory activities. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009;2(21):292-296
  6. Jayaweera DMA. Medicinal plants used in Ceylon III. Colombo, Sri Lanka: National Science Council of Sri Lanka, 1981; p. 83.
  7. Shahidul Alam M, Quader MA and Rashid MA. HIV-inhibitory diterpenoid from Anisomeles indica. Fitoterapia. 2000;71:574-576.
  8. Wang YC, Huang TL. Screening of anti-Helicobacter pylori herbs deriving from Taiwanese folk medicinal plants. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2005;43(2):295-300.
  9. Dharmasiri MG, Ratnasooriya WD, Thabrew MI. Water extract of leaves and stems of preflowering but not flowering plants of Anisomeles indica possesses analgesic and antihyperalgesic activities in rats. Pharm Biol (Formerly International Journal of Pharmacognosy). 2003; 41(1):37-44.
  10. Dharmasiri MG, Ratnasooriya WD, Thabrew MI. Anti-inflammatory activity of decoctions of leaves and stems of Anisomeles indica at preflowering and flowering stages. Pharm Biol. 2002;40(6):433-439.
  11. Hsieh SC, Fang SH, Rao YK, Tzeng YM. Inhibition of pro-inflammatory mediators and tumor cell proliferation by Anisomeles indica extracts. J Ethnopharmacol. 2008;1(118):65-70
  12. Batish DR, Kaur M, Singh HP, Kohli RK. Phytotoxicity of a medicinal plant, Anisomeles indica, against Phalaris minor and its potential use as natural herbicide in wheat fields. Crop Prot. 2007;7(26):948-952.
  13. Hou YY, Wu ML, Hwang YC, Chang FR, Wu YC, Wu CC. The natural diterpenoid ovatodiolide induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human oral squamous cell carcinoma Ca9-22 cells. Life Sci. 2009;1-2(85):26-32.