Eclipta prostrata (L.) L.

Last updated: 12 Jan 2016

Scientific Name

Eclipta prostrata (L.) L.


Acmella lanceolata Link ex Spreng., Amellus carolinianus Walter, Anthemis abyssinica J.Gay ex A.Rich., Anthemis cotula-foetida Crantz, Anthemis cotuloides Raf. ex DC., Anthemis sulphurea Wall. ex Nyman, Anthemis viridis Blanco, Artemisia viridis Blanco [Illegitimate], Bellis racemosa Steud., Bellis ramosa Jacq., Buphthalmum diffusum Vahl ex DC., Chamaemelum foetidum Garsault, Chamaemelum foetidum Baumg., Cotula alba (L.) L., Cotula alva (L.) L., Cotula prostrata (L.) L., Eclipta adpressa Moench [Illegitimate], Eclipta alba (L.) Hassk., Eclipta angustifolia C.Presl, Eclipta Arabica Steud. [Illegitimate], Eclipta ciliata Raf., Eclipta dentata Wall. [Invalid], Eclipta dichotoma Raf., Eclipta dubia Raf., Eclipta erecta L. [Illegitimate], Eclipta flexuosa Raf., Eclipta heterophylla Bartl., Eclipta hirsute Bartl., Eclipta linearis Otto ex Sweet, Eclipta longifolia Schrad., Eclipta longifolia Schrad. ex DC., Eclipta marginata Steud. [Illegitimate], Eclipta marginata Boiss., Eclipta nutans Raf., Eclipta oederi (Murr.) Weigel, Eclipta palustris DC., Eclipta parviflora Wall. ex DC., Eclipta patula Schrad. ex DC., Eclipta patula Schrad., Eclipta philippinensis Gand. Eclipta pumila Raf., Eclipta punctata L. [Illegitimate], Eclipta simplex Raf., Eclipta spicata Spreng., Eclipta strumosa Salisb., Eclipta sulcate Raf., Eclipta tinctoria Raf., Eclipta undulata Willd., Eclipta zippeliana bl., Eclipta zippeliana Blume, Ecliptica alba (L.) Kuntze, Eleutheranthera prostrata (L.) Sch.Bip., Eupatoriophalacron album (L.) Hitchc., Galinsoga oblonga DC., Galinsoga oblongifolia (Hook.) DC., Grangea lanceolata Poir. [Illegitimate], Micrelium tolak Forssk., Paleista brachypoda (Michx.) Raf. [Illegitimate], Polygyne inconspicua Phil., Spilanthes pseudo-acmella (L.) Murray, Verbesina alba L., Verbesina conyzoides Trew, Verbesina prostrate L., Verbesina pseudoacmella L., Wedelia psammophila Poepp., Wedelia psammophila Poepp. & Endl., Wilborgia oblongifolia Hook.[1]

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Biu, keremak jantan, nigus [2]
English False daisy, ink plant, tattoo plant [2]
India Bhangara, bhangaraiya (Hindi); keśarāja, tekarāja (Sanskrit); Karisalankanni, karisalanganni (Tamil); bhangra (Punjabi, Urdu) [2]
Indonesia Orang-aring (Javanese); urang-aring (Sundanese); daun siput (Moluccas) [2]
Thailand Kameng (Central); yaa sap, hom kieo (Northern) [2]
Laos Hoomz kèèwx [2]
Philippines Higis – manok (Tagalog); karim-buaya (Ilokano); pia (Ifugao) [2]
Vietnam C[or] m[uwj]c, c[or] mh[oj] n[oot]i, h[aj]n ni[ee]n th[ar]o [2]
Papua New Guinea Whiteheads (Pidgin) [2]
Nepal Bhiringiraj, bhringaraaj [2]
Benin Arojoku [2]
Congo Bilibo, kainapa, ohindisa, ohissa, oyindissa, oyisan, toinapa [2]
Gabon Akayi-pitè, disunghu, énvongha [2]
Ghana Ntum [2]
Ivory Coast Daliblé, kleiri iwonné, klériouémé [2].

Geographical Distributions

Eclipta prostrata occurs worldwide in the tropics and subtropics [2]. It is distributed throughout Asia (China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea); South and South East Asia (Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam); and in some other parts of the world (Angola, Arabian Peninsula, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Egypt, Fiji, Ghana, Iraq, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Rhodesia, Sudan, Surinam, Trinidad, United States of America including Hawaii, Zambia and Zimbabwe) [3].

Botanical Description

E. prostrata is a species of plant in the family Asteraceae (Compositae) [1]. It is a straggling annual or rather short-lived perennial herb, measuring 50-80 cm tall. The stem is cylindrical, erect or prostrate, rooting at the lower nodes, reddish, with taproot [4].

The leaves are opposite, simple, oblong-lance-shaped and measure 2-7 cm x 1-2 cm. It tapers gradually to a narrow base with pointed apex and slightly toothed with (sub) sessile. There are no stipules. [4]

The inflorescence is arising from the axils or terminal head, solitary or up to 3 together. The peduncle measures 1-6 cm long, with long, appressed white hairs and involucral bracts of 5-6. The female flowersare elongated flattened strap-shaped, numerous, 2-seriate and measuring up to 3 mm long. The apexis entire or white 2-lobed. The white and 4-lobed at the apex of the tubular flowers are bisexual and numerous. [4]

The fruit is an oblong achene, triangular or compressed with 1 central rib on each side, measures 3mm x 1.5 mm, truncate at the tip and black. The pappus is absent or with 2 weak scales and a few short hairs. [4]

The seeds seedling is with epigeal germination. The hypocotyl is measuring up to 8.5 mm long and reddish-green. The cotyledons are egg-shapes, measuring up to 4.5 mm long, base tapering, apex is rounded, and epicotyl is short and densely hairy. The first leaves are opposite, egg-shaped, shallowly toothed margin and hairy. [4]


E. prostrata is found both under lowland and upland conditions [5]. It is commonly found around houses, open spaces in villages, and disturbed soil. It is also a very common weed in rice, sugar cane fields and coconut plantations, as well as in damp places along watercourses and roadsides [4].

It flowers throughout the year and quantitatively a short-day plant. [6]

Soil Suitability and Climate Requirement

E. prostrata is propagated by seeds, which are disseminated by water and animals [4]. The seeds show no significant innate dormancy, which means both ripe and unripe seeds germinate [5].

Light is a requirement for the germination of seeds [5]. Achenes germinate over a range of 10—35°C in full light [4] and there was no germination observed in the dark [5]. Low light intensity increases the height of the plant and the size of the lead, but decreases specific leaf weight. The germination rate decreases after about 5 months when it is stored at ambient temperatures. The plants that are grown at low temperatures with short day length are shorter and produce many branches, thick leaves and more achenes [4].

The seeds of E. prostrata fail to germinate of the moisture are as low as 30% saturation. As the moisture content increases, the rate of germination improves. [5]

The germination of E. prostrata is enhanced by alternating temperatures of 20°C and 35°C [4] instead of constant temperature at 35°C [5].

The achenes have a high pH tolerance. [4]

Field Preparation

Land Preparation

As soil fertility reduces such as in maize-based cropping system, E. prostrata becomes a more important component of the weed flora. [4]

Production of Planting Materials

Branching starts from the second week and is usually finished around the 10th week. Flowering starts from the 5th week, and mature achenes can be found around the seventh week. About 200 inflorescences and 14 000 achenes are produced per plant, with the seed weight 0.292 mg/seed. [4]

E. prostrata is grown for biomass and wedelolactone production. Biomass production is not influenced by soil pH, but lower pH causes lower concentrations of wedelolactone in the roots. [4]

In Indonesia, between 1984 and 1990, an estimated 80-120 kg of dried leaves of E. prostrata were merchandised annually for herbal medicine, both for local use and export. [4]

Field maintenance

Weed Control

E. prostrata is a polymorphous and troublesome weed in many crops, most difficult in lowland areas with high rainfall. Early control is necessary, and herbicide combinations appear to be more reliable than a single herbicide. [4]

Water management

The occurrence of E. prostrata in lowland rice fields may be determined entirely by water management [5]. Germination and growth of E. prostrata in lowland rice are reduced when flooding occurred at or before the four-leaf stage resulting in 53% reduction in plant height compared to the unflooded control. Seedlings flooded at the six-leaf stage were 51% taller compared to those in the unflooded control at 40 days after emergence. Seedlings at the six-leaf stage, which happens to be a critical stage, or older became accustomed and persisted under flooded conditions [6].

Pest and Disease Control

E. prostrata is easily controlled by hand pulling and cultivation. Vigorously growing lawn grass soon causes its disappearance from the field. [5]


In Indo-China, the aerial parts of the plants are collected throughout the year at the end of flowering. In Indonesia, harvesting of the leaves starts 5-8 weeks after planting, at the beginning of flowering. [4]

Postharvest handling

In China, the whole plant of E. prostrata are dried and stored for later use. [4]

Chemical Constituent

E. prostrata whole plant has been reported to contain alkaloids (e.g. ecliptine and nicotine) while the methanol extract of the plant contains steroidal alkaloids (e.g. 20-epi-3-dehydroxy-3-oxo-5,6-dihydro-4,5-dehydroverazine, 20-epi-verazine, verazine, ecliptalbine [(20R)-20-pyridyl-cholesta- 5-ene-3-ß-23-diol], (20R)-4-ß-hydroxyverazine, 4-ß-hydroxyverazine, (20R)-25-ß-hydroxyverazine and 25-ß-hydroxyverazine), hydrocarbons (e.g. ddithienylacetylene ester, ecliptal, α-terthienyl-methanol, and α-formylterthienyl), triterpenes (e.g. ecliptasaponin C, ecliptasaponin D, saponin, eclalbatin, α-amyrin, β- amyrin, ursolic acid, oleanolic acid, wedelic acid and eclalbasaponins I-VI), and flavonoids (e.g. apigenin, luteolin and luteolin-7-glucoside). [7][8]

Alcohol extract of E. prostrata whole plant has been reported to contain sterols like stigmasterol and β-sitosterol. [7][8]

E. prostrata dried leaves have been reported to contain coumarins (wedelolactone and its derivatives; dimethylwedelolactone-7-glucoside and nor-wedelolactone). Demethylwedelolactone, isodemethyl wedelolactone, and strychnolactone were isolated from percolation and hot extraction of the whole plant. [7][8]

E. prostrata roots have been reported to contain thiopenes (e.g. polyacetylene substituted thiophenes). [7][8]

The aerial parts have been reported to contain phytosterol like β glucoside of phytosterol, daucosterol and stigmasterol-3-O-glucoside. [7][8]

The root, stem and leaves contain steroids like diosgenin, tigogenin and lanosterol. [8]

Other unspecified constituents are nonacosanol, stearic acid, lacceroic acid and 3, 4-dihydoxy benzoic acid. [7][8]

Plant Part Used

Leaf and root. [2]

Traditional Use

In the Ayurveda and Sidha practice, the whole plant is used for diarrhoea, jaundice, rice-fields dermatitis, tinnitus, tinea pedis, eczema, ulcers, bleeding wound. The juice plant with ginger is given in indigestion, the plant juice is applied over wounds and cuts. The plant infusion is given as wash in ulcers and venereal diseases. The aerial part is used as antibiotic, tonic, emetic, hemostatic, aphrodisiac, anthelmintic, antimyotoxic, and antihaemorrhagic. The plant paste is taken in the treatment of liver and spleen enlargement. The plant aqueous extract mixed with black pepper and sugar is taken in body inflammation. [2]

The leaves of E. prostrata is used in combination with Andrographis paniculata, Leucas indica, Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides, Oxalis corniculata and Phyla nodiflora for liver problems, jaundice, and gastrointestinal disorders. The leaves paste with mustard oil is applied to forehead for headache while the crushed leaves are applied on foot cracks, wounds and sores between toes. The fresh leaves are anti-inflammatory, hepatic stimulant, used in eczema, skin diseases, ulcers, wounds, sores, scorpion stings, and ringworm infestation. The leaf juice can be used in swelling of ears of cattles. [2]

The roots are purgative, antiseptic and emetic. The pounded roots can be applied on septic wounds in human and animals. A decoction of roots with roots of Averrhoa carambola is given for washing infected gums. [2]

The seeds tonic can be used for promoting sexual desire and improving semen quality. [2]

E. prostrata is also used as a holy ingredient in ceremonials and rituals (Pooja). [2]

Preclinical Data


Antimicrobial activity

Methanol extracts of whole plant E. prostrata showed the highest activity against Staphylococcus aereus, followed by Bacillus subtilis, Candida albicans, and Bacillus cereus in an in vitro study using disc diffusion method. It did not inhibit Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. [9]

Anti-immnunomodulatory activity

E. prostrata exhibits immunomodulatory effect on T lymphocytes. [10]

Methanol extract of E. prostrata dried whole plant (250 g) exhibited high inhibitory activity against HIV-1 integrase with an IC50 of 21 µg/mL in the HIV-1 PR assay. Further analysis of the compounds in the extract revealed that wedelolactone had the highest activity against HIV-1 integrase (IC50 4.0±0.2 µg/mL), followed by orobol (IC50 8.1±0.5 µg/mL). 5-hydroxymethyl-(2,2’:5’,2”)-terthienyl tiglate had appreciable activity (IC50 58.3±0.8 µg/mL), followed by ecliptal (IC50 83.3±1.6 µg/mL) and 5-hydroxymethyl-(2,2’:5’,2”)-terthienyl acetate (IC50 93.7±0.8 µg/mL). All the control reactions were performed under the same conditions but without the plant extract. [10]

Hepatoprotective activity

E. prostrata has potent hepatoprotective activity by regulating the levels of hepatic microsomal drug metabolizing agents. [11]

The study was conducted in both in vitro and in vivo simultaneously to investigate the hepatoprotective activity of E. prostrata (EP) in ethanol induced rat hepatic injury. [12]

In the in vitro study, water extracts of 10 g of whole plant E. prostrata (0.1, 0.2 and 0.3 mg/mL) increased % MTT reduction and reduced the release of transaminases (ALT and/or AST) in primary cultures of rat hepatocytes after being treated with ethanol (96 µl/mL) (p<0.05). [12]

Similar extract was used in in vivo study using male Wistar rats (180-200 g), 6-8 weeks old. In the acute toxicity study, a single toxic dose of ethanol (5 g/kg, p.o.) showed significantly increased levels of ALT and AST (p<0.05). Pre-treatment with EP (10, 20, and 30 mg/kg) and silymarin (a reference hepatoprotective agent, SL) (5 mg/kg) 4 hours before ethanol reduced the elevated ALT and AST toward normal levels. EP 30 mg/kg gave the best result comparable to SL (p<0.05). [12]

In the sub-acute toxicity study, rats treated with ethanol (4 g/kg/day, p.o.) for 21 days displayed significant rise in the ALT (alanine aminotransaminase), AST (aspartate aminotransferase), HTG (hepatic triglyceride) and IL-1β. Treatment with EP (30 mg/kg/day, p.o.) and SL (5 g/kg/day, p.o.) 7 days after 21 days with ethanol brought back all the raised parameters to normal (p<0.05). [12]

Histopathological changes of ethanol induced liver injury included hepatocyte swelling, liver cell degeneration, active Kuppfer cells and fatty liver. Treatment with EP showed reversible regeneration and most liver cells appear normal similar to SL. [12]

Antihyperlipidemic activity

The total alcoholic extract of E. prostrata (EPE) whole plant exhibited a dose-dependent (50, 100, 150 and 200 mg/kg) antihyperlipidemic activity in male Wistar albino rats administered with exogenous cholesterol (500 mg/kg, p.o.) for 30 days. The total lipid and cholesterol lowering level significantly occurred at 150 mg/kg dose (p<0.001). A higher dosage of the extract was needed to reduce phospholipids and fatty acid levels in the cholesterol-treated animals. The antihyperlipidemic effect of E. prostrata alcoholic extract was compared to clofibrate (10 mg/kg) and guggul (50 mg/kg, p.o.). [13]

Antivenom activity

The wedelolactone contained in E. prostrata was found to exert antivenom activities by inhibiting myotoxic and neurotoxic effects against South American crotalid venoms of Crotalus durissus terrificus venoms [14]. It also was able to reduce the myotoxic and haemorrhagic effects of Bothrops jaracara, Bothrops jararacussu and Lachesis muta venoms. [15]

Butanolic extract (BE) of fresh aerial parts of E. prostrata at 2.5 mg per Swiss albino mice demonstrated 100% neutralization against 2LD50 of Malayan pit viper (MPV) (Calloselasma rhodostoma) venom (p<0.05 compared to control group of venom alone) but increasing the dose to 5.0 mg diminished the effect (p<0.05) [16]. The purified butanolic extract (PBE) between 1.5 to 4.5 mg per mouse neutralized the lethality of the venom by 50-58% (p<0.05 compared to venom alone). Both extracts partially inhibited the haemorrhagic effect (p<0.01) and displayed very low antiphospholipase A2 activity (p>0.05) and did not inhibit proteolytic activity of MPV venom (p>0.05) [16]. Demethylwedelolactone was identified as the major constituent. [16]

Methanolic extracts of in natura aerial parts and roots of E. prostrata (20 mg/mL), both native and genetically modified with Agrobacterium rhizogenes (in vitro) were prepared and analysed using high-performance liquid chromatography. In natura extracts displayed higher concentration of coumestan wedelolactone in the aerial parts while demethylwedelolactone was higher in the roots; in natura extracts efficiently inhibited snake venom phospholipase A2 activity of Crotalus durissus terrificus and Bothrops jararacussu. In in vitro study, the isolated coumestans (wedelolactone and demethylwedelolactone) inhibited myotoxic activity induced by phospholipase A2 in both species. [17]

Hair growth promoting activity

Methanol extract of E. prostrata whole dried plant (1.6 and 3.2 mg/cm2) applied topically on C57BL6 mice for ten consecutive days exhibited dose dependent activity for promoting hair growth. The activity was assessed by examining the melanogenesis in resected skin, follicle count in the subcutis, skin thickness and surrogate markers in vehicle control (Minoxidil) and extract treated animals (p<0.001). [18]

Anti-inflammatory activity

Methanol extract of E. prostrata leaves (100-200 mg/kg, p.o.) was investigated for anti-inflammatory activity in albino Wistar rats (160 – 180 g). It showed marked dose dependent activity in carrageenin and egg-white induced hind paw oedema in rats (p<0.01) compared to standard drug Indomethacin (10 mg/kg) and cyproheptadine (8 mg/kg). [19]

Antihyperglycemic activity

Oral administration of leaf suspension of E. prostrata (2 and 4 g/kg) into alloxan-diabetic male albino Wistar rats for 60 days significantly reduced blood glucose, glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c), the activities of glucose-6 phosphatase and fructose1,6-bisphosphatase, and increased the activity of liver hexokinase (p<0.05) compared to glibenclamide (600 µg/kg). E. alba at 2 g/kg body weight dose displayed better sugar reduction than 4 g/kg (p<0.05) [20].

Neuropharmacological activity

The aqueous and hydroalcoholic extracts (150 and 300 mg/kg) and hydrolysed fraction of the aqueous extract (30 mg/kg) of E. prostrata whole plant were subjected to neuropharmacological on Wistar rats of either sex. Single dose administration was given orally and observed for sedative, muscle-relaxant, anxiolytic, nootropic and anti-stress activities up to 7 days. Nootropic activity was observed at the dose of 300 mg/kg of aqueous extract and 30 mg/kg of its hydrolyzed fraction (p>0.01). The effect of the extracts on stress-induced alterations showed that the aqueous extract and the hydrolyzed fraction provided protection against cold restraint induced gastric ulcer formation and normalized the white blood cell count in the milk induced leukocytosis challenge model (p>0.01). The results were compared to standard drug Piracetam (100 mg/kg) and Diazepam (2 mg/kg). [21]

The aqueous extract of E. prostrata leaves (100 and 200 mg/kg, p.o) was administered to Wistar and Swiss albino rats to evaluate Transfer Latency on an elevated plus maze. Mice were placed at the centre of open field apparatus to assess spatial habitual learning, observed for 20 minutes for rearing and time spent during rearing using varied doses for 30 minutes, 24 hours and 96 hours and 144 hrs. The results revealed significant improvement of retrieval memory (p<0.05) compared to control. [22]

Osteoblast differentiation activity

One flavonoid, diosmetin, and two isoflavonoids, 3′-hydroxybiochanin A and 3′-O-methylorobol isolated from the methanol extract of E. prostrata aerial parts using in vitro primary cultures of mouse calvarial osteoblasts significantly increased the ALP activity assay at concentrations ranging from 1.0 to 25.0 µM (p<0.01) however did not show significant effects on osteoblast proliferation in MTT assay. [23]

The volatile components and ethanolic extract of E. prostrata aerial parts (1-100 μg/mL) significantly (p < 0.01) stimulated the proliferation and differentiation of Sprague–Dawley rat primary osteoblasts by the MTT method as measured by the activity of alkaline phosphatase (ALP activity) as compared to control. [24]

Osteoprotective activity

Echinocystic acid (EA), a naturally occurring triterpone found in E. prostrata was examined for osteoprotective effect in three-month old female ovariectomy (OVX)-induced Sprague-Dawley rats. Administration of EA (5 and 15 mg/kg/day) for 12 weeks improved biomechanical property of the femur (p<0.01), prevented alterations of bone metabolic biomarkers levels in OVX rats, including osteo-calcin, alkaline phosphatese, deoxypyridinoline, urinary calcium and phosphorus. EA (5 and 15 mg/kg/day) also could improve the total bone mineral density in the femur caused by OVX. Only high dose (15 mg/kg/day) of EA significantly improved trabecular architecture (p<0.01). In addition, EA treatment reduced the serum levels of IL-1β and TNF-α in OVX rats. [25]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

In a clinical trial to examine the effectiveness of herbal medications in the treatment of acne vulgaris, 76 patients aged between 16 to 24 with grade II and III acne vulgaris were given the combination of topical Clarina cream (a herbal medication containing Aloe barbadensis, Alternanthera sessilis and Rubia cordifolia) and Purim tablets (containing extract of different herbs including E. prostrata). The Clarina cream was applied topically on the affected area 2-3 times daily along with simultaneous oral intake of Purim 2 tablets twice daily for 4 weeks. 56.25% and 38.30% patients with grade II and III respectively showed excellent response while 43.75% and 56.66% patients with grade II and III respectively showed good response at the end of 4 weeks, with significant symptomatic relief and reduction in skin lesions. There was no side effects observed. [11]


No documentation.

Interaction & Depletion

No documentation.


No documentation.


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of E. prostrata [4]


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