Celosia argentea L.

Last updated: 12 May 2016

Scientific Name

Celosia argentea L.


Amaranthus cristatus Noronha, Amaranthus huttonii H.J.Veitch, Amaranthus purpureus Nieuwl., Amaranthus pyramidalis Noronha, Celosia argentea f. argentea, Celosia argentea var. argentea, Celosia argentea f. cristata (L.) Schinz, Celosia argentea var. cristata (L.) Kuntze, Celosia aurea T.Moore, Celosia castrensis L., Celosia cernua Roxb. [Illegitimate], Celosia coccinea L., Celosia comosa Retz., Celosia cristata L., Celosia debilis S.Moore, Celosia huttonii Mast., Celosia japonica Houtt., Celosia japonica Mart., Celosia linearis Sweet ex Hook.f. [Invalid], Celosia margaritacea L., Celosia marylandica Retz., Celosia pallida Salisb., Celosia plumosa (Voss) Burv., Celosia purpurea J.St.-Hil., Celosia purpurea A.St.-Hil. ex Steud., Celosia pyramidalis Burm.f., Celosia splendens Schumach. & Thonn., Celosia swinhoei Hemsl., Chamissoa margaritacea (L.) Schouw. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Bayam merah [2]
English Celosia, cock’s comb, common cock’s comb, feather cock’s comb, Lagos spinach, quail grass, red fox, soko [2]
China Ch’ing hsiang, chi kuan, ji guan hua, k’un lun ts’ao (plant from Kunlun), qing xiang, qing xiang, qing xiang zi, yeh chi kuan (wild cock’s comb). [2]
India Anesoppu, barhichuda, baruva, belutta-adeca-manjen, cavarcuttuppannai, cerucira, cevarpannai, choal, debkoti, ettakodiyuttatotakuru, gadrya, garkha, gunugu, guruvu kura, hunjada juttu, indivara, kanne hoo, khadaka thira, kodi juttu, kodijuttutotakura, komdba (cock), kukda pakki, kurada, kuruntika, kurutah, lampadi, lenga shak, maaravaadi hoo, makili-k-kirai, mayurachuda, morag phool, motiyu, mullancira, panchechettu, pannai, pattura, safed murga ka phul, sahasrahi, sushika, thathania, velud. [2]
Indonesia Jengger ayam. [2]
Bangladesh Soo-non bom. [2]
Bali Bungan janggar siap. [2]
Japan Keitô, no-geitô (wild Celosia). [2]
Tanzania Funga-mizinga, mfungu, songoro-malidadi. [2]
Yoruba Efo odo, soko yokoto, sokoto [2].

Geographical Distributions

Celosia argentea were cultivated as vegetable in Nigeria and Benin and is frequently produced during the dry season in so-called ‘fadama’. [3]

Botanical Description

C. argentea is a member of the Amaranthaceae family. It is an erect annual herb that can reach up to 2m high. The stem is ridged, glabrous and branching profusely. [3]

The leaves are simple, alternate without stipules. The petiole is indistinctly demarcated. The blade is ovate to lanceolate-obling or narrowly linear. They measures 15-20cm long and 7-9cm wide, tapering at base and acute to obtuse and shortly mucronate at the apex. The margin is entire, the leaf surface is glabrous and venations pinnate. [3]

The inflorescence is a dense, multiple flowered spike, at first conical but becoming cylindrical up to 20cm long. [3]

The flowers are small, bisexual, regular, 5-merous, tepals free, narrowly elliptical-oblong, 6-10mm long. The stamens are fused at the base. The ovary is superior, 1-celled with style filiform, up to 7mm long. The stigmas are 2-3 in numbers, very short. [3]

The fruit is ovoid to globose 3-4 mm long, circum-sessile. [3]

The seeds are lenticular, 1.0-1.5 mm long, black and shiny and shallowly reticulate. [3]


No documentation

Chemical Constituent

C. argentea has been reported to contain contain 2-descarboxy-betanidin; 3-methoxytyramine, 4-O-β-D-apifuranosyl-(1→2)-β-D-glucopyranosyl-2-hydroxy-6-methoxyacetophenone, amaranthin, betalimic acid, celogenamide A, celogentin A-D, celogentin H, celogentin J, celogentin K, celosian, celosin E, celogentin F, celogentin G, cristatain, dopamine, lyciumin A methylate, lyciumin C methylate, moroidin, nicotinic acid, and (S)-tryptophan. [4]

Plant Part Used

Seed, leaves, root. [2]

Traditional Use

C. argentea was used traditionally in Ayurveda and Sidha. Dried plant powder used for menstrual irregularities. Flowers and seeds in diarrhea, urinary troubles and excessive menstrual discharge; seeds, roots and leaves for urinary disorders stomach complaints. Root paste applied all over the body as febrifuge, to cure fever with shivering; root juice cooling. Seeds with antimetastatic and immunomodulating properties, used for eye troubles, acute conjunctivitis, uveitis, keratitis, diarrhoea, blood diseases, mouth sores, inflorescences for epistaxis, diarrhoea, hemmorhoidal bleeding, leucorrhoea, functional uterine bleeding, hematuria. Leaves antipyretic, mild laxatives, antihepatotoxic, aphrodisiac, pounded with lime applied on fresh cuts, back ache and wounds, also used as cosmetic substances for skin depigmentation; leaves eaten for digestion. [2]

Preclinical Data


Anti-DNP suppressive activity

The extract of C. argentea was found to have the ability to markedly suppress the Anti-DNP IgE production in rats. This could render it useful for use in suppression of IgE antibody in some allergic conditions. [5]

Immunomodulating activity

The seeds of C. argentea contain an acidic polysaccharide called celosian which exhibit immunomodulating activity. The seed of C. argentea helps in inducing tumour necrosis factor-alfa (TNF-alpha) production in mice. It also induced the production of interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) and nitric oxide (NO) in macrophage cell line J774.1. The seed of C. argentea also encouraged IL-1 beta secretion in human mononuclear cells and enhanced gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) production activity of concanavalin A in mice spleen while alone no significant influence was seen. [6]

Hepatoprotective Activity

The celosian was found to have the ability to inhibit elevation of serum enzyme (GPT, GOT, LDH) and bilirubin levels in carbon tetrachloride-induced liver injuries in rats. It also suppressed the rise of GPT or mortality in fulminant hepatitis in mice. Thus, its hepatoprotective activity can be considered two-pronged i.e. chemical and immunological. [7]

Antimetastatic activity

The extract of C. argentea seeds was found to inhibit liver metastatis following intraportal injection of colon 26-L5 carcinoma cells after 7 days after intreperitoneal injection of the extract. The inhibitory mechanism is likely to be associated with activation of macrophages as evidenced by inactivity of the extract when macrophages were removed from the system. This is effect then is related to its immunomodulating properties including induction of the cytokines i.e. IL-12, IL-2 and IFN-gamma leading to a Th1 dominant immune state and activating macrophages to tumericidal state. [8]

Antioxidant activity

The aqueous extract of C. argentea leaves was able to attenuate Cd-induced oxidative stress attributable to the presence of phenolic (3.26%) and flavonoid (2.38%) compounds in the extract. This is done probably through induction of antioxidant enzymes and scavenging of free radicals. [9]

Antidiarrhoeal activity

The alcoholic extract of C. argentea leaves proved to be an effective antidiarrhoeal in a dose dependent manner. The antidiarrhoeal activity was found to be centrally mediated, through inhibition of PGE(2) and anti-muscarinic activity. [10]

Wound healing activity

The alcoholic extract of C. argentea leaves in a formulated ointment (10% w/w) enhances healing in a rat burn wound model. This was seen to be through its ability to promote cell motility and proliferation of primary dermal fibroblast. This is through mitogenic and motogenic promotion of dermal fibroblasts. [11]

Antidiabetic activity

The alcoholic extract of C. argentea seeds exhibited antidiabetic activity in a dose dependent manner. It was able to normalize elevated blood glucose level in alloxan-induced diabetic rats while at the same time decrease the body weight. [12]


No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing

No documentation


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Celosia argentea L. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2016 May 12]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2707791
  2. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume II C-D. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 171.
  3. Grubben GJH, Denton OA. Plant Resources of Tropical Africa 2. Vegetables. Wageningen, Netherlands: PROTA Foundation/Backhuys Publishers/CTA; 2004.
  4. Koh HL, Kian CT, Tan KH. A guide to medicinal plants: An illustrated, scientific and medicinal approach. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd, 2009; p. 297
  5. Imaoka K, Ushijima H, Inouye S, Takahashi T, Kojima Y. Effects of Celosia argentea and Cucurbita moschata extracts on anti-DNP IgE antibody production in mice. Jpn J Allergology. 1994;43(5):652-659.
  6. Hase K, Basnet P, Kadota S, Namba T. Immunostimulating activity of Celosian, an antihepatotoxic polysaccharide isolated from Celosia argentea. Planta Medica. 1997;63(3):216-219.
  7. Hase K, Kadota S, Basnet P, Takahashi T, Namba T. Protective effect of celosian, an acidic polysaccharide, on chemically and immunologically induced liver injuries. Biol Pharm Bull. 1996;19(4):567-72.
  8. Hayakawa Y, Fujii H, Hase K, Ohnishi Y, Sakukawa R, Kadota S, Namba T, Saiki I. Anti-metastatic and immunomodulating properties of the water extract from Celosia argentea seeds. Biol and Pharm Bull. 1998;21(11):1154-1159.
  9. Malomo SO, Ore A, Yakubu MT. In vitro and in vivo antioxidant activities of the aqueous extract of Celosia argentea leaves. Indian J Pharm. 2011;43(3):278-285.
  10. Sharma P, Vidyasagar G, Singh S, Ghule S, Kumar B. Antidiarrhoeal activity of leaf extract of Celosia argentea in experimentally induced diarrhoea in rats. J Adv Pharm Tech Res. 2010;1(1):41-48.
  11. Priya KS, Arumugam G, Rathinam B, Wells A, Babu M. Celosia argentea Linn. leaf extract improves wound healing in a rat burn wound model. Wound Repair Regen. 2004;12(6):618-625.
  12. Vetrichelvan T, Jegadeesan M, Devi BA. Anti-diabetic activity of alcoholic extract of Celosia argentea Linn. seeds in rats. Biol Pharm Bull. 2002;25(4):526-528.