Euphorbia antiquorum L.

Last updated: 21 Apr 2016

Scientific Name

Euphorbia antiquorum L.


Euphorbia antiquorum var. polygona Wight, Euphorbia arborescens Roxb. [Illegitimate], Euphorbia mayuranathanii Corizat, Tithymalus antiquorus (L.) Moench. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Sesudu, sudu, sudu-sudu, teras sudu [2]
English Ancients’ euphorb, fleshy spurge, Malayan spurge, Malayan spurge tree, triangular spurge [2]
China Huo ying le, huo yang le [2]
India Bajvaran, bajvarun, burre jemudu, ekete, elete, hiju-araung, hiju-araung karbis, hijuarong, sid daru, siju, tikta, tridhar sehud, tridhara, tridhara-sehund [2]
Indonesia Sudu-sudu, susudu, susuru [2]
Thailand Kalam-phak, keu ceh, khia phaa, sa-lat-dai, salatdai paa [2]
Laos Lep nguak [2]
Cambodia Chan bat day [2]
Vietnam X[uw][ow]ng r[oof]ng, x[uwl][ow]ng r[oof]ng c[aj]nh [2]
Japan Fukuro-gi. [2]

Geographical Distributions

No documentation.

Botanical Description

Euphorbia antiquorum is a member of the Euphorbiaceae family. It is a succulent plant which is usually leafless and can reach a height of up to 8 m with a stem diameter of 22 cm. [1][3]

The older stems are terete, with brownish bark while younger branches are smooth, green and distinctly angled, distinctly articulate with the segments 6-30 x 2-5 cm, drying greenish with shallow to hardly narrowed sinuses between the spine shields. The spine-shields are arranged in rows, shallow, 1.5-2 cm apart, spines in pairs 4-6 mm long, blackish and persistent. Stipules are transformed into spines. [3]

The leaves when present are alternate, caducous. Cyathia are axillary, yellow, solitary or in dichasia of 3, that measure of less than 2 cm long. The basal peduncle is 4-6 mm long. The bracts of branching are 2 mm long. The peduncle of individual cyathia is 1 mm or 4-6 mm (bisexual cyathia) long. The involucral bracts are measured of 1.5-2 mm long. The cyathia are sessile in involucres arrangement. There are 5 glands that are transversely elliptic, measured of 1 x 2.5-3 mm, without appendages and interspersed with erect smaller lobes. The pistillate flowers are nearly sessile in involucre. [3]

The fruits are yellow-orange in colour located on a pedicel which is 1-3 mm long. The schizocarp is 4-4.5 x 6.5-7 mm deeply sulcate and sharply keeled. The seeds are 1.5-2 mm, pale to grey brown, ecarunculate. [3]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

Extract of E. antiquorum latex has been reported to contain eupha-7,9(11),24-trien-3β-ol (antiquol C), 19(10-->9)abeo-8α,9β,10α-eupha-5,24-dien-3β-ol (antiquol B), 24-methyltirucalla-8,24(24(1))-dien-3β-ol (4; euphorbol). [4] euphol, lemmaphylla-7,21-dien-3β-ol, isohelianol, and camelliol C; euphol 3-O-cinnamate, antiquol A, antiquol B, euphol, 24-methylenecycloartanol, cycloeucalenol, (Z)-9-nonacosene, sitosterol and p-acetoxyphenol. [4][5]

E. antiquorum extract has been reported to contain triterpene compounds (e.g. friedelan-3ß-ol and ß-taraxerol. [6]

Plant Part Used

Roots, stems [3][7]

Traditional Use

The roots of E. antiquorum is considered bitter, acrid, thermogenis, anodyne, purgative, emetic, stomachic and digestive while the juice is acrid, anti-inflammatory, deobstruant and purgative. [3]

The roots are also considered as purgative apart from being a stomachic, a digestive and an emetic. [3] It is being used to treat flatulance, colic, constipation and dyspepsia in India. The roots are also used to treat worm infestations. [7]

In India the plant is boiled with gingilie oil and used as an external application for rheumatic affections. The same is used to deaden the pains of toothache and is applied locally to the affected tooth. Decoction of the stem is used in the treatment of gout. [7]

Other uses of the plant include treatment of otalgia and deafness; dropsy and anasarca; sores including venereal sores and scabies; cough, bronchitis and asthma and also tuberculosis. [3][7]

Preclinical Data


Cytotoxic activity:

A total of seven compound isolated from the latex of E. antiquorum (antiquol B and C, euphorbol, euphol, lemmaphylla-7,21-dien-3b-ol, isohelianol and camelliol) showed potent inhibitory effects on Epstein-Barr virus early antigen (EBV-EA) activation by the tumour promoter 12-O-tetradecanolyphorbol-13-acetate(TPA). [4]

E. antiquorum (EA-1) significantly showed S phase arrest in HeLa and Ca Ski cells. The comet assay confirmed that EA-1 could lead DNA fragment outflow form HeLa cell. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) were increased after cells treated with EA-1. Cyclosporine A and Allopurinol could decreased the levels of EA-1-induced ROS. Form western blotting analysis, EA-1 could decrease cyclin dependent kinases Cdk2 and cyclin B1, cyclin E and cyclin A.  EA-1 increased the cyclin- dependent kinase inhibitors p21wafl/cipl P27Kip. EA-1 could increase the ATM, CHK2 and decrease Cdc25A, Cdc25C, Bcl-2 and ERK-P levels. EA-1 increased the JNK-P and P38-P levels. EA-1 also increased Bid and Bax pathway and increase cleaved-caspase 8, cleaved-caspase 9, cleaved-caspase 3 and cytochrome C protein levels. Furthermore EA-1-mediated caspase activation was blocked by SP600125 but lethality was not diminished by SB203580. In conclusion, we suggest ATM induced DNA injury might as the major possible mechanisms of EA-1-induced S phase cell cycle arrest and caspases activation might as the major possible mechanisms of EA-1-induced apoptosis in human cervical cancer Hela cell lines. [8]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.

Line drawing

No documentation.


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Euphorbia antiquorum L. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23, cited 2016 Apr 21]. Available from:
  2. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume III E-L. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 162-163.
  3. Warrier PK. India medicinal plants: A compendium of 500 species. Volume 2. Orient Blackswan, 1997; p. 388.
  4. Akihisa T, Kithsiri Wijeratne EM, Tokuda H, et al. Eupha-7,9(11),24-trien-3beta-ol (“antiquol C”) and other triterpenes from Euphorbia antiquorum latex and their inhibitory effects on Epstein-Barr virus activation. J Nat Prod. 2002;65(2):158-162.
  5. Gewali M, Hattori M, Tezuka Y, Namba T. Constituents of the latex of Euphorbia antiquorum. Phytochem. 1990;29(5):1625-1628.
  6. Min ZD, Mizuo M, Tosyiyuki T, Munekazu L, Xu GY, Huang Q. A diterpene from Euphorbia antiquorum. Phyochem. 1989;28(2):553-555.
  7. Khare CP. Indian medicinal plants: An illustrated dictionary. Berlin: Springer Verlag, 2007; p. 250.
  8. Wencong X, Chen HJ, Hsu JS, Jingguang Z, editors. The molecular mechanism of EA-1 inhibited growth in human cervical cancer Hela cell. Proceedings of the 15th World Congress of Pharmacology; 2006.