Scoparia dulcis L.

Last updated: 07 Nov 2016

Scientific Name

Scoparia dulcis L.


Ambulia micrantha Raf., Capraria dulcis (L.) Kuntze, Capraria dulcis var. albiflora Kuntze, Capraria dulcis var. coerulea Kuntze, Gratiola micrantha Nutt., Scoparia dulcis var. tenuifolia Griseb., Scoparia grandiflora Nash, Scoparia nudicaulis Chodat & Hassl., Scoparia procumbens Jacq., Scoparia purpurea Ridl., Scoparia ternata Forssk. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Bunga baik salam, cha padang, dulis, pokok delis, pokok kelambu, te Macao, teh makao, teh makau [2]
English Macao tea, sweet broom, sweet broomweed, teeth bush [2]
China Ye gan cao [2]
India Atisirsa, bamunimara, ban dhane, bangangai, bhui-champa, bonogajari, noradajing, chinibuta, chinimadur, chirarita, chirarital, diri cham pair, dumbang, ghodatulsi, grounsi, janatong, jarpapda, jastimadhu, junikher, khetapa-pada, khongbaicheik, manithumbe, gida, mashla, masola, mirchi, mitha ghas, mithapata, mithasagar, mithi patti, mithighaas, mrigandhi gida, mrugandhi gida, neernangai, oosari, perhpawngchaw, potti boli, re-asau, samnokhop, sarakkotthini, sarakotthini, seni bon, shaora, shaora, tand-dhanya [2]
Nepal Chinijhar [2]
Bangladesh Bondhonia, dujhanga [2]
Indonesia Djakatuwa, gindjé djepun, gindjé menir, ginje jepun, ginje menir, jakatuwa, rumput patimah [2]
Thailand Kratai chaam yai, mafia duean ha, yaa hua maeng hun [2]
Philippines Hibi-hibihan, isa-isa, isisa, kacha-kachahan, mala-anis, malaamis, malismalisan, sampalokan [2]
Vietnam Cam thao dat, cam th[ar]o d[aas]t, cam thao nam, cam th[ar]o nam, da cam thao, d[ax] cam th[ar]o [2]
Japan Seitaka-kanabiki-sô [2]
French Guiana Balai-doux, herbe à balai, herbe à balai sauvage, petit balai à grains [2]
Benin Vivitèton [2]
Burkina Faso Boroémia, guékan, kouiguin, timin-timin [2]
Congo Ginge, oye, oyê [2]
Gabon Buko-bu-lyamba, buko-bwa-lyamba, dugadji-du-bakongu, dugandaga-dwa-dimbu, évoyè, ézombolo, kaké-lyamba, lépèrè, mulyalyamba, munyanyanga, ndènghè, ogandag-igondjo, ogoi-a-dyamba, ogoi-a-lyamba, ogoï-a-lyamba, osimyale, pito-di-mbodu, voyé, woyè [2]
Ivory Coast Boroémia, guékan [2]
Madagascar Anatsina, famafampanavy, famafatambo, jamalamprika, mamiaho, tsinjiajia [2]
Niger Argumm, kabou beri, puma fâda [2]
Nigeria Atioto usa, bimobimo, mayinmayin, mesaenmesen gogoro, misimis-gogo, olomu yinrin, omisinmisin gogoro, ufu ija [2]
Sierra Leone Pondo livali. [2]

Geographical Distributions

Scoparia dulcis is native of tropical America, but has long since become a pantropical weed. It is widely distributed throughout Philippines in settled areas at low to medium altitudes along roadsides, sides of ditches, and other more or less shaded and moist places. [3]

Botanical Description

S. dulcis is a member of Scrophulariaceae family. It is an annual to perennial, erect, much branched herb size up to 20-75 cm tall, hairless with 4-6-striate. [4]

Leaves are arranged opposite or 3-4-whorled, oblong-lance-shaped to oblong-reverse egg-shaped, 0.5-3.5 cm x 0.2-1.5 cm. The base is attenuate while apex is acute. Their margin is coarsely acute serrate, hairless above but gland-dotted beneath. The stalk is 0.5-1 cm long with no stipules. [4]

Flowers arise from the axils, bisexual, radial symmetrical, regularly with 1-4-fascicled. The individual flower stalk is 3-7 mm long. The sepal is deeply 4-lobed, 2 mm long, with size increasing to 2.5 mm in fruit. The lobes are oblong-ovate and slightly acute. Their petal is white or very pale-purple, sometimes with darker centre, which is deeply 4-lobed and oblong with a size of 3 mm long. The apex is obtuse, with dense and long white hairs on the inside of its throat. The 4 stamens are slightly equal, erect while filaments are slender, 2 mm long. The ovary is superior, 2-celled and hairless while style is slender, 1.5 mm long with stigma headed. [4]

Fruit is a slightly spherical capsule, 2.5-3 mm long, 4-valved and thin-walled, yellowish-brown while seeds are numerous. [4]

Seed is oblong-spherical to ovoid, 0.5-0.6 mm x 0.3-0.4 mm, angular, covered with brown, thin, reticulate outer coat. Seedling germinates above the ground, the cotyledons are rhomboid, up to 2.2 mm long and smooth. The stalk is small with above ground young stem is 1.5-4 mm long, 4-angular. The first leaves are 2 and supported by small stalk, egg-shaped, up to 6 mm long and dotted glandular. The margin is with rounded teeth and the main vein is present. [4]


S. dulcis is a common weed on waste ground, along roads, in dry deciduous forest and dry ice fields, from sea level up to 700 m altitude. It prefers region ranging from ever wet conditions to a prolonged dry season, and grows on all kinds of soils. [4]

Chemical Constituent

Crude extract of aerial parts of S. dulcis has been reported to contain diterpenes (e.g. iso-dulcinol, 4-epi-scopadulcic acid B, dulcidiol, scopanolal, dulcinol, scopadulciol, and scopadiol) [5] and scopadulane-type diterpenoids 4-7 [6].

S. dulcis has been reported to contain a flavone glycoside 5,7,8,3’,4’,5’-hexahydroxyflavone 7-O-b-D-glucuronide and a diterpene 6-benzoyl-labda-8(17) [7], 13-diene-15,18-diol [8], and 6-methoxybenzoxazolinone that was obtained from its roots [9].

Plant Part Used

Whole plant and leaves. [10]

Traditional Use

Indigenous people in Ecuador consume tea of the entire plant to reduce swellings, aches and pains. The Tikuna Indian women drink the plant decoction for three days each month during menstruation as a contraceptive and/or to induce abortions. The indigenous tribes in Nicaragua use a hot water infusion and/or decoction of the leaves (or the whole plant) for stomach pain, for menstrual disorders, as an aid in childbirth, as a blood purifier, for insect bites, fevers, heart problems, liver and stomach disorders, malaria, sexually transmitted diseases, and as a general tonic. [10]

Preclinical Data


Antiulcer activity

Aqueous extracts (AE) of the aerial parts of S. dulcis has been demonstrated to exhibit gastroprotective activity in rodent models. Administration of AE to animals with 4h pylorus ligature potently reduced the gastric secretion. The AE also inhibited the histamine- or bethanechol-stimulated gastric secretion in pylorus-ligated mice with similar potency suggesting inhibition of the proton pump. The AE inhibited the establishment of acute gastric lesions induced in rats by indomethacin.  No influence of the AE on gastrointestinal transit allowed discarding a possible CNS or a cholinergic interaction in the inhibition of gastric secretion by the AE. [11]

The water extracts of the whole aerial parts of S. dulcis, at doses of 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg, dose-dependently has been reported to inhibit the indomethacin-induced gastric damages in rats. [12]

Cytotoxicity activity

Four new diterpenes, iso-dulcinol, 4-epi-scopadulcic acid, dulcidion and scopanolal were isolated from the aerial parts of S. dulcis and had their structures extensively determined by NMR studies. Study of the crude extracts and pure diterpenes against a panel of six human cancer cell lines showed indication of cytotoxicity. [5]

Four scopadulane-type diterpenoids which includes scopadulcic acid C were isolated from the aerial parts of S. dulcis. All were tested for their cytotoxic effects on human epidermoid carcinoma KB cells. The plant extracts showed potent IC50 of 2.5, 2, 4, and 50 mg/mL, respectively, in the 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) cytotoxic assay against KB cells. [6]

Antidiabetic activity

Aqueous extract of S. dulcis has been demonstrated to exhibit antidiabetic activity in animal models. The administration of aqueous extract of S. dulcis at a dose of 200 mg/kg body weight significantly decreased the blood glucose with significant increase in plasma insulin level in streptozotocin diabetic rats at the end of 15 days treatment. [13]

Aqueous extract of S. dulcis has been demonstrated antidiabetic activity on streptozotocin (STZ) treated rat insulinoma cell lines (RINm5F cells) and isolated islets in vitro and in vivo. The aqueous extract induced stimulation of insulin secretion from isolated pancreatic islet cells indicating its insulin secretagogue activity. SPEt protected against STZ-mediated cytotoxicity (88%) and nitric oxide production in rat insulinoma cell line (RINm5F). Flow cytometric assessment demonstrated that SPEt suppressed (21%) the level of STZ-induced (46%) intracellular oxidative stress in RINm5F cells. [14]

Aqueous, ethanol and chloroform extracts of S. dulcis were orally administered at doses of 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg body weight respectively for 3 weeks, after which the metabolic enzymes were assayed. In diabetic rats, the levels of blood glucose, glucose 6-phosphatase and fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase were significantly increased and plasma insulin, hexokinase. Glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase and glycogen were significantly decreased. Diabetic rats treated with SPEt significantly reversed all these changes to near normal. Aqueous extract of S. dulcis demonstrated better results than ethanol and chloroform extracts. These results indicate that the aqueous extract of S. dulcis showed antihyperglycaemic effect by moderating the above biochemical alterations in streptozotocin diabetes. [15]

Antioxidant activity

Antioxidant activity of aqueous extract of S. dulcis was investigated in vitro using thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) assay based on fowl egg yolk. The extract showed marked and dose-dependent antioxidative activity in vitro. The results support the therapeutic effects claimed by traditional practitioners. [16]

Aqueous extract of S. dulcis (SPEt) has been reported to extent of oxidative damage as well as the status of the antioxidant defense system in the brain of STZ diabetic rats. The study was assessed after 6 weeks treatment and the effect produced by S. dulcis was compared with glibenclamide. Oral administration of SPEt and glibenclamide to diabetic-induced rats significantly reduced the glucose blood level and increased the plasma insulin level to near normal levels. The levels of lipidperoxidation markers (TBARS and hydroperoxides) in the brain were significantly reduced suggesting that SPEt possesses antioxidant potential that may be used for therapeutic purposes. [17]

Antiviral activity

Five diterpenoids isolated from S. dulcis were examined in vitro against herpes simplex virus type 1 in a hamster test model. Only scopadulcic acid B was found to inhibit the viral replication by interfering with considerably early events of virus growth as indicated by single-cycle replication experiments. Scopadulcic acid B, when applied orally or intraperitoneally immediately following virus inoculation effectively prolonged both the appearance of herpetic lesions and the survival time at the dose of 100 and 200 mg/kg per day. [18]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

No documentation.


No documentation.

Side effects

No documentation.

Pregnancy/Breast Feeding

It is advisable to avoid taking S. dulcis during pregnancy as traditionally it has been used as an abortive. [10]

Age limitation

No documentation.

Adverse reaction

No documentation.

Interaction & Depletion

Interaction with drug

One human study documented that an ethanol extract of S. dulcis inhibited radioligand binding to dopamine and seratonin. Another study reported that a water extract given intragastrically to rats potentiated the effects of barbiturates. As such, it is possible that S. dulcis may enhance the effect of barbiturates and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants. [10]

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation.


It is advisable to avoid taking S. dulcis during pregnancy as traditionally it has been used as an abortive and /or childbirth aid. [10]

The plant extract demonstrated hypoglycaemic activity in experimental rats, as such this plant is contraindicated in people with hypoglycaemia. [10]

Case Report

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of S. dulcis [4]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Scoparia dulcis L. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2016 Nov 07]. Available from:
  2. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume V R-Z. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 208-209.
  3. Phillippines Medicinal Plants. Mala-anis. Scoparia dulcis Linn. [homepage on the Internet]. No date [updated 2016 Sept; cited 2016 Nov 07]. Available from:
  4. Aguilar NO, Schmelzer GH. Scoparia dulcis L. In: van Valkenburg JLCH, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant resources of South-East Asia No. 12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher, 2001; p. 493-496.
  5. Ahsan M, Islam SK, Gray AI, Stimson WH. Cytotoxic diterpenes from Scoparia dulcis. J Nat Prod. 2003;66(7):958-961.
  6. Phan MG, Phan TS, Matsunami K, Otsuka H. Chemical and biological evaluation on scopadulane-type diterpenoids from Scoparia dulcis of Vietnamese origin. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2006;54(4):546-549.
  7. Kawasaki M, Hayashi T, Arisawa M, Morita N, Berganza LH. 8-hydroxytricetin 7-glucuronide, a beta-glucuronidase inhibitor Scoparia dulcis. Phytochem. 1988;27(11):3709-3711.
  8. Hayashi T, Okamura K, Tamada Y, Morita N. A new chemotype of Scoparia dulcis. Phytochem. 1993;32(2):349-352.
  9. Chen CM, Chen MT. 6-methoxybenzoxazolinone and triterpenoids from roots of Scoparia dulcis. Phytochem. 1976;15(12):1997-1999.
  10. Taylor L. The healing power of rainforest herbs: A guide to understanding and using herbal medicinals. New York: Square One Publishers; 2005.
  11. Mesía-Vela S, Bielvsky M, Torres LMB, et al. In vivo inhibition of gastric acid secretion by the aqueous extract of Scoparia dulcis L. in rodents. J Ethnopharmacol. 2007;111(2):403-408.
  12. Babincová M, Schronerová K, Sourivong P. Antiulcer activity of water extract of Scoparia dulcis. Fitoterapia. 2008;79(7-8):587-588.
  13. Latha M, Pari L, Sitasawad S, Bhonde R. Insulin-secretagogue activity and cytoprotective role of the traditional antidiabetic plant Scoparia dulcis (sweet broomweed). Life Sci. 2004;75(16):2003-2014.
  14. Latha M, Pari L, Sitasawad S, Bhonde R. Scoparia dulcis, a traditional antidiabetic plant, protects against streptozotocin induced oxidative stress and apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. J Biochem Mol Toxicol. 2004;18(5):261-272.
  15. Pari L, Latha M. Antihyperglycaemic effect of Scoparia dulcis: Effect onkey metabolic enzymes of carbohydrate metabolism in streptozotocin-induced diabetes. Pharm Biol. 2005;42(8):570-576.
  16. Ratnasooriva WD, Jayakody JR, Premakumara GA, Ediriweera ER. Antioxidant activity of water extract of Scoparia dulcis. Fitoterapia. 2005;76(2):220-222.
  17. Pari L, Latha M. Protective role of Scoparia dulcis plant extract on brain antioxidant status and lipidperoxidation in STZ diabetic male Wistar rats. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2004;4(16).
  18. Hayashi K, Niwayama S, Hayashi T, Nago R, Ochiai H, Morita N. In vitro and in vivo antiviral activity of scopadulcic acid B from Scoparia dulcis, Scrophulariaceae, against herpes simplex virus type 1. Antiviral Res. 1988;9(6):345-354.