Oldenlandia corymbosa L.

Last updated: 12 October 12, 2016

Scientific Name

Oldenlandia corymbosa L.


Gerontogea biflora Cham. & Schltdl. Gerontogea corymbosa (L.) Cham. & Schltdl. Gerontogea herbacea Cham. & Schltdl. Hedyotis corymbosa (L.) Lam. Hedyotis depressa (Willd.) Roem. & Schult. Hedyotis diantha Schult. Hedyotis graminicola Kurz , Hedyotis intermedia Wight & Arn.           Oldenlandia capillaris DC. Oldenlandia depressa Willd. Oldenlandia mollugoides O.Schwarz, Oldenlandia praetermissa Bremek. Oldenlandia pseudocorymbosa (Bakh.f.) Raizada, Oldenlandia ramosa Roxb. Oldenlandia scabrida DC. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Siku-siku, lidah ular, pokok telur belangkas, siku dengan [2]
English Old-world diamond flower, flat-top mille graines, diamond flower, wild chayroot [3]
China Shui xian cao, baihua she she cao [2]
India Daman pappar, pitpapra (Hindi); parpata hullu (Kanada); parppatakappullu, parppatakam (Malayalam); parpatah, parpatakah (Sanskrit); parpatagam (Tamil); vernela-vemu (Telagu) [3]
Indonesia Rumput mutiara, rumput siku-siku, bunga telor belungkas (Indonesia); daun mutiara, (Jakarta); katepan, urek-urek polo (Java); pengka (Makasar) [2]
Nepals: Piringo [2]
Sri Lanka
Wal-patpadagam [2]
Philippines Mala-ulasiman-aso, ulasiman-aso, malaulasiman (Tagalog)[2].
Thailand Yaa linnguu (Bangkok) [2]
Vietnam l[uw] [owx]i r[aws]n, c[os]c m[awr]n [2]

Geographical Distributions

Oldenlandia corymbosa is probably native to Africa and India, but now with pantropical distribution; throughout Malaysia. It grows in both dry and wet lands. [2]

Botanical Description

O. corymbosa is member of the Rubiaceae family. O. corymbosa is a prostrate to decumbent species and a divaricately branched annual herb that can grow up to 60 cm long and with 4-angled branches. The leaves are narrowly elliptical to linear-lance-shaped and measure up to 3(-5) cm long. The flowers are (1-)3-8-flowered umbel-like corymb, consisting of petals with spreading lobes and white or pinkish. The fruit is depressed obovoid or broadly obovoid. The seeds are obconical to depressed obconical and laterally compressed. [2]


O. corymbosa is particularly common in e.g. cassava, pineapple and maize throughout the tropics. It is also a weed in fields, roadsides, lawns and gardens, preferably in not-too-wet, sunny, stony locations, usually up to 800 m altitude, but sometimes up to 1500 m. [2]

Chemical Constituent

O. corymbosa has been reported to contain 6α-hydroxygeniposide, 6β-hydroxygeniposide, 10-O-benzoylscandoside methyl ester, 10-O-p-hydroxybenzoylscandoside methyl ester, (+)-lyoniresinol-3α-O-β-glucopyranoside, arabinose, asperulosidic acid, asperuloside, β-sitosterol, baihuasheshecaosu, caffeine, deacetylasperuloside, flavonoid glycosides, fumaric acid, galactose, glucose, geniposide, hentriacontane, mannose, oleanolic acid, p-coumaric acid, rhamnose, rutin, stigmasterol, sitisterol-D-glucoside, ursolic acid and xylose. [4]

Plant Part Used

Whole plant and roots. [5]

Traditional Use

O. corymbosa is considered a digestive, stomachic, aperients and anthelmintic. The Indians boiled the whole plant in milk with sugar to treat heartburns while the Filipinos made a decoction of the plant to treat stomach ache. The Indonesians on the other hand use the decoction to treat acute appendicitis. [6]

As a liver protective it has been advocated in the treatment of hepatitis. It was mentioned that the decoction of the whole plant (root, stem and leaves) is used in Traditional Indian Medicine to treat liver diseases including hepatitis. It is also used in the treatment of flatulence, diarrhea, dysentery and constipation in India. [5]

O. corymbosa is considered an anti-inflammatory drug with antibacterial properties. Various societies uses it to treat conditions with inflammatory elements in them which includes various infective conditions both external and internal (tonsillitis, pharyngitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, mumps, acute appendicitis, hepatitis, cholecystitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, urinary tract infection, abscesses, carbuncles, sores and deep rooted ulcers); rheumatic pains and gout. It has also been used to treat snakes and scorpions bites by the Chinese, Malays and Indians. In this case the whole plant is pounded and applied over the lesion. [7]

Its use as a febrifuge is universal. Low grade fever with gastric irritability and nervous depression is one form of fever where a decoction of the whole plant is used as a remedy. It is also being used in the treatment of chronic malaria. [5]

O. corymbosa is used in the treatment of giddiness, cancers (lymphosarcoma, cancer of the stomach, cancer cervix, cancer breast, cancer rectum, fibrosarcoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma). Africans made use of the sap to treat dropsy, swellings and as painkillers while the roots are given as genital stimulants and depressants. [5]

Preclinical Data


Hepatoproctective activity

O. corymbosa has been reported to have the hepatoprotective effects of component Chinese herbal preparation called peh-hue-juwa-chin-cao where O. corymbosa is part of it. They found that all three (Hedyotis diffusa, Hedyotis coryumbosa and Mollugo pentaphylla) significantly reduced the acute elevation of serum glutamate oxalate transaminase (SGOT) and serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase (SGPT) concentration, and alleviate the degree of liver damage 24 hours after intraperitoneal administration of hepatotoxins. [8]

A study of the hepatoprotective effects of the methanolic extract of the whole plant of O. corymbosa found that the plant showed significant hepatoprotective effects when it was demonstrated a decreased in serum enzyme activities, SGPT, SGOT, SAKP and serum bilirubin and an almost normal histological architecture of the liver in mice treated with the extracts after being given an overdose of paracetamol. They also found that the extract shortened hexobarbitone-induced sleeping time and significant antilipid perocifant effects. [9]

Anti-inflammatory activity

O. corymbosa has been reported to used in the treatment of various inflammatory conditions both infective and non-infective forms. A study on the anti-inflammatory activity of this plant was carried out and it was proven that the extract did inhibit carrageenan-induced paw oedema. [9]

Antimalarial activity

O. corymbosa has been reported to used in ancient times as an antipyretic. Investigation of its antimalarial potentials against chloroquine sensitive (MRC-pf-20) and resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum. They found that the methanolic extract was able to inhibit the parasite at IC50 of 10.8 mg/ml. When combined with extracts of Andrographis paniculata there was noted an enhancement of this antimalarial activity. The activity was further enhanced when curcumin was added. [10]

Anti-oxidant activity

O. corymbosa has been reported to formed part of Chinese medicine preparation called peh-hue-juwa-chi-cao. O. corymbosa has been reported to show antioxidant activities as proven by its ability to moderately inhibit the FeCl2,-ascorbic acid induced lipid peroxidation in rat liver homogenate. Using the Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) analysis it showed the highest superoxide anion scavenging activity as compared to the other component herbs. [11]


No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation

Side effects

O. corymbosa has been reported to cause dryness of mouth was observed after consumption of the herb for more than 10 day. [6]

Pregnancy/Breast Feeding

No documentation.

Adverse reaction

O. corymbosa has been reported that injection of high doses resulted in mild reduction of leukocyte count which is reversible upon cessation of medication. [6]

Interaction & Depletion

No documentation.


No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of O. corymbosa [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Oldenlandia corymbosa L. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2016 Oct 12]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-138322.
  2. Aguilar NO, Lemmens RHMJ. Oldenlandia corymbosa L. In: de Padua LS, Bunyapraphatsara N, Lemmens RHMJ, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(1): Medicinal and poisonous plants 1. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher, 1999; p. 367.
  3. Flower of India. [homepage on the Internet]. c2015 [updated 2016 Aug 23; cited 2016 Oct 12]. Available from: http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Diamond%20Flower.html
  4. Noiarsa P, Ruchirawat S, Otsuka H, Kanchanapoom T. Chemical constituents from Oldenlandia corymbosa L. of Thai origin. J Nat Med. 2008;62(2):249-250.
  5. Warrier PK, Nambiar VPK, Ramankutty C. Indian medicinal plants: A compendium of 500 species. Volume 3. Orient Blackswan, 1993; p. 120.
  6. Hembing W. Atasi kanker dengan tanaman obat. Indonesia:Puspa Swara Cimanggis, 2008; p.55.
  7. Hson-Mou C, Paul PHB, Sih-Cheng Y, Wang LL, Yeung SCS. Pharmacology and applications of Chinese materia medica. Volume 1. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, 2001; p. 369.
  8. Sini S, Lathab PG, Sasikumara JM, Rajashekaranb S, Shyamalb S, Shine VJ. Hepatoprotective studies on Hedyotis corymbosa (L.) Lam. J Ethnopharmacol. 2006;106(2):245-249.
  9. Lin CC, Ng LT, Yang JJ, Hsu YF. Anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective activity of peh-hue-juwa-chi-cao in male rats. Am J Chin Med. 2002;30(2-3):225-234.
  10. Kirti M, Aditya PD, Bijay KS, Nrisingha D. Anti-malarial activities of Andrographis paniculata and Hedyotis corymbosaextracts and their combination with curcumin. Malaria Journal. 2009;8:26.
  11. Lin CC, Ng LT, Yang JJ. Anti-oxidant activity of extracts of peh-hue-juwa-chi-cao in a cell free systemAm J Chin Med. 2004;32(3):339-349.