Physalis minima L.

Last updated: 20 October 2016

Scientific Name

Physalis minima L.


Physalis angulata var. villosa Bonati, Physalis micrantha Link, Physalis parviflora R. Br. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Letup-letup, leletup, chipluan [2]
English Sunberry [2], ground cherry, wild cape gooseberry [3]
Brunei Letup letup (Sengkurong) [2]
Indonesia Ciplukan (Javanese); cecendet (Sundanese); lapunonat (southern Moluccas) [2]
Thailand Thong theng (South-western); yaa tom tok (Northern); pung ping (Peninsular)[2]
Philippines Pantug-pantugan (Tagalog); amansit (Iloko); amanti-ti-ugsa (Bontok) [2]
Vietnam Th[uf] l[uf] nh[or] [2].

Geographical Distributions

Physalis minima is found in Tropical Africa, Asia and Australia. [2]

Botanical Description

P. minima is a member of Solanaceae family. P. minima is an annual herb, 20-50 cm tall and densely covered with patent, long and thickened hairs at the apex. The stems are angular above, subterete below, hollow and tinged with purple. [2]

The leaves are ovate to lance-shaped, 1.5-9 cm x 1-6 cm. The margins are irregularly toothed or entire, densely hairy while the petiole is 0.5-6.5 cm long. [2]

The flowers are solitary, flowering sepal is 3-5 mm long while fruiting sepal is 1.5-2.5 cm long. They are greenish-yellow with purple ribs. The petal is 5-10 mm long and up to 1 cm in diameter. It is pale yellow, with 5 distinct dark spots and 2 groups of rather long hairs at the throat. The anthers are yellow with blue margined cells. The berry is 8-14 mm in diameter and yellow. [2]


P. minima is a solitary or gregarious herb in arable land, dry rice-fields, gardens and waste places, up to 400(-1500) m altitude. [2]

Chemical Constituent

P. minima has been reported to contains about 6% sugars, 2.7% protein, 1.2% ash, 0.6% tannin and 0.5% pectin. A good quantity of about 24.5 mg vitamin C is found in 100 mL of the fruit juice. [4]

Stems and leaves of Physalis minima has been reported to contains physalin F and physalin B (13,14-seco-16, 24-cycloergostane compounds). [5] Physalis minima has been reported to contain new physalins and a new withanolide besides physalin H, isophysalin B, and 5-β,6-β-epoxyphysalin B [6]; 16,24-cyclo-13,14-secoergosta-2-ene-18,26-dioic acid-14:17,14: 27-diepoxy-11β,13,20,22-tetrahydroxy-5α-methoxy-1,15-dioxo-g-lactone d-lactone, and 16,24-cyclo-13,14-secoergosta-2-ene-18,26-dioic acid-14:17,14: 27-diepoxy-5α,11β,13,20,22-pentahydroxy-1,6,15-trioxo-g-lactone d-lactone. [3]

Plant Part Used

Leaf, stem, root and fruit. [7]

Traditional Use

This plant has been claimed to be a diuretic and a laxative. The Malays use it as a poultice to treat headache, gastralgia and intestinal pains. It is also used to treat fever and abscesses. The decoction of the plant is taken to ensure normal urination as well as to treat hypertension. It is also known to protect against worm infestation. [7]

The Malays apply the leaves, which have been smeared with oil and heated, to ulcers, wounds and pustules. A decoction of this plant’s leaves and the leaves of Plantago major is used to treat gonorrhoea. The leaves are also used to relieve headache. A paste of the leaves and stems is used to treat dizziness and lumbago. [7]

In Java, the root is used as an anthelmintic and its extract is used to treat fever. In Indonesia, the edible fruit has been claimed as a diuretic. The fruit is said to be appetizer, bitter, diuretic, laxative and tonic. [7]

The juice of the leaves, mixed with mustard oil and water, has been used as a remedy for earache. The leaf and stem paste is traditionally used to treat cancer. [8]

Preclinical Data


P. minima has been reported to against human cancer cell lines, followed by subsequent bioassay-guided fractionation, two cytotoxic components physalin F and physalin B. [5]

P. minima has been reported to display antimycobacterial activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, M. avium, M. kansii, M. malmoense and M. intacellularc. [1]

P. minima has been reported to showed significant in vitro leishmanicidal activities (0.92-19.4 mg mL-1) against promastigotes of Leishmania major by 3 new physalins, which are physalin H, isophysalin B and 5-β,6-β-epoxyphysalin B. [6]


No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of P. minima [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Physalis minima L. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Apr 18; cited 2016 Oct 28]. Available from:
  2. Rahayu SSB. Physalis minima 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. 426
  3. Choudhary MI, Yousuf S, Samreen, Ahmed S, Atta-Ur-Rahman. New leishmanicidal physalins from Physalis minima. Nat Prod Res. 2007;21(10):877-883.
  4. Parmar C, Kaushal MK. Wild Fruits of the Sub-Himalayan Region. New Delhi; Kalyani Publishers; 1982.
  5. Lee CC, Houghton P. Cytotoxicity of plants from Malaysia and Thailand used traditionally to treat cancer. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005;100:237-243.
  6. Choudhary MI, Yousaf S, Ahmed S, Samreen, Yasmeen K, Atta-ur-Rahman. Antileishmanial physalins from Physalis minima. Chem Biodivers. 2005;2(9):1164-1173.
  7. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research. Compendium of medicinal plants used in Malaysia. Volume 2. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR, 2002; p.221.
  8. Chopra RN, Nayar SL, Chopra IC. Glossary of Indian medicinal plants (including the supplement). New Delhi: Council of Scientific and Industrial Research; 1986.
  9. Pietro RC, Kashima S, Sato DN, Januário AH, França SC. In vitro antimycobacterial activities of Physalis angulata L. Phytomedicine 2000;7(4):355-358.