Spilanthes acmella (L.) L.

Last updated: 2016 Nov 07

Scientific Name

Spilanthes acmella (L.) L.


No documentation. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Pokok getang, galang, kerabu [2]
Indonesia Gletang, legetan, sarunen, saruni sapi (Java); jotang (Sundanese); gating (Sumatra) [2]

Geographical Distributions

Spilanthes acmella can be found all round the world. [2]

Botanical Description

S. acmella is a member of the Compositae family. [1]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

S. acmella has been reported to contain vanillic acid, trans-ferulic acid, trans-isoferulic acid, β-sitostenone, stigmasterol, and stigmasteryl-3-O-β-D-glucopyranosides. [3]

Plant Part Used

No documentation.

Traditional Use

In India, S. acmella has been used by some natives to treat children with stammers. [4]

Preclinical Data


Antioxidant activity

Ethanol extract of fresh S. acmella significantly inhibit the human cytochrome P450(2E1) mediated oxidation of p-nitrophenol in vitro. The alkylamides present in the plant also showed significant inhibition at concentrations as low as 25 µM. [5]

Hexane extract of S. acmella aerial parts elicited maximal vasorelaxations in phenylephrine-induced contraction of rat thoracic aorta in a dose related manner. [3][6]

Vasodilatation activity

Ethylacetate extract of S. acmella was found to produce immediate vasorelaxation of rat thoracic aorta in a dose dependent manner but not as effectvie as acetylcholine. This effect was mediated via endothelium induced nitric oxide and prostacyclin. [6]

Antibacterial activity

Bioactivity of metabolites of S. acmella has been studied and was found that the chloroform and methonal extracts could inhibit the growth of most of the 27 strains of microorganisms tested including Corynbacterium diphtheriae (MIC 64-256 mg/mL) and Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633 (MIC 128-256 mg/mL). [3]

Anti-inflammatory activity

Spilanthol isolated from S. acmella was found to be the bioactive principle in the anti-inflammatory activity of the plant due to its attenuation of the LPS-induced inflammatory responses via the inactivation of NF-kappaB. [7]

Pancreatic Lipase Inhibitory activity

Ethanol extract of flower buds of S. acmella was found to have pancreatic lipase inhibitory activity. It was suggested that this has the potential of being developed into an anti-obesity drug. [8]

Diuretic activity

The study of the diuretic activity of aqueous extract of S. acmella found that the most effective dose for the diuretic activity was 1500 mg/kg where the action was almost immediate (within 1 hour) and lasted throughout the study period (5 hours). The peak effect was 1-2 hours with marked increase in urinary Na+ and K+ and a reduction is the osmolarity of urine suggesting the site of action to be at the loop of Henle. There was indication that it may also inhibit ADH release and/or action. [9]


High doses of hexane extracts of S. acmella in doses of between 100-150 mg/kg had been found to produce full tonic-clonic convulsion accompanied with typical electrographic seizure in EEG in Wistar rats. [10]

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing

No documentation.


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Spilanthes acmella (L.) L. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Feb 11; cited 2016 Nov 07]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/gcc-49337
  2. Burkill IH. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Volume 2. London: Published on behalf of the governments of the Straits settlements and Federated Malay states by the Crown agents for the colonies; 1935. p. 2065
  3. Prachayasittikul S, Suphapong S, Worachartcheewan A, Lawung R, Ruchirawat S, Prachayasittikul V. Bioactive metabolites from Spilanthes acmella Murr. Molecules. 2009;14(2):850-867.
  4. Nadkarni KM, Nadkarni AK. Dr. K.M. Nadkarni's Indian Materia Medica. Volume 2. Mumbai: Popular Prakashan, 1994; p. 1164.
  5. Raner GM, Cornelious S, Moulick K, Wang Y, Mortenson A, Cech NB. Effects of herbal products and their constituents on human cytochrome P450(2E1) activity. Food Chem Toxicol. 2007;45(12):2359-2365.
  6. Wongsawatkul O, Prachayasittikul S, Isarankura-Na-Ayudhya C, Satayavivad J, Ruchirawat S, Prachayasittikul V. Vasorelaxant and antioxidant activities of Spilanthes acmella Murr. Int J Mol Sci. 2008;9(12):2724-2744.
  7. Wu LC, Fan NC, Lin MH, Chu IR, Huang SJ, Hu CY, Han SY. Anti-inflammatory effect of spilanthol from Spilanthes acmella on murine macrophage by down-regulating LPS-induced inflammatory mediators. J Agric Food Chem. 2008;56(7):2341-2349.
  8. Ekanem AP, Wang M, Simon JE, Moreno DA. Antiobesity properties of two African plants (Afromomum meleguetta and Spilanthes acmella) by pancreatic lipase inhibition. Phytother Res. 2007;21(12):1253-1255.
  9. Ratnasooriya WD, Pieris KP, Samaratunga U, Jayakody JR. Diuretic activity of Spilanthes acmella flowers in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004;91(2-3):317-320.
  10. Moreira VM, Maia JG, de Souza JM, Bortolotto ZA, Cavalheiro EA. Characterization of convulsions induced by a hexanic extract of Spilanthes acmella var. oleracea in rats. Braz J Med Biol Res. 1989;22(1):65-67.