Euphorbia neriifolia L.

Last updated: 30 Aug 2016

Scientific Name

Euphorbia neriifolia L.


Elaeophorbia neriifolia (L.) A.Chev., Euphorbia edulis Lour., Euphorbia ligularia Roxb. ex Buch.-Ham., Euphorbia pentagona Blanco [Illegitimate], Euphorbia pentagona Noronha [Invalid], Tithymalus edulis (Lour.) H.Karst. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Sesudu, sudu, sudu-sudu [2], godong entong, suru [3]
English Common milk hedge, hedge euphorbia, oleander spurge [2], Indian spurge tree, oleander-leaved euphorbia [3]
China Jin gang zuan [2]
India Akujamudu, bhungro thor, caci-yami, caciyamikkalli, camattuttaccam, catakkaic-ceti, cevikkalli, chawng, cilantinayakam, cinittam, cuntakam, ekavirakkalli, ekaviram, gngi-chhu, hiju-araung, icaimuti, ilaippacikkalli, innalai, kantamansa, kapanilakkinam, katarralikam, katar-ralikkalli, katukam, katutittacam, kunakki, kunayikkutaiyal, kunmanacani, kunmanittirincam, kunmattaippokki, manar, manattakkali, manca, mancarakkalli, miruturecani, mucalcevikkalli, mucarcevi, muicarcevikkalli, mulaittaci, mutakapani, muyarcevikkalli, muyarpelakam, muyarpelak-kalli, nakanay, nalainkalli, natanki, nat-tanki, naykkalli, naynakkipputu, naynakku, naynakkukkalli, patrasnuk, patton-ke-send, patton-ki-send, payaca, picakavayakkalli, picaka-vayam, pilavaikkolli, poruttavi, poruttavikkalli, punakam, saber, sehuud, siblathal, sid daru, siju, singoti, snoohi, snuhi, snuk, sudha, talaikkalli, tapilikai, terravacceti, thar, thengoor, thoohar,thua, thuar, thu-har, vaccirakanta, vajra, vajravrksa, vajri, vannikaram, vat-tampam, vayinivadunga, vijri, vujri, yalekalli, [2] hiju (Assam); mansasij, mansa-sij (Bengali); thor (Gujarati); danda thuar, danda-thor, gangi-chhu, pattonkisend, sehund, thohar, thoh (Hindi); elegalli, ilaikalli, ilakkalli, kalli (Kannada); elakkalli, ilaikalli, ilakkalli, kalli (Malayalam); mingut, nevagunda, newrang, nial kamtem, thora (Marathi); svarasana (Oriya); gudha, nagarika, nanda, nistrinsapatra, patrasnuhi, puttakarie, sakhakanda, samantadugdhaka, seej, sehunda (Sanskrit); kola pathok, kolapathok, patak (Sinhala); ainkonakkalli, anaittarukkan, aranciruku, caciyami, catakkai, nai nakki, sevi kalli (Tamil); aku-jemudu, akujamuduv, akujemudu, akujimudu (Telegu); thuhar (Urdu) [3]
Myanmar Shazaung-myin-na (Burma) [3]
Philippines Bait, karimbuaya, lengua de perro, soro-soro, sorog-sorog, sudusudu [2]
Tibet Si ri khanda, snu-ha [2]
Germany Oleander-Wolfsmilch [3]
Russia Molochai olyeandrolistnyj [3]
Sweden Oleandereuforbia [3].

Geographical Distributions

Euphorbia neriifolia is probably distributed of South-Asian origin, but nowadays locally cultivated and naturalising in Sri Lanka, India, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand and throughout the Malesian region except for Borneo; also occasionally cultivated in other tropical region except for Borneo; also occasionally cultivated in other tropical regions. [4]

Botanical Description

E. neriifolia is a member of Euphorbiaceae family. It is an armed, succulent shrub or small tree that can reach up to measure 8 m tall. The branches are obtusely 5-angular, with pairs of spines of measure 4-12 mm long that arise from the ribs. [4]

The leaves are arranged alternate, obovate to narrowly oblanceolate in shape, with measuring (5)15-30 cm x (1.5-) 2-7.5 cm, wedge-shaped base to attenuate, rounded apex, entire margin and hairless. [4]

The inflorescence is lateral, composed of 3-7 cyathia on short, rigid and forked peduncles while the bracts are ovate. The cyathia is with 5 oblong glands, which is measure 1.5-2 mm x 4-5 mm. [4]

The smooth capsule is with a size measure 10-12 mm in diameter. [4]


E. neriifolia grows well in dry, often rocky places.[4]

Chemical Constituent

Chloroform and ethanol extract of E. neriifolia leaves has been reported to contain flavanoids, phlobotannins, saponin, tannins, cardenoloids, phenol, and terpenoids. [5]

Ethanolic extract of E. neriifolia leaves has been reported to contain new flavanoid compound namely 2-(3,4-dihydroxy-5-methoxy-phenyl)-3,5-dihydroxy-6,7-dimethoxychromen-4-one. [6]

E. neriifolia has been reported to contain eighteen new diterpenoid compounds named eurifoloids A-R including ingenane, abietane, isopimarane, and ent-atisane. [7]

Plant Part Used

Leaves, roots, and latex. [3]

Traditional Use

The latex of E. neriifolia is a drastic purgative and has been used to treat obstinate constipation. Sushruta prescribe the juice mixed with water to treat acute constipation and other abdominal conditions including jaundice and ascites. It also has been used in the treatment of anal problems like haemorrhoids and fistula-in-ano. There are many different ways whereby these conditions are addressed either by mixing tumeric powder with the latex and applying it over the lesion or by steaming the leaves, crushing it and then applying over the lesion. The Indians use the roots as an antispasmodic. [8]

The latex is used to remove warts by directly applying it over the lesion. The juice expressed from the heated leaves is a remedy for otalgia and otitis. There are various ways of application at least amongst the Malaysian society. It is supposed to be the first choice in the treatment of earache amongst the Malays. In Sarawak instead of squeezing the juice out of the leaves they simply rolled the leaves insert it into the ear canal and blow air through it. [9]

The root and pulp of the stem is considered antiseptic. The antibacterial activity had been taken advantage of by traditional practitioners as seen in its application for treatment of ulcers, dressing of wounds and treating anal fistula. [10]

The root mixed with black pepper is applied to cure snake bites [8]. The latex is also prescribed by Shusruta for obstinate skin diseases, urinary disorders including diabetes [10].

Preclinical Data


Wound healing activity

Topical application of 0.5% and 1.0% sterile aqueous solution of the aqueous extract of E. neriifolia latex showed facilitated wound healing activity on surgically produced cutaneous wound in guinea pig by the increase in tensile strength, DNA content, epithelization and angiogenesis. [11]

Psychopharmacological activity

Hydro-alcoholic extract of E. neriifolia leaves has been demonstrated variety of psychopharmacological activity such as anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic and anticonvulsant in mice and rats. [12]

Antioxidant activity

Crude saponin separated from hydroacoholic extract of E. neriifolia leaf contains Euphol as a major sapogenin showed good antioxidant as evidenced by the potent antioxidant activity on all parameters (hydrogen donating ability, reducing power, antilipid peroxidation including scavenging activity against superoxide) except scavenging activity against hydroxyl radicals. [13]

Anti-inflammatory activity

70% v/v hydro-alcoholic extract of dried leaves of E. neriifolia demonstrated greater anti-inflammatory effect than standard doses of indomethacin by using carrageenan-induced hind paw edema in rats. [14]

Analgesic activity

The hydro-alcoholic extract of dried leaves of E. neriifolia was also evaluated for analgesic activity using Eddy's hot plate method and tail-flick method in albino rats. Result showed that the hydro-alcoholic extract showed a greater analgesic effect when compared with the standard drugs, diclofenac sodium. [14]

Cytotoxic activity

The ethyl acetate extract of E. neriifolia showed significant cytotoxic activity against the following cell lines: Lewis lung carcinoma, B16F10 melanoma and SW480 human colon adenocarcinoma in a dose dependent manner. [15]

Antibacterial activity

Ethanol extract of leave and petroleum ether extracts of the pods of E. neriifolia were tested for their antibacterial activities against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. The results showed that these extracts were more effective in inhibiting E. coli growth than for P. aeruginosa and S. aureus[16]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

No documentation.


No documentation.

Side effects

No documentation.

Pregnancy/Breast Feeding

No documentation.

Age limitation

No documentation.

Adverse reaction

Latex of E. neriifolia is toxic to skin and mucous membranes to certain individual and caution has to be taken when handling the plant. [8]

Interaction & Depletion

No documentation.


No documentation.

Case Report

The latex of E. neriifolia is believed to have corrosive effect on contact with skin and mucous membrane. Sadananda Naik [17] reported a case of ingestion of the latex with the attendant clinical manifestations. 

Keratouveitis caused by E. neriifolia involves a 51 year old man was pruning his overgrown E. neriifolia when some sap entered his left eye. The eye became irritable and was immediately irrigated with tap water. Four hours later there were conjuctival hyperaemia, moderate corneal oedema and mild anterior chamber reaction. The following day the visual acquity was reduced to counting fingers at 1 metre. There was moderate lid oedema and conjuctival congestion. Slit-lamp revealed a large corneal epithelial defect and moderate stromal oedema. The corneal epithelium completely healed by the seventh day. By two weeks all signs and symptoms were resolved and the patient regained full vision. [18]


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of E. neriifolia [4]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Euphorbia neriifolia L. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mac 23; cited 2016 Aug 30]. 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. 181-182.
  3. Philippine Plant List. Soro-soro. Euphorbia neriifolia Linn. [homepage on the Internet]. No date [updated 2015 Sept; cited 2016 Aug 30]. Available from:
  4. Nguyen NT, Sosef MSM. Euphorbia neriifolia 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. 269-270.
  5. Kumara Swamy M, Neeraj P, Santosh D, Anuradha M. Phytochemical and antimicrobial studies of leaf extract of Euphorbia neriifolia. J Med Plan Res. 2011;5(24):5785-5788.
  6. Sharma V, Janmeda P. Extraction, isolation and identification of flavanoid from Euphorbia neriifolia leaves. Arabian J Chem. 2014.
  7. Zhao JX, Liu CP, Qi WY, et al. Eurifoloids A-R, structurally diverse diterpenoids from Euphorbia neriifolia. J Nat Prod. 2014;77(10):2224-2233.
  8. Panda H. Herbs cultivation and medicinal uses. New Delhi: National Institute of Industrial Research; 1999, p. 286-287.
  9. Burkill IH. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Volume 1. London: Published on behalf of the governments of the Straits settlements and Federated Malay states by the Crown agents for the colonies, 1935; p. 979-980.
  10. Khare CP. Indian herbal remedies: Rational Western therapy, Ayurvedic and other traditional usage, botany. Berlin: Springer; 2004, p. 609-610.
  11. Rasik AM, Shukla A, Patnaik GK, Dhawan BN, Kulshrestha DK, Srivastava S. Wound healing activity of latex of Euphorbia neriifolia Linn. Indian J Pharmacol. 1996;28(2):107-109.
  12. Bigoniya P, Rana AC. Psychopharmacological profile of hydro-alcoholic extract of Euphorbia neriifolia leaves in mice and rats. Indian J Exp Biol. 2005;43(10):859-862.
  13. Bigoniya P. Hemolytic and in vitro antioxidant activity of saponin isolated from Euphorbia neriifolia leaf. In: Govil JN, editor. Recent progress in medicinal plants: Natural products – II. Edition: 1st, Chapter: 20. Studium Press LLC, 2006; p. 359-376.
  14. Gaur K, Rana AC, Nema RK, Sharma CS. Anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity of hydro-alcoholic levaes extract of Euphorbia neriifolia Linn. Asian J Pharma Clin Res. 2009;2(1):26-29.
  15. Chen CF. An investigation on the antitumor activities of Euphorbia neriifolia [unpublished dissertation]. 2010.
  16. Cachola ER. Phytochemical and microbiological analysis of “Karimbuaya”, Euphorbia neriifolia Linn. Proceedings of the 29th Annual Convention of the Philippine Society for Microbiology; 2000; Inc. Quezon City, Philippine: University of Northern Philippines.
  17. Sadananda Naik B. Common milk hedge (Euphorbia neriifolia) juice ingestion: A clinical case report. J Indian Soc Toxicol. 2009;5(2):30-31.
  18. Basak SK, Bakshi PK, Basu S, Basak S. Keratouveitis caused by Euphorbia plant sap. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2009;57(4):311-313.