Peristrophe bivalvis (L.) Merr.

Last updated: 18 Oct 2016

Scientific Name

Peristrophe bivalvis (L.) Merr.


Hypoestes bodinieri H. Lév., Justicia bivalvis L., Justicia roxburghiana Roem. & Schult., Justicia tinctoria Roxb., Peristrophe roxburghiana (Roem. & Schult.) Bremek., Peristrophe tinctoria (Roxb.) Nees. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Noja [2]
English Pepper leaf heb [3]
China Guan yin cao [3]
Indonesia Noja [2], udu tung lia [3]
Philippines Deora, kaladuda, taoda [2]
Vietnam Kim long nhuôm [2].

Geographical Distributions

Peristrophe bivalvis is distributed from eastern India and Sri Lanka to central China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Java. It is (or was) cultivated in India (Bengal and Assam), the southern Philippines, and, rarely, in Java. Often the plant is semicultivated, as a relic of former cultivation. [2]

Botanical Description

P. bivalvis is a member of the family Acanthaceae. It is an erect, often much-branched herb that can grow up to 1 m tall and rarely up to 1.5 m. [2]

The stems are subquadrangular. They are usually swollen above the nodes, pubescent, especially apically, or nearly smooth. [2]

The leaves are arranged opposite, membranaceous, ovate to lance-shaped or oblong, measuring 7-16 cm x 2.5-7.5 cm, wedge-shaped to rounded at the base, acuminate at apex, with entire or shallowly undulating margins, hairless above and sparingly pubescent beneath. The petiole is 0.5-3(-4) cm long. [2]

The flowers are in terminal cymes, which are composed of 1-4 involucres where each involucre is with 2-6 flowers. Two of the flowers are large and with unequal bracts. The sepal is 3-7 mm long and with ordinary glandular hairs. The petals are 3.5-5 cm long, with long tortuous tube and with two-lipped, upside-down limb, pubescent outside, and reddish-violet but sometimes pale. There are 2 stamens that are inserted near the top of the petal tube and long-exserted while the filaments are retrorsely hirsute. The 2-lobed style is slender. [2]

The fruit is a club-shaped to ellipsoid capsule, measuring 1.5-2 cm long, pubescent, and 2-valved with 2 orbicular and flat seeds per valve, which are slightly covered with warty protuberances. [2]


P. bivalvis is often found on cultivated lands, in thickets and coconut groves, probably often as a relic of cultivation. Under supposed natural conditions, it grows along watercourses in forests. In the Philippines, it is cultivated up to 1600 m altitude. [2]

Chemical Constituent

P. bivalvis has been reported to contain aliphatics, 14-methyltritriacont-14-en-15-ol, 35-hydroxynonatriacontanal, phenoxazine alkaloids, peristrophine, perisbivalvine. [4]

Plant Part Used

Whole plant. [5]

Traditional Use

P. bivalvis has been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis, haemoptysis, bronchitis, congestion and wrench. In Thailand, this plant was also putatively considered for an inhibitor of snake venom. [5]

P. bivalvis is essentially a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine. It is believed to clear heat and resolve toxins, cool the blood and extinguish wind. It also dissipate stasis and disperse swelling. [6]

Preclinical Data


Antithrombotic activity

Hemorrheological parameters (hematocrit, fribrinogen level, plasma viscosity and apparent whole blood viscosity) are primary risk factors in ischaemic heart disease. The extract from P. bivalvis showed ability to decrease effectively many hemorrheological parameters while at the same time was found to inhibit thrombus formation. [7]

Antihypertensive activity

Extract of P. bivalvis was found to have the ability to reduce high blood pressure in rats. At the same time it increases the levels of NO and NO-synthase in the serum and NO in urine. It also reduces the concentration of ET in serum and that of angiotensin II in the thoracic artery. Thus, the possible mechanism of the anti-renovascular hypertensive activity is through increasing NO in serum and decreasing angiotensin II in thoracic aorta. [8][9]

Antioxidant activity

Fresh P. bivalvis has 64% free polyphenols within its substance rendering it active as an antioxidant. It showed significant free radical scavenging activity (EC50 = 10) and LDL oxidation inhibition activity (IC50 = 34.2 [total] and 44.9 [free] too. [10]


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Clinical Data

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Poisonous Management

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  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Peristrophe bivalvis (L.) Merr. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Apr 18; cited 2016 Oct 18]. Available from :
  2. Groen LE. Peristrophe bivalvis (L.) Merr. In: Lemmens RHMJ, Wulijarni-Soetjipto N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 3: Dye and tannin-producing plants. Wageningen, Netherlands: Pudoc, 1991; p. 104-105.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume IV M-Q. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 492
  4. Phaopongthai J, Noiphrom J, Phaopongthai S, Pakmanee N, Sichaem J. Biological activities of Peristophe bivalvis extracts: promising potential for anti-snake venoms against Naja khouthia and Trimeresurus albolabris venoms. Nat Prod Res. 2015:30(6);697-699.
  5. Hu SY. Food plants of China. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press, 2005; p. 676.
  6. Zhou J, Xie G, Yan X. Encyclopedia of Traditional Chinese Medicines. Molecular structures, pharmacological activities, natural sources and applications. Vol. 5. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2011; p. 520.
  7. Yang W, Gu F, Lü J, Yang M. Effect of the extract from Peristrophe roxburghiana on hemorheology in rats. Zhong Yao Cai. 2002;25(10):727-728.
  8. Zhung X, Lu J, Yang W, Yang M. Effects of Peristrophe roxburghiana on blood pressure. NO and ET in renal hypertensive rats. Zhong Yao Cai. 2003;26(4):266-268
  9. Cheng Z, Lü J, Liu J. Effects of Peritrophe roxburghiana on blood pressure in renal hypertensive and hyperlipidemic rats. Zhong Yao Cai. 2004;27(12):927-930.
  10. Thu NN, Sakurai C, Uto H, et. al. The polypheonol content and antioxidant activities of the main edible vegetables in Northern Vietnam. J Nutri Sci Vitaminol. 2004;50(3):203-210.