Jatropha gossypiifolia L.

Last updated: 05 May 2016

Scientific Name

Jatropha gossypiifolia L.


Adenoropium gossypiifolium (L.) Pohl, Adenoropium jacquinii Pohl, Jatropha elegans Kl., Jatropha gossypiifolia f. angustiloba Chodat & Hassl., Jatropha gossypiifolia var. gossypiifolia, Jatropha gossypiifolia subsp. heterophylla Chodat & Hassl., Jatropha gossypiifolia var. staphysagriifolia (Mill.) Müll.Arg., Jatropha jacquinii Baill., Jatropha staphysagriifolia Mill., Manihot gossypiifolia (L.) Crantz. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Jarak beremah, jarak hitam, jarak keeling, jarak merah [2], jarak belanda, jarak china [3]
English Belly-ache bush, cotton-leaved jatropha, cotton-leaved physic nut, jumbie baby, red physic nut bush, wildcastor oil, wild physic nut [2], red physic nut, cotton-leaf physic nut bush [3]
China Ye lie yan ma feng shu [3]
India Aadalai adalai, adali, adavi amudam, adaviamudamu, amdem, ara bindi daru, atalai, atlai, bagha-banda, bangali-madula, bangali-medula, bhedra, bherenda, bhotera, chan-drayoti, chikka kaada haralu, chikka kaadu haralu, chikka turuka, chitletti, cimaiyamanakku, cimaiyatalai, cimaiyatala-icceti, civappatai, civappatalaicetti, dravanti, gab jara, hatthiyele haralu, hattiaela visha haralu, jangali erandi, jara bindi, kadalavanakku, kari thruku haralu, kari-turukaharalu, karitu-rakaharalu, kariturakharalu, kariturukaharalu, katalavana-kku, katta-manakku, kattamanakku, kege-manbi, kosnironda, lal berenda, lal bherenda, lal varenda, lal veranda, lalaranda, lalbharenda, lalbherenda, lalgabjara, lanka kala, lanka-kalo, lankakala, mayla, naepaalemu, nakkurotam, nala amida, nal-amudamu, nail baigaba, nepalamu, nepalemu, nepalo, para-initacceti, parainitam, parboti erapat, rajiked, ranga bongaliera, rangakalo, ranijhada, rattan-jihad, ratanjhad, ratanjoti, ratanjyot, seema avanakku, seema nepalamu, seemanaepaal-emu, seemanepalam, shimaavanakku, simaiyamanakku, simanepalamu, simanepalemu, simayavanakku, sumaiyaman, torspodla, vatalai, vilayati nepalo, vulisitha, xenso erendi, yai-kege-manbi, yerra dundimalu, yerradundigamu [2], kammatti, seemayavanaku, seemayamanakku [3]
Nepal Laal baghandi, sajyon [3]
Indonesia Jarak kosta merah, jarak ulung, kaleke bacu [2], jarak landi, larak ulung [3]
Thailand Sabu lueat, sabuu daeng, salot daeng [2], sabu daeng, si lot [3]
Laos Nhao luat [2]
Philippines Lansi-lansinaan, tagumbau-a-nalagaba, tuba-tuba [2], balautandoiong, taua-taua, tuba-sa-budia, lansi-lansidan [3]
Vietnam D[aaf]u lai ti[as] [2]
Japan Yatorofa goshipiforia [3]
West Africa Fignut [2]
Spain Frailecillo, frailecito, piñón de españa, san jean del cobre, túa-túa, yuca morada [3]
Yoruba Ako lapa lapa, botuje pupa, lapalapa pupa, lobotuje, olonbontuje [2]
South America Bellyache, piao-roxo, piñon morado, piñon negro [2]
Russia Latrofa gessipifolia [3]

Geographical Distributions

Jatropha gossypiifolia has been originated in Brazil and are commonly cultivated as an ornamental plant. [4]

Botanical Description

J. gossypifolia is a perennial herb from the Euphorbiaceae family. It forms a small, spreading shrub with a sparse, open canopy reaching to 1 m in height. It releases a sticky, yellow, translucent sap when injured.

The leaves are alternate, 10 cm wide with hairy margins and are deeply divided into 3 to 5 pointed lobes and may have strong red to purple tinges.

The flowers are 5-petaled in small, terminal clusters and are deep rich maroon in colour.

The fruits are 3-lobed, mature; the dry fruit is seldom seen because it splits open explosively when dry, scattering the 3 enclosed seed in all direction. [5]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

J. gossypiifolia leaves extract has been reported to contain triterpenes, trihydroxy ketone and diosphenol. [4]

J. gossypiifolia root extract has been reported to contain diterpenes, jatropholone A and jatrophatrione, macrocyclic diterpene, and jatrophone. [4]

J. gossypiifolia seed extract has been reported to contain phorbol derivatives, jatropholones A and B, hydroxyjatrophone, and hydroxyisojatrophone. [4]

J. gossypiifolia stem extract has been reported to contain jatrodien. [6]

The whole plant of J. gossypiifolia extract has been reported to contain jatrophenone. [7]

J. gossypiifolia extract has been reported to contain cyclogossine A and B, and 2,3-bis-(hydromethyl)-6,7-methylenedioxy-1-(3’,4’-dimethoxyphenyl)-naphthalene. [8][9][10]

Plant Part Used

Leaves, stem barks, roots and seeds [4][11]

Traditional Use

The leaves and seeds of J. gossypiifolia is considered a purgative and is widely used to treat obstinate constipation. In Malaysia and Indonesia the leaves are oiled with coconut oil, heated over open fire and applied over the abdomen to help relieve abdominal colic due to constipation. To relieve the constipation the seeds were burnt and pulverized and this is taken orally. [4]

Paste of the leaves is used to treat skin diseases which include infective processes like carbuncle furuncle and abscesses, and other conditions like eczemas, rashes including chicken-pox and measles. It is also used to treat. [11]

The bark is considered an emmenagogue and had been used to procure abortions.  Seed cause insanity and act as an emetic. The seed oil is used to treat constipation, leprosy and in paralytic affections. The leaves in a decoction are used to treat fever in the form of a bath, while the juice is given to treat sores on the tongue of infants. [3][4][11]

Preclinical Data


Anticoagulant activity

The extract of J. gossypiifolia dried leaves (0.1 ml per ml of blood) significantly higher (p < 0.05) to exhibit anticoagulant effect compare to the value obtained from conventional anticoagulants. [12]

The latex from the stem of J. gossypiifolia is known to have coagulant activity. The effect [13] found that the whole blood clotting time and the bleeding time were significantly reduced by the stem latex. This procoagulant activity was proposed to be due to precipitation of coagulant factors. To further determine the safety of the latex, they studied the effects of repeated application of the latex on incisions in Wistar rats on a daily basis for 18 days. There were no significant difference in the biochemical and haematological parameters between the treated group and the control group. This renders the use of the latex as an emergency haemostatic safe. [14]

Antimicrobial activity

Both the chloroform and methanol extracts of the leaves of J. gossypiifolia were found to be active against Salmonella typhi, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeroginosa. This antibacterial activity is comparable to the standard antibiotics. Study also found that the extract was active against Candida albicans. Phytochemical screening showed the presence of saponin and tannin along with phlobatannins and alkaloids. [15]

Anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity

The methanol and petroleum ether extracts of the dried aerial parts of J. gossypiifolia was found to show significant anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity better than the standard drugs, indomethacin and diclofenac sodium. Between the two extracts the methanol extracts was found to be more potent. [16]

Hepatoprotective activity

In a dose of 200 mg/kg of extracts of the aerial part of J. gossypiifolia given to Wistar albino rats with liver damage induced by carbon tetrachloride, it was found that there was normalization of the serum levels of liver enzymes (serum glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase (SGOT), serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase (SGPT), serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total bilirubin, SOD and catalase). This indicates the presence of hepatoprotective activity in all three extracts tested. Amongst the three extracts, the petroleum ether seems to be the most potent. [17]


The seeds contain the toxic protein curcin and purgative oil containing the irritating diterpene 12-deoxy-16-hydroxyphorbol. The toxic, bitter alkaloid jatrophine occurs in the roots and bark while the leaves contain histamine and tannin. The seeds and seed oil rapidly produce abdominal pain followed by vomiting and diarrhoea when consumed in excess. [5]

Acute toxicity activity

A study by Mariz et al. [18] on the acute toxicity of ethanol extract of the aerial parts of J. gossypiifolia about the important signs of toxicity include ptosis, reduction of body weight and hind limb paralysis. In males they found in addition to these signs there were also increase in creatinine, AST, sodium and potassium levels; reduction of urea and albumin levels; leukopenia and small alterations in the colour and consistency of viscera. The LD50 in males was more than 4.0 g/kg while in females it was more than 5.0 g/kg.

Clinical Data

No documentation.

Line drawing

No documentation.


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Jatropha gossypiifolia L. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2016 May 05]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-104621.
  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. 630-631.
  3. Philippine Medicinal Plants. Tuba-tuba. [homepage on the internet] [updated 2013; cited 2016 May 05]. Available from http://www.stuartxchange.com/Tuba-tuba.html.
  4. Khare CP. Indian medicinal plants: An illustrated dictionary. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2007; p. 346.
  5. Nellis DW. Poisonous plants and animals of Florida and the Carribbean. Saratosa: Pineapple Press Inc., 1997; p. 178.
  6. Das B, Rao SP, Srinivas KVNS, Das R. Jatrodien, a lignin from stems of Jatropha gossypiifolia. Phytochem. 1996;41(3):985-987.
  7. Ravindranath N, Venkataiah B, Ramesh C, Jayaprakash P, Das B. Jatrophenone, a novel macrocyclic bioactive diterpene from Jatropha gossypiifolia. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2003;51(7):870-871.
  8. Horsten SF, van den Berg AJ, Kettenes-van den Bosch JJ, Leeflang BR, Labadie RP. Cyclogossine A: A novel cyclic heptapeptide isolated from the latex of Jatropha gossypiifolia. Planta Med. 1996;62(1):46-50.
  9. Auvin-Guette C, Baraguey C, Blond A, Pousset JL, Bodo B. Cyclogossine B, a cyclic octapeptide from Jatropha gossypiifolia. J Nat Prod. 1997;60(11):1155-1157.
  10. Das B, Banerji J. Arylnapthalene lignin from Jatropha gossypiifolia. Phytochem. 1988;27(11):3684-3686.
  11. Odugbemi T. A textbook of medicinal plants from Nigeria. University of Lagos: Press Lagos, 2008; p. 59.
  12. Oduola T, Avwioro OG, Ayanniyi TB. Suitability of the leaf extract of Jatropha gossypiifolia as an anticoagulant for biochemical and haematological analyses. Afr J Biotechnol. 2005;4(7):679-681.
  13. Oduola T, Adeosun GO, Oduola TA, Awwioro GO, Oyeniyi MA. Mechanism of action of Jatropha gossypiifolia stem latex as a haemostatic agent. Eur J Gen Med. 2005;2(4):140-143.
  14. Oduola T, Popoola GB, Awwioro OG, Oduola TA, Ademosun AA, Lawal MO. Use of Jatropha gossypiifolia stem latex as a haemostatic agent: how safe is it? J Med Plants Res. 2007;1(1):014-017.
  15. Ogundare AO. Antimicrobial effect of Tithonia diversifolia and Jatropha gossypiifolia leaf extracts. Trends Appl Sci Res. 2007;2(2):145-150.
  16. Panda BB, Gaur K, Kori ML, et al. Anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity of Jatropha gossypiifolia in experimental animal models. Global J Pharmacol. 2009;3(1):01-05.
  17. Panda BB, Gaur K, Nema RK, Sharma CS, Jain AK, Jain CP. Hepatoproctective activity of Jatropha gossypiifolia against carbon tetrachloride- induced hepatic injury in rats. Asian J Pharm Clin Res. 2009;2(1):50–54.
  18. Mariz SR, Cerqueira GS, Araujo WC, et al. Acute toxicological study of the ethanol extract of aerial parts of Jatropha gossypiifolia L. in rats. Braz J Pharmacog. 2006;16(3).