Coleus amboinicus


Coleus aromaticus, Coleus crassifolius, Coleus carnosus, Coleus suborbiculata, Coleus amboinicus, Plectranthus amboinicus, Plectranthus aromaticus, Majana amboinica [1] [5]

Vernacular Names:


Bangun-bangun, Kapur Barus, Hati-hati, Nilam

English Soup Mint, French Thyme, Indian Mint, Country Borage, Cuban Oregano, Indian Borage, Spanish Thyme

Bangun-bangun, Daun Jinten, Daun Hati-hati, Sukan, Tramun (Sumatera); Ajeran, Acerang (Sunda); Daun Jinten, Daun Kucing (Java); Daun Kambing, Majha nereng (Madura); Iwak (Bali); Golong (Flores) Kumu Etu (Timur)




Fan-gui-ning-meng, Fan-kuei-ning-meng


Pathorchur (Hindi); Pashanabhedi (Sanskrit)

French Oreille
Spanish Torongil de Limon; Oregano de Cartagena, Oregano de Espana; Orengano des Frances, Suganda [1] [5]

General Information


Coleus amboinicus is a member of the Laminaceae family. It is a decumbent succulent and pleasantly aromatic subshrub which can grow up to 50cm tall. The roots are fibrous; stems square, succulent without tuberous base. The leaves are broadly ovate, succulent, measuring 1.5-5cm x 1-4cm dentate with 12-18 pairs of teeth. Both faces are green, pubescent with the lower surface havign brown to colourless glandular dots. The tip is acute and the base truncate. The inflorescence measure 10-50cm subspicate, simple or with a pair of side bracts; dichasia subsessile, with 4-10-flowered. The bracts are ovate to suborbicular, measuring 2-3mm.  The peduncle measures 1.5-2.5mm. [5]

Plant Part Used

Leaves [7]

Chemical Constituents

No documentation

Traditional Used:

C. amboinicus is considered a carminative, lactagogue, analgesic, antipyretic and antiseptic.

Gastrointestinal Diseases

C. amboinicus is considered a carminative and is used to treat dyspepsia and colic. Juice of the leaves mixed with sugar is used for this purpose.[7] Fruits and seeds are used to treat vomiting.[6]

Respiratory Diseases

The leaves are used in the treatment of cough, whooping cough, breathlessness and influenza. For cough in Malaysia, the Malays pound the leaves with lime paste and apply over the throat, the Indian squeeze out the juice from the leaves which is mixed with milk while the Chinese make a decoction of the leaves.

Analgesic effect

Poultice of the leaves is used to treat headache, toothache, burns, bites and to soothe scorpion bites.[1] [8]

Pre-Clinical Data


Lactagogue activity

The Batak of Sumatera had been using the leaves of C. amboinicus to stimulate the production of milk. They considered the plant to be nourishing and enhancing the production of breast milk while at the same time acting as a uterine cleansing agent. [2] Damanik et al. [3] carried out a study on the effectiveness of the plant as a lactagogue. They found that women receiving supplementation with C. amboinicus had a 65% increase in milk volume during the last two weeks of supplementation as compared to Molocco+B12 (10%) and Fenugreek seeds (20%). The residual effects of C. amboinicus was found to have extended beyond the period of supplementation.

Antimalarial activity

Periyanayagam et al. [4] studied the antimalarial activity of the aqueous extract of leaves of C. amboinicus. They found that the extract in a dose of 250mg/kg was able to reduce parasitaemia up to 68% after 96 hours and up to 76% in a dose of 500mg/kg after the same duration.


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

No documentation

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

No documentation

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

No documentation


No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation


Interactions with drugs

No documentation

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation


    1. Peter Hanelt Mansfeld’s Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Horticulture Crops, Volume 2 Springer-Verlag Berlin 2001 pg 1949
    2. Damanik R. Torbangun (Coleus amboinicus Lour): a Bataknese traditional cuisine perceived as lactagogue by Bataknese lactating women in Simalungun, North Sumatera, Indonesia. J Hum Lact. 2009 Feb;25(1):64-72. Epub 2008 Nov 4.
    3. Damanik R, Wahlqvist ML, Wattanapenpaiboon N. Lactagogue effects of Torbangun, a Bataknese traditional cuisine. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2006;15(2):267-74.
    4. Periyanayagam K, Nirmala Devi K, Suseela L, Uma A, Ismail M. In vivo antimalarial activity of leaves of Plectranthus amboinicus (Lour) Spreng on Plasmodium berghei yoelii. J Commun Dis. 2008 Jun;40(2):121-5.
    5. Urs Eggli Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Dicotyledons Springer-Verlag Berlin 2004 pg. 293
    6. Setiawan Dalimartha Atlas Tumbuhan Obat Indonesia: Menguak Kekayaan Tumbuhan Obat Indonesia Jilid 5 Niaha Swadaya Jakarta 2008, pg. 25 – 28
    7. M.S. Palaniswani and K.V. Peter Tuber and Root Crops: Vol. 9. Horticulture Science Series New India Publishing Agency New Delhi 2008 pg. 95 – 96
    8. John C. Roecklein, Ping Sun Leung A Profile of Economic Plants Transaction Inc. New Brunswick 1987 pg. 393