Katanda is a stout erect, smooth, rank-smelling,
half-woody annual, 1 meter or less in height. Leaves are 8 to 12 centimeters long and pinnately compound with
6 leaflets. Leaves are furnished with glands on the main rachis
between leaflets. Leaflets are oblong-ovate or obovate and 2 to 5
centimeters long. Flowers are crowded, in pairs, in the axils of the upper
leaves, and about 1.5 centimeter across. Calyx-tube is short; sepals are imbricate. Petals are 5, yellow, subequal.
Stamens are 10, rarely all perfect, 3 to 5 being reduced to staminodes
or sometimes absent, anthers mostly basifixed opening by terminal
spores or with the slit more or less continuous downward. Ovary
sessile or stalked. Fruits are slender pods, up to 15 centimeters long and 3 to 4 millimeters
thick. Seeds are flattened in the same direction as the pod.
- A very common weed throughout
the Philippines, in settled areas at low and medium altitudes.
• Seeds yield tannins and dyes
(yellow, blue and red).
• Volatile oil showed a high content of aliphatic acids (>75%)
• Seed analysis showed the following percentage composition: water, 27.2%; petroleum ether extract, 9.75%; ether extract, 0.86%; absolute alcohol extract, 1.63%, and watery extract, 20%.
• Plant yields emodin to which the medicinal properties are attributed to.
• Leaves yield a principle similar to cathartin.
• Seeds contain phytosterine and glucosenine.
• Phytochemical screening yielded glycosides, tannins, flavonoids, and saponins.
• Sweet tasting, slightly cooling.
• Diuretic, laxative, purgative.
• Mucilaginous and foetid smelling leaves are aperient, antiperiodic, antiseptic, alterative, febrifuge,
• In Ayurveda, considered
aperient, laxative, cardiotonic, anthelmintic, liver tonic, expectorant.
· Seeds, leaves, roots.
· Collect pods from August to October when the seeds are
about to ripen.
· Sun-dry, remove the pericarp before using.
• Edible wild vegetable.
• Leaves used as pot herb.
• Roasted seeds used as coffee substitute. In Mexico, used as substitute for coffee or for adulterating it.
· In the Philippines, the entire plant, in decoction, is used as purgative and vermifuge.
· Leaves and seeds used as a remedy for ringworm and scabies.
· Decoction of seeds
used for hepatitis, edema associated with liver problems, hypertension,
infantile convulsion, night blindness due to fever, habitual constipation.
· Infusion of leaves used for intestinal disorders. Decoction
is mildly laxative.
· Poultice of seeds and leaves used for scabies, psoriasis, ringworm
· Paste of the roots used for ringworm.
· Decoction of leaves used in children suffering from fever while teething.
· Leaves fried in castor oil are used as application to foul ulcers.
· In Africa and India, a traditional medicine for the treatment of ulcers. Pounded fermented leaves added to food or local gin and taken orally as purgative or anthelmintic. (17)
· leaves also used to hasten suppuration.
· Malays use decoction of leaves as a mild purgative or as a cure for coughs.
· In Ayurveda,
seeds and leaves used for cough, leprosy, ringworm, colic, flatulence,
· In India, used for rheumatism and gout.
· In Indo-China, pods are used for dysentery and ophthalmia.
· Seeds, ground with sour buttermilk, used to relieve irritation of itchy eruptions.
• Pesticide: In organic farms in India,
used as a natural pesticide.
• Dye: In India, seeds also used in dyeing along with indigo.
• Used in pet food preparations.
• Gelling agent in air fresheners.
• Antifungal / Chrysophanic Acid:
Study of an aqueous paste of defatted seed powder isolated chrysophanic acid and other hydroxynathraquinone derivatives. The major antifungal compound, identified as chrysophanic acid-9-anthrone, was active against Tricophyton rubrum, T. mentagrophytes, Microsporum canis, M gypseum, and Geotrichum candidum. (2)
• Antifungal: Study showed ethanol
extract of CT to have potent antifungal activities against Microsporum
canis and C albicans, suggesting a potential as a antifungal agent.
• Immunomodulatory / Anthraquinones:
Anthraquinones of edible wild vegetable Cassia tora stimulate proliferation
of human CD4+ T lymphocytes and secretion of interferon-gamma or interleukin
• Antioxidant / Volatile Oil: The study of chemical components of the volatile oil from C. tora showed
antioxidant activity of potential use for hyperlipidemia, hypertension
and inflammatory disease. (4)
• Lipid Effects / Fiber Supplement: Effects of Cassia tora Fiber Supplement on Serum Lipids in Korean Diabetic
Patients: Cassia tora fiber supplement can help improved serum lipids
in T2DM. (5)
• Lipid Effects: Ethanolic extract of seeds of CT decreased
total and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and increased HDL.
• Hypotensive / Vagal Reflex:
A possible reflex mechanism of hypotensive action of extract
from Cassia tora seeds: Study suggests a possible vagal reflex that
alters the vasomotor tone of the sympathetic NS. (6)
• Anthelmintic: Study
demonstrated the anthelmintic activity of alcohol and aqueous extracts
of Cassia tora. (7)
• Antimicrobial: Study
on various extracts of Cassia tora, Calendula officinalis and Mormodica
charantia showed activity against all tested bacteria, Staph aureus
being more susceptible to the aqueous extracts.
• Antihypertensive: Study
of the methanol extracts from the raw and roasted seeds of Cassia tora
exhibited significant inhibitory properties against ACE (angiotensin
converting enzyme). (10)
• Aldose Reductase / Diabetes:
Study of seed extracts of CT isolated nine anthraquinones,
with compounds 6 and 8 exhibiting inhibitory activities on protein glycation
and aldose reductase. (11)
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study
of the methanol extract of leaves of C. tora exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activities against carrageenin, histamine, serotonin and dextran-induced rat hind paw edema. (12)
• Hepatoprotective / Antioxidant: Study
in albino rats showed the protective effects of Cassia tora against carbon tetrachloride induced hepatotoxicity attributed to its effective free radical scavenging that accounts for its antioxidant property. (13)
• Anti-Cancer: Study
evaluated the antioxidant and antiproliferative potential. The plant extract induced a marked concentration dependent inhibition of proliferation, reduced DNA content and apoptosis in HeLa. Results indicated that C. tora is effective against free radical mediated diseases. (14)
• Anti-Diabetes: Study
results indicate that constituents of C. tora seeds have a beneficial effect on postprandial blood glucose control which may be partly due to mediation by stimulated insulin secretion from the pancreas of diabetic rats. (15) suppressing EROD, NADPH CYP-450 reductase in cells and promoting GST activity. (16)
• Antioxidant: Study
evaluated a methanolic extract of leaves for antioxidant activity using various assays. Results showed a reduction of DPPH radicals in a concentration-dependent manner. The potent in vitro antioxidant activity may be attributed to phenolic content of leaves. (17)
• Antioxidant Activity / Topical Cream of Leaves Extract: Study
evaluated the in vivo antioxidant activity of a newly formulated O/W cream of of methanolic extract of leaves. Results showed topical O/W creams prevented oxidative stress induced in rats by exposure to UV-B light through antioxidant activity. (18)
• Trypsin / Protease Inhibitory Activity: Study investigated the protease inhibitory activity of Cassia tora against trypsin, Aspergillus flavus and Bacillus sp. proteases. Proteases play an important role in many human, plant, and insect pathogens. Results showed crude extracts with strong antitryptic, bacterial, and fungal protease inhibitory activity. The Cassia tora inhibitor may attenuate microbial proteases and may be used a phytoprotecting agent. (19)
• Novel Cancer Therapeutic / Leaves: Study of methanolic leaf extract of C. tora showed a concentration dependent lipid peroxidation inhibition. The antiproliferative activity of CTME with anticancer drug Cisplatin was studied using HeLa (human cervical cancer cells). The plant induced marked concentration dependent inhibition of proliferation, reduced DNA content and apoptosis in HeLa cells. (20)
• Antiasthmatic: Study evaluated the antiasthmatic activity of C. tora leaves. A hydroalcoholic extract showed bronchodilator activity, significantly inhibiting the contractile effect of histamine in isolated goat tracheal chain. (21)
• Anti-Psoriatic Activity: Study evaluated the anti-psoriatic activity of newly formulated oil in water (O/W) creams of methanol extract of leaves using Mouse tail model. O/W creams containing a methanol extract of leaves showed potent antipsoriatic activity, significantly and dose-dependently decreasing relative epidermal thickness of animal skin. (22)
• Antibacterial / Leaves: Study evaluated ethanolic and aqueous extracts of leaves for antibacterial activity. The alcoholic extract revealed anthraquinone glycosides, phenolic compounds and saponin glycosides; the aqueous extract yielded glycosides and phenolic compounds, saponins glycosides. Both extracts exhibited significant antibacterial activity. Ciprofloxacin was used as reference drug. (23)
• Antimicrobial / Seeds: In vitro study evaluated extract and prepared test ointment for antimicrobial activity against two bacterial species (S. aureus and E. coli) and two fungal species (A. niger and M. gypseum). The benzene extract was most potent against Staphylococcus aureus and A. niger. Phytochemical analysis of the seeds showed it mainly contained anthraquinones. (24)
• Anti-Ulcer / Antioxidant: In a study on Wistar albino rats, a seed extract showed potent anti-ulcerogenic properties probably via cytoprotective mechanism from its antioxidant properties. (25)
• Neuropharmacological Effects: Study evaluated the neuropharmacological effect of leaves in mice. Ethanol and aqueous extracts showed significant activity in the behavioral model of hole board test. Chlorpromazine was the standard drug reference. (26)
• Anthelmintic Activity / Stem Bark: Study evaluated methanolic and aqueous extracts of Cassia tora stem bark for anthelmintic potential against earthworm Pheretima posthuma. Both extracts exhibited significant anthelmintic activity. Albendazole was the reference drug. (27)
• Mucilage / Suspending Agent: Cassia tora mucilage exhibited the strongest suspending ability. The mucilage can be a stabilizer of choice if high viscosity is desired, and serve as a good thickening agent both in the pharmaceutical and food industries. (28)
In the cybermarket, available in a variety of commercial products.