HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT

Family Rubiaceae
Spermacoce hispida (Linn.)

Scientific names Common names
Borreria articularis var hispida (L.) Sivar. & Manilal Landrina (Tag.)
Spermacoce avana R.Br. ex G.Don Ligad-ligad (Sul.)
Spermacoce hispida Linn. Shaggy button weed (Engl.)
Spermacoce mutilata Blanco Jointed buttonweed (Engl.)
Spermacoce rigida Salisb.  
Spermacoce hispida L. is an accepted name. The Plant List
There is some disagreement over the correct name for this species. We are using the original name, Spermacoce hispida, which has been accepted for conservation and is treated as the correct name in the 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families' and many other recent publications. However, some other authorities still accept Borreria hispida. (Plants for a Future: Ken Fern) Useful Tropical Plants

Other vernacular names
MALAY: Rumput anak temot, Rumput sulawa, Rumput sumbro.
SANSKRIT: Vasukah, Buka.
TAMIL: Nathaichuri, Nattaiccuri.
OTHER INDIAN NAMES: Bukah, Gedo, Ghamtachi-bhaji, Kutalccurukki, Madana, Madanabadu, Nathai choori, Nattaccuri, Tartaval, Thaarthaaval pacha, Thathara.

Landrina is a procumbent, branched, hairy or rough herb, 10 to 14 centimeters long. Branches are greenish or purplish, ascending, stout and 4-angled. Leaves are ovate, spatulate, or elliptic, 1 to 3.5 centimeters long, 0.8 to 1.7 centimeters wide, pointed or rounded at the tip. Flowers are 4 to 6, occurring in whorls in the axils of leaves. Calyx-teeth are linear-lanceolate. Corolla is pale blue or white, 5 to 10 millimeters in length. Fruit is a hairy capsule about 5 millimeters long. Seeds are oblong, granulate, opaque, unusually variable, 3 millimeters or less in length.

- From the Batan Islands to Batangas and Laguna in Luzon, and in Mindoro, Panay and Basilan, in open, dry places at low and medium altitudes,
- Also occurs in India to China and Malaya.

- Methanolic extract yielded flavonoids and amino acids.
- Various extracts of whole plant yielded alkaloids, carbohydrates and glycosides, phytosterols, fixed oil and fats, saponins, phenolic compounds and tannins, protein and amino acid, coumarins, and flavonoids.

- Preliminary phytochemical screening of hydroalcoholic extract of dried plant powder yielded alkaloids, carbohydrates glycosides, proteins, amino acids, phytosterols, triterpenoids, phenolic compounds and flavonoids, with absence of saponins, fixed oils, fats, gums, and mucilages. (see study below) (7)
- Various extracts of seed oil yielded saponins, tannins, phenolics, steroids, essential oil, flavonoids, and terpenoids, with an absence of alkaloids, glycosides and carbohydrates. Seed oil content was 43.60% in the petroleum ether extract and 19% in the methanol extract. (see study below) (14)

- Roots possess properties similar to sarsaparilla.
- Considered alterative, tonic, cooling, demulcent, aphrodisiac, constipative.
- Used as antieczemic, antibacterial, antidiarrheal, antidysentery.
- Studies have suggested antioxidant, antibacterial, cardioprotective, constipative, antihyperlipidemic, antinociceptive, free radical scavenging, anticancer, antidiabetic antituberculosis, hepatoprotective properties.

Parts used
Leaves, seeds.


- In the Konkan, the plant is eaten with other herbs as vegetable.
- In the Philippines, leaves are brewed in decoction and used as astringent for hemorrhoids.
- In Martinique, plant is used as tonic and stimulant. Also used for hemorrhoids.
- Leaves applied to the head in cases of headache, with it cooling effect, somewhat allaying the pain.
- The seeds in confection are cooling and demulcent; used for dysentery and diarrhea.
- Seeds considered by some as aphrodisiac.
- Used as alternative therapy for diabetes.
- In Siddha medicine, seeds used to cure diarrhea; roots used as tonic.
- In Tamil Nadu, India, paste made from crushed seeds used to treat stomach problems. (22) In India, plant decoction used for headache and seeds used as stimulant and for treatment of internal injuries of the nerves and kidney. (23)
- Used for headaches, constipation, hypertension, scabies, IBS, erysipelas, mouth ulcers, abscesses, and as antifertility medicine.
- In Ayurveda, used as antioxidant, contraceptive, stomachic, emollient; vapor of plant inhaled to kill tooth worms. Leaf decoction used for piles, diarrhea, dysentery. Leaf paste applied to head for cooling effect. (23)

Cardiac Benefits:
Study showed BHE-treated rat hears showed improved post-ischemic ventricular function and reduced myocardial infarct size and cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Results suggest BHE has a potential as a plant-based nutraceutical for the management of cardiovascular diseases. (1)
Antibacterial: Study of extracts of Borreria hispida showed antibacterial activity against B subtilis, B pumilus, S aureus, P aeruginosa, E coli and K. pneumonia, with the methanolic extract found to be the most effective. Results supports its use as remedy for superficial bacterial and fungal infections in traditional medicine. (2)
Antioxidant: In an vitro study, a methanolic extract of whole plant of Borreria hispida yielded a high amount of flavonoids, and suggests a potential source of natural antioxidant. (3)
Antiproliferative and Apoptotic Activity / Seeds: K3, a 35 KDa protein, was purified from the seeds of Borreria hispida. The F3 protein exhibited cytotoxic activity, with dose-dependent antiproliferative and apoptotic activity against lung (A549) and cervical (HeLa) cancer cells. (6)
Constipation Activity / Dried Plant Powder: Study evaluated constipating activity of Spermacoce hispida using albino Wistar rats, using the extract in an irritable bowel model in lieu of loperamide. A hydroalcoholic extract of whole plant showed significant constipation activities (p<0.05) compared to standard drug loperamide. (see constituents above) (7)
Antihyperlipidemic Activity : Study evaluated the antihyperlipidemic effect of Spermacoce hispida seed-flavonoid rich fraction by a dose-dependent study. Results showed significant reduction of total cholesterol, triglycerides, plasma phospholipids, free fatty acids, LDL cholesterol, and VLDL-C, with significant elevation of HDL. Activity was attributed to the presence of ursolic acid, quercetin, isorhamnetic, and hesperetin. (8)
Free Radical Scavenging Potential: Study evaluated in vitro free radical scavenging potential of various extracts of whole plant of Borreria hispida. The methanolic extract showed strong antioxidant activity by inhibiting DPPH and superoxide anion scavenging and iron chelating activities. It contained a noticeable amount of total phenols and can be used as an easily accessible source of natural antioxidants and as possible food supplement. (9)
Antihyperlipidemic Activity / Seed: Study evaluated an ethanolic seed extract for antihyperlipidemic activity against triton-WR-1339 induced hyperlipidemia in rats. Results showed it effectively suppressed the triton induced hyperlipidemia, suggesting a potential protective role in coronary heart disease. (10)
Anti-Nociceptive: Study evaluated an ethanolic extract for anti-nociceptive activity using an acetic acid-induced abdominal constrictions and Tail immersion models. Results showed significant analgesic potential compared to standard drug Aspirin and Pentazocine. (11) Study evaluated the analgesic activity of aqueous extract of S. hispida on thermal and chemical induced pain in adult albino mice. Results showed analgesic activity, with all test doses showing significant delayed reaction time in hot-plate method and reduced number of writhing in chemical method. (21)
Anti-Cancer / Ovarian Cancer Cell Line / Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated a leaf extract for antioxidant and antiproliferative activities. The extract dose dependently inhibited growth of cell lines in human ovarian cancer cell line PA 1, and also showed to be a rich source of antioxidants. (12)
Hepatoprotective / Nitrobenzene Induced Hepatotoxicity: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective activity of an ethanolic extract of whole plant against nitrobenzene induced hepatic damage in rats. Histopathological analysis showed severe centrilobular necrosis, fatty infiltration and lymphocyte infiltration. Treatment resulted in decreased liver marker enzymes activity and lipid peroxidation levels with increase in antioxidant status. (13)
Antimicrobial / Seed Oil: Study evaluated various extracts of seed oil for antimicrobial activity. Studies on Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms reveal the methanolic extract to show significant activity compared to petroleum ether extract. (14)

Acute Toxcity Study / Seeds: Study evaluated the hydroalcoholic extract of seeds of Spermacoce hispida in albino wistar rats in single doses of 500, 1000, 2000 mg/kbw. No mortality or clinical signs of toxicity were observed. The LD50 and maximum tolerable dose was greater than 2000 mg/kbw. (17)
Constipation Activity: Study evaluated the constipative activity of S. hispida using albino Wistar rats in the setting of irritable bowel syndrome using the extract in lieu of loperamide. (18)
Hepatoprotective / Carbon Tetrachloride Induced Hepatotoxicity: Study of an ethanolic extract of Spermacoce hispida against CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity in rats showed significant protective effect from hepatic damage. (19)

Cardioprotective / Mitochondrial Energy Production / Seeds: Study evaluated the effects of pretreatment with S. hispida on isoprenaline-induced myocardial infarction in heart mitochondrial function in experimental rats. Results showed a protective effect which can be attributed to the activation of mitochondrial energy metabolism. (20)
Anti-Anxiety: Study evaluated the anxiolytic activity of ethanolic extract of Spermacoce hispida in Swiss albino mice using elevated plus maze test and bright and dark box test models. Results showed the ethanolic extract have anxiolytic activity better than diazepam. (24)
Selenium Nanoparticles / Hepatoprotective Against Acetaminophen Toxicity: Study reports on the synthesis of selenium nanoparticles (Sh-SeNPs) glutathione using Spermacoce hispida conjugated with SAG (s-allyl glutathione). Pretreatment of the nanoparticles attenuated the APAP toxicity-induced elevation of kidney and liver injury markers in the blood circulation and protected the morphology of liver and kidney tissue. SAG-Sh-SeNPs exhibited enhanced protection compared to Sh-SeNPs due to synergistic effect, protecting the liver the kidney against APAP toxicity through reduction of oxidative stress, enhancement of endogenous antioxidants and protection of mitochondrial functions. (25)
Comparison of Selenium and Silver Nanoparticles / Anti-Inflammatory / Anticancer / Antibacterial / Leaves: Selenium and silver nanoparticles were synthesized using S. hispidal aqueous leaf extract. Both Se and AgNPs showed concentration dependent antioxidant activity. SeNPs showed potent anti-inflammatory property, antibacterial, and anticancer activity against human cervical cancer cell compared to AgNOs. (26)
Novel Nano Niosomes as Drug Delivery System / Antituberculosis Activity: Study evaluated the antituberculosis activity of S. hispida extracts and the development of a novel nano noisome based drug delivery system for the extract of SH to enhance antituberculosis activity. The developed niosomal nano-carrier system exhibited prolonged release of drug and enhanced the in vitro antituberculosis activity of Spermacoce hispida extract. (27)
Effect of Flavonoid-Rich Fraction / Up-Regulation of PPAR-α mRNA / Seeds: Study evaluated the influence of a flavonoid-rich fraction from SH seed (S-Frf) on PPAR-α gene expression, plasma and erythrocyte antioxidants status, protein metabolism,, and marker enzymes in diabetic hyperlipidemic male albino Wistar rats. Results showed the S-Frf had an antihyperlipidemic effect, improved antioxidant status, and alleviated liver and kidney damage associated with HFD-fed-STZ rats by up-regulating PPAR-α mRNA. (28)


© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Updated June 2020 / August 2017 / September 2015

IMAGE SOURCE: Illustration / Taxon: Borreria articularis var. hispida / Flora of Pakistan / Credit: M. Rafiq : / efloras

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Potential Role of Borreria hispida in Ameliorating Cardiovascular Risk Factors / HR Vasanthi, S Mukherjee, I Lekli, D Ray, G Veeraraghavan, DK Das / J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2009 Jun;53(6):499-506.
EVALUATION OF ANTIBACTERIAL ACTIVITY OF VARIOUS EXTRACTS OF WHOLE PLANT OF Borreria hispida (Linn) / A. Kottai Muthu et. al. / International Journal of Pharma Sciences and Research (IJPSR) Vol.1(2), 2010, 127-130 /
In- vitro antioxidant studies of various extracts of whole plant of Borreria hispida (Linn) / C.D.Shajiselvin, A.Kottai Muthu / RJPBCS Volume, 1 Issue 2 Page No. 17, April – June 2010
Pharmacognostical and Proximate Analysis of Leaves of Borreria Hispida. / A J Ptel, Patel Jatin, Macwan Carol, Patel Mayuree, Soni Arun / Asian Journal of Biochemical and Pharmaceutical Research Issue 2 (Vol. 1) 2011
Isolation Of Active Components Derived From Whole Plant Of Borreria hispida (Linn.) / C.D .Shaji Selvin1, A. Kottai Muthu*and D.Satheesh Kumar / International Journal Of Ayurvedic And Herbal Medicine 2:2 (2012) 240:247
Induction of Apoptotic Effects of Antiproliferative Protein from the Seeds of Borreria hispida on Lung Cancer (A549) and Cervical Cancer (HeLa) Cell Lines / S. Rupachandra and D. V. L. Sarada / BioMed Research International, Volume 2014 (2014) / http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/179836
PHYTOCHEMICAL SCREENING STUDY AND CONSTIPATION ACTIVITY OF SPERMACOCE HISPIDA L. (RUBIACEAE) BY USING ALBINO RATS / Muthuboopathi, G.; Padmalatha, K.; Sundar, S.; Poojitha, K.; Hindu Addala, V. / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences & Research; Dec 2013, 4(12): pp 4669-4674 / doi: 10.13040/IJPSR. 0975-8232.4(12).4669-74
IN VITRO EVALUATION OF FREE RADICAL SCAVENGING POTENTIAL OF VARIOUS EXTRACTS OF WHOLE PLANT OF Borreria hispida (Linn) / C.D.Shajiselvin1and A.Kottai Muthu* / International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences V1(2)2010
Antihyperlipidaemic Activity of Spermacoce Hispida Ethanolic Extract in Triton WR-1339 Induced Hyperlipidaemic Rats / G. Sivaelango, P. Senthil Kumaran, P. Kumaravel, P. Revathi and A. Jaswan / Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science, 2012; 02(02); pp 95-98
Anti-nociceptive activity of ethanolic extract of Spermacoce hispida L. / Sundhararajan R* and Ravichandiran V / (2012) Int. J. Res. Pharm. Sci., 3(1), 173-175
Leaves of Spermacoce hispida as a Novel Cancer Therapeutic – An In Vitro Study
/ Rathi M.A., Meenakshi P., Kumar D. Guru, Raj C. Arul, Sunitha M., Gopalakrishnan V.K.* / Research Journal of Pharmacy and Technology: 2011, Volume 4, Issue 8.
HEPATOPROTECTIVE ACTIVITY OF SPERMACOCE HISPIDA LINN.EXTRACT AGAINST NITROBENZENE INDUCED HEPATOTOXICITY IN RATS / M.A. Rathi, L.Thirumoorthi, M. Sunitha, P. Meenakshi, D. Gurukumar and V.K. Gopalakrishnan* / Journal of Herbal Medicine and Toxicology 4 (2) 201-205 (2010)
Anti-Microbial Studies of Spermacoce Hispida Seed Oil / T. Rajkumar / International Journal of Innovative Pharmaceutical, 2013; 1(1): pp 62-70.
Spermacoce hispida L. / Synonyms / The Plant List
Borreria hispida (l.) K.Schum / Tropicos
An Acute Oral Toxicity Study of Seeds of Spermacoce Hispida Linn, in Albino Wistar Mice as Per OECD Guidelines 425
/ Dhevi R*, Elango V, Gayathri K, Mohamed Shabi M / AJPHR
PHYTOCHEMICAL SCREENING STUDY AND CONSTIPATION ACTIVITY OF SPERMACOCE HISPIDA L. (RUBIACEAE) BY USING ALBINO RATS / Muthuboopathi, G.; Padmalatha, K.; Sundar, S.; Poojitha, K.; Hindu Addala, V. / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences & Research;Dec2013, Vol. 4 Issue 12, p4669
M.Kannan, S.Rajasekar / INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHARMACEUTICAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, January - 2011, Vol 2, Issue 11, Article 6
Medicinal plants used by traditional healers in Kancheepuram District of Tamil Nadu, India /
Chellaiah  MuthuMuniappan AyyanarNagappan Raja and Savarimuthu Ignacimuthu / Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 2006, 2:43 / https://doi.org/10.1186/1746-4269-2-43
Spermacoce hispida / Umberto Quattrocchi / CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants: Common names
Anti-anxiety activity of ethanolic extract of Spermacoce hispida leaves in swiss albino mice / Vinayak Meti, Kumarswamy Dabburu / IJBCP: International Journal of Basic & Clinical Pharmacology, 2017; 6(9) / DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2319-2003.ijbcp20173749
Green Synthesized Selenium Nanoparticles Using Spermacoce Hispida as Carrier of S-Allyl Glutathione: To Accomplish Hepatoprotective and Nephroprotective Activity Against Acetaminophen Toxicity / Vennila Krishnan, Chitra Loganathan, Palvannan Thayumanavan / Artif Cells Nanomed Biotechnol., Dec 2019; 47(1): pp 56-63 / DOI: 10.1080/21691401.2018.1543192 / PMID: 30669860
Comparison of biological activities of selenium and silver nanoparticles attached with bioactive phytoconstituents: green synthesized using Spermacoce hispida extract / Krishnan Venilla, Loganathan Chitra, Rama Balagurunathan and Thayumanavan Palvannan / Advances in Natural Sciences and Nanotechnology, 2018; 9(1) / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/2043-6254/aa9f4d
Development of Novel Nano Niosomes As Drug Delivery System of Spermacoce hispida Extract and In Vitro Antituberculosis Activity / Durgadas Anghore, Giriraj T Kulkami / Current Nanomaterial, 2017; 2(1) / DOI : 10.2174/2405461502666170314151949
Influence of flavonoid-rich fraction from Spermacoce hispida seed on PPAR-alpha gene expression, antioxidant redox status, protein metabolism and marker enzymes in high-fat-diet fed STZ diabetic rats / K Kaviarasan and K V Pugalendi / Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology, 2009; 20(2) / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/JBCPP.2009.20.2.141

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                           PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants

HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT