herb with tuberous roots, growing to a height of a foot or more. Leaves
are opposite, elliptic, short petioled, abruptly narrowed at the base,
with undulate margins and up to 12 cm long. Flowers are showy, with
funnel-shaped, 5-lobed corolla, up to 5 cm across, and mauve or light
bluish purple. Fruit is a pod with 7 to 8 seeds, bursting open and
hurtling the seeds when it gets wet.
In open waste places
in the Philippines.
used and preparation
Roots and leaves.
- Leaves contain apigenin
- The seed oil yields myristic, capril and lauric acids.
- Study yielded flavonoids, glycosides, phenols, saponins and essential minerals with good nutritive value and secondary metabolites.
reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
• In Trinidad
and Tobago, used as
a "cooling" agent, for urinary problems and high cholesterol.
• In Suriname's
traditional medicine, used as anthelmintic; for joint pains and muscle
strain. Also used as abortifacient. Root is used against kidney diseases
and whooping cough. Infusion used for clenasing the blood.
• Root and leaf used for alleviating urinary retention.
• Used for gonorrhea, syphilis, bladder stones, bronchitis and
• In the Cayman Islands,
used for heart ailments.
• In Grenada,
used for common colds, fevers and hypertension.
• In the Dominican Republic, an
ingredient in a concoction for a male potency drink.
• In Sri Lankan traditional medicine, used for stomach problems.
• Antinociceptive / Antiinflammatory:
Ethanol extract of Ruellia
tuberosa showed antinociceptive and antiinflammatory activities with
maximum time response against thermal stimuli similar to that of diclofenac
and significant inhibition in serotonin and egg albumin-induced hind
paw edema in rats. The antiinflammatory activirty was comparable to
that of indomethacin.
Study showed that Rubellia
tuberosa possesses potent antioxidant activity. The results provide
information on its antioxidant related activity in its use in traditional
Flavonoids / Cytotoxicity: Ethanol extract study
showed yielded five flavonoids –cirsimarin, cirsiliol 4'-glucoside,
sorbifolin, pedalitin, along with betulin, vanillic acid, and
indole-3-carboxaldehyde. Some compounds showed cytotoxicity against
KB and HepG2 cell line.
• Gastroprotective / Analgesic: Study of crude aqueous extracts of Ruellia tuberosa roots in a rat alcohol-induced gastric lesion model showed a strong and dose-dependent gastroprotective activity. The extract also showed mild erythropoetic and moderate analgesic activities.
Seeds in the cybermarkets.