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Family Acanthaceae
Ruellia
Ruellia tuberosa Linn.
POPPING POD

Lu li cao

Scientific names Other common names
Cryphiacenthus barbadensis Nees Bluebell (Engl.)
Dipteracanthus clandestinus C.Presl Cracker plant (Engl.)
Ruellia tuberosa Linn. Fever root (Engl.)
  Meadow weed (Engl.)
  Minnie root (Engl.)
  Pink-striped trumpet lily (Engl.)
  Popping pod (Engl.)
  Snapdragon root (Engl.)
Ruellia tuberosa L. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Lu li cao.
FRENCH: Patate-chandelier, Patate-macaque.
SPANISH: Espanta suegras, Salta perico, Totes, Yuquilla.

Botany
Ruellia tuberosa is a low-growing perennial 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 centimeters long. Flowers are showy, with funnel-shaped, 5-lobed corolla, up to 5 centimeters 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.

Distribution
In open waste places in the Philippines.

Constituents
- Leaves contain apigenin and luteolin.
- 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.

- Study for bioactive components of ethanol extract of tubers yielded 25 compounds viz. lupeol (68.14%), stigmasterol (8.89%), α-sitosterol (3.99%), sucrose (2.24%), cholest-5-ene, 3-bromo-, (3α- (2.24%), octadecane, 2-methyl- (2.10%), nonadecane, 2-methyl- (1.93%), eicosane, 2-methyl- (1.79%) heptacosane (1.43%) and heptacosane (1.29%). (13)
- Phytochemical screening of various extracts of whole plant yielded steroids, triterpenoids, phenols, flavonoid, tannin, sugars. Physiochemical analysis yielded (%w/w) ash 13.53, acid insoluble ash 2.36, water insoluble ash 24.78, alcohol soluble extractive 7.67. (14)

Properties
- Studies have suggested anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antinociceptive, gastroprotective properties.

Parts used
Roots and leaves.

Uses
Folkloric
• No 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 cancer.
• 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.
• In India leaf juice applied to scorpion bite sites.

Studies
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. (1)
Antioxidant: Study showed that Rubellia tuberosa possesses potent antioxidant activity. The results provide information on its antioxidant related activity in its use in traditional folk medicine.
(4)

Bioactive 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. (
5)
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. (
7)
Hypolipidemic / Antioxidant: Study evaluated a powdered form of an ethanolic extract of Ruellia tuberosa for antilipidemic and antioxidant effects in hypercholesterolemic rats. Results showed addition of the powdered extract as a feed supplement reduces plasma lipid levels (cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL-C, and VLDL) with increased HDL-C and decreased lipid peroxidation. (10)
Antiproliferative / Antioxidant: Study evaluated the antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of Ruellia tuberosa. An ethyl acetate leaf extract showed the highest radical scavenging activity. A methanol stem extract showed the highest anti-proliferative activity against MCF-7 cancer cells with IC50 of 22µg/ml. (1
1)
Mosquito Larvicidal / Cx quinquefasciatus: Study evaluated the mosquito larvicidal activities of crude extracts of four plants viz. Alternanthera sessilis, Tremna orientalis, Gardenia carinata, and Ruellis tuberosa against Culex quinquefasciatus. A. sessilis showed the highest mortality followed by Ruellia tuberosa. (1
2)
Anti-Carcinogenic / Leaves: Study evaluated the ati-carcinogenic activity and antioxidant property of R. tuberosa methanol leaf extract on HepG2 cell line and RAW 264.7 murine macrophage cell lysate. Results showed potent apoptogenic activity on HepG2 cell line and notable antioxidant activity on RAW 264.7 cell lysate. (
13)

Availability
Wild-crafted.
Seeds and herbs in the cybermarkets.

Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Update November 2015

IMAGE SOURCE: Public Domain / Illustration of Cassytha filiformis (Orig. Cassytha americana) / Flora Brasiliensis vol. 5 pt. 2 tab. 107 / 1866-1868 / Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius (1794-1868) / Wikimedia Commons
IMAGE SOURCE / PD / File:Clusiaceae sp Blanco2.308-original.png / Flora de Filipinas / Franciso Manuel Blanco (OSA), 1880-1883 / Wikimedia Commons
Photo © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory properties of Ruellia tuberosa / Alam, M. Ashraful et al / Pharmaceutical Biology • Volume 47, Number 3, March 2009 , pp. 209-214 / DOI: 10.1080/13880200802434575
(2)
Ethnomedicines used in Trinidad and Tobago for urinary problems and diabetes mellitus / Cheryl A Lans / Journal of Ethnobiology and
Ethnomedicine
(3)
RUELLIA TUBEROSA L. - MINNIEROOT / Tropilab Inc.
(4)
Evaluation of the antioxidant activity of Ruellia tuberosa / Fu-An Chen et al / Food Chemistry Volume 94, Issue 1, January 2006, Pages 14-18 / doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2004.09.046
(5)
BIOACTIVE FLAVONOIDS FROM RUELLIA TUBEROSA / Chwan-Fwu Lin et al / J Chin Med 17(3): 103-109, 2006
(6)
Fever Root - Ruellia tuberosa, Linn. / Yang Mekar ditamanku

(7)
Gastroprotective activity of Ruellia tuberosa root extract in rats
/ L S R Arambewela, R thambugtala and W D Ratnasooriya / Tropmedplants
(8)
Evaluation of biochemical contents, nutritional value, trace elements, SDS-PAGE and HPTLC profiling in the leaves of Ruellia tuberosa L. and Dipteracanthus patulus (Jacq.) / A Manikandan and D Victor Arokia Doss / J. Chem. Pharm. Res., 2010, 2(3):295-303
(9)
Ruellia tuberosa / Synonyms / The Plant List
(10)
HYPOLIPIDEMIC AND ANTI OXIDANT ACTIVITY OF RUELLIA TUBEROSA Linn. / KRISHNA CHAITANYA. B*, RAVINDRA BABU. S, RAMESH. C, ALEKHYA RAVELLA , JAYASREE VARDHAN, DIANA VIVIAN ATIGARI / IJPBS, Volume 2, Issue 3, JULY-SEPT 2012, pp 63-72
(11)
Antioxidant and anti-proliferative activities of Sabah Ruellia tuberosa / Bo Eng Cheong,*, Mohd. Zulkarnain Waslim, Fui Fui Lem, Peik Lin Teoh / Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science Vol. 3 (12), pp. 020-024, December, 2013 / DOI: 10.7324/JAPS.2013.31204
(12)
Mosquito larvicidal potential of four common medicinal plants of India / Anjali Rawani, Anupam Ghosh* & Goutam Chandra / Indian J Med Res 140, July 2014, pp 102-108
(13)
GC-MS Analysis of Bioactive Components of Tubers of Ruellia tuberosa L. (Acanthaceae)
/ Rajendra kumar N, Vasantha K and V.R. Mohan* / American Journal of Phytomedicine and Clinical Therapeutics
(14)
ANTI-CARCINOGENIC ACTIVITY OF RUELLIA TUBEROSA L. (ACANTHACEAE) LEAF EXTRACT ON HEPATOMA CELL LINE & INCREASED SUPEROXIDE DISMUTASE ACTIVITY ON MACROPHAGE CELL LYSATE / SAYANTAN DEY, SUBHADEEP ROY, NILANJANA DEB, KALYAN KUMAR SEN, SHILA ELIZABETH BESRA* / International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol 5, Suppl 3, 2013
(15)
ETHNOMEDICINAL PLANTS USED FOR WOUNDS AND SNAKE-BITES BY TRIBALS OF KINNERASANI REGION, A.P., INDIA / USHAKUMARI J., RAMANA V.V. AND REDDY K.J.* / Journal of Pharmacognosy. Volume 3, Issue 2, 2012, pp.-79-81.
(16)
Pharmacognostic and Preliminary Phytochemical / Studies on Ruellia tuberosa L. (Whole plant) / B Arirudran*, A Saraswathy, Vijayalakshmi Krishnamurthy / Pharmacognosy Journal, June 2011, Vol 3, Issue 22

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.

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