HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT

Family Scrophulariaceae
Picria fel-terrae Lour.

Scientific names Common names
Curanga amara Juss. Sagai-uak (Sul.)
Curanga fel-terrae (Lour.) Merr. Curanja (Engl.)
Curanga melissifolia A.Juss.  
Curanga torenioides Steud.  
Gratiola amara (Juss.) Roxb.  
Picria fel-terrae Lour.  
Curanga fel-terrae (Lour.) Merr. is a synonym of Picria fel-terrae Lour. The Plant List
Picria fel-terrae Lour. is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
INDONESIA: Tamah raheut, Daun kukurang, Papaita.
LAOS: Kong saden, Pu:n.
MALAYSIA: Hempedu tanah, Gelumak susu, Rumput kerak nasi.
VIETNAM: M[aaj]t d[aas]t, Thanh.

Sagai-uak is a smooth, prostrate herb. Branches are slender, straggling, 60 to 90 centimeters long, rooting at the lower nodes. Leaves are ovate, 3 to 6 centimeters long, 2 to 3 centimeters wide, pointed at both ends, and toothed at the margins. Flowers are crowded on short axillary and terminal racemes. Calyx in the flower is about 6 millimeters long, double that length in the fruit; its outer sepals are broadly ovate and heart-shaped. Corolla is dark reddish brown. Fruit is a capsules, ovate, flattened, 3 to 4 millimeters long, bivalved with several seeds. Spherical seeds are about 0.6 millimeter in diameter, with 8 oblong hollows.

- On forested slopes at low altitudes, ascending to 400 meters, rather rare and local.
- Found in Cagayan, Kalinga and Laguna Provinces in Luzon and in Zamboanga, Mindanao.
- Occurs in India to Indo-China and through Malaya to the Moluccas.

- Plant yields an amorphous bitter glucoside, curangin, which is either nonpoisonous or only very slightly poisonous.
- Study isolated two triterpenoids: (1) picfeltarraenone I (3,11,22-trioxo-16alpha-hydroxy-(20S,24)-epoxy-cucurbit-5,23-diene) and (2) picfeltarraenin XI (3,11,22-trioxo-16alpha-hydroxy-(20S,24)-epoxy-cucurbit-5, 23-diene-2beta-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside). (11)
- Study isolated seven compounds: apigenin (1), apigenin-7-O-β-D-glucuronide (2), apigenin-7-O-α-L- rhamnopyranosyl(1→2)-β-D-glucuronide (3), rosmarinic acid (4), picfeltarraegenin Ⅳ (5), picfeltarraegenin X (6), and acteoside (7). (12)
- Study isolated three flavonoid glucoronides viz., 7-O-β-glucuronide, luteolin 7-O-β-glucuronide and apigenin 7-O-β-(2″-O-α-rhamnosyl)glucuronide. (2)
- Study of whole plant isolated a new cucurbitacin,  picfeltarraenone II (1), along with four known cucurbitacins, picfeltarraegenin I (2), picfeltarraenin IA (3), picfeltarraenin IB (4), and picfeltarraenin IV   (5). (17)
- Phytochemical screening of ethanol extract of leaves yielded secondary metabolites of alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, tannins, saponins, triterpenoids, and steroids. (see study below) (18)

- Plant, especially the fresh leaves, is very bitter.
- Considered aperient, febrifuge, diuretic, emmenagogue, sudorific.
- Curangine, an alkaloid derived from the plant, reported to have a marked febrifuge property.
- Studies suggest antimicrobial, antidiabetic, and complement inhibiting properties.

Parts used
Whole plant, leaves.


- In the Philippines, decoction of the plant is used as febrifuge, especially for malaria.
- The plant, masticated, decocted or infused, is used as stomachic and for irregular menstruation.
- Leaves are aperient; a stimulant to the intestines, sudorific, diuretic and emmenagogue.
- Leaves are used in the early stages of dropsy, in intermittent fevers, amenorrhea, arrested lochia, colic and lumbar pains.
- Sap or decoction of plant used as vermifuge in children.
- In the Moluccas, used as vermifuge, for tertian fever, as liver and bile stimulant. Also used for colic.
- Malays used it for its bitterness to whet the appetite.
- Juice given to provoke nausea.
- Decoction of leaves used for stomachache.
- Plant decoction used to increase appetite.
- Leaves applied to the head in cases of headache; cooling the head and allaying the pain.

- In Chinese medicine used as folk medicine for the treatment of herpes, infections, cancer, and inflammation. (14)

Flavonoid Glucoronides:
Study of a n-butanol extract yielded three flavonoid glucoronides: apigenin 7-O-β-glucuronide, luteolin 7-O-β-glucuronide and a new compound, apigenin 7-O-β-(2″-O-α-rhamnosyl)glucuronide, the latter one being a new compound. (2)
New Cucurbitacin:
Study yielded a new compound, 11, 24-dioxo-5, 21-diene-cucurbit-3alpha-O-beta-D-xylopyranosyl-16alpha-O-alpha-L-rhamnopyranoside (dehydrobryogenin glycoside). Hexanorcucurbitacin F, was obtained for the first time from Picria fel-terrae. (3)
New Phenylethanoid Glycosides:
Study searching for bioactive compounds from the whole plant yielded three new phenylethanoid glycosides, picreosides A-C, along with five known phenylethanoid glycosides: wiedemannioside, acteoside, acteoside isomer, cis-acteoside isomer, and cis-acteoside. (4)
Complement-Inhibiting Cucurbitacin Glycosides: Study isolated four cucurbitacin glycosides: Picfeltarraenins 1A and 1B, picfeltarraenin IV, and a new compound picfeltarraenin VI. All showed activity as inhibitors of both the classical and alternative pathways of the complement system. (5)

ß- Sitosterol / Anti-Diabetic Effect / Leaves: Study isolated ß-sitosterol from an n-hexane extract of leaves of Picria fel-terrae. The extract showed good antidiabetic effect, indicated by significant blood glucose lowering in alloxan induced diabetic mice. (7)
Antimicrobial /Stem and Leaves: An in vitro study of a crude stem with leaf extract showed against five human pathogenic microorganisms showed effective activity against E. coli, Bacillus subtilis, Klebsiella sp., Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. (8)
Anthelmintic / Leaves: Study investigated the anthelmintic activity of leaf extract of Curanga fel-terrae against Pheretima posthuma. Results showed anthelmintic activity significantly more potent compared to standard albendazole. (13)
Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors: Study reports on the isolation of bioactive principles isolated from P. fel-terrae. An AChE inhibitory bioassay coupled HPLX of an EA extract yielded six compounds: picfeltarraenin IA (1), picfeltarraenin IB (2), picfeltarraenin IV (3), picfeltarraenin X (4), picfeltarraenin XI (5), and one unknown compound. (14)
• Anthelmintic: Study isolated fractions of plant extract against free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and parasitic nematode Haemonchus contortus. Results showed a single fraction enriched for nematocidal activity killed ≥ 90% of C. elegans adults and inhibited motility of exsheathed L3 of H. contortus. (15)

• Diuretic / Leaves:
Study evaluated the diuretic activity of various solvent extracts of leaves of Picria fel-terrae. An n-hexane extract showed better diuretic effect compared with other extracts with significant increase in urine volume at dose of 800 mg/kbw. There was increased sodium excretion by all extracts. (16)
• Antioxidant / Antiproliferative / T47D Cell Line: Study evaluated an ethyl acetate fraction of Picria fel-terrae for antioxidant activity and cytotoxicity effects in T47D cell line. The EAF showed anti-proliferative activity IC50 of 62.98 µg/ml. Antioxidant evaluation by DPPH assay showed an IC50 of 166.90 ± 0.10 µg/ml. (18)
• Relaxation Effect / Serotonin Contracted Rat Ileum / Leaves:
Study of an ethanolic extract of P. fel-terrae leaves showed a relaxation effect on isolated rat ileum contracted by serotonin (5-HT). (see constituents above) (18)
• Effect on Adrenoreceptors, Histamine, and ACh Receptors / Leaves:
Study evaluated the effect of an ethanolic extract of P. fel-terrae leaves on ß2-adrenoreceptors, histamine, and muscarinic-3 acetylcholine receptors in isolated guinea pig trachea. Results showed ethanolic extracts of leaves of P. fel-terrae possess stimulatory effect on ß2-adrenoreceptors, inhibitory effect on histamine and a relaxation effect on M3-ACh receptors. (19)
• Picfeltarraenin IA / Anti-Inflammatory / Airway Inflammation:
Picfeltarraenin IA is extracted from the plant and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. Study evaluated the effect of picfeltarraenin IA on respiratory inflammation via its effect on interleukin (IL)-8 and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production. The expression of COX2 in human pulmonary adenocarcinoma epithelial A549 cells in culture was also examined. Results showed IA downregulated LPS-induced COX2 expression, and inhibits IL-8 and PGE2 production in pulmonary epithelial cells. Results indicate IA regulates LPS-induced cytokine release in A549 cells via NF-kB pathway. (20)


Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Updated July 2018 / October 2015

MAGE SOURCE: / Photo / Picria felterrae Lour. / Michael Kesl / Indonesia, Sawai, Seram, Maluku / CC-BY-NC Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License / click on image to go to source page / BioLib.cz
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Illustration / Curanga amara Juss. / Kirtikar, K.R., Basu, B.D., Indian medicinal plants, Plates, vol. 4: t. 697, fig. A (1918) / PlantIllustrations.org

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Curangine / Detroit Medical Journal / Archive
Flavonoid glucuronides from Picriafel-terrae / Ying Huang, Tess De Bruyne, Sandra Apers, Yuliang Ma, Magda Claeys, Luc Pieters, Arnold Vlietinck / Phytochemistry, Volume 52, Issue 8, December 1999, Pages 1701–1703
Isolation and identification of a new cucurbitacin from Picria fel-terrae / Zou JM, Wang LS, Ma XM, Shi RB, Guo YJ. / Yao Xue Xue Bao. 2004 Nov;39(11):910-2.
Phenylethanoid Glycosides from Picria felterrae Lour.
/ Jie-Ming ZOU, Li-Sheng WANG, Xue-Mei NIU, Han-Dong SUN and Ya-Jian GUO / Journal of Integrative Plant Biology (Formerly Acta Botanica Sinica) 2005, 47 (5): 632−636
Complement-inhibiting cucurbitacin glycosides from Picria fel-terrae.
/ Huang Y, De Bruyne T, Apers S, Ma Y, Claeys M, Vanden Berghe D, Pieters L, Vlietinck A. / J Nat Prod. 1998 Jun 26;61(6):757-61.
Picria fel-terrae / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED
Isolation of β-sitosterol from n-Hexane Extract of Picria fel-terrae Lour. Leave and Study of Its Antidiabetic Effect in Alloxan Induced Diabetic Mice / Panal Sitorus*, Urip Harahap, M Pandapotan, Tonel Barus / Int. J. Pharm Tech Res., 2014; 6(1): pp 137-141.
Picria fel-terrae / Synonyms / The Plant List
A new picfeltarraenone glycoside from Picria fel-terrae. / Zou JM1, Wang LS, Guo YJ, Wang Z, Wang RZ. / Yao Xue Xue Bao. 2005 Jan;40(1):36-8.
A new picfeltarraenone glycoside from Picria fel-terrae. / Zou JM, Wang LS, Guo YJ, Wang Z, Wang RZ. / Yao Xue Xue Bao. 2005 Jan;40(1):36-8.
Chemical constituents of Picria fel-terrae Lour. / HUANG Yong-Lin; CHEN Yue-Yuan; WEN Yong-Xin*; LI Dian-Peng; CHEN Wen-Juan; LIU Jin-Lei; LU Feng-Lai / Guihaia CN, Issue: 2010. Page: 887-890
Preliminary study on the anthelmintic activity of the leaf ethanolic extract of Indonesian Curanga fel-terrae (Lour.) Merr / Popi Patilaya and Dadang Irfan Husori / NTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHARMTECH RESEARCH 8(3):347-351 · JULY 2015
Bioassay- and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry-guided acetylcholinesterase inhibitors from Picriafel-terrae / Lu Wen, Qiqiu Wei, Gang Chen, Fan Liu, Shichang Zhang, and Tinghuo You / Pharmacogn Mag. 2013 Oct-Dec; 9(Suppl 1): S25–S31. / doi: 10.4103/0973-1296.117857
Metabolic profiling and in vitro assessment of anthelmintic fractions of Picria fel-terrae Lour. / Kumarasingha R, Karpe AV, Preston S, Yeo TC, Lim DSL, Tu CL, Luu J, Simpson KJ, Shaw JM, Gasser RB, Beale DJ, Morrison PD, Paloombo EA, Boaq PR / Int J. Parasitol Drugs Drug Resist., Dec 2106; 6(3): pp 171-178 / doi: 10.1016/j.ijpddr.2016.08.002.
AMINAH DALIMUNTHE, URIP HARAHAP, ROSIDAH, PANDAPOTAN NASUTION M / Asian J Pharm Clin Res, 2015; Vol 8, Issue 4: pp 204-205
A new cucurbitacin from Picria fel-terrae / J M Zou, L S Wang, X M Ma, Y J Guo, and R B Shi / Journal of Asian Natural Products Research, 2008; Vol 8, Issue 4: pp 367-371 / https://doi.org/10.1080/10286020500034998
Antioxidant and Antiproliferative Activities of an Ethylacetate Fraction of Picria Fel-Terrae Lour. Herbs / Denny Satria, Jansen Silalahi, Ginda Haro, Syafruddin Llyas, Poppy Anjelisa Zaitun Hasibuan / Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, Feb 2017; Vol 18, Issue 2, Article 16: pp 399-403 / DOI: 10.22034/APJCP.2017.18.2.399
Preliminary study of ethanolic extract of pogun tano (Picria fel-terrae lour.) leaves on β2 -adrenoceptors, histamine1 receptors and muscarinic3 acetylcholine receptors on isolated guinea-pig trachea / JOURNAL OF PHARMACY RESEARCH / JPRS-P'Col-00001868
Picfeltarraenin IA inhibits lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory cytokine production by the nuclear factor-κB pathway in human pulmonary epithelial A549 cells / Rong Shi, Qing Wang, Yang Ouyang, Qian Wang, Xudong Xiong / Oncology Letters, Feb 2016; Vol 11, Issue 2 / https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2015.4037

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.

HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT