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Family Euphorbiaceae
Euphorbia atoto G.Forst.

Hai bin da ji

Scientific names Common names
Anisophyllum atoto (G. Forst.) Klotzsch & Garcke Tairas (Iv.)
Anisophyllum laevigatum Klotzsch & Garcke Lamiñgo (Bag.)
Chamaesyce atoto (G. Forst) Croizat Beach spurge (Engl.)
Chamaesyce levis (Poir.) Croizat Sweet spurge (Engl.)
Euphorbia atoto G.Forst.  
Euphorbia levis Poir.  
Euphorbia tahitensis Boiss.  
Euphorbia atoto is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Hai bin da ji.
FIJIAN: Totolu, Totoyava.
INDIA: Mu pet.
SAMOAN: Vatari, Phlutai ufi tamaite.
TONGAN: Kavahuhu, Kavahuhu lalahi.

Tairas is a slender, smooth herb, up to 36 centimeters in height, with ascending and prostrate stems. Leaves are oblong, 1.5 to 4.5 centimeters long, and 0.7 to 1.5 centimeters wide, with entire margins. Inflorescence is very short and borne on the upper axil of the leaf. Capsule is small, ovoid, about millimeters in diameter.

- A strand plant along sandy seashores throughout the Philippines.
- Also occurs in India to southern China and Formosa through Malaya to Australia and Polynesia.

- Listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (1998). (4)

- Study isolated a new alkaloid from Euphorbia atoto identified as (+)-9-aza-1-methylbicyclo-[3,3,1]nonan-3-one. (6)

- Purgative, emmenagogue, abortifacient.
- Study has suggested tumor-promoting activity.

Parts used
Whole plant, sap.


- In the Philippines, used to promote menstrual discharge; in large doses, used as abortifacient. (5)
- In Vietnam, juice used as emmenagogue. (5)
- In India, plant used for anti-fertiliy properties. (5)
- In Indo-China, the milky juice used as an emmenagogue, also as an abortifacient.
- Cooked with honey over a water bath, used for tuberculosis.
- In New Caledonia, plant soaked and malaxated in sea-water used as purgative.
- In India, leaf paste is boiled in paraffin wax and applied on ulcers, sores, old cuts and wounds. Also, leaves mixed with leaves of Ipomoea pes-caprae, boiled in coconut oil, and the extract rubbed on the body in rheumatism.

Tumor Promoter Activity:
In a Malaya study for long-term side-effects of herbal medications, 48 species of Euphorbiaceae were screened for tumor-promoter activity using a human lymphoblastoid cell line harboring the EBV genome. 27% (13/48) were found to be positive, and four, including E. atoto, were found to have EBV-induciing activity at low concentrations in cell culture. The observation warrants study for an etiologic factor for the promotion of tumors among rural Malaysian Malays. (1)


© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D. / StuartXchange

Updated November 2022 / August 2018 / September 2013

IMAGE SOURCES: GNU Free Documentation Licences / File:Euphorbia atoto.jpg / Euphorbia atoto; Chamaesyce chamissonis; Beach smpurge / 4 June 2007 / Tau'olunga / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Tumour promoter activity in Malaysian Euphorbiaceae / A W Norhanom and M Yadav / British Journal of Cancer (1995); 71(4): pp 776-779s
Traditional medicine of the Nicobarese / Chitralekha Verma, Shashi Bhatia, and Shuchi Srivastava / Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, Vol 9(4), Oct 2010, pp 779-785.
Euphorbia atoto / Synonym / The Plant List
Euphorbia atoto / The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Euphorbia atoto / Antifertility Plants of the Pacific / Richard Conrad Cambie, Alexandra Brewis
(+)-9-Aza-1-methylbicyclo[3,3 ,1]nonan-3-one, a new alkaloid from Euphorbia atoto Forst / Nk Hart, Sr Johns, Ja Lamberton / Australian Journal of Chemistry, 1967 / DOI: 10.1071/ch9670561

DOI: 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)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants

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