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Family Acanthaceae

Justicia gendarussa
Burm. f.
Qin qiu

Scientific names  Common names 
Justicia gendarussa Burm. f. Bugnan (Tagb.) 
Gendarussa vulgaris Bojer Bunlaw (Bis.) 
Gendarussa vulgaris Nees Hi-ig (If.) 
  Handal-usa (C. Bis.) 
  Holingbañgon (Sul.) 
  Kadpaayan (Ilk.) 
  Kapinitulot (Tag.) 
  Malabulak (Tag., Tagb.)  
  Padil (Ting.) 
  Paritulot (Tag.)
  Puli (Bik.) 
  Pulpulto (Ibn.) 
  Saling-bañgon (Sub.) 
  Sinambagun (Sul.)
  Tagpaya (Ilk.)
  Tuhod-manok (Tag.) 
  Black malabar nut (Engl.)
  Gandarusa (Engl.) 
  Water willow (Engl.)
  Willow-leaved justicia (Engl.)
Tuhod-manok is a shared common name by (1) Dayang, Cyathula prostrata, and (2) Gandarusa, Justicia gendarussa.

Other vernacular names (12)
BENGALI: Jagatmadan.
BRUNEI: Sarimbangun hitam.
CHINESE: Qin qiu.
FRENCH: Ayapana marron, Laliapana marron, Natchouli, Yapana malgache, Nitchouli.
HINDI: Nili nargandi.
MALAY: Gandarusa, Sikapapar, Tolonsi.
MARATHI: Bakas, Kala adulasa.
SANSKRIT: Bhutakeshi, Kasanah, Neel nirgundi, Nila nirgundi, Udisanbhalu, Vaidyasinha, Viadyasinha.
SINHALESE Kalu veraniya, Kalu weraniya.
TAMIL: Karunochi, Karunochchi.
THAI: Chiang phraa mon.

Tuhod-manok is an erect, branched, smooth undershrub, 0.8 to 1.5 meters high. Leaves are opposite, lanceolate, green or variegated with short petioles, 7 to 14 centimeters long, 1 to 2.5 centimeters wide, pointed at the ends . Flowers are small, in 4- to 12-centimeters long spikes, terminal or in axils of leaves. Calyx-teeth are smooth, linear, and about 3 millimeters long. Corolla is nearly smooth, 1.5 centimeters long, white or pink, with purple spots. Capsule is club-shaped, about 12 millimeters long, and smooth.

- Found from northern Luzon to Palawan and Mindanao, in most islands and provinces, chiefly along streams at low and medium altitudes in secondary and primary forests, and sometimes in thickets in and about towns, rarely planted.
- Also occurs in India to Malaya.

- Leaves contain a bitter alkaloid (justiciine).
- Leaves are rich in potassium salts.

- Ethanolic extract of leaves yielded flavonoids, terpenes/sterols, and saponins. (see study below) (21)

- Root is bitter in taste.
- Considered anodyne, antiperiodic, antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, febrifuge and laxative.
- Phytochemical screening showed the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, saturated steroidal saponins or triterpinoidal saponins and amino acids.

Parts used and preparation
Leaves, roots.

- Decoction of boiled leaves used for bathing during childbirth or for postpartum baths (see: Suob)
- In the Philippines the juice of 20 to 40 leaves or young shoots, extracted with water and a little wine, used as emetic in coughs and asthma.
- Tea of leaves, 50 gms to a liter of boiling water, 5 glasses daily for fevers, cough, asthma, dysuria.
- Fresh juice of leaves for children's cough and colic.
- Used for respiratory tract infections.
- Mix 2 ounces of fresh juice from leaves with 1 ounce of coconut oil as a poultice for rheumatism.
- Infusion of leaves for headaches.
- Fresh juice of leaves for ear aches.
- Fresh leaves used as topicals to cure the edema of beriberi; also used for rheumatism.
- Fresh juice of leaves, mixed with mustard, is used as an emetic; also for asthma.
- Bark used as emetic.
- Tea of bitter tasting root for diarrhea, dysuria fevers: 50 gms to a pint of boiling water, 4 glasses daily.
- Warmed salted leaves and tender stalks, in a bag, over musculoskeletal aches.
- Roots boiled in milk given for rheumatism, dysuria, fever, carbuncles, jaundice, and diarrhea.
- In the Antilles plant decoction or wine infusion (30 gm in 1 liter of water) used for intermittent fevers.
- Root, boiled in milk, for rheumatism, dysuria, fever, carbuncles, and diarrhea.
- Leaves rubbed with Crinum asiaticum and black pepper used externally for lumbago.
- Decoction of leaves for as diaphoretic and febrifuge.
- Leaves are scattered in-between clothes to protect from insects.
- Oil prepared from leaves useful for eczema.
In Sri Lanka, used for its analgesic action.
- In Kerala, leaves J. gendarussa, Hydrocotyle javanica, and Pterospermum rubiginosum are ground and juice used to prepare decoction to use for rheumatism. (
- Repellant: Dried leaves repel insects from clothing.

In the news
Male Contraceptive Study: Research on the contraceptive properties of Justicia gendarussa plant has been ongoing since 1985. Phase 2 studies have suggested a success rate similar to that of oral contraceptives in women. Study has suggested disruption of an enzyme in the sperm head which weakens its ability to penetrate the ovum. Further studies await funding. Data was presented at the American Society of Andrology in Atlanta 2014. (20)

Antinociceptive / Antioxidant: Study of JG aqueous leaf extract showed moderate and significant antinociceptive action, dose-dependent and of moderate duration. In addition, it also showed strong antioxidant activity. (2)
Immunosuppressive: Study of four medicinal plants that included J gendarussa showed inhibition of lymphocyte proliferation and suggests the extracts should be further investigated for their immunosuppressive components. (
Larvicidal / Mosquitocidal: Study of 11 commonly available medicinal plants, including J gendarussa, was evaluated for it larvicidal and mosquitocidal activities against Anopheles stephensi. All the extracts were found effective and the results suggest that these extracts are easy to prepare, inexpensive and safe for mosquito control. (
In Vitro HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase Inhibition: Study of 20 Thai medicinal plants, J gendarussa was one of the extracts that showed reverse transciptase inhibition. (
Anti-Arthritic: Study of ethanolic extract of J gendarussa showed significant anti-arthritic activity statistically similar to aspirin. (
Anti-Angiogenic: Study showed both aqueous and ethanolic extracts of leaves of J gendarussa dose-dependently inhibits angiogenesis and provides scientific basis for its traditional use in the treatment of arthritis. (
Antioxidant / Hepatoprotective / Leaves: Study showed the leaf extract of Justicia gendarussa has moderate hepatoprotective effect which may be due to its antioxidant and free radical scavenging potential. (
Anti-Inflammatory: Study of ethanol extract of leaves exhibited a modulatory function in inhibition of NO, iNOS, and MMP-9 in invitro studies providing supporting evidence for the anti-inflammatory properties of J. gendarussa and its potential use in the management of inflammatory conditions like arthritis. (
Anthelmintic: Study of crude methanolic extract of dried leaves and stems exhibited significant anthelmintic activities against Pheretima posthuma. Albendazole was the positive control. (10)
Anti-Inflammatory / Antinociceptive / Leaves: Study of ethanol extract of leaves screened for anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activity in animals exhibited significant inhibition of pain in the acetic acid writhing and hot plate models in mice. (11)
Male Contraceptive / Renal Precautions: Study has yielded Gandarusin A and reported to have an antifertility effect by preventing spermatozoa penetration by degrading activity of hyaluronidase enzyme. In a 72-day study, a 70% ethanol extract altered the levels of creatinine and calcium. Results caution the use in patients with renal dysfunction. (12)
Anti-Anxiety: Study evaluated aerial parts of J. gendarussa for anti-anxiety activity. Results showed an effective anti-anxiety effect comparable to that of benzodiazepine diazepam at the dose of 2.0 mg kg. (14)
Cytotoxicity Activities / Human Cancer Cell Lines: Study evaluated the cytotoxic activity of J. gendarussa methanolic extracts and two standard flavonoids (naringenin and kaempferol) against various human cancer cell lines (HT-29, HeLa and BxPC-3). Methanolic leaf extracts and kaempferol were very toxic against BxPC-3 and HeLa cells. (15)
Anti-Inflammatory / Roots: Study evaluated a methanolic extract of J. gendarussa roots in a carrageenan-induced paw edema assay. Results showed significant inhibition of edema formation. Extract inhibited carrageenan-elicited total COX-activity, 5-lipoxygenase and 15-lipoxygenase activities. (16) Study of ethyl acetate extract of roots of J. gendarussa dose dependently inhibited LPS-activated COX, 5-LOX, IL-6< and NF-kB hPBMCs. It also reduced LPS induced levels of iNOS and COX-2 mRNA expression in hPBMCs. (
Corrosion Inhibition: Study evaluated the corrosion inhibition effect of J. gendarussa extract on mild steel. Polarization study showed mixed type inhibition. (17)
Antibacterial / Biomass: Study evaluated a biomass of leaves, stem and root produced through a hydroponic system of cultivation for antibacterial activity against various human pathogens viz. Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Shigella sp., Pseudomonas sp., and Klebsiella pneumonia. The methanolic extract showed activity against E. coli. Leaf extracts inhibited growth of Shigella sp., Pseudomonas sp., and K. pneumonia. Stem extract showed maximum inhibition against S. aureus. (19)

Effect on Plasma Uric Acid: Study evaluated the effect of ethanolic extract of J. gendarussa leaves in oxonate-induced hyperuricemic male albino rats. Results showed dose dependent increased in effect, with greatest effect at 5.2 g/kbw. (see constituents above) (
Male Anti-Fertility Compound / Leaves: Preclinical study of leaves suggested activity as a male contraceptive. Extraction yielded a major compound 6,8- di-C-α-L-arabinopyranosyl-4',5,7-trihydroxyflavone or 6,8-di-C-α-L-arabinosyl-apigénine (gendarusin A) and a minor compounds 6-C- α-L-arabinopyranosyl-4',5,7-trihydroxy-8-C-β-D-ylopiranosyl-flavone or 6-C-α-L-arabinosyl-8-C-β-D-xylosyl- apigenine gendarusin B). (
Hepatoprotective / Stem: Study evaluated a methanolic extract of stem for hepatoprotective activity in isolated rat primary hepatocytes as in-vitro model. Carbon tetrachloride was used as hepatotoxin and silymarin as reference drug. Results showed significant protective activity, but less than silymarin. (


Last Update November 2014

Photo © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE / Public Domain / File:Justicia gendarussa Blanco1.80-original.png / Flora de Filipinas / Franciso Manuel Blanco (OSA), 1880-1883 / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Justicia gendarussa / Plants For A Future
Antinociceptive activity and toxicological study of aqueous l eaf extract of Justicia gendarussa Burm. F. in rats / Pharmacognosy Magazine ISSN: 0973-1296
Immunosuppressive effect of medicinal plants of Kolli hills on mitogen-stimulated proliferation of the human peripheral blood mononuclear cells in vitro / DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.36535 / S Arokiyaraj, K Perinbam, P Agastian, K Balaraju
Larvicidal and adulticidal activities of some medicinal plants against the Malarial Vector, Anopheles stephensi (Liston) / N. Senthilkumar, Pushkala Varma and G. Gurusubramanian / Parasitology Research • Volume 104, Number 2 / January, 2009 / DOI 10.1007/s00436-008-1180-4
In vitro HIV type 1 reverse transcriptase inhibitory activities of Thai medicinal plants and Canna indica L. rhizomes

Anti-arthritic potential of the plant Justicia gendarussa Burm F / Jaijesh Paval, Srinivasan keloth Kaitheri et al / Clinics vol.64 no.4 São Paulo Apr. 2009 / doi: 10.1590/S1807-59322009000400015
Evaluation of Antiangiogenic Effect of the Leaves of Justicia gendarussa (Burm. f) (Acanthaceae) by Chrio Allontoic Membrane Method / K Periyanayagam et al / American Journal of Infectious Diseases 5 (3): 180-182, 2009
Antioxidant and Hepatoprotective Activity of Leaf Extract of Justicia gendarussa Burm / K.L. Krishna, K. Mruthunjaya and J.A. Patel / Int. J. Biol. Chemi., 3: 99-110 / DOI: 10.3923/ijbc.2009.99.110
Ethanol extract of Justicia gendarussa inhibits lipopolysaccharide stimulated nitric oxide and matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression in murine macrophage / Varma RS, Ashok G, Vidyashankar S, Patki P, Nandakumar KS. / Pharm Biol. 2011 Jun;49(6):648-52.
Evaluation of in vitro anthelmintic activities of leaf and stem extracts of Justicia gendarussa / Monika Rani Saha, Pankaj Chandra Debnath, Md. Ajijur Rahman and Md. Anwar Ul Islam / Bangladesh J Pharmacol 2012; 7: 50-53
Anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activity of Justicia gendarussa Burm. f. leaves / P Shikha, P G Latha, S R Suja et al / Indian Journal of Natural Products and Resources, Viol 1(4), Dec 201o, pp 456-461.
EFFECT of 70% ETANOL EXTRACT Justicia gendarussa BURM.f. in CAPSULE to RENAL FUNCTION, LIVER FUNCTION, and LIPID PROFILE to SERUM for NORMAL ADULT MEN / Prof. Dr. H. Noor Cholies Zaini, Apt. and Dr.Jusak Nugraha, dr, MS., SpPK / Penulis : Revinta Kurnia Septanti
Sorting Justicia names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 - 2020 The University of Melbourne.

Evaluation of Anti-anxiety Activity of Justicia gendarussa Burm / N. Subramanian, C. Jothimanivannan, R. Senthil Kumar and S. Kameshwaran / Pharmacologia, Volume 4 Issue 5, 2013
Cytotoxicity Activities in Local Justicia gendarussa Crude Extracts against Human Cancer Cell Lines / Zahidah Ayob, Azman Abd Samad, Siti Pauliena Mohd Bohari
Protective effect of Justicia gendarussa Burm.f. on carrageenan induced inflammation / Kavitha, S K;Viji, V;Kripa, K;Helen, A / Journal of natural medicines, 2011
Corrosion inhibition by Justicia gendarussa plant extract in hydrochloric acid solution / A.K. Satapathy G. Gunasekaran S.C. Sahoo Kumar Amit P.V. Rodrigues / Corrosion Science
2009 | 51 | 12 | 2848-2856
Sorting Justicia names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 - 2020 / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia.
Biomass Production and Antibacterial Activity of Justicia Gendarussa: A Valuable Medicinal Plant /
P. Sugumaran*, N. Kowsalya, R. Karthic, and S. Seshadri / THE JOURNAL OF TROPICAL LIFE SCIENCE,
VOL. 3, NO. 1, pp. 8 – 13, January, 2013
Gendarussa / Male Contraceptive Information Project
Anti-inflammatory potential of an ethyl acetate fraction isolated from Justicia gendarussa roots through inhibition of iNOS and COX-2 expression via NF-κB pathway. / Kumar KS, Vijayan V, Bhaskar S, Krishnan K, Shalini V, Helen A. / Cell Immunol. 2012;272(2):283-9 / doi: 10.1016/j.cellimm.2011.09.014. Epub 2011 Oct 10.
ACTIVITY OF ETHANOLIC EXTRACT FROM Justicia gendarussa Burm. LEAVES ON DECREASING THE URIC ACID PLASMA / Katrin Basah*), Berna Elya, Juheini Amin, dan Muhamad Iqbal Julian / MAKARA, SAINS, VOL. 15, NO. 1, APRIL 2011: 67-70
ISOLATION OF MALE ANTIFERTILITY COMPOUND IN N-BUTANOL FRACTION OF JUSTICIA GENDARUSSA BURM. F. LEAVES / Bambang Prajogo EW, David Guliet, Ferreira Queiroz E, John-Luc Wolfender, Noor Cholies Z, Aucky H, K Hostettmann / Folia Medica Indonesiana Vol. 45 No. 1 January - March 2009 : 28-31
Medicinal plants used by the tribes of Vythiri taluk, Wayanad district (Kerala state) for the treatment of human and domestic animal ailments / A. G. Devi Prasad and T. B. Shyma* / Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, Vol. 7(20), pp. 1439-1451, 25 May, 2013 / DOI: 10.5897/JMPR12.841

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