Gynura procumbens (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Gynura procumbens (Lour.) Merr.

Protologue: Enum. Philipp. fl. pl. 3: 618 (1923).


Gynura sarmentosa (Blume) DC. (1838).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: sambung mjawa, daun dewa, kalingsir (Sundanese)
  • Malaysia: akar sebiak, kelemai merah, kacham akar
  • Cambodia: chi angkam
  • Thailand: pra-kham dee khwaai, ma kham dee khwaai (Pattani), mu maeng sang (Chumphon)
  • Vietnam: bầu dất, rau lúi, dây chua lè.


Western and central Africa, and from southern China throughout continental South-East Asia and Malesia eastward to Papua New Guinea; also widely cultivated.


In Java G. procumbens is employed to treat kidney afflictions in Chinese traditional medicine. The leaves are used in herbal baths to treat rheumatism and paralysis. Dried and pounded leaves mixed with oil are externally applied on various skin complaints. In Malaysia, a decoction is used as a remedy for dysentery. In Cambodia the plant is an ingredient of a complex prescription applied as a febrifuge. The leaves are also used as a flavouring for food. In Java young shoots are eaten raw as a vegetable. In Africa boiled leaves are applied to relieve general body pains, whereas fresh leaves are applied to relieve rheumatic pains.


A scrambling or weakly climbing, perennial herb, stems up to 6 m long, leafy, glabrous or sparsely pubescent; leaves ovate to narrowly ovate in outline, extremely variable in shape, 3-10 cm × 0.5-3 cm, lower surface more or less purple, at the base of the stem petiolate, higher up petiolate or sessile, sometimes auriculate; inflorescence a series of axillary and terminal corymbs of up to 20 heads, these cylindrical to turbinate, longer than broad, peduncle up to 6 cm long, inner involucral bracts 8-13, with a length of 8-17 mm, glabrous; corolla 10-16 mm long, yellow, turning red; fruit 5-6 mm long. G. procumbens is very variable and has been split into several species at various times in the past, but they all intergrade. G. procumbens occurs in a wide range of habitats, but prefers moist forest, up to 2800 m altitude.

Selected sources

78, 120, 121, 671, 732.

Main genus page


Lean Teik Ng & Su Foong Yap