Sigesbeckia orientalis (PROSEA)

From PlantUse English
Jump to: navigation, search
Logo PROSEA.png
Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Sigesbeckia orientalis L.

Protologue: Sp. pl. 2: 900 (1753).
Family: Compositae
Chromosome number: 2n= 30, 60

Vernacular names

  • Small yellow crown-beard (En). Guérit-vite, herbe divine, herbe de Placq (Fr)
  • Papua New Guinea: lopalopa (Tobobugu, Southern Highlands Province)
  • Philippines: kaedes (Ivatan), put (Bontok)
  • Thailand: khon cham noi (eastern), saa phaan kon, yaa phom yung (northern)
  • Vietnam: nụ áo rìa, lưỡi dồng, hy thiêm.

Origin and geographic distribution

S. orientalis originates from the tropics and subtropics of the Old World, and is found from Africa to India, China and Japan and further through Malaysia, Java, and the Philippines to Australia and Polynesia. It is now cosmopolitan in warm climates and is sometimes cultivated.


S. orientalis extracts are widely used for restoring the blood circulation, stimulating urine secretion and as a renal tonic. The sap is also commonly used in treatments of gangrenous ulcers and sores, skin lesions of leprosy, syphilis and venereal diseases, and as a remedy for ringworm and parasitic infections. The fresh sap leaves a varnish-like covering when it dries. In Indo-China, the Philippines and Tahiti, the extract of S. orientalis is used for diarrhoea, leucorrhoea, to facilitate menstruation (as a pain reliever), as a stomachic and a cardiotonic, and to cure snake, insect or dog bites. In Vietnam, the whole plant is used as an antiphlogistic, and applied in the treatment of rheumatism, ostalgia, lumbago and impetigo. In Thailand, the extract is used in the treatment of sprains, dislocations and contusions, and also for bee stings and snake bites. In China, the plant is used as a remedy for ringworm, scabies, and other skin diseases, and is also used as an anodyne, alterative (for blood pressure), and used to treat convulsions, strokes, paralysis, arthritis and neuralgic pains, and for chronic malaria. In Africa, S. orientalis is considered cardiotonic, diaphoretic, antiscorbutic, sialagogic and anthelmintic. In Nigeria, it is used externally to treat leprosy, venereal diseases and ulcers, and internally as a laxative. In the Mascarenes, the syrup is used for the treatment of gout and scrofula. In India, a decoction of the stem is used to treat constipation in children, and a decoction of the dried leaves and flowers for the treatment of dysentery.

The seed oil of S. orientalis is rich in epoxy acids, which are of potential interest as replacements for synthetic epoxy compounds, used as stabilizers for plastic materials.

Production and international trade

In Vietnam, S. orientalis is cultivated, but no statistics are available.


The aerial parts contain an essential oil, that has been recommended for use in perfumery. Among the main constituents of the aerial parts of S. orientalis are diterpenes, e.g. darutoside (0.17 %), darutigenol, 3-geranylnerol derivatives and 3-ent-pimarenes, together with sesquiterpenes, e.g. orientalide (a melampolide), orientin, other melampolides and germacranolides. The bitter glucoside darutine (a salicylic derivate) has also been isolated.The seeds contain a fatty oil, consisting of about 20% epoxy acids (16% coronary-epoxyacid, 4% vernolic-epoxyacid).

Extracts of the aerial parts exhibit some hypoglycaemic activity when given orally to rats at a dose of 250 mg/kg; some hypotensive activity in dogs when given intraperitoneally at a dose of 50 mg/kg; some antispasmodic activity against acetylcholine- and histamine-induced spasms in isolated guinea-pig ileum, and weak action against Rhaniket disease in poultry at a concentration of 50μg/ml. The aqueous extract of the dried aerial parts do not show any analgesic activity when given intraperitoneally to mice at a dose of 9 g/kg, but shows a weak inhibitory effect on angiotensin II and cholecystokinin receptor binding. The 95% ethanolic extract of the dried aerial parts shows significant bactericidal activity against Trypanosoma cruzi at a dose of 12μg/ml.

An extract of S. orientalis was also found to show significant antifeedant and insecticidal properties on 3rd-instar larvae of Crocidolomia binotalis , an important pest on cruciferous crops in Mauritius. Finally, the ethanol or aqueous extract of the dried aerial parts shows anti-hepatotoxic activity in vitro at a concentration of 1 mg/ml. Toxicity assessment of the whole plant in mice shows a maximum tolerated dose of 1 g/kg intraperitoneally.


An erect, annual herb, 20-110 cm tall, with an unpleasant odour; stems and branches widely ascending-spreading, dichotomously forked above, densely short pubescent, branches tinged purple. Leaves opposite, simple, ovate-oblong to deltoid-ovate, 5-14 cm × 3-10 cm, base truncate to cuneate or narrowed into the petiole, apex short acuminate to acute, margins irregularly obtuse-dentate, distinctly 3-veined, chartaceous, densely short-pubescent on both sides, glandular dotted beneath, upper leaves gradually smaller and narrow, oblong, apex obtuse; petiole of lower leaves long, winged, of upper leaves short; stipules absent. Inflorescence a small head, 16-21 mm across, many together in a loose panicle; peduncles 1-3.5 cm long, the longest peduncle sometimes glandular-pilose; outer involucral bracts 5, spreading, 5-15 mm × 1-2 mm, glandular-pilose, inner involucral bracts 5, 5 mm long, glandular outside, enclosing the individual flowers like a boat. Ligulate flowers 5, female, corolla 2.2-2.5 mm long, trifid, yellow, reddish beneath, tubular flowers about 10, bisexual, corolla 1.5 mm long, apex 5-dentate, yellow; anthers 5, linear, sagittate; ovary inferior, 4-5-angled; style-arms in ligulate flowers 2.5 mm long, in bisexual flowers short, flattened, acute. Fruit an oblong, curved, truncate, 4-angular achene, 3 mm long, blackish, smooth; pappus absent.

Growth and development

Under favourable growing conditions 2 life cycles of S. orientalis per year can be reached, e.g. in Russia.

Other botanical information

Sigesbeckia consists of about 6 species, of which 3 originate from the Old World tropics. Sigesbeckia belongs to the tribe Heliantheae , and is morphologically close to Trigonospermum . A common annotation of Sigesbeckia is Siegesbeckia .


S. orientalis is widespread along roadsides, in wastelands and cultivated land, young secondary forests, tea and coffee plantations, and prefers moist, fertile localities. It grows mostly at low altitudes, but can be found up to 2100 m altitude. In Vietnam, it is sometimes cultivated on heavy and sandy soils, between 50-700 m altitude, but it is mainly found between 200-300 m, in sunny locations with moist soils. The optimum temperature for growth is 10-27C. S. orientalis can flower throughout the year, but has its peak during the rainy season. Proliferation of the flowers can occur under humid conditions.

Propagation and planting

S. orientalis is propagated by seed.


In Vietnam, S. orientalis is harvested before flowering, from March-June.

Handling after harvest

After the roots of S. orientalis are removed, plants are dried in the shade.

Genetic resources and breeding

S. orientalis has a wide distribution and is a common weed in anthropogenic habitats. Therefore the risk of genetic erosion seems limited. No germplasm collections or breeding programmes are known to exist.


Very little is known about the phytochemistry and pharmacology of S. orientalis . As it shows some antibacterial activity, more research in this direction seems appropriate. The essential oil is valued in perfumery, therefore it might be of some interest for small scale trade.


  • Burkill, H.M., 1985. The useful plants of West tropical Africa. Edition 2. Vol. 1. Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, United Kingdom. pp. 492-493.
  • Hänsel, R., Keller, K., Rimpler, H. & Schneider, G. (Editors), 1994. Hagers Handbuch der Pharmazeutischen Praxis. Band 6: Drogen P-Z [Hagers handbook of the practice of pharmacology. Vol. 6: drugs P-Z]. 5th Edition. Springer Verlag, Berlin, Germany. pp. 695-699.
  • Kosuge, T., Yokota, M., Sugiyama, K., Yamamoto, T., Muri, T., Kuroki, Y., Kose, T. & Yamazawa, H., 1985. Studies on bioactive substances in the Chinese Materia Medica used for arthritic diseases in traditional Chinese medicine. I. Anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect of Chinese Materia Medica used for arthritic diseases. Yakugaku Zasshi 105(9): 845-847. (in Japanese)
  • Petrova, E.F., 1979. The life cycle of Siegesbeckia orientalis grown in the Krasnodar region. Rastitel’nye Resursy 15(3): 380-384. (in Russian)
  • Quisumbing, E., 1978. Medicinal plants of the Philippines. Katha Publishing Co., Quezon City, the Philippines. pp. 994-995.
  • Tran Xuan Thuyet, Tran Van Hoc & Ma Dinh Nga, 1977. About ecology and technique of planting of Sigesbeckia orientalis in Bac Thai province. Bulletin of Pharmaceutical Materials 3: 131-140. (in Vietnamese)

Other selected sources

59, 74, 143, 193, 250, 264, 292, 370, 386, 604, 779, 786, 788, 1099.


Wongsatit Chuakul, Noppamas Soonthornchareonnon, Orawan Ruangsomboon