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Family Lythraceae
Ammannia baccifera Linn.

Shui xian cai

Scientific names Common names
Ammannia apiculata Koehne Apoy-apoyan (Pang., Tag.)
Ammannia attenuata Hochst. ex A.Rich Bias-pugo (Tag.)
Ammannia baccifera Linn. Parapit-lañgit (Pamp.)
Ammannia baccifera f. altissima Koehne Blistering Ammannia (Engl.)
Ammannia crassissima Koehne Monarch redstem (Engl.)
Ammannia debilis Alton Tooth cup (Engl.)
Ammannia densiflora Miq. ex C.B.Clarke  
Ammannia discolor Nakai  
Ammannia glauca Wall. ex Wight & Am.  
Ammannia indica Lam  
Ammannia prostata Buch.-Ham. ex Dillwyn  
Ammannia retusa Koehne  
Ammannia salicifolia Hiern  
Ammannia vescicatoria Roxb.  
Ammannia viridis Willd. ex Hornem.  
Celosiaa bicolor Blanco  
Celosiaa nana Blanco  
Cryptotheca apetala Blume  
Apoy-apoyan is a phonetically shared name with Apoi-apoian, Gynandropsis gynandra, spider flower.
Ammannia baccifera L. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
BENGALI: Banmarich.
CHINESE: Xi ye shui xian, Jiang guo shui xian, Shui xian cai.
HINDI: Aginbuti, Ban mirich, Dadmari, Jungli mehendi.
MALAYALAM: Kallur vanchi, Nirumelneruppu.
MARATHI: Aginbuti, Bharajambhula, Dadmari.
NEPALI: Ambar.
SANSKRIT: Agnigarbha, Brahmasoma, Kshetrabhusha, Kshetravashini.

Bias-pugo is an erect, branched, smooth, slender, annual, more or less purplish herb, 10 to 50 centimeters in height. The stems are somewhat 4-angled. Leaves are oblong, oblanceolate, or narrowly elliptic, about 3.5 centimeters long, those on the branches very numerous, small, 1 to 1.5 centimeters long, with narrowed base and pointed or somewhat rounded tip. Flowers are small, about 1.2 millimeters long, greenish or purplish, borne in dense axillary clusters. Capsules are nearly spherical, depressed, about 1.2 millimeters in diameter, purple, and irregularly circumsciss above the middle. Seeds are black.

- In open, damp, waste places throughout the Philippines at low and medium altitudes throughout the Philippines.
- Also occurs in tropical Asia and Africa and through Malaya to tropical Australia.

- Plant yields resin, glucose, and probably an active principle.
- Phytochemical screening yielded tannins, saponins, flavonoids, steroids, and alkaloids.
- Series of studies for chemical constituents yielded four known compounds: β-sitosterol-3-O- β-glucopyranoside, quercctin-3-rutinoside (Rutin), kaempferol-3-O- β-glucopyranoside and quercetin-3-O-α-L-rhamnoside (Quercitrin).

- Plant is caustic.
- Traditionally considered cooling, ru
bifacient, laxative, stomachic, diuretic, aphrodisiac, lithotriptic.
- Leaves are caustic, rubefacient, irritant and vesicant.

Parts used


- Used in place of catharides for blistering plaster.
- Leaves are vesicant. In India, used to raise blisters, applied to the skin for half an hour or longer.
- Ethereal tincture found equal to liquor epispasticus.
- Leaves or ashes of the plant, mixed with oil, applied to herpetic eruptions.
- Fresh bruised leaves used in skin diseases as rubefacient and as external remedy for ringworm and parasitic skin infections.
- Also used for urinary calculi.
- In India, a folklore remedy for tumors and inflammation. Leaf paste applied to swellings.
- In India, villagers of the Sonepur district use agnikuanri (A. baccifera) for ringworm.
- In
India and China, used for wound healing.

Cytotoxicity / Anticancer:
Study investigated the cytotoxic effects of extracts from 16 Bangladesh medicinal plants. The methanolic extract of A baccifera showed low toxicity against mouse fibroblasts but selective cytotoxicity against different cancer cell lines. (1)
Antibacterial: Study of methanolic extract exhibited activity against B cereus and P vulgaris.
Urinary Stones / Preventive and Curative: Ethanolic extract was reported to be effective in reducing the formation of urinary stones and the dissolving existing ones that were induced by the implantation of zinc discs in the urinary bladder of rats. Treatment with A. baccifera also significantly reduced calcium and magnesium levels.
Safety Studies: Evaluation of ethanolic extract of Ammannia
baccifera in rats for acute and subacute toxicological effects showed all the animals to tolerate the maximum test dose without any significant toxic effect and was considered to be safe. (6)
Wound Healing: Significant wound healing was observed with creams prepared from a 5% chloroform fraction of A. baccifera. Ethanol leaf extract application was found to improve different phases of wound repair, including collagen synthesis and maturation, wound contraction and epithelialization. (8)
Antiurolithic: An ethanolic extract of A. baccifera for antiurolithic activity in male albino rats. Induced stones were mainly magnesium ammonium phosphate with traces of calcium oxalate. There was significant urinary excretion of calcium, magnesium and oxalate. Treatment with A. baccifera resulted in significant reduction of calcium and magnesium levels in the prophylactic group and reversed their levels to normal in the curative group
. (9)
Analgesic: Study of ethanol extract of A. baccifera in chemical models of nociception in mice showed a dose-dependent analgesic effect. (10)
Antisteroidogenic Activity: Study of ethanol extract of the whole plant exhibited antisteroidogenic activity. There was significant inhibition of the activity of Δ5-3β-hydroxy steroid dehydrogenase (Δ5-3β-HSD) and Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD), the two key enzymes involved in ovarian steroidogenesis. Preliminary phytochemical testing revealed the presence of flavonoids to which the antisteroidogenic activity might be attributed. (11)
Antioxidant / Free Radical Scavenging / Protective
Against CCl4 Induced Oxidative Stress: Treatment with an ethanol extract of A. baccifera can minimize the deleterious effects caused by carbon tetrachloride through its strong antioxidative and free radical scavenging properties. (12)
Antioxidant / Anti-Inflammatory / Anti-Nociceptive: A methanol extract showed free radical scavenging significantly super or to standards BHA and rutin. It also exhibited significant anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities, the latter effect comparable to standard drugs aspirin and morphine. (15)
Antitumor Activity: A methanol extract was evaluated for anticancer activity against Dalton's ascites lymphoma (DAL)-bearing Swiss albino mice and in vitro cytotoxicity against human cervical cancer cell line (HeLa). Results showed the methanol extract was effective in inhibiting tumor growth in ascetic models comparable to 5-fluorouracil. It presents a potential for the development of anticancer therapy. (16)
Antioxidant / Erythrocyte Protective Activity: Study evaluated the antioxidant activity of an ethanol extract of whole plant of Ammania baccifera against carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced erythrocyte damage. Results showed the whole plant possess erythrocyte protective activity against drug induced oxidative stress. (17)
Antibacterial / Antifungal / Aerial Parts: Various extracts were evaluated for invitro antimicrobial activity against E. coli, P. aeruginosa, K. pneumoniae and S. aureus and against fungi C. albicans, K. mamlamus. Results showed all the extracts exhibited significant activity. (18)
Larvicidal / Antifungal / Aerial Parts: Study evaluated the larvicidal effect of the aerial extracts of Ammannia baccifera on two important mosquito species, Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus. Results showed A. baccifera could be effectively used for control of mosquito larvae and presents a potential for the development of commercial larvicides from a plant widely occurring in India. (19)
Anti-Inflammatory / Anti-Arthritic: Study evaluated the anti-arthritic potential of AB extracts in chronic inflammatory models viz., cotton pellet induced granuloma and complete Freund's Adjuvant (CFA) induced arthritis in albino rats. In both models, alcoholic extracts showed more potency than the aqueuos extracts in terms of percentage of inhibition of inflammation. (22)
Anti-Tubercular: Study isolated and characterized four bioactive phytomolecules. The tetralone group compounds 2, 3 and semi-synthetic derivatives 2A–2E were evaluated for their in vitro anti-tubercular activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv by BACTEC- 460 radiometric susceptibility assay. Compounds 2 and 2E showed significant antitubercular activity while 2B showed moderate activity. (23)
Antimalarial: Study investigated the antimalarial potential of extracts and compounds from four species of Ammannia viz., A. multiflora, A. baccifera, A. verticillata, and A. coccinea. Chloroform, n-butanol fractions of A. baccifera roots and ME of A. coccinea showed potent in vitro antiplasmodial activity against Plasmodium falcifarum NF-54 (IC50 3.4, 2.7 and 4.5 µg/ml, respectively). (24)


Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Update April 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: Photo:Photo id: 154198 - Ammannia baccifera / Credit: Photo by Villiam Morelli / click on image to go to source page / alterVISTA
IMAGE SOURCE: Line Drawing / Ammannia baccifera / Flora of Pakistan / / Credit: M Y Saleem / eFloras

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Cytotoxic Effects of Bangladeshi Medicinal Plant Extracts / Shaikh J Uddin, I Darren Grice, Evelin Tiralongo / eCAM, doi:10.1093/ecam/nep111
Antibacterial and phytochemical studies on twelve species of Indian medicinal plants / Jigna Parekh and Sumitra Chanda / African Journal of Biomedical Research, Vol. 10: 175 - 181
Ethnobotanical Study of Medicinal Plants used by the Local People in Vellore District, Tamilnadu, India / T Thirumalai et al /
PHARMACOLOGY OF MEDICINAL PLANTS AND NATURAL PRODUCTS / S A Dahanukar, R A Kulkarni, N N Rege / Indian Journal of Pharmacology 2000; 32: S81-S118
Ammannia baccifera L / The Plant List
Safety evaluation of the ethanol extract of Ammannia baccifera (Lythraceae): assessment of Acute and Subacute toxicity / Lavanya Goodla, Manjunath Manubolu, Sivajyothi Ravilla and Parthasarathy R. Poondamalli / Journal of Pharmacy Research, Vol 3, No 11 (2010)
Evaluation of wound healing activity of Ammannia baccifera and Blepharis maderaspatensis leaf extracts on rats / Alyalu Rajasekaran, Vellaichamy Sivakumar, Sabarimuthu Darlinquine / Rev. bras. farmacogn., ahead of print Epub Nov 21, 2011 / doi.org/10.1590/S0102-695X2011005000207
Evaluation of Ammannia baccifera Linn. for antiurolithic activity in albino rats. / Prasad K V, Bharathi K, Srinivasan K K / Indian J Exp Biol. 1994 May;32(5):311-3.
Evaluation of Analgesic Effect of Ammania baccifera Linn. in Mice / Dhanapal R, Vrushabendraswamy B M, Murugesan T et al / West Afr. J. Pharmacol. Drug Res. Vol 20, no 1 & 2, Jan-Dec 2004; 31-34
Antisteroidogenic Activity of Ethanol Extract of Ammania baccifera (L.) Whole Plant in Female Albino Mice Ovaries / RAMAIYAN DHANAPAL, SUBRAMANI KAVIMANI et al / IRANIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACOLOGY & THERAPEUTICS, Jan 2005, Vol 4, No 1, Pp 43-45
Fate of biomolecules during carbon tetrachloride induced oxidative stress and protective nature of Ammoniac baccifera Linn.: A natural antioxidant / Lavanya G, Sivajyothi R, Manjunath M, Parthasarathy P / International Journal of Green Pharmacy, 2009, Vol 3, No 4, Pp 300-305
Ammannia baccifera L. (accepted name) / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
Blistering Ammannia / Common names / Flowers of India
Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive effects of Ammannia baccifera L. (Lythracceae), a folklore medicinal plant. / Loganayaki N, Siddhuraju P, Manian S. / J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Mar 27;140(2):230-3. / doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.01.001.
Antitumor activity of the methanolic extract of Ammannia baccifera L. against Dalton's ascites lymphoma induced ascitic and solid tumors in mice. / Loganayaki N, Manian S. / J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Jun 26;142(1):305-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.05.008. Epub 2012 May 14.
Evaluation of antioxidant activity of Ammania baccifera (L.) Whole plant extract in rats / Subash vijayakumar*, Ramaiyan Dhanapal, I. Sarathchandran, A. Saravana Kumar and J.Vijaya Ratna / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine (2012) / doi:10.1016/S2221-1691(12)60309-8
Antibacterial and Antifungal Activity of Aerial Part of Plant Ammannia baccifera Linn. / Das Srimanta Kumar*, Dhake A.S, Nayak A., Das N.B., Pandeya S.N. / Research Journal of Pharmacy and Technology, 2011, Volume 4, Issue 3.
Evaluation of larvicidal activity of the aerial extracts of a medicinal plant, Ammannia baccifera (Linn) against two important species of mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus / Suman TY, Elumalai D, Vignesh A, Kaleena PK, Murugesan K* / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease (2012)
Ammannia baccifera / Synonyms / The Plant List
Use of Agnikuanri (Ammania baccifera L.) in Ringworm by Some of the Villagers of Birmaharajpur Block (Sonepur District) / Ratha Kshirod Kumar, S S Mishra / Journal of Pharmaceutical and Scientific Innovation, 1 (4), July-Aug 2012, pp 37-38
Anti-tubercular agents from Ammannia baccifera (Linn.) / Harish C. Upadhyay, Jay Prakash Thakur, Dharmendra Saikia, Santosh K. Srivastava / Med Chem Res (2013) 22:16–21
Antimalarial potential of extracts and isolated compounds from four species of genus Ammannia
/ Harish C. Upadhyay, Brijesh S. Sisodia, Jyoti Agrawal, Anirban Pal, Mahendra P. Darokar, Santosh K. Srivastava / Medicinal Chemistry Research, Vol 23, Issue 2 , pp 870-876 / DOI 10.1007/s00044-013-0682-5

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