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Family Commelinaceae
Bias-bias
Commelina benghalensis Linn.
BENGHAL DAYFLOWER
Fan bao cao

Scientific names Common names
Commelina benghalensis Linn. Alibangon (Tag.)
Commelina canescens Vahl. Bias-bias (Tag., Pamp.)
Commelina cavaleriel H.Lév. Kabilau (Bis.)
Commelina cuculiata L. Kuhasi (Iv.)
Commelina delicatula Schltdl. Kulkul-lasi (Ilk.)
Commelina hirsuta R.Br. Sabilau (Bis.)
Commelina mollis Jacq. Sambilau (Bis.)
Commelina nervosa Burm.f. Uligbongon (Tag.)
Commelina poligama Fern.-Vill. Benghal dayflower (Engl.)
Commelina procurrens Schltdl. Tropical spiderwort (Engl.)
Commelina prostata Regel Wandering Jew (Engl.)
Commelina radiciflora R.Br. ex C.B.Clarke Whiskered commelina (Engl.)
Commelina rhizocarpa Afzel. ex C.B.Clarke  
Commelina senegalensis Ten.  
Commelina turbinata Vahl  
Commelina uncata C.B.Clarke  
Commelina villosiuscula Sol. ex C.B.Clarke  
Alibangon, one of the local names for Commelina benghalensis, shares a confusing phonetic similarity with (1) Aligbangon, Tradescantia rufa, and (2) Alikbangon, Commelina diffusa.
Commelina benghalensis L. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Huo chai tou, Zhu ye cai, Luan ye yi zhi cao, Yuan ye yi zhi cao, Fen bao cao.
HINDI: Kanchara, Kanteri, Kanuraka, Kaua-kaini.
INDONESIA: Pentugan, Kekupu, Tali korang.
KANNADA: Hittagani.
LAOS: Kaab pii.
MALAYALAM: Kanankolai, Kancatam.
MALAYSIA: Rum put mayiam.
MARATHI: Kena.
MYANMAR: Myet-cho.
SANSKRIT: Kanchata, Marishajalaja, Paniya, Vatspriya.
TAMIL: Adutinna-thalai.
VIETNAM: D[aaf]u ri[eef]u, th[af]i l[af]i l[oo]ng.

Botany
Bias-bias is a perennial mucilaginous plant, slender, creeping or ascending, branched, up to 70 centimeters and usually pubescent. Stems root at the nodes. Leaves are oval, 4 to 7 centimeters long and pointed at both ends. The spathes are 1 to 3 together, green, funnel-shaped, compressed, about 1.5 centimeters long and wide. Flowers are blue, with long stalks in anthesis, fascicled, several in each spathe, with the petal 3 to 4 millimeters long. Capsules are 4 to 5 millimeters long.

Distribution
- Common in open grasslands and waste places in the settled areas, at low and medium altitudes, throughout the Philippines.
- Also occurs in tropical Africa and Asia to Japan and Malaya.

Constituents
- Anthocyanins, dammarane triterpene, sterols, campesterol.
- Phytochemical screening yielded phlobatannins, carbohydrates, tannins, glycosides, volatile oils, resins, balsams, flavonoids and saponins. Terpenes, sterols, anthraquinones, and phenols were absent. Pharmacognostic analysis yielded moisture of 11.60%, ash value 6.24%, water soluble extractive value of 22.45%, alcohol soluble extractive value of 5.99%, and acid insoluble ash of 1.21%. (11)
- Roots yield carotenoid, flavocommelin, capesterol, n-octacosanol, alkaloids, tannins, saponins, beta-carotnene .
- Alcoholic extract yielded flavanoids, sterols, carotenoids.

Properties
- Considered febrifugal, anti-inflammatory, demulcent, emollient, hypotensive, CNS depressant, diuretic, refrigerant, laxative and astringent.

Part utilized
Whole plant, leaves, stems.

Uses
Edibility / Nutrition
- Leaves are edible.
- A famine food in India.
- - In Africa and India, leaves and stems cooked as vegetables.
Folkloric
- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- The entire plant, in decoction, is used as an emollient collyrium.
- Also used to combat strangury.
- In Cameroon, stem used for probing wounds.
- In Kenya, used in conjunctival problems associated with measles.
- In India, used in treatment of leprosy and nervous system disorders. Also, reported use for mouth thrush, conjunctival inflammation, psychosis, epilepsy, insanity and exophthalmia.
- In China, used as diuretic, febrifuge and anti-inflammatory.

- In Southern Africa, used to combat infertility.
- In Bangladesh , used for otitis media, suppurative sores, snakebites, swelling and burns. Also used for conjunctivitis, cataracts, night blindness, pain (headaches and toothaches), skin diseases (eczema, abscesses, acne, scabies, warts), respiratory tract disorders.
Ethnoveterinary
Mastitis: External application of poultice of stems of Wattakaka volubilis and leaves of Commelina benghalensis over the affected udder.
Others
Fodder: In Africa and India, used as feed for livestock; elsewhere, a grazing feed for goats, with its high moisture and protein content.

Studies
Carotenoid Composition:
In a study to determine the carotenoid composition of green leafy vegetable, Chenopodium album, C benghalensis and Solanum nigrum were found to contain higher levels of both lutein and beta carotene. (1)
Antibacterial: (1) Studies have shown antibacterial activity against Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus, E coli and B subtilis and supports its use in formulations for ethnoveterianry use for mastitis. (2) Among crude extracts of C. benghalensis, the diethyl etheric extract was highly active against all the 10 bacteria species tested. The results offer scientific basis for the traditional use of the plant against infection by burns and wounds. (3) In a study evaluating whole and dried plant extracts for antimicrobial activity, dried plant material yielded greater amounts of extractives. The ethanol extracts were superior to the aqueous extracts. The ethanolic extracts showed activity against C albicans, E coli, S aureus comparable to nystatin and gentamicin.
Analgesic: Study showed C benghalensis possesses significant analgesic action probably through inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis, antioxidant activity and a central analgesic mechanism. Results provide a scientific basis for it folkloric use for pain treatment. (8)
Anti-Cancer: Study showed the methanolic extract of CB contains bioactive compounds that may be beneficial in the treatment of malignant growths, probably through an antineoplastic activity consequent to dysregulated expression of apoptosis-responsive genes.
Antiproliferative / Anti-Lymphoma: Study showed C. benghalensis has anti-proliferation properties against Wil-2NS lymphoma cells. (13)
Hepatoprotective / Paracetamol Induced Hepatotoxicity: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective activity of various root extracts in paracetamol-induced liver damage model in Wistar rats. An aqueous and alcoholic extract showed significant hepatoprotective activity, and the latter showed efficacy comparable to N-acetyl l-cystine. (19)
Sedative / Anxiolytic: Study investigated the sedative and anxiolytic properties of four different fractions of aerial parts. Results showed the chloroform and pet ether soluble fraction to have significant in vivo dose-dependent sedative and anxiolytic effects. (20)
Heavy Metal Phytoremediation: Study showed a potential for plant use for heavy metal sequestration from urban stream sediments, with good accumulation in roots suggesting good phytostabilization. (21)
Diuretic Activity: Study evaluated the diuretic effect of a methanolic extract on experimental rats. Results showed the MECB extract produced notable diuretic effect comparable to reference drug furosemide. (22)
Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory: Study evaluated an ethanol extract of CB roots for analgesic activity in Swiss albino mice. The extract showed dose dependent central (hot plate and tail flick tests) and peripheral analgesic (acetic acid induced writhing test) activities in all the experimental models. It also showed anti-inflammatory activity with significant inhibition of carrageenan induced paw edema. (24)
Toxicity Study / Anti-Inflammatory: Study evaluated a hydroalcoholic extract of leaves for acute and sub-acute toxicity in female Wistar rats. Determination of median lethal dose (LD50) showed the Commelina extract was safe. Study using carrageenan-induced paw edema, cotton pellet granuloma, and xylene induced ear edema models showed significant anti-inflammatory activity in all three models. (25)
Lipoxygenase Inhibitory Activity: Study evaluated the lipoxygenase inhibitory activity of methanol leaf extracts of C. benghalensis, Tradescantia fluminensis and T. zebrina. All extracts showed significant lipoxygenase inhibition, and all three showed positive results for the presence of flavonoids. Flavonoids have been shown to inhibit lipoxygenase activity and may be responsible for the inhibitory activity of the extracts. (26)
Potential Forage for Ruminants: Study evaluated the potential of C. benghalensis as forage for ruminants, effects of plant maturity on composition, rumen degradability, digestibility and N balance. Results showed advancing maturity affected the chemical composition, but not rumen degradability. Inclusion of CB in Sorghum almum diet improved intake, digestibility and N intake, suggesting its potential as food supplement. (27)
Anti-Tumor / Forage for Ruminants: Study showed crude methanolic extract of CB exhibited growth inhibitory and proapoptotic effects in Jurkat T and Wil-2 NS cancer cell lines. This study investigated the precise molecular mechanisms associated with the CMECB-induced growth inhibitory and apoptosis inducing effects. Results showed a significant reduction in cell viability and inhibition of proliferation of experimental cell cultures. Study confirmed apoptosis as the mode of cell death. Results showed CMECB induces its anticancer activity by inducing G2/M phase arrest and mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis independent of p53 protein activity. (28)
Nephroprotective / Quinalphos (QP) Induced Oxidative Stress on Kidney Tissue: Study investigated the protective and curative effect of CG and Cissus quadrangularis against quinalphos induced oxidative stress in kidney tissue. Results showed nephroprotection from cell damage caused by QP. Bot CBE and CQE restored the level of kidney markers. Among the two, CQE showed better protection compared to CBE. (29)

Availability
Wild-crafted. 

Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Update December 2015

IMAGE SOURCE / Public Domain / File:ARS - Commelina benghalensis.jpg / Herb Pilcher / Tropical spiderwort (Commelina benghalensis) / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
Carotenoid composition and vitamin A activity of medicinally important green leafy vegetables / Marisiddaiah Raju et al / Food Chemistry, Volume 101, Issue 4, 2007, Pp 1598-1605
/ doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2006.04.015
(2)
ETHNOVETERINARY MEDICAL TRADITIONS AND METHODOLOGY FOR THEIR DOCUMENTATION, ASSESSMENT AND PROMOTION / M N B Nair / Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions
(3)
Kaua-kaini (Commelina benghalensis Linn.) / Pankaj Oudhia
(4)
Studies on Grazing Behavior of Goats in the Cook Islands: TheAnimal-Plant Complex in Forage Preference/Palatability Phenomena / INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURE & BIOLOGY / 1560–8530/2006/08–2–147–153
(5)
Mokgotho M.P., Masoko P., Mbazima V.G., Sibuyi N. and Mampuru L.J. (2009). The acetone extract from dried materials of Commelina benghalensis have enhanced effect on the cancerous Jurkat T cells. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines 6(2):486
(6)
Mokgotho M.P., Masoko P., Mbazima V.G., Lebogo K.W. and Mampuru L.J. (2009). Wil-2 NS lymphoma cell line shows apoptotic features when treated with traditional medicine Commelina benghalensis. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines 6(2):394-395

(7)
Alteration of Bax-to-Bcl-2 ratio modulates the anticancer activity of methanolic extract of Commelina benghalensis (Commelinaceae) in Jurkat T cells / Vusi G Mbazima et al / African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 7 (20), pp. 3569–3576, 20 October 2008
(8)
Analgesic Activity of the Different Fractions of the Aerial Parts of Commelina benghalensis Linn / S M Raquibul Hasan et al / Int. J. Pharmacol., 6: 63-67. / DOI: 10.3923/ijp.2010.63.67
(9)
DPPH free radical scavenging activity of some Bangladeshi medicinal plants / S M Raquibul Hasan et al / Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol. 3(11), pp. 875-879, November, 2009
(10)
A Comparative Analysis of Medicinal Plants Used by Folk Medicinal Healers in Three Districts of Bangladesh and Inquiry as to Mode of Selection of Medicinal Plants / Ariful Haque Mollik et al / www.ethnobotanyjournal.org/vol8/i1547-3465-08-195.pdf
(11)
Pharmacognostic and Phytochemical Analysis of Commelina benghalensis L. / Ibrahim J, Ajaegbu V et al / Ethnobotanical Leaflets 14: 610-15. 2010.
(12)
Antibacterial activity of different fractions of Commelina benghalensis L. / Mohammad A A Khan, Mohammad T Islam et al / Der Pharmacia Sinica, 2011, 2 (2): 320-326
(13)
WIL-2 NS LYMPHOMA CELL LINE SHOW APOPTOTIC FEATURES WHEN TREATED WITH TRADITIONAL MEDICINE COMMELINA BENGHALESIS / M P Mokgotho, P Masoko et al / African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative medicines (AJTCAM), ABSTRACTS OF THE WORLD CONGRESS ON MEDICINAL AND AROMATIC PLANTS, CAPE TOWN NOVEMBER 2008
(14)
PRELIMINARY PHYTOCHEMICAL AND ANTIMICROBIAL EVALUATION OF THE FRESH AND DRIED WHOLE PLANT EXTRACTS FROM Commelina Benghalensis. / Cuellar Cuellar Armando et al / Rev. Colombiana cienc. Anim. 2(1).2010
(15)
Commelina benghalensis L. / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
(16 )
Commelina benghalensis / Common names / efloraofindia
(17)
Commelina benghalensis / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED
(18)
An Effcient Method For Extracting Lutein From Indian Medicinal Plant Commelina benghalensis. A Comparative Study On Solvents Efficiency / T.M.Vatsala, R.Rekha / Indian Journal of Science and Technology, Vol: 6 Issue: 2 February 2013
(19)
PROTECTIVE ACTIVITY OF COMMELINA BENGHALENSIS- ROOT EXTRACTS AGAINST PARACETAMOL INDUCED HEPATIC DAMAGE IN WISTAR RATS / Sambrekar SN*, Patil PA, Kangralkar VA / Pharmacologyonline 3: 836-844 (2009)
(20)
Sedative and anxiolytic effects of different fractions of the Commelina benghalensis Linn. / Raquibul Hasan SM, Hossain MM, Akter R, Jamila M, Mazumder EH, Rahman S. / Drug Discov Ther. 2009 Oct;3(5):221-7.
(21)
Heavy metal phytoremediation by Commelina benghalensis (L) and Cynodon dactylon (L) growing in Urban stream sediments / K. Sekabira1, H. Oryem–Origa, G. Mutumba, E. Kakudidi and T. A. Basamba / International Journal of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry Vol. 3(8), pp. 133-142, August 2011
(22)
EVALUATION OF DIURETIC ACTIVITY OF METHANOLIC EXTRACT OF Commelina benghalensis L. IN RATS / K. Yalla Reddy, M. Anil kumar, J. Chris vijetha, K. Anil kumar, K. Srinivas /
(23)
Commelina benghalensis L. / Synonyms / The Plant List
(24)
Analgesic and Anti-Infammatory Activity of Commelina benghalensis Linn. / Faroque HOSSAIN, Sanjib SAHA*, Md. Mohinul ISLAM, Shimana NASRIN, Suraj ADHIKARI / Turk J Pharm Sci 11(1), 25-32, 2014
(25)
Preliminary phytochemical, toxicity and anti‑inflammatory evaluation of Commelina benghalensis
/ Bibin baby augustine, Sanjeev Kumar Tiwari, Mangala Lahkar, Suvakanta Dash, Pavan Kumar Samudrala, Jaya Thomas / International Journal of Green Pharmacy 09/2013; 7(3):201-205 / DOI: 10.4103/0973‑8258.120211
(26)
15-Lipoxygenase inhibition of Commelina benghalensis, Tradescantia fluminensis, Tradescantia zebrina / Cean Socorro M. Alaba and Christine L. Chichioco-Hernandez* / Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2014 Mar; 4(3): 184–188. / doi: 10.1016/S2221-1691(14)60229-X
(27)
The potential of Commelina benghalensis as a forage for ruminants / T.P. Lanyasunya, Hongrong Wang, S.T. Kariuki, E.A. Mukisira, S.A. Abdulrazak, N.K. Kibitok, J.O. Ondiek / Animal Feed Science and Technology, Vol 144, Issues 3-4, Pp 185-195, July 2008 / DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2007.10.009
(28)
The Effects of Crude Methanolic Extract of Commelina benghalensis Linn on the Expression of Apoptotic and Cell Division Cycle Genes in Jurkat T and Wil-2 NSCancer Cell Lines. / Mbazima, Vusi G. / Thesis-Ph.D. Biochemistry--University of Limpopo, 2009
(29)
Optimistic Influence of Commelina benghalensis L. and Cissus quadrangularis L. in Alleviating Protection Against Quinalphos Induced Nephrotic Damages / Dr. P. Kokilavani, Dr. S. Achiraman, Dr. P. Pandilakshmi / IJSR - INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH, Volume 4, Issue 8, Aug 2015

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