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.
- 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.
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, campesterol, n-octacosanol, alkaloids, tannins, saponins, beta-carotene
- Alcoholic extract yielded flavanoids, sterols, carotenoids.
- FTIR spectroscopic study of various extracts of roots yielded various functional compounds such as alkenes, aliphatic amines, aromatics, akyl halides, carboxylic acid, alcohols, ester, aldehydes, and ketones. (see study below) (37)
- Phytochemical screening of hydroalcoholic extract (70%) of leaf powder yielded alkaloids, carbohydrates, sterols, saponins, tannins and phenolic compound, flavonoids, protein and free amino acid, terpenids, mucilage, betacyanin, quinone, phlobatannins, carotenoids. The aqueous extract yielded alkaloids, carbohydrates, sterols, saponins, tannins and phenolic compound, flavonoids, protein and free amino acid, mucilage, emodin, quinone, phlobatannins, carotenoids. (44)
- Leaves are mucilaginous and slightly bitter.
Considered febrifugal, anti-inflammatory, demulcent, emollient, hypotensive, CNS depressant, diuretic,
refrigerant, laxative and astringent.
- Studies have suggested antibacterial, analgesic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, lipoxygenase inhibitory, anti-dengue, antioxidant, andti-diabetic, nephroprotective, hepatoprotective, antidiarrheal, anthelmintic, diuretic, sedative, anxiolytic properties.
Whole plant, leaves, stems.
Edibility / Nutrition
- Leaves are edible.
- A famine food in India.
- In Africa and India, leaves and stems cooked as vegetables.
- 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.
• Mastitis: External application of poultice
of stems of Wattakaka volubilis and leaves of Commelina benghalensis
over the affected udder.
• Fodder: In Africa and India, used as feed for livestock; elsewhere, a grazing feed for goats, with its high moisture and protein content.
- Dye: Flowers yield a dye.
• 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)
(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 / Aerial Parts: Study showed C. benghalensis aerial parts 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 / Aerial Parts: 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 / Roots: 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. LD50s showed the Commelina extract to be safe. In acute toxicity study, there was no toxic reactions and mortality up to a dose of 2000 mg/kg. In subacute toxicity study, at extract dose of 200 and 400 mg/kbw p.o. for 14 days, there was not mortality nor considerable changes in measured parameters. 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: 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)
• Anti-Tumor / Antiproliferative / Apoptotic / Stems: Study evaluated the subfractions of acetone extracts of C. benghalensis stems
on growth-associated molecular events of apoptosis and cell division cycle of Jurkat-T (JT) cells. F1 and F2 fractions inhibited proliferation and viability of JT cells in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Results suggest a potential for the fractions as lead compounds for the development of novel antineoplastic drugs. (30)
• Antioxidant / Terpenoids and Phytosterols / Aerial Parts: Study of n-hexane fractionate of methanol extract of C. benghalensis isolated dammara-12-en-3-one (CB-1), stigmasterol (CB-2), and 3(2,3,4,5,6-pentahydroxy)-cinnamoyl dammara-12-ene (CB-3), The three compounds showed DPPH radical scavenging activity with IC50s of 790.18, 4186.94, and 2000.16 µg/mL, respectively. Results showed compounds 1 and 3, two new dammarane-type triterpene and CB-3, a phytosterol showed mild antioxidant property. (31)
• Wound Healing / Roots: Study of alcohol and aqueous extracts of roots of C. benghalensis for wound healing activity using incision, excision, and dead space wound models measuring wound contraction, epithelization time and tensile strength. Results showed significant wound healing activity. (32)
• Antidiarrheal / Anthelmintic // Leaves: Study evaluated a methanol extract of C. benghalensis leaves for antidiarrheal activity in a Swiss albino mice model and anthelmintic activity in Tubifex tubifex. At 2-- and 400 mg/kg there was significant dose dependent antidiarrheal effect in castor oil induced diarrhea. The extract showed anthelmintic activity in measures of paralysis and time of death. In addition, the extract was found safe at doses of 1000, 2000, 3000 and 4000 mg/kg in mice model. (33)
• Thrombolytic / Cytotoxic / Leaves: Study evaluated the thrombolytic and cytotoxic properties of C. benghalensis leaves. Brine shrimp lethality bioassay showed an LC50 of 278.69 µg/mL compared with standard vincristine sulphate at 0.512 µg/mL. There was significant thrombolytic activity (40.94%) compared with standard strep;tokinase (75%). (34)
• Modulation of Anti-Cancer Activity / Inhibition of Cell Proliferation: Study evaluated the possible molecular mechanisms associated with the potential anticarcinogenic property of C. benghalensis. Jurkat T cells were exposed to different concentrations of the crude methanolic extract to evaluated growth inhibitory and apoptosis inducing effects. Results showed a dose- and time-dependent inhibition of cell proliferation followed by a decrease in cell viability. The antineoplastic activity was attributed to dysregulated expression of apoptosis-responsive genes. (7)
• Antinociceptive / Whole Plant: Study evaluated the antinociceptive activity of a methanol extract of C. benghalensis using acetic acid induced writhing test and formalin induced test. Results showed significant (p<0.05 - <0,01) dose dependent antinociceptive activity in both tests. Diclofenac was used as reference drug. (35)
• Antidiabetic / Whole Plant: Study evaluated the antidiabetic activity of methanolic extract of whole plant of C. benghalensis in alloxan-induced diabetic male albino rats. The ME at doses of 100, 200, and 400 mg/kg i.o. showed significant antidiabetic activity, There was also significant reduction of blood cholesterol (p<0.01) and triglyceride (p<0.05). (36)
• Antioxidant / Anticancer / Root: Study evaluated the antioxidant potential and anticancer activity of various solvent extracts (methanol, ethanol, benzene, chloroform, n-hexane) of C. benghalensis roots. The extracts showed antioxidant potential using DPPH and reducing power assay. The chloroform extract showed the most significant cytotoxic effect on MDA-MB-231 (breast cancer) cell line by inducing apoptosis and reduced migratory potential of the cells.(see constituents above) (37)
• Anti-Dengue Virus Activity / Prophylactic Treatment: Study elucidated the in vitro ENNV=2 inhibitory activities by extracts of R. dentatus, A. bracteosa, Commelina benghalensis and Z. mauritiana, as well as gallic acid and emodin. The extracts exerted antiviral activities by prophylactic treatment but not by post-infection treatment. (38)
• Antibacterial / Antiproliferative against W12 NS Lymphoma Cells: Study evaluated the antioxidative, antibacterial, and antiproliferative activity of organic solvents extracted crude extract from C. benghalensis, The extracts showed antibacterial activity against test pathogens i.e. E. coli, E. faecalis, S. aureus and P. aeruginosa. n-Hexane and DCM extracts demonstrated concentration-dependent inhibitory activity against Wil-2 NS cancerous lymphoma cells.(39)
• Acute and Sub-Acute Toxicity Testing / Leaves: Study evaluated acute and subacute toxicity of Commeliina benghalensis and N. laevis ethanol leaf extracts in Wistar rats. The oral LD50 pf C. benghalensis and N. laevis were >5000 mg/kg, with reductions of AST and ALP without any effect on total protein. There were no histological changes in the liver, kidney, and heart tissues. (40)
• Antidepressant / Whole Plant: Study evaluated the antidepressant activity of methanol extract of C. benghalensis leaves using forced swimming test (FST) and tail suspension test (TST). Results showed significant decrease in the duration of immobility in both animal models of FST and TST. (41)
• Heavy Metal Indicators: Heavy metals pose potential threats to terrestrial and aquative lives. Study showed Commelina benghalensis and Ipomoea pes-caprae have potentials as excellent bioindicators of Zn Pb, Cu and Cd, with higher preference to Pb, Cu, and Cd. The potential in both species is more prominent in stem and leaf than in root. Seasonal variation may be due to greater wash-in of metals from petroleum production activities during the wet season. (42)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Leaves: Metal Indicators: Study evaluated petroleum ether, benzene, chloroform, carbon tetrachloride and ethanol extracts of C. benghalensis leaves for anti-inflammatory activity in albino rats by carrageenan induced paw edema using diclofenac as reference standard. Results showed anti-inflammatory activity at dose of 500 mg/kbw with the ethanol extract showing most significant activity. (43)