Botonsilyong-gapang is a prostrate or sprawling annual plant about 20 to 60 centimeters long, with fleshy taproots. Stems are striate and hairy, the older ones smooth. Leaves are simple, and opposite, 2 to 4 centimeters long and tapering on both ends. Flower stalk bears white globose, ovoid, or cylindrical heads, densely covered with persistent white bracts giving the entire cluster an elongated look.
- Widely distributed in waste places, along roadsides, and in moist grassland areas of Luzon.
- Introduced after World War II.
- Native of Brazil.
- Note: As a weed, it has already infested wide areas in Luzon. In seed production, the herb creeper compares to Cyathula prostata which produces 2000 sounds per plant at seeding time.
- Phytochemical screening yielded steroids, glycosides, alkaloids, saponins, and tannins.
- EA and methanol extracts yielded 3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)methylpropenoate which showed mild antimicrobial activity.
- Study of dried whole plants extracted by Soxhlet with n-hexane isolated aurantiamide and auratiamide acetate.
(see study below) (4)
- In a study of primary metabolites, the maximum levels of soluble sugars, lipids, and phenols were found higher in the stem, starch and proteins in roots. (see study below) (5)
- Study for secondary metabolites yielded alkaloids, tannins, saponins steroids, glycosides, and reducing sugars.
- Fractionation of methanol extract yielded 3-(4-hydroxyphenyl) ethylpropenoate. (see studies below)
- Studies have suggested antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anthelmintic, and hepatoprotective properties.
- No reported medicinal used in the Philippines.
- In southern Nigeria, used for treatment of skin diseases, worm infections and infectious diseases.
- In South America, plant is utilized as abortifacient. Decoction of whole plant, together with G. globosa, applied to gangrenous wounds.
- In Trinidad and Tobago, plant used to treat diabetes, hypertension, kidney problems, and as heart tonic. (3)
- In Africa, used for treatment of jaundice and malaria.
• Anthelmintic / Antibacterial: Study evaluated EA and methanol extracts for anthelmintic and antibacterial activity. The extracts exhibited anthelmintic activities against Pheretima posthuma, Fasciola gigantica, and Taenia solium, comparable to reference compound piperazine citrate. Extracts also showed antibacterial activity against Salmonella typhi, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Bacillus subtilis. The ethyl acetate extract exhibited higher anthelmintic and antibacterial activity. (2)
• Aurantiamide / Antibacterial: Study of dried whole plants extracted by Soxhlet with n-hexane isolated aurantiamide and its acetate. The compounds were active against microorganisms even at very low concentrations. (4)
• Antibacterial: Study evaluated the primary metabolites and antimicrobial activities of G. celosioides against clinical isolates E. coli, P. aeruginosa and S. aureus. A methanolic extract of leaf, stem, and root were most effective against the three test bacteria; the root showed significant activity against P. aeruginosa, and stem and leaves were maximum against E coli.(See constituents above) (5)
• Hepatoprotective / Carbon Tetrachloride Toxicity: Study showed hepatoprotective activity in carbon tetrachloride induced toxicity in rats. Possible mechanism of hepatoprotection could be due to antioxidant action in flavonoids. (6)
• Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory: Study of aqueous leaf extract of Gomphrena celosioides showed anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects in rat and mice, using the hot plate latency test and acetic acid induced writhing for analgesic evaluation and the carrageenan-induced rat paw edema for anti-inflammatory evaluation. (8)
• Antimicrobial / Anthelmintic: An EAE and ME showed inhibitory activity on S. aureus, B. subtilis, P. aeruginosa, E. coli and S. typhi. ME was active against C. albicans, A. niger and Trichophyton spp. Ethyl acetate and methanol extracts showed activity against Fasciola gigantica, Taenia solium, and Pheretima posthuma. (9)
• Antioxidant / Acute Toxicity Testing: In vitro study showed an aqueous extract of Gc to possess strong free radical scavenging activity, low reducing power, and strong inhibition of lipid peroxidation. In vivo, the extract showed strong reducing power similar to vitamin C. The value of 1000 mg/kg as a slightly toxic substance shows the EA extract orally is almost not toxic. Intraperitoneally, it is slightly toxic. (10)
• Antifungal: Various extracts of G. celosioides were evaluated at different concentrations on Aspergillus niger, Candida albicans and Trichophyton rubrum. A methanol extract had fungicidal effect on the selected fungal isolates at concentration of 2000 µg/mL. Results suggest a potential natural source for the treatment of fungal diseases. (11)