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. (see study below) (9)
- Study of EA and ME yielded secondary metabolites which included alkaloids, tannins, saponins, steroids, glycosides, and reducing sugars. (16)
- 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)
- Study for proximate composition and vitamins content of various parts showed moisture, ash and crude fiber as highest in the stem (64.20±0.14, 8.26±0.00 and 18.66±0.01) respectively. Total protein and fat contents were highest in the leaf (0.44±0.00 and 0.52±0.00) respectively. Carbohydrate was highest in the root (33.21±0.63). Vitamins A and C were highest in the leaf (1.96±0.01 and 1.68±0.01) respectively. (14)
- Studies have suggested antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anthelmintic, hepatoprotective, anti-ulcerogenic, anti-urolithiatic properties.
- Study for proximate composition and vitamin content of various parts suggest they are very nutritious and can contribute significantly to human health requirements. (see constituents above) (14)
- 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.
- Whole plant juice along with Piper nigrum and lemon juice taken twice daily for 10 days to cure urolithiasis. (15)
• 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 / 3-(4-Hydroxyphenyl) Methylpropenoate: 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. Fractionation of the ME yielded 3-(4-hydroxyphenyl) methylpropenoate which showed mild antimicrobial activity against test organisms. (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)
Extraction of Essential Oil by Green Extraction Technique: Study reports on super critical fluid extraction process which yielded a pure product with no need of additional solvent to extract bioactive ingredients from the herbs. Highest yield of essential oil was equal to 4.21gm/100gm. Results suggest a potential for pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries to obtain highly pure essential oil using optimized conditions. The presence of alkaloids, tannins, saponins, steroids, glycosides, terpenes and reducing sugars provides good anti-fungal and antibacterial activity. (13)
• Anti-Ulcerogenic /
Indomethacin Induced Gastric Ulcer / Leaves: Study evaluated the anti-ulcerogenic activity of ME of G. celosioides leaves in indomethacin-induced gastric ulcers in male Wistar rats. Results showed dose-dependent gastroprotective activity which was attributed possibly to the presence of flavonoids, phenolics and other antioxidant compounds. (17)
• Phytoremediative Potential / Heavy Metals: In a study of 12 plant species growing around the tailing dam of a gold mine, Gomphrena celosioides was one of five plants with BAF (Bioaccumulation Factor) and TF (Translocation Factor) >1 that showed applicability in extraction of studied heavy metal-polluted soils. (18)
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study evaluated the potential anti-inflammatory activity of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of G. celosioides utilizing carrageenan induced paw edema and CRP concentration in rat. Results showed significant anti-inflammatory activity at 200 mg/kbw of both extracts, comparable to Diclofenac 10mg/kg. There was increased CRP concentration (p<0.05). The ethanol extract showed more activity than the aqueous extract. (19)