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Family Acanthaceae

Dahon-pula
Hemigraphis colorata (Blume) Hallier f.
METAL LEAF

Scientific names Common names
Hemigraphis colorata (Bl.) Hallier Dahon-pula (Tag.)
Hemigraphis alternata (Burm. f.) t. Anders. Dahong piula (Tag.)
Ruellia alternata Cemetery plant (Engl.)
Ruellia colorata Blume Metal leaf (Engl.)
  Purple waffle plant (Engl.)
  Red flame ivy (Engl.)
  Red ivy (Engl.)
Dahong pula is a common name shared by (1) Hemigraphis colorata, Metal leaf, and (2) Iresine herbstii, blood leaf

Other vernacular names
INDIA: Murikootti, Murian pacha.
INDONESIA: Keji beling, Sambang getis, Sarap, Lire, Remek daging, Reundeu beureum.
MALAYSIA: Benatu api.
PAPAU NEW GUINEA: Kwaiwa.
VANUATU: Noyon gengen.

Gen info
Hemigraphis is a genus of about 90 species of low-growing, slender-stemmed annuals, perennials and subshrubs.

Botany
Dahon-pula is a prostrate herb. Leaves are opposite, ovate, 4.5 to 8 centimeters long, 3.5 to 4.5 centimeters wide, with a subobtuse tip and rounded and heart-shaped base with toothed margins. Upper surface of the leaves is dark purple throughout. Flowers are white, borne in terminal spikes up to 7 centimeters long, with large imbricate bracts. Calyx is green and 5-parted. Corolla is tubular, cylindric below, swollen above, 10 to 15 millimeters long, and 5-lobed. Capsule is linear.

 

Distribution
- Ornamental indoor and outdoor plant for its attractive foliage.
- Cultivated in Manila and roadside provincial garden-marts for its leaves.
- Makes a good border plant.
- Native of Java.

- Now widely distributed in cultivation.

Constituents
- 100 grams of fresh leaves reported to yield 0.351 grams of potassium.
- Extracts of leaves and stems yielded phenol, carbohydrates, steroids, saponins, coumarins, tannins, proteins, carboxylic acids, flavonoids, xanthoproteins and alkaloids.

Properties
- Considered diuretic, vulnerary, antibacterial, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory.

Parts utilized
Leaves

Uses
Folkloric
• Leaves consumed as a cure for gallstones
• Used as diuretic.
• In Java, leaves used in treatment of bloody dysentery and hemorrhoids.
• Used as decoction for excessive menstruation.
• Used externally for skin complaints.
• Paste of leaves applied to fresh cut wounds to stop bleeding and promote healing; also used for anemia.
• In Vanuatu, sap of leaf buds squeezed in water and drunk at dawn for 4 days as contraceptive and to induce sterility.

Studies
Phytoremediation / Indoor Air-Purifying Plant: VOQs (volatile organic compounds including benzene, xylene, hexane, heptane, octane, decane, trichlorethylene (TCE) and methylene chloride) have been known to cause or aggravate various illnesses when people are exposed to them in indoor spaces. Studies have shown the ability of some plants to remove VOCs, a process called "phytoremediation." Of 28 species tested with 5 volatile indoor pollutants - benzene and toluene (plastics, cleaning solutions, environmental tobacco smoke), octane (paints, adhesive materials), TCE (tap water, cleaning agents, insecticides), and alpha-pinene (synthetic pains and odorants) - Hemigraphis alternata, Hedera helix, Hoya carnosa, Asparagus densiflorus had the highest removal rates for all the VOCs introduced. (1)
Antibacterial: Antibacterial screening showed the benzene extract demonstrated maximum zone of inhibition against the pathogen Acinetobacter sp and S. aureus. (3)
Wound Healing: Study evaluated the wound healing property of a leaf paste (topical application) or suspension in an excision wound model. The leaf paste promoted wound healing in mice, with faster wound contraction and epithelialization. The oral suspension was ineffective. (4)
Wound Healing / Dried Leaves Ointment: Study evaluated the wound healing activity of a methanolic extract ointment of dried leaves of H. colorata in albino rats, using excision and incision models. In the excision model, results showed significantly higher closure wound closure than control, while in the incision model, the tensile strength of treated wounds was higher. Results encourage the use of H. colorata in the topical management of wounds. (7)
Anti-Diabetic: Study of n-hexane and ethanol extracts of whole plant showed lowering of blood glucose in glucose fed rats. The effect was attributed to steroids and coumarins present in the extract. It was devoid of any conspicuous toxic symptoms in sub-acute toxicity evaluation in mice. (10)
Antioxidant / Anti-Inflammatory / Cytotoxicity: Study evaluated various extracts of crude plant for antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cytotoxicity properties. Results showed the ethanolic extracts to have more antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity than chloroform, hexane and acetone extracts. There was low cytotoxicity against DLA cell lines up to a concentration of 200 µg/mL in short- term bioassay. (9)
SLN (Solid Lipid Nanoparticiles) / Polyherbal Ointment / Anti-Inflammatory: Study evaluated four different formulations of nano-encapsulated antimicrobial ointment from Plectranthus amboinicus and Hemigraphis colorata. Results showed the combination of plant extracts have enhanced antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties over usage of single plant extracts of PA and HC. (11)

Availability
Wild-crafted.
Ornamental cultivation.

Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Update April 2014

Photos ©Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
Common Plants Can Eliminate Indoor Air Pollutants / Science Daily, Nov 5, 2009 /
(2)
Screening Indoor Plants for Volatile Organic Pollutant Removal Efficiency / Yang, Dong Sik, Pennisi, Svoboda V., Son, Ki-Cheol, Kays, Stanley J. / HortScience, 44: 1377-1381 (2009)
(3)
Anti-bacterial studies on Hemigraphis colorata (Blume) H.G. Hallier and Elephantopus scaber L.
/ Anitha VT, Antonisamy JM, Jeeva S. / Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2012 Jan;5(1):52-7.
(4)
EFFECT OF HEMIGRAPHIS COLORATA (BLUME) H. G. HALLIER LEAF ON WOUND HEALING AND INFLAMMATION IN MICE / A. SUBRAMONIAM, D. A. EVANS, S. RAJASEKHARAN, G. SREEKANDAN NAIR / Indian Journal of Pharmacology 2001; 33: 283-285
(5)
Maternity and medicinal plants in Vanuatu I. The cycle of reproduction
/ G. Bourdya and A. Walter / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 37 (1992) 179-196 179
(6)
Review on pharmacological activity of Hemigraphis colorata (Blume) H. G. Hallier / M. Devi Priya * / nternational Journal of Herbal Medicine 2013; 1 (3): 120-121.
(7)
Wound Healing Activity of Hemigraphis Colorata / J Saravanan, Joshi Nh, Joshi Vg, Sutar Ps, Karigar Asif A /
International Journal of Contemporary Research and Review 01/2010; 1(5):1-3.
(8)
Hemigraphis colorata / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED
(9)
EVALUATION OF ANTI-OXIDANT, ANTI-INFLAMMATORY AND CYTOTOXICITY POTENTIAL OF HEMIGRAPHIS COLORATA / T.T. Akhil* and Punieethaa Prabhu / IJPSR, 2013; Vol. 4(9): 3477-3483.
(10)
ANTI-DIABETES AND HYPOGLYCAEMIC PROPERTIES OF HEMIGRAPHIS COLORATA IN RATS / Gayathri, V.; Lekshmi, P.; Padmanabhan, R. N. / International Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences; Mar2012, Vol. 4 Issue 2, p324
(11)
Formulation of nano-encapsulated poly-herbal ointment for anti- inflammation / Modi A MEGHA**, Unnikrishnan UNNMA**, Manian RAMESHPATHY, Kulainthivelu KARIKALAN, Sundaram VICKRAM, S.VENKAT KUMAR, Balasundaram SRIDHARAN* / Der Pharmacia Lettre, 2013, 5 (6):164-170

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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