Low annual herb. Leaves are broadly
ovate or orbicular, purple-red wih lighter colored prominent arched
veins. A common variety has green or reddish-green leaves with yellow
veins. Flowers are small. Tepals greenish white or yellowish-white.
Native to tropical America.
Cultivated throughout the Philippines.
• No folkloric medicinal
use in the Philippines.
• In southern Brazil, used for wound healing.
• In the northern Peruvian Andes,
used for magic-therapeutical purposes where traditional healers use
it to expel evil spirits from the body.
• Used in association with other plants, such as Trichocereus
pachanos, for divination, for diagnosing diseases, to take possession
of another identity or for other ritualistic healing uses.
• CNS Effects / Ritual Use:
(1) Studied to evaluate if the central effects of Iresine herbstii with
Brugmansia arborea could be associated with interaction with SNC receptors.
The results of the experiments indicate that Iresine herbstii methanolic
extract was able to interact with the central 5-HT2C and D1 receptors
and Iresine herbstii aqueous extract showed affinity for D2 receptors,
thus confirming their ritual use.
• CNS Effects: (1) Animal
experiments indicate the plants were able to significantly reduce the
central nervous system activity. The reduction of motor coordination
and stereotyped behaviour together with induced locomotor activity support
the possibility that all the studied plants act as psychotropic agents,
thus confirming their ritual use. (2) CNSpharmacological effects of
aqueous extract from Iresine herbstii: An aqueous extract
showed significant reduction of locomotor activity, motor coordination
and stereotyped behavior of mice. Results suggest that I. herbstii induces
significant effects on selected aspects of the CNS.
• Betacyanins / Natural Colorants: Red-colored plants in the family Amaranthaceae are a rich source of unique betacyanins. A study of 37 species of 8 genera in Amaranthaceae isolated 6 simple betacyanins and 10 acylated betacyanins. The highest proportion of acylated betacyanins occurred in Iresine herbstii. Comparted to wild species, cultivated species contain more acylated betacyanins, a potential source of pigments as natural colorants.