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Family Solanaceae
Dama de noche
Cestrum nocturnum Linn.
Ye xiang mu

Other scientific names  Common names
Cestrum graciliflorum Dunal Dama de noche (Tag., Span.)
Cestrum leucocarpum Dunal Night jessamine (Engl.)
Cestrum multiflorum Roem. & Schult. Night blooming cestrum (Engl.)
Cestrum nocturnum Linn. Night blooming jessamine (Engl.)
Cestrum scandens Thibaud ex Dunal Night scented jessamine (Engl.)
Chiococca nocturna Jacq.  
Cestrum nocturnum L. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Ye xiang mu.
COSTA RICA: Zomillo.
CUBA: Galan de noche, Fedora, Jasmin de noche.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Rufiana, Jazmin de noche.
EL SALVADOR: Palo hediondo.
GUATEMALA: Galan de noche, Reina de la noche.
HAITI: Lilas de nuit, Jasmin de nuit.
KONGO: Dondoko.
MALAY: Sedap malam.
MARATHI: Raatraani.
SPANISH: Huelo do noche, Heirba hedionda, Galan de tarde.

Dama de noche is an erect and climbing ornamental smooth shrub, about 2 to 3 meters in height, with long often-drooping branches. Leaves are oblong-ovate to oblong-lanceolate, 8 to 10 centimeters long, pointed at the tips. Flowers are numerous, slender, yellowish-green, about 2 to 2.3 centimeters long, borne in lax, axillary and terminal inflorescences, 7 to 10 centimeters long.

- Widely cultivated in the Philippines for its sweet-scented flowers that bloom at night.
- Introduced from Tropical America.

- Phytochemical screening of methanol extract of stems yielded flavonoids, saponins, tannins, triterpenes, and carbohydrates. (See study below) (15)
- Phytochemical screening of aerial parts showed saponins, triterpenes, sterols, flavonoids, tannins, and coumarins. (See study below) (18)
- Phytochemical analysis of various extracts yielded carbohydrates, proteins, flavonoids, tannins, cardiac glycosides, saponins, and alkaloids. (see study below) (

- Studies have suggested antibacterial, antioxidant, mosquitocidal, piscicidal, antitumor, anti-diabetic properties.

Toxicity concerns
- Toxic to livestock with poisoning symptoms of tachycardia, fever, oliguria, and slowing of respiratory rate; in extreme cases, convulsions and coma.
- Cuttings reported to be produce poisoning when eaten by animals.
- Experiments have shown the plant does not always poison stock and that toxicity is more likely with dry plants.

Parts used
Extract of the plant used as antispasmodic and treatment of epilepsy.

Flavonol glycosides / Steroidal saponins/ Cytotoxicity: The study isolated two new flavonoid glycosides and seven steroidal saponins. The study reports cytotoxic activities of the compounds against human oral squamous cell carcinoma and normal human gingival fibroblasts. (1)
Atrial Contractility Effect: Effects of Cestrum nocturnum n-butyl alcohol extract on contractile characteristics of right atrium: The extract study showed a two-fold regulation on contraction of right atrium in isolated guinea pig. (2)
Antiepileptic / Analgesic: Decoctions from the dried leaves of the plant were tested in different neuropharmacological models. Although not effective against pharmacologically induced convulsions, repeated administration reduced the amplitude of epileptic spikes in both primary and secondary foci. Results suggest CN possesses analgesic activity through a peripheral mechanism. (4)
Antibacterial: The aqueous and methanol extracts of Cestrum nocturnum showed bactericidal activity against S aureus, B subtilis, E coli and P aeruginosa. (5)
Antitumor: The n-butanol and polysaccharides extracts of Cestrum nocturnum are able to inhibit tumor growth and prolong the lifetime of tumor-bearing mice in a dose-dependent manner. (6)
Phytochemicals / Steroidal Glycoside: Phytochemical testing yielded eight new steroidal glycosides: spirostanol saponin, furostanol saponin, a pseudo-furostanol saponin, two pregnane glycosides, two cholestane glycosides and a pregnane-carboxylic acid g-lactone glycoside and two known spinostanol glycosides. (7)
Mosquito Larvicidal Activity / Aedes aegypti: Study on the extracts of Cestrum nocturnum and Plumbago zeylanica for larvicidal activity against larvae of Aedes aegypti. The qualitative analysis of crude extracts yielded bioactive phytochemicals with the predominance of saponins in C. nocturnum and plumbagin in P zeylanica. Experiments on the partially purified secondary metabolites showed potent mosquito larvicidal activity against forth instar larval form. It presents another public health potential of plant extracts for vector control. (8)
Study of Cestrum nocturnum and Sapindus mukorosi showed promising larvicidal activity. Study yielded 2 potent fractions containing larvicidal principles among 12 fractions from both plants. (23)
Larvicidal Activity / Aedes aegypti: Aedes aegypti is a vector parasite of Dengue. In a study, a methanol extract showed significant larvicidal activity, achieving 100% mortality in concentrations tested. (12)
Fumigant / Repellent Effects: Study investigated the repellent, fumigation, and contact toxicity of extracts of C. nocturnum. Results showed C. nocturnum had better fumigation and repellent effects on drosophila, but the contact action was weak. (10)
Antioxidant / Essential Oil: Study concludes that the essential oil and various organic extracts from the flower of C. nocturnum possess antioxidant activities with a potential as natural resource for use in food and other allied industries. (9)
Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic / Antipyretic: Study of methanol extract of leaves showed strong dose-dependent analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity compared to standard drug. It also showed mild anti-pyretic activity at higher tested dose. (11)
Anti-Diabetic: Study evaluated the antidiabetic activity of a hydroalcoholic extract of C. nocturnum leaves in Wistar rats. Results showed oral administration of the extract for 15 days showed a significant reduction in blood glucose levels in diabetic rats with improvement of biochemical parameters associated with diabetes. (14)
Antioxidant / Stems: Study evaluated the antioxidant activity of extracts of C. nocturnum stems. The methanol extract showed the best free radical scavenging activity on a DPPH model. (15)
Piscicide / Leaves: Study evaluated a methanolic extract of C. nocturnum leaves against predatory fish Channa punctatus. Results showed remarkable piscicidal activity which may be due to adverse effects on respiratory and energy production of the fish. The fish stupefying property presents a potential use in aquaculture. (16)
Antimicrobial / Whole Plant: Study evaluated a crude methanol extract of whole plant against bacterial and fungal strains. Results showed marked activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli and Shigella flexneri. The extract also showed activity against Candida species and Microsporium canis. (17)
Weak Anti-HIV activity / Aerial Parts: Study evaluated various extracts of aerial parts for Anti-HIV1 activity. All the extracts showed weak activity against ant9-HIV1 activity. Phytochemical screening showed saponins, triterpenes, sterols, flavonoids, tannins, and coumarins. (18)
Antihyperglycemic / Antihyperlipidemic / Toxicity Study: Study of hydroalcoholic extract and saponin fraction of C. nocturnum leaves in STZ induced diabetic rats showed antidiabetic, antihyperlipidemic, and hepatoprotective activity. Toxicity study showed the LD50 of the extract and fraction in rat was higher than 2000 mg/kg. (20)
Hepatoprotective / Paracetamol Hepatotoxicity: Study of an aqueous extract of leaves showed hepatoprotective activity against paracetamol induced hepatotoxicity in albino mice. The activity was attributed to the presence of flavonoids and phenolic contents. (21)
Antifungal: Study investigated the in vitro anticandidal activity of some medicinal plants against Candida species. Among the plants used, T. ammi and C. nocturnum were found to be more potent than the others.    (22)

• Toxicity to livestock (above).
• Plant has anticholinergic properties.
• Anticholinergic syndrome results from the inhibition of muscarinic cholinergic neurotransmission. Signs and symptoms are: flushing, dry skin, altered mental state, fever, tachycardia, urinary retention, hypertension, tremulousness, confusion, hallucinations. In severe cases, coma, respiratory failure and cardiovascular collapse.


Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Update October 2015

Photo © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE / Public Domain / File:Cestrum nocturnum Blanco1.151-cropped.jpg / Flora de Filipinas / Franciso Manuel Blanco (OSA), 1880-1883 / Modifications by Carol Spears / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE / Not copyrighted / Seeds / Cestrum nocturnum L. - night jessamine /Steve Hurst @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Flavonol glycosides and steroidal saponins from the leaves of Cestrum nocturnum and their cytotoxicity
/ MIMAKI Yoshihiro; WATANABE Kazuk et al / J Nat Prod / 2001-Jan; vol 64 (issue 1) : pp 17-22
Effects of cestrum nocturnum n-butyl alcohol extract on contractile characteristics of right atrium / Chinese Journal of Clinical Rehabilitation
Toxicity, Anticholinergic / EMedicine
Behavioral and antiepileptic effects of acute administration of the extract of the plant Cestrum nocturnumLin (lady of the night) / Héctor Pérez-Saad / Epilepsy & Behavior Vol 12, Issue 3, April 2008, Pages 366-372 / doi:10.1016/j.yebeh.2007.12.012
Bactericidal Activities of Some Common Herbs in India / Chatterjee, S.K. et al / Pharmaceutical Biology, Volume 45, Number 5, June 2007 , pp. 350-354

Experimental study on antitumor effect of extracts from Cestrum nocturnum in vivo / Zhong Z G et al / Zhong Yao Cai. 2008 Nov;31(11):1709-12.
Steroidal Glycosides from the Leaves of Cestrum nocturnum / Yoshihiro Mimaki et al / J. Nat. Prod., 2002, 65 (12), pp 1863–1868 / DOI: 10.1021/np020276f
Bioefficacy of Plumbago zeylanica (Plumbaginaceae) and Cestrum nocturnum (Solanaceae) plant extracts against Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicide) and nontarget fish Poecilia reticulata / Parasitology Research, ISSN: 1432-1955
Chemical Composition and Antioxidant Activity of Essential Oil and Organic Extracts of Cestrum nocturnum L.
/ Sun Chul Kang et al./ Jeobp 13 (5) 2010 pp 615 - 624
Study on Biological Activity of Cestrum nocturnum Linn
/ Journal of Anhui Agricultural Sciences, 2008-30 / DOI: CNKI:SUN:AHNY.0.2008-30-108
Screening of the leaves of cestrum nocturnum for its antipyretic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties
/ M Avijit, A Bhatt, VA Bonde, A Shaikh, M Rupa / Nigerian Journal of Natural Products and Medicine > Vol 13 (2009)
Larvicidal activity of Cestrum nocturnum on Aedes aegypti
/ Chetan Jawale, Rambhau Kirdak and Laxmikant Dama / Bangladesh J Pharmacol 2010; 5: 39-40
Cestrum nocturnum / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED
Evaluation of Antidiabetic Activity of Hydroalcoholic Extract of Cestrum nocturnum Leaves in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats / Anil Kamboj, Sunil Kumar, and Vipin Kumar / Advances in Pharmacological Sciences
Volume 2013 (2013) / http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/150401
/ .Jawale C. S.*, Dama L. B.**, Pawar Kishor*** and Dama S.B.**** /
Trends in Fisheries Research, Vol. 1 No. 1 (2012)
Antimicrobial activities of the whole plant of Cestrum nocturnum against pathogenic microorganisms / Murad Ali Khan*, Humaira Inayat, Haroon Khan, Mohammmad Saeed, Ikhtair Khan and Inayat-Ur-Rahman / African Journal of Microbiology Research Vol. 5(6) pp. 612-616, 18 March, 2011
Evaluation of Anti-HIV-1 Activity from Cestrum nocturnum Aerial Parts and Phytochemical Analysis / Khaled Rashed, Xing-Jie Zhang, Meng-Ting Luo, Yung Tang Zheng / Review of Progress, Vol 1, No 5, May 2013
Cestrum nocturnum / Synonyms / The Plant List
Pharmacological and phytochemical investigation of Cestrum nocturnum leaf extract for antihyperglycemic and antihyperlipidemic activity. / R. S. Sahane*, P. A. Wankhade, M. A.Shrungarpure / IJRPP |Vol3 | Issue 4 | Oct-Dec-2014
Hepatoprotective effect of leaves of aqueous ethanol extract of Cestrum nocturnum against paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity / M. Imran Qadir, Muhammad Sajid Al Murad, Muhammad Ali, Mohammad Saleem, Ammad Ahmad Farooqi / Bangladesh Journal of Pharmacology, Vol 9, No 2 (2014)
Anticandidal activity of medicinal plants and Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains of clinical specimens / Limpon Bora / Journal of Microbiology, Immunology, and Infection
POTENTIAL MOSQUITO LARVICIDE OF CESTRUM NOCTURNUM AND SAPINDUS MUKOROSSI / Chetan S. Jawale / Trends in Life Sciences, Volume- 4 Issue- 4 (2015)

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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