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Family Asteraceae / Compositae
Galinsoga
Galinsoga parviflora Cav.
GALLANT SOLDIER
Niu xi ju

Scientific names Common names
Adventina parviflor (Cav.) Raf. Galinsoga (Tag.)
Baziasa microglossa Steud. Chickweed (Engl.)
Galinsoga hirsuta Baker Gallant soldier (Engl.)
Galinsoga lanciniata Retz. Potato weed (Engl.)
Galinsoga parviflora Cav. Quick weed (Engl.)
Galinsoga quinqueradiata Ruiz & Pav. Small-flower galinsoga (Engl.)
Sabazia microglossa DC. Yellow weed (Engl.)
Stemmatella sodiroi Hieron.  
Vigolina acmella (Roth) Poir.  
Wiborgia acmella Roth  
Vigolina parviflora (Cav.) Kunth  
Galinsoga parviflora Cav. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
BRAZILIAN: Botao-de-ouro.
CHINESE: Niu xi ju.
COLUMBIA: Guascas.
FRENCH: Galinsoga a petites fleurs, Piquant blanc.
GERMAN: Kleinblutiges knopfkraut.
ITALIAN: Galinsoga comune.
JAPANESE: Hakidamegiku.
MANIPURI: Hameng shampakpi.
PORTUGUESE: Erva de moda, Picao branco.
SPANISH: Chuminca, Guasco, Mielcilla, Pacuyuyo, Rosilla chica, Soldado galante.
SWEDISH: Gangel.
TAMIL: Mookuthi poo.

Etymology
Name derives from Ignacio Mariano Martinez Galinsoga, an 18th century Spanish physician. (The English name 'Gallant Soldier' could be a corruption of the 'galinsoga.') Parviflora is Latin referring to "small flowers."

Botany
Galinsoga is a leafy, upright annual. Leaves are oval yellowish-greenish, pointed, opposite and toothed with hairs on the leaf margins and stems. Flowers are small with five white petals, three-lobed at the tips, with yellow central disc florets.

Distribution
- Introduced.
- An invasive weed in waste places, arable land, pavements, etc.

- Native to tropical America.

Constituents
- Nutritional analysis yield per 100 gm of plant: 3.2 g protein, 1.1 g fiber. It is high in calcium (284 mg/100 g), vitamin A, beta carotene, magnesium, potassium, zinc, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and ascorbic acid.
- Extracts yielded flavonoids (patulitrin, quercimeritrin, quercitagetrin) and phenolic acids (caffeic and chlorogenic acids). In the tested extracts, the dominant compounds were caffeoylglucaric acids. (2)

Properties
- Aprolific seed producer, a single plant capable of producing thousands of seeds per plant and competing a life cycle in about 50 days. Plant produces viable seeds when plant is only a few centimeters high.
- Considered astringent, anti-inflammatory and vulnerary.

Caution
- Reported to be poisonous to goats.

Parts used
Leaves, flowers.

Uses

Culinary
- Used as pot herb in some parts of the world.
- An essential ingredient in Bogota chicken and potato stew/soup called ajiaco. (1)
- Young leaves, stems and flowers used as ingredient in smooties, salads, stews or juices. (1)
- Can be dried into powder to be used as soup flavoring.
Folkloric
- Used for neutralizaing sting of nettles. Used to coagulate bleeding from cuts and wounds. (1)
- In Manipur, India, salted extract of leaves given for diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Leaves mixed with those of Ageratum conyzoides, Drynaria cordata, and ginger and made into a paste and used as remedy for snake bites.
- Extracts applied topically to treat eczema, lichens, and poorly-healing wounds.
- Taken orally for colds and flu.

- In Columbia, decoction of leaves used for excess stomach acids.
- In China, whole plant used as hemostatic and anti-inflammatory.

Studies
Wound Healing:
Study evaluated n-hexanic and ethanolic extracts of 12 plants used in traditional South Brazilian medicine for wound healing using NF-kappaB DNA binding, p38alpha MAPK, TNF-alpha release, direct elastase inhibition and release. Fibroblasts migration to and proliferation into the wounded monolayers were evaluated in the scratch assay, the agar diffusion test for antibacterial and the MTT assay for cytotoxic effects. The hydrophylic extracts from Galinsoga parviflora along with four other plants showed the most active wound healing activity.(4)
Antioxidant / Anti-Inflammatory: Study investigated the antioxidant activities of extracts and fractions from Galinsoga parviflora and G. quadriradiata. Results showed both plants possess dose-dependent free radical scavenging activity against DPPH and superoxide radicals, as well as inhibitory effects on linoleic acid peroxidation comparable to gallic acid. Active fractions yielded flavonoids, patulitrin, quercimeritrin, quercitagetrin and caffeoyl derivatives. Results suggest potential for use in inflammatory diseases due to their ability to prevent free radical-induced deleterious effects. (5)
Antihypertensive / ACE Inhibition Activity: In a South African study entitled ACE Inhibitiory Activity of Nutritive Plants in Kwa-Zulu Natal, ACE inhibitor activity of 16 plants was evaluated using organic and aqueous extracts from dried leaves. An !C50 of the conventional ACE inhibitor captopril was used to determine the test the sensitivity of the assay. Galinsoga parviflora was one of 8 of 16 plants that demonstrated significant ACE inhibition activity in both extract forms. (6)

Availability
- Wild-crafted.
- Herbal teas and supplements in the cybermarket.

Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

September 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: / Photograph: Galinsoga parviflora Cav. / by Andrea Moro / Image licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 License / click on image to go to source page / LurigAlterVista
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Line Drawing / Galinsoga parviflora Cav. - gallant soldier GAPA2 / USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 3: 502. Provided by Kentucky Native Plant Society / USDA

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
Galinsoga /Julia's Edible Weeds

(2)
Aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Galinsoga parviflora and Galinsoga ciliata. Investigations of caffeic acid derivatives and flavonoids by HPTLC and HPLC-DAD-MS methods / Agnieszka Bazylko, Karolina Boruc, Joanna Borzym, Anna K Kiss / Phytochemistry Letters 11 · November 2014
(3)
Galinsoga parviflora / Synonyms / The Plant List
(4)
Biological studies on Brazilian plants used in wound healing. / Schmidt C, Fronza M, Goettert M, Geller F, Luik S, Flores EM, Bittencourt CF, Zanetti GD, Heinzmann BM, Laufer S, Merfort I. / J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Apr 21;122(3):523-32 / doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2009.01.022. Epub 2009 Feb 7.
(5)
Determination of antioxidant activity of extracts and fractions obtained from Galinsoga parviflora and Galinsoga quadriradiata, and a qualitative study of the most active fractions using TLC and HPLC methods / Agnieszka Bazylko, Magdalena Stolarczyk , Małgorzata Derwińska & Anna Karolina Kiss / Natural Product Research, Volume 26, 2012 - Issue 17
(6)

SOUTH AFRICAN PLANTS WITH POTENTIAL FOR TREATING HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE / Linda Brookes, MSc Faculty / Experimental Biology 2007 conference, April 28-May 2, 2007 in Washington, DC

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.
Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

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