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Family Asteraceae / Compositae
Gallant soldier
Galinsoga parviflora Cav.
Niu xi ju

Scientific names Common names
Adventina parviflor (Cav.) Raf. Galinsoga (Tag.)
Baziasa microglossa Steud. Chickweed (Engl.)
Galinsoga hirsuta Baker Cocklebur (Engl.)
Galinsoga lanciniata Retz. Gallant soldier (Engl.)
Galinsoga parviflora Cav. Potato weed (Engl.)
Galinsoga quinqueradiata Ruiz & Pav. Quick weed (Engl.)
Sabazia microglossa DC. Small-flower galinsoga (Engl.)
Stemmatella sodiroi Hieron. Smooth galinsoga (Engl.)
Vigolina acmella (Roth) Poir. Yellow weed (Engl.)
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.
COSTA RICA: Mielcilla.
FRENCH: Galinsoga a petites fleurs, Piquant blanc.
GERMAN: Kleinblutiges knopfkraut, Kleinblütiges franzosenkraut.
ITALIAN: Galinsoga comune.
JAPANESE: Hakidamegiku.
MALAWI: Mwamuna aligone.
MALAYALAM: Mukuthipoovu.
MANIPURI: Hameng shampakpi.
PORTUGUESE: Erva de moda, Picao branco.
SPANISH: Chuminca, Guasco, Mielcilla, Pacuyuyo, Rosilla chica, Soldado galante.
SWEDISH: Gangel.
TAMIL: Mookuthi poo.

- The name derives from Ignacio Mariano Martinez Galinsoga, an 18th century Spanish physician who identified the plant and transported it from the Andean regions of Peru to the Madrid Botanical Gardens.
- The English name 'Gallant Soldier' could be a corruption of the 'galinsoga.'
- Parviflora is Latin referring to "small flowers.

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.

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

- Native to tropical America.

- 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 compared to fresh parsley with 140 mg), 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)
- Study of n-hexane fraction of methanol extract isolated three new aromatic esters galinosoate A, B, and C. (7)
- Phytochemical studies have yielded 38 compounds consisting of flavonoids, aromatic esters, diterpenoids, caffeic acid derivatives, steroids, phenolic acid derivatives, and other compounds. (see study below) (7)
- Study of aqueous ethanolic extract isolated 11 compounds namely: triacontanol (1), phytol (2), β-sitosterol (3), stigmasterol (4), 7-hydroxy-β-sitosterol (5), 7-hydroxystigmasterol (6), β-sitosterol-3-O-β-D-glucoside (7), 3,4-dimethoxycinnamic acid (8), protocatechuic acid (9), fumaric acid (10), and uracil (11). The hydrodistilled oil of aerial parts yielded 48 volatile constituents. (see study below) (9)
- Study isolated seven compounds from G. parvilfora for the first time, namely: β-sitosterol (1), octacosanoic acid (2), ursolic acid (3), 4-hydroxybenzoic acid (4), 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid (5), gallic acid (6) and β-sitosterol 3-O-β-d-glucopyranoside (7), respectively.  (10)
- Proximate composition of G. parviflora per 100 g fresh weight yielded 41 kcal energy, 89 g moisture, 4 g protein, 0.5 g fat, 1.24 g fiber, 1.74 g ash, and 5.29 g carbohydrate. Mineral content in mg/100 g dry weight yielded 62 mg calcium, 38 mg phosphorus, 36 mg sodium, 44 mg manganese, 3 mg copper, 14 mg zinc, 681 mg magnesium, and 27 mg iron. (17)

- A prolific 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.
- Concern: Reported to be poisonous to goats.
- Considered astringent, anti-inflammatory and vulnerary.
- Studies have shown wound healing, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antihypertensive, ACE-inhibitory activities.

Parts used
Leaves, flowers.


- 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.
- Guacas is the indispensable herb flavoring in the traditional Colombian stew, ajiaco Bogotano. (13)
- In Tanzania and Uganda, the leaves and stems are eaten as leafy vegetable. (13)
- Used for neutralizing 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; also, for boils and small pox. 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, toothache.

- In Columbia, decoction of leaves used for excess stomach acids.
- In China, whole plant used as hemostatic and anti-inflammatory.
- In the Kakamega county of Kenya, used for colorectal cancer: leaves of Ocimum gratissium are usually mixed by Galinga parviflora leaves, Senna didymobotyra and Triumfetta rhomboidea leaves, taken as decoction twice daily for two weeks. Leaves and stems of G. parviflora are chew to cure colds and sores; applied locally for wound healing. (18)
- Fodder: In Colombia, while leaves and stems are used as vegetables, flower heads and buds are reportedly discarded or used as cattle fodder. (17)

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 Inhibitory 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)
• Antibacterial / Phytoconstituents / Aerial Parts: Phytoconsituents analysis yielded 38 compounds. Study evaluated hexane, methanol, and water extract for antibacterial activity. The hexane extract showed antibacterial activity against B. subtilis and M. luteus and S. aureus, while the methanol and aqueous extract showed no antibacterial effects. Compound 8, 3,5,7,8,4′-pentahydroxy-3′-methoxyflavone-3-O-α-L- rhamnopyranosyl-7-O-β-D-glucopyranosyl-(1→4)-O-β-D- xylopyranoside, showed good activity against E. coli, while compound 11, 3,5,3′,5′-tetrahydroxy-7,4′-dimethoxyflavone-3-O-α-L- rhamnopyranosyl-(1→3)-O-α-L-arabinopyranosyl-3′-O-β-D- galactopyranoside, showed highest activity against S. aureus. (see constituents above) (7)
• Antifungal: Study of light petroleum, ethyl acetate fractions and ethanolic extracts of G. parviflora exhibited significant antifungal activities against A. niger and C. albicans when compared to standard drug nystatin. (Mostafa et al, 2013) (7)
• Antioxidant: An EA fraction showed strong antioxidant activity at 150 mg/mL concentration relative to 0.1 M ascorbic acid. A 20% methanol extract fraction exhibited highest antioxidant activity against DPPH radicals, while a 50% methanol fraction showed maximum scavenging activity against superoxide. The water fraction of the ME showed highest activity with IC50 of 6.80 ± 1.31 µg/ml against linoleic acid peroxidation. Compound 2, Galinsoside A, showed strong antioxidant activity, while compound 3, Galinsoside B, showed moderate activity. (7)
• Nematicidal: Study of various extracts, fractions, and compounds were evaluated for matricidal activity against Melioigyne incognita and Cephalobus litoralis. The EA fractions showed highest mortality against MI. Compounds 27, 32, and 38 showed significant activity against one or both species. (Akhtar et al, 2011) (7)
• Anti-Inflammatory Activity / Wound Healing: Study evaluated a hydroalcoholic extract of G. parviflora for anti-inflammatory and wound healing activity . Results showed the GP extract caused a dose-dependent reduction of IL-6 secretion on IL-1å-stimulated endothelial cells. The GP extract also showed anti-hyaluronisdase activity (IC50 0.47 mg/mL), stronger than kaempferol control (IC50 0.78 mg/mL). Scratch assay showed completely healing of exposed endothelial cells. The main compound of the GP extract was chlorogenic acid (2.00 ± 0.01 mg/g UPLC). Total polyphenol content was 98.30 ± 0.14 mg QE / g of dry herb. Results showed wound healing effects attributed to antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and hyaluronidase-inhibiting activities of the herb extract. (8)
• Hypoglycemic, Antioxidant, Antimicrobial / Cytotoxic: Study of aqueous ethanolic extract yielded 11 compounds. Results on various extracts and fractions exhibited 87% reduction of ALT enzymes in cirrhotic rats, a reduction in blood glucose equivalent to glibenclamide (5 mg/kbw), antimicrobial activity against B. subtilis, P. aeruginosa, E. coli, A niger, and C. albicans, and strong antioxidant activity compared to ascorbic acid, and a weak cytotoxic effect against MCF-7 cell line. (9)
• Terpenes and Sterols / Anticancer / HL60 Cell Line: Study by column chromatography isolated seven compounds, namely: ent-kaur-16-en19-oic acid (1), ent-15-angeloyloxy-16-kauren-19-oic-acid (2), ent-15-angeloyloxy-16,17-epoxy-19-kauranoicacid (3), stigmasterol (5), α-spinasterol (5),α-spinasterylqocta- decanate (6), and β-sitosterol (7). On cytotoxicity screening of the extracts using HL60 cell line, two extractive fractions obtained with chloroform and ethyl acetate showed anticancer activity with IC50 of 8.5a and 10.5 µg/mL, respectively. (11)
• Functional Modification of Adhesive Bandages Using Herbs: The bandage is a standard biomaterial used to cure wound or protect them from infections. Study evaluated a 50%:50% bamboo cotton web for construction of bandage functional part. Study results showed that the 50:50 bamboo cotton finished with Galinsoga parviflora and Azadirachta indica has excellent wound curing property. (12)
• Galinsosides A and B / Flavone Glucosides / Antioxidant /Urease and Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitory Activities: Study isolated galinsosides A (1) and B (2), along with two known flavanones, 7,3',4'-trihydroxyflavanone (3) and 3,5,7,3',4'-pentahydroxyflavanone (4) from an ethyl acetate fraction of G. parviflora. Compounds 1 showed significant antioxidant and urease inhibitory activity, while compound 2 showed moderate activity. Compound 2 also showed inhibitory potential against alpha-glucosidase. (13)
• Antidiabetic: Study evaluated the antidiabetic and safety of aqueous extracts of G. parviflora, B. hostii, P. capense, V. lasiopus and S. asper in alloxan induced diabetic mice. Results showed dose independent glucose lowering effect. Of the five plants, P. capense and G. parviflora at various doses demonstrated the highest hypoglycemic activity in diabetic mice. The blood glucose lowering effect of the five plants may be attributed to the presence of total phenols, flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins and saponins associated with hypoglycemic activity. (14)
• Antioxidant / UV-Protecting Activity: Study evaluated the in-vitro antioxidant and UV-protecting activity of aqueous and ethanolic extracts from G. parviflora and G. quadriradiata. The herbs were examined as potential photoprotectors in relation to the role of ROS in skin damage. Results showed the ethanol extracts from the herbs have cytotoxic effects, while the aqueous extracts showed protective activity, in part, due to inhibition of ROS generation. Study suggests both species may be effective as photoprotectors. (15)
• Antimicrobial Herbal Gel Formulation: Study evaluated the antimicrobial potential of a combination herbal gel formulation of Galinsoga parviflora and Tridax procumbens. The highest activity was shown on Pseudomonas aeruginosa with zone of inhibition of 31.1 mm. A potentiation of antimicrobial activity was seen in combination with significant activity (p<0.01) compared with standard drugs. Results conclude the ethosomal gel formulations of the herbal drugs exhibited a suitable transdermal drug delivery system with the two herbal extracts showing synergized antimicrobial potential. (16)

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

Updated December 2018
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
Galinsoga /Julia's Edible Weeds

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
Galinsoga parviflora / Synonyms / The Plant List
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.
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

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
Ethnobotanical, phytochemical and pharmacological properties of Galinsoga parviflora (Asteraceae): A review / Samar Ali, Sara Zameer, Mohammad Yaqoob / Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, December 2017; 16 (12): pp 3023-3033 / http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/tjpr.v16i12.29
Anti-inflammatory Activity and Phytochemical Profile of Galinsoga Parviflora Cav.
/ Elżbieta Studzinska-Sroka, Marlena Dudek-Makuch, Justyna Chanaj-Kaczmarek, Natasza Czepulis, Katarzyna Korybalska, Rafał Rutkowski, Joanna Łuczak, Karolina Grabowska, Wiesława Bylka and Janusz Witowski /Molecules, 2018; 23: 2133 / doi:10.3390/molecules23092133
Chemical Constituents and Biological Activities of Galinsoga parviflora Cav. (Asteraceae) from Egypt /
Islam Mostafa, Ehsan Abd El-Aziz, Samia Hafez, and Assem El-Shazly / Z. Naturforsch., 2013; 68 c: pp 285-292
Galinsoga parviflora Cav / Tesauro de Plantas Medicinales
Terpenes and sterols from Galinsoga parviflora / PAN Zheng-hong, ZHAO Lei, HUANG Rong, MA Guo-yi, LI Zu-qiang / Journal of Yunnan University (Natural Sciences Edition, 2007-06
Functional Modification on Adhesive Bandage Using Natural Herbs  / Sumithra N and Amutha R / J Textile Sci En, 6: 281 / doi: 10.4172/2165-8064.1000281
Galinsosides A and B, bioactive flavanone glucosides from Galinsoga parviflora. / Ferheen S, Afza N, Malik A, Iqbal L, Azam Rasool M, Irfan Ali M, Bakhsh Tareen R / Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry, Oct 2009; 24(5): pp 1128-1132 / DOI: 10.1080/14756360802667688  / (PMID:19772485)
Determination of in vitro antioxidant and UV-protecting activity of aqueous and ethanolic extracts from Galinsoga parviflora and Galinsoga quadriradiata herb / Agnieszka Bazylko, Joanna Borzym, Andrzej Parzonko / Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology, Aug 2015; Vol 149: pp 189-195 / doi: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2015.06.010
Development and Evaluation of Antimicrobial Herbal Gel Formulation / K Lalitha, D Pavani, Md Rahmath Ali / Int J Pharma Res Health Sci., 2018; 6(3): pp 2629-2633 / DOI:10.21276/ijprhs.2018. 2018. 03.12
Preliminary assessment of nutritional value of traditional leafy vegetables in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa / B. Odhav, S. Beekrum, Us Akula, H Baijnath / Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 2007; 20: pp 430–435 / doi:10.1016/j.jfca.2006.04.015
In Vitro Pharmacophysiological Anticancer Potential of Medicinal Plants Commonly Used In Kakamega Country, Kenya / Dr. Dominic Ochwang'i / Thesis, 2017

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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