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Family Lamiaceae
Leucas zeylanica (L.) W.T.Aiton

Zhou mian cao

Scientific names Common names
Leonurus marrubiastrum Burm.f. Guma-guma (Sul.)
Leonurus parviflorus Moench Masibulan (Gad.)
Leucas bancana Miq. Ceylon slitwort (Engl.)
Leucas indica (L.) Sm.  
Leucas malayana Hance  
Leucas zeylanica (L.) R. Br.  
Leucas zeylanica (L.) Raf.  
Leucas zeylanica (L.) W.T.Aiton  
Phlomis indica L.  
Phlomis octodentata Stokes.  
Phlomis zeylanica L.  
Spermacoce denticulata Walp.  
Leucas zeylanica (L.) W.T.Aiton is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
BANGLADESH: Kusha, Shetadrone, Pai thung sa (Marma).
CHINESE: Zhou mian cao.
SANSKRIT: Dronapuspi, Kumbhayoni.
TAMIL: Mudi tumpai.

Guma-guma is an erect, annual, hairy herb growing to a height of 30 to 90 centimeters. Leaves are linear or elliptic-lanceolate, 5 to 7.5 centimeters long, blunt at the tip, and toothed at the margins. Whorls of many flowers are 1 to 1.5 centimeters in diameter. Calyx is 5 to 7 millimeters long, and obliquely turbinate, with minute teeth, erect or spreading horizontally.

- I n open grasslands at low altitudes in Nueva Viscaya and Bataan Provinces in Luzon; and in Panay and Mindanao (Lanao and Davao).
- Also occurs In tropical Asia to Malaya.

- On distillation, yields a small amount of essential oil.
- Decoction of herb boiled with soda solution emits a strong odor; when condensed, the vapor yields ammonia and a volatile alkaloid in the distillate.
- Methanolic extract of aerial parts yielded alkaloids, steroids, tannins flavonoids, and glycosides. (9)

- Study of essential oil from the seed of Leucas zeylanica yielded 56 components. The major components of were oleic acid(12.57%), hexadecanoic acid(10.36%),1-octene-3-ol(7.96%), caryophyllene(5.98%), 2,4,6-trimethyl-1,3,6-heptatriene(5.63%), etc. (see study below) (4)

- Considered a stimulant and antirheumatic.
- Pharmacognostic study of methanolic extract of aerial parts yielded deep green color, characteristic odor and mucilaginous and slightly bitter taste. (9)
- Studies have shown antibacterial, antioxidant, mosquito repellent, antifungal, photoprotective properties.

Parts used
Leaves, flowers, roots.

- Herb has a bitter taste; used as flavoring or pot herb.
- In Bali, sometimes used as flavoring.
- Used for coughs, toothaches and abdominal pains.
- In China, used for coughs.
- In China and Malaya, poultice of leaves used for wounds and sores.
- Poultice of leaves also used for itches, headaches and vertigo.
- In Reunion, used as stimulant and antirheumatic.
- A decoction of leaves and Nigella seed or the fresh juice of tumeric and rice, used for ulceration.
- Juice of leaves used for headaches and colds.
- In Ceylon, plant used for mild fevers associated with indigestion; also, for pain caused by intestinal worms.
- Leaves used for itches.
- Bitter roots and bitter and pungent leaves used for skin diseases and for scabies.
- Infusion used as insecticide.
- In Malaysia, leaves taken as sedative and for wound healing. Entire plant rubbed on the abdomen after child-birth. Leaves used as anthelmintic.
- In India, used for fever, scorpion and snake bites. Leaves and flowers used for jaundice.
- In Sri Lanka, a principle vermifuge ingredient. Used for anorexia, flatulence, colic; in mixture, used to treat malaria. (11)
- In Thailand, leaves, roots, and flowers are used for weaning: the plant parts are crushed and smeared on the nipple. (10) Poultice of leaves used for wound healing and to stop bleeding. (12)

Antibacterial / Photoactivity:
In a study of 32 plants species collected from serpentine (ultramafic) soils in Sri Lanka and screened for antimicrobial properties, L. zeylanica showed photo-mediated activity against S. aureus and B. subtilis. L. zeylanica showed population-level variation in photoactivity. Study suggests plants from serpentine environments may have altered antimicrobial activities compared to non-serpentine environments, and that attention is needed in deciding on the substrate and habitat when collecting plants to test for antimicrobial properties. (3)
Essential Oil / Antioxidant / Antibacterial: Study of essential oil showed the major components were: oleic acid, hexadecanoic acid, 1-octenen-3-oil, caryophyllene, etc. The essential oil showed scavenging antioxidant activity. Antibacterial activity showed inhibition of test bacterial growth, especially E coli and Salmonella enteritidis. (4)
Protection Against Ethanol and H2O2-induced Hepatic Oxidative Stress: Study of Leucas zeylanica showed protection against oxidative stress on hepatic tissue induced by exposure to ethanol and Fenton's reagent. Results were attributed to the presence of antioxidant phytochemicals, including polyphenols and flavonoids. (6)
Essential Oil / Anthelmintic: Study evaluated the efficacy of L. zeylanica on Enterobius vermicularis infections by use of a whole plant decoction taken twice daily for seven days. Results showed L. zeylanica is a highly effective treatment for E. vermicularis infections in adults. (7)
• Antifungal / Leaves: Study evaluated the antifungal susceptibility of clinically isolated dermatophytes to methanol extracts of L. aspera and L. zeylanica leaves. Results showed remarkable antidermatophytic activitiy with zones of inhibition ranging from 5 to 10mm, with maximum inhibition on Penicillium sp and minimum inhibition for Candida tropicalis. (13)
• Photoprotective Potential: Study evaluated the aqueous extracts of eleven medicinal plants in Sri Lanka for photoprotective activity by determining the UV filtering potential. Extracts showed high antioxidant activity by DPPH and ABTS assays. Leucas zeylanica was one of six plants that displayed SPF value ≥ 25, which is higher than two commercial photoprotective creams. L. zeylanica and O. mungos exhibited high UV absorbance in 260-350 nm range suggesting potential in being broad spectrum sunscreens. (14)


© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Updated June 2017 / November 2015

IMAGE SOURCE: PHOTO / File:Leucas zeylanica.jpg / Leonardo L. Co (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL28909] / Fair Use Policy / click on image to go to source page / Wikipedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Public Domain / 45082 Leucas zeylanica Illustrations of Indian botany 2: t. 176 (1850) Illustration contributed by the Missouri Botanical Garden / Plant Illustrations / Modificdations by G. Stuart

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Leucas zeylanica (L.) R.Br. - LAMIACEAE - Dicotyledon
Use of medicinal plants among tribes in Satpuda region of Dhule and Jalgaon districts of Maharashtra–An ethnobotanical survey / D L Jain et al / Indian Journ of Traditional Knowledge, Vol 9(1), Jan 2010, pp 152-157
Antimicrobial Activity of Plants Collected from Serpentine Outcrops in Sri Lanka
/ Nishanta Rajakaruna et al / Pharmaceutical Biology, 2002, Vol. 40, No. 03, pp. 235–244

Study on Essential Oil Obtained from the Seed of Leucas zeylanica / Tian Guang-hui, Liu Cun-fang et al / DOI: CNKI:SUN:AJSH.0.2009-02-016
Leucas zeylanica (L.) R. Br. protects ethanol and hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress on hepatic tissue of rats / Shahdat Hossain, Mijanur Rahman, Nusrat Fatima, Mozammel Haque, Jahirul Islam / International Current Pharmaceutical Journal, Vol 2, No 9 (2013)
Leucas zeylanica / Synonyms / The Plant List
Pharmacognostic Studies on Methanolic Extract of the Aerial Part of Leucas zeylanica (L.) / Swati Paul, Dibyajyoti Saha / A and V Publications
Herbs from Peat Swamp Forests in Narathivas, Thailand / Tasanee Kitirattrakarn and Choojit Anantachoke / Acta Hort. 680, ISHS 2005
Antimicrobial Activity of Plants Collected from Serpentine Outcrops in Sri Lanka / Nishanta Rajakaruna, Cory S. Harris and G.H.N. Towers / Pharmaceutical Biology, 2002, Vol. 40, No. 03, pp. 235–244 © Swets & Zeitlinger
Medicinal Plants in Tropical Rain Forest from Hua Khao Subdistrict, Singha Nakhon District, Songkhla Province, Thailand / Oratai Neamsuvan, Narumon Sengnon, Umad Haddee, Wittawat Mard-E and Warunyu Sae-Tang / American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, 2014 Aoril; 8(5): pp 1-11

IN-VITRO ANTIFUNGAL ACTIVITY OF LEAF EXTRACTS OF LEUCAS ASPERA AND LEUCAS ZEYLANICA / Babu, M. Sheik Noor Mohamed, K. Jaikumar, D. Anand and P. Saravanan* / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Photoprotective potential in some medicinal plants used to treat skin diseases in Sri Lanka / Mayuri  Tharanga Napagoda, Benthota Malavi Arachchige Shamila Malkanthi, Subasinghe Appuhamillage, Kaumudi AbayawardanaMohomed Mallique Qader and Lalith Jayasinghe / BMC Complementary and Alternative MedicineBMC series / DOI: 10.1186/s12906-016-1455-8

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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