Hangod is a coarse, rambling or erect, distantly
branched annual herb, 0.5 to 2 meters high. Leaves are oblong-ovate to elliptic or obovate, 6 to
15 centimeters long, pointed at both ends, more or less hairy, though
often nearly smooth. Spikes are rigid, elongated and 10 to
15 centimeters long. Flowers are green and about 5 millimeters in length. Sepals 4
or 5, filaments connate at the base, the stamens and staminodes
square toothed or fimbricate, pale purplish. Buds point upwards but when the flowers open, they
spread out from the sides. Seeds are oblong, brown, 2 to 3 millimeters long. Fruits utricles are oblong or ovoid, indehiscent.
- Weed found throughout the Philippines
at low and medium altitudes, in open, waste places.
- Pantropic weed, probably introduced into the Philippines.
Collect from May to October.
Rinse, macerate, sun-dry.
• Phytochemical screening of an ethanol extract yielded triterpenoids, saponins, alkaloids (betaine, achyranthine) and steroids and major constituents. (29)
• Contains triterpenoid and saponins.
• Fruit contains a large percentage of alkaline ash containing potash.
• Seeds contain saponins A and B, glycosides of oleanolic acid.
• Study yielded bioactive compounds: alkaloids, glycosides, terpenoids, steroids, flavonoids, and tannins.
• Plant is rich in metals Fe, Cu, Ca and Na. (28)
• Study of powdered air-dried seeds yielded the presence of alkaloids, saponins, glycosides (especially C-glycosides), flavonoids, proteins, amino acids and terpenoids. (38)
• Methanolic extract of roots and leaves showed an oleanolic acid content of 0.37% and 0.13% w/w respectively. (43)
• According to Ayurveda, bitter,
pungent, heating laxative, stomachic, carminative.
• Considered slightly cooling, antipyretic-diuretic.
• Aids lymphatic circulation, strengthens musculature, improves
• Seeds and leaves considered emetic.
• Studies have reported antibacterial, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, abortifacient, antidepressant, anxiolytic, and antinociceptive properties.
Edibility / Culinary / Nutrition
- Leaves and seeds are edible.
- Leaf used as potherb.
- Seeds rich in protein.
• In the Philippines, decoction of roots and leaves used as diuretic.
• Sap said to be useful in dissipating corneal opacities.
• Used for cold with fever, heat stoke
with headache, malaria, dysentery.
• Used for urinary tract lithiasis, chronic nephritis, edema, and rheumatic arthralgia (joint pain).
• Ash, with honey, used to relieve coughs.
• In India roots macerated in water, are applied to relieve the pain of scorpion stings.
• Juice of leaves used for dysentery.
• Infusion of root used as mild astringent for bowel complaints.
• Seeds and leaves used as emetic.
• In Ayurveda, used for treating vomiting, bronchitis, heart
problems, hemorrhoids itching, abdominal pains, ascites, etc.
• Yunani healers have used stems, leaves, and fruits for piles, dropsy, pneumonia, kidney stones, snake bites, gonorrhea, dysentery.
• In India, used
as abortifacient. Also, used as stomachic and laxative. Used by various tribes as purgative, diuretic, for piles, boils, skin eruptions and treating snake bites.
• In Western India, juice of plant applied to relieve toothache. Ashes with honey given to relive cough. Root given at bedtime to relieve night blindness, and rubbed into a pasted with water and used as eye salve for corneal opacities. (24)
• In Western Ghats, seeds used for treating jaundice
• Used in piles, inflammation of the internal organs and enlarged cervical glands.
• Juice is applied to relieve toothache.
• Decoction of leaves used in treatment of diarrhea and dysentery.
• Poultice of leaves used for rabies, hysteria, insect and snake
• Ash from burnt plant, mixed
with mustard oil and pinch of salt, and used as powder for cleaning
• Dried twigs or fresh piece of root used as toothbrush.
• Ash is a rich source of potash. Used for washing clothes.
• Ethnomedicinal Gynecological Use in Uttar Pradesh, India: The study records the ethno-medicinal
use of A. aspera in rural areas in India: abortion, inducing labor pains,
expelling dead fetus, expelling placental remains, stopping excessive bleeding,
dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, etc. (2)
• Antifertility / Abortifacient:
Methanolic leaves extract of AA showed significant abortifacient activity and increased, pituitary and uterine weights in ovariectimized rats. Its anti-fertility activity presents
a potential option for population explosion. (4)
• Nephroprotective: Study evaluating the nephroprotective role of the methanolic extract of A aspera against lead acetate-induced nephrotoxicity in rats showed complete amelioration of the lead-induced renal damage. (11)
• Antiinflammatory / Leaves: Study
evaluated the anti-inflammatory activity of ethanolic extract fractions on carrageenan-induced rat paw edema. Results showed various fractions with anti-inflammatory activity, with the ethyl acetate fraction showing most potent activity. (37)
• Post-coital antifertility activity
of Achyranthes aspera Linn. root: Study suggests the
ethanol extract possess both anti-implantation and abortifacient activity.
It also exhibited estrogenic activity. (5)
• Larvicidal activity:
All extracts showed moderate larvicidal effects against A aegypti and
C quinquefasciatus. It investigates the potential of crude extracts
of medicinal herbs as a measure to control the vector of dengue and
lymphatic filariasis. (6)
• Immunomodulatory Activity: Extract
of AA was found to enhance the induction of ovalbumin-specific humoral
antibody response in mice on intraperitoneal extract injection along
with OVA. Results confirm the immunostimulatory
properties of A aspera. (7)
• Anti-Inflammatory activity: Study results demonstrate promising anti-inflammatory activity against both acute and chronic inflammation. Also, inhibition of prostaglandins and bradykinins may play a role.
• Wound Healing / Antioxidant: Study showed the ethanol and aqueous extracts of Achyranthes aspera showed wound healing activity in the wound models used and also exhibited good antioxidant effect by the prevention of free radicals. Results justify the inclusion of the plant in the management of cuts and wound healing. (12)
• Antimicrobial / Anti-Inflammatory: Study showed inhibition of S aureus, B subtilis, E coli and Aspergillus terreus.
• Antiviral / Anti-carcinogenic: Study showed significant inhibitory effects on the Epstein-Barr virus antigen induced by a tumor-promoter in Raji cells. In the in vivo two stage mouse skin carcinogenesis test, the methanolic extract exhibited a pronounced anticarcinogenic effect.
• Antioxidant / Antibacterial: Study of various extracts of root, stem, leaf, and inflorescence was evaluated by DPPH assay and antibacterial activity against E. coli and Staph aureus. All extracts exhibited antioxidant and antibacterial activities which were concentration and time dependent. Study yielded bioactive compounds: alkaloids, glycosides, terpenoids, steroids, flavonoids, and tannins. (15)
• Diuretic: A methanolic extract exhibited significant diuretic activity, with less effect than furosemide. Results support its ethnopharmacologic use as a diuretic. (16)
• Spermatotoxicity: A 58-kDa protein was isolated from the roots and studied for spermatotoxic effects. Treated mice showed significant spermatotoxicity, exhibiting spermicidal activity even after proteolysis. (17)
• Antiobesity / Seed: Study evaluated the antiobesity effect of an ethanol extract in in vitro and in vivo models. Results showed inhibition of pancreatic amylase and lipase activity. There was suppression in body, retroperitoneal adipose tissue, and liver weights, and reduction in serum parameters, viz. total cholesterol, total triglycerides, and LDL. The antiobesity effects may be partly mediated by a delay of intestinal absorption of dietary fat through the inhibition of pancreatic amylase and lipase activity. (18)
• Nephrolithiasis / Nephroprotective: Study evaluated the efficacy of A. aspera in preventing and reducing the growth of calcium oxalate stones in an ethylene glycol induced nephrolithiatic model in hyperoxaluria-induced rats. Treatment showed A. aspera maintained renal functioning and reducing renal injury, with reduced changes in renal architecture and decrease in size of crystals. (19)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Leaves and Whole Plant: Aqueous extracts of leaves and whole plant of A. aspera exhibited promising anti-inflammatory activity attributed to flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins and triterpenoids phytoconstituents. (20)
• Hepatoprotective: Study an ethanolic extract from seeds showed a hepatoprotective effect in carbon-tetrachloride induced liver damage in rats. Data was comparable to silymarin. (21)
• Wound Healing / Protein Impact: Study evaluated the comparative protein profile of granulation tissues of burn, diabetic, and immunocompromised patients treated with an ointment of A. aspera methanol extract. A. aspera treatment induced expression of a particular protein in diabetic and immunocompromised wound models suggesting the protein could play a key role in A aspera mediated wound healing in the two models. (22)
• Antibacterial / Multi-Drug Resistant Isolates: Study evaluated the antimicrobial effect of crude extracts on clinical isolates of multidrug resistant bacteria. Results conclude A. aspera might be useful against multidrug resistance in pathogens of clinical importance. (23)
• Anti-Proliferative and Anti-Cancer / Pancreatic Cancer: Study evaluated a methanol leaf extract on human cancer cells in vitro. The leaf extract exhibited time and dose-dependent cytotoxicity on several tumor cells, with the pancreatic cells showed more sensitivity. The extract selectively suppressed the transcription of metalloproteases, inhibitors of MMPs, and angiogenic factors. Results suggest potent antiproliferative constituents with specific activity against pancreatic cancer. (25)
• Antipyretic / Leaves: Study evaluated a methanol extract of leaves for anti-pyretic activity in experimental animal models. The extract exhibited significant anti-pyretic activity in all test doses compared to the control group. (26)
• Antifungal: An ethanol extract of leaves showed elevated antifungal activity against C. kefyr, Cryptococcus neoformans, Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus. A methanol extract showed higher activity against C. neoformans and A. flavus. (27) A study on methanol extract of seeds of Achyranthes aspera showed 95% inhibition of growth of Aspergillus niger. (34)
• Antidepressant / Anxiolytic: Study evaluated an ethanol extract of A. aspera for depressant effects on the central nervous system and behavioral effects. Phytoanalysis yielded triterpenoids, saponins, alkaloids (betane, achyranthine) and steroids as major constituents. Results showed decreased locomotor activity, production of muscle relaxation, and anxiolytic activity. The CNS depressant effect and anxiolytic activity were comparable to diazepam. (29)
• Anticariogenic / Antibiofilm Preventive Medicine: Study evaluated A. aspera for its potential to inhibit growth and biofilm formation by cariogenic isolate Streptococcus mutans as an alternative means of caries management by quorum quenching (QQ). Study yielded anticaries bioactive compounds with possible QQ ability and a potential for use as anticaries drug leads and antibiofilm preventive medicine. (30)
• Antibacterial / Leaf and Stem: Study evaluated organic extracts of both leaf and stem parts for antibacterial activities against multi-drug resistance organisms, viz., Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus mirabilis, and Enterococcus faecalis. (31)
• Anti-Cancer Activity : Study evaluated the anticancer efficiency of A. aspera in mineral oil induced cancer in Swiss albino mice. Results showed the ether extract at 3 mg/ml concentration is very effective in reducing cancer symptoms. (32)
• Prevention of Diarrhea in Piglets : Study showed "co xuoc" supplementation to sows decreased diarrhea prevalence in piglets, increased their growth rate but decreased litter size, with no apparent effect on the immune response or gut microbial flora. (33)
• Antiobesity / Seeds: Study evaluated the antiobesity effect of ethanol extract of Achyranthes aspera seed in in vivo and in vitro models. Results showed antiobesity effects of EAA in high-fat diet treated mice which may be partly mediated through delaying of intestinal absorption of dietary fat by inhibition of pancreatic amylase and lipase activity. (35)
• Anti-Urolithiasis: Study evaluated the efficacy of AA extract of roots in preventing and reducing the growth of calcium oxalate stones in ethylene glycol induced nephrolithiatic model in rats. Results showed decrease changes in the architecture of renal tissue and also decreased size of crystals resulting in quick expulsion. (36)
• Anti-Herpes / Oleanolic Acid: Study evaluated the antiviral potential of a methanolic extract of A. aspera and one of its pure compound oleanolic acid (OA) against herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2. Results showed the ME to have weak anti-herpes virus activity while the OA exhibited potent antiherpes virus activity against both HSV 1 and HSV 2. (39)
• Hypolipidemic: Study evaluated the antihyperlipidemic effect of an aqueous extract of A. aspera in experimental rats fed with an atherogenic diet containing sesame oil. Results showed amelioration of hypercholesterolemia probably through decrease of exogenous cholesterol absorption and increasing the endogenous cholesterol conversion to bile acid. (40)
• Silver Nanoparticles / Antibacterial: Study reports the synthesis of silver nanoparticles using A. aspera plant extract embedded in chitosan (CS) biopolymer. The biologically synthesized nanoparticles exhibited tremendous antibacterial activity against E. coli and S. aureus. (41)
• Anti-Proliferative and Anti-Cancer Properties/ Inhibitory Activity against Pancreatic Cancer Cells: Study investigated the anti-proliferative properties of methanol extract of A. aspera leaves on human cancer cells in vitro. The LE showed time and dose dependent cytotoxicity on several tumor cells. Compared to colon, breast, lung, and prostate cancer cells, pancreatic cancer cells significantly showed more sensitivity. Preliminary mechanistic studies suggested LE selectively suppressed the transcription of metalloproteases, inhibitors of MMPs and angiogenic factors. (42)