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.
• 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)
- Methanol extract of leaves (L), inflorescence (I), stem (S), and roots (R) yielded
tannin (SR), alkaloid (LISR), flavonoid (LI), saponin (IS), and coumarin (LISR), with absence of steroid, terpenoid and phenol. (50)
• Phytochemical screening of seed extract yielded alkaloids, carbohydrates, tannins, flavonoids, saponins, lipids, and terpenoids. (see study below) (59)
- Phytochemical screening of methanol extract of leaves yielded alkaloids, saponins, tannins, flavonoids, anthraquiones, cardiac glycosides and terpenes. (see study below) (63)
• 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.
Collect from May to October.
Rinse, macerate, sun-dry.
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
• In Western Uttar Pradesh, India, plant used by healers for treatment of asthma, bleeding, facilitating delivery, boils, bronchitis, colds and cough, colic, debility, dropsy, dog bites, dysentery, headache, leucoderma, pneumonia, renal complications, scorpion bites and snake bites, etc. (2)
• In India, used
as diuretic in renal dropsies and general anasarca; for treatment of beriberi, pneumonia, cough, toothache. Roots used for menstrual disorders and leprosy; as stomachic and digestive. Leaves used for gonorrhea and syphilitic sores, piles, and dysentery.. Raw seeds taken with water as brain tonic, expectorant, and for bleeding piles. Flowers used as poultice for snakes and reptile bites. (52)
• 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)
• Anti-Inflammatory / 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) Study evaluated aqueous and alcoholic extracts of leaves of A. aspera in rats. The extract at 100 mg/kbw showed increase in urine volume, cation, and anion excretion. Furosemide was used as reference diuretic. (64)
• Spermatotoxicity / 58-kDa Protein / Roots: 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)
• Antinociceptive / Leaves: Study evaluated a methanolic extract of leaves for antinociceptive activity by peripheral/non-narcotic model of nociception and induced writhing syndrome test and central/narcotic models like hot plate and tail flick tests. Results showed significant antinociceptive property as evidenced in all the animal models of nociception. Activity could attributed to the presence of steroids, alkaloids, and triterpene in the methanol extract of leaves. (46)
• Induction of Human Colon Cancer Cell Death / Mitochondrial Apoptosis / Roots: Study evaluated the antitumor effect of ethanolic (EAA) and aqueous (AAA) root extracts on growth of colon cancer COLO-205 cells. The AAA extract chowed greater cytotoxic activity against COLO-205 cells. Apoptotic results revealed loss of cell viability, chromatin condensation, and DNA fragmentation in AAA treated cells to a greater extent. Overall results suggest a promising therapeutic candidate against cancer. (47)
• Potent Immunostimulating and Resuscitative Plant / Review: Study and review reports on Achyranthes aspera as a resuscitative plant due to its large number of medicinal properties and medicinally important chemicals like ecdysterone, n-hexacos-17-enoic, spinasterol, achyranthine, betaine, pentatriaontane, hexatriacontane, tritriacontane, Hydroquinone, p-benzoquinone, spathulenol, nerol, asarone, and essential fatty acids (EFAs). Plant also shows many pharmacological activities like spermicidal, anti-allergic, cardiovascular, nephroprotective, antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, analgesic, hepatoprotective potency, inhibit leukocyte infiltration (particularly eosinophils and neutrophils), antiperiodic, antimicrobial, purgative, antipyretic and are used in various types of gastric disorders. (48)
• Antibacterial / Wound Healing / Phenolic Compounds / Leaves: Study
evaluated leaf extracts of A. aspera for antibacterial, antifungal, and anthelmintic activities and characterized the functional phenolic acids as well as protein binding capacity of extracts from two different geographical areas. The protein-precipitating capacity of phenolic compounds was presented as a model for wound healing. A. aspera extracts exhibited moderate to high affinity for protein binding. Wound healing is a complex process with overlapping stages that include inflammation, formation of granulation tissue, exclusion of bacterial and fungal infections, along with epithelization, extracellular matrix formation and remodeling. Phenolic compounds have been shown to enhance tissue regeneration in superficial wounds and burn healing. (49)
• Antidiabetic Potential / Ursolic Acid and Oleonolic Acid / Leaves: Study evaluated the antidiabetic potential of an ethanol extract of A. aspera leaves in STZ models in Sprague Dawley rats. A chloroform fraction was the active fraction of the ethanol extract. Purification of the fraction isolated pure compounds i.e., ursolic acid, oleonolic acid, sitosterol, and triacontane. Of those, only ursolic acid and oleonolic acid showed potent anti-diabetic effect. (51)
• Toxicity Evaluation of Gold Nanoparticles / Leaves: Study evaluated the cytotoxicity of herbal gold nanoparticles (HGNPs synthesized using leaf extract of A. aspera. The protocol dealt with stability of HGNPs in pH dependent manner. The 100 µg/ml HGNPs concentration was found nontoxic to cultured spleenocyte cells. The study reports synthesis of HGNPs that is easy, quick,of good quality and long epoch stability at pH 10. The nontoxic dose presents potential for nanomedicine and wide applicability for human health. (53)
• Molluscicidal / Leaves: Study evaluated the molluscicidal effect of Acyranthes aspera aqueous leaf extract on adult snails of Biomphalaria pfeifferi and Lymnaea natalensis. Results showed the plant's molluscicidal effect on the two snail species, with 24h LC50 and LC90 of 69.5 and 93.9 ppm against L natalensis, and 24h LC50 and LC90 of 96.5 and 92.8 ppm against B. pfeifferi. Phytochemical screening indicated the presence of saponins. (54)
• Anti-Allergy: Study evaluated the activity of A. aspera against allergy caused by heavy metal potassium dichromate in albino mice. After allergy induction the mice received PE, chloroform, and methanolic extracts of A. aspera. Serum analysis of IgM and IgG was done to determine the effect of extracts on serum titer of mice blood. (55)
• Gut Modulatory and Bronchodilator Effect: Study evaluated a crude extract of A. aspera for gut modulatory and bronchodilatory activities. The crude extract increased fecal output, similar to castor oil. It protected against castor oil induced diarrhea in mice. The crude extract caused spasmogenic effect on rabbit jejunum and guinea pig ileum preparations. The extract inhibited CCh-induced bronchospasm in rats, similar to aminophylline. Results suggest the presence of dose-specific laxative and antidiarrheal effects possibly mediated through cyproheptadine-sensitive receptors and dual cholinergic and calcium channel blockade, respectively. (56)
• Efficacy of Drug Delivery Gel Formulation for Chronic Periodontitis / Clinical Study: Study evaluated the efficacy of a local drug delivery of A. aspera gel in the management of chronic periodontitis. Patients were categorized in two groups of scaling and root planing, one with A. aspera gel and the other with placebo gel. Results showed A. aspera gel when delivered locally with scaling and root planing provided a beneficial effect. A. aspera gel as a non-surgical local drug delivery system had no side effects in the management of periodontitis. It has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity. (57)
• Flavonoids / Anti-Inflammatory in Ova-Induced Asthma / Leaves: Study evaluated the effect of an 80% ethanol extract of A. aspera leaves on the treatment of asthma in female BALB/c mice sensitized by intraperitoneal injection of OVA in alum. The extract attenuated the infiltration of neutrophils and the production of inflammatory cytokines TNF-a and IL-5 in the lung. The anti-asthmatic effect may be due to the presence of flavonoids that inhibit the NF-kB pathway. (58)
• Wound Healing / Various Wound Models / Seeds: Study evaluated the in vivo healing properties of A. aspera seeds in excision, incision, dead space and burn wound models on Wistar rats. Parameters were wound closure and period of epithelization for excision and thermal burn wound model; breaking strength in incision wound model; and hydroxyproline content and granulation tissue antioxidant enzymes like SOD and CAT in dead space wound model. Results showed potent wound healing properties with a reasonable safety profile. (59)
• Antioxidant / Sesame Oil Induced Lipid Peroxidation: Study evaluated the effect of Achyranthes aspera on lipid peroxidation in rats fed with sesame oil. Increase in levels of LPO in sesame oil treated group returned towards normalcy in extract treated group suggesting the antioxidant potential of the plant. (60)
• Diuretic: Study evaluated the diuretic activity and acute toxicity profile of crude aqueous extract using animal models. Results showed significant diuretic (p<0.001), natriuretic (p<0.001) and kaliuretic (p<0.001) effects At a dose of 50 mg/kg, the crude extract showed 46% diuretic activity as compared with furosemide. The crude extract increased urine volume and concentration of urinary electrolytes in a dose dependent manner. No toxic effects were noted among albino mice even at higher dose of 3000 mg/kg. (61)
• Antimicrobial Polyherbal Gel: Study formulated and evaluated a polyherbal gel for antimicrobial activity. Gel formulation consisted of hydroalcoholic extracts of Anacardium occidentale, Achyranthes aspera, and Aegle marmelos. The mixture was tested against Streptococcus mutans, Proteus mirabilis, and Candida albicans. The formulations were found to be very efficacious in all parameters and overall showed to bean effective polyherbal gel. (62)
• Haemostatic Effects / Subacute Toxicity Testing / Leaves: Study evaluated the toxicological and haemostatic effects of leaves of A. aspera in adult Wistar albino rats and Swiss mice using experimental models. Intraperitoneal LD50 was 1224.7 mg/kg. There was no evidence of skin irritation. Oral administration to test animals for 21 days caused significant (p=0.05) decrease in clotting and bleeding times. Results show a haemostatic effect with potential to arrest bleeding. (see constituents above) (63)
• Anti-Urolithiatic / Leaves: Study investigated the inhibition of in-vitro calcium oxalate crystal formation by Achyranthes aspera and Bryophyllum pinnatum using nucleation assay on different concentrations. Results showed % inhibition for calcium oxalate formation was directly proportional to the increase in extract concentration. A. aspera showed maximum inhibition of 60.06 ± 0.19% at 1000 mg/ml compared to B. pinnatum at 49.93%. (65)