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Family Fabaceae
Desmodium triflorum (Linn.) DC.
San dian jin

Scientific names  Common names 
Aeschynomene triflora Poir. Kaliskis dalag (Tag..)
Desmodium albiflorum Cordem. Pakpak-lanagu (Tag.)
Desmodium bullamense G.Don Amor Seco (Engl.)
Desmodium caespitosum Bojer Three-flower tick trefoil (Engl.)
Desmodium granulatum Walp. Creeping Tick Trefoil (Engl.)
Desmodium stipulaceum (Burm.f.) Hassk. Tick clover (Engl.)
Desmodium triflorum (Linn.) DC. Three-flower beggarweed (Engl.)
Hedysarum granulatum Schum. & Thonn.  
Hedysarum granulatum Schum..  
Hedysarum stipulaceum Burm.f.  
Hyppocrepis humilis Blanco  
Meibomia triflora (L.) Kuntze  
Nicolsonia reptans Meissner  
Nicolsonia reptans Hook.f. & Benth.  
Nicolsonia triflora Griseb.  
Pleurolobus triflorus J.St.-Hil.  
Sabotia triflora (L.) Duchass. & Walp.  
Desmodium triflorum (L.) DC. is an accepted name The Plant List
Amor Seco is a named shared by (1) Andropogon aciculatus and (2) Desmodium triflorum

Other vernacular names
BENGALI: Kudaliya.
CHINESE: San dian jin cao, Ying chi cao.
FRENCH: Plata.
HAWAIIAN: Kudaliya, Motha.
HINDI: Kudaliya.
MALAGASY: Kodiadiamborona, Tsimathatrandrivamanitra.
MARATHI: Jungalimethi, Raan methi.
PORTUGUESE: Amor-do-campo.
SANSKRIT" Hamsapaaadi, Tripaadi.
SINHALESE: Heen-undupiyali.
SPANISH: Acaba pangola, Hierba cuartill.

Kaliskis-daga is a slender, prostrate and branched plant, somewhat hairy herb. Stems are 10 to 30 centimeters long. Leaves are small and 3-foliate. Leaflets are oblong-elliptic to obovate and 7 to 15 millimeters long. The flowers are purplish, about 6 millimeters long, axillary, solitary or 2 to 3 together, with slender pedicels about 1 centimeter long. Pods are 5 to 12 millimeters long, with 2 to 6 joints.

Found in open, grassy places, in and about towns, throughout the Philippines.

- Roots considered carminative, tonic, diuretic and anti-bilious.
- Leaves considered galactagogue.

Roots considered carminative, tonic, diuretic and anti-bilious.
Leaves considered galactagogue.

Parts used
Roots, bark, leaves, seeds

In Burma, leaves reportedly eaten as vegetable.
- Leaves used in children for diarrhea, dysentery, indigestion and also for convulsions.
- Leaves used as a galactagogue.
- Roots used for asthma and coughs.
- Leaf paste or fresh leaves used for skin eruptions, wounds and abscesses.
- Malays drink the root decoction for stomachaches.
- Paste of the bruised leaves mixed with kamala applied to indolent sores and itches.
- Plant used for fever with catarrh.

- In Haiti, tea decoction used for rheumatism.
- In India, leaves used for dysentery and diarrhea.
Fresh leaves are applied to wounds and abscesses that are healing with difficulty. Paste applied to sores an itch. Plant juice used as laxative. (10) Used in malaria and bone fracture. (17) Used by the Bhils and subtribes for high: applied as leaf paste on the forehead. (21)

Analgesic / Antiinflammatory:
Results of a study of the methanol extract of Desmodium triflorum on animal models of acetic acid-induced writhing response and formalin test suggested that MDT possessed analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects possibly through increased glutathione reductase activities in the liver and nitric oxide level via regulation of interleukin-1beta production and level of tumor necrosis factor in inflamed tissues. (1) Ethyl acetate ad methanol extracts showed significant antinociceptive activity attributed to analgesic principles acting with the prostaglandin pathways. In carrageenan-induced paw edema assay, anti-inflammatory activity was attributed to inhibition of the enzyme cyclooxygenase leading to inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis. (18)
Stachydrine / Pyrrolidine Alkaloids: /
Soviet studies have shown stachydrine slows the the heart rate in frogs by 20%. Stachydrine is present in DT whose total alkaloid mixture produces antispasmodic, sympathicomimetic, CNS stimulant and curarimimetic activities. (3)
Antioxidant: Study showed D. triflorum to be a potent antioxidant medicinal plant, probably attributable to its polyphenolic compounds. Among the fractions, EA was the most active in scavenging DPPH and TEAC radicals. (4)
Anti-Ulcer: Study of anti-ulcer activity of D. triflorum leaf extracts on ethanol- and pylorus-ligation induced ulcer models in albino rats showed significant inhibition of gastric lesions, a significant reduction in free acidity and ulcer index. The hydroalcoholic extract was found to possess antiulcerogenic as well as ulcer healing properties which may be due to its antisecretory activity. (7)
Antihelmintic / Leaves and Roots: Study of leaves and roots for anthelmintic activity on adult earthworm Pheretima posthuma showed all test extracts to exhibit dose-dependent anthelmintic activity. (10)
Silver Nanoparticles / Antimicrobial: Study reports a single-step environmental friendly biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles from Desmodium triflorum. The Ag nanoparticles presented good antimicrobial activity against common pathogens. (11)
Antinociceptive / Cold Water Extract: Study of cold water extract showed marked antinociceptive activity when evaluated in the hot plate test but not in the tail flick method. Activity was dose-dependent, with a rapid but short duration of action. The results was mediated by supraspinal mechanisms, possibly via alkaloids and flavanoids. (12)
Anticonvulsant / Antioxidant: Study evaluated ethanolic and aqueous extract of D. triflorum for anticonvulsant activity. Results showed anticonvulsant and antioxidant activity. The extracts were through to affect both GABA-ergic and glutaminergic systems. Possibly, alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, and saponins may contribute to the anticonvulsant activity. (13) Pretreatment with aqueous extract showed significant inhibition of lipid peroxidation and increased glutathione level in mice brain tissues. Results showed D. triflorum possesses significant dose dependent anticonvulsant activity. (16) Study evaluated an ethanolic extract for anticonvulsant activity in PTZ, INH and MES animal models. Pretreatment with EEDT showed significant dose dependent anticonvulsant activity with significant inhibition of lipid peroxidation and increase of reduced glutathione level in mice brain tissue. (19)
Antibacterial: The methanolic extracts of Desmodium triflorum showed antimicrobial activity against human pathogenic test microorganisms (Bacillus pumilus, B. subtilis, E. coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa). Phytochemical screening yielded steroids, terpenoids, and flavonoids. (14)
Wound Healing / Antioxidant: Study evaluated the wound healing potential of an ethanolic extract of leaves in excision wound and dead space wound models in rats. Results showed good wound healing activity in parameters of wound contraction, hydroxyproline content, and histological increase in fibroblast cells, collagen fibers, and blood vessels formation. (


Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Update September 2015

IMAGE SOURCE / File:Threeflower ticktrefoil (Desmodium triflorum) (8127164805).jpg / Bob Peterson from North Palm Beach, Florida, Planet Earth / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license / Click on image to see source page. / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE / Seeds / Desmodium triflorum (L.) DC. - threeflower ticktrefoil / Steve Hurst @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / / USDA
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE / amor-do-campo (Scientific name: Desmodium triflorum) / Habit at Wahinepee, Maui/: Forest and Kim Starr - Plants of Hawaii - Image licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License, permitting sharing and adaptation with attribution / Click on graphic to see source image. / alterVISTA

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of methanol extract from Desmodium triflorum DC in mice./ Lai SC, Peng WH, Huang SC, Ho YL, Huang TH, Lai ZR, Chang YS / Am J Chin Med. 2009;37(3):573-88.
Antibacterial Activity of Some Indian Medicinal Plants

Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 227-230. 2008
The Alkaloids / Arnold Brossi

Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of Desmodium triflorum (L.) DC. / Lai SC et al / Am J Chin Med. 2010;38(2):329-42.
Trout’s Notes on the Genus Desmodium / Compiled and edited by K. Trout
Plant Threats to Pacific Ecosystems / Common names of PIER plants by language (Chinese) / PIER
Anti-ulcer activity of Desmodium triflorum leaves extract / Singh N, Jain N, Gupta P et al /
Desmodium triflorum (L.) DC. (accepted name) / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
Desmodium triflorum (Acaba Pangola) / Common names / ZipcodeZoo
Preliminary Phytochemical Screening and Anthelmintic Activity of Desmodium Triflorum (L.) DC Leaf and Root Extracts / Venkateswara Rao Gavalapu*, Prabhanjan Kolli, Sanjeev Kumar Korra, Manoj Kumar Kavuri, Chandrasekhar Avagadda, Venkataramya Singam, Yernikumari Vanumu and Harish Kudirella / International Journal of Pharma Sciences, Vol. 3, No. 1 (2013): 156-158
Biosynthesis of Silver Nanoparticles from Desmodium triflorum: A Novel Approach Towards Weed Utilization
/ Naheed Ahmad, Seema Sharma, V. N. Singh, S. F. Shamsi, Anjum Fatma, and B. R. Mehta / Biotechnology Research International, Volume 2011 (2011) / doi:10.4061/2011/454090
/ Wanigasekara Daya, Jayakody Anusha Chandra, Ratnasooriya Chatura Dayendra Tissa and Weerasekera Kumudu Rupika / IRJP 2(7) 2011, 120-123
Evaluation of the anticonvulsant activity of the ethanol and aqueous extracts of Desmodium triflorum DC in mice / Bhosle, Vaibhav / Dissertation, 2011/ Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences,Karnataka,Bangalore
Phytochemical and antimicrobial screening of Desmodium triflorum (DC)
/ A.Kanakadurgavalli,G.Sudhakar, D.Pratibha,K.L.Sravanthi,Srinivasa / Rao college of Pharmacy, P.M. Palem, Visakhapatnam - 530041, India.
Desmodium triflorum (L.) DC. / Synonyms / The Plant List
Anticonvulsant and antioxidant activity of aqueous leaves extract of Desmodium triflorum in mice against pentylenetetrazole and maximal electroshock induced convulsion / Vaibhav Bhosle / Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia, Vol 23, Issue 4, July–Aug 2013, Pp 692–698 / doi:10.1590/S0102-695X2013005000047
Ethnomedicnal studies for endemic diseases by the tribes of Munchingiputtu Mandal, Visakhapatnam district, Andhra Pradesh, India / S B Padal, H Ramakrishna, R Devender / Int J. Med. Arom. Plants, Vol 2, No 3, pp 453-459, Sept 2012
Analgesic and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Desmodium triflorum DC / Kawshik Kumar Chowdhury, Achinto Saha, Sitesh Chandra Bachar and Joydeb Kumar Kundu / Journal of Biological Sciences 5(5):581-581, 2005.
Evaluation of anticonvulsant activity of ethanolic leaves extract of Desmodium triflorum in mice / Girish Gowda,
Kuntal Das, Vaibhav Bhosle, John Wilking Einstein, Benson Mathai / K Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia. 2012;22(3)649-656
Evaluation of Ethanolic Extract of Desmodium Gyrans DC Leaves on Wound Healing Activity in Rats / Gopalakrishnan S* and Rajameena R / Pharmaceut Anal Acta 2012, 3:7 / http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/2153-2435.1000169
Plants used for the treatment of different types of fevers by Bhils and its subtribes in India / Swati Samvatsar* and V B Diwanji / Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, Vol. 3(1), January 2004, pp. 96-100

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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