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Family Amaranthaceae
Celosia argentea L.

Qing xiang

Scientific names  Common names 
Celosia argentea L. Kadayohan (Tag.) 
Celosia cristata L. Kindayohan (Tag.) 
Celosia margaritacea L. Kudiapa (Bis.) 
Celosia argentea L. var, cristata (L.) Kuntze Kudyapa (Bis.) 
  Lofoy (Ilk.) 
  lofoi (Ilk.) 
  Sansandok (Ilk.)
  Tagughug (Pang.) 
  Common cockscomb (Engl.) 
  Crested cockscomb (Engl.) 
  Feather cockscomb (Engl.) 
  Silver cock's comb (Engl.)
  Qing xiang (Chin.) 

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Bai ri hong, Ye ji guan huo, Gou wei cao, Ji guan huo.
FRENCH: Amarante crête de coq, Célosie argentée, Célosie crête de coq.
JAPANESE: No-geitou.
KOREAN: Gaemaendeurami.
PALAUAN: Chesechil a malk, Esechila malk.
SAMOAN: Māmoe.
SPANISH: Orlón, Cresta de gallo, Rabo de conejo.
TAHITIAN: Repe moa.

Kindayohan is an erect, coarse, simple or branched, smooth annual herb, 0.5 to 1.5 meters high. Leaves are alternate, linear to lanceolate, entire, 4 to 14 centimeters long. Flowers, small, in dense erect spikes, 8 to 12 millimeters long, borne in solitary, erect, stout, dense, white, purple, or pink, glistening spikes, 3 to 30 centimeters long, 1.5 to 2 centimeters thick, without petals. Sepals are 6 millimeters long, and much longer than the bracts. Fruits are membranaceous. Seeds are shining and black, about 1.5 millimeters in diameter.

- In settled areas throughout the Philippines at low and medium altitudes.
- Introduced; pantropic.

• Isolated from the seeds of CA, a cyclic nonapeptide, celogenamide A.
• Alcoholic extract contain an alkaloidal principle precipitable by alkaliese, soluble in ether, giving a rose color with strong sulphuric acid.
• Ethanolic extract yielded flavonoids, saponins, glycosides and tannins.
• Finely powdered seeds yield oil 6.76%; resin, soluble in ether 0.81%; alcoholic extract 1.94%, water extract 24.7%, starch, etc., 37.96%; fiber 11.23%; ash 5.80%; and moisture 10.80%.
• Phytochemical screening of stem, leaf and root yielded starch, protein, tannin, flavonoids, saponin, fat and sugar. Total ash content in root, stem and leaf is 16.2%, 16%, and 12.6%, while insoluble ash content is 6.3%. 6.5%, and 5.6%. Protein was higher in the leaf than root and stem; carbohydrate more in the root than leaf and stem; and flavonoid more in the leaf than root and stem.
• Proximate analysis of leaves yielded crude fat 1.10%, fiber 3.53%, and protein 5.17%, with a relatively high ash content of 22.43%. Amino acid analysis yielded high amino acid content with methionine as the limiting amino acid.
Mineral composition showed high concentrations of calcium (178.08 mg/100g), phosphorus 38.01, potassium 62.34, sodium 35.25, magnesium 39.64, iron 15.25, zinc 7.25 and copper 3.75, with trace amounts of chromium, manganese, nickel, and lead. Essential amino acid analysis yielded arginine 4.91 6/16gN, histidine 2.14, isoleucine 2.99, leucine 6.51, lysine 5.09, methionine 1.08, phenylalanine 4.32, threonine 3.33, and valine 3.95. (20)

• Considered antidiarrheal, antibacterial, hypotensive, antiscorbutic, anthelmintic, cooling, immune stimulating, anti-urolithiatic, and vulnerary.
• Stem and leaves are astringent and antiinflammatory.
• Flowers considered astringent, hemostatic, ophthalmic, parasiticide.
• Seeds considered cooling, antiscorbutic, vulnerary, tonic.

Parts used
· Seeds, leaves, stems, roots.

- Leaves are eaten as a vegetable; a good source of protein and carbohydrate.
- In West Tropical Africa, considered an excellent pot-herb and a slightly bitter spinach alternative, rich in protein and vitamins.
- In the Moluccas, cultivated as a vegetable.
- In the Philippines, eaten as vegetable, but not given to women during menstruation.
· In the Philippines, seeds, finely powdered or in decoction, used for diarrhea or as an aphrodisiac.
- For redness and swelling of the eyes, photophobia, and frequent lacrimation with intense headache, a 6-gm seed preparation is mixed with 6 gms each of Morus alba and individual flower preparation of Chrysanthemum sp. and a stem preparation of Equisetum is boiled and drunk as decoction once daily.
· Bruised stems and leaves are applied as poultice for infected sores, boils, and skin eruptions.
· Poultice of leaves, smeared with honey, used as cooling application to inflamed areas and painful affections such as buboes and abscesses.
· Seeds are used to relieve gastrointestinal disorders and are antipyretic, improves vision, relieves fever associated with liver ailments.
· Seeds when in decoction or finely powdered, are considered antidiarrheal and aphrodisiac.
· The juice of the seeds forced into the nostrils is a cure for epistaxis.
· Whole plant used as antidote for snake-poison.
· Root used for colic, gonorrhea and eczema.
· Decoction of the seeds with sugar is prescribed against dysentery.
· Flowers and seeds used for bloody stools, hemorrhoidal bleeding, leucorrhea and diarrhea.
· In Indian folk medicine, used for diabetes. Seeds traditionally used for treatment of jaundice, diarrhea, gonorrhea, wounds and fever.
· In Sri Lanka, leaves used for inflammations, fever and itching. Seeds used for fever and mouth sores.
· In China, flowers and seeds used in treatment of gastroenteritis and leucorrhea.
· In Antilles, decoction of flowers used for phthisis.


Study of crude extracts of Datura alba and Celosia argentea leaves showed significant lysis zone against all pathogens, results comparable with antibiotic cream Silver Sulphadiazine.
Anti- inflammatory activity of an isolated flavonoid fraction from Celosia argentea Linn.: Study showed the flavonoid content possesses significant anti-inflammatory activity. (2)
Anti-metastatic / Immunomodulating Properties:
Water extract of CA showed an anti-metastatic effect based on immunomodulating properties including induction of cytokines such as IL-12, IL-2 and IFN-gamma which may provide the basis for its inhibition of cancer metastasis. (3)
Anti-diabetic / Seeds:
Chronic administration of an alcoholic extract of Celosia argentea significantly reduced the blood glucose in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. (4)
Antihepatotoxic and Immunostimulating:
Immunostimulating activity of celosian, an antihepatotoxic polysaccharide isolated from Celosia argentea: Study indicates CA has antihepatotoxic and immunostimulating effects. (5)
Wound Healing:
Study showed wound closure occurred earlier in treated rats. The salutary effect may be due to mitogenic and motogenic promotion of dental fibroblasts. (6)
Antioxidant: Study of the methanolic extracts of nine edible vegetables in Southwest Nigeria showed C argentea to be pro-oxidant. The antioxidant activity was supported by the membrane stabilizing capacity of the extracts. (8)
Intraepithelial Lymphocyte Effect / Dietary Caution: Study showed that although a CA diet in normal mice did not affect the small intestine there was a increase in the intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL). Further studies are suggested before using it it as minor cereals. (9)
Celogentins / Antimitotic Peptides: Study yielded three new bicyclic peptides, celogentins A, B and C together with a known-related peptide, moroidin. The new celogentins inhibited the polymerization of tubulin, with celogentin C being four times more potent than moroidin. (10)
Prooxidant / Antioxidant: Study of varied extracts of nine edible vegetables in Southwest Nigeria showed all to be pro-oxidants at high concentrations. On cytoprotectivity effect, all demonstrated a very low hemagglutination titer value. (11)
Anti-Diarrheal: Study of the alcoholic extract of leaves of Celosia argentea showed dose-related anti-diarrheal effect. Results suggest it may act centrally and may inhibit PGE2. A charcoal meal test also suggests an anti-muscarinic activity. (14)
Antimicrobial: Study of extracts of Celosia inflorescence exhibited maximum antimicrobial activity. Pseudomonas was found to be more sensitive, while alcohol and ethyl acetate extracts exhibited the more significant inhibition. (17)
Antioxidant / Corrosion Inhibition: Study of methanolic extract of CA showed antioxidant activity using DPPH and hydroxyl radical scavenging assay methods, similar to standard ascorbic acid. CA showed to be an efficient, eco-friendly, and low-cost corrosion inhibitor for MS (mild steel) in industrial water medium. (1
Cytogenotoxic / Nutrient Composition: In a study of three commonly consumed vegetables in South-Western Nigeria, an aqueous extract of Celosia argentea yielded carbohydrate of 31.41%, protein 30.79%, ash 19.98%, and fat 0.22%. Mineral analysis yielded magnesium, zinc, lead, and iron. It showed concentration dependent mitotic inhibitory effect on mitosis of A. cepa, an indication of cytotoxicity. The antimitotic potential of the extract presents a potential for use in drug development for use in prevention of uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells. (1
Anti-Inflammatory / Leaves: Study evaluated CA leaves for anti-inflammatory activity by carrageenan induced paw edema method in albino rats. Methanol and chloroform extracts showed maximal anti-inflammatory activity when compared to standard drug. (
Antiurolithiatic Activity / Seeds: Study evaluated the antiurolithiatic activity of an ethanolic extract of CA seeds. Results showed antiurolithiatic activity, more efficacious at dose of 500 mg kbw. Results suggest a potent prophylactic effect on stone formation, a mechanism unrelated to its diuretic effect. (
Benefits in Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia / Effect on PSA: Study evaluated the effect of leaves of CA on antioxidant status, PSA (prostatic specific antigen) and hematological parameters in prostatic rats. Results showed significant decrease in PSA levels with considerable improvement in prostatic histology. Findings suggest potential for CA-supplemented diet to prevent or suppress development of BPH in rats.
Anti-diabetic / Roots: Study evaluated the anti-diabetic hypoglycemic activities of an ethanolic extract of roots of C. argentea in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. Results showed reduction of blood sugar together with reduction in cholesterol, triglycerides and urea, with restoration of decreased level of proteins and liver glycogen. (


Last Update June 2013

Photo © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Celosia argentea cristata - (L.)Kuntze. / Common Cockscomb: Plants For A Future
Anti- inflammatory activity of an isolated flavonoid fraction from Celosia argentea Linn / Santosh S. Bhujbal et al / Journ of Medicinal Plants Research, Vol 2 (3), pp 052-054, March 2008
Anti-metastatic and immunomodulating properties of the water extract from Celosia argentea seeds
/ Hayakawa Y et al / Biol Pharm Bull. 1998 Nov;21(11):1154-9. /
Anti-diabetic Activity of Alcoholic Extract of Celosia argentea LINN. Seeds in Rats / Thangarasu Vetrichelvan et al / Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin • Vol. 25 (2002) , No. 4 526 /

Immunostimulating activity of celosian, an antihepatotoxic polysaccharide isolated from Celosia argentea
/ Hase K et al / Planta Medica • 1997, vol. 63, no3, pp. 216-219
Celosia argentea Linn. leaf extract improves wound healing in a rat burn wound model / Kulasekaran S. Priya et al / Wound Repair and Regeneration • Volume 12 Issue 6, Pages 618 - 625 / DOI 10.1111/j.1067-1927.2004.12603.x
Antibacterial activity of two plant extracts on eight burn pathogens / A Gnanamani et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology • Volume 86, Issue 1, May 2003, Pages 59-61 / doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(03)00044-8
Pro- and Antioxidant Effects and Cytoprotective Potentials of Nine Edible Vegetables in Southwest Nigeria / E O Iwalewa et al / Journal of Medicinal Food • Winter 2005, 8(4): 539-544. doi:10.1089/jmf.2005.8.539.

Effect of Celosia argentea L. on the intraepithelial lymphocyte in normal mice / Katayama Sugawa et al / Digestion & Absorption, VOL.22;NO.2;PAGE.24-28(1999)
Celogentins A-C, new antimitotic bicyclic peptides from the seeds of Celosia argentea / Kobayashi J et al / J Org Chem. 2001 Oct 5;66(20):6626-33.
Pro- and Antioxidant Effects and Cytoprotective Potentials of Nine Edible Vegetables in Southwest Nigeria / E O Iwalewa, C O Adewunmi et al / Journal of Medicinal Food, Volume: 8 Issue 4: December 27, 2005
How Lagos spinach, zobo protect against measles, organ damage / The Guardian / Chikwuma Juanya
Physicochemical and phytochemical investigations of seeds of Celosia argentea Linn / B A Patel, P U Patel, R K Patel / I J PA S International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Applied Sciences/1 (1)/2010
Antidiarrhoeal activity of leaf extract of Celosia Argentea in experimentally induced diarrhoea in rats / Praveen Sharma, Gail Vidyasagar, Sunder Singh et al / Journ of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research, 2010, Vol 1, No 1, Page : 41-48
Celosia argentea L. (accepted name) / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
Pharmacognostic and Phytochemical Investigation of Celosia argentea Linn. / Rajni B. Ranjan and Deokule S. S / International Research Journal of Pharmacy, 2013, 4(6).
Antimicrobial Studies of Phyllanthus maderaspatensis And Celosia argentea / S. Swarupa Rani, R.R.Venkata Raju / The International Journal Of Engineering And Science (IJES), Volume 3, Issue 3,Pages 35-38, 2014
Phytochemical screening and corrosion inhibitive behavior of Pterolobium hexapetalum and Celosia argentea plant extracts on mild steel in industrial water medium / C.B. Pradeep Kumar, K.N. Mohana / Egyptian Journal of Petroleum, Volume 23, Issue 2, June 2014, Pages 201–211
EVALUATION OF CYTOGENOTOXIC AND NUTRIENT COMPOSITION OF THREE COMMONLY CONSUMED VEGETABLES IN SOUTH- WESTERN NIGERIA / Yekeen TA*, Akintaro OI, Akinboro A and MA Azeez / African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Vol 13, No 2, April 2013
Proximate and Amino Acid Composition of Celosia argentea Leaves
/ *J.T. Ayodele and O,S.Olajide / Nigerian Journal of Basic and Applied Science (2011), 19 (1): 162-165
ANTI- INFLAMMATORY ACTIVITY OF CELOSIA ARGENTEA LEAVES / S. H. Kadam*, S.A. Dombe, P. N. Naikwadi, S. J.Patil, V. Y. Lokhande. / International Journal of Drug Formulation & Research Jan-Feb. 2011, Vol. 2 (1)
Evaluation of the Antiurolithiatic Activity of Ethanolic Extract of Celosia argentea (seeds) in Rats / Joshi Pranav C, Patil Suhas A and Sambrekar S N / Universal Journal of Pharmacy, 2012, 01 (01), pp 52-60.
Effect of Celosia argentea F. Cristata (L.) Schinz. on Prostate Specific Antigen, Antioxidant Status and Hematological Parameters in Rats Induced with Benign Prostate Hyperplasia / Emeka Eze Joshua Iweala and Joyce Oloaigbe Ogidigo / Asian Journal of Biochemistry, 2015, Volume 10, Issue 1, Pp 42-51 / DOI: 10.3923/ajb.2015.42.51
Anti-diabetic activity of Celosia argentea root in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats / Santosh Ghule, T Prakash, D Kotresha, Roopa Karki, V Surendra, Divakar Goli / Int J Green Pharm 2010;4:206-11
Celosia argentea / Common names / Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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