HOME      •      SARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT

Family Amaranthaceae
Alternanthera bettzickiana (Regel) G.Nicholson
Jin xiu xian

Scientific names Common names
Achyranthes amabilis Britton Kutcharitas (Tag.)
Achyranthes bettzickiana (Regel) Standl. Baptist plant (Engl.)
Achyranthes bettzickiana f. typica Voss Calico plant (Engl.)
Achyranthes cyclophylla (Seub) Standl. Joseph's coat (Engl.)
Achyranthes picta Passarge Joy weed (Engl.)
Alternanthera amabilis Lem. Parrot leaf (Engl.)
Alternanthera amabilis var. tricolor Linden & André  
Alternanthera amoena (Lem.) Hovey  
Alternanthera amoena f. amabilis (Lem.) Voss  
Alternanthera amoena f. reinhardii Voss  
Alternanthera amoena f. rosea Voss  
Alternanthera amoena f. sessilis Voss  
Alternanthera amoena var. spectabilis E.C.Hend.  
Alternanthera amoena f. spectabilis (E.C.Hend.) Voss  
Alternanthera amoena f. typica Voss  
Alternanthera articulata O.Stützer  
Alternanthera articulata f. capitellata O.Stützer  
Alternanthera articulata f. capitulifera O.Stützer  
Alternanthera articulata var. minuta O.Stützer  
Alternanthera bettzickiana (Regel) G. Nicholson  
Alternanthera bettzickiana f. aurea Voss  
Alternanthera bettzickiana f. kurzii Voss  
Alternanthera bettzickiana var. spathulata (Lem.) Seub.  
Alternanthera bettzickiana f. spathulata (Lem.) Voss  
Alternanthera bettzickiana f. typica Voss  
Alternanthera brasiliensis Voss  
Alternanthera coerilis Voss  
Alternanthera cyclophylla (Seub.) Schinz  
Alternanthera ficoidea var. amoena (Lem.) L,B.Sm. & Downs  
Alternanthera ficoidea var. bettzickiana (Regel) Bacler  
Alternanthera ficoidea var. spathulata (Lem.) Voss  
Alternanthera kerberi Uline & W.L.Bray  
Alternanthera latifolia Hovey  
Alternanthera latifolia magnifica Hovey  
Alternanthera magnifica Hovey  
Alternanthera paronychioides Klotzsch ex K.Koch  
Alternanthera paronychioides var. bettzickiana (Regel) Fosberg  
Alternanthera purpurea Pynaert  
Alternanthera reinhardii Voss  
Alternanthera rosea Voss  
Alternanthera sessilis var. amoena Lem.  
Alternanthera spathulata Lem.  
Alternanthera tenella var. bettzickiana (Regel) Veldkamp  
Alternanthera variegata K.Koch  
Alternanthera versicolor f. aurea Voss  
Amarantesia brasiliensis Regel  
Jelium tricolor Regel  
Telanthera amoena (Lem.) Regel  
Telanthera amoena var. amabilis (Lem.) Regel  
Telanthera bettzickianan Regel  
Telanthera bettzickianan var. spathulata (Lem.) Regel  
Telanthera cyclophylla Seub.  
Telanthera picta C. Koch  
Alternanthera bettzickiana (Regel) G.Nicholson is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Jǐn xiù xiàn.
CUBA: Adorno de jardin, Alternante, Borde de playa, San Pedro.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Jamon con pan verdes.
FRENCH: Alternanthère de Bettzick.
GERMAN: Papageienblatt.
INDIA: Madranga, Jal-sachiba, Lal mehndi.
JAPANESE: NMoyoubiyu, Akaba-moyo-biyu.
MALAY: Djukut selon.
PUERTO RICO: Jamon con huevo, Pajarito, Sanguinaria, Sinvergüencita.
SPANISH: Cucharita.
TANZANIA: Mehicha, Mehicha mana.
THAI: Phak pet daeng, Phak pet farang.
VENEZUELA: Awiri hawapo, Woiituño.
VIETNAMESE: Dệu đỏ; Dệu dạng sung

Gen info
- Alternanthera, also called "joy weeds" is a genus of about 80 herbaceous species belonging to the amaranth family. A study showed the leaves to be light sensitive, i.e., the darker the place, the greener the color. A. ficoidea leaves tend to curl in full sun. source
- Alternanthera bettzickiana is a species of plant in the family Amaranthaceae. It is native to South America. It is particularly popular in China, where it is cultivated in nearly all large cities. (22)
- Etymology: The genus name Alternanthera derives from Latin alternans meaning "alternating" and anthera meaning "anther", referring to alternate anthers. (•) Species epithet bettzickiana honors August Bettzick, a German gardener. (23)

- Kutcharitas is a low and fleshy herb, with oval to broad-lanceolate leaves, variegated, in reddish-brown, orange, pink, green, or white colors. Flowers are in small heads, white or straw-colored, borne at the axils of leaves.

Herbs perennial, 20-50 cm tall. Stem erect or creeping, much branched, apical part quadrangular, basal part cylindric, hairy at apex and nodes. Petiole 1-4 mm, slightly hairy; leaf blade green or red, or tinged red or yellow, oblong, oblong-ovate, or spatulate, 1-6 × 0.5-2 mm, hairy when young, glabrescent, base acuminate, margin undulate, apex acute or obtuse, with a mucro. Heads 2-5, terminal or axillary, 5-10 mm, sessile. Bracts and bracteoles ovate-lanceolate, 1.5-3 mm, abaxially glabrous or long hairy, apex acuminate. Tepals white, ovate-oblong; outer segments 3-4 mm, densely hairy; middle segment shorter, pilose or glabrous; inner segment short, narrow, pilose or glabrous. Stamens 5; filaments 1-2 mm; anthers linear; pseudostaminodes fasciated, 3-5-parted at apex. Ovary glabrous; style ca. 0.5 mm. Fruit undeveloped. (Flora of China)

- Introduced.
- Widely distributed in the Philippines.
- Found throughout much of the tropics and subtropics.
- Grows well in warm and sunny locations, although some bleaching may occur under full summer's sun.

- Native to Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru.

- Hydrophilic extract of fresh leaves that exhibited in vitro antioxidant/radical scavenging and metal chelating capacities yielded six biphenolic antioxidants. (see study below) (8)
- Lipophilic acetone extract of fresh flowers yielded Eighteen saturated [1-18] and four unsaturated [19-22] hydrocarbons, ten saturated [23-32], three monounsaturated [33-35] and one polyunsaturated [36] esters of fatty acid, including a cyclohexyl derivative [32], in addition to a saturated [37] and an unsaturated [38] higher alcohol and a fatty aldehyde [39] have been identified. A monoterpene [40] and nine acyclic diterpenes [41-49], together with a phytosterol, ergost-7-en-3-ol (24-Methyl-5-α-cholest-7-en-3-β-ol) [50]. (see study below) (13)
- Various extracts of leaves yielded various functional groups such as alcohols, carbonyls, aromatic amines, ether, alkynes, carboxylic acids, amines, esters, primary and secondary amines.
- Phytochemical screening of ethanol, petroleum ether, acetone, chloroform, and aqueous extracts of aerial parts yielded alkaloids, carbohydrates, saponins, phenols, flavonoids, diterpenes, tannin, terpenoids, steroid, oxalate, anthocyanin , leucoanthocyanin, xanthoprotein, coumarin, and glycosides. The ethanol extract showed higher phytoconstituent contents than the other extracts. (see study below) (16)

- Considered laxative, galactagogue, antipyretic, wound healing.
- Studies have suggested antibacterial, antioxidant, antiviral, antioxidant, phytoremediative, mutagenic, hypoglycemic, anti-arthritic, anticancer properties.

Parts utilized

- Leaves and young shoots used raw in salads or boiled and used as vegetable. (5)
- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- Elsewhere, used for herpes.

- Cooked vegetables given to anemic children.
- In Thailand, used as folk remedy for arthritis.
- Used for promoting lactation, prophylaxis of dementia, and treatment of gastrointestinal diseases. Used to improve circulation, reduce menstrual pain, and as emmenagogue. (17)
- Whole plant used for purifying and nourishing the blood. Also used as laxative, galactagogue, antipyretic, and for wound healing,
- Used as edging ornamental.

Silver Nanoparticles / Antibacterial Potential:
Study reported an environmentally benign and cost effective approach in synthesizing silver nanoparticles using leaf extracts of Alternanthera ficoidea. Silver nanoparticles synthesized from leaf extract of A. ficoidea inhibited the growth of two clinical bacterial isolates i.e., Escherichia coli and Serratia marcescens. The leaf extract, taken as control showed no inhibitory effect on the bacterial strains. (2)
Arsenic Accumulation:
In a study in India, among terrestrial plants evaluated, the maximum SAU (Specific Arsenic Uptake) and TF (Transfer Factor) were demonstrated by A. ficoidea and Phyllanthus amarus. (
Antiviral Activity: Leaf root extract from 21 plants were evaluated for antiviral activity against foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMCV) and Aujeszky virus (ADV) in IB-RS-2 pig cell line and bovine diarrhea virus (BVD) in GCK bovine cells lines. Crude aqueous extracts of 9 plants, including Alternanthera ficoidea showed antiviral activity against ADV and/r BVD. (
Antioxidant Benefit in Livers of Ovariectomized Mice:
Study investigated the impact of Alternanthera sessilis (AS) and Alternanthera bettzickiana (AB) on the activity of catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) on livers of ovariectomized induced oxidative stress in mice to clarify oxidative potentials. Results showed AS and AB possessed antioxidant benefit to improve the hepatic oxidant-antioxidant balance in the ovariectomized mice comparable to 17ß-estradiol. (
Antioxidant Metabolites / Leaves:
Hydrophilic extract of fresh leaves that exhibited in vitro antioxidant/radical scavenging and metal chelating capacities yielded six biphenolic antioxidants, viz., 7-O-β-D-glucopyranosyl-6-C-β-D-glucopyranosylapigenin, 6-C-β-D-glucopyranosylapigenin, 8-C-β-D-glucopyranosylapigenin, (E)-3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)prop-2-enoic acid, (E)-3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)prop-2-enoic acid and (E)-3-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)prop-2-enoic acid. (
Anti-Inflammatory / Diuretic: Comparative studies were done on anti-inflammatory and diuretic activities of Alternanthera bettzickiana, Alternanthera pungens, Alternanthera tenella and Digera muricata. (9)
Potential Halophytic Ornamental Plant: Exploration and cultivation of salt tolerant plants is a strategy for utilization of salt affected soils. Study showed Alternanthera berttzickiana to be salt tolerant, accumulating less Na+ in shoot as compared to root when grown under stress, and can be used as a salt-tolerant glycophyte that could be used for greening of salt affected soils. (10)
Hypoglycemic / Leaves: Study evaluated fresh leaves and alcoholic extract from leaves of Alternanthera ficoides R. Br. ex R&S var bettzickiana for hypoglycemic effects using oral glucose tolerance test in comparison to tolbutamide in normal rats. Results showed significant lowering of plasma glucose levels in rats given the alcoholic extracts with half the hypoglycemic effect of tolbutamide at dose of 0.5 g/kbw, with fresh leaves showing no effects. (11)
Hypoglycemic: Study evaluated the effectiveness of Alternanthera bettzickiana in preventing oxidative stress in the hippocampus that could induce cell aging process and neurodegenerative disorder, the possible mechanism in Alzheimer's disease. Previous studies on Alternanthera sessilis have shown possible prevention of oxidative stress in female mice attributed to flavonoids and beta-sitosterol. (12)
Antioxidant Capacity / Lipophilic Constitution / Flowers: Study reports on the antioxidant capacity and lipophilic composition of extracts of fresh flowers. A lipophilic acetone extract of fresh flowers exhibited in vitro antioxidant/radical scavenging (ABTS and FRAP assays) and metal (ferrous ion) chelating capacities. Lipophilic constitution yielded 50 components. (see constituents above) (13)
Phytoremediation Potential / Cadmium and Lead: Study evaluated the morphological, physiological, and biochemical responses of A. bettzickiana plant subjected to different levels of cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) stress. Results suggest a potential towards Cd and Pb tolerance and accumulation especially at lower metal levels. (14)
Antioxidant / Phenolic Concentration / Hemolytic / Leaves: A methanol extract of leaves showed 92% DPPH radical scavenging activity with IC50 value of 293.44 µg/ml. Quantitative analysis of total phenolic and flavonoids showed estimates of 63 mgGAE/g and 38.98 mgQE/g of extract. GC-MS analysis detected N N-dimethyltryptamine in the methanol extract, and FT-IR analysis yielded the presence of functional groups within the extract. On evaluation of hemolytic activity of various extracts of leaves against normal human erythrocytes, the methanol extract showed highest hemolytic activity, with lysis of RBCs increasing with concentration. (15)
• Antibacterial / Aerial Parts: Study of various extracts of aerial parts of A. bettzickiana against various gram-negative (E. coli, K. pneumonia) and gram positive (S. aureus, E. faecalis) bacteria and fungi (A. niger, E. flocossum and C. albicans) showed remarkable antimicrobial activity. (see constituents above) (16)
• Genotoxic / Cytotoxic: Study evaluated the mutagenic and cytotoxic potential of n-hexane and aqueous-methanolic whole plant extracts of A. bettzickiana. Results suggested AB exhibited mutagenic activity in a bacterial reverse mutation assay with and without activation systems. It showed limited cytotoxicity to BHK-21 cells. (17)
• Mild Steel Corrosion Inhibition: Study evaluated the inhibitive action of leaves, stem and root extracts of A. bettzickiana on mild steel corrosion. Physisorption is indicated by the decrease in inhibition efficiency as temperature increased. Thermodynamic parameters suggest the adsorption process is spontaneous. (18)
• Anti-Arthritic / Toxicological Study: Study evaluated the safety and anti-arthritic potential of Alternanthera bettzickiana ethanolic extract. Acute oral toxicity using OECD guidelines showed no mortality or morbidity with LD50 greater than 2000 mg/kg. Extract treatment decreased paw diameter with restoration of hematological and biochemical changes. SOD and CAT levels were increased while MDA, NO, TNF-α, and IL-6 levels in arthritic rats. Results showed low toxicity and potential for the treatment of arthritis. (19)
• Gold Nanoparticles / Anticancer / Antibacterial / Leaves: Study reports on simple, green synthesis of gold nanoparticles using leaf extract of Alternanthera bettzickiana. The AuNPs exhibited significant anti-microbial activity against B. subtilis, S. aureus, S. typhi, P. aeruginosa, M. luteus, and E. aerogenes by agar well diffusion method. Cytotoxic effect of the AuNPs against A549 human lung cancer lines provided vigorous evidence of anticancer activity. Toxicity study of AuNPs was evaluated on Danio rerio (Zebra fish) embryo. (20)
• Phytoremediation of Lead / Role of Citric Acid: Study evaluated A. bettzickiana and the role of citric acid in lead phytoremediation by exposing it to different concentrations of PB (0, 200, 500, and 1000 mg/kg) and combination with citric acid at concentration of 0, 250, 500 µM. Results showed A. bettzickiana has greater ability to remediate polluted soils with citric acid application. (21)


Updated July 2023 / March 2018 / September 2016

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photo: Alternanthera bettzickiana / CC By 3.0 / Aris Riyanto / click on image or link to go to source page / Wikipedia
Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Sorting Alternanthera names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 - 2020 / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia.
Arsenic accumulation in native plants of West Bengal, India: Prospects for phytoremediation but concerns with the use of medicinal plants / Preeti Tripathi, Sanjay Dwivedi, Aradhana Mishra et al / Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, May 2012, Volume 184, Issue 5, Pp 2617-2631
Antiviral activity of plant extracts against aphthovirus, pseudorabies virus and pestivirus in cell cultures. / Koseki, I.; Simoni, I. C.; Nakamura, I. T.; Noronha, A. B.; Costa, S. S. / Microbios Letters 1990 Vol. 44 No. 173 pp. 19-30
Alternanthera bettzickiana / Useful Tropical Plants
Alternanthera bettzickiana (Regel) G.Nicholson / Synonyms / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Alternanthera sessilis and Alternanthera bettzickiana Improved Superoxide Dismutase and Catalase Activities in the Livers of Ovariectomized Mice / Suphanthip Phusrisom1,2, Waranya Chatuphonprasert3, Orawan Monthakantirat2, Pradit Pearaksa2 and Kanokwan Jarukamjorn* / Journal of Applied Biopharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics, 2013, 1, 64-71
Foliar Biophenolic Antioxidant Metabolites of Alternanthera bettzickiana / A.J.A. Petrus*, K. Kalpana and A. Bharadha Devi / Oriental Journal of Chemistry. An International Journay of Pure and Applied Chemistry, Volume 30, Number 3
Comparative Studies on Anti-inflammatory and Diuretic Activities of Alternanthera Bettzickiana, Alternanthera pungens, Alternanthera tenella and Digera muricata / Vetrichelvan T., Elavarasi N., Sunitha Jain B. / Research & Reviews: A Journal of Biotechnology, Vol 1, No 1 (2013
Alternanthera bettzickiana (Regel) G. Nicholson, a potential halophytic ornamental plant: Growth and physiological adaptations / Anis Ali, Naeem Iqbal, Faryad Ali, Beenish Afzal / Morphology Distribution Functional Ecology of Plants, 04/2012; 207(4):318–321. / DOI: 10.1016/j.flora.2011.12.002
Study on the Hypoglycemic Effect of Alternanthera ficoides var. bettzickiana / Peungvicha Penchom, Suvitayavat Wisuda, Wongkrajang, Y., Ruangsomboon, O., Temsiririrkkul Rungravi / Mahidol University Journal of Pharmaceutical Science, 1989, 16, 13-17
Inhibitory Effect of Alternanthera bettzickiana On Alzheimer's disease Induced by Oxidative Stress in Mice Behavioural Model / Purin Pongsajanukul, Orawan Monthakantirat, Charinya Khamphukdee / Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.
Antioxidant Capacity and Lipophilic Constitution of Alternanthera bettzickiana flower extract / A.J.A. Petrus, K. Kalpana, and A. Bharadha Devi / Oriental Journal of Chemistry, vol 30, No 2 / DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.13005/ojc/300212
Phytoremediation of heavy metals by Alternanthera bettzickiana: Growth and physiological response. /
Tauqeer HM, Ali S, Rizwan M, Ali Q4, Saeed R, Iftikhar U, Ahmad R, Farid M, Abbasi GH / Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2016 Apr;126:138-46. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2015.12.031. Epub 2015 Dec 31.
Evaluation of In-vitro Antioxidant, Antimicrobial Activities and GC-MS Analysis of Alternanthera bettizicikiana Linn. Leaf Extracts / Vidhya T, Suji T, Dhatchayani R, Priya C L, Bhaskara Rao K V / International Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemical Research 2015; 7(6): pp 1072-1079 / ISSN: 0975-4873
ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY OF ALTERNANTHERA BETTZICKIANA (REGEL) G. NICHOLSON AND ITS PHYTOCHEMICAL CONTENTS / U. Arul Pamila and S. Karpagam / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, 2016 / DOI: 10.13040/IJPSR.0975-8232.8(6).2594-99 / pISSN: 2320-5148 / eISSN: 0975-8232
Genotoxic and cytotoxic potential of Alternanthera Bettzickiana, an important ethno-medicinal plant. / Akhtar MF, Sharif A, Saleem M, Saleem A, Akhtar B, Raza M, Ijaz H, Shabbir M, Ali S, Sharif A, Nasim MB, Peerzada S / Cell Mol Biol, 2017; 63(8): pp 109-114. / DOI: 10.14715/cmb/2017.63.8.23 / eISSN: 1165-158S / pISSN: 0145-5680
Inhibitive Action and Adsorption Characteristics of Alternanthera bettzickiana Extracts on the Corrosion of Mild Steel in Acidic Media / A. I. Obike*, C. L. Ikenga, K. J. Uwakwe and N. O. Nwoke / International Research Journal of Pure & Applied Chemistry (2017); 15(3): pp 1-11
Anti-arthritic and toxicological evaluation of ethanolic extract of Alternanthera bettzickiana in rats / Maria Manan, Uzma Saleem, Bashir Ahmad, Nosheen Aslam, Asifa Anwar, Aimen Zafar / Front Pharmacol., 2022; 13: 1002037 / DOI: 10.3389/fphar.2022.1002037.eCollection2022
Biosynthesis, characterization, and evaluation of bioactivities of leaf extract-mediated biocompatible gold nanoparticles from Alternanthera bettzickiana / M Nagalingam, V N Kalpana, V Devi Rajeswari, A Panneerselvam et al / Biotechnology Reports, 2018; Vol 19: e00268
Phytoextraction of Lead Using a Hedge Plant [Alternanthera bettzickiana (Regel) G. Nicholson]: Physiological and Biochemical Alterations through Bioresource Management  / Urooj Kanwal, Muhammad Ibrahim, Farhat Abbas, Shafaqat Ali et al / Sustainability, 13(9) / DOI: 10.3390/su13095074
Alternanthera bettzickiana / Wikipedia
Alternanthera bettzickiana / CABI Digital Library

DOI: 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. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants

HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT