Paanbalibis is a diffusely spreading, laxly branched, smooth or somewhat hairy herb, with the branches sometimes attaining a length of 2 meters. Leaves are scattered, ovate, elliptic, or oblong, 1 to 4 centimeters long, sometimes wavy, pale beneath, with rounded or pointed apex, and usually rounded base. Cymes are very lax and panicled with slender branches. Flowers are minute. usually fascicled or subumbellate on the ultimate branchlets, pink, and about 1.5 millimeters long. Fruit is glandular, narrowly oblong-obovoid, about 3 millimeters long.
- Throughout the Philippines in open places in settled areas at low and medium altitudes.
- A common weed in and about town.
- Native of India and Brazil.
- Plant has yielded Boerhaavic acid, punarnavine, potassium nitrate, tannins, phlobaphenes.
- Root yields alkaloids (punarnavine), rotenoids (boeravinones A-F), flavonoids, amino acids, lignans (liriodendrons), ß-sitosterols and tetracosanoic, esacosanoic, stearic, and ursolic acids.
- Seeds yield fatty acids and allantoin.
- Ash analysis yielded potassium, magnesium, sodium, calcium, nitrate, phosphates, silica and sulphates.
- Studies have yielded ß-sitosterol, a-2-sitosterol, palmitic acid, tetracosanoic, hexacosonoic, stearic, arachidic acid, urosilic acid, among others.
- Phytochemical screening yielded flavonoids, alkaloids, glycosides and sterols in the alcoholic root.
- Study of methanol extract of roots isolated five new and four known rotenoids. (see study below)
- Early studies have reported the diuretic effect of the liquid extract of the dry or fresh plant. The diuretic effect appears prominent on certain types of ascites, ie, liver cirrhosis. The diuretic effect was attributed to punarnavine, an alkaloid that reported increases blood pressure and urination.
- Considered bitter, cooling, astringent, diuretic, stomachic, laxative, expectorant and emetic.
- Root is considered purgative, anthelmintic, febrifuge.
- Also reported abortifacient, analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, diaphoretic, rejuvenating, tonic.
Roots, leaves, seeds.
Edibility / Nutrition
- A neglected and underutilized
- Leaves used as vegetable.
- Good source of vitamins C, B2 and B3.
- In southeastern Nigeria, leaves are cooked and eaten as vegetable.
- Roots in powder, decoction or infusion, used as laxative.
- Root juice used for asthma.
- Used as diuretic, in strangury, gonorrhea and other internal inflammations.
- In moderate doses, used in asthma; in large doses, used as emetic.
- Infusion of whole plants used as mild laxative and febrifuge in children; also used for convulsions.
- Used to regulate menstruation.
- In the Gold Coast, used in the treatment of yaws.
- In the Antilles, used as a stimulant , tonic, vermifuge, emetic, sudorific and as antispasmodic.
- In Martinique, roots used for snake bites.
- In Uruguay, roots considered antidysenteric and emetic.
- In Ayurveda, considered bitter, cooling, astringent to bowels; used for biliousness, leucorrhea, anemia, asthma. Leaves used in dyspepsia, tumors, abdominal pains and splenic enlargements. Roots used as diuretic, expectorant, vermifuge, analgesic and to improve renal and hepatic functions.
- In Chinese traditional medicine, used to move blood and break up stasis, regulate menses, strengthen the bones and tendons; for pain, malnutrition, dysmenorrhea, vaginal discharge.
- In Nigeria, used for boils, epilepsy, convulsions, guinea worms, asthma, fever, constipation.
- In Nepal, used for snakes bites, headaches, pain, hemorrhoids, jaundice, gout, asthma, round worms, excessive menstruation, cough and hemoptysis.
- In India, used for asthma, cough, urethritis, edema, ascites, nephritis; also used for insomnia.
• Anti-Diabetic: Study investigating the effect of oral administration of an aqueous solution of B. diffusa leaf extract on normal and alloxan-induced diabetic rats showed a significant decrease in blood glucose, a significant increase in activity of hepatic enzymes, and a significant increase in plasma insulin levels in normal and diabetic rats. The effect was more prominent than glibenclamide. (3)
• Antidiabetic / Chronic Administration of Leaf Extract: Study of leaf extract of Bd produced dose-dependent reduction in blood glucose probably through rejuvenation of pancreatic B-cells or through extrapancreatic action. (5)
• Antidiabetic / Increase Glucose Tolerance: Extracts of Bd showed significant increase in glucose tolerance; the methanolic extract showed more activity.
• Antitumor / Chemopreventive
: Study demonstrated the chemopreventive property of topical treatment of Bd extract on DMBA-induced skin papillomagenesis in male Swiss albino mice. (6)
: Study showed the crude methanolic extract of Bd and its liriodendrin-rich fraction showed a dose-dependent protection against PTZ-induced convulsions. (7)
• Antiproliferative / Anti-Estrogenic
: Study of methanol extract of Bd showed moderate to very strong inhibition in MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines. Results demonstrated antiproliferative and antiestrogenic properties and suggests a therapeutic potential in estrogen dependent breast cancers. (8)
• Antistress / Adaptogenic / Immunomodulatory
: Study of ethanol extracts of roots of Bd showed increased stress tolerance in swim endurance test and cold restrain stress. Immunomodulatory activity was shown by increased carbon clearance, indicating stimulation of the reticuloendothelial system. There was an increase in DTH response to SRBC in mice, corresponding to cell mediated immunity and indicating stimulatory effects on lymphocytes and accessory cell types. (9)
• Spasmolytic / Rotenoid Derivatives
: Study showed the methanol extract of roots of Bd exhibited a significant spasmolytic activity in guinea pig ileum, probably through a direct effect on smooth muscle. Phytochemicals isolated one new and 6 known rotenoid derivatives. (10)
• Eupalitin / Anti-Osteoporosis Activity
: Invention relates to a process of isolation of bioactive eupalitin from Bh possessing anti-osteoporosis activity by extraction of powdered leaves.
: In a study of the leaves of five different plants belonging to different family, the methanol extracts of Bd, T cardiofolia and E alba leaves showed significant in vitro antimicrobial activity. (11)
• Nutritive Properties
: Study showed Bd as vegetable contains saponins, alkaloids, flavonoids. The vitamin constituents were vitamins C, B3, B2; mineral contents, Ca, Na, and Mg. Results suggest that the leaves as cheap sources of vitamins, macro- and micro-nutrients can be incorporated into the human and animal diet. Its flavonoid and vit C contents also suggest a potential source of antioxidants. (12)
• Immunomodulatory: Study of alkaloidal fraction was studied for its effect on cellular and humoral functions in mice. Results showed an in vivo immunostimulatory activity without an in vitro effect. (13)
• Cytological Effects: Study of the mitotic effects of root extracts of B. diffusa on the root tips of Crinum jagus were investigated. Results showed root extracts of Bd can accumulate metaphase and inhibit mitoses and presents an alternative to the rather expensive colchicene for cytological studies. (14)
• Antihyperglycemic / Renoprotective: Study of an ethanolic extract of Bd in alloxanized diabetic rats showed it to be a potent renoprotective and antihyperglycemic agent in diabetic animals. (15)
• Anticonvulsant / Calcium Channel Antagonism: Study results reiterated the anticonvulsant activity of a methanolic extract of Bd roots. It suggests the anti-convulsant activity could be due to calcium-channel antagonistic action. (17)
• Antistress: Study of a hydroethanolic extract (80%) of Boerhavia diffusa (HEBD) and a polyherbal formulation (Punarnava mandur) PHF-09 containing Boerhavia diffusa showed antistress activity in a dose-dependent manner. (18)
• Radioprotective: Study evaluated the radioprotective effect of a hydroalcoholic extract of B. diffusa in an in vivo mice model of sublethally irradiated mice. The most affected tissues -- bone marrow and intestine -- were considerably protected by an intraperitoneal administration of the extract. There was also significant reduction of lipid peroxidation. Results indicated a radioprotective effect of the whole-plant extract. (20)
• Male Anti-Fertility Effects: The oral administration of an aqueous extract of leaves to male Wistar rats for sixty days caused a reduction of sperm count, progressive sperm motility, sperm live-dead ratio and caused degeneration of the germinal epithelia of the testes. (21)
• Hepatoprotective / Ibuprofen-Induced Hepatotoxicity: A methanol extract of root and aerial parts restored nearly normal structure and functions of hepatic cells in ibuprofen-induced hepatotoxicity in Wistar albino rats. Roots showed more hepatoprotective efficacy than the aerial part of the same plant. (24)
• Antimicrobial: Study evaluated the antimicrobial activity of an ethanolic extract of B. diffusa. Results showed significant antimicrobial activity against most of the tested organisms. (25)
• Renoprotective / Acetaminophen-Induced Nephrotoxicity: Study investigated the effects of pre-treatment of aqueous extract of root on acetaminophen-induced nephrotoxicity in rats. Pre-treatment had a nephroprotective effect possibly through improvement of renal function and antioxidant activities. (26)
• DNA Barcode Identifies Plant from Adulterants: In the study, a DNA barcoding technique was applied to distinguish B. diffusa from its closely related species and authenticating its herbal products. (29)
• Anticancer / Boeravinone: Study evaluated phytocompounds in B. diffusa having anticancer potential to effectively inhibit the action of Bcl-2 protein. Molecular analysis showed Boeravinone F had potent anticancer activity and might be considered a lead compound for the developing potentially useful drugs to inhibit the target Bcl2 protein by regulating apoptosis. (30)
• Erythropoietic Effect: Study investigated the erythropoietic effect of some medicinal plants in India. Boerhavia diffusa was one of several plant extracts that boost synthesis of hemoglobin and formation of RBCs which may be due to its richness in iron and vitamin C. (31)
• Hepatoprotective / Carbon Tetrachloride Hepatotoxicity
: Stud showed various plant extracts of B. diffusa and A. lanata have significant hepatoprotective activity in albino rats with CCl4 induced hepatotoxicity.
• Antiglycating Property: Review suggest B. diffusa extract might be useful as an antiglycating agent apart from antidiabetic and antioxidant properties. The novel hypothesis of antiglycating properties could help understand and prevent bio-macromoleculte (DNA and protein) damage in hyperglycemic condition, arthritis, and ageing. (33)
• Protection Against Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Cardiac Hypertrophy: Study revealed the protective effects of B. diffusa against mitochondrial dysfunction in hypertrophy in H9c2 cells. Study showed reduction of intracellular calcium overload in Ang II treated cells. (34)
• Antidiabetic / α-Amylase and α-Glucosidase Inhibitory Activity / Leaves and Seeds: Study of ethanol extracts of both leaves and seeds of B. diffusa showed strong inhibitory activity against α-amylase and α-glucosidase and suggests a potential as therapeutic agent for free radical related disorders. (35)
• Antibiofilm Activity against MRSA: Study reports the antibiofilm activity of B. diffusa leaf extracts against methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. (36)
• Anxiolytic-Hypnotic Activity : A methanol extract of whole plant was evaluated for anxiolytic-hypnotic activity in male albino mice. The extract showed significant enhancing effect on pentobarbital induced narcosis with increase in sleeping time. The depressive central effect and hypnotic effect may involve the GABAergic system. (37)
• Rotenoids / Anti-Inflammatory: Study isolated five new and four known rotenoids from a methanol extract of roots. Compound 7 showed the most potent COX-1 and COX-2 inhibition. Compound 6, Boeravinone, exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity in an in vivo carrageenan-induced paw edema model. (38)
• Antitumor / Leaves: Study evaluated an ethanolic extract of leaves of B. diffusa against Dalton's ascitic lymphoma (DAL) in Swiss albino mice. The extract increased the life span of DAL treated mice and restored hematological parameters in a dose dependent manner. (39)