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Family Cruciferae
Rorippa indica (L.) Hiern

Wu ban han cai

Scientific names Common names
Cardamine atrovirens (Homem.) Kuntze Alalahia (Ibn.)
Cardamine glandulosa Blanco Apopo (Bon.)
Nasturtium atrovirens (Homem.) D.C. Gandei (Bon.)
Nasturtium diffusum D.C. Gelgelai (Bon.)
Nasturtium indicum (Linn.) D.C. Gilgiloi (Ig.)
Nasturtium sinapis (Burm.f.) O.E. Schulz Lampuka (Ilk.)
Radicula indica (L.) J.M. Macoun Sabi (Bag.)
Rorippa atrovirens (Homem.) Ohwi & H. Hara Undi (If.)
Rorippa indica (L.) Hiern Wu ban han cai (Chin.)
Sisymbrium atrovirens Homem. Indian cress (Engl.)
Sisymbrium indicum Linn. Variable leaf yellow cress (Engl.)
Sisymbrium sinapis Burm. f.  
Nasturtium indicum (L.) DC. is a synonym of Rorippa indica (L.) Hiern The Plant List

Other vernacular names
BENGALI: Ban sarisha.
CHINESE: Han cai, Ye you cai, Jiang jian dao cao, Qing ming cai, San jei tsai.
JAPANESE: Inu garashi.
THAI: Phàk kàat náam dok lueng (Phakkat nam dok lueang).

Sabi is an annual erect, usually branched, nearly smooth herb, 20 to 40 centimeters high. Leaves are oblong to ovate-lanceolate, 5 to 10 centimeters long, variously lobed and toothed, often lyrate, and petioled, the upper ones being sessile or nearly so, the basal leaves wither by flowering. Racemes are long, and terminal, with many flowers at the tip. Flowers are small, yellow, and 2.5 to 3 millimeters long. Sepals are as long as the petals. Pod is spreading, slender, cylindric, straight or slightly curved, and 1 to 2 centimeters long.

- In and about towns along drains, ditches, roadsides, etc., and in waste place, along streams, etc., throughout the Philippines in the more or less settled areas.
- Introduced.
- Also found in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam.
- Naturalized in North and South America.

- Study yielded roripamine, a novel sylphonylalkyl amine from the whole herb. (6)
- Study of methanol extract of seeds yielded 25 phytochemical compounds. The major compound was 1-Chloro-1-methylcyclohexane (17.34%), followed by 5-{Ethoxycarbonyl}- N(1)-[2'-(N",N"-dimethylamino)ethyl]-pyrimido [1,2-a] benzimidazol-4(10H)-one (11.38%), 2-Methoxy-4-vinylphenol (7.77%) and 3-Butyl-1,1-difluoro-2,2-dimethylcyclopropane (6.63%). Root extract also yielded 25 compounds; the major compound was ethyl 4-Benzyloxy-2-[2-methyl-2(E)-butenyl]-2-[2(E),4-pentadienyl ]acetoacetate (14.80%). (7)

Considered diuretic, stimulant, antiscorbutic, depurative, expectorant, hypoglycemic, cancer preventive, odontalgic, purgative and stimulant.

Parts used
Seeds, various plant parts.


- Tender young leaves and stems eaten raw or cooked as vegetable.

- In Indo-China, plant used as diuretic, stimulant, and antiscorbutic.
- Seeds used as laxative.
- Chinese herb used to treat cough, diarrhea, and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Also used in the treatment of asthma, chronic catarrh, and pyorrhea.
- In Assam, India, juice of seeds mixed with milk used for kidney trouble.

- In Uttar Pradesh, India, juice expressed from fresh leaves with a teaspoon of honey used for asthma. (8)
- In Nagaland, India, aerial parts are used for diarrhea and dysentery. (10)

Floral Nectar Production:
Study showed the nectar volume increased toward the night and decreased during the day. The amount of sugar in the nectar decreased with flower age. Sugar concentration was lower at night than daytime. (9)
Study found the plant to be a rich source of glucosinolates, containing 24 new glucosinolates, and 14 previously identified glucosylated glucosinolates.


Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Update August 2015

IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph / Rorippa indica / Inugarash / Wild Plants in and around Shimane i © wildplantsshimane.jp / click on photo to go to source page
Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Rorippa dubia (Pers.) H. Hara (accepted name) / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
Traditional Phytotherapy among the Nath People of Assam / Mithun Sikdar and Uzzal Dutta / Ethno-Med., 2(1): 39-45 (2008)
Sorting Rorippa 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.
Rorippa indica (L.) Hiern / Synonyms / The Plant List
Profiling of Glucosinolates and Flavonoids in Rorippa indica (Linn.) Hiern. (Cruciferae) by UHPLC-PDA-ESI/HRMSn / Long-Ze Lin *, Jianghao Sun, Pei Chen, Ren-Wei Zhang , Xiao-E Fan,, Lai-Wei Li, and James M. Harnly / J. Agric. Food Chem., 2014, 62 (26), pp 6118–6129 / DOI: 10.1021/jf405538d
Roripamine, a sulphonylalkyl amine from Rorippa indica / Yun-Lian Lina, Wei-Yu Tsai∗, Yueh-Hsiung Kuo / Phytochemistry, Volume 39, Issue 4, July 1995, Pages 919–921 / doi:10.1016/0031-9422(95)00005-R
GC – MS Determination of Bioactive Components of Rorippa indica L. / P. Ananthi, B. D. Ranjitha Kumari / International Journal of ChemTech Research, Vol.5, No.4, pp 2027-2033, April-June 2013
ETHNOMEDICINAL USES OF SOME WEEDS OF UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA / Arjun Prasad Tiwari, Bhavana Joshi & A.A. Ansari / Researcher 2012;4(7)
A preliminary study of nectar production of the field cress,Rorippa indica , in relation to the age of its flowers / Kazuyuki Muraoka, Mamoru Watanabe / Ecological Research, April 1994, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 33-36
Indigenous Knowledge on Utilization of plant Biodiversity for Treatment and Cure of diseases of Human beings in Nagaland, India: A case study / Zhasa N.N., Hazarika P and Tripathi Y.C. / International Research Journal of Biological Sciences, Vol. 4(4), 89-106, April (2015)
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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