HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT

Family Scrophylariaceae
Picria fel-terrae Lour.

Scientific names Common names
Curanga amara Juss. Sagai-uak (Sul.)
Curanga fel-terrae (Lour.) Merr. Curanja (Engl.)
Curanga melissifolia A.Juss.  
Curanga torenioides Steud.  
Gratiola amara (Juss.) Roxb.  
Picria fel-terrae Lour.  
Curanga fel-terrae (Lour.) Merr. is a synonym of Picria fel-terrae Lour. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
INDONESIA: Tamah raheut, Daun kukurang, Papaita.
LAOS: Kong saden, Pu:n.
MALAYSIA: Hempedu tanah, Gelumak susu, Rumput kerak nasi.
VIETNAM: M[aaj]t d[aas]t, Thanh.

Sagai-uak is a smooth, prostrate herb. Branches are slender, straggling, 60 to 90 centimeters long, rooting at the lower nodes. Leaves are ovate, 3 to 6 centimeters long, 2 to 3 centimeters wide, pointed at both ends, and toothed at the margins. Flowers are crowded on short axillary and terminal racemes. Calyx in the flower is about 6 millimeters long, double that length in the fruit; its outer sepals are broadly ovate and heart-shaped. Corolla is dark reddish brown. Fruit is a capsules, ovate, flattened, 3 to 4 millimeters long, bivalved with several seeds. Spherical seeds are about 0.6 millimeter in diameter, with 8 oblong hollows.

- On forested slopes at low altitudes, ascending to 400 meters, rather rare and local.
- Found in Cagayan, Kalinga and Laguna Provinces in Luzon and in Zamboanga, Mindanao.
- Occurs in India to Indo-China and through Malaya to the Moluccas.

- Plant yields an amorphous bitter glucoside, curangin, which is either nonpoisonous or only very slightly poisonous.
- Study isolated two triterpenoids: (1) picfeltarraenone I (3,11,22-trioxo-16alpha-hydroxy-(20S,24)-epoxy-cucurbit-5,23-diene) and (2) picfeltarraenin XI (3,11,22-trioxo-16alpha-hydroxy-(20S,24)-epoxy-cucurbit-5, 23-diene-2beta-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside). (11)
- Study isolated seven compounds: apigenin (1), apigenin-7-O-β-D-glucuronide (2), apigenin-7-O-α-L- rhamnopyranosyl(1→2)-β-D-glucuronide (3), rosmarinic acid (4), picfeltarraegenin Ⅳ (5), picfeltarraegenin X (6), and acteoside (7). (12)

- Plant, especially the leaves, is very bitter.
- Considered aperient, febrifuge, diuretic, emmenagogue, sudorific.
- Curangine, an alkaloid derived from the plant, reported to have a marked febrifuge property.
- Studies suggest antimicrobial, antidiabetic, and complement inhibiting properties.

Parts used
Whole plant, leaves.


- In the Philippines, decoction of the plant is used as febrifuge, especially for malaria.
- The plant, masticated, decocted or infused, is used as stomachic and for irregular menstruation.
- Leaves are aperient; a stimulant to the intestines, sudorific, diuretic and emmenagogue.
- Leaves are used in the early stages of dropsy, in intermittent fevers, amenorrhea, arrested lochia, colic and lumbar pains.
- In the Moluccas, used as vermifuge, for tertian fever, as liver and bile stimulant. Also used for colic.
- Malays used it for its bitterness to whet the appetite.
- Juice given to provoke nausea.
- Decoction of leaves used for stomachache.
- Leaves applied to the head in cases of headache; cooling the head and allaying the pain.

- In Chinese medicine used as folk medicine for the treatment of herpes, infections, cancer, and inflammation. (14)

Flavonoid Glucoronides:
Study of a n-butanol extract yielded three flavonoid glucoronides: apigenin 7-O-β-glucuronide, luteolin 7-O-β-glucuronide and a new compound, apigenin 7-O-β-(2″-O-α-rhamnosyl)glucuronide, the latter one being a new compound. (2)
New Cucurbitacin:
Study yielded a new compound, 11, 24-dioxo-5, 21-diene-cucurbit-3alpha-O-beta-D-xylopyranosyl-16alpha-O-alpha-L-rhamnopyranoside (dehydrobryogenin glycoside). Hexanorcucurbitacin F, was obtained for the first time from Picria fel-terrae. (3)
New Phenylethanoid Glycosides:
Study searching for bioactive compounds from the whole plant yielded three new phenylethanoid glycosides, picreosides A-C, along with five known phenylethanoid glycosides: wiedemannioside, acteoside, acteoside isomer, cis-acteoside isomer, and cis-acteoside. (4)
Complement-Inhibiting Cucurbitacin Glycosides: Study isolated four cucurbitacin glycosides: Picfeltarraenins 1A and 1B, picfeltarraenin IV, and a new compound picfeltarraenin VI. All showed activity as inhibitors of both the classical and alternative pathways of the complement system. (5)

ß- Sitosterol / Anti-Diabetic Effect: Study isolated ß-sitosterol from an n-hexane extract of leaves of Picria fel-terrae. The extract showed good antidiabetic effect, indicated by significant blood glucose lowering in alloxan induced diabetic mice. (7)
Antimicrobial /Stem and Leaves: An in vitro study of a crude stem with leaf extract showed against five human pathogenic microorganisms showed effective activity against E. coli, Bacillus subtilis, Klebsiella sp., Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. (8)
Anthelmintic / Leaves: Study investigated the anthelmintic activity of leaf extract of Curanga fel-terrae against Pheretima posthuma. Results showed anthelmintic activity significantly more potent compared to standard albendazole. (13)
Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors: Study reports on the isolation of bioactive principles isolated from P. fel-terrae. An AChE inhibitory bioassay coupled HPLX of an EA extract yielded six compounds: picfeltarraenin IA (1), picfeltarraenin IB (2), picfeltarraenin IV (3), picfeltarraenin X (4), picfeltarraenin XI (5), and one unknown compound. (14)


Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Update October 2015

MAGE SOURCE: / Photo / Picria felterrae Lour. / Michael Kesl / Indonesia, Sawai, Seram, Maluku / CC-BY-NC Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License / click on image to go to source page / BioLib.cz
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Illustration / Curanga amara Juss. / Kirtikar, K.R., Basu, B.D., Indian medicinal plants, Plates, vol. 4: t. 697, fig. A (1918) / PlantIllustrations.org

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Curangine / Detroit Medical Journal / Archive
Flavonoid glucuronides from Picriafel-terrae / Ying Huang, Tess De Bruyne, Sandra Apers, Yuliang Ma, Magda Claeys, Luc Pieters, Arnold Vlietinck / Phytochemistry, Volume 52, Issue 8, December 1999, Pages 1701–1703
Isolation and identification of a new cucurbitacin from Picria fel-terrae / Zou JM, Wang LS, Ma XM, Shi RB, Guo YJ. / Yao Xue Xue Bao. 2004 Nov;39(11):910-2.
Phenylethanoid Glycosides from Picria felterrae Lour.
/ Jie-Ming ZOU, Li-Sheng WANG, Xue-Mei NIU, Han-Dong SUN and Ya-Jian GUO / Journal of Integrative Plant Biology (Formerly Acta Botanica Sinica) 2005, 47 (5): 632−636
Complement-inhibiting cucurbitacin glycosides from Picria fel-terrae.
/ Huang Y, De Bruyne T, Apers S, Ma Y, Claeys M, Vanden Berghe D, Pieters L, Vlietinck A. / J Nat Prod. 1998 Jun 26;61(6):757-61.
Picria fel-terrae / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED
Isolation of β-sitosterol from n-Hexane Extract of Picria fel-terrae Lour. Leave and Study of Its Antidiabetic Effect in Alloxan Induced Diabetic Mice / Panal Sitorus*, Urip Harahap, M Pandapotan, Tonel Barus / Int.J.PharmTech Res.2014,6(1),pp 137-141.
Picria fel-terrae / Synonyms / The Plant List
A new picfeltarraenone glycoside from Picria fel-terrae. / Zou JM1, Wang LS, Guo YJ, Wang Z, Wang RZ. / Yao Xue Xue Bao. 2005 Jan;40(1):36-8.
A new picfeltarraenone glycoside from Picria fel-terrae. / Zou JM, Wang LS, Guo YJ, Wang Z, Wang RZ. / Yao Xue Xue Bao. 2005 Jan;40(1):36-8.
Chemical constituents of Picria fel-terrae Lour. / HUANG Yong-Lin; CHEN Yue-Yuan; WEN Yong-Xin*; LI Dian-Peng; CHEN Wen-Juan; LIU Jin-Lei; LU Feng-Lai / Guihaia CN, Issue: 2010. Page: 887-890
Preliminary study on the anthelmintic activity of the leaf ethanolic extract of Indonesian Curanga fel-terrae (Lour.) Merr / Popi Patilaya and Dadang Irfan Husori / NTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHARMTECH RESEARCH 8(3):347-351 · JULY 2015
Bioassay- and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry-guided acetylcholinesterase inhibitors from Picriafel-terrae / Lu Wen, Qiqiu Wei, Gang Chen, Fan Liu, Shichang Zhang, and Tinghuo You / Pharmacogn Mag. 2013 Oct-Dec; 9(Suppl 1): S25–S31. / doi: 10.4103/0973-1296.117857

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.

HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT