Siemprevia / Kalanchoe laciniata / Christmas Tree plant : Philippine Medicinal Herbs / Philippine Alternative Medicine
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Family Crassulaceae
Kalanchoe laciniata (Linn.) DC
Ji Zhao Sanqi

Scientific names Common names
Cotyledon laciniata Linn. Siempreviva (Tag., Span.) 
Kalanchoe acutifolia Haw. Cathedral bells (Engl.)
Kalanchoe aegyptiaca DC. Christmas tree plant (Engl.)
Kalanchoe alternans Pers. Fir-tree kalanchoe (Engl.)
Kalanchoe floribunda Wight & Arn.  
Kalanchoe laciniata (Linn.) DC  
Kalanchoe rosea Clarke  
Kalanchoe schweinfurthii Penzig  
Kalanchoe welitschii Britton  
Vereia laciniata (L.) Willd.  
Kalanchoe laciniata (L.) DC. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Ji Zhao Sanqi.
PAKISTAN: Zakham-e-hayat.
SRI LANKAN: Akkapana.

Siempreviva is an erect, simple, smooth and robust perennial herb, less than a meter high. Leaves are opposite, fleshy, pinnatisect, 8 to 15 centimeters long, with the lobes distant, spreading, subentire, toothed or somewhat lobed and lanceolate, and few. Inflorescence is terminal and peduncled. Flowers are about 1.5 centimeters long. Sepals are green and lanceolate. Limb of the corolla is spreading, and about 2 centimeters in diameter.

- Introduced into the Philippines.
- Occasionally cultivated in gardens.
- Also occurs in India to tropical Africa, and China and Java.

- Leaves reported to contain chlorophyll, fat, a yellow organic acid, cream of tartar, sulphate of calcium, free tartaric acid and calcium oxalate.
- Leaves also reported to contain malic acid.
- Reported to contain cardiac glycosides.
- Leaf extracts reported to yield flavonoids, triterpenoids, lignins, phenols, saponins, and glycosides. (5)
- Study has reported three toxic bufadienolides, one characterized as hellibrigenin 3-acetate. (Anderson et al., 1983) (5)
- A variety of cardiotoxic bufadienolides are present in all parts, more so in the flowers. The cardiotoxins include bryotoxins, bryophyllins, bersalgenins, flavonoids, and glycosides. (6)
- Phytochemical analysis showed the n-hexane extract to yield tannins and terpenoids, while the aqueous methanolic extract yielded saponins, tannins, terpenoids, flavonoids, glycosides and anthraquinones. (11)

- Leaves considered styptic, astringent and antiseptic.
- Studies suggest anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antitumor, and anti-leishmanial activities.

Parts used

• In the Philippines pulped leaves are applied to chronic ulcers and sores; also used for headaches.
• In Malaysia poultice of powdered leaves used for colds and coughs, to soothe inflammation, heal boils and wounds; used as lotion in small pox. Decoction of whole plant drunk for gastric pain and heart discomfort. (5)
• In Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, crushed leaves applied externally for fever and to heal ulcers. (5)
• In India crushed leaves applied to wounds, to soothe inflammation and to cure diabetes. Juice from leaves drunk to treat bilious diarrhea, dysentery, lithiasis and phthisis. (5)
• In Indo-China pounded leaves applied to indolent ulcers. (5)
• In Ambonia, leaves used for poulticing fevered heads and bodies.
• In traditional Indian medicine, fresh leaves are bruised or roasted over fire and applied as poultice to bruises and contusions to relieve inflammation and prevent discolorations.
• Used as a styptic to fresh cuts, abrasions and wounds. Also used for venomous insect bites.
• Juice mixed with butter, 1:2, taken internally for diarrhea, dysentery, lithiasis, cholera and phthisis.
• In Indo-China, leaves are used as topicals for ulcers.
• In the Antilles, used for headaches and as an emollient.
• In India plant is used for treating common cough and cold, wounds, inflammation, diabetes, etc.
• In southern India leaf extract applied externally for joint pain.
• In Ayurveda leaves use for menorrhagia, hemorrhoids, ulcers, renal stones, abscesses, cuts and wounds, ulcers, diarrhea, vomiting, and inflammation; used to pacify vitiated vata, pitta. (8)
• Malays place twigs in houses to attract good spirits.

Cytotoxicity / Anticancer:
Study of effects of several plants on in vitro proliferation of hormone dependent breast cancer and colon cancer lines showed the hexane extract of Kalanchoe laciniata was effected against cellular proliferations of MCF-7 (hormone dependent breast cancer cell lines. (1)
Secondary Metabolites: Phytochemical screening for secondary metabolites yielded emodins, flavonoids, lignins, triterpenoids, anthraquinones, phenols, saponins, leucoanthocyanins, and glycosides. (7)
Antiproliferative: Study showed a hexane extract of Kalancho laciniata was effective against cellular proliferations of MCF-7the effects of K. laciniata. (10)


Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Update Octber 2015

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / File:Kalanchoe laciniata Blanco1.146-cropped.jpg / Plate from book / Flora de Filipinas / Francisco Manuel Blanco (OSA) / Modifications by Carol Spears / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Effects of Catharanthus roseus, Kalanchoe laciniata and Piper longum Extracts on the Proliferation of Hormone-dependent Breast Cancer (MCF-7) and Colon Cancer (Caco2) Cell Lines / R Asmah, MZ Zetti Nadia, MA Abdah & AB Mohd Fadzelly
Medicinal Plants of the Philippine Archipelago / Pakdo de Tavera / 1901
Medicinal plants used by the Paliyan tribes of Sirumalai hills of southern India/ S Karuppusamy / Natural Product Radiance, Vol 6(5), 2007, pp 436-447
Kalanchoe laciniata (L.) DC. / Synonyms / The Plant List
KALANCHOE LACINIATA (L.) DC: A LESSER KNOWN INDIAN MEDICINAL PLANT / Jhuma Deb, Gouri Kumar Dash / International Journal of Science Inventions Today / IJSIT, 2013, 2(2), 158-162
Kalanchoe laciniata—Heart and Toxins / Dr. Meenakshisundaram Sundaram Ramachandran /
Screening of traditional medicinal plants for secondary metabolites / N. Savithramma, M. Linga Rao*, S. Ankanna / Int. J. Res. Pharm. Sci., 2(4), 2011, 643-647
Kalanchoe laciniata* / Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants of Sri Lanka
Kalanchoe laciniata (L.) DC. / Synonyms / The Plant List
Effects of Cathranthus roseus, Kalanchoe laciniata and Piper longum Extracts on Proliferation of Hormone-Dependent Breast Cancer (MCF-7) and Colon Cancer (Caco2) Cell Lines / R Asmah, M Z Zetti Nadia, M A Abdah & A B Mohd Fadzelly / Malaysian Journal of Medicine and Health Sciences, Vol 1(2), June 2005: 105-110
Phytochemical screening of different extracts of Kalanchoe laciniata (L). / Maria Manan, Liaqat Hussain*, Hira Ijaz, Bushra Nawaz, Muhammad Hanif / PJPR- Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Research

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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