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Family Urticaceae
Pouzolzia zeylanica (L.) Benn.

Wu shui ge

Scientific names Common names
Boehmeria alienata Willd. Apoyapoyan (Tag.)
Boehmeria cochinchinensis Spreng. Kayutkoran (Bag.)
Boehmeria glochidiata Hassk. Tuia (Tag.)
Boehmeria nana D.Don Graceful pouzolzsbush (Engl.)
Parietaria decaisnei Steud.                           Unresolved Pouzolzsbush (Engl.)
Parietaria indica Linn.  
Parietaria oppositifolia F.Muell.  
Parietaria zeylanica Linn.  
Pentocnide glomerulata Raf.                         Unresolved  
Pouzolzia indica Gaudich.  
Pouzolzia zeylanica (L.) Benn.  
Urtica alienata  L.                                           Unresolved  
Urtica fruticosa L.                                           Unresolved  
Urtica glomerulata Klein ex Willd.      
Urtica fruticosa L.                                            Unresolved  
Apoyapoyan (Pouzolzia zeylanica) is phonetically confused with (1) apoi-apoian (Gynandropsis gynandra), and (2) apoy-apoyan, bias-pugo, Ammannia baccifera.
Pouzolzia zeylanica (L.) Benn. is an accepted name. The Plant List






Other vernacular names
BANGLADESH: Lajon turi.
CHINESE: Wu shui ge.
FRENCH: Pouzolzie de Ceylan.
KHMER: Toem tanhit jhnien, Kandab chhneang.
MALAYALAM: Kallurukki.
RUSSIAN: Pouzolzia tseylonskaya.
SUNDANESE: Jukut krinching.
TAMIL: Kallurki.

Tuia is a more or less prostrate or spreading perennial herb, sometimes reaching a length of 1.5 meters. Leaves are lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, 2 to 7 centimeters in length, 3-nerved, rounded or obtuse at the base, pointed at the tip, 3-nerved, and with entire margins. Flowers are small, 4-parted, borne in axillary clusters; the staminate ones greenish or tinted with purple, and the pistillate one in the same fascicles with the staminate ones. Fruit is small and longitudinally ribbed.

- In open, usually damp grasslands at low and medium altitudes throughout the Philippines.
- Polymorphous species of wide Indo-Malaya distribution

- Extensively grown in Bangladesh.
- Also occurs in Western Australia.

- Study yielded 14 compounds: (1) beta-sitosterol (2) daucosterol (3) oleanolic acid (4) epicatechin (5) alpha-amyrin (6) eugenyl-beta-rutinoside (7) 2alpha, 3alpha, 19alpha-trihydroxyurs-12-en-28-oic (8) scopolin (9) scutellarein-7-O-alpha-L-rhamnoside (10) scopoletin (11) quercetin (12) quercetin-3-O-beta-D-glucoside (13) apigenin, and (14) 2alpha-hydroxyursolic acid. (6)
- Leaf powders yielded alkaloids, glycosides, tannins, and flavonoids. (8)
- Study yielded 11 compound, including N-[2-(3-hydroxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2-hydroxyethyl]-3-(4- methoxyphenyl)prop-2-enamide (1), 14,16-hentriacontanedione (2), sinapaldehyde (3), 3,4-dihydro-5,7-dihydroxy-4-(4-hydroxyphenyl) coumarin (4), among others. (20)

- Greenish grey, characteristic odor, mucilaginous and slightly bitter tasting.
- Vulnerary, antioxidant, hypoglycemic.

Parts used
Leaves, stems, shoots.


- Leaves used in preparation of herbal tea. (see study below) (18)
- Leaves used as a vulnerary; more specially, as cicatrizant for gangrenous ulcers.
- In the Nalbari district, Assam. leaf and stem paste is applied locally once or twice daily for itching. Plant leaf and stem rolled with banana leaf, heated and squeezed, juice mixed with goat's milk, and taken once for dysentery and loose stools of infant.
- In Eastern Ghats, Andhra Pradesh, paste of crushed shoots applied as poultice to bone fractures.
- In Malaysia, decoction of leaves drunk or leaves eaten to kill worms.

- In Bangladesh, used by the Bab barma clan of the Tripura tribe of Moulvibazar for skin infections: crushed leaves applied as poultice on affected areas. Used for fever, dysentery, and skin eruptions by the Santal tribe.(19)
- Used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine for treatment of acute mastitis, pyogenic infections, dysentery, indigestion, abdominal pain, infantile malnutrition, dysuria, hemoptysis, bruise, hematemesis, edema. (20)
- In India, whole plant used by Tamilnadu tribal communities as galactagogue. (22)

Phenolic Content / Free Radical Scavenging:
Study showed Pouzolizia zeylanica extracts, especially the ethyl acetate, exhibited outstanding scavenging effects on DPPH, ABTS and hydroxyl radicals, and pronounced reducing powers. (1)
Hypoglycemic Effect: Study of the decoction of Pouzolzia zeylanica in STZ-induced diabetic mice showed an apparent hypoglycemic effect, and can control blood sugar within a certain desirable range in a period of post-treatment. (4)
Cytotoxicity / Antimicrobial: Study of ethanol extract showed cytotoxic activity with an LC50 of 6.1 µg/ml. An ethanol extract showed antifungal and antibacterial activity. (7)
Antibacterial: Study of ethanol extracts revealed antibacterial activity against both Gram+and- organisms: B. subtilis B. megaterium, S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, E coli, S. dysenteriae, and S. typhi. (9)
Antifungal: Study of ethanol extract showed very good antifungal activity. Aspergillus niger was the most susceptible fungal strain. Activity was compared with standard drug Griseofulvin. (10)
Cytotoxicity / Anticancer Potential: Cytotoxic activity was evaluated using brine shrimp lethality bioassay. Results showed good cytotoxic activity with an LC50 of 6.1µg/ml and an LC90 of 12.2µg/ml. Results suggest a promising source for anticancer compounds. (11)
• Effect on Processing, Rancidity and Storage of Dried Tilapia: Tilapia fish protein is a rich source of lyzine and suphur containing amino acids. It is rapidly susceptible to spoilage due to intrinsic characteristics and microbial contamination. Sun=drying is a traditional method to preserve this fish. However, the dried fish are heavily infested by blow flies. Pouzolzia zeylanica is known to contral fly larvae during food processing due to its insecticidal activity. This study evaluated P. zeylanica, Curcuma longa, Piper nigrum, and Capsicum annum for effect on stability of dried salted tilapia during storage by limitation of rancidity and control of microbial proliferation. Results showed P. zeylanica and C. longa are ideal in processing and storage of dried salted tilapia, which can be kept for a period of 12 months. (15)
• Antioxidant / Antimicrobial / Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory: Study evaluated the antioxidant, cytotoxic, antimicrobial, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory activity of methanol extracts of P. zeylanica. Tested fraction showed showed significant antioxidant activity by DPPH radical scavenging and NO scavenging assays. Cytotoxicity evaluation using brine shrimp lethality bioassay showed significant activity compared to standard vincristine sulfate. The extract exhibited moderate antibacterial activity. In anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity evaluation, the extract exhibited dose dependent significant inhibition (78.86 and 21.95% at 500 mg/kg dose) in xylene-induced ear edema and acetic acid induced writhing method, respectively. (16)
• FPZ Flavonoid Ointment ob Skin Infections / Anti-Infective: Study evaluated the effect of FPZ, a total flavonoids ointment topical application from P. zeylanica var. microphylla on skin infections in mice. FPZ ointment anti-infective effect was investigated on Staphylococcus aureus-induced skin abscess and skin ulcers in mice by measures of abscess volume, histopathology of skin tissue and healing rate. Results showed the ointment at 2.5 - 10% could attenuate skin abscess and ulcers and accelerate wound healing. Histopath studies showed inflammation inhibition, granulation promotion, and epidermis formation. FZ ointment effectively inhibited carrageenan-induced paw edema in a dose dependent manner, the 10% FPZ showing superior activity compared to dexamethasone used as reference drug. (17)
• Blanching and Drying / Herbal Tea / Fresh Leaves: Study focused on the effect of blanching temperature and time, and drying temperature and storage condition stability of dried P. zeylanica herbal tea. Results showed PZ should be blanched in hot water at 95ªC for 4 seconds in the presence of citric acid 0.5%, then dried by heat pump dryer at 40ªC until 12% moisture content. The final herbal tea can be vacuum preserved in PET/AL/PE bag at ambient temperature to maintain total phenolic, flavonoid, and tannin content for 12 months. (18)
• Norlignans / Nitric Oxide Inhibitory Activity / Aerial Parts: Study of aerial parts of P. zeylanica var. microcarpa yielded five new compounds, pouzolignan F-J (1-5), along with two known compounds. All the new norlignans were assayed for inhibitory activity against lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced nitric oxide (NO) production in mouse peritoneal macrophages. (21)
• Antibacterial / Antifungal / Cytotoxicity: Study evaluated the antimicrobial activity, cytotoxicity, and phytochemical content of ethanol extract of Pouzolzia zeylanica. Phytochemical screening yielded alkaloids, glycosides, tannins, and flavonoids. The extract demonstrated significant cytotoxic activity with LC50 of 6.1 µg/ml and LC90 of 12.2 µg/ml. Antibacterial activity by disc diffusion showed inhibition ranging from 11.5 =35=75 mm against 3 gram positive and 5 gram negative bacteria. Antifungal activity was exhibited against 6 fungi using griseofulvin as standard. (23)


© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D. / StuartXchange

Updated October 2019 / May 2013

IMAGE SOURCE: / Photograph / Leaves / Pouzolzia zeylanica / © Plant Image Collection / click on image to go to source page / © /plantjdx.com
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Illustration / Leaves / Pouzolzia zeylanica / Flowering and Fruiting Twig © Flora of Pakistan / Credit M. Rafique / click on image to go to source page / eFloras.org

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Free radical-scavenging capacity, antioxidant activity and phenolic content of Pouzolzia zeylanica / Peiyuan Li, Lini Huo, Wei Su et al / J. Serbian Chem. Soc., 2011; 76(5): pp 709–71
Medicinal weeds of crop fields and role of women in rural health and hygiene in Nalbari district, Assam / DK Bhattacharjya and PC Borah / Indian Journ of Traditional Knowledge, Vol 7(3), July 2008, pp 501-504
Traditional Medicine Used by the Adivasis of Eastern Ghats, Andhra Pradesh - For Bone Fractures / K Venkata Ratnam and RR Venkata Raju / Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 19-22. 2008.
Effects of Pouzolzia Zeylanica on Blood Sugar in Diabetes Mellitus Mice / Cen Huan ( Huan Cen ); Ping Huizhen ; Peng Xiaohong ; YAN Fu-Man / Juanqi, Volume 3 of 31 (2010/06/01)
Malay ethno-medico botany in Machang, Kelantan, Malaysia / H C Ong, M Nordiana / Fitoterapia 70, 1999.502]513
Study on the chemical constituents in Pouzolzia zeylanica / Fu M, Niu YY, Yu J, Kong QT. / Zhong Yao Cai. 2012 Nov;35(11):1778-81.
Studies On Pouzolzia Zeylanica (L.) BENN. (Family: Urticaceae): Pharmacognostical, Phytochemical, Biological Studies / Dibyajyoti Saha (Author), Swati Paul
Pharmacognostic Studies of Aerial Part of Pouzolzia zeylanica (L.) / Swati Paul*, Dibyajyoti Saha / Asian J. Pharm. Tech. 2012; Vol. 2: Issue 4, Pg 141-142
Dibyajyoti Saha*, Swati Paul and Srikanta Chowdhury / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Innovations, Volume 2, Issue 1, January− February 2012
Antifungal Activity of Ethanol Extract of Pouzolzia zeylanica (L.) Benn
/ Dibyajyoti Saha* and Swati Paul /
International Journal of Pharmacy Teaching & Practices 2012, Vol.2, Issue 2, 272-274.
In Vitro Screening of Cytotoxic Activities of Ethanolic Extract of Pouzolzia Zeylanica (L.) Benn / Swati Paul & Dibyajyoti Saha / International Journal of Pharmacy Teaching & Practices, Vol.2, Issue 1, Jan-Feb 2012.
Pouzolzia zeylanica (Graceful Pouzolzsbush) / Common names / Zipcodezoo
Pouzolzia zeylanica / Common names / Wiki.Answer.Com
Pouzolzia zeylanica / Synonyms / The Plant List
Effectiveness of Pouzolzia zeylanica, Curcuma longa, Piper nigrum, Capsicum annum to Stability of Dried Salted Tilapia during Storage / Nguyen Phuoc Minh, Van Thinh Pham, Lam Van Hung, Ngo Thai Thuan, Huynh Van Truyen /
Phar. Sci. & Res.; 2019; 11(4): pp 1469-1473
Ethnopharmacological investigations of methanolic extract of Puzolzia zeylanica (L.) Benn. / Md. Solayman Hossain, M Sohanur Rahman, A H M Rahmatullah Imon, Sinthia Zaman, A S M Badrul Alam Siddiky et al / Clinical Phytoscience, 2016; 2, Art 10
Effect of FPZ, a total flavonoids ointment topical application from Pouzolzia zeylanica var. microphylla, on mice skin infections / Xian- Mei Chen, Zhi-Hui Li, Shu-Hong Tao, Yan-Fen Chen, Zhuo-Han Chen, Li-Biing Guo / Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia, Nov-Dec 2018; 28(6): pp 732-737 / https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bjp.2018.08.00
Effect of Blanching and Drying to Production of Dried Herbal Tea from Pouzolzia zeylanica / Nguyen Phuoc Minh, Van Thinh Pham, Thach Kim Hoa, Vuong Thi Sang, Lam Thi Si Na / J. Pharm. Sci. & Res., 2019; 11(4): pp 1437-1440
A survey of medicinal plants used by the Deb barma clan of the Tripura tribe of Moulvibazar district, Bangladesh / Mohammad Humayan Kabir, Nur Hasan, Md Mahfuzur Rahman et al / Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, Feb 2014; 10(19) / doi: 10.1186/1746-4269-10-19
Chemical Constituentz of Pouzolzia zeylanica with PPARy and PPARß Activities /
Lujun Wang, Die Gao, Zhelong Xu, Fengqing Yang. Zhining Xia / Chemistry of Natural Compounds, Nov 2015; 51(6): pp 1157-1159
Norlignans from Pouzolzia zeylanica var. microphylla and their nitric oxide inhibitory activity / Zhuo Han Chen, Hui Zhang, Shu=Hong Tao, Zhao Luo, Chu-Qian Zhong and Li-Bing Guo / Journal of Asian Natural Products Research, 2015; 17(10) / https://doi.org/10.1080/10286020.2015.1048685
The Galactagogues Use by Indian Tribal Communities to Over Come Poor Lactation / Haridutta Dandotiya, Girraj Singh and S.K. Kashaw / International Journal of Biotechnology and Bioengineering Research, 2013; 4(3): pp 243-248
Studies on Pouzolzia zeylanica (L.) Benn. (Family: Urticaceae) / Dibyajyot Saha / Book Depository

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