Ajenjo is a low, erect or spreading, branching
perennial undershrub, growing to 50 centimeters high. Leaves are alternate, crowded toward the ends of the branches, narrowly obovate-cuneate, 2 to 3 centimeters long, densely and softly covered with short, grayish-white hairs; the base long and narrow, the apex prominently 3- to 5-toothed or lobed, and the lobes are ovate to narrowly oblong. Flowering heads are borne in the upper axils of the leaves, peduncled from the terminal leafy racemes, somewhat rounded, about 4 to 5 millimeters in diameter.
- In open slopes, near the sea.
- Probably introduced to the Philippines in the early Spanish times.
- Native to China.
- Ornamental cultivation.
- Whole herbs yielded scopoletin (1), scopolin (2), tanacetin (3), quercetagetin-3,6,7-trimethylether (4) and 5-O-methyl-myo-inositol (5).
- Extracts of dried whole plants yielded tricetin 3′,4′,5′-trimethylether (1), scopoletin (2), tanacetin, hispidulin (3), apometzgerin (4), chrysoeriol (5), quercetagetin 3,6,7-trimethylether (6), selagin (7), scopolin (8), and quercetagetin-3,6-dimethylether (9).
Leaves and tops considered carminative and emmenagogue.
Leaves, tops, stems.
- In the Philippines, not well known for
its folkloric medicinal use.
- In the some parts of rural Quezon, used for hepatitis and arthritis.
- Infused leaves and tops are carminative and emmenagogue.
- In Taiwan, a folkloric medicine for common colds, rheumatoid arthritis..
- In China, leaves and stems used in making moxa. Also used for diabetes.
• Antioxidant / Antiproliferative: Both water and methanol extract showed ability to dose-dependently scavenge free radicals. The water extract showed higher antioxidant and antiproliferative activities than the methanol extract. Study showed the water extract of Crossostephium chinensis might be used as a potential source of natural antioxidants and as anti-tumor agent.
•Chemical Constituents: Study isolated eight compounds from the whole plant of C chinense: taraxerol, alpha-amyrin acetate, beta-amyrin acetate, beta-sitosterol, 3-beta-acetoxy-12ursen-11-one, uracil and 5-O-methyl-myo-inositol. Six were isolated for the first time.
• Insulin Secretion Effects: Chemical constituents isolated from the whole herb were tested on its effects on insulin secretion in rat islets. Quercetagetin-3,6,7-trimethylether and 5-O-methyl-myo-inositol showed to enhance rat islet insulin secretion while scopletin suppressed rat islet insulin secretion.
• Sesquiterpenes / Coumarins: Study of ethanolic extract yielded crossostephin and coumarin, biscopoletin, with four other known compounds, artesin, tanacetin, scopoletin and scopolin.
• Membrane Transport of Flavonoids: Study yielded six flavonoids: selagin, apometzgerin, tricetin-3',4',5'-trimethylether, quercetagetin-3,6,7-trimethylether, hispidulin and quercetagetin. Results showed a structure-permeation relationship and role of MRPs in mediating efflux of flavonoids. Experimental results suggest pharmacological applications of the C. chinense flavonoids.
• Sequoyitol / Anti-diabetic: Study in STZ-induced diabetic mice showed sequoyitol (5-O-methyl-myo-inositol) treatments decreased hyperglycemia and glucose intolerance by increasing both insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion.. Sequoyitol directly targets hepatocytes, adipocytes, and ß-cells.
• Scopoletin / Anti-Inflammatory: Study of scopoletin (6-methoxy-7-hydroxycoumarin)) in mice showed anti-inflammatory effects probably related to a decrease in the level of MDA (malondialdehyde) via increased activities of SOD, CAT, and GPx in the edema paw and effects on the production of NO, TNF-a, and PGE2.
• Alpha-Glusosidase Inhibition/ Anti-Inflammatory: Extracts of dried whole plants yielded compounds that showed inhibitory activity against alpha-glucosidase suggesting a potential use for the treatment of diabetes in humans.
• Hepatoprotective: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective potential of CC water extract on carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage in preventive and curative rat models. Results showed protection against acute liver damage through its radical scavenging ability. It also inhibited the expression of MMP-9 protein, indicating MMP-9 role in CCl4-induced chronic liver damage in rats. Scopoletin may be an important compound in CCW.