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Family Asteraceae
Crassocephalum crepidioides Linn.
Ye tong hao

Scientific names Common names
Crassocephalum crepidioides (Benth.) S. Moore Borbotak (Tag.)
Crassocephalum crepidioides var. crepidioides Ebolo (Engl.)
Crassocephalum diversifolium Hiern [Illegitimate] Fireweed (Engl.)
Gynura crepidioides Benth. Okinawa spinach (Engl.)
Gynura diversifolia Sch.Bip. ex Asch. Red flower ragleaf (Engl.)
Gynura microcephala Vatke Thickhead (Engl.)
Gynura polycephala Benth.  
Senecio crepidioides Asch.  
Senecio diversifolius A.Rich. [Illegitimate]  
Crassocephalum crepidioides (Benth.) S.Moore is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
BANGLADESH: Teolang, Tong pa ma.
BENIN: Gbolo.
CHINESE: Ye tong hao.
COTE D'IVOIRE: Puchu puchu.
FRENCH: Ebolo.
MANIPURI: Tera paibi.
NEPALESE: Anikale jhar.

Borbotak is an erect annual slightly succulent little-branched herb growing up to 1 meter tall. Leaves are fleshy and mucilaginous. and many parts of the plant have medical uses. Flower heads are cylindrical, green, with red florets visible on top. Seeds are floating balls of numerous silky white hairs.

- Native to much of Africa.
- In tropical Asia, found in the Indian subcontinent (Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka), Indo-China (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam) and Malesia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines).

- Phytochemical screening yielded tannins, coumarins, combined anthracene derivatives, C-heterosides, flavonoids, mucilage, reducing compounds and steroids. (5)
- Study of essential oil of roots yielded 47 compounds, representing 93.2 % of the total oil. The main constituents were were (E)-β-farnesene (30.6%), α-humulene (10.3%), β-caryophyllene (7.2%), cis-β-guaiene (6.1%) and α-bulnesene (5.3%). The oil was constituted mainly of sesquiterpene hydrocarbons (77.6%), followed by oxygenated sesquiterpenes (8.7%), oxygenated monoterpenes (3.5%), monoterpene hydrocarbons (2.8%) and phenyl derivatives (0.6%).
- Essential oil of flowers and aerial parts yielded monoterpene hydrocarbons (82.0%; 70.8%) with myrcene (45.3%; 46.1%), β-phellandrene (20.2%; 31.0%) as major constituents. Flower oil also yielded dauca-5,8-diene (6.9%), trans-β-farnesene (4.8%) and daucene 3.6%), while the aerial parts yielded allo-aromadendrene (4.9%), α-muurolene (2.6%) and β-panasinsene (2.4%).
- Essential oil of leaves yielded α-caryophyllene (10.29 %), β-cubebene (13.77 %) and α-farnesene (13.27 %) as major constituents, while stem oil yielded thymol (43.93 %), α-caryophyllene (15.16 %) and 4-cyclohexybutyramide (20.94 %) as dominant constituents. (7)
- Leaves yield per 100 g of edible portion: water 79.9%, energy 268 kJ (64 kcal), protein 3.2 g, fat 0.7 g, carbohydrate 14.0 g, fiber 1.9 g, calcium 250 mg, phosphorus 52 mg. (Leung, W.-T.W., Busson, F. & Jardin, C., 1968). (10)
- Study of leaves for secondary metabolites yielded gallic tannins, cathetic tannins, flavonoids, steroids,mucilage, coumarins, reducing compounds, and combined anthracene derivatives C-heterosides. (12)
- Water extract of C. crepidioides yielded isochlorogenic acids, quercetin and kaempferal glycoside as active components. (see study below) (15)
- Phytochemical screening of leaves yielded polyphenol compounds (gallic tannins, cathetic tannins, flavonoids), steroids, mucilage, coumarins, reducing compounds, and combined anthracene derivatives C-heterosides. (see study below) (5)

- Wound healing, anti-diarrheal.
- Studies have shown anti-tumor, antioxidant, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, radical scavenging properties.

Parts used
Leaves, whole plant.


- Fleshy, mucilaginous leaves and stems are eaten raw or cooked. Leaves have a nutty flavor.
- In Africa, fleshy mucilaginous leaves and stems are eaten as vegetable.
- A highly consumed leafy vegetable in Benin.
- In Nigeria, lightly blanched leaves are cooked with pepper, onions, tomatoes, melon, and fish or meat to makes soups and stews. In Sierra Leone, leaves are grounded into paste to make a sauce.
- In Thailand, roots eaten with chili sauce. (13)\
- In India, Nepal and China, plant used for wound healing and to treat diarrhea.
- In Gbolo used as antimicrobial, anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory.
- In Nigeria, leaf decoction used for headache, indigestion, stomach aches.
- In Tanzania, a mixture of leaf sap of C. crepidioides and Cympogon giganteus used orally and externally for treatment of epilepsy. Also, leaf powder used as snuff to stop nose bleeds and smoked to treat sleeping sickness. (3)
- In southern Nigeria, leaves used to treat indigestion. In the Congo, leaf sap used to treat stomach upsets. In Uganda, leaf sap used to treat fresh wounds. In Tanzania, dried leaf powder used as snuff to stop nose bleeding and smoked to treat sleeping sickness. Roots used to treat swollen lips. (10)
- In Bangladesh, plant decoction used as lotion for headache and stomach pains. Juice taken to treat constipation and other stomach disorders. (21)
- In Cóte d'Ivoire, leaf preparation by anal enema used to facilitate childbirth. (23)
- Fodder: Plants used by livestock; also useful green fodder for poultry. (10)
- Plant trap: Used as plant trap to collect adult corm weevils in banana plantations. (13)

Study evaluated the in vitro and in-vivo antitumor activities of C. crepidioides on murine Sarcoma 180 (S-180) and related mechanisms. Results showed oncolytic and immunopotentiation properties mediated through NF-kB-induced release of NO from macrophages. (2)
Renal Histo-Toxic Effects: Study evaluated the effects of oral consumption of aqueous leaf extract of Crassocephalum crepidioides on the frontal cortex, kidney, liver and testes of Sprague Dawley rats. Results showed no deleterious effect on the cytoarchitecture of the frontal cortex, liver and testes. Histopathological alterations were observed characterized by histological damage to kidneys of the rats which may be the result of direct toxicity, effect of released of toxic substances from other organs, or deleterious effects of a plant phytochemical. Results suggest further studies to isolate the specific component responsible for the kidney toxicity. (3)
Cytotoxicity Testing: Cytotoxicity testing was done using the brine shrimp lethality bioassay. LC50 value of leaf extract showed to be 0.901 mg/ml indicating non-toxicity. (see constituents above) (5)
Hepatoprotective / Free Radical Scavenging: Study showed C. crepidioides to be a potent antioxidant and protective against galactosamine (GaIN) plus liposaccharide (LPS)- or CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity. Isochlorogenic acids, quercetin and kaempferol glycosides were identified as active components. (6)
• Antibacterial: Study evaluated the antibacterial activity of hot aqueous extract of C. crepidioides and C. odorata against three bacterial isolates i.e., S. aureus, K. pneunonia, and E. coli. All three were sensitive to both, however K. pneumonia was most sensitive to C. crepidioides with MIC of 15 mg/ml while S. aureus was most resistant. (11)
- Toxicity Study as Leafy Vegetable: Study based on LC50 and toxicity table showed non of the species of vegetable Gboli investigated was toxic to shrimp larvae as their LC50 are greater than 0.1 mg/ml. Taking in account established correlation between toxicity of shrimp larvae and that of human cells, study suggests the two species of Gbolo can be considered as leafy vegetable with no risk of toxicity. (12)
• Renal Effects: Study evaluated the effects of oral consumption of aqueous leaf extract of Crassocephalum crepidioides on frontal cortex, kidney, liver and testes of Sprague Dawley rats using anatomical studies. Results showed no deleterious effects on the cytoarchitecture of the frontal cortex, kidney, liver, and testes of rats. It showed histophathological changes in the kidneys of treated rats suggesting it may affect the functional activities of the kidney. Authors suggest isolation of specific components responsible for renal toxicity to standardize plant preparations for maximum culinary and therapeutic benefits. (14)
• Antioxidant / Hepatoprotective: Study evaluated the free radical scavenging and protective actions of Crassocephalum crepidioides against chemically induced hepatotoxicity. Results showed C. crepidioides is a potent antioxidant and hepatoprotective against GaIN plus LPS- or CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity. (see constituents above) (15)
• Anti-Diabetic / B-Cell Protection: Study in wistar albino mice evaluated the B-cell protection and anti-diabetic activities of Crassocephalum crepidioides by pancreatic B-cell culture and α-amylase inhibition technique. Results showed significant (p<0.05, p<0.01) effect on hyperglycemia compared to standard (Gliclazide) in OGTT. Plant showed efficient protection of pancreatic B-cell death in INS-1 cell line by significantly reducing levels of alloxan-induced apoptosis and intracellular ROS accumulation. (16)
• Cadmium Accumulation / Phytoremediation Potential: C. crepidioides has been identified as a cadmium accumulator plant in heavy-metal polluted environment. Study showed the plant has strong potential for use in phytoremediation in farm fields contaminated with Cd. (17)
• Anthelmintic / Leaves: Study evaluated the in vitro anthelmintic activity of aqueous leaf extract of C. crepidioides against Haemonchus contortus on three development stages. Results showed concentration-dependent anthelmintic activity. Levamisole (500 µg/ml) killed 100% worms while the plant exhibited only 16.67% inhibition at highest concentration (2400 µg/ml). Activity may be due to secondary metabolites i.e., saponins, flavonoids, and tannins in the extract. (18)
• Antioxidant / Antihyperlipidemic / Aerial Parts: Study evaluated the antioxidant and antihyperlipidemic activities of methanol extract of aerial parts of C. crepidioides. Results showed significant dose-dependent antioxidant activity. In high-fat diet induced hyperlipidemic rats, the extract significantly reduced (p<0.01 or 0.001) serum TC, TG, LDL-c and VLDL-c, and significantly (p<0.05) serum HDL-c level. (19)
• Antibacterial / Brine Shrimp Lethality / Essential Oil: Study evaluated essential oil of C. crepidioides for antibacterial activity and brine shrimp lethality. Brine shrimp lethality assay showed the essential oil of stem (LC50 9.10 µg/ml) was as toxic as the EO of leaves (LC50 9.2 µg/ml). The EOs were active against all test bacterial strains, although of lower activity compared to standard gentamicin. Main constituents of leaf essential oil were α-caryophyllene (10.29%) and ß-cubebene (13.77%) while stem EO were mainly thymol (43.93%) and 4-cyclohexybutyramide (20.94%). (22)
• Local Anesthetic Effect / Leaves: Study of a methanol extract using different experimental animal models showed significant local anesthetic property in intracutaneous wheal method in guinea pigs and in lumbar plexus anesthesia method in frogs. (24)
• Effect of Blanching on Antioxidant and Anticholinesterase Properties: Study investigated the effect of blanching on phenolic distribution and in vitro antioxidant and anticholinesterase properties of HCl-methanolic extract. Blanching decreased the antioxidant and anticholinesterase properties, as evidenced by a reduction/loss of polyphenolic content from the blanched fireweed. (25)
• Anthelmintic / Leaves: Study evaluated the in vitro anthelmintic activity of an aqueous leaf extract of Crassocephalum crepidioides against Haemonchus contortus. EHA (egg hatch assay) showed significant reduction reduction (p<0.05) on H. contortus egg hatch. Inhibition was concentration dependent. The anthelmintic activity may be due to secondary metabolites such as saponins, flavonoids, and tannins. (26)
• Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitory Property / Antioxidant: Study characterized the phenolic constituents and evaluated the acetylcholinesterase inhibitory effect and antioxidant properties of hydrophilic extract of redflower ragleaf. The extract was found rich in phenolic acids (chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid) and flavonoids (rutin and quercetin). The extract inhibited acetylcholinesterase activity in a dose-dependent manner and exhibited high antioxidant properties as evidenced by radical scavenging abilities, reducing property, Fe2+ chelating ability and inhibition of lipid peroxidation. Results suggest a source of phenolic phytochemicals with antioxidant and acetylcholinesterase inhibitory properties with potential for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. (27)


Updated September 2018 / April 2017
November 2014

© Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
IMAGE SOURCE: / Photo: Close Up Flowers / Crassocephalum crepidioides in Kadavoor / Jeevan Jose, Kerala, India / CC BY-SA 4.0 / click on image to go to source page / Wikipedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Photo: Flowers / Crassocephalum crepidioides in Flora of Zimbabwe / © B T Wursten / 31 July 2004 / click on image to go to source page / Non-Commercial Use / Flora of Zimbabwe

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Crassocephalum crepidioides (Benth.) S. Moore / Common names / USDA/GRIN
Antitumor activity and macrophage nitric oxide producing action of medicinal herb, Crassocephalum crepidioides / Koh Tomimori, Shinji Nakama, Ryuichiro Kimura, Kazumi Tamaki, Chie Ishikawa and Naoki Mori* / BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012, 12:78 doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-78
Some of the Effect of Crassocephalum crepidioides on the Frontal cortex, Kidney, Liver and Testis of Adult Male Sprague Dawley Rats: Microanatomical Study / Musa A. A, *Adekomi D. A, Tijani A. A, and Muhammed O. A. / European Journal of Experimental Biology, 2011, 1 (3):228-235
STUDY ON ESSENTIAL OIL COMPOSITION OF THE ROOTS OF CRASSOCEPHALUM CREPIDIOIDES (BENTH.) S. MOORE / RAJESH K. JOSHI* / J. Chil. Chem. Soc. vol.59 no.1 Concepción mar. 2014 / http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-97072014000100025
Phytochemical screening and toxicity studies of Crassocephalum rubens (Juss. ex Jacq.) S. Moore and Crassocephalum crepidioides (Benth.) S. Moore consumed as vegetable in Benin / Adjatin, A.; Dansi, A.; Badoussi, E.; Loko, Y. L.; Dansi, M.; Gbaguidi, F.; Azokpota, P.; Ahissou, H.; Akoègninou, A.; Akpagana, K.; Sanni, A. / Journal of Chemical & Pharmaceutical Research;2013, Vol. 5 Issue 6, p160
Free radical scavenging and hepatoprotective actions of the medicinal herb, Crassocephalum crepidioides from the Okinawa Islands. / Aniya Y, Koyama T, Miyagi C, Miyahira M, Inomata C, Kinoshita S, Ichiba T. / Biol Pharm Bull. 2005 Jan;28(1):19-23.
Analysis of the Essential Oils of Leaves and Stems of Crassocephalum crepidioides Growing in South Western Nigeria / Owokotomo, I. A., Ekundayo, O, Oladosu, I A, Aboaba, S A / International Journal of Chemistry Vol. 4, No. 2; April 2012
Terpene composition of Crassocephalum crepidioides from Western Ghats region of India / Rajesh Kumar Joshi / International Journal of Natural Products Research 2011;1 (2):19-22
Crassocephalum crepidioides / Synonyms / The Plant List
Crassocephalum crepidioides / PROTA
ANTIBACTERIAL ACTIVITY OF Crassocephalum crepidioides (FIREWEED) AND Chromolaena odorata (SIAM WEED) HOT AQUEOUS LEAF EXTRACT / M.A. Omotayo, O. Avungbeto, O. O. Sokefun and O. O. Eleyowo / IJPBS, Volume 5, Issue 2, APR-JUN 2015, pp 114-122

Phytochemical screening and toxicity studies of Crassocephalum rubens (Juss. ex Jacq.) S. Moore and Crassocephalum crepidioides (Benth.) S. Moore consumed as vegetable in Benin / Adjatin A, Dansi A*, Badoussi E, Loko Y. L., Dansi M., Gbaguidi F , Azokpota P, Ahissou H ,Akoègninou A , Akpagana K and SanniA. / Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, 2013, 5(6):160-167
Crassocephalum crepidioides: Okinawa spinach / Useful Tropical Plants
Some of the Effect of Crassocephalum crepidioides on the Frontal cortex, Kidney, Liver and Testis of Adult Male Sprague Dawley Rats: Microanatomical Study / Musa A A, Adekomi D A, Tijani A A, and Muhammed O A / European Journal of Experimental Biology, 2011, 1 (3):228-235
Free radical scavenging and hepatoprotective actions of the medicinal herb, Crassocephalum crepidioides from the Okinawa Islands. / Aniya Y, Koyama T, Miyagi C, Miyahira M, Inomata C, Kinoshita S, Ichiba T. / Biol Pharm Bull. 2005 Jan;28(1):19-23.
β-Cell protection and antidiabetic activities of Crassocephalum crepidioides (Asteraceae) Benth. S. Moore extract against alloxan-induced oxidative stress via regulation of apoptosis and reactive oxygen species (ROS). / Bahar E, Akter KM, Lee GH, Lee HY, Rashid HO, Choi MK, Bhattarai KR, Hossain MM, Ara J, Mazumder K, Raihan O, Chae HJ, Yoon H. / BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Mar 29;17(1):179./ doi: 10.1186/s12906-017-1697-0.
Cadmium accumulation in Crassocephalum crepidioides (Benth.) S. Moore (Compositae) in heavy-metal polluted soils and Cd-added conditions in hydroponic and pot cultures / Masahide YAMATO, Satoshi YOSHIDA and Koji IWASE / Soil Science and Plant Nutrition (2008) 54, 738–743 / doi: 10.1111/j.1747-0765.2008.00295.x
In vitro anthelmintic activity of aqueous extract of Crassocephalum crepidioides (Benth.) S. Moore on Haemonchus contortus. / Calvin Zangueu Bogning, Abiodoun Pascal Oloulade, Georcelin Goue Alowanou, Edwige Laure Nguemfo, Anatole Guy Blaise Azebaze, Alain Bertrand Dongmo, Sylvie Hounzangbe-Adote. / J Exp Integr Med. 2016; 6(1): 31-37 / doi: 10.5455/jeim.061215.or.144
Evaluation of In vitro Antioxidant and In vivo Antihyperlipidemic Activities of Methanol Extract of Aerial Part of Crassocephalum crepidioides (Asteraceae) Benth S Moore / Entaz Bahar, Maknoon Saira Siddika, Bashutosh Nath and Hyonok Yoon* / Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research March 2016; 15 (3): 481-488 / http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/tjpr.v15i3.8
In vitro anticancer screening of 24 locally used Nigerian medicinal plants / Fadeyi et al. / BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013; 13:79 / http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/13/79
Crassocephalum crepidioides / Medicinal Plants of Bangladesh
Anti-bacterial and brine shrimps lethality studies of the essential oils of Crassocephalum crepidioides (Benth S. More) grown in south west Nigeria / Owokotomo, I. A. and Owokotomo, E. P. / African Journal of Pure and Applied Chemistry, Jan 2018; 12(1): pp 1-7 / DOI: 10.5897/AJPAC2017.0730
Traditional Practices and Medicinal Plants Use during Pregnancy by Anyi-Ndenye Women (Eastern Côte d'Ivoire) / Djah F Malan* and Danho FR Neuba / African Journal of Reproductive Health, March 2011; 15(1): pp 85-94
Blanching alters the phenolic constituents and in vitro antioxidant and anticholinesterases properties of fireweed (Crassocephalum crepidioides) / Bukola C. Adedayo, PhD, Ganiyu Oboh, PhD, Sunday I. Oyeleye, M. Tech, Isaac I. Ejakpovi, M. Tech, Aline A. Boligon, PhD and Margareth L. Athayde, PhD / Journal of Taibah University Medical Sciences, 2015; 10(4): pp 419-426 / https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtumed.2015.09.003
In vitro anthelmintic activity of aqueous extract of Crassocephalum crepidioides (Benth) S. Moore on Haemonchus contortus / Calvin, Bogning Zangueue; Abiodoun, Olounlade Pascal; Beorcelin, Alonwanou Goue; Laure, Nguemfo Edwige; Bertrand, Dongmo Alain; Blaise, Azebaze Anatole Guy; Sylvie, Hounzangbe-Adote / Journal of Experimental & Integrative Medicine, 2016; Vol. 6 Issue 1: pp 31-37 / DOI: 10.5455/jeim.061215.or.144
Chromatographic Fingerprint Analysis, Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitory Properties and Antioxidant Activities of Redflower Ragleaf (Crassocephalum Crepidioides) Extract / S A Adefegha, G Oboh, O R Molehin et al / Journal of Food Biochemistry, 2016; 40(1): pp 109-119 / https://doi.org/10.1111/jfbc.12200

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