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Family Amaranthaceae
Botoncillo
Gomphrena globosa L.

GLOBE AMARANTHUS
Qian ri hong

Scientific names Common names 
Amaranthoides globosa (L.) M.Gomez Bokingon (Tag.) 
Amaranthoides globosus M.Gomez Botbotones (Ilk.) 
Gomphrena eriopoda Gillies ex Moq. Botoncillo (Sp.) 
Gomphrena globosa L. Botones-botonesan (Tag.) 
Gomphrena rubra Moq. Bukingan (Tag.)
Gomphrena tumida Seidl ex Opiz Bulah (Bag.) 
Xeraea globosa Kuntze Butingan (S.L.Bis.) 
  Bachelor's button (Engl.)
  Globe amaranth (Engl.)
  Gomphrena (Engl.)
  Thousand day red (Engl.)
Boto-botonesan or phonetic variations are shared by four plants of different species: (1) Mutha (Cyperus rotundus) Boto-botones (2) Gatas-gatas (Euphorbia hirta) botobotonis, botbotonis, botonis (3) Botoncillo (Gomphrena globosa) botbotonis, botones-botonesan, and (4) Botonesan (Hyptis capitata): bababañga, liñga-liñgahan.
Gomphrena globosa L. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
BENGALI: Botam phul, Gulmakhamal, Golkamal.
FRENCH: Immortelle pourpre.
GUYANA:Tocoroho.
HINDI: Gul-e-makhmal.
MALAYALAM: Vadamalli.
MANIPURI: Chengkruk.
SURINAME: Staan vaste.

Botany
Botoncillo is an erect, branched, pubescent annual, the branches more or less thickened and often purplish at the nodes. Leaves are opposite, petioled, oblong acute or obtuse, 7 to 11 centimeters long. Flowers are numerous, densely crowded in globose heads, the heads are white, pink or purple, solitary, peduncled, 1.5 to 2 centimeters in diameter, subtended by 2 bracts. Bracteoles are 8 to 10 millimeters long, enclosing the flowers, lateral, keeled. Sepals, pubescent, 5, lanceolate, cleft at the tip, usually without staminodes. Ovary 1-celled, 1-ovuled; style short or long, stigmas 2. Fruits are utricles, compressed, and indehiscent.

Distribution
- In settled areas throughout the Philippines.

Constituents
- Plant yield flavones and flavonoid glycosides, gomphrenol.
- Flower yields ß-cyanins, gomphrenin I, II, and III.
- Leaves yield methylenedioxyflavonol-gomphrenol.
- Study yielded a triterpenoid saponin (gomphrenoside-1), an new hopane derivative along with known compounds.

- Phytochemical screening yielded saponins, alkaloids, reducing sugars and coumarins. (7)
- Phytochemical evaluation of aerial parts yielded one new triterpenoid saponin (gomphrenoside) and one new hopane derivative (hopan-7ß-ol) along with known compounds, ß-sitosterol-ß-D-glucoside and 1-triacontanol. (11)
- Phytochemical screening of various extracts yielded flavonoid, saponin, tannin galat, steroid/triterpenoid, essential oil, and coumarine. Pharmacognosy of the flower yielded water content 8.17%, total ash 9.11%, acid-insoluble ash 1.50%, acid-soluble ash 6.43%, water-soluble extract 10.79%, ethanol-soluble extract 3.51%, and dry content 10.19%. (see study below) (17)
- Phytochemical screening of ethanol and aqueous extracts of whole plant yielded proteins (E), tannins (EA), phenols (EA), alkaloids (E), steroid (E), saponin (EA), with no flavonoids, quinones, terpenoid, and cardioglycosides. (19)

Properties
- Sweet tasting, antitussive, antiasthmatic.

- Studies have suggested antioxidant, hypoglycemic, anticancer, cytotoxic properties.

Parts utilized
· Flowers.
· Collect the head inflorescence during May to October, during the flowering season.
· Sun-dry.


Uses
Edibility
- Flowers mixed with various kinds of tea or steeped alone.
- Knob petals can be eaten as vegetable.
Folkloric
- Decoction of dried material or 10 inflorescences used for bronchial asthma, acute and chronic bronchitis, whooping cough.
- Decoction of fresh plant used to wash sores.
- Flower decoction used for inflammation of the eyes, difficulty urinating, headaches, and dysentery.
- In Trinidad and Tobago, used for diabetes and for high blood pressure, jaundice, oliguria and other kidney problems and as heart tonic. (3)
- In Myanmar, decoction of plant used for cough.
- In the Guianas, whole plant infusion of the white-flowered variant used as diabetes remedy. Warm infusion of leaf used as sudorific.
- In Bangladesh, used for hypertension, cough, diabetes, oliguria, heat and empacho. (15)

Studies
Betacyanins: Rapid Identification of Betacyanins from Amaranthus tricolor, Gomphrena globosa, and Hylocereus polyrhizus: Natural betacyanins are studied for its potential as food colorants and antioxidants. Fourteen free and acetylated betacyanins were identified. (1)
Antihypertensive / Low Cytotoxicity: Study of ethanol extract of leaves showed low cytotoxicity in the brine shrimp bioassay and no antimicrobial activity. It promoted a hypotensive effect by significant reduction in arterial blood pressure without change in heart rate. (7)
Antioxidant / Cytotoxicity: Crude methanol extract of G. globosa showed significant free radical scavenging activity. Its hexane soluble fraction showed highest activity. On brine shrimp lethality assay, the chloroform soluble fraction of the crude methanol extract showed highest lethality. (8)
Hypoglycemic / Cytotoxicity: In a study of various fractions, an n-hexane soluble fraction showed significant lowering of blood glucose level in a mice model. Glibenclammide was used as standard drug. (9)
Antioxidant / Flowers: In a study of various extracts of flowers, a methanol extract showed a high content of phenols and flavonoids. It showed potent free radical scavenging activity in the H2O2 and DPPH assays. (10)
Anticancer / Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma / Acute Toxicity Study / Aerial Parts: Study investigated the anticancer activity of chloroform extract of aerial parts of GG against Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma (EAC) induced solid tumor. Results showed a significant anti-cancer activity restoring hematological and biochemical parameters toward normal, with histological evidence of significant reduction of tumor volume. Acute toxicity study showed the extract was non-toxic up to 2000 mg/kbw. (13)
Antidiarrheal: Study evaluated a methanolic extract for anti-diarrheal activity in a castor oil-induced diarrhea model in mice. Results showed statistically significant anti-diarrheal activity at a dose of 400 mg/kbw. Loperamide was the standard anti-diarrheal drug. (14)
• Antioxidant / Cytotoxicity / Antimicrobial: Study evaluated a crude methanolic extract and various fractions for antioxidant, brine shrimp lethality and antimicrobial screening. An n-hexane fraction showed the highest antioxidant activity with an IC50 of 13.17 ± 3.08 µg/ml and highest phenolic content with 57.12 ± 0.265 mg GAE/gm of extractives. A chloroform soluble fraction showed significant cytotoxicity with LC50 of 0.331 ± 0.029 µg/ml. A carbon tetrachloride soluble fraction and chloroform soluble fraction showed mild to moderate antimicrobial activity with inhibition zone of 8 ± 0.208 to 14 ± 0.069 mm. (15)
• Phytoremediation Assessment / Arsenic: Study evaluated Gomphrena globosa and Zinnia elegans for the feasibility of floriculture in crop rotation system of arsenic endemic areas of the Bengal Delta. While the plants did not show high phytoremediation capacities as other wild species, such as ferns, they showed to be arsenic tolerant, without showing phytotoxic signs. Study suggests floriculture is an option for crop rotation in arsenic-contaminated agricultural soils. (16)
• Antibacterial / Flowers: Study evaluated various flower extracts of Gomphrena globosa for antimicrobial activity. The extracts were tested against E. coli, S. aureus, P. aeruginosa and S. dysenteriae. Results showed the higher the concentration of the extract, the higher the bacterial inhibition zone. Highest antibacterial activity was seen with n-butanol extract. (see constituents above) (17)
• Anticancer / Oleuropein / Aerial Parts: Study investigated Celosia cristata and Gomphrena globosa for in vitro anticancer property. The chloroform extract of Gomphrena globosa exhibited cytotoxic activity with IC of 45.94 Pg/ml for DLA cell line and 56.87 Pg/ml for ECA cell line. The effect was more potent than C. cristata. The compound possessing the anticancer activity against human cancer cell lines MCF-7, DU 145, HeLa and A-431 was found to be Oleuropein. Oleuropein was found to have antioxidant, antiradical, and cell apoptotic properties. (18)
• Novel Source of Betacyanins / Floral Parts: Study reports on a novel mechanical process for the maximized betacyanin extraction from G. globosa. Betacyanins identified were gomphrenin and isogomphrenin II and III. The betacyanins content from the floral parts is higher than those found in other sources. Results highlights its potential for industrial application. (20)

Availability
- Wild-crafted. 
- Supplements and tea in the cybermarket.

© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.


Updated April 2018 / April 2016

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
Rapid Identification of Betacyanins from Amaranthus tricolor, Gomphrena globosa, and Hylocereus polyrhizus
/ Yi-Zhong Cai, Jie Xing, Mei Sun, and Harold Corke
(2)
Phytochemical investigation of Gomphrena globosa aerial parts / Indian journal of chemistry/ 2004, vol. 43, no10, pp. 2223-2227
(3)
Ethnomedicines used in Trinidad and Tobago for urinary problems and diabetes mellitus / Cheryl A Lans / J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2006; 2: 45. / doi: 10.1186/1746-4269-2-45.

(4)
Gomphrena globosa L. is an accepted name / The Plant List
(5)
Gomphrena / Common names / Flowers of India
(6)
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas (Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana) / Botany.si.edu
(7)
Phytochemical screening and evaluation of cytotoxic, antimicrobial and cardiovascular effects of Gomphrena globosa L.(Amaranthaceae) / Daniel Dias Arcanjo et al / Journal of medicinal plant research (Impact Factor: 0.59). 04/2011; 5(10):2006-2010.
(8)
Antimicrobial, Antioxidant and Cytotoxic Activities of Gomphrena globosa (L.) / Md. Hamiduzzaman and A.T.M. Zafrul Azam / Bangladesh Pharmaceutical Journal 15(2): 183-185, 2012
(9)
Significant Hypoglycemic Activity from Gomphrena globosa (Amaranthaceae) in Mice Model / Hamiduzzaman Md. / Universal Journal of Pharmacy, 2013, 2(5): pp 68-72
(10)
INVITRO STUDIES ON THE ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITIES OF EXTRACTS FROM THE FLOWERS OF GOMPHRENA GLOBOSA / SHILPA SHARMA AND RAVNEET K GREWAL* / International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences, July; 5(3): (P) 457 - 465
(11)
Phytochemical investigation of Gomphrena globosa aerial parts
/ Biswanath Dinda, Biplab Ghosh, Shiho Arima, Nariko Sato, & Yoshihiro Harigaya / Indian Journal of Chemistry, Vol 43B, Oct 2004, pp 2223-2227
(12)
Gomphrena globosa / Synonyms / The Plant List
(13)
Anticancer screening of Gomphrena globosa against ehrlich ascites carcinoma in swiss albino mice
/ S. T. Latha *, N. N. Rajendran , G. Babu / Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, 2013, 5(2):283-289
(14)
Evaluation of Anti-diarrheal Activity of Gomphrena globosa (L) in Animal Mode
l / Md. Hamiduzzaman* / ASA University Review, Vol. 8 No. 1, January–June, 2014
(15)
Investigation of Biological Properties of Gomphrena globosa (L.), Family: Amaranthaceae
/ Md. Hamiduzzaman, Avijit Dey, Md. Monir Hossain, A T M Zafrul Azom / Journal of Pharmacy Research 2012; 5(8): pp 4230-4232
(16)
Phytoremediation assessment of Gomphrena globosa and Zinnia elegans grown in arsenic-contaminated hydroponic conditions as a safe and feasible alternative to be applied in arsenic-contaminated soils of the Bengal Delta / Antonio Jose Signes Pastor, Sandra Munera, Francisco Burio, Angel A Carbonell-Barrachina / Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, June 2015; 187(6): pp 4618 / DOI: 10.1007/s10661-015-4618-z
(17)
Antibacterial Activity Test, Evaluation of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemical Screening of Some Extracts of Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena globosa) / Kusmiati Kusmiati, Dody Priadi, Romah K.B. Rahayu /  J. Pure App. Chem. Res.Vol 6, No 1; (2017): pp. 27-33 / DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21776/ub.ipacr.2017.006.01.288
(18)
Identification and isolation of bio-active constituents from aerial parts of gomphrena globosa for cancer therapy. / Latha, S T / Doctoral thesis, 2012 / The Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University
(19)
Qualitative Phytochemical Analysis of Gomphrena globosa Linn. and Gomphrena decumbens Jacq. / P Yamuna, P Abirami, M Sharmila, P Vijayashalini / International Journal of Biology Research, Vol 2, Issue 3; July 2017: pp. 20-22
(20)
Floral parts of Gomphrena globosa L. as a novel alternative source of betacyanins: Optimization of the extraction using response surface methodology. / Roriz CL, Barros L, Prieto MA, Morales P, Ferreira IC / Food Chemistry, 20 Feb 2017, 229: pp 223-234 / DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2017.02.073

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