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Family Euphorbiaceae
Corona de espina
Euphorbia milii Des Moul
Xing xing cao

Scientific names Common names  
Euphorbia bojeri Hook. Corona de espina (Span.)
Euphorbia bojeri Klotzsch Christ's plant (Engl.)
Euphorbia milii Des Moul. Christ's thorn (Engl.)
Euphorbia rubrostriata Drake Crown of thorns (Engl.)
Sterigmanthe bojeri (Hook.) Kloytzsch & Garcke  
Tumalis bojeri (Hook.) Raf.  
Euphorbia milii Des Moul. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Xing xing cao, Hua qi lin, Qilin hua, Fan zi ci, Tie hai tang, Wan nian ci.
DANISH: Kristi tornekrone.
FRENCH: Couronne d'épines, épine du Christ, Euphorbe de Milius, Euphorbe écarlate.
GERMAN: Christusdorn, Chrustusdorn.
GREEK: Efórmpia, Ankáthi tou Christoú.
ITALIAN: Corona di spine, Spina di Cristo.
JAPANESE: Shoujou sou, Shōjōsō, Hanakirin, Kirin hana, Tetsu kaidō.
LITHUANIAN: Dygliuotoji karpažolė.
PORTUGUESE: Bem-casados, Coroa-de-Cristo, Coroa-de-espinho, Martírios.
RUSSIAN: Euforbiya Milya, Molochai prekrasnyj.
SPANISH: Corona de Cristo, Corona de espinas, Espinas de Cristo, Gracia de Dios, Tú-y-yo.
SWEDISH: Kristi törnekrona.
TAMIL: Ainkōṇa kaḷḷi.
THAI: Mai rap khaek, Poi sian, Phrachao roplok, Rawing rawai, Waan khem phayaa, Waan mung mueang.
VIETNAMESE: Xương rắn, Xương rồng tàu.

Corona de espina is an erect and branched shrub growing up to a meter high, with cylindric or obscurely angled branches lined with stiff, slender, divergent spines. Leaves are few, alternate, pale green, oblong-obovate, or short acuminate, up to 5 centimeters long. Inflorescences arise from the upper leaf axils and is peduncled with 2-4 involucres in each peduncle, each involucre with 2 spreading red kidney-shaped lobes.

- Widely cultivated in settled areas in the Philippines.
- Native to Madagascar.

- Phytochemical screening of various extracts of E. milii red flowers for terpenoids, flavone and phenols yielded two triterpenoids, taraxerol (1), 28-hydroxyfriedelan-1,3-dione-29-oic acid (2), one flavone, quercetin 3-O-(2"-O-galloyl)-a-L-arabinofuranoside (3), and two phenoilc compounds, 7 7'- dihydroxy, 8, 6'-
bicoumarin (4), 9-acetyl-3'4'-dimethoxy dehydroconiferyl-3-alcohol (5)
. (10)
- Crude extracts of aerial parts yielded terpenoids, flavonoids, and tannins.

- Studies have suggested antibacterial, molluscicidal, antinociceptive, muscle relaxant, and sedative properties.

Parts used
Flowers, latex.

• No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
• Popular use in South Brazil as "dragon's blood," the red latex from Christ's crown Euphorbia milii (Euphorbiaceae) as a treatment for warts. (12)
• In Chinese folk medicine, euphorbia compounds used in cancer treatment.

In a study of 41 plants tested against E coli, Shigella spp, and Vibrios spp among others, Euphorbia milii was one of 28 that showed antibacterial activity. (3)
Aspergillus Inhibition:
Dry flower powder of Euphorbia milii was found to have 100% total inhibition on aflatoxin-producing fungi on agar-medium. The effect may be due to the interference of the simple phenols and phenolic acids, quinones, flavones, flavonoids and flavanols, possibly at the biosynthetic level. This may find application in the elimination or control of aflatoxin contamination of foodstuffs, as well as controlling aspergillosis, a large spectrum of disease caused by members of genus Aspergillus. (1)
Mollusicidal / Non-Teratogenic:
Study of the embryofeto-toxicity of Crown-of-Thorns (Euphorbia milii) latex, a natural molluscicide: The study is a comprehensive safety evaluation of the embryotoxic potential of E. milii. The crude latex of Euphorbia milii is a potent plant molluscicide and a promising alternative to synthetic moluscicides used in schistosomiasis control. The study concludes that the plant molluscicide poses no teratogenic hazard. (2)
Absence of Tumor Promoting Activity / Latex: Study showed the crude latex of E. milii does not act as a tumor promoting agent on the mouse back skin assay. (6)
Antimicrobial / Flowers: Study evaluated various extracts of E. milii flowers for antimicrobial activity against Gram positive (B. subtilis, S. aureus) and Gram-negative (E. coli, P. vulgaris) organisms. Hexane, acetone, and methanol extracts at concentration of 5 µg/ml showed considerable inhibition on S. aureus and B. subtilis compared to EA and water extracts, with amikacin sulfate used as standard. (7)
Antinociceptive / Aerial Parts: Study evaluated crude methanolic extract of aerial parts of Euphorbia milii for antinociceptive property. Results showed significant dose- and time-dependent attenuation of acetic acid induced writhing. (8)
Gold Nanoparticles / Antinociceptive / Muscle Relaxant / Sedative / Aerial Parts: Study reports on the synthesis of gold nanoparticles of E. milii. The gold nanoparticles improved the potency of E. milii methanolic extract and exhibited significant antinociceptive effect, significant muscle relaxant and significant sedative effect. (9)
Antinociceptive / Aerial Parts: Study evaluated various doses of E. milii extract for NKp46 expression in mice infected with MTB (Mycobacterium tuberculosis). NK cells have the dual role in the secretion of IL-22 which activate macrophages infected with M. tuberculosis and NKp46 expression which lyse macrophages infected with MTb. Results showed the ethanol extract of flowers of E. milii can increase the expression of NKp46 in lung tissue of mice infected with MTb. (11)
Antioxidant / Antitumor / Flowers: Study evaluated the antioxidant and antitumor properties of ethyl acetate extract of E. milii flower against MCF-7 cell line induced breast cancer and CACO-2 cell line induced colon cancer in mice. Results showed the EA extract of E. milii flower was effective as antioxidant and chemopreventive. There was significantly decreased levels of lipid peroxidation and elevated levels of GSH, GPx, and catalase. Cancer specific parameters (Ferritin and CEA) also significantly decreased in the extract treated groups. (13)
Silver Nanoparticles from Latex: In a study that evaluated eight latex-producing plants, four —J. curcas, J. gossypifolia, P. tithymaloides, and Euphorbia milii—showed high potential to produce physiochemically distinct, small-sized and bactericidal AgNPs. (14)


Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Updated January 2016

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Efficacy of Euphorbia milli and Euphorbia pulcherrima on aflatoxin producing fungi (Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus) / Murugan, S, Anand, R, Uma Devi, P, Vidhya, N and Rajesh, K. / African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 6 (6), pp. 718-719, 19 March 2007
Study of the embryofeto-toxicity of Crown-of-Thorns (Euphorbia milii) latex, a natural molluscicide / Souza CA, de-Carvalho RR, Kuriyama SN, Araujo IB, Rodrigues RP, Vollmer RS, Alves EN, Paumgartten FJ.
Plants Possessing Antibacterial Activity / Mar Mar Nyein et al / Myanmar Health Sciences Research Journal

Euphorbia milii / Synonyms / The Plant List
Sorting Euphorbia names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 - 2020 / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia.
Absence of tumor promoting activity of Euphorbia milii latex on the mouse back skin. / Delgado IF, De-Carvalho RR, De-Oliveira AC, Kuriyama SN, Oliveira-Filho EC, Souza CA, Paumgartten FJ . Toxicol Lett. 2003 Nov 30;145(2):175-80.
Antimicrobial studies on flowers of Euphorbia Milii / Devanaboyina Narendra*, A. Mounisha, B.Bhavani, G. Sireesha, K.Vijaya Kamari and M. Sri Ramavenkata Reddy / Der Pharmacia Lettre, 2015, 7 (3):196-204
Preliminary Antinociceptive Studies of Methanol Extract of Euphorbia milli / Abdur Rauf, Naveed Muhammad, Muhammad Qaisar, Ghias Uddin and Iftikhar Hussain / Middle-East Journal of Medicinal Plants Research 1(3): 68-70, 2012
Antinociceptive, muscle relaxant and sedative activities of gold nanoparticles generated by methanolic extract of Euphorbia milii / Nazar Ul Island, Ibrahim Khan, Abdur Rauf, Naveed Muhammad, Muhammad Shahid and Mohammad Raza Shah / BMC Complementary and Alternative MedicineThe official journal of the International Society for Complementary Medicine Research (ISCMR)201515:160 / DOI: 10.1186/s12906-015-0691-7
Phytochemical Screening on Euphorbia milii Red Flowers – Isolation of Terpenoids, Flavone and Phenols / Hemalatha Kamurthy*, Sunitha Dontha and Rajani. K / American Journal of Ethnomedicine, 2015, Vol. 2, No. 6
The Optimal Dose of Euphorbia milii Extracts in NKp46 Expression against Mice Infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis / Ni Made Linawati, Ida Ayu Alit Widhiartini, I Nyoman Wande, Ida Bagus Nyoman Putra Dwija, I Gusti Sri Wiryawan, I Gusti Kamasan Arijana, Wayan Sugiritama, I Gusti Ayu Ratnayanti, Ida Ayu Ika Wahyuniari and I Gusti Ngurah Mayun / Journal of US-China Medical Science,  Apr.-Jun. 2014, Volume 11, No. 2 (Serial No. 94) pp. 68-73
Anti-Cancer Drug Discovery and Development in Brazil: Targeted Plant Collection as a Rational Strategy to Acquire Candidate Anti-Cancer Compounds / Dennis R.A. Mans, Adriana B. da Rocha and Gilberto Schwartsmann / The Oncologist June 2000 vol. 5 no. 3 / doi: 10.1634/theoncologist.5-3-185
ANTIOXIDANT AND ANTITUMOR ACTIVITY OF EUPHORBIA MILII FLOWER EXTRACT AGAINST IN VIVO BREAST CANCER AND COLON CANCER IN MICE. / Sreenika. G, Naga Sravanthi. K*, Lakshmi. BVS, Thulja. P and Sudhakar. M. / World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol 4, Issue 06, 2015.
Biosynthesis of Silver Nanoparticles Using Latex from Few Euphorbian Plants and Their Antimicrobial Potential / Satish V. Patil , Hemant P. Borase, Chandrashekhar D. Patil, Bipinchandra K. Salunke / Appl Biochem Biotechnol, Vol 167, Issue 4, pp 776-790 (June 2012) /doi:10.​1007/​s12010-012-9710-z

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