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Family Aizoaceae
Sesuvium portulacastrum Linn.
Hai ma chi

Scientific names Common names
Aizoon montevidense Spreng. ex Rohr Dampalit (Tag.)
Halimus maritima Kuntze Shoreline purslane (Engl.)
Halimus portulacastrum (L.) Kuntze Shoreline sea purslane (Engl.)
Portulaca portulacastrum (L.)  
Sesuvium acutifolium (L.)  
Sesuvium longifolium Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.  
Sesuvium ortegae Spreng.  
Sesuvium portulacastrum (L.)  
Sesuvium revolutifolium Ortega  
Sesuvium sessile Pers.  
Trianthema americana Gilles ex Am.  
Sesuvium portulacastrum (L.) L. is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
BENGALI: Jadu palang.
CHINESE: Hai ma chi.
FRENCH: Pourpier de mer, Pourpier maritime, Pourpier-bord-de-mer.
GERMAN: Meerportulak.
KENYA: Mboga ya pwani.
MALAY: Gelang laut.
SPANISH: Azucena de mar, Verdolaga de costa.
TAMIL: Orputu, Vankaravacci.
VIETNAMESE: Rao heo, Hai chau, Sam bien.
OTHERS: Cenicilla.

Dampalit is a sprawling perennial herb growing up to 30 centimeters high. Stems are thick, smooth, up to 1 meter long. Leaves are green, fleshy, smooth, linear or lanceolate, 1to 7 centimeters long and 2 to 15 millimeters wide. Flowers are pink to purple.

- Found along the beach, around fishpond and in estuarine and salt marshes.
- Native to Africa, Asia, Australia, North and South America.

- A rich source of ecdysterone. (see study below) (20)
- Analysis of leaves yielded a fatty acid composition of palmitic acid (31.18%), oleic acid (21.15%), linolenic acid (14.18%) linoleic acid (10.63%), myristic acid (6.91%) and behenic acid (2.42%). Saturated fatty acids were higher than unsaturated fatty acids.
(see study below) (1)
- Ethanolic extract yielded 22, 23-dihydrostigmasterol, benzoic acid, 3,4,5-trihydroxy-(Gallic acid), (2R,3R)-(-) -epicatechin and capsaicin. (see study below) (3)
- Leaf ethanol extract yielded hexadecanoic acid, phytol, 9,12,15- Octadecatrienoic acid, 2,3-dihydroxypropyl ester, (Z,Z,Z)-, oleic acid, squalene, vitamin E, 1-Monolinoleoylglycerol trimethylsilyl ether. (4)
- Ethanol stem extract yielded benzoic acid, 4-ethoxy-, hexadecanoic acid, oleic acid, 1-docosanol, ethyl iso-allocholate, and rhodopin. (4)
- Analysis of leaf essential oil yielded alpha-pinene, camphene, beta-pinene, alpha-terpinene, O-cymene, limonene, 1,8-cineole, alpha-terpinene, bornyl acetate, tridecane, trans-caryophyllene and alpha-humulene. (5)
- Phytochemical screening of leaf yielded alkaloid, catechin, coumarin, flavonoid, phenol, steroid, tannins, terpenoid, xanthoprotein and sugar in methanol and ethanol extracts. (see study below) (14)

- Considered antibacterial, antifungal, febrifuge.
- Reported to be a rich source of echysterone.
- Raw, imparts a salty and bitter taste.
- Studies have suggested antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, cholinesterase inhibitory, antiproliferative properties.

Parts used
Leaves, essential oil, stems.


- It is prepared as salad or made into pickles (achara).
- Used as salty potherb.
- The salty and bitter when raw is diminished by cooking.
- Stems eaten raw or pickled.
- In Zimbabwe and South Africa, plant used to treat various infections and kidney problems.(5Zimbabwe)
- Used as remedy for fever and scurvy.
- In
Haiti, used internally or externally for fever.
- In
India, used by traditional healers for kidney problems and fever.
- In Tamil, India, the women of north coastal Andhra Pradesh use the color change in Sesuvium portulacastrum as an indicator of the salinity of water in their hamlet. If the plant turns deep pink it color, it warns that there has been sea water intrusion. (7) (also see study below) (8)
- Also used as forage, for landscaping, soil covering and dune fixation, bioreclamation of saline soil, phytoremediation and carbon sequestration. (18)
- Enhancement of physical performance: 20-Hydroxyecdysone is an ingredient of some supplements that aim to enhance physical performance. In humans, it binds to the estrogen receptor beta (ERß) protein-coding gene.

Antibacterial / Antifungal / Fatty Acid Composition / Leaves:
Study evaluated the fatty acid methyl esters from Sesuvium portulacastrum leaves for fatty acid composition and antimicrobial activity against human pathogenic microorganisms. Analysis yielded the presence of palmitic acid, oleic acid, linolenic acid, linoleic acid, myristic acid and behenic acid. The FAME extract (free fatty acid methyl extract) showed the highest antibacterial and anti-candidal activities and moderate antifungal activities against tested organisms. (see constituents above) (1)
Antimicrobial: Compared to aqueous and dichlormethane extract, the ethanolic extract showed better antimicrobial activities against Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli. Ethanolic extract yielded 22, 23-dihydrostigmasterol, benzoic acid, 3,4,5-trihydroxy-(Gallic acid), (2R,3R)-(-) -epicatechin and capsaicin, assumed to be responsible for its antimicrobial property. (3)
Essential Oil / Leaves / Antibacterial / Antifungal / Antioxidant: Essential oil from fresh leaves exhibited antibacterial activity against Acetobacter calcoacetica, Bacillus subtilis, Clostridium sporogenes, Clostridium perfringens, Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhii, Staphylococcus aureus and Yersinia enterocolitica and antifungal activity against Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus and Penicillium notatum. On antioxidant testing, the essential oil showed antioxidant activity threshold of 15.9 mm mean zone of color retention. (5)
Cholinesterase Inhibitory Activity / CCl4-Induced Toxicity: Study evaluated the cholinesterase inhibitory activity of mangroves as alternative medicine for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Of nine plants screened R. lamarckii, S. monica, A. officinalis, and Sesuvium portulacastrum showed 50% inhibitory activity to both TChE (total cholinesterase) and BChE (butyryl cholinesterase). The activity might be correlated to the alkaloid content. (6)
Remediation of Saline Soils: Salinity is a rising problem causing tremendous yield loses. Methods for salt removal include agronomic practices or phytoremediation. Study evaluated the potential use of halophytes to remediate saline soils. Sesuvium portulacastrum has exhibited greater accumulation of salt in their tissues and higher reduction of salts from saline land. Study has shown S. portulacastrum, an obligate halophyte, decreased the soil salinity and acidity. (8)
EDTA-Enhanced Phytoremediation of Lead-Contaminated Soil: Study evaluated the Pb extraction by halophyte S. portulacastrum in relation to impact of EDTA application. Results showed S. portulacastrum is a promising species for decontamination of Pb(2+)-contaminated soil and its phytoextraction potential was significantly enhanced by addition of EDTA to the polluted soil. (9)
Pb-Phytoextraction: Study evaluated the Pb-phytoextraction potential of halophyte Sesuvium portulaceum in comparison to Brassica juncea. Lead strongly inhibited the growth of B. juncea without any impact on S. portulacastrum. Lead preferentially accumulated in the roots of both species. Results suggested S. portulacastrum is more efficient to extract Pb than B. juncea. (11)
Hepatoprotective / Antioxidant / CCl4-Induced Toxicity: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective and antioxidant effect of methanol extract of whole plant on CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. S. portulacastrum exhibited a significant effect showing increased levels of SOD, CAT, GP, GSH, and GRD by reducing malondialdehyde (MDA) levels. (12)
Toxicity Screening: Sesuvium portulacastrum extracts were subjected to toxicity screening. Brine Shrimp Lethality assay showed the plant extract was toxic. At 36 mg/mL and 60 mg/mL, the extract from maceration was most toxic. Allium cepa Chromosome Aberration Assay showed the plant possesses genotoxic activity as evidenced by the presence of bridges , fragments, laggards, and vagrants. Plant extract from maceration showed 100% inhibitory effect at 60 mg/mL concentration, with most number of aberrations and least number of dividing cells. (13)
Antibacterial / Leaves: Study evaluated the in vitro antibacterial activity of various extracts of leaves of Sesuvium portulacastrum. The extracts demonstrated a broad-spectrum of antibacterial activity against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. (see constituents above) (14)
Antioxidant: Study evaluated the phytochemical contents, phenolic and flavonoid compounds of various extracts of dried powder of S. portulacastrum. Phytochemical screening yielded major classes of phytochemicals. Total phenolic content (TPC) expressed as quercetin equivalents (QE) ranged from 22.03-56.70 mg QE/g DW. Antioxidant activity by various assays was highest in the diethyl ether extract. A positive correlation was found between TPC and antioxidant activity by DPPH, ABTS, and H2O2 scavenging assays. (15)
Antiproliferative / Apoptosis-Inducing Potential: Study evaluated various extracts of whole plant of Sesuvium portulacastrum for antiproliferative activity against various cancer cell lines. Among five extracts, diethyl ether extract showed highest activity with IC50 of 288.69 ± 6.53 µg/ml for MDA-MB-231 (human breast cancer cells) and 231.01 ±6.31 µg/ml for IMR-32 (human neuroblastoma cell line), and 182.86 ± 4.29 µg/ml for HCT-116 (human colon cancer cell line). (16)
Anticancer / Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma: Study evaluated the antitumor activity of methanolic extract of whole plant of Sesuvium portulacastrum on EAC model in Swiss albino mice. Results suggest significant antitumor activity as evidenced by decrease in tumor volume and cell viability. Hb decreased in EAC treated mice showed increase to near normal levels. (17)
Potential Yields for Cultivation in Coastal Salt Marshes: Study showed Sesuvium can tolerate and grow under extremely high salinity concentrations of up to 68.0 ds m. Highest yield was 12.o t/ha with 8% protein content. The Na content in shoots was 10 times higher than found for K and P. (18)
Ecdysterone: Ecdysterone has been isolated from the following plants: Achyranthes aspera, Gomphrena celosioides, Tiranthema portulacastrum, and Sesuvium portulacastrum, the latter being one of the best sources for ecdysterone. (19) Studies suggest that the anabolic effect of ecdysterone, a naturally occurring steroid hormone claimed to enhance physical performance, is mediated by estrogen receptor (ER) binding. Compared to prohibited anabolic agents (metandienone and others), ecdysterone showed to be more effective in recent studies performed in rats. (20) Study reports on the incorporation of mevalonic acid and cholesterol into ecdysone and ecdysterone and conversion of ecdysone into ecdysterone in the plant, Sesuvium portulacastrum. (21)
Ecdysterone on Human Sport Exercise: Study investigated the effects of ecdysterone-containing products on human sport exercise. Results showed significantly higher increases in muscle mass in participants dosed with ecdysterone. The same hypertrophic effects were detected in vitro in C2C12 myotubes. There was significantly more pronounced increases in one-repetition bench press performance. There were no increase in liver or kidney markers to suggest toxicity. Data underline effectivity of ecdysterone supplementation with respect to sports performance. Study suggests the inclusion of ecdysterone in the list of prohibited substances and methods in sports. (20)


Updated Dec 2019 / Dec 2015
January 2015

IMAGE SOURCE: / Photograph / File:Starr 010206-0247 Sesuvium portulacastrum.jpg / 6 February 2001 / Forest and Kim Starr / Plants of Hawaii / Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license / click on image to go to source page / Wikimedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Photograph / Closeup FLOWER|PLANT|HERB|LEAF / File Referer No. #28360 / Sesuvium portulacastrum / Andres Hernandez / 39913 / © Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute / / click on image to go to source page / Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Antibacterial and antifungal efficacy of fatty acid methyl esters from the leaves of Sesuvium portulacastrum L. / M. Chandrasekaran, A. Senthilkumar, V. Venkatesalu* / Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2011; 15(7): pp 775-780
Sesuvium portulacastrum (L.) L. is an accepted name / The Plant List
Preliminary phytochemical and antibacterial screening of Sesuvium portulacastrum in the United Arab Emirates / Al-Azzawi A, Alguboori A, Hachim MY, Najat M, Al Shaimaa A, Sad M. /Pharmacognosy Research , 2012; 4(4): pp 219-224. / doi:10.4103/0974-8490.102269. / PMID: 23225966
Chemical composition and biological activities of essential oil from the leaves of Sesuvium portulacastrum. / Michael L Magwa, Mazuru Gundidza, Nyasha Gweru, Godfred Humphrey / Journal of Ethnopharmacology (Impact Factor: 2.94). 02/2006; 103(1):85-9. / DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2005.07.024
Cholinesterase inhibitory effects of Rhizophora lamarckii, Avicennia officinalis, Sesuvium portulacastrum and Suaeda monica: Mangroves inhabiting an Indian coastal area (Vellar Estuary) / Natarajan Suganthy, Shanmugiahthevar Karutha Pandian, and Kasi Pandima Devi / Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry, June 2009, Vol. 24, No. 3 , Pages 702-707 / doi/abs/10.1080/14756360802334719
Women and Environment, Chap 11, Jayshree Vencatesan, RJ, Ranjit Daniels and Madhav Gadgil / Women of India: Colonial and Post-colonial Periods (edited by Bharati Ray) / Google Books
Potential Use of Halophytes to Remediate Saline Soils / Mirza Hasanuzzaman, Kamrun Nahar, Md. Mahabub Alam, Prasanta C. Bhowmik, Md. Amzad Hossain, Motior M. Rahman, Majeti Narasimha Vara Prasad, Munir Ozturk,8 and Masayuki Fujita / BioMed Research International, Volume 2014 (2014) / http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/589341

EDTA-enhanced phytoremediation of lead-contaminated soil by the halophyte Sesuvium portulacastrum / Zaier H, Ghnaya T, Ghabriche R, Chmingui W, Lakhdar A, Lutts S, Abdelly C / Environmental science and pollution research international. 21(12): 7607-15 / DOI: 10.1007/s11356-014-2690-5
Sesuvium portulacastrum / Synonyms / The Plant List
Comparative study of Pb-phytoextraction potential in Sesuvium portulacastrum and Brassica juncea: tolerance and accumulation. / Zaier H, Ghnaya T, Lakhdar A, Baioui R, Ghabriche R, Mnasri M, Sghair S, Lutts S, Abdelly C. / J Hazard Mater., Nov 15, 2010; 183(1-3): pp 609-615./ doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2010.07.068. Epub 2010 Jul 23.
Toxicity screening of Bilang (Sesuvium portulacastrum Linn (1753)) plant extracts. / Lara Bernadette C Dagami, Mary Lynn D Paquibot / Thesis, April 2018 / University of San Carlos-Josef Baumbartner Learning Resoouce Center, Science and Technology
PHYTOCHEMICAL SCREENING AND IN VITRO ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITY OF WHOLE PLANT EXTRACTS OF SESUVIUM PORTULACASTRUM L / Sathvika Chintalapani, Swathi M S, Mangamoori Lakshmi Narasu / Asiasn Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, Jan 2018; 11(1) / https://doi.org/10.22159/ajpcr.2018.v11i1.22558
Antiproliferative and apoptosis inducing potential of whole plant extracts of Sesuvium portulacastrum against different cancer cell lines / Sathvika Chintalapani, M. S. Swathi, Mangamoori Lakshmi Narasu / Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science, Feb 2019; 9(02): pp 038-043 / DOI: 10.7324/JAPS.2019.90205
ANTICANCER ACTIVITY OF METHANOL EXTRACT OF SESUVIUM PORTULACASTRUM L. WHOLE PLANT AGAINST EHRLICH ASCITES CARCINOMA (EAC) / Baru Chandrasekhar Raoo / Indo American Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2017; 4(11): pp 4500-4506 / DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.1067618
Evaluate the Potential Yields of Sesuvium portulacastrum (L.) Cultivated in Coastal Salt Marshes of Egypt / Sayed Eisa, Safwat Ali, Sayed Hussin, Nasr El-Bordeny / Tropentag, September 17-19, 2014, Prague, Czech Republic
Isolation of ecdysterone from indian plants / A Banerji, M S Chadha / Phytochemistry, Sept 1071; 10(9): pp 2225-2226 / https://doi.org/10.1016/S0031-9422(00)97227-3
Ecdysteroids as non-conventional anabolic agent: performance enhancement by ecdysterone supplementation in humans / Eduard Isenmann, Gabriella Ambrosio, Jan Felix Joseph, Monica Mazzarino, Xavier de la TorrePhilipp Zimmer, Rymantas Kazlauskas, Catrin Goebel, Francesco Botrè, Patrick Die,lMaria Kristina Parr / Archives of Toxicology, July 2019; 93(7): pp 1807-1816
Biosynthesis and interconversion of phytoecdysones in Sesuvium portulacastrum L / A T Sipahimalani, Asoke Banerji, Muskan Chadha / Journal of the Chemical Society Chemical Communications, Dec 1071 / DOI: 10.1039/c39720000692
A new conformer of 20-hydroxyecdysone from Sesuvium portulacastrum: an x-ray crystallographic study. / Rele S, Banerji A, Chintalwar G, Kumar V, Yadava V / Nat Prod Res., 2003 Apr;17(2): pp 103-108 / DOI: 10.1080/1478641031000103696

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

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