Kalapini is an erect, much-branched shrub, 1 to 2 meters in height. Leaves are oblong-ovate to oblong-elliptic and 1.5 to 4 centimeters long, with pointed or blunt tip, wedge-shaped base, and slightly and irregularly toothed margins. Inflorescence is a compound, terminal, slightly hairy corymb 5 to 11 centimeters long. Numerous heads are about 5 millimeters long. Involucral bracts are ovate, with the inner ones gradually longer. Flowers are numerous, and pink-purple or lilac. Achenes are minute and ribbed; the pappus is white, scanty, and spreading.
- From northern Luzon to Mindanao, along the seashore and tidal streams within the influence of salt or brackish water.
- Also occurs in India to China and Malaysia.
- Yields an essential oil.
- Nutrient analysis of leaves yielded (g/100 g)
water 87.53 g, protein 1.79 g, fat 0.49 g, ash 0.20 g, insoluble dietary fiber 0.89 g, soluble dietary fiver 0.45 g, total dietary fiber 1.34 %, carbohydrate 8.65 g, calcium 251 mg, ß-carotene 1,225 µg/100g, vitamin C 30.17 µg/100g. (23)
- Study of leaves for bioactive compounds (mg/100 g fresh leaves) yielded
total phenolic acids 28.48 ±0.67, chlorogenic acid 20.00 ±0.24, caffeic acid 8.65 ±0.46; total flavonoids 6.39, quercetin 5.21 ±0.26, kaempferol 0.28 ±0,02, myricetin 0.09 ±0.03; total anthocyanins 0.27 ±0.01, ß-carotene 1.70 ±0.05, total carotenoids 8.74 ±0.34. (23)
- Study of Khlu leaves for antioxidant activity yielded total phenols 0.831 ±0.129 mg/GAE/ g fw, total flavonoids 6.39 ±0.27 mg/g fw, DPPH 96.4 ±15.2
µmole TE/ g fw; ABTS 3.75 ±0.16 µmole TE/g fw, ferric reducing 81.1 ±0.6 µmole TE/ g fw, % inhibition of lipid peroxidation 98.5 ±0.4. (23)
- GC-MS study for volatile compounds of Pluchea indica essential oil yielded 66 compounds
with (10S11S)-Himachala-3-(12)-4-diene (17.13%) representing the highest proportion. Total phenol levels were 275 ppm. (45)
- Leaves possess a natural sweet taste and astringent flavor. (23)
- Studies suggest anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, gastroprotective, antivenom, antioxidant, CNS depressant, hepatoprotective properties.
- In Thailand, leaves used as culinary herb. Khlu tea available as a health-promoting drink. (23)
- In Java, young shoots, leaves, and inflorescences, raw or cooked, consumed as side dish to rice, as salad, or as ingredients of soup. .
- In India, roots and leaves used medicinally as astringents and antipyretics.
- In Indo-China, decoction of roots used in fevers as diaphoretic; infusion of leaves for lumbago.
- In South-East Asia and Thailand, leaves are used as nerve tonic and for treating inflammation.
- Decoction of bark used for hemorrhoids.
- In Thai folk medicine, khlu is used for treatment of kidney stones (stem), hemorrhoids (bark), inflammation, lumbago, and leucorrhea (leaves). (23) Used for treatment of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, tumors hypertension, cystitis, and wounds. (41)
- Decoction of roots or leaves used for treating fever, headaches, rheumatism, sprains, dysentery, and dyspepsia. Used in baths to treat scabies. (29)
- In Lao folk medicine, for red and painful eyes from dust, lukewarm decoction of leaves used as eye wash. (46)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Roots: Study of methanolic fraction of chloroform extract of defatted Pluchea indica roots showed significant inhibitory activity against carrageenan-, histamine-, serotonin-, hyaluronidase- and sodium urate-induced pedal inflammation. Results establish the extract efficacy in exudative, proliferative and chronic stages of inflammation. (1)
• Phenolic Content: Study showed a significant difference in the total phenolic content among different parts of the tested plant. Leaves contained the highest phenolic compounds, followed by the stems, and lower in the flowers. (2)
• Antimicrobial: An aqueous extract was tested against both gram positive and gram negative bacteria. Results showed zone of inhibition against E coli and K pneumonia. Result showed a possibility of using P. indica as an alternative therapy in the treatment of urinary tract infections. (3)
• Gastroprotective: The methanolic fraction of P. indica root extract was found to possess significant antiulcer activity in different experimental animal models. It showed significant protective actions in acetylsalicylic acid, serotonin and indomethacin-induced gastric lesions in experimental rats. (4)
• Antioxidant / Root: Study on P. indica root extract showed significant anti-inflammatory activity against glucose oxidase-induced paw edema, inhibition of hydroxyl radical and superoxide generation, CCl4-induced lipid peroxidation and dioxygenase activity. (5)
• Snake Venom Neutralization: Studies on antidotes for snake envenomation has shown Pluchea indica as one of several herbal plants that possess moderate neutralizing activity against snake venom. (6)
• Viper and Cobra Venom Neutralization: Study reports the neutralization of viper and cobra venom by b-sitosterol and stigmasterol isolated from the root extract of P. indica. Study suggests beta-sitosterol and stigmasterol may play an important role, along with antiserum, in neutralizing snake venom-induced actions. (7) Study evaluated methanol root extracts of Hemidesmus indicus and Pluchea indica for neutralization of snake venom activity. The root extracts significantly neutralized viper venom-induced lethality and hemorrhagic activity in albino rat and mouse. Venom-induced coagulant and anticoagulant activity was also antagonized by both extracts. (30)
• CNS Depressant: Study of root extract showed a potent CNS depressant action with alteration of behaviour pattern, reduction in spontaneous motility, prolongation of pentobarbitone-induced sleep, suppression of aggressive behaviour patters and conditioned avoidance response. (8)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Antioxidant: : Study assessed the inhibitory effect of P. indica on croton oil-induced mouse ear edema, lipid hydroperoxide, and in vitro lipid peroxidation. Results showed the methanolic fraction of root extract possessed significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity. (11)
• Antioxidant / Anticholinesterase: A methanolic extract of stems was found to have both anti-AChe properties and moderate antioxidant activity. Anticholinesterase inhibitors are one of the treatment options in Alzheimer's disease. (12)
• Antioxidant / Herbal Tea: Study showed a hot water extract of P. indica leaves is a source of antioxidants and inhibitors of NO and PGE2 production and can be used as dietary supplement with health promoting effect. (13)
• PITC II / Anticancer: PITC-2 is a new thiophene compound obtained from P. indica cultured plant. Synthesized monoamine derivatives showed in in-vitro studies to have anticancer and cytotoxic effects against human leukemic cell lines. (14)
• Mosquitocidal / Essential Oil: Study evaluated the mosquitocidal activity of essential oil of Pluchea indica against larvae and eggs of Aedes aegypti, A. albopictus, Anopheles stephensi, A. subpictus and Culex quinquefasciatus. Results showed various degrees of ovicidal activity that increased with concentration. Results lead the path for exploration of P. indica for the eradication of selected medically important human vector mosquitoes. (15)
• Anti-Cancer / Leaf and Root: Crude aqueous extracts of P. indica leaf and root suppressed proliferation, viability, and migration of GBM8401 and HeLa cells. In vitro anti-cancer effects of crude leaf and root extract show potential as a new anti-cancer agent. (16)
• Corrosion Inhibition / Leaf Extract: Study investigated the inhibition of low carbon steel in 3.5% NaCl of Pluchea indica leaves extract. Results showed the extract to behave as a mixed type corrosion inhibitor. (17)
• Anti-Diabetic / Increased Insulin Release: A previous study showed a crude extract to lower blood glucose in hypoglycemic test on normal rats. Study of glibenclamide-treated, hexane, dichlormethane and water extract treated groups showed ß-cell effect with increase insulin release. (18)
• α-Glucosidase Inhibition / Increased Insulin Release: Pluchea indica leaf extracts have inhibitory activity against intestinal maltase. Study suggests a potential for P. indica as functional food and medical supplement for the treatment and prevention of diabetes. (19)
• Hepatoprotective / Thioacetamide-Induced Liver Fibrosis: Study evaluated an aqueous extract of root of Pluchea indica on a TAA-induced liver fibrosis mouse model. Results showed an anti-fibrotic effect. (20)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Molecular Mechanism / Leaves: Study of Pluchea indica leaf extract induced showed potent inhibitory effect on nitric oxide (NO) production in LPS-induced macrophages and also inhibited PGE2 release. The extract also showed anti-inflammatory activities on acute phase of inflammation as seen in EPP (ethylphenylpropiolate)-induced ear edema and carrageenan-induced paw edema in rats. (22)
• PITC-2 Sub-Acute Toxicity Studies: PITC-2, a thiophen derivative isolated from the root extract of tissue-cultured P. indica showed not significant adverse effect on cellular structure. There were no abnormalities noted on sub-acute toxicity testing—no abnormalities on body weight, behavior, hematological and biochemical parameters and histopathological study. Results of toxicological studies suggest PITC-2 can be subjected to chronic toxicological studies and clinical trials. (24)
• Anti-Leishmania / Roots / PITC-2: Study evaluated Pluchea indica root extracts and PITC-2 for antileishmanial activity. Results showed the ethyl acetate insoluble part showed maximum antileishmanial activity against Leishmania donovani promastigotes with EC<20µg/ml, followed by PITC-2 compound and its derivative. (25)
• Antimicrobial / Thiophene Derivative PITC-2 / Roots: Study extracted a pure compound from the roots of P. indica labeled as PITC-2. The compound was evaluated for antimicrobial activity. Study showed PITC-2, a thiophene derivative, is a bacteriostatic agent. Results conclude that PITC-2, besides being an active antibacterial agent, can interfere and restrict the action of polymerase chain reaction for rebuilding new DNA strands. (26)
• Apoptotic and Antiproliferative / Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Cells: Study evaluated the anti-cancer activity and molecular mechanisms of ethanolic extracts of roots of P. indica (PIRE). Results showed PIRE could induce the apoptosis-signaling pathway in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) cells by activation of p53 and by regulation of apoptosis-related proteins. (27)
• Hypoglycemic / Antihyperglycemic / Toxicity Study / Leaves: Study of methanolic extract of Pluchea indica leaves in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats showed reduction in both normal and STZ-induced diabetic rats. Toxicity study showed the extract to be safe up to doses of 3.2 mg/kg body weight orally. (28)
• Cytotoxicity / Effect on Cell Migration / Nanoparticles/ Oral Spray Formulation / Leaves: Study evaluated Pluchea indica leaf ethanol extract and its nanoparticles on cytotoxicity, cell survival, and migration of human oral squamous carcinoma cell line. The NPs increased the cytotoxicity of Pluchea indica leaf extract, increased the migration of cells at low concentration and increased colloidal stability of the extract in an oral spray formulation. (31)
• Antibacterial Roll-On Deodorant / Leaves : Study evaluated the effectiveness of a roll-on deodorant as antibacterial against Staphylococcus epidermis. The P. indica leaf extract roll on deodorant showed antibacterial effect against S. epidermis. Stored at 28ºç to 30ºC for 8 weeks, it showed stability for color, odor, and homogeneity. The formulation (pH, viscosity, and SG) did not cause irritation. (32)
• Comparative Antidiabetic Activity of Leaf Extracts: Study evaluated the effect of different solvent polarities on phytochemical content and its effect on blood glucose reduction and toxicity on laboratory animals. Results showed the water extract with most potential as anti-diabetic agent. The blood glucose reducing capability on Wistar rats was 56.37% compared to glibencladmide at 49.59%. Ethyl acetate and methanol extracts showed glucose reduction of 19.11% and 23.27%, respectively. (33)
• Effect in Promoting Glucose Consumption on Liver Cell Line: In vitro study evaluated the potency of P. indica extracts n stimulating glucose consumption in human liver CCL--13 cell line model in rats. Results showed a methanol extract significantly increase glucose consumption of cells in a concentration-dependent manner, suggesting potential for the extract as an antidiabetic agent via stimulation of glucose uptake into the liver cells. (34)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Antinociceptive / Leaves: Study evaluated an ethanolic extract of leaves for anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities using carrageenan induced edema model and acetic acid induced writhing test. The leaf extract exhibited significant and dose-dependent anti-inflammatory activity at 300 mg/kg oral dose. It produced significant inhibition of abdominal constriction induced with 0.6% (v/v) acetic acid in a dose-dependent manner. (35)
• Attenuation of Cytokine-Induced ß-Cell Apoptosis in STZ-induced Diabetic Mice / Leaves: Loss of ß-cell mass and function is a fundamental feature in the pathogenesis of type 1 and 2 diabetes. Study showed pretreated mice exhibited improved blood chemistry, maintained higher body weight, decreased hyperglycemia, and restored islet architecture in STZ-induced diabetic mice. The extract significantly decreased levels of inflammatory response markers. Survival and anti-proliferative ability of ß-cells was mediated by up-regulated Bcl-2 and Ki67, respectively. Results suggest pretreatment effectively attenuated STZ-induced diabetes related symptoms. Effects could be associated with inhibition of cytokine-induced ß-cell apoptosis. (36)
• Inhibition of Proliferation and Induction of Autophagy in Human Glioblastoma Cells: Study evaluated the anticancer activity of a hexane fraction of P. indica root extract in human glioblastoma cells. Results showed suppression of growth of glioblastoma cells in a dose-dependent manner, markedly decreased the population of cells in S and G2/M phases. The combination of H-PIRE and LY2924002, a pan PI3I inhibitor, further decreased cell viability, suggesting an additive anticancer effect. Results showed the hexane fraction of the root extract suppressed proliferation of glioblastoma cells by inducing cell cycle arrest and autophagy. (37)
• Viability Test on In Vitro Fibroblast Cells / Leaves: Study evaluated the 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) and viability effect of ethanol extract of beluntas leaves on fibroblast cell cultures in vitro. Results showed significant difference in cytotoxicity effect between concentrations of ethanol extract of leaves on fibroblast cell cultures in vitro. IC50 value of 7.81 µg/ml did not affect cell viability, thus, suggesting safety. (38)
• Effect on Adipogenesis / 3T3-L1 Adipocytes and Lipase Activity / Tea: Study evaluated the effect P. indica tea on inhibiting adipogenesis of 3T3-L1 cells and pancreatic lipase enzyme activity. Results showed the PI tea was capable of inhibiting lipid and carbohydrate accumulation in adipocytes and can potentially inhibit pancreatic lipase activity. The PI tea has potential as a novel lipid-lowering herbal supplement for the management of overweight or obesity. (39)
• Antibacterial / Leaves: Study evaluated the antibacterial activity of Pluchea indica leaves extract against Enterococcus faecalis and Fusobacterium nucleatum bacteria. Results showed strong and moderate antibacterial effects of the leaf extract on E. faecalis at concentrations of 100% and 50%, and on F. nucleatum only with moderate effect at 100% concentration. (40)
• Caffeoylquinic Acids / Leaves: Study reports on a HPTLC method for the quantitative analysis of chlorogenic acid, 3,4-O-dicaffeoylquinic acid, and 3,5-O-dicaffeoylquinic acid in P. indica leaf extract and their commercial products in Thailand. Results suggest that plantation of P. indica in coastal saline land would be beneficial as it can increase the concentration of active compounds and improved its medicinal quality. (41)
• Antimycobacterial Activity Against Multi-Drug Resistant TB: Study compared the antimycobacterial activity of five selected Indonesian endogenous medicinal plants viz. Andrographis paniculata, Annona muricata, Centella asiatica, Pluchea indica, and Rhoeo spathacea against clinical isolate of multi-drug resistant MTB. All five showed inhibitory activity against M. tuberculosis H37Rv strain and MDR strain. Pluchea indica and Rhoeo spathacea showed good antimycobaterial activity and could be useful as complementary alternative therapy in combating the emergence of MDR strains of MTB. (42)
• Inhibition of Caries-Causing Streptococcus mutan Bacterial Growth / Leaves: Study evaluated the ability of ethanol extract from avocado leaf and beluntas leaf in inhibiting the growth of caries-causing Streptococcus mutans. Results showed the ability of 25% beluntas leaf ethanol extract against Streptococcus mutans was more effective than other test materials and suggests potential as an alternative ingredient of antiseptic mouthwash from medicinal plants to inhibit the growth of plaque. To boot, it does not have side effects. (43)
• Combination Effect of P. indica and Centella asiatica on Uterus and Oviduct Profile: Study showed the combination of C. asiatica and P indica in low doses affected the histology of the uterus and the oviduct by increasing the thickness of the endometrium and myometrium, the number of glands, and estrogen and progesterone levels. The combination was better than either drug alone. In low doses, it can be a fertility drug while at high doses, an antifertility drug. (44)