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Family Verbenaceae
Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.) Vahl

Jia ma bian

Scientific names   Common names 
Abena jamaicensis (L.) Hitchc. Albaka (P. Bis.)
Stachytarpheta bogoriensis Zoll. & Moritzi Bilu-bilu (Sul.)
Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.) Vahl Bolo-moros (Bik.)
Stachytarpheta pilosiuscula Kunth Kalintigas (Tag.)
Valerianoides jamaicensis (L.) Medik. Kandikandilaan (Tag.)
Verbena americana Mill. Limbagat (C. Bis.)
Verbena jamaicensis L. Aaron's rod (Engl.)
Verbena pilosiucula (Kunth) Endl. Bastard vervain (Engl.)
Zappania jamaicensis (L.) Lam. Blue porterweed (Engl.)
  Blue vervain (Engl.)
  Blue snakeweed (Engl.)
  Brazilian tea (Engl.)
  Devil's coach whip (Engl.)
  Rat tail (Engl.)
  Wild verbena (Engl.)
Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.) Vahl is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Jia ma bian.
HINDI: Kariyartharani.
KANNADA: Kariyuttarani.
MALAYALAM: Katapunnuttu, Seemakongini.
MALAYSIA: Jolok cacing, Selasih dandi.
SPANISH: Verbena cimarrona, Verbena de las AntillaS.
TAMIL: Seemai nayuruvi.

Kandikandilaan is an erect and branched half-woody plant, 1 to 1.5 meters high. Stems are terete, the younger ones slightly angled. Leaves are elliptic to oblong-ovate, 2.5 to 10 centimeters long, with pointed tips and toothed margins, the base decurrent on the petiole. The spikes are terminal, rather slender, 10 to 30 centimeters long, 3-4 millimeters thick, green and continuous. Calyx is small, oblique, and 4-toothed. Corolla is deep blue, 1 centimeter long, The fruit is enclosed in the calyx, appressed to and somewhat sunk in the rachis, smooth, oblong, and about 4 millimeters long.

- Common weed in open and waste places at low and medium altitudes in settled areas throughout the Philippines.
- Native of tropical America.
- Now pantropic.

- Phytochemical studies have yielded flavonoids, triterpenes, monoterpenes, iridoids, phytosterols, aromatic acids, GABA, dopamine and alkanes.
- Phytochemicals isolated include epigenol-7-glucoronide, alpha-spinasterol, stachytarphine, scutellarein, ursolic acid, scultellarein and verbascoside.
- A glucoside, stachytarphine has been isolated from the plant.
- An iridoid glycoside, verbascoside or acetoside, has been isolated from the plant, shown to be a powerful antioxidant phytochemical.
- A flavonoid, scuttelarein, has been isolated, with cardioprotective, anti-inflammatory and antiviral actions.
- Hopidulin, another flavonoids, is reported to be bronchodilator, antispasmodic and anti-asthmatic.
- Phytoscreening yielded phenolic compounds, tannin, saponins, terpenoids and flavonoid.
- Phytochemical screening of stems yielded carbohydrates, proteins and amino acids, alkaloids, phenolic compounds and tannins, flavonoids, saponins, phytosterols, fixed oils and fats, gums and mucilages, terpenoids, glycosides. (25)
- Crude methanolic extract of leaves and fractions yielded the presence of carbohydrates, reducing sugars, alkaloids, glycosides, saponins, tannins, flavonoids, resins, proteins, steroids, and terpenoids. (see study below) (30)

- Secondary metabolites display oxytoxic, neuroprotective, antiviral, antibacterial, cardioactive and antitumor effects.
- Studies have suggest antimicrobial, antiplasmodial, antidiarrheal, antioxidant, cytotoxic, hypoglycemic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressant, hepatoprotective, galactogenic, hair-promoting properties.

Parts utilized
Leaves, stems, roots.

- Decoction or roots are abortive.
- Decoction of leaves are vermifuge to children.
- In the Antilles, juice of fresh leaves is emetocathartic.
- Decoction of leaves in enemas used to expel intestinal worms; also used as purging vehicle for other vermifuges.
- Infusion of roots has been used for gonorrhea.
- Triturated fresh leaves used on ulcers. Used as maturative cataplasm for boils.
- Bruised leaves rubbed on sprains and bruises.
- In Brazil, used for coughs, fever, to expel worms and promote menstruation; as a diuretic and laxative. Also used for rheumatism.
- In the West Indies, used to expel worms.
- Creoles use the leaf tea for dysentery.
- In North Nigeria, decoction used for dysentery. Also used as vermifuge.
- In Southern Nigeria, used by women for menstrual disorders and female complaints. Leaf decoction taken after childbirth to help restore the uterus to its original position. (28)
- In Peru, used for diabetes.
- In Cuban herbal medicine, used as an abortive.
- In immigrant Haitian communities in Cuba, an infusion made from three whorls or tops of S. jamaicensis is used for children in the morning on an empty stomach as an anthelmintic.
- In traditional medicine, leaves and stem extracts used to prepare drugs for use as stomach tonic, for dyspepsia, allergies, asthma, fevers and liver problems. Externally,used for ulcers, sores, cuts and wounds.
- Leaves used to increase milk supply in lactating women. (30)
- In the Bahamas, called the Voodoo plant or voodoo flower.
- In Trinidad, report of use of leaves as high protein feed for horses.

Antidiarrheal / Antimicrobial:
The methanol extract of Stachytarpheta jamaicaensis leaves showed significant antidiarrheal activity and moderate inhibitory activity against E coli, Staph epidermis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. (1)
Antioxidant / O2-Scavenging Activity: Inhibitory effects of leaf extracts of Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (Verbenaceae) on the respiratory burst of rat macrophages: Extract showed potent O2-scavenging activity. Study suggest SJ may have potential pharmaceutical value for immunologic diseases related to oxidative stress. (2)
Anti-Hypertensive / Bradycardic Effect: Some Cardiovascular Effects of the Aqueous Extract of the Leaves of Stachytarpheta jamaicensis L. Vahl: The aqueous extract of SJ leaves caused a dose-dependent drop in blood pressure and heart rate. The acute hypotensive effect could be partly caused by a negative chronotropic effect of direct effect on vascular smooth muscles. (3)
Antinociceptive / Anti-Inflammatory: The study of the ethanol extract of SJ showed significant dose-dependent nociceptive activity in all nociceptive models tested. The extract also showed significant anti-inflammatory activity in both acute and chronic models. The analgesic activity was assumed to be modulated via peripheral and central mechanisms, partly involving the activation of the opioid receptor system. (5)
Phytochemicals / Antimicrobial / Toxicity Study: Phytochemical study yielded secondary metabolites including tannins, saponins and flavonoids. Crude aqueous extract showed activity against B subtilis, E coli, C albicans, S aureus, P aeruginosa, P vulgaris, P mirabilis. No toxicity was found even at high concentrations. (6) Acute toxicity study of aqueous extract of leaves on wistar rats showed no toxicity up to doses of 4 g/kbw. Alcoholic extract of leaf showed antimicrobial activity at high concentration against S. aureus and P. vulgaris. (24)
• Toxicity Study: A study on 20 Wistar rats on the effect of powdered SJ leaves, using serum biochemistry and ultrasonography showed no toxicity, suggesting a wide therapeutic margin of safety. (7)
• Antimalarial :The ethanolic extract of Stachytarpheta cayennensis exhibited significant schizonticidal activity comparable to that of the standard drug, chloroquine. The antiplasmodial activity confirms its folkloric use in the treatment of malaria. (8)
• Anti-Dyslipidemia / Anti-Atherogenic:The effects of Stachytarpheta jamaicensis tea on plasma lipid profile and atherogenic indices were studied in rabbits. Treatment caused significant decreases in plasma total cholesterol, LDL, VLDL and triglycerides with also significant decreases in atherogenic indices. The results suggest the use of TJ tea in the management of primary and secondary dyslipidemia. (11)
• Steroidal Glucosides: Study reported tw
o novel steroid glucosides from the leaves of S. jamaicensis. The occurrence of steroidal glucoside in SJ may explain the use of the plant in phytomedicine for birth control, abortion, treatment of menstrual disorders and as a lactagogue. (12)
• Antimicrobial: Study showed more antimicrobial activity with the chloroform extract against gram positive organisms like Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis and B. subtilis. The chloroform and alcohol extracts showed antifungal activity against C. albicans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. (14)
• Lanostane Glycoside: Study of leaves isolated a new lanostane triterpenoid glycoside 16ß-(ß-D-glycopyranosyl-3-8,-dihydroxylanstan-5,22-diene-11-methoxy-1ß-yl-6-O-(2,3-dimethoxybenzoyl)-ß-d-glycopyranoside.
• Antimicrobial / Cytotoxic: Root extract was found to inhibit most of the bacterial growth compared to leaves and stem extracts. In the study on cytotoxic effect, leaves extracts showed the highest inhibition on the growth of Hela cancer cells compared to the root and stem extract. (15)
• Hepatoprotective / Leaves: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective activity of various extracts of shade dried leaves of S. indica on carbon tetrachloride induced toxicity. Results showed hepatoprotective activity comparable to standard drug Liv-52. Histopathological studies of pretreated animals with ethanolic extract showed minimal changes with distinct preservation of structures and hepatic cells architecture comparable to standard Liv-52. (17)
• Hypoglycemic / Leaves: Study evaluated the hypoglycemic effect of an ethanolic extract of S. indica on blood glucose level of streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. Results dose dependent hypoglycemic activity almost equal to the standard drug Metformin. (18)
• Antibacterial / Root: Study evaluated the antibacterial activity of aqueous and methanolic extracts of root. The aqueous extract showed significant antibacterial activity against E. coli, B. cereus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacter pathogens. (19)
• Antibacterial / Aerial Parts: Study evaluated aqueous and ethanol extracts of aerial parts. Phytochemical screening yielded alkaloids, steroids, flavonoids, glycosides, tannins, carbohydrates and saponins. The alcoholic extract showed significant activity against all species of bacteria (S. aureus, E coli, P aeruginosa and K pneumonia) comparable to standard antibiotic streptomycin. (20)
• Analgesic / Leaves: Study evaluated the analgesic activity of various extracts of dried leaves on acetic induced writing responses in Swiss albino mice. Result showed significant analgesic effect. (21)
• Wound Healing / Leaves: Study evaluated the wound healing effect of a hydroalcoholic leaf extract of S. jamaicensis on streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. Results showed significant dose dependent wound healing potential with a significant increase in percentage wound closure, tensile strength, hydroxyproline, Hexosamine, DNA and total protein content together with decrease in period of epithelization and blood glucose levels. (22) Study investigated the wound healing activity of SJ leaf extract in alloxan-induced male diabetic rats, The most effective dose that sped up wound closure was the 0.2% extract. (31) Study evaluated a crude ethanolic leaf extract of SJ for wound healing activity in an excision wound model in albino rats. External application of crude leaf extract significantly accelerated wound healing. Phytochemical screening yielded tannin, flavonoids, saponin, terpenoids, glycosides, and phenols which may contribute to the wound healing potential. (34)
• Antimicrobial / Cytotoxic: Study evaluate crude plant extracts for antimicrobial and cytotoxicity activities. It showed highest zone of inhibition on Pseudomonas aeruginosa compared to other bacteria. The root extracts showed greater inhibition of bacterial growth. On cytotoxicity study, leaf extracts showed the highest inhibition on growth of HeLa cancer cells compared to root and stem extract. (26)
• Immunosuppressant: Study evaluated the immunomodulatory effect of a water extract of S. jamaicensis on male Balb/c mice using carbon clearance assay. Results showed SJ at dose of 62.5 and 250 mg/kbw had lower phagocytic index compared to Zymosan A as immunostimulant, but higher phagocytic index compared to methylprednisolone as immunosuppressant. (27)
• Hypoglycemic / Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated the hypoglycemic and antioxidant activities of S. jamaicensis ethanolic extract of leaves in alloxan-induced diabetic male Sprague Dawley rats. Results showed lowering of blood glucose and improved catalase activity. The presence of genipin and linolenic acid by GCMS analysis may have contributed to the hypoglycemic and antioxidant activity. (29)
• Galactogenic / Acute Toxicity Study / Leaves: Study evaluated the effect of crude methanolic extract of fractions of SJ leaves on serum PRL levels. Acute toxicity study (LD50) of CME, HF, EF, BF, and WF were >5000 mg/kg. Results showed SJ possesses galactogenic property with a wide therapeutic index as evidenced by an appreciable dose dependent increase in serum PRL and histological findings of mammary gland development and differentiation of the lobulo-alveolar system with milk secretion within the lumen of the alveoli and ducts. (see constituents above) (30)
Wide Safety Margin / Leaves: Study evaluated the effect of powdered SJ leaves for toxicity in 20 Wister rats using various enzyme parameters and ultrasound evaluation. Results showed no significant alteration in normal serum biochemistry and echogenic patters suggest wide therapeutic safe margin in the use of SJ. (32)
Antifungal / Leaves: Study of an aqueous leaf extract of S. jamaicensis inhibited the growth of fungi such as Aspergillus sclerotiorum, Fusarium oxysporuum, Memnoniella echinata and Penicillium corylophilum. (33)
• Inhibitory Effect on Angiogenesis / Leaves: Study of a crude leaf extract using CAM (chorioallantoic membrane) showed a detrimental effect towards the development of chicken embryo, especially in the formation of extra embryonic vessels. Results may be useful in medical problems related to angiogenesis (new vessel formation from preexisting vessels) and its relation to tumor growth. (36)
• Hair Growth Promoter / Leaves: Study evaluated the effectiveness of S. jamaicensis leaves extract as hair growth promoter on Sprague Dawley rats. Results showed effective hair growth effect as evidenced by increase in hair length (p<0.05). The effect was attributed to palmitic acid that has antiandrogenetic alopecia property. (37)
• Inhibitory Uterine Effect on Non-Pregnant Uterus: Study evaluated the oxytoxic effect of methanol extract of S. jamaicensis on uterine smooth muscles of non-pregnant female rats. SJ exhibited significant inhibitory effects on OT (oxytocin) and CaCl2 induced uterine contractions (p<0.05). The inhibitory uterine inhibitory effects in rats appear to be unrelated to ß2-adrenergic receptor stimulation, but may be due to inhibition of calcium entry into the cytoplasm. (38)


© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Update November 2017 / October 2015

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Antidiarrheal and antimicrobial activities of Stachytarpheta jamaicensis leaves / S Sasidharan, L Yoga Latha et al / Indian Journ of Pharmacology. Vol 39. No 5. pg 245-248 / DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.37276
Inhibitory effects of leaf extracts of Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (Verbenaceae) on the respiratory burst of rat macrophages / Ezequiel Álvarez et al / Phytotherapy Research Volume 18 Issue 6, Pages 457 - 462 / DOI 10.1002/ptr.1442
Some Cardiovascular Effects of the Aqueous Extract of the Leaves of Stachytarpheta jamaicensis L. Vahl
Gervâo / Raintree Nutrition / Tropical Plant Database
Antinociceptive and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.) Vahl (Verbenaceae)in Experimental Animal Models / M.R. Sulaiman, Z.A. Zakaria et al / Med Princ Pract 2009;18:272-279 / (DOI: 10.1159/000215723)
Preliminary Phytochemistry, Antimicrobial Properties and Acute Toxicity of Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.) Vahl. Leaves / Trends in Medical Research / Year: 2007 | Volume: 2 | Issue: 4 | Page No.: 193-198 / DOI: 10.3923/tmr.2007.193.198
(7 )
Effect of Stachytarpheta jamaicensis L. (Vahl.) on Wistar Rats: Serum Biochemistry and Ultrasonography / M. Idu, J.E. Ataman et al / Journal of Medical Sciences, 2006 | Volume: 6 | Issue: 4 | Page No.: 646-649 /
DOI: 10.3923/jms.2006.646.649
In vivo antimalarial activity of ethanolic leaf extract of Stachytarpheta cayennensis / Jude E Okokon et al / Indian J Pharmacol. 2008 June; 40(3): 111–113. / doi: 10.4103/0253-7613.42303./ DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.42303
Creole Remedies of Trinidad and Tobago / Cheryl Lans

Uses of medicinal plants by Haitian immigrants and their descendants in the Province of Camagüey, Cuba / Gabriele Volpato et al / J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2009; 5: 16. Publ online 2009 May 18 / doi: 10.1186/1746-4269-5-16.
Alteration of Plasma Lipid Profiles and Atherogenic Indices by Stachytarpheta jamaicensis L. (Vahl) / Chigozie Jude Ikewuchi and Chidinma Catherine Ikewuchi / Biokemistri, Vol. 21 (No 2), pages 71-77 (December 2009)
Isolation and characterization of Steroidal Glycosides from the leaves of Stachytarpheta Jamaicensis Linn Vahl / Donatus Ebere Okwu and Offiong N Ohenhen / Der Chemica Sinica, 2010, 1 (2): 6-14
The Integration of Medicinal Plants and Culinary Herbs in Agroforestry Systems for the Caribbean: A Study in the U.S. Virgin Islands / M C Palada and J M Mitchell, B N Becker and P K R Nair /
Evaluation of Antimicrobial Activity and Preliminary Phytochemical Studies on Whole Plant of Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.) Vahl / Rampratap Meena, Pitchai R / International Research Journal of Pharmacy 2 (3) 2011, Pp 234-239.
Antimicrobial activity and cytotoxic effects of stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.) vahl crude plant extracts / Indera Putera, Ku Anis Shazura / Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Institutional Repository
Indian snakeweed / Common names / Flowers of India
HYPOGLYCEMIC ACTIVITY OF Stachytarpheta indica ON STREPTOZOTOCIN INDUCED WISTAR STRAIN RATS / Silambujanaki P*, Chitra V, Soni D, Raju D, Sankari M / International Journal of PharmTech Research, Vol.1, No.4, pp 1564-1567, Oct-Dec 2009
/ Kumar, H. N. Krishna; Preethi, S. D.; Chandana, E.; Chauhan, Jyoti Bala / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences & Research;Jun2012, Vol. 3 Issue 6, p1684
Preliminary phytochemical screening and antimicrobial activity of aerial parts of Stachytarpheta indica L. (Vahl.) / Princely S., Basha N. Saleem, Kirubakaran J. John, Dhanaraju M.D. / Medicinal Plants - International Journal of Phytomedicines and Related Industries, 2013, Volume : 5, Issue : 2 / DOI : 10.5958/j.0975-6892.5.2.015
Evaluation of analgesic activity of different extracts of Stachytarpheta indica L. (Vahl)
. / Jagadish, N. R. N.; Gopalkrishna, B. / Biomed 2008 Vol. 3 No. 3/4 pp. 229-233
Evaluation of wound healing activity of hydroalcoholic extract of leaves of Stachytarpheta jamaicensis in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats / Chitra Pandian*, Ajit Srinivasan and Indira C. Pelapolu / Der Pharmacia Lettre, 2013, 5 (2):193-200
Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.) Vahl / Synonyms / The Plant List
Preliminary Phytochemistry, Antimicrobial Properties and Acute Toxicity of Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.) Vahl. Leaves / M. Idu , E.K.I. Omogbai , G.E. Aghimien , F. Amaechina , O. Timothy and S.E. Omonigho / Trends in Medical Research, 2: 193-198. / DOI: 10.3923/tmr.2007.193.198
Pharmacognostical and Phytochemical Studies on Stem of Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.) Vahl / K. Ramakrishnan and R. Sivaranjani / Internatonal Research Journal of Pharmacy, 2013, 4(10)
Antimicrobial activity and cytotoxic effects of stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.) vahl crude plant extracts.
/ Indera Putera, Ku Anis Shazura / Masters thesis,2010 / Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Faculty of Biosciences and Bioengineering
Immunomodulatory Effect of Water Extract of Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.) Vahl. / Vikasari SN, Soemardji A, Sutjiatmo AB / J App Pharm Sci. 2015; 5(Supplement 2): 062-066./ doi:10.7324/JAPS.2015.58.S10
Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.) Vahl: From Traditional Usage to Pharmacological Evidence / Pearl Majorie Liew and Yoke Keong Yong / Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016 (2016) / http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/7842340
Hypoglycemic and antioxidant activities of stachytarpheta jamaicensis ethanolic leaves extract on alloxan-induced diabetic sprague dawley rats / M.H.Wan Rozianoor, Y.Nurol Eizzatie, S.Nurdiana  / BioTechnology: An Indian Journal
Pharmacognostic and Lactogenic Studies of the Leaves of Stachytarpheta Jamaicensis (L.) Vahl (Verbenaceae) / Udodeme, Ogechukwu Helen / Thesis and Dissertations / Pharmacognosy / DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/1341
Stachytarpheta jamaicensis ethanolic leaf extract as wound healer on alloxan-induced diabetic sprague dawley rats / M. H. Wan Rozianoor, K. Nurul Nadia, S. Nurdiana / BioTechnology: An Indian Journal, Vol 9, Issue 11 (2014)
Effect of Stachytarpheta jamaicensis L. (Vahl.) on Wistar Rats: Serum Biochemistry and Ultrasonography / M Idu, J E Ataman et al / J. Med Sci., 6(4): pp 646-649 (2006)
Antifungal Activity of Leaf Extract of Stachytarpheta jamaicensis Linn Vahl (Verbenaceae) / M. N. Abubacker,* T. Anbumani, G. Dheepan and C. Chellamuthu / Drug Invention Today, Vol 6, Issue 1, January 2014, pp 62-63
Wound healing potential of the crude leaf extract of Stachytarpheta Jamaicensis Linn. Vahl (Kandikandilaan) on inducedwounds in rats / Emiliana Dela Cruz Caluya cccccJournal of Medicinal Plant Studies (2017); 5(1): 375-381
Wound healing and antimicrobial property of vervain ointment from Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L) Vahl (Verbanaceae). / Sunshine Charisse T Abadilla, Toshila Marie B Bonete, Rey Johnimo A Carinugan / Thesis: Dissertation / Industrial Pharmacy / April 2009
Inhibitory Effect of Leaf Extract of Kandikandilaan, Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.) Vahl (Family Verbenaceae) on the Development of Chick Embryo / Eliese Lovessa Yu, Ann Marie Tesado, April Gendell Villalon, Rosemarie Yurong / The Philippine Scientist (2011), Vol 48
In  vivo evaluation of hair growth potential of Stachytarpheta jamaicensis  ethanolic leaves extract on sprague-dawley rats / M.H.Wan Rozianoor*, M.Fatin Nadia, D.Dzulsuhaimi / Natural Products: An Indian Journal, Vol 10, Issue 1 (2014)
In vitro inhibitory effect of methanol leaf extract of Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (Verbenaceae) on nonpregnant rat uterus / Fabian C Amaechina* and Enitome E Bafor / Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research December 2016; 15 (12): 2557-2562



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