Kaya-an is a slender, erect, simple or slightly branched, smooth, annual herb, 20 to 50 centimeters in height. Stems are flattened, and usually purplish. Leaves are two-ranked, oblong-linear, 1.5 to 3 centimeters long, and 6 to 9 centimeters wide. Flowers are very small, solitary, and borne on the axils of the leaves. Capsules are smooth, depressed-globose, and 3 to 3.5 millimeters in diameter.
- Common throughout the Philippines, in open grasslands, fallow rice lands, etc., at low and medium altitudes.
- Also occurs in India to southern China, Malaya, and Polynesia.
- Phytochemical screening yielded an abundance of phenolics, tannins and flavonoids.
Leaf yielded phenolics, tannins, flavonoids, sugars, saponins, amino acids, volatile oil.
- Study of chemical composition of leaves yielded four compounds: vanillin, β-daucossterol, β-sitosterol and rutin.
- Studies have shown anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, anthelmintic, antidiabetic, anti-hyperlipidemic, antifungal, hepatoprotective properties.
Leaves, flowers, seeds.
- Hindus use equal parts of the fresh leaves, flowers, and fruit, and cumin seeds with sugar, made into an electuary for the cure of gonorrhea - a teaspoon is given twice daily.
- Bruised fresh leaves, mixed with buttermilk, used as a wash to cure itches in children.
- In Thailand, used for liver ailments.
- In India, leaf juice used for jaundice and diabetes.
- In Chota Nagpur, roots is used as external application for mammary abscesses.
• Antioxidant / Anti-Inflammatory / Phenolic Contents: P. simplex ether extract showed significant concentration-dependent scavenging of DPPH, hydroxyl and superoxide radicals. It also showed significant inhibition of NO production and significant inhibition of carragennan-induced paw edema. Results show significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities which was attributed to its high phenolic content. (1)
• Anti-Diabetic / Antioxidant: Study of MeOH and aqueous fractions of PS demonstrated significant antioxidant and antidiabetic potential and suggest therapeutic value in diabetes and related complications. (2)
• Anti-Cancer / Antioxidant / Roots and Rhizomes: Study of ethyl acetate and ethanolic extracts from the roots and rhizomes of P. simplex against DAL and EAC cell lines showed significant anti-cancer activity, with the alcoholic extract showing more cancer dead cells than the EA extract. (3)
• Anthelmintic: Study showed the ethanolic extract was more potent than other extracts against Indian round worm Pheretima posthuma. The comparison drug was piperazine citrate. (5)
• Anti-Inflammatory: Ethanolic and acetone extracts from the whole plant showed significant activity at the doses of 400 mg/K with inhibition of both acute and sub-acute anti-inflammatory models. (6)
• Anti-HBV Effect: Study showed the water and alcohol extract of P. simplex had an inhibitory effect on the HBsAg. (7)
• Antioxidant / α-Amylase Inhibitory Property: A methanol extract of P. virgatus exhibited strong antioxidant and oxidative DNA damage protective activity, correlating with its phenolic content. Also, the ME strongly inhibited the α-amylase activity. Results provide basis for the potential future use for the treatment and management of diabetes as well as related conditions of oxidative stress. (11)
• Antioxidant / Cytotoxicity / Mitochondrial Effect: In a comparative study of three Phyllanthus species, the methanolic extract of P. virgatus showed the highest free radical scavenging activity and highest inhibition of peroxidation. Also, the extract showed the strongest cytotoxic effect to human hepatoma HepG2 cells. The extract impaired hepatic energy metabolism by acting as mitochondrial uncoupler and inhibitor of oxidative phosphorylation. The mitochondrial effects may be intimately involved in the cytotoxic action on HepG2 cells. (12)
• Hepatoprotective / Cd2+-Induced Loss of Mitochondrial Membrane Potential: A methanol extract of P. virgatus was shown to block the collapse of mitrochondrial transmembrane potential induced by CdCl2 in a dose-dependent manner. Results postulate the extract may act by blocking Ca2+ uniporter to impeded Cd2+ influx into the mitochondria and/or by inhibiting Cd2+-induced PTP opening. (13)
• Hepatoprotective / Antioxidant: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective and antioxidant activity of P. virgatus against CCl4 and paracetamol induced hepatotoxicity in male wistar rats. Results showed significant in-vivo/in-vitro antioxidant activity in different models and significant (p<0.01) hepatoprotective activity. (15)
• Antidiabetic / Antihyperlipidemic: Study evaluated a methanolic extract and its purified fractions on hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. Results showed a strong anti-diabetic and hypolipidemic impact of the extract and fractions coupled with potent antioxidative property. (16)
• Antianaphylactic / Leaves: Study evaluated the effect of a hydroalcoholic extract of leaves on experimental anaphylactic conditions using passive cutaneous anaphylaxis on different rat models. Results showed a dose dependent beneficial effect on leakage of Evan blue dye in skin challenged with antigen. The antianaphylactic activity may be due to its membrane stabilizing potential, inhibition of antigen induced histamine release and inhibition of release of various inflammatory mediators. (17)
• Virgatusin / Antifungal: (-)-Virgatusin is a lignan isolated from Phyllantus virgatus used as a herbal drug for liver problems. Study of optically pure (-) - and (+)-virgatusin, a tetra-substituted tetrahydrofuran lignan, showed high antifungal activity against Colletotrichum lagenarium. (18)