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Senecio scandens Buch. - Ham. ex D. Don

Xiao man huang wan

Scientific names Common names
Cineraria chinensis Spreng. Lanot (Ilk.)
Cineraria repanda Lour. Cimbing senecio (Engl.)
Senecio chinensis (Spreng.) DC. German ivy (Engl.)
Senecio confusus Elm. Thousand mile light (Engl.)
Senecio scandens Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don Wild daisy (Engl.)
Senecio solanifolius Jeffrey  
Senecio scandens Buch.-Ham. ex D.Don is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Xiao man huang wan, Qian li guang.
MYANMAR: Tsing-daw.
NEPALI: Paheli laharaa.

Lanot is a smooth vine, with zigzag, grooved or ribbed branches. Leaves are spear-shaped, 7.5 to 10 centimeters long, with pointed tips and entire or toothed margins. Petioles are shaped like the human ear. Heads are about 8 millimeters long, borne in lax, divaricate, rounded corymbs. Involucral bracts are linear-oblong, numbering 10 to 12. Achenes are minute, slender, and 4-angled or 4-ribbed, the ribs being either hairy or smooth.

- In thickets at an altitude of from 1,300 to 2,200 meters in Ifugao, Bontoc, and Benguet Subprovinces in Luzon.
- Also occurs in India to southern China and Taiwan.

- Phytochemical studies have yielded flavonoids, alkaloids, phenolic acids, terpenes, volatile oils, carotenoids, and trace elements.
- Yields unsaturated pyrrolizidine alkaloids, senecionine and seneciphylline.

- Study yielded nine compounds: lupenone, oleanane, beta-sitosterol, daucosterol, adonifoline, phydroxy benzeneacetic acid, 2-(1,4-dihydroxy-cyclohexanyl) -acetic acid, hyperoside, and linarin.
- Study isolated a new lactone, (E)- seneciolactone, together with nine known compounds. (5)
- Study yielded four alkaloids identified as senkirkine, dehydrosenkirkine, monocrotaline and adonifoline, of which senkirkrine was the main component.
- Roots yielded four compounds: β−sitosterol, pentacosanoic acid , 19α-H lupeone , and sucrose.
- Study of Qianliguang, a traditional Chinese medicinal (TCM) herb with Senecio scandens as a major plant source yielded a total of nine toxic and two non-toxic PAs were detected, of which six PAs were characterized viz., neoplatyphylline, senecionine, senecionine N-oxide, seneciphylline, seneciphylline N-oxide and senkirkine. Other PAs were tentatively assigned as jacobine, jacozine N‐oxide (or erucifoline N‐oxide), 7‐tigloylplatynecine, usaramine and an isomer of yamataimine. The estimated total content of toxic PAs in Sscandens was 10.82 µg/g herb. (see study below) (24)
- MSMS study of Senecio scandens yielded 46 volatile compounds. The major compounds were a-pinene (11.93%), n-caproaldehyde (9.02%), and dehydrosabinene (6.22%). (25)
- Study yielded three new alkaloids, seneciobipyrrolidine (1), seneciopiperidine (2) and 4-pyrrolidino- phenyl acetate ethyl esters (3). (26)

- Plant is regarded as slightly poisonous (emetic).
- Considered depurative, febrifuge, ophthalmic.
- Toxicity concerns. (see study below) (1) (24)

Parts used
Stalks, leaves.


- Used in all sorts of epidemics, and in jaundice, malaria, snake or dog bites.
- Decocted with licorice, used as an antifebrile.
- Leaves and stalks used as remedy for eye diseases.
- In China, a folk medicine used in the treatment of bacterial infections, inflammation, arthritis, and rheumatic diseases.
- In China, Senecio scandens is a major plant source of Qianliguang, a traditional Chinese medicinal (TCM) herb use for the treatment of sinusitis.

Hepatotoxicity Study:
Study reports nine hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids, with a content of 6.95 to 7.19 microg/g. The total content of toxic PAs in Qianliguang was determined at 3.48 microg/kg/day, far below the lowest dose to cause hepatotoxicity (15 microg/kg/day). At a human equivalent dose, no significant hepatotoxicity was noted in rats. At 6 g/kg (8x recommended dose), it produced typical PA- induced hepatotoxicity in rats. Appropriate dosage guidelines are suggested for implementation. (1)
Jacaranone Derivative: Study yielded a new jacaranone derivative, 2-(1,6-dihydroxy-4-oxocyclohex-2-enyl) acetic acid from the whole plants of Senecio scandens var. incisus, together with three known compounds: 2'-(p-hydroxyl-cinnamoyl)-6'-jacaranone-D-glucopyranoside, 2'-caffeoyl-6'-jacaranone-D-glucopyranoside, and kampferol-3-rhamnoside. Cytotoxic activities of the new jacaranone was evaluated against three human tumor cell lines. (6)
Antioxidative / Free Radical Scavenging Activities: In a study of twelve selected medicinal herbs for antioxidative and radical scavenging activities showed four aqueous extracts - C. chinensis, P suffruticosa, P. vulgaris and Senecio scandens - exhibited the highest potency in inhibiting rat erythrocyte hemolysis and lipid peroxidation in rat kidney and brain homogenates. The four also showed strong radical scavenging activity, but only slight prooxidant effect. (7)
Antibacterial: Study yielded flavonoid compounds. Results showed an antibacterial activity against E coli possibly through an antibacterial mechanism involving inhibition of DNA, RNA, protein and peptidoglycan synthesis, and its effective ingredient may be flavonol compounds. (4)
Essential Oil: Study
of essential oil from cultivated and wild S. scandens yielded 23 (17 terpenoids, 6 alipathic and aromatic compounds) and 21 compounds (9 terpenoids, 12 alipathic and aromatic compounds) respectively, with 13 common among them. (11)
Hepatoprotective: Study on carbon tetrachloride-induce liver injury in mice showed inhibition of liver injury and reduction of ALT and AST levels. (12)
Antioxidant Bioactivity: Study of a methanol extract of whole plant yielded forty-one compounds including two new constituents: senacainin A and 3-methoxyisonicotinic acid. (-)-monoepoxylignanolide, (-)-pinoresinol and (-)-epi-pinoresinol exhibited significant antioxidant bioactivity in the DPPH free radical scavenging assay. (13)
Flowers / Essential Oil / Antimicrobial and Inflammatory: Study of essential oil of flowers yielded various compounds, including pyrrolizidine alkaloids, sesquiterpenoids, and flavanoids. The extracts and compounds exhibited significant antimicrobial and inflammatory activities. (14)
Antitumor / Antiviral: Study showed total flavonoids of Senecio scandens showed inhibitory effect on human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line, human gastric carcinoma cell line, and human breast carcinoma cell line. An inhibitory effect on human Respiratory Syncytial virus detected by cytopathic effect. (15)
Essential Oil Components of Cultivated and Wild Species: Comparative study of essential oil components of cultivated and wild species differed: 23 compounds and 21 compounds were identified from the cultivated and the wild Senecio scandens respectively, 13 compounds were the same among them. Cultivated-essential oil yielded 17 terpenoids,6 aliphatic and aromatic compounds, while the wild-essential oil yielded 9 terpenoids,12 aliphatic and aromatic compounds. The main components of essential oil from the cultivated Senecio scandens were 11.60% of α-farnesene,13.49% of α-caryophyllene,8.57% of caryophyllene oxide,10.86% of palmitic acid and 9.00% of linoleic acid, while that of essential oil from the wild Senecio scandens were 8.10% of α-farnesene,19.50% of α-caryophyllene,14.22% of caryophyllene oxide,21.45% of palmitic acid and 13.66% of linoleic acid. (16)
Effects of Selenite and Selenate on the Antioxidant Systems: Selenate and selenite are the most prevalent bioavailable selenium (Se) forms and easily taken up by plants. Study showed selenite induces oxidative stress enhancing ROS production, lipid peroxidation and oxidized forms of ascorbate and glutathione while selenate does not significantly affect the involved pathways. Results suggests the synergistic action of different components to overcome selenium phytotoxicity in Senecio. (17)
Anti-Tumor: Ethanol extract isolated four new compounds 1-4. The compounds exhibited moderate cytotoxicities against five tumor cell lines. (19)
• Ninety-Day Subchronic Oral Toxicity Study: A 90-day subchronic oral toxicity study was done in Wistar rats at doses of 225, 450, and 900 mg/kbw/d. Results showed no obvious toxicity. Some changes were noted in hematology and coagulation parameters (RDW, platelet count, Mo%, APTT, PT). Other than a slight effect found on rat coagulation and metabolism systems, the herb was safe at all doses tested. However, caution is advised when administering S. scandens at higher doses. (21)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic: Study evaluated Senecio scandens ethanol extracts for anti-inflammatory effect using rat granulation tissue hyperplasis induced by cotton ball and rat egg white paw edema method and analgesic effects of by HSC writhing reaction and hot plate test. Results showed obvious anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect, with suggestion of peripheral analgesic activity and anti-inflammatory effect that may be related to inhibition of PGE2 synthesis or release from inflammatory tissue. (22)
• Seneciolactone / Antibacterial Against Gastrointestinal Pathogens: Study evaluated the antibacterial effect of seneciolactone isolated from a methanolic extract of S. scandens against five bacterial pathogens known to cause GIT diseases. Results showed moderate to potent antibacterial activity against different bacterial strains, with zone of inhibition most potent against Shigella dysenteriae. The antibacterial effect was mediated through destruction of the cell membrane in S. dysenteriae. (23)
• Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids / Tumorigenic: Among the PAs identified, senecionine, seneciphylline, and senkirkine are known tumorigens capable of inducing liver tumors in experimental animals. Two, seneciphylline N-oxide and senecionine N-oxide are probably tumorigenic due to their potential conversion into seneciphylline and senecionine via metabolic reduction in the body. (see constituents above) (24)
• Anti-Tumor Polysaccharides / Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Study evaluated the anti-tumor effect of polysaccharides extracted from the root of S. scandens (PRS) on hepatocellular carcinoma. Results suggest PRS possesses significant anti-tumor activity on H22 cell line in vitro and in vivo probably via mitochondria-mediated apoptosis. (27)
• Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibition / Antidiabetic / Essential Oil / Flowers: One of the treatments for diabetes is associated with α-glucosidase inhibition which helps restore blood glucose to normal range. Study showed the flowers of S. scandens have an irreversible inhibitory effect on α-glucosidase by changing the shape of enzyme molecules. The IC50 of S. scandens flower essential oil was 0.01925 mg/mL indication an α-glucosidase inhibitory activity greater than acarbose. (28)
• Pyrrolizidine Alkaloid Enhancement of Alcohol Induced Hepatocytotoxicity: Herbal remedies with PAs can induce liver damage, including hepato-sinusoidal obstruction or veno-occlusive liver disease. Study showed PA up-regulates alcohol induced hepatocytotoxicity by inducing the inflammatory cytokines and enhancing the apoptotic effects of ethanol. Study advises on a concern that interactions between herbal remedies and drugs of misuse should be communicated to consumers. (29)

Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids:
Yields unsaturated pyrollizidine alkaloids, senecionine and seneciphylline. The alkaloids are reported to be hepatotoxic to humans causing hepatotoxic veno-occlusive disease. Also, reported to be carcinogenic and mutagenic in animals.
Adonifoline: HPA (hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids) have always been a threat to both human and livestock health worldwide. Adonifoline has been identified as the main HPA in Senecio scandens. Study of the in vivo metabolism of adonifoline was done to identified metabolites present in bile, urine and feces of rats. Metabolites involved in the metabolic processes and the principle in vivo metabolism pathways were proposed. (8)
Safety Dilemma: Dose is the Key? Qianliquang (Senecio scandens) is a common Chinese medicinal herb, contained in many over-the-counter remedies. Safety of Qianliguang products were raised because of the presence of hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). Study showed S. scandens to yield nine hepatotoxic PAs at 6.95-7.19 µg/g. The PAs content of 2.38 µg/kg/day in Qianliguang was considered far below the lowest dose to cause hepatotoxicity (15 µg/kg/day) as suggested by the International Program on Chemical Study.. No significant hepatotoxic effects were observed in rats fed an extract at this human-equivalent dose for 14 days. The study suggests appropriate dosage guidelines to be implemented for the herbal industry. (18)
• Five Hepatotoxic Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids / Tumorigens: In China, Senecio scandens is a major plant source of Qianliguang, a traditional Chinese medicinal (TCM) herb use for the treatment of sinusitis. Study of an aqueous extract yielded hepatotoxic and tumorigenic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). A total of nine toxic and two non-toxic PAs were detected, of which six PAs were characterized viz., neoplatyphylline, senecionine, senecionine N-oxide, seneciphylline, seneciphylline N-oxide and senkirkine. Estimated total content of toxic PAs was 10.82 µg/g herb, significantly higher than the (≤ 1 µg/g herb) recommendation by Belgium and Germany not to be used clinically. Among the PAs identified, senecionine, seneciphylline, and senkirkine are known tumorigens capable of inducing liver tumors in experimental animals. Two, seneciphylline N-oxide and senecionine N-oxide are probably tumorigenic due to their potential conversion into seneciphylline and senecionine via metabolic reduction in the body. (see constituents above) (24)


Updated May 2018 / July 2014

IMAGE SOURCES: Flower Head / Image of Asteraceae Senecio scandens / Copyright © 2009 by P.B. Pelser (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL14409] / PhytoImages / Click on image to go to page source
IMAGE SOURCES: / Senecio scandens Buch.-Ham. Ex D. Don / Photo by Wang Yun / © www.plant.ac.cn / Zhiwutong / Click on image to go to page source

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Qianliguang (Senecio scandens) safety dilemma: dose is the key? / Ge Lin, Song-Lin, Mi Li et al / Planta Medica (2009), Volume: 75, Issue: 10, Pages: 1107-1111
Herbal Safety News / Senecio / GP-Plus, City Centre Healthcare
Studies on constituents in herb of Senecio scandens / Chen LX, Ma HY et al /
Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2006 Nov;31(22):1872-5.
Study on mechanism of Senecio scandens Buch-Ham against Escherichia coil with serum pharmacology / Pharmacology and Clinics of Chinese Materia Medica, 2009-03 / DOI: CNKI:SUN:ZYYL.0.2009-03-024
A new lactone from Senecio scandens / Ji Shi, Li Yang, Chang-Hong Wang et al / Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 35 (2007) 901e904
A new jacaranone derivative from Senecio scandens var. incisus / Wen-Shu Wanga; Peng Lu ET AL / Natural Product Research, Vol 24, Issue 4, 2010, Pages 370 - 374 / DOI: 10.1080/14786410903250936
Antioxidative and free radical scavenging activities of selected medicinal herbs / F Liu and T B Ng /
Life Sciences, Vol 66, Issue 8, 14 January 2000, Pages 725-73/ doi:10.1016/S0024-3205(99)00643-8
Identification of metabolites of adonifoline, a hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloid, by liquid chromatography/
tandem and high-resolution mass spectrometry
/ Aizhen Xiong, Li Yang, Yugi He et al / Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 2009; 23: 3907–3916 / DOI: 10.1002/rcm.4329
Senecio scandens Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don / Catalogue of Life, China
Studies on the alkaloids of Senecio scandens growing in Guangdong / Guo XF, Liu MH, Peng W, Wang YG, Yang CP, Su WW. / Zhong Yao Cai. 2011 May;34(5):724-6.
Comparative research on the essential oil from Senecio scandens. / He ZhongMei; Wang Hui; Bao HaiYing; Bai Bing; Liu HanBin / Journal Medicinal Plant 2010 Vol. 1 No. 7 pp. 45-47
Study of Protective Effect of Senecio Scandens Bush - Ham on Chemical Liver Injury / Sichuan Journal of Physiological Sciences, 2000-01 / DOI: cnki:ISSN:1671-3885.0.2000-01-007
Constituents from Senecio scandens and their antioxidant bioactivity / Yann-Lii Leu, Chih-Lung Lin, Ping-Chung Kuo / Archives of Pharmacal Research, March 2011, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 377-382
Chemical composition of the essential oil of Senecio scandens flowers / Ye-Gao Chen; Jian-Hong Yang; Yan Zhang; Ying Liu / Chemistry of Natural Compounds;Jan2009, Vol. 45 Issue 1, p 114
The antitumorus and antiviral activity of total flavonoids from Senecio scandens in vitro / HE Zhong-mei, BAI Bing, WANG Hui, SUN Jia-ming, ZONG Ying / Chinese Traditional Patent Medicine, 2010-12 / DOI: CNKI:SUN:ZCYA.0.2010-12-008
Comparative Research on the Essential Oil from Senecio scandens / Medicinal Plant 2010, v.1(07) 49-51 / Supported by " Eleventh Five-Year" Funded Projects of Education Department of Jilin Province (No. 63 in 2009); Scientific Research Foundation of Jilin Agricultural University (20090422)

Effects of selenite and selenate on the antioxidant systems in Senecio scandens L / C. Paciollaa*, S. De Leonardisa & S. Dipierroa /
Plant Biosystems - An International Journal Dealing with all Aspects of Plant Biology: Official Journal of the Societa Botanica Italiana, Volume 145, Issue 1, 2011 / DOI:10.1080/11263504.2010.509942
Qianliguang (Senecio scandens) Safety Dilemma: Dose Is the Key? / Ge Lin, Song-Lin Li, Mi Li, Na Li, Sunny Sun-Kin Chan, Wood-Yee Chan, Zhong-Zhen Zhao / Planta Med 2009; 75(10): 1107-1111 / DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1185468
Jacaranone glycosides from Senecio scandens / Xiao-Yan Tian, Ying-Hong Wang, Qing-Yun Yang, Xin Liu, Wei-Shuo Fang, and Shi-Shan Yu / Journal of Asian Natural Products Research, Vol 8, No 1-2, Jan-Mar 2006, 125-132.
Senecio scandens / Synonyms / The Plant List
Ninety-Day Subchronic Oral Toxicity Study of Senecio scandens Extract in Rats / Xiu-Kun Wang, Yong Zhao, Ting Liu, Yan Yi, Chun-Ying Li, Hong-Jie Wang, Chang-Hong Wang, Zheng-Tao Wang, Zu-Guang Ye, Ai-Hua Liang / Biologicval and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, Vol 38, Issue 10 (2015)
The anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of Senecio scandens Buch-Ham. ethanol extracts (SSBHE) / Chengli Yao, Jiangning Wang, Yu Wang / Biomedical Research (2016) Volume 27, Issue 4
Antibacterial activity of seneciolactone isolated from Senecio scandens against some common gastrointestinal tract disease causing bacterial pathogens  / Yi Zheng, Yu Wang and Yuan-Hong Shang / Bangladesh Journal of Pharmacology (2016); 11: pp 218-223 / DOI: 10.3329/bjp.v11i1.24792
Identification of five hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids in a commonly used traditional Chinese medicinal herb, Herba Senecionis scandentis (Qianliguang) / Song-Lin Li, Ge Lin, Peter P Fu, Chi-Leung Chan, Mi Li, Zhi-Hong Jiang / Rapid Communication in Mass Spectrometry / https://doi.org/10.1002/rcm.3398
Analysis of the Volatile Compounds in Senecio Scandens Buch-Ham by Gas Chromatography—Tandem Mass Spectrometry Based on Diversified Scan Technologies / Sensen Lu, Yue Sue, Yinlong Guo / European Journal of Mass Spectrometry.
Three New Alkaloids from Senecio scandens / Daopeng Tan, Guixin Chou / Chemistry of Natural Compounds, May 2014; Vol 50, Issue 2: pp 329-332
Anti-tumor activity of polysaccharides extracted from Senecio scandens Buch, -Ham root on hepatocellular carcinoma / Chunqing Dou, Bao Zhang, Mingming Han,Xin Jin, Liyuan Sun and Tao Li / Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research,January 2017; 16 (1): 43-49 / http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/tjpr.v16i1.6
Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitory Activities of Essential Oils Extracted from Three Chinese Herbal Medicines / Ma Lin*, Lin Qirong, Lei Dandan, Liu Shan, Wang Xiaomei, Zhao Yuanyuan / CHEMICAL ENGINEERING TRANSACTIONS, Vol 64 (2018) / DOI: 10.3303/CET1864011
Pyrrolizidine alkaloids enhance alcohol-induced hepatocytotoxicity in vitro in normal human hepatocytes / M.G. NEUMAN, L.B. COHEN, V. STEENKAMP / European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, 2017; 21(1Suppl): pp 53-68


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