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Family Scrophulariaceae
Limnophila rugosa (Roth) Merr.

Da ye shi long wei

Scientific names Common names
Herpestis rugosa Roth Bintugo (Sub.)
Limnophila rugosa (Roth) Merr. Kalaoo (Bik.)
  Patalatala (Pamp.)
  Tala (Tag., Bik.)
  Tala-tala (Pamp.)
  Tara-tara (Ilk.)
  Taram-hapan (Tag.)
  Rice paddy herb (Engl.)
  Swamp leaf (Engl.)
Limnophila rugosa (Roth) Merr. is an accepted name. The Plant List
Quisumbing's synonyms i.e., Limnophila roxburghi and Limnophila menthastrum are unresolved names. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Da ye shi long wei.
FRENCH: Herbe a paddy.
INDIA: Kala karpur.
SPANISH: Hierba del arrozal.
VIETNAMESE: Que dat, Rau vi, Om san, Hoi nuoc.

Tala is an erect herb reaching a height of about 50 centimeters. Leaves are opposite, oblong-ovate, 3 to 10 centimeters long, 1.5 to 4 centimeters wide, pointed at both ends, and toothed at the margins. Upper surface of the leaves is rough. Flowers are about 1 centimeter long, purplish, and clustered on stems which are found in the axils of the leaves or which terminate the leafy branches.

- In open, wet places at low altitudes in Lepanto, Nueva Viscaya, Pampanga, Bulacan, Camarines and Sorsogon Provinces in Luzon; Palawan, Panay, Negros and Mindanao.
- Also occurs in India to Malaya and Polynesia.

- Phytochemical screening yielded phenolics, flavonoids, terpenoids, amino acids.
- Leaves yield an essential oil.

- Essential oil has yielded p-methoxybenzoic acid, anisaldehyde, anisylacetone, trans-anethole, cis-anethole, methylchavicol, formic acid, propionic acid, acetic acid, valeric acid, acetone and hentriacontanol.
- Aerial parts and roots yielded 5-hydroxy-7,2′,4′-trimethoxyflavone from a petrol extract.
- Study of essential oil yielded main constituents of trans-anethole (24.96–27.12 %) and methyl chavicol (70.79–71.00 %). (8)
- Study of plant essential oil yielded linalool (0.1%), estragole (22%), cis-anethole (0.03%), anisaldehyde (0.05%), trans- anethole (75%), anisyl acetone (0.03%), caryophyllene (0.08%), humulene (0.15%) and 'ALFA'-bulnesene (0.01%). (9)
- Phytochemical screening of whole plant yielded glycosides, little amount of alkaloids and flavonoids in the ethanol extract, while the aqueous extract was rich in glycosides. (14)
- Phytochemical screening of ethanol and aqueous extracts of leaves yielded alkaloid, tannins, triterpenoids, flavonoid and phenols. Physicochemical properties of leaves viz., foreign matter, loss on drying, total ash, and insoluble ash were o.oo% w/w, 3.4% w/w, 7.54% w/w and 0.23% w/w, respectively. (17)
- GC-MS, PGC, and and IR studies for essential oil separated and identified the following: linalool (0.08%), estragole (21.94%), cis-anethole (0.03%), anisaldehyde (0.05%), trans-anethole (76.39%), anisyl acetine (0.03%) caryophyllene (0.08%), humulene (0.15%), and a-bulnesene (0.01%). (18)
- Study of dried leaves for essential oil yielded 45 chemical components with 40 peaks accounting for 99.65% of total contents, consisting mainly of terpenoids (72.20%) and aromatic compounds (22.99%). Main components were estragole (17.75%), [1S-alpha,7alpha,8a.beta)]-1,2,3,5,6,7,8,8a-octahydro-1,4-dimethyl-7-(1-methylethenyl)-Azulene (13.24%), caryophyllene(11.29%), Z,Z,Z-1,5,9,9-tetramethy l-1,4,7-cycloundecatriene (10.92%), Eucalyptol (6.78%). (see study below) (19)

- Aromatic with a flavor similar to Chinese star anise.
- Considered carminative, digestive tonic, diuretic, refrigerant.
- Studies suggest antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, hypotensive, antioxidant, xanthine oxidase inhibitory, immunostimulatory properties.

Parts used
Leaves, plant juice.


- Anise-scented leaves used as flavoring for food in Java.
- Essential oil used as food flavoring. (10)
- Infusion of leaves used as diuretic and digestive tonic.
- Juice of the plant rubbed over the body for pestilent fever.
- Juice mixed with coconut oil applied on elephantiasis.
- Decoction of leaves mixed with Ocimum basilicum is taken internally for gonorrhea and impotence.
- In Thailand, decoction of leaves used as expectorant; externally as cosmetic for skin care.
- In India, used as diuretic and stomachic.
- Leaf decoction used externally for cosmetic skin care. (13)
- Decoction and steam-bath of aromatic leaves used to relieve itching eyes. (9)
- In India, plant juice used in dysentery. (10)
- In the Eastern Ghat region of Orissa, leaf paste with leaves of tulsi given orally to treat urinary burning. (
- Perfume: Essential oil used for perfuming of hair oils.
- Decorative: In India, Konda reddis tribe use the branches for decoration and worship. (13)

Antimicrobial / Essential Oil:
Essential oil and constituents have exhibited antibacterial activity against Bacillus subtilis and Salmonella typhi. The essential oil has shown antifungal activity.
Flavonoids: Aerial parts and roots have yielded flavonoids: 5-Hydroxy-6,7,4'-trimethoxyflavone (salvigenin), 5-Hydroxy-7,2',4'-trimethoxyflavone, and 5-Hydroxy-7,8,2',4'-tetramethoxyflavone.
Essential Oil: Leaves yielded about 0.5 to 0.7% essential oil. Results showed the presence of estragole and anethole in the oil. Toxicity gave an ED50 of 0.185 m>/100gm BW. (3)
Hypotensive / Nevadensin: Study yielded 3-beta-hydorxylup-20(29)-en-27-oic acid, nevadensin, and demethoxysudachitin from the whole herb of Limnophila rugosa (Roth) Merr. Nevadensin exhibited hypotensive effect on both normotensive and spontaneous hypertensive rats under pentobarbital anesthetization. The mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) of rats decreased about 50 mm Hg for 30 minutes. (4)
Nevadensin / Bioactivity: Nevadensin, (5,7-dihydroxy-6,8,4'-trimethoxyflavone), a natural bioflavonoid has exhibited a wide range of biological activities including hypotensive, anti-tubercular, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, and anti-cancer. Study details the natural sources, isolation, chemistry and biological activities of the flavonoid in detail. (5) Nevadensin has significant pharmacological potentials: hypotensive, anti-tumor and anticancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-tubercular, antimicrobial, COX-1 and 2 inhibitory,.(21)
Anti-Inflammatory: Nevadensin was reported to have in vitro weak inhibitory activity against COX-1 and COX-2. (6)
Diuretic: Study of aqueous and alcoholic extracts of L. rugosa showed significant dose-dependent diuretic activity, with increase in urine volume and K+ excretion. (6)
Antibacterial / Antifungal / Leaves: Study evaluated various dilutions of methanol extract of leaves against important human pathogenic bacteria (S. aureus, S. pyogenes, E. coli, P. aeruginosa, A. niger, A. clavatus, and C. albicans). Results showed antibacterial and antifungal activity with linear increase with increase in concentration of the extracts. (7)
Immunostimulant Effect: Study screened 15Thai medicinal plant extracts for in vitro immuostimulant effect on rat splenic lymphocyte proliferation and J774A.1 macrophage phagocytosis. Among five crude ethanolic plant extracts found to stimulate lymphocyte proliferation, Limnophila rugosa demonstrated the highest stimulation on rat lymphocyte proliferation with an effect on macrophage phagocytosis. The extract also showed highest inducing effect on IL-12 secretion from J774A.1cells. (11)
• Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitory Activity / Antioxidant: Study evaluated the effect of nitrogen application rats on antioxidant activities and xanthine oxidase (XO) inhibitory activity. Antioxidative activities including DPPH activity, Fe-ion chelating and reducing power were significantly increased by increasing nitrogen rate. The ethanolic extract treated with 0.1%m 0.5%, and 1X nitrogen rate inhibite3d XO by 28.1%, 46.4% and 72.3%, respectively. The XO inhibition was concentration dependent. The 8.38 mg/ml extract treated with 0.5X nitrogen inhibited XO by 86% with IC50 of 5.87 mg/ml compared to allopurinol with IC50 of 3.80, (15)
• Diuretic / Antimicrobial / Leaves: Study evaluated aqueous and alcoholic extracts of L. rugosa leaves for diuretic and antibacterial activity. Results showed dose dependent activity with increase in urine volume and K+ ion excretion. Antimicrobial testing by disc diffusion method showed activity against E. coli, S. aureus, B. subtilis, P. aeruginosa, S. typhi, and V. cholera. (16)
• Radical Scavenging Activity / Essential Oil / Leaves: Study of dried leaves for essential oil yielded 45 chemical components with 40 peaks accounting for 99.65% of total contents, consisting mainly of terpenoids (72.20%) and aromatic compounds (22.99%). The essential oil showed strong scavenging activities against DPPH and hydroxyl radical with IC50s of 29.98 mg/mL and0.69 mg/mL, respectively. (see constituents above) (19)
• Effect of Nitrogen Application on Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitory and Antioxidant Activity: Study evaluated the effects of nitrogen application rates on antioxidant activity and xanthine oxidase inhibitory activity in Limnophila rugosa. Increase of ChI index caused by raising ChI a, ChI b and Car contents was found with increasing nitrogen rates. Antioxidant activity by DPPH radical scavenging, Fe++ ion chelating activity and reducing power were significantly increased. The ethanolic extract also inhibited xanthine oxidase concentration dependently. The 8.38 mg/ml extract of L. rugosa treated with 0.5% nitrogen rate inhibited XO by 86% with IC50 of 5.87 mg/ml, compared with allopurinol with IC50 of 3.80 µg/ml. (20)

- Wild-crafted.
- Plant, essential oil in the cybermarket.

Updated May 2020 / October 2019 / August 2016

                                                  PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: / Photograph / Limnophila rugosa / © Aquaticmag / photo modified by G Stuart / Click on image to go to source page / aquaticmag.com

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Country Report /Thai Herbal Medicinal Products Industry / Dr Surapote Wongyai
Limnophila (Scrophulariaceae): Chemical and Pharmaceutical Aspects / Goutam Brahmachari / 34 The Open Natural Products Journal, 2008, 1, 34-43
A study on the essential oil of Limnophila rugosa (Roth. (Merrill (Fam Scrophulariaceae) / Imperial-Fajardo P / DOST-SciNET-Phi
Studies on Hypotensive Constituents of Limnophila Rugosa / Mon-Chun Liu, Zong-Shiow Chena, Li-Ching Chung, Meei-Shieu Yang, Shien-Tsong Ho, Ming-Tyan Chen / Chinese Pharmaceutical Journal, 1991; 43(1): pp 35-40
A new flavone from Limnophila rugosa. / Mukherjee, K. S.; Chakraborty, C. K.; Bhattacharya, D.; Chatterjee, T. P. / Fitoterapia 1990; Vol 61, No 4: pp 366-367
Review Article: Chemical and pharmacological aspects of Limnophila rugosa: An update / Dilip Gorai*, Shyamal K. Jash, Raj K. Singh, Atasi Sarkar and Sasadhar Majhi / International Journal of Natural Products Research 2013; 3(4): pp 120-124
Microbial evaluation of Limnophila rugosa Roth. (Merr) leaf / Rabinarayan Acharya, Ridhhish H. Padiya, Esha D. Patel, C. R. Harisha, and Vinay J. Shukla / Ayu., 2014 Apr-Jun; 35(2): pp 207–210. / doi: 10.4103/0974-8520.146259
Study of the Essential Oil of Limnophila Rugosa (Roth.) Merr. in the South of Vietnam / Nguyen Truc Linh & Le Ngoc Thach / Journal of Essential Oil Bearing Plants, 2011; Volume 14, Issue 3 / DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0972060X.2011.10643947
Limnophila rugosa / Useful Tropical Plants
Antibacterial activity of some medicinal plants available in Panchet and Panchokot Hills, Purulia, West Bengal, India / DilipGorai*, AtasiSarkar and Raj Kumar Singh / Der Pharmacia Lettre, 2013, 5 (6):20-23
Limnophila rugosa / World Vegetable Center
Limnophila rugosa / The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Phytochemical study of an ethno medicinal plant Limnophila rugosa Roth. (Merr.) (Scrophylariaceae) whole plant / Rabinarayan Acharya, Riddhis H Padiya, Esha D Patel, Vinay J Shukla /
Nitrogen rates of application on xanthine oxidase inhibitory and antioxidant activity of Limnophila rugosa (Roth.) Merr. extracts / Ming Huan Hsu et al / / WCPRM 2014
Diuretic and antimicrobial activity of leaves of Limnophila rugosa / Madhumitha B, P Devi, Meera R, Kameswari B / Research Journal of Pharmacy and Technology, 2009, 2(1): pp 212-213.
PRELIMINARY PHYTO-CHEMICAL STUDY ON THE LEAF OF AN ETHNO-MEDICINAL PLANT Limnophila rugosa Roth. (Merr.) / Acharya RN, Padiya RH, Patel ED , Harisha CR, Shukla VJ / Ayurpharm Int J Ayur Alli Sci., 2012'; Vol.1, No.7: pp 138-143 / ISSN: 2278-4772
STUDIES ON THE CHEMICL CONSTITUENES OF THE ESSENTIAL OIL FROM LIMNOHILA RUGOSA  / Yu Xuejian and Cheng Biqiang / Plant Diversity, 1986; 8(1): pp 1-3
Chemical Composition and Antioxidant Activities in Vitro of the Essential Oils from Limnophila rugosa Leaves in Fujian / HUANG Xiao-dong, HUANG Xiao-kun, LI Yu-hong / Journal of Quanzhou Normal University, 2011-02
Nitrogen rates of application on xanthine oxidase inhibitory and antioxidant activity of Limnophila rugosa (Roth) Merr. extracts / Ming-Huang Hsu, Zhi-Wei Yang, Shu-Fong Huang, Chi-Ming Yang, Tzong-Fu Kuo, Wen-Dar Huang / WCPRM 2014
Nevadensin: Isolation, Chemistry, and Bioactivity / Goutam Brahmachari / International Journal of Green Pharmacy, Ot-Dec 2010 / DOI: 10.4103/0973-8258.74128
Ethnomedicinal survey of some wetland plants of South Orissa and their conservation / Anima Panda & Malaya K Misra / Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, April 2011;10(2): pp 296-303

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