Snake needle grass

Botanical Name :Hedyotis diffusa
Family: Rubiaceae
Genus: Hedyotis
Species: H. diffusa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Other Scientific Names: Hedyotis diffusa,Oldenladia diffusa
Common Names:Daniri (Bis.),Ulasiman-kalat (Tag.), Snake needle grass (Engl.)

Habitat : Wild Hedyotis diffusa can be found in China, Japan, Nepal.A common weed in towns, gardens, and open lands throughout the Philippines.

Description:
Slender, spreading or ascending, more or less branched, annual herb, reaching a length or 50 cm or less.
* Leaves: linear and 1 to 3 cm long.
* Flowers: white, 3 mm long and occurring singly in the axil of the leaf. Pedicele about as long as the calyx, corolla lobes entire. Ovary 2-celled.
* Fruits: capsules, loculicidal, ovoid, about 4 mm long and do not protrude beyond the calyx segments.

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Properties:
*Sweet tasting, cooling in effect.
*Considered alterative, antibacterial, antidote, analgesic, antiinflammatory, antitumor, diuretic, febrifuge and sedative.
*Study yielded a four anthraquinones.
Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used:
* Entire plant.
* Harvest the entire plant from April to September.
* Wash and sun-dry.


Constituents :

*Study of chemical constituents yielded anthraquinones, terpenoids, flavonoids, steroid alchols, alkanes, organic acids, polysaccharides, coumarin and alkaloids.

Folkloric
* For any kind of inflammation, e.g., tonsillitis, laryngitis, and appendicitis: use dried preparation 30 to 60 gms (or fresh material 120 to 240 gms) boil to decoction and drink.
* Used for jaundice and hepatitis, malignant tumors.
* Poultice of plant material used for external bruises or blood congestions, boils, and abscesses.
* Plant decoction used for biliousness, fever and gonorrhea.
* Used for fevers, cough, asthma.
* In Chinese folk medicine, used in hepatitis and malignant tumors of the liver, lung and stomach. Also used for carbuncles, skin sores and ulcerations, painful swollen throats, gynecologic infections, and snake bites. source

Studies:
Neuroprotective: Study yielded five flavonol glycosides and four O-acylated iridoid glycosides. All nine compounds exhibited neuroprotective activity in cultures of damaged rat cortical cells.
• Antitumor: Although used in folk medicine for malignant tumors of the liver, lung and stomach, study showed no antiproliferative or antiangiogenic effects to support its folkloric antitumor use.
Immunocompetent Activity: Study showed H diffusa improved the leukopenia and splenic cellular decrease caused by irradiation and increased the immunocompetence of splenic cells after mitogenic stimulation. Study suggests H diffusa may be effective in preventing hematopoietic damage in combination use with radiotherapy.
• Antioxidant: In a study of H diffusa, H corymbosa and M pentaphylla, all three showed varying levels of antioxidant and radical scavenging activities.
• Phytochemicals: Study isolated five flavonoids from H diffusa: kaempferol, kaempferl 3-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside, kaempferol 3-O-(6″-O–L-rhamnosyl)-beta-D glucopyranoside, quercetin 3-O-(2″-O-beta-D-glucopyranosyl)-beta-D-glygopyranoside.
• Anticancer: Study of OD extract against eight cancer cell lines showed strong antiproliferative activity against all cancer cell lines and induced significant increase of apoptosis. Also, there was significant inhibition of lung metastases in the animal model without noticeable side effects. Results suggest a potential for an anticancer agent.
• Methylanthraquinone / Anticancer: Study yielded methylanthraquinone from Hedyotis diffusa which exhibited potent anticancer activity. In a study in human breast cancer cells, results suggested that methylantrhaquinone induced MCF-7 cells apoptosis via Ca2+/calpain/caspase-4-pathway.
• Antitumor / Phytotoxic: Study of leaf methanol extract of Oldenlandia diffusa showed tumor inhibition on potato disc and significant phytotoxicity. Results suggest Oldenlandia diffusa might be a potential source of antitumor agent for use in the treatment of tumors in human.
Oleanolic Acid / Fibroblast Inhibition / Chemopreventive / Chemotherapeutic: Study showed oleanolic acid inhibited the growth of ras oncogene-transformed R6 cells at doses not toxic to normal fibroblasts. Resutls demonstrate oleanolic acid possess both cancer therapeutic and chemopreventive activities and presenting a great potential as a novel anti-cancer drug.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.stuartxchange.com/UlasimanKalat.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedyotis_diffusa
http://www.righthealth.com/topic/hedyotis_diffusa

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