Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Porophyllum ruderale

Botanical Name: Porophyllum ruderale
Family: Asteraceae
Order: Asterales
Tribe: Tageteae
Genus: Porophyllum
Species: P. ruderale

Common Nmaes: Bolivian coriander, Quillquiña (also spelled quirquiña or quilquiña), Yerba porosa, Killi, Papalo, Tepegua, Mampuritu and Papaloquelite

Habitat: Porophyllum ruderale is native to Central and South America, but is widely grown throughout Mexico and the Caribbean. A weed of disturbed soils. Brushy rocky slopes or plains, most often in sandy soil, frequently on sandbars along streams, at elevations of 200 – 1,200 metres. Ephemerally wet sites in desert mountains; 1,000 – 1,500 metres.

Porophyllum ruderale is an herbaceous annual plant whose leaves can be used for seasoning food. The taste has been described as “somewhere between arugula, cilantro and rue. When fully grown, this plant grows to about 5 feet (150 cm) in height and 3 feet (91 cm) in diameter.This subspecies has elongated blue-green leaves about 1 1/2 inches in length.

When planted in the ground, it is fast-growing and can quickly reach 4 feet or more with a naturally-rounded growth habit. The foliage color makes an attractive addition to the herb garden. They flower profusely, but the blooms are not showy, consisting of an elongated bud with a bristly-looking top.

The plant is easy to grow from seed in a well-drained soil, which should be allowed to dry between watering.


Porophyllum ruderale is an annual plant found from the warm temperate zone of southern N. America and south through the tropical Americas to Bolivia and Peru. It is usually found in very freely draining soils, often in semi-arid regions where it grows after rains.
Requires a sunny position, succeeding in a range of soil types so long as they are well-drained.

In addition to being cultivated as a food crop, the subspecies macrocephalum is often found as a weed of waste and disturbed ground in its native habitat. It was introduced into the Galapagos as a food, where it has escaped from cultivation and is now classed as an invasive weed.
The subspecies macrocephalum is the form more commonly grown for its edible leaves.

The aromatic oils, which are contained largely in the pores or glands that are especially plentiful on the leaves, produce a strong odour when the foliage is bruised, broken, or heated. Cures, real or fancied, that are attributed to various species of Porophyllum are probably largely due to either the soothing properties of the oils or the imagination by the patient that anything that is so odoriferous must be beneficia.

Propagation: Through Seed – sow in situ

Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. They can be added to salads or cooked as a flavouring in foods such as stews and salsa. They are said to make a delicious salsa with tomatoes, onions and chilli. The leaves have a very distinctive pungent aroma and flavour which has been compared to cilantro (Coriandrum sativum).

Medicinal Uses:
Porophyllum ruderale is believed to have medicinal benefits according to some cultures; people living in Mexico, Central and South America commonly use it as medicine for high blood pressure and stomach disorders. In Bolivia, the Chacobo Indians utilized the herb on infected injuries to reduce swelling.

The plant is used as an antiinflammatory.
The roots are used in treating snakebite and also to relieve pain from rheumatism and the bacterial disease erysipelas.

Other Uses:
An essential oil obtained from the plant is used medicinally and also has significant antifungal activity. It has been recommended for use to develop natural fungicidal formulations in order to protect post-harvest stored grains. Higher antifungal activity is displayed when the complete essential oil is used, as opposed to individual components from the oil used in isolation, suggesting that enhancement of antifungal activity is obtained when other minor compounds are present in the oil, suggesting that the antifungal activity is a result of a synergistic effect.

The oil contains a significant amount (25%) of waxes and fatty acids, with the following major compounds identified: citronellal (29.3%), -caryophillene (12.4%), hexyl cinnamic aldehyde (8.4%), and bisabolene (7.41%).

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


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