Herbs & Plants

Bidens frondosa

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Botanical Name : Bidens frondosa
Family : Asteraceae
Genus : Bidens L.
Kingdom : Plantae
Subkingdom :Tracheobionta
Superdivision : Spermatophyta
Division : Magnoliophyta
Class : Magnoliopsida
Subclass :  Asteridae
Order : Asterales
Species : Bidens frondosa L.

Common Names :Bur Marigold, Devil’s Bootjack, Devil‘s pitchfork,Beggars Tick  Pitchfork Weed, and Sticktight.

Habitat :Native to U.S. Wet ground, ditches, pond margins, streambanks, waste ground, roadsides, railroads

Bidens frondosa  is an annual herb. It looks similar to a Dahlia plant, up to 2 m tall, usually with reddish stems. Its flowers are yellow, produced in early autumn, followed by numerous seeds with hooked barbs that attach onto passing animals’ fur or clothing or sometimes even skin which allow the seeds to be dispersed widely.

Stems – From fibrous roots, stout, erect, herbaceous, to +/-2m tall, branching, 4-angled (the angles rounded), fluted, essentially glabrous but with a few antrorse hairs in upper portions, typically purple.

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LeavesOpposite, petiolate, trifoliolate. Petiole to +/-5cm long, with an adaxial groove (groove curly pubescent within), the rest of the petiole glabrous or with very sparse short pubescence. Lateral leaflets with petiolules to 5-6mm long, basally oblique. Terminal leaflet with petiolule to 2.5cm long, larger than lateral leaflets, sometimes unequally divided. All leaflets serrate, acuminate, puberulent above, pubescent below, to +10cm long, 4cm broad, light green below, deep dull green above.

Flowers:Bloom during August  to October

Medicinal Uses:
Used in palpitation of the heart, cough, and uterine derangement.  Roots or seeds are also used as an expectorant in throat irritation.  Bidens frondosa in infusion has cured several cases of croup, even where they have been considered beyond aid. A strong infusion of the plant, sweetened with honey, was administered to the children, warm, in doses of a tablespoonful or more every 10 or 15 minutes, until it vomited. A quantity of mucous and membranous shreds were ejected, followed by immediate relief; the children passed into a sleep, from which they awakened perfectly well. In a few hours after the emetic operation of the warm infusion, it acted as a cathartic. The leaves from which the infusion was made, were, at the same time placed in a piece of flannel with some brandy added to them, and laid over the chest and throat. This plan is also beneficial in colds, acute bronchial and laryngeal attach from exposure to cold, etc. An infusion of the seeds formed into a syrup with honey, is useful in whooping-cough.

For urethritis and cystitis that has had several closely spaced occurrences, with antibiotics helping briefly but with the irritation returning shortly after the finish of the regimen try several days of the tea or tincture.  If the pain goes away, continue the tea for a few more days to finish up the membrane healing.  Bidens is also an excellent herb for benign prostatic hypertrophy, usually decreasing the membrane irritability both in the urinary tract and the rectum, and often, over a few weeks of use, noticeably shrinking the prostate and giving its connective tissue better tone.  For this purpose, it combines well with equal parts of white sage.

For elevated uric acid in the blood and a history of gout or urate kidney gravel, Bidens will increase the efficiency of the kidney’s excretion of uric acid from the blood; it will also act as a diuretic to dilute the urine.  It has no effect on the production of uric acid by the body.  Since the mechanism for stimulating the excretion is different from that of Shepherd’s Purse, the two can be combined for increased effects. The herb is active against staph infections, and can be used as a wash, sitz bath, and eyewash.  Its astringency helps take away the inflammation and pain as well. Its astringency and anti-inflammatory effects on the mucus membranes help act as a tonic and preventative for gastritis and ulcers, and diarrhea and ulcerative colitis.  For respiratory infections or irritated membranes due to shouting, smoking, or dust, the tea or tincture acts to soothe the membranes, increase mucus secretions and expectoration, and decrease edema and swelling.  For some asthma aggravated or induced by infection, it may be enough to turn the problem around.  The tea will often help hay fever and sinus headaches from allergies, infections or pollution. For mucus discharges, use the tea two or three times a day for a week.  This includes cloudy urine, vaginal discharges, mucus colitis, mucoid conjunctivitis, and chronic throat and nasal discharges.

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.


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Herbs & Plants

Bidens pilosa

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Botanical Name : Bidens pilosa
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Bidens
Species: B. pilosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common names
:   Anguad (Ig.)  Puriket (Bon.) ,Burbutak (Tag.)  Beggar ticks (Engl.,) ,Dadayem (Iv.)  Water marigold (Engl.) ,Nghuad (Tag.) Spanish needles (Engl.) ,Ñguad (Tag.) Black jack (Engl.) ,Pisau-pisau (C. Bis.) ,Chor pushpi,Picao Preto, Black-jack, Beggar-ticks, Cobbler’s pegs

Local names: Nguad (Ig.); dadayem (Jv.); pisau-pisau (C. Bis.); puriket (Bon.); beggar-ticks, bur marigold, Spanish needles, black jack (Engl.)

Habitat :   Bidens pilosa  is native to the Americas but it is known widely as an introduced species of other regions, including Eurasia, Africa, Australia, and the Pacific Islands.It  is found in waste places, chiefly at medium altitudes, ascending to 2,200 meters, from the Batan and Babuyan Islands and northern Luzon to Mindanao. It is pantropic in distribution.

Bidens pilosa is an annual forb of gracile habit, growing up to 1.8 meters tall. It grows aggressively on disturbed land and often becomes weedy. The leaves are oppositely arranged and pinnate in form with three to five dentate, ovate-to-lanceolate leaflets. The petioles are slightly winged.This is an erect, branched, usually more or less hairy herb 0.2 to 1.5 meters in height. The leaves are 1- or 2-pinnatifid and 15 centimeters long or less, the upper one being usually much smaller; the segments are ovate-lanceolate, 2 to 5 centimeters long, and toothed. The flowering heads are about 8 millimeters long. The disc flowers are brown or yellowish and the ray ones, yellow or nearly white. The inner involucral-bracts have broad, scarious margins. The acheness are black, long and slender, linear, 1 to 1.5 centimeters long, and characterized by four projections at the apex.
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Edible Uses:
• In sub-Saharan Africa, fresh or dried tender shoots and young leaves are eaten as vegetable in times of scarcity.
• In Uganda, leaves are boiled in sour milk.
• Leaves are added to salads and stews.
• Young shoots used to make tea.

Constituents :Plant contains iodine; the leaves, tanin and aponin; the flowers, suflur.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts used:
· Entire plant.
· Collect before flower opens, rinse, sun-dry, section into pieces or compress.

Antibacterial, antidysenteric, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antimalarial, diuretic, hepato-protective, antipyretic, antifungal.
Sweet tasting, mildly refrigerant.

According to Gibbs and Agcaoili the flowers are mixed by the Igorots with the balls of boiled rice which they set to ferment in the manufacture of crude spirits.
Burkill says that the leaves contain a little tannin.

The leaves are official in the Dutch (4) and Mexican (4) Pharmacopoeias.
According to Burkill the Malays boil the plant and take the infusion for coughs.
Caius reports that for sore eyes the pounded leaves are applied over the eyelids. In the Gold Coast and in Lagos the juice of the leaves is commonly squeezed into the eyes or the ears to cure complaints in those organs. In the latter case the leaves are first warmed in water with pepper. The leaves are also used as a styptic to stop bleeding from wounds. Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk say that the Zulus chew the young shoots for treatment of rheumatism. They also administer the powdered leaves in water as an enema for abdominal troubles, and rub the burnt seeds into incisions on the sides for the relief of pain. Caius reports that the leaves are used in Brazil as a styptic in stopping the floe of blood, and as a vulnerary. They are also applied to foul ulcers and swollen glands. In Columbia the infusion is used as a sudorific. Ridley quotes Holmes, who states that the Malays rub the leaves on the gums for toothache. Burkill adds the juice of the leaves is used in Java, Malaya, and Indo-China for eye complaints. In Java the leaves, heated, are applied to boils to ripen them. The leaves are said to be a substitute for tea in Mexico.

Crevost and Petelot state that in Indo-China the dried flower buds, ground and mixed with alcohol, are used as a mouth-wash in toothache. Caius says that among the Zulus the flower is used as a remedy for diarrhea.

Folkloric :
· Used as preventive for influenza or cold, used for treatment of swelling pain at the throat, fever among infants, fear of cold weather.
· Used for poisonous insects and snake bite.
· For enteritis, flatulence, diarrhea, appendicitis.
· For sprains, contusions, chronic ulcers.
· Used to stop wound bleeding.
· Leaves used for treatment of thrush and candida.
· For piles, chronic ulcers, various skin diseases.
· Dosage: use 30 to 60 gms of dried material or 90 to 150 gms fresh material in decoction. Fresh materials may be pounded and applied as poultice or boiled in water and applied as external wash.
· In Uganda, the sap from crushed leaves is used to speed up blood clotting in fresh wounds. Leaf decoction used for headaches. Plant sap is used for ear infections. Decoction of leaf powder for kidney ailments. Plant decoction used for flatulence.
· In southern Africa, used for malaria.
· In Zimbabwe, used for stomach and mouth ulcers, diarrhea and hangovers.
· In Peru, leaves are balled up and applied to toothaches.
· In the Amazon, used for hepatitis, angina, sore throat.
· In the Congo, plant used as poison antidote and to facilitate child delivery.
· In Nigeria, the powder or seed ash is used as a local anesthetic for cuts.
· In Brazil, the plant is traditionally used for conditions related to cancer.
Note: This plant closely resembles Bidens tripartita which may be differentiated on the shape of the leaves, however the medicinal function of this plant is identical with Bidens pilosa and hence may be used as a substitute.

Other Uses:
• Fodder for pigs.
• Seeds for chicken feed.
• Leaves used as stimulant alternative to tea.
• In Kenya, used for the extraction of natural dyes.
• In the Congo, roots are washed, dried and used as painting brush.

• B. pilosa has been studied for antitumor activity. Some reports suggest antileukemic actions. Polyacetylenes from B. pilosa suggest antimicrobial activity. Some flavonoids have anti-inflammatory. Other studies have shown it to possess antibacterial, antidysenteric, antiinflammatory, antimalarial, diuretid, hepatoprotedtive and hypotensive effects.

• Hepatoprotective: Study of water extract from B pilosa on Wistar rats showed phytotherapeutic activity in hepatic damage induced by chronic obstructive cholestasis by hepatoprotective effects on liver function, decrease of rate of necrosis and liver fibrosis.

• Studies of anticancer and antipyretic activity of Bidens pilosa whole plant: Extracts from B. pilosa were tested for anticancer and antipyretic activity. Extracts were showed a significant cytotoxic effect against Hela cells by in vitro method and showed a comparable antipyretic activity.

• Anti-Tumor: (1) Study of an in vitro cytotoxicity using Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cell line assay, the chloroform extract showed the best antitumor activity.

Anti-Malarial Activity: (1) New evidences of antimalarial activity of Bidens pilosa roots extract correlated with polyacetylene and flavonoids: The results showed the in vivo activity of the ethanol extract depends on polyacetylene and flavonoids. (2) Study showed the presence of flanonoid compounds believed to be responsible for the antimalarial activity. Its proven activity against P falcifarum drug-resistant parasites in vitro and in rodent malaria in vivo, suggests it a good candidate for further testing as a phytotherapeutic agent.

• Immunomodulation: (1) Study yielded flavanoids – centaurein and centaureidin, which stimulated IFN-gamma expression. (2) Study showed the butanol fraction of B pilosa has a dichotomous effect on helper T cell-mediated immune disorders, possibly through modulation of T cell differentiation.

• Anti-Herpes: Study showed the hot water extract of Bidens pilosa inhibited replication of the HSV.

Antiinflammatory / Antiallergic: Results of studies on suspension and boiling water extract of dried powder from the aerial parts of B pilosa L var radiata Scherff inibited histamine release and production of IgE, suggesting it may be clinically useful in the prevention of type 1 allergic disease.

• Anti-Diabetic: Results of study on water extract of B pilosa suggests it ameliorates type 2 diabetes in mice through regulation of insulin secretion and islet protection.

• Anti-leukemic: Study of hot water extracts showed inhibition of leukemic cell lines and suggests it may be a useful medicinal plant for treating leukemia.

• Flavonoids / Hepatoprotective: Study in carbon tetrachloride-induced liver injury in mice and rats showed the total flavonoids of Bidens pilosa had a protective and therapeutic effect on animal liver injiury and could be associated with its antioxidant properties and inhibition of NF-kB activation.

• Oxytocic: Study to validate the claimed uses of Bidens pilosa and Luffa cylindrica inducing labor during childbirth showed the aqueous leafy extracts of Bp and Lc increased rat uterine motility suggesting oxytocic activity and validates their therapeutic herbal uses in childbirth.

• Mutagenic Potential: A study to evaluate the capacity of teas of B pilosa and Mikania glomerata to induce DNA damages and mutagenic effects showed dose-dependent and preparation-form effects and suggests caution in the phytotherapeutic use of the plants.

• Vasodilating / Calcium Antagonist: Study showed the vasodilating properties of the neutral extract of B pilosa and indicate a potential as a calcium antagonist.

• Cytopiloyne / T Helper Cell Modulator / Anti-Diabetes: Study yielded a novel bioactive polyacetylenic glucoside, cytopiloyne. Results showed it functions as a T cell modulator, an activity that may directly contribute to its ethnopharmacologic effect on precenting diabetes.

• Anti-COX-2 / Anti-PGE2 / Anti-Inflammatory: In a study of interleukin-1ß induced inflammation in normal human dermal fibroblasts, B pilosa inhibited the phosphorylation of MAPKs, COX-2 expression and subsequently PGE2 production.

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.


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