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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2011, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (11): 1170-1178.doi: 10.3736/jcim20111103

• Review • Previous Articles     Next Articles

An updated review on medicinal herb genus Spilanthes

Kishan Lal Tiwari, Shailesh Kumar Jadhav(), Veenu Joshi   

  1. School of Studies in Biotechnology, Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur, Chhattisgarh 492010, India
  • Received:2011-06-26 Accepted:2011-09-16 Online:2011-11-20 Published:2011-11-15

Herbal medicine has been used in medical practice for thousands of years and recognized especially as a valuable and readily available resource for healthcare in Asian nations. India is a vast repository of medicinal plants that can be developed as a safe and economical system of medicine for the treatment of various ailments. Unfortunately, most of the traditionally used medicinal plants are yet unexplored or have not been fully examined by modern medical science. Therefore, exploring traditionally reported medicinal plants to leverage their potential for the betterment of human health is of great importance. The present review examines a promising medicinal plant genus Spilanthes. In recent years, many new compounds and activities of this plant genus have been established. The present review therefore, aims to compile up-to-date and comprehensive information of genus Spilanthes with special emphasis on phytochemical and ethnomedical uses, scientifically documented pharmacological activities and tissue culture methods for conservation.

Key words: Spilanthes, plant extracts, spilanthol, medicine, traditional, herbal drugs, review

Figure 1

Structure of some alkamides present in SpilanthesRecently, the LC-electrospray ionisation-MS method has been developed for the identification and quantification of spilanthol in S. acmella (L.) Murr.[16]."


Spilanthes species Reported secondary metabolites and their chemical nature
S. acmella N-isobutylamide: spilanthol[17], undeca-2E,7Z,9E-trienoic acid isobutylamide[17], undeca-2E-en-8,10-diyonic acid isobutylamide[17], 2E-N-(2-methylbutyl)-2-undecene-8,10-diynamide[14], 2E,7Z-N-isobutyl-2,7-tridecadiene-10,12-diynamide[14], 7Z-N-isobutyl-7-tridecene-10,12-diynamide[14]
Phytosterol: β-sitosterol[18], stigmasterol[18, 19], α- and β-amyrins[18]
Essential oil: limonene[20], β-caryophyllene[20], (Z)-β-ocimene[20], germacrene D[20], myrcene[20]
Hydrocarbon: mixture of C22 to C35 normal hydrocarbons[21]
Alcohol: myricyl alcohol[18, 19]
S. alba N-isobutylamide: spilanthol[22], undeca-2E,7Z,9E-trienoic acid isobutylamide[22], acetylenic amides, acetylenes[22]
S. oleracea N-isobutylamide: spilanthol[23], 2-methyl-butylamide[23], (Z)-non-2-en-6,8-diynoic acid isobutylamide[23], (Z)-dec-2-en-6,8-diynoic acid isobutylamide[23]
S. ocymifolia Phenylethylamide: N-2-phenylethylcinnamamide[24]
S. calva Flavonoid glucoside: tetrahydroxdihydrochalcone 3′-0-glucoside[25]
S. leiocarpa Eudesmanolide[26]
S. americana Sesquiterpene: α- and β-bisabolenes[9], caryophyllene[9], cadinenes[9]
N-isobutylamide: N-(isobutyl)-2E,6Z,8E-decatrienamide[9], N-(isobutyl)-6Z,83-decadienamide[9]
Phenylethylamide: N-(2-phenelethyl)2E,6Z,8E-decatrienamide[9]


Part used Traditional uses
Flowers Relieve toothache[30], in stomatitis and throat complaints[30], cure paralysis of tongue[31], remedy for stammering[31], as spice[32]
Leaves Stimulant[33], sialagogue[7], local anaesthetic[33], in bacterial and fungal skin diseases[34], as diuretic and lithotriptic[4], as salad[35]
Roots Purgative and laxative[27], in cold and flu[27], in headache, asthma and rheumatism[19]


Pharmacological activity Species Part used Type of extract Models used Reference
Diuretic S. acmella Flowers CWE Hydrated rats 36
S. acmella Leaves Petroleum ether, chloroform and ethanol Hydrated Wistar albino rats 37
Antimalarial, larvicidal S. acmella Murr. Flowers Ethanol Anopheles, Aedes, Culex larvae 38
S. acmella, S. calva,S. paniculata Flowers Hexane A. stephensi, A. culicifacies, C. quinquefasciatus larvae

S. mauritiana Aerial parts Methanol extract Aedes aegypti larvae 40
S. mauritiana Leaves Crude powder A. gambiae, Culex larvae 41
Insecticidal S. calva Leaves and flowers Petroleum ether, ethyl acetate and methanol Helopeltis theivora 42
S. acmella Murr. Leaves and flowers Aqueous Chilo partellus 43
S. acmella NA NA Periplaneta Americana 44
Vasorelaxant S. acmella Murr. Aerial parts Chloroform, hexane, ethyl acetate, methanol Phnenylephrine-induced rat 45
Antioxidant S. acmella Murr. Aerial parts Chloroform, hexane, ethyl actate, methanol 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH)
and superoxide dismutase (SOD) assay
S. acmella Leaves, stems Methanol DPPH, SOD assay 46
Antinociception, antihyperalgesic S. acmella Flowers CWE Formalin test of nociception and
carrageenan-induced thermal hyperalgesia
in rats
Acmella uliginosa (Sw.) Cass Flowers Methanol Chemicals (acetic acid-induced abdominal
constriction and formalin-, capsaicin-,
glutamate-induced paw-licking test) and
thermal models (hot-plate test) of
nociception in mice
Anti-inflammatory S. acmella Aerial parts Aqueous Carragenan-induced paw edema in rats 49
S. acmella Aerial parts Ethanol Lipopolysaccharide-activated murine
macrophage model
Antimicrobial S. paniculata Leaves NA Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus,
Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa,Candida
albicans and Microsporum gypseum
S. americana Whole plant Aqueous, ethanol and hexane Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus
hemolytic, Bacillus cereus, Pseudomonas
aeruginosa and Escherichia coli
S. mauritiana Roots and flowers NA Staphylococcus, Enterococcus,
Pseudomonas, Escherichia and
Klebsiella, Salmonella
S. acmella
Flower heads Petroleum ether Fusarium oxysporium, F. moniliformis,
Aspergillus niger and A. paraciticus
S. mauritiana Roots and flowers NA Candida species and Aspergillus species 55
S. calva Roots Methanol Oral microflora: Streptococcus mutans, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Candida albicans 56
Immunomodulatory S. acmella Murr. Leaves Ethanol Macrophage function in mice 57
S. acmella Leaves Ethanol Neutrophil adhesion test in rat 58
HIV-1 protease inhibitor S. acmella L. Whole plant Chloroform, methanol and water In vitro HIV-1 protease solution assay
Convulsant S. acmella Whole plant Hexane Electroencephalo-graph behaviour of rats 60
Antiviral S. americana Flowers NA NA 32
Antimutagenic S. calva NA Chloroform Ames Salmonella/microsome assay 61
Pancreatic lipase-inhibitory S. acmella Flowers Ethanol In vitro test 62
Antihepatoxic S. ciliata Whole plant Ethanol Paracetamol-induced hepatic damage in rats 63
Antipyretic S. acmella Murr. NA Aqueous Aspirin-treated rats 64
Local anaesthetic S. acmella Murr. NA Aqueous Xylocaine-induced guinea pig and frog 64
Aphrodisiac S. acmella L. Murr. Flowers Ethanol Nitric oxide release in human corpus
cavernosum cell line and penile erection in rats
Analgesic S. acmella Aerial parts Aqueous Acetic acid-induced writhing response in albino mice 49
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