Euphorbia hirta

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Euphorbia hirta
Starr 080604-5935 Chamaesyce hirta.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Genus: Euphorbia
Species: E. hirta
Binomial name
Euphorbia hirta

Chamaescye hirta (L.) Millsp

Euphorbia hirta in Panchkhal valley

Euphorbia hirta (sometimes called asthma-plant[1]) is a pantropical weed, possibly native to India. It is a hairy herb that grows in open grasslands, roadsides and pathways. It is widely used as a medicinal herb in most places.


This erect or prostrate annual herb can get up to 60 cm long with a solid, hairy stem that produced an abundant white latex.[2] There are stipules present. The leaves are simple, elliptical, hairy (on both upper and lower surfaces but particularly on the veins on the lower leaf surface), with a finely dentate margin. Leaves occur in opposite pairs on the stem. The flowers are unisexual and found in axillary cymes at each leaf node. They lack petals and are generally on a stalk. The fruit is a capsules with three valves and produces tiny, oblong, four-sided red seeds. It has a white or brown taproot.

Medicinal Uses[edit]

In the test tube, Euphorbia hirta has been shown to kill various types of pathogenic bacteria, Plasmodium (potently).[3][4]

Euphorbia hirta has been claimed to have a curative effects on dengue patients, based on personal testimonies, particularly in the Philippines. Despite its widespread use, there is no evidence to support this claim.[5] The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), the health research arm of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) spearheads studies to assess the curative component of Euphorbia hirta for dengue.[6] Mixed messages have been presented by representatives of the Philippine government. The Department of Health (DOH) says Euphorbia hirta is not enough for critical dengue patients, and urges oral rehydration therapy[citation needed]. Others, like former Health Secretary Jaime Galvez Tan, is actively promoting the herbal medication.[7] Given the diversity of how dengue can present (with or without hemorrhage, various serotypes of the virus, etc.), efficacy of this herb may vary.

In-vivo study done at the San Pedro College, in Davao City, Philippines, found that E. hirta tea concoction can increase rabbits' platelet counts by 194%.[8]

Euphorbia hirta is often used traditionally for female disorders, respiratory ailments (cough, coryza, bronchitis, and asthma), worm infestations in children, dysentery, jaundice, pimples, gonorrhea, digestive problems, and tumors. It is reported to contain alkanes, triterpenes, phytosterols, tannins, polyphenols, and flavanoids.[9]


A study have been made using the extract of Euphorbia Hirta in an experiment if there are any side-effects of the plant. The extract of the Euphorbia Hirta was used in an experiment that involved 32 male Sprague-Dawley rats, and they were divided into four groups; group 1 (control group) were fed phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), groups 2-4 (treated groups) were fed increasing concentration of the extract. The rats received the extracts or PBS every alternate day for a period of 50 days.

After the animals were sacrificed, their organs-aorta,kidneys, and liver- were harvested for observations. During the observation using the electron microscopy, in the aorta of groups2-4, the ultrastructure of the aorta showed no change in the endothelium, smooth muscle and elastin compared to the group 1. In the kidneys of the control group, there wasn't any damage to it, however, the treated groups displayed signs of damage to the basement membrane, the messangial cells showed changes to their nuclei. The liver of all the groups showed clear presence of hepatocytes; the livers of the control group showed a normal hepatocytes, however, the treated groups showed various stages of degeneration of the hepatocytes.

As a result of the experiment, the side-effects depended of the dose of the Euphorbia hirta on the murine liver and kidneys. However, further studies are required in order to acquire more knowledge of the side-effects of the plant because there are not many studies to compare the results of the experiment.[10]

Common Names[edit]

  • English: pill-bearing spurge, asthma plant, hairy spurge, garden spurge, pillpod sandman [11]
  • Bengali: boro-keruie, barokhervi [11]
  • Gujarati: dudeli[11]
  • Hawaiian: Koko kahiki
  • Hindi: baridhudi, dudh ghas, dudhi [11]
  • Luganda: kasandanda
  • Sanskrit: chara, amampatchairasi, barokheruie [11]
  • Tagalog: tawa-tawa, gatas-gatas[12]
  • Twi: Kaka wie adwie
  • Kinaray-a: tawa-tawa
  • Tamil: amampatchaiarisi [11]
  • Telugu: reddivari nanabalu, reddinananbrolu, bidarie [11]
  • Urdu: lal dodhak [11]


  1. ^ "BSBI List 2007" (XLS). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Retrieved 2014-10-17. 
  2. ^ "Open Source for Weed Assessment in Lowland Paddy Fields (OSWALD)". Asia IT&C Programme of the European Union. 2007-07-21. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  3. ^ Sudhakar M, Rao ChV, Rao PM et al. (2006). "Antimicrobial activity of Caesalpinia pulcherrima, Euphorbia hirta and Asystasia gangeticum". Fitoterapia 77 (5): 378–380. doi:10.1016/j.fitote.2006.02.011.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help);
  4. ^ Tona L, Cimanga RK, Mesia K et al. (2004). "In vitro antiplasmodial activity of extracts and fractions from seven medicinal plants used in the Democratic Republic of Congo". J Ethnopharmacol 93 (1): 27–31. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2004.02.022. 
  5. ^ Edmon Agron, "Tawa-tawa contains active ingredients that may help dengue patient – study - eVolved by worldngayon." Retrieved 2014-6-20
  6. ^ Edmon Agron, "PCHRD – Gruppo Medica Award recognizes students with excellent research on herbal medicine - eVolved by worldngayon." Retrieved 2014-6-20
  7. ^
  8. ^ Davao students win first prize for research on antidengue property of papaya and tawa-tawa
  9. ^
  10. ^ Wong, J.Y.R; Chen, Y.S; Chakravarthi, S; Judson, J.P; Raj, Santhana L.; Er, H.M (November 2013). "The effect of Euphorbia hirta on the ultrastructure of the murine liver, kidney, and aorta". Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine 6 (5): 1247-1250. doi:10.3892/etm2013.1295. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Kumar S, Malhotra R, Kumar D (2010). "Euphorbia hirta: Its chemistry, traditional and medicinal uses, and pharmacological activities". Pharmacognosy Rev 4 (7): 58–61. doi:10.4103/0973-7847.65327. 
  12. ^ Edmon Agron, "Tawa-tawa contains active ingredients that may help dengue patient – study - eVolved by worldngayon." Retrieved 2014-6-20

Further Reading[edit]

Pratheepa, Vijayakumari; Sukumaran, NatarajaPillai (13 Nov 2014). "Effect of Euphorbia hirta plant leaf extract on immunostimulant response of Aeromonas hydrophila infected Cyprinus carpio". PeerJ 2. doi:10.7717/peerj.671. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 
Quy, Trinh; Ly, Le (April 2014). "An investigation of antidiabetic acttivities of bioactive compounds in Euphorbia hirta Linn using molecular docking and pharmacophore". Medicinal Chemistry Research 23 (4): 2033-2045. doi:10.1007/s00044-013-0794. 

External links[edit]