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 it grows.


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]

Common Names[edit]

  • English: pill-bearing spurge, asthma plant, hairy spurge, garden spurge, pillpod sandman [10]
  • Bengali: boro-keruie, barokhervi [10]
  • Gujarati: dudeli[10]
  • Hawaiian: Koko kahiki
  • Hindi: baridhudi, dudh ghas, dudhi [10]
  • Luganda: kasandanda
  • Sanskrit: chara, amampatchairasi, barokheruie [10]
  • Tagalog: tawa-tawa, gatas-gatas[11]
  • Kinaray-a: tawa-tawa
  • Tamil: amampatchaiarisi [10]
  • Telugu: reddivari nanabalu, reddinananbrolu, bidarie [10]
  • Urdu: lal dodhak [10]


  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. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ Edmon Agron, "Tawa-tawa contains active ingredients that may help dengue patient – study - eVolved by worldngayon." Retrieved 2014-6-20

External links[edit]