Pharmaceuticals and medical errors are now a leading cause of death. Painkillers are the leading cause of accidental death.

We don’t have to live in a medicated world, but we certainly choose to. The crux of the matter is that we refuse to proactively think about prevention because we reactively commit to treating the symptoms of underlying health problems. This is the allopathic model. We want the quick fix so we can continue our poor lifestyle and dietary habits. It doesn’t have to be this way, but it is. We can blame doctors, the medical institutions and healthcare systems all we want, but self-responsibility is our only recourse if we are ever to surface from this mess. There are no excuses–if you’re taking one of these drugs, consult with a Natural Health Practitioner this week about phasing out your medication and phasing in these powerful natural foods and remedies.

Of the over 4 billion prescriptions written every year, the United States and Canada make up more than 80% of the world’s prescription opioids (psychoactive medications). Between 1997 and 2012 prescription opioids increased in dosage by almost 500%. Pharmaceuticals and medical errors are now a leading cause of death. Painkillers are the leading cause of accidental death.

In the last 15 years of life, people are experiencing more pain for longer periods than at any point on our historical record. If you think life expectancy has increased to the benefit of mankind, you’re not looking at the numbers.

78% of U.S. prescriptions written in 2010 were for generic drugs (both unbranded and those still sold under a brand name). The most prescribed drugs aren’t always the best selling drugs, there’s a difference.

Prescriptions for pain, cholesterol reduction, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, antacids, antipsychotics, diabetes and antibiotics make up 100% of the most prescribed drugs.

Make a commitment to yourself right now and start incorporating some of these amazing foods into your diet with no consequence of side effects. When you accept this, you will get off prescription medications for good.

Check out the top 7 most prescribed drugs and the best natural remedies to treat and prevent disease:

1. HYDROCODONE (Acetaminophen/Vicodin/Oxycontin)

Use: For Pain

Currently the single most prescribed drug in the world. More and more doctors are getting huge payouts from pharmaceutical companies to promote these hydrocodone, especially generic drugs. They make up more than 20% of the top prescribed medications.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told Fox News that doctors are handing out narcotics like candy. Some doctors are giving patients prescriptions for narcotics for even minor injuries.

How it Works:
It is an orally psychoactive compound that works as a narcotic and analgesic. It is biotransformed by the liver into several metabolites. It is highly dependent on metabolism by the Cytochrome P450 pathway.

Respiratory depression; bradycardia; coma; seizures; cardiac arrest; liver damage; and death. Inherited genes such as the Cytochrome P450 affects metabolic pathways–some cannot process it at all, whereas a smaller percentage can get even more strength from it than usual.

Natural Foods:
Ginger, turmeric, berries, cayenne pepper, celery/celery seeds, cherries, dark green veggies, walnuts.

See: Natural Healing Remedies: 10 Foods That Fight Inflammation And Pain

2. STATINS (Generic versions of Lipitor/Zocor/Crestor)

Use: Reduction of LDL Cholesterol

Approximately 15% of the top prescribed medications are generic statins. A study published in January 2012 in the Archives of Internal Medicine linked statins to 48 percent increased risk for type-2 diabetes.

The are NO scientific studies ever documented which have proved through causation that lowering LDL cholesterol prevents disease. The obsessed culture of lowering cholesterol may actually be causing cancer.

How it Works:
Statins artificially lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting a critical enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which plays a central role in the production of cholesterol in the liver.

Inflammation and pathological breakdown of muscle, acute kidney failure, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, interference with sex hormones and death.

Natural Foods:
Nuts, spinach, apples, turmeric, cranberries, tomatoes, green tea, fatty fish, beans, alfalfa herb, capsicum fruit, garlic, psyllium, fenugreek seeds, butcher’s broom, licorice root, hawthorn berry.

- New Data Shows Lycopene Reduces Heart Disease Up To 26 Percent
- Two Apples a Day More Effective At Reducing Heart Disease Than Statin Medications
- Top 5 Foods and Herbs To Control Cholesterol
- World Renown Heart Surgeon Speaks Out On What Really Causes Heart Disease

3. LISINOPRIL (Prinivil/Zestril) AND NORVASC (Amlodipine)

Use: Reduction of High Blood Pressure

In combination, Lisinopril and Norvasc make up a whopping 23% of the top prescribed medications. This makes them the most prescribed generic medications (if combined) for cardiovascular disease and blood pressure. Individually, Lisinopril constitutes approximately 14% and Norvasc about 9%.

How it Works:
Lisinopril is typically used for the treatment of hypertension, congestive heart failure, and heart attacks. Norvasc is used for hypertension and angina. It accomplishes this by inhibiting the influx of calcium ions into vascular smooth muscle and cardiac muscle so it essentially interferes with the metabolism of calcium.

Cancer, blood disorders, development of breasts in men, impotence, depression, tachycardia, enlargement of gums, inflammation of the liver, elevated blood glucose, hepatitis, life threatening skin conditions.

Natural Foods:
Any foods high in vitamin C (chili peppers, guavas, bell peppers, thyme, parsley, dark leafy greens, broccoli), any foods high in magnesium (chocolate, green leafy vegetables, Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, blackstrap molasses, pumpkin and squash seeds, pine nuts, and black walnuts) and any foods high in potassium (mushrooms, bananas, dark green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, oranges and dates). Coconut oil/water and CoQ10 are also very effective for lowering blood pressure.

- Magnesium Reduces Blood Pressure Naturally Without Side Effects
- Low Salt Diets Do Not Decrease Blood Pressure, Period
- Vitamin C Supplements Reduce Blood Pressure Without Side Effects Associated With Medication
- Low Potassium Linked To High Blood Pressure

4. SYNTHROID (levothyroxine sodium)

Use: Hypothyroidism

A synthetic form of the thyroid hormone thyroxine, generic Synthroid makes up more than 11% of the top prescribed medications. It’s used to treat hypothyroidism. The related drug dextrothyroxine (D-thyroxine) was used in the past as a treatment for elevated cholesterol but was withdrawn due to cardiac side-effects.

How it Works:
It replaces the thyroid hormone which is naturally occurring in the thyroid gland essentially halting natural production.

Long-term suppression of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) causes cardiac side-effects and contributes to decreases in bone mineral density (high TSH levels are also well known to contributes to osteoporosis.) May also cause elevated blood glucose levels, heart failure, coma and adrenal insufficiency. TSH directly influences the whole process of iodine trapping and thyroid hormone production so use of synthroid directly affects how the body metabolizes iodine.

Natural Foods:
Any foods containing iodine such as seaweed, kelp, radish, parsley, fish, seafood, eggs, bananas, cranberries, strawberries, himalayan crystal salt. Also, copper, iron, selenium and zinc are essential in the production of thyroid hormones. Exercise a minimum of 20-30 minutes per day — enough to raise the heartbeat.

- Seaweed Extracts Can Help You Lose Weight, Mostly Body Fat
- 8 Critical Nutrients Lacking In More Than 70 Percent of Diets
- The Number One Reason So Many Women Have Trouble Losing Weight

5. PRILOSEC (omeprazole/generic versions of nexium)

Use: Antacid

A proton pump inhibitor which constitutes just over 8% of the top prescribed medications. Omeprazole is one of the most widely prescribed drugs for reflux disease (GORD/GERD/LPR) and ulcers internationally and is available over the counter in some countries.

How it Works:
It suppresses gastric acid secretion by specific inhibition of the gastric acid ions in cells. The absorption of omeprazole takes place in the small intestine essentially turning off the switch which promotes healthy digestion of foods. Omeprazole is also completely metabolized by the cytochrome P450 system.

Angina, ulcers, tachycardia, bradycardia, palpitations, elevated blood pressure, development of male breasts, inflammation of the pancreas, irritable colon, mucosal atrophy of the tongue, liver disease/failure, elevated blood sugar, muscle weakness, skin conditions, tinnitus, inflammation of the eyes, urinary frequency, testicular pain, anemia and blood cell disorders.

Natural Foods:
Grapefruits, probiotics, broccoli sprouts, manuka honey, mastic gum, marshmallow tea, glutamine, slippery elm, deglycyrrhized liquorice (DGL), aloe vera juice, baking soda, pickle juice.

- Grapefruit Heals Stomach Ulcers
- Broccoli Sprouts May Prevent Gastritis, Ulcers and Stomach Cancers
- Manuka Honey Reverses Antibiotic Resistance, Treats Disease


Use: Antibiotic

In combination, azithromycin and amoxicillin contribute towards a mind-blowing 17% of the top prescribed medications. Then we wonder why we have antibiotic resistance. On their own, each contributes about 8.5%. Azithromycin is one of the world’s best-selling antibiotics and derived from erythromycin. Amoxicillin is usually the drug of choice for children.

How it Works:
Inhibits the synthesis of bacterial cell walls and interfering with their protein synthesis. These drugs also inhibit the protein synthesis of good bacteria needed for immunity and proper digestion.

Inflammation of the liver, inflammation and destruction of the stomach lining, destruction of healthy bacterial populations, inflammation of the colon, allergic reactions, obesity, human antibiotic resistance.

Natural Foods:
Sunlight (vit D), garlic, coconut oil, turmeric, foods high in nicotinamide (vit B3) such as salmon, sardines and nuts. Also manuka honey, olive leaf extract, green tea, pau D’Arco, rose water, myrrh, grapeseed extract, golden seal, oregon grapes, oregano oil, andrographis paniculata, and probiotics.

- Garlic Proven 100 Times More Effective Than Antibiotics, Working In A Fraction of The Time
- Before Antibiotics Ever Existed, Sunlight Was Used To Treat Diseases With Great Success
- The Most Potent B Vitamin That Combats Infections Better Than Antibiotics Ever Could

7. GLUCOPHAGE (metformin)

Use: Oral anti-diabetic drug

Glucophage drugs round up the top 7 but the prescription rate of this drug is rapidly increasing. It makes up about 7% of the top prescribed medications. It is the first-line drug of choice for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, in particular, in overweight and obese people. It also acts to indirectly lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

How it Works:
By suppressing natural glucose production by the liver, the drug activates an enzyme which plays an important role in insulin signaling, whole body energy balance, and the metabolism of glucose and fats.

Lactic acidosis, impaired liver/kidney function, decreasing thyroid stimulating hormone and testosterone, increased homocysteine levels, malabsorption of vitamin B12, B12 deficiency, bladder cancer, heart failure. The biggest consequence of diabetes drugs is that it causes pancreatic function to substantially decrease inhibiting several hormones and causing other imbalances which are never correctable without abstaining from the drug.


Many societies, especially those of the Americas and China, have a history of using cayenne pepper therapeutically. A powerful compound with many uses, cayenne pepper is currently gaining buzz for cleansing and detoxifying regimes such as the Master Cleanse, which uses the spice to stimulate circulation and neutralize acidity.

Cayenne pepper has been used for a variety of ailments including heartburn, delirium, tremors, gout, paralysis, fever, dyspepsia, flatulence, sore throat, atonic dyspepsia, hemorrhoids, menorrhagia in women, nausea, tonsillitis, scarlet fever and diphtheria.

The Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper

1. Anti-Irritant Properties

Cayenne has the ability to ease upset stomach, ulcers, sore throats, spasmodic and irritating coughs, and diarrhea.

2. Anti-Cold and Flu Agent

Cayenne pepper aids in breaking up and moving congested mucus. Once mucus begins to leave the body, relief from flu symptoms generally follows.

3. Anti-Fungal Properties

The results of one study indicated that cayenne pepper could effectively prevent the formation of the fungal pathogens phomopsis and collectotrichum [1].

4. Migraine Headache Prevention

This may be related to the pepper’s ability to stimulate a pain response in a different area of the body, thus reverting the brain’s attention to the new site. Following this initial pain reaction, the nerve fibers have a depleted substance P (the nerve’s pain chemical), and the perception of pain is lessened.

5. Anti-Allergen

Cayenne is an anti- agent and may even help relieve allergies.

6. Digestive Aid

Cayenne is a well-known digestive aid. It stimulates the digestive tract, increasing the flow of enzyme production and gastric juices. This aids the body’s ability to metabolize food (and toxins). Cayenne pepper is also helpful for relieving intestinal gas. It stimulates intestinal peristaltic motion, aiding in both assimilation and elimination.

7. Anti-Redness Properties

Cayenne’s properties makes it a great herb for many chronic and degenerative conditions.

8. Helps Produce Saliva

Cayenne stimulates the production of saliva, an important key to excellent digestion and maintaining optimal oral health.

9. Useful for Blood Clots

Cayenne pepper also helps reduce atherosclerosis, encourages fibrinolytic activity and prevents factors that lead to the formation of blood clots, all of which can help reduce the chances of a heart attack or stroke.
10. Detox Support
Cayenne is a known circulatory stimulant. It also increases the pulse of our lymphatic and digestive rhythms. By heating the body, the natural process of detoxification is streamlined. Cayenne also causes us to sweat, another important process of detoxification. Combined with lemon juice and honey, cayenne tea is an excellent morning beverage for total body detox.

11. Joint-Pain Reliever
Extremely high in a substance called capsaicin, cayenne pepper acts to cause temporary pain on the skin, which sends chemical messengers from the skin into the joint, offering relief for joint pain.

12. Anti-Bacterial Properties
Cayenne is an excellent preservative and has been used traditionally to prevent food contamination from bacteria.

13. Possible Anti-Cancer Agent

Studies done at the Loma Linda University in California found that cayenne pepper may help prevent lung cancer in smokers [2]. This may be again related to cayenne’s high quantity of capsaicin, a substance that might help stop the formation of tobacco-induced lung tumors. Other studies have also shown a similar reaction in cayenne’s resistance to liver tumors.

14. Supports Weight Loss
Scientists at the Laval University in Quebec found that participants who took cayenne pepper for breakfast were found to have less appetite, leading to less caloric intake throughout the day. Cayenne is also a great metabolic-booster, aiding the body in burning excess amounts of fats.

15. Promotes Heart-Health
Cayenne helps to keep blood pressure levels normalized. It also balances the body of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

16. Remedy for Toothache
Cayenne is an excellent agent against tooth and gum diseases.

17. Topical Remedy
As a poultice, cayenne has been used to treat snake bites, rheumatism, sores, wounds and lumbago.

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM

  1. P.C. Agarwal, Usha Dev, Baleshwar Singh, Indra Rani, Dinesh Chand, R.K. Khetarpal. Seed-borne fungi identified from exotic pepper (Capsicum spp.) germplasm samples introduced during 1976–2005. PGR Newsletter – Bioversity. issue. 149, pp.39-42.
  2. Urashima M, Segawa T, Okazaki M, Kurihara M, Wada Y, Ida H. Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 May;91(5):1255-60. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.29094. Epub 2010 Mar 10.


Oregano is known botanically as Origanum vulgare and is called wild marjoram in many parts of Europe since it is closely related to the herb that we know as sweet marjoram. Its name is derived from the Greek words oros (mountain) and ganos (joy) since not only was it a symbol of happiness, but it made the hillsides on which it grew look beautiful.
Scientific names     

Coleus amboinicus Lour.      
Coleus aromaticus Benth.     
Coleus suganda Blanco      
Plectranthus aromaticus Roxb.     
Plectranthus amboinicus (Lour.) Sprengel     

Common names

Bildu (Sul.)
Clavo (C. L. Bis.)
Latai (Sub.)
Latay (Sub.)
Oregano (Span.)
Suganda (Tag.)
Torongil de Limon (Span.)
Zuo shou xiang (Chin.)

Suganda is an erect, spreading, branched, rather coarse, strongly aromatic, green herb, with fleshy stems. Leaves are fleshy, broadly ovate, 4 to 9 centimeters long, often heart-shaped, and somewhat hairy, with rounded toothed margins, with the tip and base decurrent. Flowers are small, and occur in distant whorls. Calyx is bell-shaped; the throat is smooth inside, with two lips, the upper lip being ovate and thin, the lower lip having four narrow teeth. Corolla is pale purplish and 5 times longer than the calyx, with a short tube, inflated throat, and short lips.


- Cultivated for its aromatic leaves.
- Certainly introduced.
- Also occurring in India to Malaya.


- Fresh leaves yield 0.055 volatile oil, largely carvacrol.
- Phytochemical screening yielded carbohydrates, proteins, phenols, tannins, flavanoids, saponins, glycosides.


- Aromatic, carminative, emmenagogue, diaphoretic, tonic, stimulant.
- In India, considered antilithiotic, chemopreventive, antiepileptic, antioxidant.

Parts utilized


Edibility / Culinary

  • As condiment, provides fragrance to salads and strong-smelling meat dishes.
  • Sometimes, used as flavoring for drinks.


  • In the Philippines, macerated fresh leaves applied externally to burns.
  • Leaves are bruised and applied to centipede and scorpion bites. Also, applied to temples and forehead for headache, help in place by a bandage.
  • Leaves in infusion or as syrup used as aromatic and carminative; used for dyspepsia and also as a cure for asthma.
  • The Malays used the plant juice or decoction for pains around the areas of the heart or abdomen.
  • Decoction of leaves given after childbirth.
  • In Indo-China, given for asthma and bronchitis.
  • The juice of the leaves for dyspepsia, asthma, chronic coughs, bronchitis, colic, flatulence, rheumatism. The dose is one tablespoonful of the fresh juice every hour for adults and one teaspoonful every two hours, four times daily, for children. As an infusion, 50 to 60 grams to a pint of boiling water, and drink the tea, 4 to 5 glasses a day. For children, 1/2 cup 4 times daily.
  • For otalgia (ear aches), pour the fresh, pure juice into the ear for 10 minutes.
  • For carbuncles, boils, sprains, felons, painful swellings: Apply the poultice of leaves to the affected area, four times daily.
  • For sore throats, a decoction of two tablespoonfuls of dried leaves to a pint of boiling water, taken one hour before or after meals.
  • In India, leaves are used traditionally for bronchitis, asthma, diarrhea, epilepsy, nephro-cystolithiasis, fever, indigestion and cough. Also used for malarial fever, hepatopathy, renal and vesicle calculi, hiccup, helminthiasis, colic, and convulsions.
  • The Chinese used the juice of leaves with sugar, for cough in children, asthma and bronchitis, epilepsy and convulsive disorders.
  • Leaves are applied to cracks at the corners of the mouth, for thrush, headaches; against fever as a massage or as a wash.
  • Used for bladder and urinary afflictions, and vaginal discharges.
  • Used as carminative, given to children for colic.
  • In Bengal, used for coli and dyspepsia.
  •  Expressed juice applied around the orbit to relieve conjunctival pain.


  • Fresh leaves rubbed on clothing or hair at the time of bathing for its scent.

Recent uses and preparations

Respiratory ailments like cough, asthma and bronchitis: Squeeze juice of the leaves. Take one teaspoon every hour for adults. For children above 2 years old, 3 to 4 teaspoons a day.


Antioxidant / Anticlastogenic / Radioprotective: Antioxidant, anticlastogenic and radioprotective effect of Coleus aromaticus on Chinese hamster fibroblast cells (V79) exposed to gamma radiation: The hydroalcoholic extract of CA showed dose-dependent radical scavenging against free radicals, rendered radioprotection against radiation induced DNA damage. Study results established antioxidant, anticlastogenic and radioprotective activities and suggests a potential for chemoprevention.

Antioxidant: Study of freeze-dried aqueous extract of Ca clearly established the antioxidant potency of freeze-dried extract of C aromaticus.

Mast cell stabilization property: Study showed stabilization of mast cells in rat mesenteric tissue and suggests further studies into mast cells with its role in Type 1 hypersensitivity-mediated diseases like asthma and rhinitis.

Antimicrobial: (1) Antimicrobial Activity Of Coleus aromaticus (Benth) Against Microbes Of Reproductive Tract Infections Among Women : Results suggests the herb could be an ideal choice for treating reproductive tract infections. (2) Study showed the antimicrobial effect of Coleus amboinicus, Lour folium infuum toward C albicans and Strep mutans.

Anticlastogenicity: Study of ethanolic extract of C aromaticus showed a protective effect against cyclophophamide and mitomycin-C induced cytogenetic damage.

Anti-Inflammatory: In a carrageenan-induced rat paw edema model, the aqueous extract of Coleus aromaticus exhibited potent anti-inflammatory activity, attributed to the inhibition of mediators released from the 2nd phase of inflammation.

Antibacterial: Study showed both ethanol and hot water leaf extracts of Coleus aromaticus to possess potent antibacterial activity, the ethanol extract showing greater activity. Results provide scientific support for the centuries-old use of the plant as a medicinal herb.

Forskolin / Antioxidant / Anti-Asthma / Pulmo-protective: Study isolated forskolin, a diterpenoid, from a methanolic extract of C aromaticus. C aromaticus has been used to treat asthma. Forskolin has been thought to be responsible for its pharmaceutical activity through restoration of antioxidant enzyme activity with its ability to scavenge free radicals. The results validate the use of forskolin as an anti-asthmatic agent.

Insecticidal / Anti-Termite: Study investigating the leaf essential oil of C. amboinicus yielded six components. The major component was thymol (94.3%), followed by carvacrol, 1,8-cineole, p-cymene, spathuylenol, terpinen-4-ol. The oil was insecticidal to white termites (Odontotermes obesus Rhamb). It was more active than synthetic insecticides, Thiodan and Primoban-20 against termites, although it was ineffective against Tribolium castaneum, a stored product pest.

Galactagogue / Bangun-bangun Leaves: Participants in an Indonesian of study of Batakneese women were given bangun-bangun soup during their nursing period, most consuming a bowl of soup three times daily for 30-40 days. The study aimed to gather information about the women's beliefs and experiences in the use of the herb. The participants felt their breasts become full with breast milk. Most felt consuming CA leaves helped control postpartum bleeding and help "uterine cleansing."

Anthelmintic / Antimicrobial: A chloroform and methanol extract of leaf and leaf oil showed significant anthelmintic activity. The plant extracts also showed antibacterial activity against test organisms, with very poor antifungal activity.


Cultivated for condiment and culinary use. 

Source: stuartxchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Recent uses / Philippine Inquirer. Monica Feria. Oct 6, 2007

(2)Antioxidant, anticlastogenic and radioprotective effect of Coleus aromaticus on Chinese hamster fibroblast cells (V79) exposed to gamma radiation / B S Satish Rao et al / Mutagenesis 2006 21(4):237-242; doi:10.1093/mutage/gel023 /

(3)Mast cell stabilization property of Coleus aromaticus leaf extract in rat peritoneal mast cells / Kumar A et al / Indian Journal of Pharmacology, Vol. 39, No. 2, March-April, 2007, pp. 119-120/

(4)  Antimicrobial Activity Of Coleus aromaticus (Benth) Against Microbes Of Reproductive Tract Infections Among Women

(5)Antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity of an aqueous extract of Coleus aromaticus / A Kumran and R Joel Karunakaran / Food Chemistry • Volume 97, Issue 1, July 2006, Pages 109-114 / doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2005.03.032

(6)Efficiency of Coleus aromaticus extract in modifying cyclophosphamide and mitomycin-C induced clastogenicity in mouse bone marrow cells / Prassad Naik P and Vijayalaxmi K K / Indian J Exp Biol. 2002 Sep;40(9):1020-5.

(7)Antimicrobial effects of Coleus amboinicus, Lour folium infusum towards Candida albican and Streptococcu mutans / Devi Rianti and Sri Yogyarti / Dept of Dental Material and Technology . Faculty of Dentistry. Airlangga Univerisity. Surabaya, Indonesia

(8)Screening of antiinflammatory activity of coleus aromaticus / Neelam Begum, C Mayuren, K Sateesh et al / international journal of chemical sciences, bapatla colege of pharmacy, Volume 7, Issue 4, bapatla, p.2384-2388 (2009)

(9)ANTIBACTERIAL ACTIVITY OF COLEUS AROMATICUS LEAVES / Subhas Chandrappa M, harsha R et al / International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, ISSN- 0975-1491, Vol 2, Issue 3, 2010

(10)Coleus aromaticus Benth act as an immunostimulant in Channa marulius Hamilton

Vol.1 (1) Sep-Oct-2010 An International Journal of Advances In Pharmaceutical Sciences

(12)Pharmacognostical Evaluation of Different Parts of Coleus amboinicus lour., Lamiaceae / K K Hullatti, Prasenjit Bhattacharjee / DOI: 10.5530/pj.2011.24.8

(13)Studies on essential oils, Part 33: chemical and insecticidal investigations on leaf oil of Coleus amboinicus Lour. / Gurdip Singh1, Om Prakash Singh, Y. R. Prasad, M. P. de Lampasona, C. Catalan / Flavour and Fragrance Journal, Volume 17, Issue 6, pages 440–442, November/December 2002 / DOI: 10.1002/ffj.1123

(14)Consumption of bangun-bangun leaves (Coleus amboinicus Lour) to increase breast milk production among Batakneese women in North Sumatra Island, Indonesia / R Damanik, N Damanik, Z Daulay, S Saragih, R Premier, N Wattanapenpaiboon, ML Wahlqvist / Proceedings of the Nutrition Society of Australia (2001) 25

(15)PHYTOCHEMICAL SCREENING , ANTIMICROBIAL AND ANTHELMINTHIC STUDIES ON COLEUS AROMATICUS BENTH. / Prameela T S, Oommen P Saj / Internationl Journal of Pharmaceutical Research and Development, June 2011, Vol 3, No 4, Article 14.

Scientific names   
Amomum zingiber Linn.      
Zingiber blancoi Hassk.      
Zingiber officinale Roscoe     
Zingiber sichuanense Z. Y. Zhu et al.     
Jiang (Chin.)     

Common names

Agat (Pamp., Pang.)
Baseng (Ilk.)
Gengibre (Span.)
Laial (Sbl.)
Laiya (If.)
Laya (Ilk., Bon., Ibn., It.)
Luy-a (Bis.)
Luya (Tag.)
Common ginger (Engl.)
Ginger (Engl.)  
Lao jiang (Chin.)
Other vernacular names

ARABIC: Skînzhbîr (Morocco), Zanjabil.
BENGALI: Aadaa (plant), Adrak.
BOSNIAN: Crni ingver, Đumbir, Gingibar, Isiot, Isnot, Mrki ingver, Pravi ingver, Vruća trava, Zinđefil.
BULGARIAN: Dzhindzhifil.
CHINESE: Qiang jiang, Zi jiang.
CROATIAN: Cencer, Crni ingver, Đumber, Gingibar, Ingver, Isjet, Mrki ingver, Pravi ingver, Zenzer.
CZECH: Dumbír, Zázvor, Zázvor kořen.
DANISH: Ingefaer.
DUTCH: Gember.
ESTONIAN: Harilik ingwer.
FINNISH: Inkivääri.
FRENCH: Gingembre, Gingembre commun, Gingembre officinal, Gingembre traditionnel.
GERMAN: Inbwer, Ingwer.
GREEK: Tzintzer, Piperoriza, Ziggiveris.
HEBREW: Zangvil.
HINDI: Adarak, Sonth.
ITALIAN: Zenzero, Zenzevero, Pepe zenzero.
JAPANESE: Jinjaa, Shouga.
KHMER: Khnehey, Khnhei phlung .
KOREAN: Saeng gang.
MALAY: Halia, Haliya, Haliya merah, Kunyit terus, Aliah, Jae, Jahe, Jahya, Lahya..
MALAYALAM: Inchi, Chuku.
NEPALESE: Aduvaa, Sutho.
POLISH: Jembier.
PORTUGUESE: Gengibre, Ingever.
PUNJABI: Adrak, Sund.
RUSSIAN: Imbir', Imbir' lekarstvennyi.
SPANISH: Anchoas, Jengibre.
SWEDISH: Ingefära, Ingefoera.
THAI: Khing, Khing daeng, Khing klaeng, Khing phueak, Sa e.
TURKISH: Zentzephil, Zencefil, Zencebil.
VIETNAMESE: Cây gùng, Gừng, Sinh khương.

Luya is an erect, smooth plant arising from thickened, very aromatic rootstocks. Leafy stems are 0.4 to 1 meter high. Leaves are distichous, lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, 15 to 25 centimeters long, and 2 centimeters wide or less. Scape arising from the rootstocks is erect, 15 to 25 centimeters high, and covered with distant, imbricate bracts. Spike is ovoid to ellipsoid, about 5 centimeters long. Bracts are ovate, cuspidate, about 2.5 centimeters long, and pale green. Calyx is 1 centimeter long or somewhat less. Corolla is greenish yellow, and its tube is less than 2 centimeters long, while the lip is oblong-obovate and slightly purplish.


- Widely cultivated in the Philippines.
- Nowhere naturalized.
- Native of tropical Asia.
- Now pantropic.


• Pungent principles, mainly zingerone and shogaol, provides the characteristic taste.
• The most biologically active phenolic compounds, gingerols and shogaols, are found in the root.
• Volatile oil, 1.23 to 3% - gingerol, zingerone, zingiberene, cineol, borneol, phellandrene, citral, zingiberene, linalool, geraniol, chavicol, vanillyl alcohol, camphene; resin.


• Extracts and active constituents have shown potent antioxidant, antiinflammatory, antimutagenic, antimicrobial and possible anticancer activities.
• Considered adaptogenic, anodyne, anthelmintic, antiallergenic, antibacterial, anticoagulant, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, antifungal, antithrombotic, antitumore, antiulcer, aphrodisiac, carminative, diuretic, rubefacient, anti-platelet aggregation, hypolipidemic, thermoregulatory.
• Pungency is attributed to the pungent principle, zingerone and shogaol, while the aroma is imparted by the volatile oil.
• Considered stomachic, carminative, stimulant, diaphoretic, sialagogue, and digestive.

Parts utilized

Tops, leaves and edible roots.


- One of the most popular flavoring agents.
- Used as flavoring for confectioneries, ginger ale, ginger beer, ginger champagnes, and other beverages.
- Tahu or salabat, a native beverage, is prepared from the rhizomes.
- A prominent condiment in Filipino cuisine.
- Taken with rock salt before meals is cleansing to the tongue and throat and increases the appetite.
- In Malaya fresh ginger is an important ingredient in curry.


- In the Philippines, pounded rhizome, alone or mixed with oil, used as revulsive and antirheumatic.
- As antiseptic, tincture of dried rhizome prepared with 70% alcohol (not rubbing alcohol) and applied on superficial cuts and wounds; or, juice from fresh rhizome used similarly.
- As digestive aid and for flatulence and tympanism, decoction of the rhizome drunk as tea.
- Ginger juice rubbed on and around the navel is said to cure all kinds of diarrhea.
- For rheumatism, roasted rhizome is pounded and mixed with oil and applied locally.
- For sore throat and hoarseness, warm decoction of the rhizome is drunk as ginger tea (salabat); piece of small rhizome chewed for the same.
- Rhizome used as cough remedy, rubefacient, carminative and diuretic.
- Also used for hangovers.
- For chronic rheumatism, ginger infusion ( 2 drams in 6 ounces of boiling water and strained) is taken at bedtime
- Poulticed of pounded and warmed leaves applied to bruises.
- Ginger taken with rock salt before meals is said to clean the tongue and throat and increase the appetite.
- Chewing ginger is said to diminish biliousness and delirium, relieve sore throat, hoarseness and aphonia, and increases the flow of saliva.
- Dried ginger used as corrective adjunct to purgatives to prevent nausea and intestinal pain.
- Juice from fresh ginger in gradually increasing doses is a strong diuretic in cases of general dropsy.
- For headaches: Ginger plaster (bruised ginger in water to the consistency of poultice) is applied to the forehead. Same preparation may be helpful for toothaches and facial pain.
- Hot infusion used for stoppage of menses due to cold.
- In Indo-China, cataplasm used for furuncles; when mixed with oil is antirheumatic. Rhizomes also used for tuberculosis, general fatigue and uterine affections.
- In Perak, rhizomes used as vermifuge.
- In the Antilles powdered rhizome used as revulsive for pleuritis.
- In Ayurvedic medicine, used for inflammation and rheumatism.
- In India, used as carminative adjunct along with black pepper and long pepper.
- In Chinese folk medicine, pulverized fresh ginger used for baldness and vitiligo. Juice from fresh root used for treatment of burns.

New uses

• Motion Sickness / Pregnancy-related Nausea: Antiemetic properties. Used for Nausea, motion sickness (1 gm taken 1/2 hour before the voyage). Stimulates digestion. Possibly antiinflammatory.


Ginger tea
Ginger tea preparation, the Chinese way : Bring one cup of water to boil. Add one teaspoon of the roasted (parched and browned) rice and a small piece of ginger root. Boil for one minute. Let stand to cool for drinking. (Preparation of dried rice: Pour enough water to cover 1/2 cup white rice in a flat dish; and let stand overnight. In the morning, drain off the excess water. Roast the rice in a dry pan, stirring constantly until parched and brown. Store in a glass jar for future use, tightly covered to keep moisture out.)

Ginger lozenges

• Wash and peel the ginger, then mince.
• Spread and air-dry for a day or oven-dry at 250 C.
• Grind and strain the dried ginger.
* In a mortar, mix 1 cup ground ginger and 1 cup confectioner's sugar.
• Pound and mix while gradually adding water until a pulp is formed.
• Level the pulp on a board lined with wax paper.
• Using a mold, make balls from the pulp and wrap each lozenge in aluminum foil.

How to make medicated candies from powdered rhizomes

Materials, proportion and procedure:

Go to Traditional and Modern Medicine

• Prokinetic: Pharmacological basis for the medicinal use of ginger in gastrointestinal disorders: Study confirmed prokinetic activity of the extract. Spasmolytic constituents may explain its use in hyperactive states as in colic and diarrhea.

• Antidiarrheal: Study results indicate that in the absence of antimicrobial action, Z officinale exhibits its antidiarrheal activity by affecting bacterial and host cell metabolism.

Antibacterial: (1) Antibacterial Activity Of Allium cepa (Onions) And Zingiber officinale (Ginger) On Staphylococcus aureus And Pseudomonas aeruginosa Isolated From High Vaginal Swab: The study showed both plants had antibacterial activity on the test organisms, ginger having more inhibitory effect, and confirming their folkloric use. (2) In a study on the comparative effect of ginger and some antibiotics on two pathogenic bacteria, results showed the ginger extract of both plant and root showed the highest antibacterial activity against S. aureus and Strep pyogenes while three antibiotics showed less extent of activity compared to the ginger extract.

Anti-inflammatory / Anti-thrombotic: The use of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) as a potential anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic agent: Study suggests ginger can be used as a cholesterol-lowering, anti-thrombotic and anti-inflammatory agent.

• Antioxidant / Anticancer: Study showed Zingiber officinale may exert its anticancer effect by replacing the action of superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and catalase in removing superoxide radicals and hydrogen peroxide causing oxidative damage to cells.

• Antibacterial (Garlic/Ginger) Synergism: Study investigated the therapeutic effects of ginger and garlic against Klebsiella pneumonia, whether the combined extract could be synergistic or antagonistic in rats. Study showed a synergistic relationship, garlic ameliorating the efficacy of ginger only against Klebsiella infection.

• Anti-Inflammatory / Anti-Arthritis / Prostaglandin Inhibition: Study suggests one of the mechanisms by which ginger shows ameliorative effects could be through inhibition of prostaglandin and leukotrine biosynthesis - as a dual inhibitor of eicosanoid biosynthesis.

• Gastroprotective: Study results suggest cytoprotective and anti-ulcerogenic effects with significant protection against ethanol-, HCl-, NaOH-induced gastric lesions and prevention of the occurrence of gastric ulcers induced by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and hypothermic restrain stress.

• Decreased Sperm Motility: Study results conclude that ginger can induce toxic effects on sperm parameters, ie, a lower percentage of motility and grading when methanolic ginger is added to semen fluid.

• Hepatoprotective: Study of the ethanol extract of Z officinale showed protective effect against paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity with better protective effect at higher dose levels.

• Anti-Aging: Study in mice showed ginger extract significantly reduced the development of atherosclerotic lesions and lowered LDL-cholesterol.

• Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic: Study of rhizome extract in Swiss mice showed anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties with significant inhibition of carrageenan-induced paw edema and reduction of writhing induced by acetic acid.

• Pregnancy-Related Nausea: Reasonable evidence suggests that ginger roots is effective in reducing pregnancy-related nausea. However, there is conflicting data on its efficacy for preventing motion sickness or post-operative nausea.

• Anti-Inflammatory / Antibacterial / Hypoglycemic / Analgesic: Study of ethanol extract showed (1) reduction of carrageenan-induced paw swelling and yeast-induced fever (2) blood glucose lowering (3) inhibition of gram- and gram+ bacteria (4) dose-dependent prostaglandin release inhibition.

• Analgesic: Study demonstrated the daily consumption of raw and heat-treated ginger resulted in moderate to large reduction in muscle pain following exercise-induced muscle injury. The findings agree with findings of ginger's hypoalgesic effects in osteoarthritic patients.

• Antiarthritic: Study of the alcoholic extract of ZO can ameliorate inflammatory processes in rat collagen-induced arthritis, together with reduction of serum levels of interleukins, TNF, and anti-CII antibodies. It also showed to be superior to indomethacin 2 mg/kg/d at most measured parameters. The extract presents an alternative to NSAID use in RA.

• Hypoalgesic Effect on Exercise-Induced Muscle Pain: Study on healthy volunteers showed daily consumption of raw and heat-treated ginger resulted in moderate to large reductions in muscle pain following exercise-induced muscle injury. (18)

Anticancer / Anti-Inflammatory: Ginger extract significantly reduced the expression of NFkB and TNF-a in rats with liver cancer. It may act as an anticancer and anti-inflammatory by inactivating NFkB through suppression of proinflammatory TNF-a.

Delayed Diabetic Cataract Progression: Results showed ginger was effective against the development of diabetic cataracts in rats, mainly through its antiglycating potentiation, and also, through an inhibition of the polyol pathway. As such, dietary sources, such as ginger, can be explored for its potential in preventing or delaying diabetic complications. (23)

Neuroprotective / Memory Benefits: Study showed cognitive function and neurons density in rat hippocampus receiving ginger rhizome extract were improved white the brain infarct volume decreased. The effect may be through antioxidant activity of the extract. Results demonstrate the beneficial effect of ginger rhizome in protecting against focal cerebral ischemia. (24)

Anti-Ulcerogenic Effect: Study in a model of acute colitis showed ginger hydroalcoholic extract was effective in protecting against experimental colitis.

Antidiabetic / Amylase and Glucosidase Enzyme Inhibitory Effect: Studies have targeted digestive enzymes as targets for modulation of glucose concentration through inhibition of enzymatic breakdown of complex carbohydrates. In this study, glucosidase and amylase activities on rice were inhibited by the addition of ginger with consequent significant reduction in glucose percentages. Results were comparable to Acarbose on glucosidase activity. (26)

Antimicrobial / Anticancer: Study has showed many diarylheptanoids and gingerol-related compounds from the rhizome of ZO possess significant antiproliferation activity on HL-60 cells, probably through induction of cell apoptosis. Another study has shown ginger extract and 6-gingerol to both directly interfere with colon cancer proliferation. Results show ginger's phytochemical potential for chemoprevention and therapy. In this study, the ethanol and chloroform extracts were found to possess antibacterial properties against 8 microorganisms.(27)

Antidiabetic / Hypolipidemic: Study evaluated an aqueous extract of raw ginger for hypoglycemic potential of ginger in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Raw ginger was significant effective in lowering serum glucose, cholesterol, triacylglycerol levels. Results indicate hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic potential. Raw ginger was also effective in reversing diabetic proteinuria in diabetic rats. (30)

Cytotoxicity / Toxicity / Anticancer Activity / Cholangiocarcinoma: Study evaluated a crude ethanolic extract of ginger against CCA in mice. Results from in vitro and in vivo studies showed promising anticancer activity with an absence of any significant toxicity. However, MDR1 and MRP3 may be involved in CCA resistance to the ginger extract.(31)

Cognitive Enhancer / Middle-Aged Women: Study evaluated the effect of ginger extract on cognitive function of middle-aged, healthy women. Ginger-treated groups have significant decrease in P300 latencies, increased N100 and P300 amplitudes, with enhanced working memory. Results suggest ginger to be a potential cognitive enhancer for middle-aged women. (32)

Anti-Liver Fibrosis: Extracts of ginger, particularly the ethanolic one, showed potential benefits for the treatment of liver fibrosis induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4). Evaluation was done using antioxidant parameters, liver markers and liver function enzymes, and cholestatic markers. (33)

Cardiovascular Toxic Effects: Study evaluated the acute and subacute cardiovascular toxicity of ginger in adult male albino rats. In high doses (500mg/kg) for 28 days, ginger produced both hypotension and bradycardia with degenerative changes in cardiac myocyte fibers. The effects may be partially due to vasodilatation with increased nitric oxide release or synthesis and partly from a calcium channel blocking effect, and perhaps, a cholinomimetic effect.(34)

Ginger Benefits in Acute Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea: In a double-blind, multicenter trial using placebo and various doses of ginger, results showed all doses of ginger significantly reduced acute nausea compared to placebo. Results suggest ginger supplementation at a daily dose of 0.5 g to 1.0 g significantly helps in reducing the severity of acute chemotherapy-induced nausea. (35)

Ginger Essential Oil for Post-Operative Nausea and Vomiting: A 5% solution of essential oil of ginger in grape seed carrier oil, applied naso-cutaneously, can be administered safely for prevention and management of nausea in general anesthesia patients at high risk for post-operative nausea and vomiting.(36)

Side effects

• No known side effects or drug interactions.
• The German Commission E recommends that it be avoided during pregnancy due to possible inhibition of testosterone binding in the fetus.
• The use in pregnancy for hyperemesis gravidarum is controversial. Use for nausea during pregnancy is not recommended. • Should not be used by pregnant women with a history of bleeding disorders and miscarriages.

Anticoagulant precaution

Decreases platelet adhesiveness; therefore, should be used with caution by patients on anticoagulant therapy.


Popular condiment and perennial market produce.
Candied ginger and lozenges.
Dried powdered gingeroot.
Tinctures, tablets, capsules, syrups and teas in the cybermarket.

Source: stuartxchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Pharmacological basis for the medicinal use of ginger in gastrointestinal disorders

(2)Antibacterial Activity Of Allium cepa (Onions) And Zingiber officinale (Ginger) On Staphylococcus aureus And Pseudomonas aeruginosa Isolated From High Vaginal Swab

(3)The use of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) as a potential anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic agent

(4)Bioactive compounds from Punica granatum, Curcuma longa and Zingiber officinale and their therapeutic potential

(5) Ginger tea preparation (Healing the Filipino Body and Spirit by Marie Castillo Pruden. Filipinas Magazine)

(6)  Ginger lozenges (Herbs and Spices. Ernesta Quintana. Negosiyete Plus, July 1993)

(7)Effects of Zingiber officinale on Superoxide Dismutase, Glutathione Peroxidase, Catalase, Glutathione and Malondialdehyde Content in HepG2 Cell Line / Harliansyah Abdul Hanif et al / Malaysian Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 11 (5). pp. 36-41

(8)Effects of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) and garlic (Allium sativum L.) on rats infected with Kleibsiella pneumoniae / Adeoti Olatunde Micheal al / The Internet Journal of Alternative Medicine. 2009 Volume 7 Number 1

(9)Ginger (Zingiber officinale) in rheumatism and musculoskeletal disorders / K Srivastava and T Mustafa / Medical Hypotheses, Volume 39, Issue 4, Pages 342-348

(10)Antidiarrhoeal activity of Zingiber officinale / Poonam G Daswani et al / CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 98, NO. 2, 25 JANUARY 2010

(11)Gastroprotective Activity of Ginger ZingiberOfficinale Rose, in Albino Rats / M A Ai-Yahya et al / American Journal of Chinese Medicine, Vol. XVII, Nos 1-2, pp. 51-56, 1988

(12)The Effects of Methanolic Extracts of Ginger (Zingiber officinale) on Human Sperm Parameters; An in vitro Study / S G A Jorsarael et al / Pak. J. Biol. Sci., 11: 1723-1727. / DOI: 10.3923/pjbs.2008.1723.1727

(13)Protective Effect of the Ethanol Extract of Zingiber officinale Roscoe on Paracetamol Induced Hepatotoxicity in Rats / Norina Abdullah et al / Jurnal Sains Kesihatan Malaysia 2(2) 2004: 85-95

(14)Ginger (Zingiber officinale) /


(16)Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

(17)Ethnopharmacologic investigation of ginger (Zingiber officinale) / N Mascilo, R Jain et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol 27, Issues 1-2, November 1989, Pages 129-140 / doi:10.1016/0378-8741(89)90085-8 |

(18)Ginger (Zingiber officinale) Reduces Muscle Pain Caused by Eccentric Exercise / Christopher D Black et al / doi:10.1016/j.jpain.2009.12.013

(19)Evaluation of the Effect of Hydroalcoholic Extract of Zingiber officinale Rhizomes in Rat Collagen-induced Arthritis / AM Fouda and M Y Berika / Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol (2009)

(20)Ginger (Zingiber officinale) Reduces Muscle Pain Caused by Eccentric Exercise / Christopher Black, Matthew Herring et al / The Journal of Pain, Volume 11, Issue 9 , Pages 894-903, September 2010

(21)Comparative studies of antibacterial effect of some antibiotics and ginger (Zingiber officinale) on two
pathogenic bacteria
/ A Sebiomo, A D Awofodu, A O Awosanya et al / Journal of Microbiology and Antimicrobials Vol. 3(1), pp. 18-22, January 2011

(22)Ginger Extract (Zingiber Officinale) has Anti-Cancer and Anti-Inflammatory Effects on Ethionine-Induced Hepatoma Rats / Shafina Hanin Mohd Habib, Suzana Makpoi et al / Clinics. 2008 December; 63(6): 807–813. / doi: 10.1590/S1807-59322008000600017.

(23)Antiglycating potential of Zingiber officinalis and delay of diabetic cataract in rats / Megha Saraswat, Palla Suryanarayana, Paduru Yadagiri Reddy et al / Molecular Vision 2010; 16:1525-1537

(24)Zingiber officinale Mitigates Brain Damage and Improves Memory Impairment in Focal Cerebral Ischemic Rat / Jintanaporn Wattanathorn, Jinatta Jittiwat, Terdhai Tongun et al / Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 429505 / doi:10.1155/2011/429505

(25)Anti-ulcerogenic effect of ginger (rhizome of Zingiber officinale Roscoe) hydroalcoholic extract on acetic acid-induced acute colitis in rats / M. Minaiyan, A Ghannadi et al / Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences, October 2008; 3(2): 15-22

(26)Amylase and glucosidase enzyme inhibitory activity of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) an in vitro study / Abeysekara W K, Chandrasekara A, Liyanage P K / Tropical agricultural research, Vol 19, 2007

(27)Antimicrobial and Cytotoxic Activities of Zingiber officinalis Extracts / Fabad J / Pharm Sci, 33, 77-86, 2008

(28Zingiber officinale Roscoe (accepted name) / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China

(29)Sorting Zingiber names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.

(30)Anti-diabetic and hypolipidaemic properties of ginger (Zingiber officinale) in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. / Al-Amin ZM, Thomson M, Al-Qattan KK, Peltonen-Shalaby R, Ali M. / Br J Nutr. 2006 Oct;96(4):660-6.

(31)A Study on Cytotoxicity, Toxicity and Anticancer Activity of Zingiber officinale Roscoe Against Cholangiocarcinoma / Tullayakorn Plengsuriyakarn , Vithoon Viyanant , Veerachai Eursitthichai , Smarn Tesana , Wanna Chaijaroenkul , Arunporn Itharat and Kesara Na-Bangchang / Research Journal of Pharmacology, 2012 , Vol 6, No 3, Pp 35-47 / DOI: 10.3923/rjpharm.2012.35.47

(32)Zingiber officinale Improves Cognitive Function of the Middle-Aged Healthy Women / Naritsara Saenghong, Jintanaporn Wattanathorn, Supaporn Muchimapura, Terdthai Tongun, Nawanant Piyavhatkul, Chuleratana Banchonglikitkul, and Tanwarat Kajsongkram / Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012 / doi:10.1155/2012/383062

(33)Zingiber officinale acts as a nutraceutical agent against liver fibrosis / Tarek K Motawi, Manal A Hamed*, Manal H Shabana, Reem M Hashem and Asmaa F Aboul Naser / Nutrition & Metabolism 2011, 8:40 doi:10.1186/1743-7075-8-40

/ Iman A. Elkhishin and Ibrahim A. Awwad* / Mansoura J. Forensic Med. Clin. Toxicol. Vol. XVII, No. 2, July 2009
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) reduces acute chemotherapy-induced nausea: a URCC CCOP study of 576 patients / Ryan JL, Heckler CE, Roscoe JA, Dakhil SR, Kirshner J, Flynn PJ, Hickok JT, Morrow GR. / Support Care Cancer. 2012 Jul;20(7):1479-89. doi: 10.1007/s00520-011-1236-3. Epub 2011 Aug 5.
The essential oil of ginger, Zingiber officinale, and anaesthesia / James L. Geiger* / The International Journal of Aromatherapy (2005) 15, 7–14 / doi:10.1016/j.ijat.2004.12.002

Scientific names    

Allium sativum Linn.     
Allium pekinense Prokhanov     

Common names

Ahos (Bis.)
Bawang (Tag.)
Bauang (Tag.)
Common garlic (Engl.)
Garlic (Engl.)
Nectar of the Gods (Engl.)
Poor Man's Treacle (Engl.)
Hsiao Suan (Chin.)
Stinking Rose (Engl.)
Other vernacular names

ARABIC: Thawm, Thoum, Thum, Toom, Toum, Saum.
ARMENIAN: Sekhdor.
BURMESE: Chyet thon phew.
CHINESE: Suan, Da suan, Da suan tou.
CROATIAN: Češnjak.
DANISH: Hvidløg.
DUTCH: Knoflook.
FINNISH: Valkosipuli.
FRENCH: Ail blanc, Ail commun, Ail cultivé, Ail de printemps, Ail sans bâton, Ail rose sans bâton.
GERMAN: Echter Knoblauch, Knoblauch, Gemeiner Knoblauch, Gewöhnlicher Knoblauch.
GREEK: Skorda, Skordo, Skordon, Skortho.
HEBREW: Shoum, Shum.
HINDI: Lahasun, Lahsan, Larsan, Lasun.
ITALIAN: Aglio, Aglio comune.
JAPANESE: Gaarikku, Ninniku.
KANNADA: Bellulli, Lashuna.
KHMER: Khtüm sââ.
KOREAN: Ma nul.
LAOTIAN: Kath'ièm.
MADURESE: Bhabang poté.
MALAY: Bawang putih, Bawang puteh.
MALAYALAM: Vallaipundu.
MARATHI: Lasuun.
PERSIAN: Seer, Sir.
POLISH: Czosnek, Czosnek pospolity.
PUNJABI: Lasun, Lasan.
RUSSIAN: Luk chesnok, Chesnok, Luk posevnoi..
SANSKRIT: Lashunaa.
SERBIAN: Beli luk.
SINHALESE: Sudulunu.
SPANISH: Ajo, Ajo comun, Ajo vulgar.
SUNDANESE: Bawang bodas.
SWAHILI: Kitunguu saumu.
SWEDISH: Vitlök, Vitloek, Hvitlök.
TAMIL: Vellaypoondoo, Vellaippuuntu, Wullaypoondoo.
TELUGU: Vellulli.
THAI: Krathiam, Hom tiam.
TURKISH: Sarımsak, Sarmesak, Sarmusak.
URDU: Leshun.

Bawang is a low herb, 30 to 60 centimeters high. True stem is much reduced. Bulbs are broadly ovoid, 2 to 4 centimeters in diameter, consisting of several, densely crowded, angular and truncated tubers. Leaves are linear and flat. Umbels are globose, many flowered. Sepals are oblong, greenish white, slightly tinged with purple. Stamens are not exerted from the perianth.


- Extensively grown in Batangas, Nueva Ecija, Ilocos Norte, Mindoro, and Cotobato.
- A native of southern Europe.
- Now widely cultivated in most parts of the world.


• Garlic contains at least 33 sulfur compounds, several enzymes, 17 amino acids, and minerals. The sulfur compounds are responsible for the pungent odor and many of its medicinal effects.
• Saponins; tannins; sulfurous compounds; prostaglandins; alkaloids; volatile oils; allicin (bulb).
• The antihelmintic property is due to allyl disulphide content.
• The most important chemical constituents are the cysteine sulfoxides (alliin) and the nonvolatile glutamylcysteine peptides which make up more than 82% of the sulfur content of garlic. Allicin, ajoenes and sulfides are degradation products of alliin.
• Some of garlic's effect is attributed to alicin, its active ingredient, which is converted to ajoene, allyl sulfides and vinyldithiins.
• Allicin (dially thiosulfinate or dially disulfide) is generated only when the garlic is crushed or cut, which activates the enzyme allinase which metabolizes alliin to allicin.
• Aged garlic products lack allicin, but may have activity due to the presence of S-allycysteine.
• Bulb: allicin; volatile oil, 0.9% - allyl disulfide, allypropyl disulfide; inulin; protein; fat, 1.3%; carbohydrates, 0.2%; ash, 9.4%; choline, 0.7%; myrosinase.
Leaves: Protein, i.2%; fat, 0.5%; sulfides.


• Antibacterial, antihelminthic, antimycotic, antiviral, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, expectorant, fibrinolytic, hypotensive, promoting leucocytosis, lipid lowering and platelet aggregation inhibition.

Parts utilized

Bulbs: Features prominently as a condiment and flavor in Filipino cuisine.
Herbalists, with concerns that cooking diminishes medicinal potency, recommends eating raw garlic cloves.


Edibility / Culinary

- Widely used by Filipinos for flavoring dishes.


- In the Philippines, bulbs used for hypertension. Also used as diuretic, and eaten fresh or burned for coughs in children.
- Arthritis, rheumatism, toothaches: Crush several cloves and rub on affected areas.
- Crush clove applied to both temples as poultice for headache.
- Crush garlic or cut clove crosswise and rub directly to areas of insect bites.
- Decoction of leaves and bulbs for fever and as hypotensive, carminative, expectorant, and antihelmintic.
- Juice from freshly crushed garlic used for colds, cough, sore throat, hoarseness, asthma and bronchitis.
- Decoction use for tonsillitis.
- Steam inhalation of chopped garlic and a teaspoon of vinegar in boiling water used for nasal congestion.
- Fresh garlic has been used as a complement to INH therapy for tuberculosis. In Mexico, fresh bulb is eaten as a preventive for tuberculosis.
- In India, garlic juice diluted in water, applied externally to prevent hair from turning grey.
- Diluted juice used for earaches and deafness.
- In the Antilles, used as vermifuge.
- Also used for menstrual cramps.
- Used for digestive problems and gastrointestinal spasms.
- Infusion of a peeled broiled clove used for gas pains.
- Juice of bulb with common salt applied to bruises and sprains; also used for neuralgia and earache.
- Rubbed over ringworm for soothing effect.
- In WWI, fresh raw juice was used as antiseptic for control of wound suppuration.


• Antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic: Topically, ajoene 0.4% cream, has been found 70% effective in certain dermatologic fungal infections. A 0.6% gel was effective in tinea corporis and tinea cruris.

• Anticandidal: Study on the mode of action of aqueous garlic extract (AGE) against Candida albicans showed garlic treatment affected the structure and integrity of the outer surface of the yeast cells. Growth was affected in a number of ways: decreased total lipid content, higher phosphatidylserines and lower phosphatidylcholines, and decrease oxygen consumption of AGE-treated C. albicans. AGE exerts its effect by oxidation of thiol groups causing enzyme inactivation and subsequent microbial growth inhibition.

• Hypertension: Studies suggest a beneficial antihypertensive effect but blood-lowering effects probably not dramatic. Other studies show a vascular benefit through improvement of aortic elasticity and possible slowing of the rate of atherosclerosis progression.

• Hyperlipidemia / Antioxidant: (1) Controversial, but probably has beneficial effect on serum cholesterol and LDL levels. Some studies have shown a 4% to 12% lowering of total cholesterol. It seems to have no effect on high density lipoprotein (HDL). (2) Study of feeding of fresh garlic bulbs to induced-hypercholesterolemic rats showed decrease in total and LDL cholesterol and increase in HDL levels.(3) Study concluded that garlic extracts may have a beneficial effect on blood lipid profile and antioxidant status.
• Anti-cancer / Chemoprotective: (1) Possible anticarcinogenic properties, specifically colon, stomach and prostate cancers. In stomach cancers, probably through its inhibitory effect on H. pylori. In epidemiologic studies on stomach and colorectal cancer prevention, the garlic use was 3.5 grams to 30 grams of fresh or cooked garlic per week. (2) Study showed garlic may have an adjuvant effect on various defense mechanisms against DMBA-induced carcinogenesis in sub-maxillary salivary glands of rat through increased availability or utilization of beta-carotene.

• Hepatoprotective / Hematologic Effects: Study results on female Wistar rats suggest garlic and vitamin C have some hepatoprotective and hematological effects.

• Antidiabetic: Study results of ethanolic extracts of AS in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats suggest that A. sativum can be considered an excellent candidate for future studies on diabetes mellitus.

• Sperm Immobilization Activity : Study of crude extract of A. sativum bulb showed spermicidal activity in vitro.

• Hepatopulmonary Syndrome Treatment: A trial showed garlic may improve oxygenation and symptoms in patients with hepatopulmonary syndrome.

• Anti-Thrombotic Activity : Study of extracts of Allium sativum and Vernonia amygdalina showed both extracts offered protection against thrombosis produced by an intravenous injection of ADP and adrenalin, with A sativum showing the stronger activity.

• Diallyl Sulfide / Anti-Cancer: Study showed diallyl sulfide, a thioether found naturally in garlic, when given by gavage to mice, inhibited by 74% the incidence of colorectal adenocarcinoma induced by 1,2-dimethyl-hydrazine.

• Cardiovascular Benefits: Garlic is an ideal herb with its several cardiovascular benefits: blood pressure lowering, antihyperlipidemic effects, platelet inhibition and fibrinolytic effects, antioxidant and antiatherosclerotic effects

• Antibacterial / Anti-Staph aureus: Study of an aqueous extract of Allium sativum showed concentration-dependent antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus.

• Antitumorigenesis: Study showed garlic oil may have an adjuvant effect on host defense mechanisms against DMBA-induced carcinogenesis in sub-maxillary glands of rat through increased availability and utilization of beta-carotene.

• Antimicrobial / Crude Juices: Study evaluated the antimicrobial activity of crude juices of Allium ascalonicum, Allium cepa, and Allium sativum. Results showed strong antibiotic properties, and the complete absence of development of resistance from juices of Allium species merit consideration.

• Antioxidant: In a study using DPPH scavenging method, raw garlic extract showed a color change from deep violet to yellow, indicating antioxidant activity.

• Essential Oil / Antibacterial / Pseudomonas Aeruginosa: Essential oil extract from Allium sativum bulbs showed inhibitory activity on growth of over 50% of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains tested.

• Antibacterial / Garlic and Ginger Comparative Study: In a study comparing the antimicrobial potency of various extracts of garlic and ginger, results showed all the bacterial strains to be most susceptible to garlic aqueous extract while showing poor susceptibility to the ginger aqueous extract.

• Chemoprevention: Experimental studies provide compelling evidence that garlic and its organic allyl sulfur components are effective inhibitors of tumor growth.
• Anti-Ulcer: Study showed the protective role of raw Nigelia sativa, garlic, and onion against ethanol-induced gastric ulcers and gastric acid secretion. Raw or boiled Nigella sativa, garlic or onion significantly inhibited histamine stimulated acid secretion. Raw Nigella sativa and garlic showed a decrease in ulcer index. Boiling reduced the potency of garlic and onion.

• Anticoagulant Use: Reports have suggested that garlic may decrease platelet aggregation and have antifibrinolytic activity; therefore, should be used with caution in patients on anticoagulant therapy.
• Induction of Cytochrome P450-34A: Concern for patients on cyclosporine and protease inhibitors. May increase the effects of hypoglycemic drugs.

Perennial market produce.
Commercial: Tablets, extracts, capsules, powder and tea.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Herbal Therapeutics: R.W. Watkins, MD, Emergency Medicine, April 2002

(2)Garlic (Allium sativum L.) /

(3)Hepatoprotective and some haematological effects of Allium sativum and vitamin C in lead-exposed Wistar rats / International Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences Vol. 1 (3), pp.064-067, March 2009

(4)  Antidiabetic effect of garlic (Allium sativum L.) in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats / Phytomedicine. 2006 Nov;13(9-10):624-9.

(5) Antiglycation properties of aged garlic extract: possible role in prevention of diabetic complications. / Ahmad MS, Ahmed N / J Nutr. 2006 Mar;136(3 Suppl):796S-799S

(6)The Effect of Fresh Crushed Garlic Bulbs (Allium sativum) on Plasma Lipids in Hypercholesterolemic Rats / Research Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, 3: 15-19, 2008

(7)Hypocholesteremic and Antioxidant Effects of Garlic (Allium sativum L.) Extract in Rats Fed High Cholesterol Diet / Pakistan Journal of Nutrition 8 (2): 161-166, 2009 / ISSN 1680-5194

(8)Sperm immobilization activity of Allium sativum L. and other plant extracts / Asian J Androl 2003 Jun; 5: 131-135

(9)Treatment of Hepatopulmonary Syndrome With Allium Sativum L. (Garlic): A Pilot Trial / Abrams Gary MD and Michael Fallon MD / Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: October 1998 - Volume 27 - Issue 3 - pp 232-235 Clinical Research

(10)THE EFFECT OF GARLIC OIL (Allium Sativum) ON DMBA INDUCEDSALIVARY GLAND TUMORIGENESIS IN RAT / M M Ziu et al / Journal of Islamic Academy of Sciences 7:3, 189-192, 1994

(11)Effects of Allium sativum and Vernonia amygdalina on thrombosis in mice / S O Awe et al / Phytotherapy Research • Volume 12 Issue 1, Pages 57 - 58 • Published Online: 18 Dec 1998 / DOI 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1573(19980201)12:1<57::AID-PTR176>3.0.CO;2-M

(12)Diallyl sulfide, a flavor component of garlic (Allium sativum), inhibits dimethyihydrazine-induced colon cancer / Michael J Wargovich / Carcinogenesis (1987) 8 (3): 487-489. / doi: 10.1093/carcin/8.3.487

(13)Studies on the Anticandidal Mode of Action of Allium sativum (Garlic) / Mahmoud Ghannoum / Journal of General Microbiology 134 (1988), 2917-2924 ; DOI 10.1099/00221287-134-11-2917

(14)Cardiovascular Effects of Allium Sativum (Garlic): An Evidence-Based Review / Fataneh-Sadat Bathaei, MD, Shahin Akhondzadeh, PhD / J Teh Univ Heart Ctr 1 (2008) 5-10

(15)Antibacterial effect of garlic (Allium sativum) on Staphyloccus aureus: An in vitro study / Deresse Daka / African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 10 (4), pp. 666-669, 24 January, 2011

(16)THE EFFECT OF GARLIC OIL (Allium Sativum) ON DMBA INDUCED SALIVARY GLAND TUMORIGENESIS IN RAT / M M Ziu, A S M Giasuddin, A R Mohammad / Journal of Islamic Academy of Sciences 7:3, 189-192, 1994

(17)Antimicrobial activity of crude juices of Allium ascalonicum, Allium cepa and Allium sativum./ Dankert J, Tromp TF, de Vries H, Klasen HJ. / Zentralbl Bakteriol Orig A. 1979 Oct;245(1-2):229-39.

(18)Antioxidant properties of raw garlic (Allium sativum) extract / Rahman, M. M., Fazlic, V. and Saad, N. W. / International Food Research Journal 19(2): 589-591 (2012)

/ Sihem Khadri, Nafissa Boutefnouchet*, Mazzouz Dekhil / St. Cerc. St. CICBIA 2010 11 (4)

(20)ROLE OF GARLIC (ALLIUM SATIVUM) IN VARIOUS DISEASES: AN OVERVIEW / Londhe V.P.*, Gavasane A.T., Nipate S.S., Bandawane D.D., Chaudhari P.D. / Journal of Pharmaceutical Research And Opinion 1: 4 (2011) 129 – 134.

(21)Inhibitory effect of Allium sativum and Zingiber officinale extracts on clinically important drug resistant pathogenic bacteria / Iram Gull*, Mariam Saeed, Halima Shaukat, Shahbaz M Aslam, Zahoor Q Samra and Amin M Athar / Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials 2012, 11:8 / doi:10.1186/1476-0711-11-8

(22)Extract of Garlic (Allium sativum) in Cancer Chemoprevention / S Ejaz, L C Woong, A. Ejaz /

(23)Comparative effect of garlic (Allium sativum), onion (Allium cepa), and black seed (Nigella sativa) on gastric acid secretion and gastric ulcer / Amir N, Al Dhaheri A, Al Jaberi N, Al Marzouqi F, Bastaki SMA/

(24)Allyl alcohol and garlic (Allium sativum) extract produce oxidative stress in Candida albicans / Katey M. Lemar, Ourania Passa, Miguel A. Aon, Sonia Cortassa, Carsten T. Müller, Sue Plummer, Brian O'Rourke and David Lloyd / doi: 10.1099/mic.0.28095-0 / Microbiology October 2005 vol. 151 no. 10

Scientific name     

Solanum lycopersicum Linn.      
Lycopersicum esculentum Mill.     
Lycopersicum cerasiforme Dunal     

Common names

Kamatis (C. Bis., Tag., Bik., Sul., Ig.)
Kamatis-bundok (Tag.)
Umli (If.)
Tomate (Span.)
Fan qie (Chin.)
Tomato (Engl.)
General info

There are around 7,500 varieties of tomato. In 2009, about 150 million tons of tomatoes were produced worldwide. China, the largest producer, accounted for almost 30 % of the global output. Depending on shape or size, tomatoes are categorized into: Slicing or globe, beefsteak, oxheart, plum, pear, cherry, grape, and campari.


Kamatis is a hairy annual herb, typically growing 1 to 3 meters in height, with ascending or spreading hairy and branched stems. Stem is weak, often sprawling over the ground or vines over other plants. Leaves are pinnate and alternate, oblong-ovate, 10 to 40 centimeters long. Leaflets are irregular and toothed or lobed. Inflorescence is racemose or cymose, 5 to 8 centimeters long, and few flowered. Flowers are yellow, 1 to 1.5 centimeters long. Fruit is variable in shape; in the wild and naturalized forms it is rounded or pear-shaped; 1 to 1.5 centimeters in diameter; in the commonly cultivated form, the fruit is rounded and compressed, lobed, 4 to 10 centimeters wide, red when ripe, smooth, fleshy, juicy, subacid, containing numerous seeds.

- Found throughout the Philippines in its original form.
- Extensively cultivated; grown in gardens and farms as vegetable.
- Cultivated worldwide.


- Plant yields solanine and fixed oil.
- The fruit yields the carotene lycopene, of the most powerful antioxidants. The red color found in tomatoes is due to lycopene; therefore, the redder the tomato, the higher the lycopene content. Yellow and green tomatoes are relatively low in lycopene.
- 100 gm of tomato contains: Water 94%, protein 1 gm; fat 0,3%, carbohydrate 4%, fiber 0.6%, vitamin A 1,100 IU, Vit B 0.2mh. vitamin C 23 mg, nicotinic acid 0.6%, pantothenic acid 0.31 mg, vitamin E 0.27 mg, biotin 0.004 mg, malic acid 150 mg, citric acid 390 mg, oxalic acid 7.5 mg, sodium 3 mg, potassium 268 mg, calcium 11 mg, magnesium 11 mg, iron 0.6 mg, copper 0.1 mg, manganese 0.19 mg, phosphorus 27 mg, sulfur 11 mg, chlorine 51 mg.
- Natural genetic variation has yielded a genetic plethora of genes that produce lycopene, carotene, anthocyanin, and other antioxidants.
- Seeds contain globuline, vitamins A, B, and C, solanine, etc.


- Considered a mild aperient, a promoter of gastric secretion, and a blood purifier.
- Also considered an intestinal antiseptic, with a cleansing effect in the enteric portion of the intestinal tract.
- Considered antioxidant from the carotene lycopene.

Lycopene / Hepatoprotective: Lycopene is considered a better antioxidant than other carotenoids. In a study on acute injury caused by oxidant carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), results showed that tomato juice, with its lycopene and ascorbic acid content, exhibited a strong effect on oxidative damage of CCl4 in rat liver.

Lycopene / Prostate Cancer Prevention / No Magic Tomato / A Negative Report: A study reported no significant difference between those who had prostate cancer and those who did not in relation to the concentration of lycopene in their blood stream. In fact, researchers noted an association between beta-carotene, an antioxidant related to lycopene, and an increased risk for aggressive prostate cancer.

Lectins / Mucosal Immunogen: Lycospersicum esculentum lectins studies suggest it to be a potent mucosal immunogen, enhancing immune responses to antigens.

Tomatoes in Gene Therapy: Jure Piskur et al from the Lund University, published study results suggesting the tomato gene could be of value in future treatment of brain tumors.

Antimutagenic / Anticlastogenic: Study evaluated the combined effect of tomato and garlic against DBMA-induced genetic damage and oxidative stress in mice. Results suggest a broad spectrum of antimutagenic and anticlastogenic effects may be achieved through a combination of functional foods.

Radioprotective: Radioprotective effects of an aqueous extract of tomato extract was studied in chromosome aberration in cells of bone marrow in irradiated mice. Pretreatment with the extract resulted in a significant reduction in the percentage of aberrant metaphases as well as in the different types of aberration scored. The extract showed not toxicity at 1500 mg KBW.

Prevention of Lead Adverse Effects: In a rat study, lead was showed to cause significant reductions in many hematologic and laboratory parameters with significant increases in the percentage of neutrophils and plasma malondialdehyde concentration. Tomato paste significantly prevented the effects of lead acetate.

Decreased Plately Aggregation: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study evaluated the use of a tomato extract as dietary supplement to prevent platelet aggregation. Results showed significant reductions in es vivo platelet aggregation induced by ADP and collagen. Results suggest tomato extract, as a dietary supplement or functional food, may have a role in primary prevention of cardiovascular disease by reducing platelet activation, which could contribute to thrombotic events.

In The News

Fruitflow / Antithrombotic / Aspirin Alternative: Study claims that Fruitflow, a tomato extract, can reduce the risk of blood clots, which can trigger heart attacks and strokes. Results of a human clinical trial compares Fruitflow with aspirin, with its ability to reduce platelet aggregation by 28% through three different biologic pathways (vs aspirin, 60% reduction, in a single pathway).


Commercial cultivation.

 Source: stuartxchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1)Protective effects of tomato consumption against the oxidative damage caused by CCl4 in rat's liver / Tuncay Altug et al / Adv Mol Med 2007; 3(4): 183-188 / DOI 10.2399/amm.07.183

(2)Medicinal (Healing) Applications of Tomatoes / HolisticOnLine

(3)Tomato genes could be used as future treatment in gene therapy: Study / The Medical News

(4)Tomato and garlic by gavage modulate 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced genotoxicity and oxidative stress in mice / V Bhuvaneswari et al / Braz J Med Biol Res, July 2004, Volume 37(7) 1029-1034 (Short Communication)

(5)Aspirin may have a new anti-thrombotic rival / Elaine Watson / Headlines / FoodManufacture

(6)Tomato / Wikipedia

(7)RADIO-PROTECTIVE EFFECT OF LYCOPERSICON ESCULENTUM EXTRACT AGAINST RADIATION INDUCED CHROMOSOMAL ABERRATION IN SWISS ALBINO MICE / Tekchand Dhirhe, B.K Maheshwari, Presenjit Raut, Sangeeta Dhirhe / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research, Volume 7, Issue 1, March – April 2011

(8)Lycopersicon esculentum (Tomato) Prevents Adverse Effects of Lead on Blood Constituents / Salawu, Emmanuel O. / Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, Vol. 17, No. 3, 2010, pp. 13-18

(9)Tomatoes and Tomato Products as Medicine / Jade Teta, ND, CSCS; Keoni Teta ND, LAc CSCS; and Julie Sutton ND, LAc, CSCS / Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients

(10)No Magic Tomato? Study Breaks Link Between Lycopene And Prostate Cancer Prevention / May 17, 2007 / Science Daily

(11)Lycopene / Health Information / Mayo Clinic

(12)A Review of Epidemiologic Studies of Tomatoes, Lycopene, and Prostate Cancer / Edward Giovannucci / Experimental Biology and Medicine, 2002

(13)Effects of tomato extract on platelet function: a double-blinded crossover study in healthy humans / Niamh O'Kennedy, Lynn Crosbie, Stuart Whelan, Vanessa Luther, Graham Horgan, John I Broom, David J Webb, and Asim K Duttaroy / American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2006

(14)Effect of a tomato-rich diet on markers of cardiovascular disease risk in moderately overweight, disease-free, middle-aged adults: a randomized controlled trial / Frank Thies, Lindsey F Masson, Amelia Rudd et al / American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2012

Scientific name   
Allium cepa L.    

Common names
Sibuyas (Tag.)
Cebollas (Span.)
Cebuyas (C. Bis.)
Lasona (Ilk.)
Common onion (Engl.)
Onion (Engl.)
Scallions (Engl.)
True onion (Engl.)
Yang cong (Chin.)
Other vernacular names

ARABIC: Bassal.
BENGALI: Piaaj, Pinaaj.
BOSNIAN: Crni luk, Crveni luk, Ljetnji luk, Luk.
BURMESE: Kyet thun ni.
CHINESE: Yuan cong, cong tou.
CROATIAN: Crni luk, Crljenac, Crveni luk, Črlenec, Luk, Sijanac.
CZECH: Cibule, Cibule kuchyňská.
DUTCH: Ajuin, Ui.
FINNISH: Sipuli, Punasipuli , Ruokasipuli.
FRENCH: Oignon.
GREEK: Kremmydi.
HEBREW: Bazal, Besalim.
HINDI: Pyaaz, Pyāja sanyantra.
HUNGARIAN: Hagyma, Vöröshagyma.
ITALIAN: Cipolla
COUNTRY: Tama negi.
KHMER: Khtüm barang.
KOREAN: Yang pa.
LAOTIAN: Bwàx fàlangx, Phak bouo.
MALAY: Bawang besar (Brunei), Bawang Bombay (Indonesia).
ORIYA: Piaja.
PERSIAN: Piyaaz.
POLISH: Cebula, Cebula jadalna, Cebula zwyczajna, Czosnek cebula.
RUSSIAN: Luk repchatyi.
SANSKRIT: Palandu.
SERBIAN: Arpadžik, Crni luk , Crni lukac , Crvenac , Crveni luk, Kapula , Kromid , Kromit , Kromiti luk , Luk.
SLOVAK: Cibuľa, Cibuľa kuchynská.
SLOVENIAN: Čebul, Čebula.
SPANISH: Cebolla, Cebolla macho.
SWAHILI: Kitunguu.
SWEDISH: Lök, Vanlig lök, Vitlök.
THAI: Dton bpa ser gor, Dton hom hua yai, Hom yai, Hom huayai, Hua hom.
URDU: Pyaaz.
VIETNAMESE: Củ hành tây, Hành tây.

Sibuyas is a low herb, with leaves shorter than the scape, cylindric, hollow, 8 millimeters in diameter, narrowing upward to a slender apex, shorter than the inflorescence. Scape is inflated, about 30 centimeters high, 1 centimeter thick in the middle, narrowed at both ends. Flowers are stellate, numerous in a dense and rounded umbel, with pedicels 5 to 7 millimeters long. Perianth segments are oblong, acuminate, 5 to 6 millimeters long. Filaments are longer than the petals.


- Cultivated as market produce.
- Originated in western Asia, from where it spread to Greece, Italy, and Egypt.

- Onion bulb yields 0.005 per cent of its weight of a dark-brown essential oil. The main portion of the oil consists of a compound, C6H12S2.
- Outer skin of the onion bulb yields a yellow coloring matter (quercetin), C15H10O7, allyl propyldisulphide, inulin, carbohydrate (6%), protein (2.4%), fat (0.1%), ash (0.3%), and vitamin C.
- Bulb constituents are reported as: essential oil (0.015%), quercetin, quercetrin, allyl disulphide, allyl
- Study isolated seven compounds from the ethanolic extract of seeds of A. cepa: tianshic acid, N-trans-feruloyl tyramine, beta-sitosterol-3 beta-glucopyranoside-6'-palmitate, sitosterol, daucosterol, tryptophane, and adenine riboside.


- Carminative, demulcent, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, rubefacient, stimulant.
- Juice is disinfectant, rejuvinative, antispasmodic.
- Oil is considered stimulant, diuretic, and expectorant; bulb is emmenagogue, externally stimulant and rubefacient.

Parts used


Edibility / Nutrition

- Onions are used as both food and condiment.
- In the Philippines, medicinal use of onion is limited.
- Bulb, cooked and mixed with coconut oil, used as ointment and applied to the abdomen to promote diuresis.
- Bulb is emmenagogue, stimulant, diuretic, expectorant; externally, is rubefacient.
- Mixed with common salt, is used for fever, catarrh, chronic bronchitis.
- Juice of onion, mixed with honey, ginger juice, and ghee, used as aphrodisiac.
- Bulb applied as cooling poultice for boils, bruises, and wounds; applied to the navel in dysentery and body heat.
- Juice is used like smelling salts for faintness, in infantile convulsions, headache, epileptic and hysterical fits.
- Juice dropped warm into ears to relieve earaches; applied hot to the soles of feet for convulsive disorders.
- Juice inhaled in epistaxis; applied to the eyes in dimness of vision.
- Mixed with mustard oil in equal proportions and applied to rheumatic pains and other inflammatory swellings.
- Onions are eaten to mitigate cough in phthsis.
- Mixed with vinegar for use in sore throat; cooked in vinegar for jaundice, splenic enlargement, and dyspepsia.
- In malarial fevers, eaten twice daily with two or three black peppers.
- Eaten with jaggery to stimulate growth in children.
- Decoction of onions used for strangury.
- Roasted onion mixed with sugar candy and cow's ghee used as soothing demulcent and stimulant.
- Juice or slices of raw onion is applied to insect bites and stings or burns.
- Juice of the bulb mixed with mustard oil or coconut oil is used for rheumatic and inflammatory swellings.
- Onion and garlic juice used for nervousness, insomnia, and rheumatism: 3 tbsp daily.
- Juices of onion, garlic carrot, radish, garlic and lemon: Used for bronchitis, asthma.
- In Mexico, bulb is used as diuretic and vermifuge.
- Bub taken internally to stimulate peristalsis. Also used for jaundice, hemorrhoids, and anal prolapse.
- In India, the onion is more popular as a medicine, used for fever, dropsy, catarrh, and chronic bronchitis. Mixed with common salt, used as a remedy for colic and scurvy; eaten raw as diuretic and emmenagogue.


- Peeled and eaten raw, powdered, juiced, infused or decocted as tea, infused.


Antifertility: The bulb of AC has yielded kampferol, B-sitosterol, ferulic acid, myritic acid and prostaglandins. Study showed the ethanolic extract of Allium cepa to possess antifertility activity through an antiimplantation mechanism rather than antiovulatory effect.

Hypouricemic / Antioxidant: Study showed beneficial effects of Allium cepa and its major flavonoid on hyperuricemia and oxidative stress.
Neuroprotective: Study showed protective effect of the methanolic extract of AC bulb on ischemic and reperfusion-induced cerebral injury with reduced infarct size and attenuated impairment of short-term memory and motor coordination.

Vasorelaxant / Hypotensive: Study showed the onion peel extract showed hypotensive and vasorelaxant effects which could be due to the extract quercetin content, antioxidant activity and inhibition of vascular smooth musch cell Ca++ influx.

Antispasmodic: Study showed onion peel extract inhibits ileum contractions without involving ß-adrenoreceptor, opioid receptor, nitric oxide production and potassium channels activation. Resuts suggests that the quercetin in the onion peel extract induces spasmolytic effect via calcium channels.

Antiplatelet activity: In its raw form, onion is recognized to have antiplatelet activity from its pyruvate content. Study showed the effects of heating. Heating for 46 mins completely suppresses in vitro antiaggregatory activity, For benefits, it is better for onions to be eaten raw or only moderately cooked. Extensive heating could result in pro-aggregatory effects.

Hemolytic Anemia: Study confirmed onion poisoning in dogs causes hemolytic anemia.

Antioxidant: Study showed A cepa had high superoxide-dismutase (SOD) activities in leaves and high peroxidase (P-ase) activity in all investigated organs.

Anti-Allergy: Study showed a herbal fraction (ALC-O) from A cepa bulb inhibited histamine release and attenuated intracellular calcium levels Compound 48/80-induced rat peritoneal mast cells. The results show a promising anti-allergic profile that could be attributed to potential antihistaminic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities.

Androgenic Activity: Study showed freshly prepared onion juice significantly affected the sperm number, percentage of viability and motility.

Hypoglycemic Activity: Study showed crude Allium cepa produced hypoglycemic effects, and can be used as a dietary supplement inthe management of type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Hair Growth / Alopecia Areata: Study was done testing the effectiveness of topical crude onion juice in the treatment of patchy alopecia areata in comparison to tap water. Results showed the use of crude onion juice gave significantly higher results re hair re-growth than tap water. Results suggest it might be an effective topical therapy for patchy alopecia areata.

Nephroprotective / Cadmium-Induced Renal Dysfunction: Study showed exposure to heavy metal Cd causes renal dysfunction and oral administration of onion could prevent cadmium's adverse effects on renal functions.

• Antimicrobial / Crude Juices: Study evaluated the antimicrobial activity of crude juices of Allium ascalonicum, Allium cepa, and Allium sativum.Results showed strong antibiotic properties, and the complete absence of development of resistance from juices of Allium species merit consideration.

• Natural Corrosion Inhibitor: One major problem with industrial chill wastewater system is corrosion. Study evaluated the potential of using Allium cepa (onion) as a natural corrosion inhibitor. There was a reduction in weight loss for iron, nickel and copper, 92%, 88%, and 46%, respectively. Results demonstrate A. cepa as an effective corrosion inhibitor, primarily for iron.

• Anti-Cancer / Anti-MDR (Multidrug Resistance) Action: Study evaluated crude onion extracts and onion compounds (quercetin and propyl disulfide) in MDR human erythroleukemic and K562 parental cell line. There was a significant increase of apoptosis in the K562 cells while the cells experienced an increase in necrosis. The OE capacity to overcome MDR phenotype suggests anti-MDR action.

• Antiproliferative / Effect on Adipocytes Via Fatty Acid Synthase Inhibition: Study showed an ethyl acetate extract of onion had potent inhibitory effects on animal fatty acid synthase and could induce apoptosis in FAS over-expressing human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells. Since obesity is closely related to breast cancer, results suggest onion might be useful in preventing obesity-related malignancy.

• Renal Protective on Cd-induced Renal Dysfunction: Study on Wistar rats showed cadmium-induced renal dysfunction. Allium cepa prevented renal dysfunction, possibly as a results of its antioxidant properties with reduction of activity of ROS.

• Anti-Ulcer: Study showed the protective role of raw Nigelia sativa, garlic, and onion against ethanol-induced gastric ulcers and gastric acid secretion. Raw or boiled Nigella sativa, garlic or onion sginificantly inhibited histamine stimulated acid secretion. Raw Nigella sativa and garlic showed a decrease in ulcer index. Boiling reduced the potency of garlic and onion.

Cultivated market produce.

Source: stuartxchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1)Antifertility Activity of Ethanolic Extract of Allium cepa Linn in Rats / Vishnu N Thakare et al / International Journal of PharmTech Research / ISSN : 0974-4304 • Vol.1,No.1,pp 73-78, Jan – March 2009

(2)Hypouricemic and antioxidant activities of Allium cepa Lilliaceae and quercetin in normal and hyperuricemic rats. / Saudi Med J. 2008 Nov;29(11):1573-9.

(3)Neuroprotective effect of methanolic extracts of Allium cepa on ischemia and reperfusion-induced cerebral injury / doi:10.1016/j.fitote.2007.06.013 / Fitoterapia Vol 79, Issue 2, February 2008, Pages 86-96

(4) Vasorelaxant and Hypotensive Effects of AC Peel Hydroalcoholic Extract in Rat / ISSN 1028-8880 / Pakistan Journal of Biol Sciences 11 (12):1569-1575, 2008

(5)Antispasmodic Activity of Onion (Allium cepa L.) Peel Extract on Rat Ileum / Mohammad Kazem Gharib Naseri et al / Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research (2008), 7 (2): 155-159

(6) Effect of Heating on Onion (Allium cepa L.) Antiplatelet Activity and Pungency Sensory Perception / M M Sance et al / Food Science and Technology International, Vol. 13, No. 6, 447-453 (2007) / DOI: 10.1177/1082013207088108

(7)An experimental study of hemolysis induced by onion (Allium cepa) poisoning in dogs / Tang X et al / J Vet Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Apr;31(2):143-9

(8)Study on antioxidant enzymes in Allium cepa L. and Allium fistulosum L / D Stajner et al / Phytotherapy Research • Volume 12 Issue S1, Pages S15 - S17

(9)Evaluation of androgenic activity of allium cepa on spermatogenesis in the rat / A Khaki et al / Folia Morphol. • Vol. 68, No. 1, pp. 45–51 /

(10)Preliminary Study of the Clinical Hypoglycemic Effects of Allium cepa (Red Onion) in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetic Patients / Imad M Taj Eldin, Elhadi M Ahmed and Abd Elwahab H M / doi: 10.4137/EHI.S5540.

(11)Studies on chemical constituents of the seeds of Allium cepa / Yuan L, Ji TF, Wang AG, Yang JB, Su YL. / Zhong Yao Cai. 2008 Feb;31(2):222-3.

(12)Onion juice (Allium cepa L.), a new topical treatment for alopecia areata. / Sharquie KE, Al-Obaidi HK / J Dermatol. 2002 Jun;29(6):343-6.

(13)Antimicrobial activity of crude juices of Allium ascalonicum, Allium cepa and Allium sativum./ Dankert J, Tromp TF, de Vries H, Klasen HJ. / Zentralbl Bakteriol Orig A. 1979 Oct;245(1-2):229-39.

(14)Sorting Allium names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / A Work in Progress / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.

(15)A Study of Using Allium Cepa (Onion) as Natural Corrosion Inhibitor in Industrial Chill Wastewater System /
Sulaiman S., Nor-Anuar A., Abd-Razak A.S. and Chelliapan S. / Research Journal of Chemical Sciences, Vol. 2(5), 10-16, May (2012)

(16)Toxicity mechanisms of onion (Allium cepa) extracts and compounds in multidrug resistant erythroleukemic cell line / Ana P. S. Votto, Beatriz S. Domingues, Michele M. de Souza, Flavio M. R. da Silva Júnior, Sergiane S. Caldas, Daza M. V. B. Filgueira, Rosilene M. Clementin, Ednei G. Primel4, Adriana L. Vallochi, Eliana B. Furlong and Gilma S. Trindade* / doi: 10.4067/S0716-97602010000400007 / Biol Res 43: 429-437, 2010

(17)Inhibitory Effects of Onion (Allium cepa L.) Extract on Proliferation of Cancer Cells and Adipocytes via Inhibiting Fatty Acid Synthase / Yi Wang, Wei-Xi Tian, Xiao-Feng Ma* / Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, Vol 13, 2012 / DOI:

(18)Onion (Allium cepa) extract prevents cadmium induced renal dysfunction / S. F. Ige, E. O. Salawu, S. B. Olaleye, O. A. Adeeyo, J. Badmus, and A. A. Adeleke / Indian J Nephrol. 2009 October; 19(4): 140–144.
doi: 10.4103/0971-4065.59334

(19)Sorting Allium names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / A Work in Progress / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.

(20)Comparative effect of garlic (Allium sativum), onion (Allium cepa), and black seed (Nigella sativa) on gastric acid secretion and gastric ulcer / Amir N, Al Dhaheri A, Al Jaberi N, Al Marzouqi F, Bastaki SMA/

Scientific names     

Sinapsis integrifolia West     
Sinapsis juncea L.     
Sinapsis brassicata Blanco
Sinapsis sinensis Blanco     
Brassica juncea Hook f. & Thoms.     
Brassica juncea (L.) Czern     
Brassica orientalis Blanco    

Common names
Mustasa (Tag.)
Mustard (Engl.)
Jie cai (Chin.)
Other vernacular names

ASSAMESE: Jatilai.
BENGALI: Sarsapa.
CHINESE: Gai cai, Tian jie cai.
DUTCH: Junceamosterd, Sareptamosterd.
CZECH: Brukev sítinovitá, Hořčice černá sitinovitá.
FINNISH: Mustasinappi.
FRENCH: Moutarde brune, Moutarde jonciforme, Chou des Indes.
GERMAN: Brauner Senf, Indischer Senf.
HEBREW: Kruv samrani .
HINDI: Sarson.
HUNGARIAN: Indiai mustár.
ITALIAN: Senape indiana, Senape bruna.
JAPANESE: Karashina, Seiyou karashina.
KANNADA: Saasive, Sarshspa.
KHMER: Khat naa.
LAOTIAN: Kaad khièw.
MALAY: Biji sawi , Sawi, Sawi pahit.
MALAYALAM: Sarshapam.
MARATHI: Mohari.
NEPALESE: Asal raaii, Laahaa.
POLISH: Kapusta sitowata.
PORTUGUESE: Mostarda indiana.
RUSSIAN: Gorchítsa, Gorchítsa sareptskaia.
SANSKRIT: Rajika, Sarshapa.
SPANISH: Mostaza.
TAMIL: Kadugu, Katuku.
TELUGU: Sarsapamu, Sasuvulu.
THAI: Phakkat khiao, Phakkat khieo, Phakkat khieo pli.
TURKISH: Yaprak hardal.

Mustasa is an erect, branched, smooth annual, 0.4 to 1 meter high. Leaves are oblong-obovate to oblong-lanceolate, 5 to 15 centimeters long, or in some cultivated forms much larger, thin, irregularly toothed or subentire, the lower ones sometimes lobed or pinnatifid. Flowers are yellow, 6 to 8 millimeters long. Pod is ascending, linear-lanceolate, 1.5 to 3 centimeters long, and somewhat contracted between the seeds. Beak is seedless.


- Widely distributed in the settled areas, in towns and houses, planted and spontaneous.
- Introduced from Asia.
- Now, pantropic; also occurring in some temperate regions.


• Seed contains an oily substance, "the essential oil of mustard, the active principle.
• Yields a crystallizable substance, sinnigrin, analogous to sinalbin.

• Pure mustard oil is pale yellow, faintly smelling of mustard with a shard and pungent taste.
• Counterirritant, emmenagogue, rubefacient.
• Considered analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, diuretic, emetic, galatagogue, stimulant.

Parts utilized

· Seeds, leaves, oil.



- Leaves eaten as green leafy vegetable, fresh or pickled in brine.
- Excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B.


- Plaster applied to skin is a powerful irritant, rubefacient, and vesicant.
- Applied to unbroken skin, it acts as a counterirritant, producing a sensation of warmth followed by burning pain. Leaves applied externally for pleurodynia and pleuritis, neuralgia, lumbago.
- As a plaster, mustard soothes the pain in gastralgia, colic, neuralgia, lumbago. Also, applied over the epigastrium for hiccupping and vomiting. A plaster over the nape of the neck applied to relieve cerebral congestion.
- Hot-foot bath of mustard (seeds or leaves) for headaches, common cold, and fevers.
- Leaves applied to the forehead for headaches.
- Hip-bath of mustard used as emmenagogue.
- Poultice of mustard leaves or seeds used for neuralgic and rheumatic complaints.
- Pure fresh oil taken from seeds used as stimulant and external counterirritant; applied externally for sore throats, internal congestion, and chronic muscular rheumatism.
- Oil used as embrocation applied to skin in eruptions and ulcers.
- Seeds used as poultice in gout and inflammation.
- Combined oil of mustard and camphor used for muscle pains,
- As an emetic, 4-5 tsp in a cup of warm water.
- Taken internally as condiment, causes a sense of warmth in the stomach, stimulates gastric juice, sharpens the appetite and assists in digestion. In large doses, becomes a gastric irritant, and causes vomiting; as such, used as an emetic in narcotic poisoning.
- In Bangladesh, oil is rubbed on the throat and chest for treatment of common colds with mucus.
- In Java, used as antisyphilitic emmenagogue.
- In China, leaves in soup for bladder, inflammation and hemorrhage.
- In India, leaves used for diabetes. Plant used as anthelmintic, and in treament of alopecia, epilepsy, snakebites, hiccups, and toothache.


• Juncin / Antifungal Protein / Anti-Tumor: Study isolated juncin from the seeds of Japanese takana (Brassica Juncea var. integrifolia). The protein exhibited antifungal activity against Fusarium oxysporum, Helminthosporium maydis and Mycosphaerella arachidicola. It inhibited the proliferation of hepatoma and breast cancer cells. (2)

• Anti-Diabetes Benefit: Study showed feeding of a fructose diet containing 10% Brassica juncea seeds significantly reduced fasting serum glucose, insulin and cholesterol levels. Results suggest that B juncea can play a role in the management of pre-diabetic state of insulin resistance. (3)

• Hypoglycemic / Antihyperglycemic Effect: Study showed the B juncea diet showed significant antihyperglycemic effect in alloxan but not in STZ rats. (4)

• Anti-Diabetic Oxidative Stress: Study of four fractions from mustard leaf (B juncea) showed the ethanolic fraction showed the strongest concentration-dependent inhibitory effect on the formation of advanced glycation products and free radical-mediated protein damage in an in vitro system suggesting a potential protective role against diabetes and/or its complications. (5)

• Wound Healing: Study evaluated leaf extracts for wound healing activity in excision wound model in albino rats. An aqueous extract showed 94.94% maximum percentage of healing compared to control. (7)

• Phytoremediation / Copper Contaminated Soil: Study evaluated the efficacy of copper removal from the soil by Brassica juncea and Bidens alba. The copper removal efficiency of B. juncea (L.) Czern was 11 tmes greater than Bidens alba DC var radiata. (8)

• Phytoremediation / Municipal Solid Waste: Study showed highly promising potential for removal of Pb, Zn, Ni, and Cu by phytoextraction through Brassica juncea. B. juncea is a potential species for phytoremediation of MSW through management and regulation of leaching of toxic elements into soil and ground waters. The plant growth also stimulates the microbial community, degrading contaminants in the soil or making them available to rhizosphere. (9)

• Anti-Hyperglycemic / Antinociceptive: Study of a methanol extract of leaves showed significant and dose-dependent antinociceptive actiity in acetic-acid induced gastric pain writhing model in mice. In oral glucose tolerace tests, the extract also demonstrated significant and dose-dependent glucose lowering activity. (10)
• Anthelmintic: Comparative study evaluated the anthelmintic activity of seeds of B. juncea and flowers of B. oleracea against Pheritima posthuma, using Albendazole as standard. Re sults confirmed the anthelmintic activity of both plants, with Brassica juncea showing more efficient activity. (11)


Market produce.

Source: stuartxchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1)Brassica Juncea / Brown Mustard: Plants For A Future /

(2)Isolation and Characterization of Juncin, an Antifungal Protein from Seeds of Japanese Takana (Brassica juncea Var. integrifolia) / Xiujuan Ye and Tzi Bun Ng / J. Agric. Food Chem., 2009, 57 (10), pp 4366–4371
DOI: 10.1021/jf8035337

(3)Brassica juncea (Rai) significantly prevented the development of insulin resistance in rats fed fructose-enriched diet / S P Yadav et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology • Volume 93, Issue 1, July 2004, Pages 113-116 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2004.03.034

(4)Hypoglycemic and antihyperglycemic effect of Brassica juncea diet and their effect on hepatic glycogen content and the key enzymes of carbohydrate metabolism / Jagdish Kumari Grover et al / Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry • Volume 241, Numbers 1-2 / December, 2002 / DOI 10.1023/A:1020814709118

(5)Protective Effects of Mustard Leaf (Brassica juncea) against Diabetic Oxidative Stress / Yokozawa T et al / Nutri Sci Vitaminol • VOL.49;NO.2;PAGE.87-93(2003)

(6)Sorting Brassica names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.

(7)Comparison of different extracts leaf of Brassica juncea Linn on wound healing activity / Rajat Malan, Anu Walia, Vipin Saini, Sumeet Gupta* / European Journal of Experimental Biology, 2011, 1 (2):33-40

(8)Phytoremediation of Copper Contaminated Soil by Brassica juncea (L.) Czern and Bidens alba (L.) DC. var. radiata / Naiyanan Ariyakanon* and Banchagan Winaipanich / J. Sci. Res. Chula. Univ., Vol. 31, No. 1 (2006) 49

(9)PHYTOREMEDIATION POTENTIAL OF BRASSICA JUNCEA FOR MUNICIPAL SOLIDWASTE - A CASE STUDY / Srinivas Namuduri, Suresh Kolli Kumar, Nrusimhatharra Srksbl, V. Balaram and T. Shivaji Rao / Fourth International Symposium on Recent Advances in Environmental Health Research

(10)A Study on Antinociceptive and Anti-hyperglycemic Activity of Methanol Extract of Brassica Juncea (L.) Czern. Leaves in Mice / Mohammed Rahmatullah, Taslima Ferdousi Shefa, Labiba Hasan, Md. Tozammal Hossain, Salman Ahmed, Abdullah Al Mamun, Md. Rasadul Islam, Shahnaz Rahman, Majeedul H. Chowdhury / Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences, 4(3): 221-225, 2010

(11)In-vitro comparative study of anthelmintic activity of Brassica juncea and Brassica oleracea / Lavanya, Bhaduri; S., Ramya Krishna P.; Nagarjuna, S.; Reddy, Y. Padmanabha / Journal of Pharmacy Research; Sept 2011, Vol. 4 Issue 9, p 2907.

Scientific names     
Raphanus sativus Linn.     
Common names
Labanos (Tag.)
Rabanos (C. Bis., Span.)
Lai-fu-tzu Ts-ao (Chin.)
Radish (Engl.)

Labanos is a coarse, annual crop plant. Roots are fleshy, pungent and variable in size and form. Leaves are roughly hairy, the lower ones lyrate. Flowers are variable, about 1.5 centimeters long, usually white or lilac, with purple veins, sepals erect, lateral ones saccate at the base. Pod is inhehiscent, lanceolate, cylindrical, and 2 to 2.6 centimeters in length, and terminates in a long beak. Seeds are separated by pith.

- Widely cultivated in the Philippines at all altitudes.

Parts utilized
  • Whole plant.
  • When seeds are ripe, harvest the whole plant, sun-dry, remove the seeds and dry again. Crush on use. Roots can also be sun-dried for use.


· Considered anthelmintic, antifungal, antibacterial, antiscorbutic, diuretic, laxative, tonic, carminative, corrective, stomachic, cholagogue, lithotriptic, emmenagogue.
· The juice of the fresh root is considered powerfully antiscorbutic.
· Roots considered carminative and corrective.
· Flowers considered becnic and cholagogue.
· Seeds considered diuretic, laxative, stimulant, and lithotriptic.
· In Iranian traditional medicine, seeds are considered diuretic carminative, antifever, antitussive and gastric tonic. Study yielded ten isothiocyanates, seven aliphatic hydrocarbons and some volatile substances.


• Phytochemical study yielded triterpenes, alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, saponin and coumarins.
Study for volatile constituents yielded 10 isothicyanates, seven aliphatic hydrocarbons and some other volatile substances.
• Root yields raphanol, rettichol, volatile oil, methylmercaptan, vitamins B1, sinapin and oxydase.
• Seeds yield fatty oil (30%), ash (3.5%), volatile oil, sulphuric acid, erucic acid and C8H15NS2.


Edibility / Nutrition

Leaves, flowers, roots, and seeds are edible.
A popular, common, and inexpensive vegetable, eaten raw or cooked.
Young leaves are also eaten raw or cooked.
Excellent source of iron and good source of calcium; also a source of vitamin B.

· For diarrhea: boil the fresh leaves to concentrated decoction and drink.
· Juice of leaves increases the flow of urine and promotes bowel movements.
· Juice of fresh leaves also used as laxative; also for dropsy and general anasarca.
· Root considered stimulant; also used for piles and stomach pains.
· Juice used to expel wind from the bowels.
· Juice of fresh roots considered antiscorbutic.
· Roots are crushed and applied locally as dressing or poultice for burns, scalds, ecchymoses, or fetid or smelly feet.
· Decoction of root used for fevers.
· Decoction of roots used to bring out the rash in eruptive fevers.
· Coughs: Decoction of flowers; or, boil 6 to 15 gms seed preparation to decoction and drink.
· Seeds promote the flow of urine, bowel movements, and menstruation.
· Seeds used for cancer of the stomach.
· For patients with edema, bloated belly (ascites), pale yellowish face, and oliguria: used dried root preparation with citrus rind preparation (5:1 proportion). Boil to a concentrated decoction and drink.

· Repellent


• Histaminergic / Spasmolytic: Pharmacological basis for the gut stimulatory activity of Raphanus sativus leaves: A study on the crude extracxt of RS leaves showed the presence of a histaminergic component plus a weak spasmolytic factor supporting its traditional use for constipation.

Toxicity Report: Severe Toxic Hepatitis Provoked by Squeezed Black Radish (Raphanus Sativus) Juice - Case Report: Cited in phytotherapy literature as a plant with hepatoprotective properties, this reports a severe toxic hepatitis from use of black radish extract to dissolve bile duct stone.

Hepatoprotective: (1) Studies on Raphanus sativus as Hepatoprotective Agents (Thesis): Results showed the ethanolic extract of RS contain hepatoprotective constituents. (2) Study of crude powder of Raphanus sativus leaves reduced the risk of liver damage by paracetamol.

Antiurolithiatic Activity / Diuretic: Study of aqueous extract of the bark of RS on rats showed a significant decrease in the weight of stones. Study also showed an increase in 24 hour urine volume compared to control.

• Water Phenol Decontamination: Decontamination of Water Polluted with Phenol Using Raphanus sativus Root: Plant materials have been used in decontamination of water polluted with phenolic compounds. The study used RS roots (root juice and pieces). Results showed good phenol removal from aqueous solutions with cut R sativus root and juice.

Antioxidant / Lipid Peroxidation Inhibition: Study of methanol extract of RS showed inhibition of lipid peroxidation in vivo and in vitro, providing protection by strengthening antioxidants like glutathione and catalase. Results suggest inclusion of the plant in every day diet may be beneficial.

Phytochemicals / Toxicity Studyt / Hepatoprotective Activity: Study of showed carbon tetrachloride induced hepatotoxicity was reduced by the plant as showed by inhibition of increased liver enzyme activities and bilirubin concentration together with histopath changes. Toxicity study showed no adverse effect on livers. Phytochemical studies yielded triterpenes, alklaoids, flavanoids, tannins, saponins and coumarins.

Phytochemicals / Gastroprotective: Study of the freshly squeezed radish juice for its anti-gastric ulcer activity in experimental models showed it possessed gastroprotective potential related to mucus secretion stimulation and an increase in nonproteinsulfhydryl (NP-SH) concentration, probably due to prostaglandin-inducing abilities mediated through antioxidant activity. Phytochemicals study yielded flavonoids, anthocyanins and sufurated constituents.

Antioxidant / Choleretic: Study of extract from radish sprouts in rats showed antioxidant properties and significantly induced bile flow.

Anti-Diabetic: Study showed that the sprouts of Japanese radish has the potential to alleviate hyperglycemia and may serve i the primary prevention of diabetes mellitus.


Commercial cultivation; ubiquitous in market places. 

Source: stuartxchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

1)Pharmacological basis for the gut stimulatory activity of Raphanus sativus leaves / Anwarul Hassan Gilani and M Nabeel Ghayur / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 95, Issues 2-3, December 2004, Pages 169-172 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2004.06.038

(2)Severe Toxic Hepatitis Provoked by Squeezed Black Radish (Raphanus Sativus) Juice - Case Report

(3)Studies on Raphanus sativus as Hepatoprotective Agents / Rukhsana Anwar B. Pharma., r. Ph. / Thesis submitted to the University of Punjab

(4)Antiurolithiatic activity of Raphanus sativus aqueous extract on rats / R Vargas et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 68, Issues 1-3, 15 December 1999, Pages 335-338 / doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(99)00105-1

(5)  Decontamination of Water Polluted with Phenol Using Raphanus sativus Root / Farzaneh Naghibi et al / Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research (2003) 29-32

(6)Inhibitory Response of Raphanus sativus on Lipid Peroxidation in Albino Rats / P. Chaturvedi / Oxford Journals Medicine Evidence-based Compl. and Alt. MedicineVolume 5, Number 1Pp. 55-59 / eCAM 2008 5(1):55-59; doi:10.1093/ecam/nel077

(7)  Protective Effect of Raphanus sativus Against Carbon Tetrachloride Induced Hepatotoxicity in Wistar Albino Rats / H.H.SH. Mohammed, Afaf. I. Abelgasim et al / Jurn of Pharm and Toxicology 3 (4):272-278, 2008

(8)Gastroprotective Effect of Radish (RS) on Experimental Models / Algasoumi, Saleh et al / Farmacia, Vol 56 (2), 2008

(9)Volatile Constituents of Raphanus sativus L. var. niger Seeds / Journal of Essential Oil Research: JEOR, Jul/Aug 2005 by Afsharypuor, Suleiman, Balam, Maryam Hoseiny

(10)Antioxidant and Choleretic Properties of Raphanus sativus L. Sprout (Kaiware Daikon) Extract / Jessica Barillari, Rinaldo Cervellati et al / J. Agric. Food Chem., 2006, 54 (26), pp 9773–9778 / DOI: 10.1021/jf061838u

(11)Studies of Raphanus sativus as Hepato Protective Agent / Rukhsana Anwar and Mubasher Ahmad / Journal of Medical Sciences, 2006 | Vol 6 | Issue: 4 | Page No.: 662-665 / DOI: 10.3923/jms.2006.662.665

(12)Volatile Constituents of Raphanus sativus L. var. niger Seeds / Journal of Essential Oil Research: JEOR, Jul/Aug 2005 by Afsharypuor, Suleiman, Balam, Maryam Hoseiny

(13)Effect of Japanese radish (Raphanus sativus) sprout (Kaiware-daikon) on carbohydrate and lipid metabolisms in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats / Hironobu Taniguchi et al / Phytotherapy Research, Volume 20 Issue 4, Pages 274 - 278

Scientific names    

Cucurbita maxima Duchesne     
Curcubita sulcata Blanco     
Sun gua (Chin.)      

Common names

Calabaza (Sp.)
Kabasi (Sul.)
Kabasi (Sul.)
Kalabasa (Tag., Ceb.)
Kalabasang-bilog (Tag.)  
Kalabasang-pula (Tag.)
Karabasa (Ilk.)
Kumbasa (Bon.)  
Giant pumpkin (Engl.)
Squash (Engl.)
Sweet-fleshed squash (Engl.)
Fan nan gua (Chin.)
Other vernacular names

AFRIKAANS : Pampoen.
ARABIC : Qar'islambuli, Qar'malti, Qar'maghrabi, Karr estmboly (Egypt).
CHINESE: Bei gua, jiao si gua, yang gua DANISH : Centnergræskar.
DUTCH : Pompoen, Ronde pompoen, Reuzenpompoen, Reuzenkalebas.
ESTONIAN : Suureviljaline kõrvits. FINNISH : Jättiläiskurpitsa.
FRENCH : Potiron, Giraumon, Courge-giraumon, Courge d'hiver, Grosse courge, Courge-potiron.
GERMAN : Risen-Kürbis, Risenkürbis, Riesenkuerbis.
HEBREW : Delaat gedola.
HINDI : Kadduu, Sitaphal.
HUNGARIAN : Sütö tök.
ITALIAN : Zucca, Zucca gigante, Giramonte.
JAPANESE : Kuri kabocha, Seiyou kabocha, Seiyou kabocha. NEPALESE : Kadu, Kashi phal, Pharsi, Sitaa phal.
NORWEGIAN : Kjempegraskar.
POLISH : Dynia duza, Dynia olbrzymia.
PORTUGUESE : Abóbora-menina, Abóbora-moranga.
RUSSIAN : Tykva gigantskaia.
SPANISH : Calabaza amarilla, Calabaza de cidra, Calabaza gigante, Calabaza tamalayota, Calabaza tonanera, Calabaza redonda, Quinoa, Quinua, Zapallo (Argentina).
SWEDISH : Jättepumpa, Pumpa.
URDU : Halva kaddu, Mitha kaddu.
YORUBA : Apala.

Kalabasa is a coarse, prostrate or climbing, annual, herbaceous vine, reaching a length of 4 meters or more. Leaves are hispid, rounded, 15 to 30 centimeters in diameter, heart-shaped at the base, shallowly 5-lobed, with finely toothed margins, and often mottled on the upper surface. Flowers are bell-shaped, erect, yellow and about 12 centimeters long, the corolla limb is about as wide, and 5-toothed. Fruit is large, variable in shape, fleshy, with a yellow pulp. Seeds are ovoid or oblong, compressed, and about 1.3 centimeters long.


- Widely cultivated throughout the Philippines as a vegetable produce.
- Occasionally found as an escape.
- Planted in all warm countries.


• Phytochemical screening yielded carbohydrates, steroids, proteins and amino acids.
• Fruit contains fat, 10%; pentosan, 5.2 %; protein, 14.2%; and ash, 9/3%.
• Seeds contain fixed oil, 20-25%; a proteid, edestin. The seed's active principle is a pepo-resin found in the cotyledons.
• Curcurbitin, a constituent in pumpkin seeds has shown anti-parasitic activity in the test tube.
• Seed extract yielded carbohydrates, saponins, and flavonoids.


• Considered anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, diuretic, tonic, vermifuge.
• Considered antidiabetic, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic.

Parts used
Fruits, seeds, stalk.


Nutritional / Edibility

- Widely used as a vegetable in the Philippines, baked, boiled, or stewed.
- Young shoots and flowers used as green vegetable.
- A vegetable which is an excellent source of vitamin B. The shoots and flowers contain calcium, phosphorus and iron. The fruit contains calcium and vitamin A.
- Seeds are a good source of protein, zinc, and other vitamins.
- In India, fruit is largely used in curries.
- Fruit makes an excellent substitute for pumpkin in pies.


• In India, fruit pulp is often used as poultice for carbuncles, boils and ulcers.
• Dried pulp, in the form of confection, used as remedy for hemoptysis and hemorrhages from the pulmonary tract.
• For venomous insect bites, the fruit stalk in contact with the ripe gourd is cut, dried, and made into a paste and applied to venomous insect bites, especially centipedes.
• The fresh seeds, pulped or in emulsion, are used as antihelminthic. Seeds are eaten fresh to expel worms from the stomach. For tapeworms, seeds are given with sugar at bedtime, followed with a dose of castor oil in the morning.
• Seed oil used as nervine tonic.
• In Brazil, pumpkin seeds are used for stomach pain, as antiinflammatory, antipyretic and anthelminthic.
• In China, pumpkin seeds have been used for acute schistosomiasis.
• In Thailand, seeds used for kidney stones.


• Seed contains an oil. Used for lighting.
• Fruit can provide a face-mask for dry skins.


• Antimicrobial / Anti-inflammatory / Neuro Effects : Extracts of leaves, fruits and flowers of C. maxima were subjected to pharmacologic and microbiological studies. Results showed complete inhibition of B. subtilis and partial inhibition of E. coli. Fruits and leaves showed neuro effects: decrease motor activity, ataxia, temporary palpebral ptosis among others. Ethyl acetate extracts of flowers showed decreased respiratory rate, analgesia, diarrhea and exophthalmos.

• Toxicity evaluation of Cucurbita maxima seed extract in mice: Hydroalcoholic extract of CM seeds had a considerable safety margin and devoid of acute toxicity.

• Antigenotoxicity / Spinasterol: Study on antigenotoxic constituents of squash flowers showed isolate SQFwB2D (spinasterol) from the chloroform extract to possess the most antigenotoxicity, decreasing the mutagenicity of tetracycline by 64.7%.

• Pumpkin Seed Oil / BPH: Pumpkin seed oil has been approved by the Germany's Commission E since 1985 for the treatment of BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia).

• Antiparasitic: Study showed that pumpkin seed can produce an antihelminthic effect. There was alteration in helminthic motility and a protheolithic effect. Egg destruction was noted in the gravid proglottids.

• Antibacterial: Study of ethanol seed extract showed a spectrum of inhibition on Staph aureus, B. subtilis, P. mirabilis, K. pneumonia and E coli.

• Hypoglycemic: Study evaluated the hypoglycemic activity of fruit juice and hydro-alcoholic extract of C. maxima in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Both caused significant decrease in hyperglycemia, with the extract showing more hypoglycemic effect than the fruit juice.

• Immunomodulator: Cm seeds were tested for immunomodulatory effects using a dexamethasone-induced immunosuppression model in rabbits. Results showed Cucurbita maxima possesses potential to act as an immunomodulator.

• Antidiabetic / Aerial Parts: Study of antidiabetic activity of methanol extract of aerial parts in Wistar albino rats against STZ-induced diabetes showed fasting blood glucose reduction in a treatment-duration dependent manner.

• Anticancer / Aerial Parts: Study evaluated the antitumor activity of a methanol extract of C. maxima Duschesne aerial parts on Erlich Ascites Carcinoma model in mice. Results revealed significant anticancer activity attributed to its cytotoxicity and antioxidant properties.

• Sterols / Antimicrobial Activity: Study of flowers afforded a 4:1 mixture of spinasterol and 24-ethyl-5a-cholesta-7,22,25-trien-3ß-ol. Results showed slight activity against fungi A. niger and C. albicans and bacteria B. subtilis and P. aeruginosa.

• Anthelmintic / Schistosomiasis: Study of a decoction prepared from C. maxima var. alyaga seeds showed a killing effect on S. japonicum somulae in vitro, with a dose-effect relationship in the mean percentage somula death.

• Hepatoprotective: Study showed the hepatoprotective activity of methanol extracts of C maxima and Legenaria siceraria seeds against paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity.

• Anthelmintic Activity / Comparative Study: Study compared the in-vitro anthelmintic activity of Asparagus racemosus and C. maxima against Indian model. Both ethanolic and aqueous extracts of both plants showed significant anthelminthic activity, with the EE of A. racemosus showing better activity.

Commercial vegetable cultivation.
Pumpkin seed oil in the cybermarket.

Source: stuartxchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1)Cucurbita maxima - Duchesne. ex Lam. / Winter Squash / Plants For A Future

(2)Microbiological and pharamcological studies on extracts of Cucurbita maxima / VILLASENOR I. M.; BARTOLOME A. L. O et al / PTR. Phytotherapy research / 1995, vol. 9, no5, pp. 376-378 / INIST-CNRS, Cote INIST : 21695, 35400005373809.0130

(3)Toxicity evaluation of Cucurbita maxima seed extract in mice / Summary Pharmaceutical Biology / 2006, Vol. 44, No. 4, Pages 301-303

(4)Antigenotoxic spinasterol from Cucurbita maxima flowers / Irene Villaseñor et al / Mutation Research/Environmental Mutagenesis and Related Subjects, Vol 360, Issue 2, 10 June 1996, Pages 89-93 / doi:10.1016/0165-1161(95)00071-2

(5)  Preclinical studies of cucurbita maxima (pumpkin seeds) a traditional intestinal antiparasitic in rural urban areas / Díaz Obregón D, Lloja Lozano L, Carbajal Zúñiga V. / Revista de gastroenterología del Perú / 2004 Oct-Dec; vol 24 (issue 4) : pp 323-7

(6)Cucurbita maxima Duchesne ex Lam. / Catalogue of Life, China

(7)Sorting Cucurbita names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher, / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE

(8)Effect of Hydro-Alcoholic Extract of Cucurbita Maxima, Fruit Juice and Glibenclamide on Blood Glucose in Diabetic Rats / Lal, V.K., P.P. Gupta, Awanish Pandey and P. Tripathi / American Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology 6 (3): 84-87, 2011

(9)Comparative Effect of Cucurbita Maxima Seed with Immunomodulators on Biochemical Parameters in Rabbits / V. Ranganathan and S. Selvasubramanian / Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science 02 (06); 2012: 191-193

(10)Antidiabetic Activity of Cucurbita maxima Aerial Parts / P. Saha, A. Bala, B. Kar, S. Naskar, U.K. Mazumder, P.K. Haldar and M. Gupta / Research Journal of Medicinal Plant, 2011, Vol 5, No: 5, pp 577-586 /
DOI: 10.3923/rjmp.2011.577.586

(11)Anticancer activity of methanol extract of Cucurbita maxima against Ehrlich as- cites carcinoma / Prerona Saha, U. K. Mazumder, P. K. Haldar, Sagar Naskar, Sriparna Kundu, Asis Bala, Biswakanth Kar / Int. J. Res. Pharm. Sci., 2(1), 2011, 52-59

(12)Sterols from Cucurbita maxima / Consolacion Y. Ragasa and Kathleen Lim / Philippine Journal of Science
134 (2): 83-87, December 2005


(14)Hepatoprotective Effect of Methanolic Extract of C. maxima and L. siceraria Seeds / Jain Nidhi and A K Pathak / Intern Journ of Pharmaceutical, Chemical, and Biological Sciences, 2012, 2(2). 151-154

(15)Phytochemical Screening and In Vitro Comparative Study of Anthelmintic Activity of Asparagus racemosus and Cucurbita maxima / G. V. N. Kiranmayi, K. Ravishankar, P. Priyabandhavi / Journal of Pharmacy Research, Vol 5, No 3 (2012)