It grows as a common weed throughout India, ascending up to 6,000 ft. on the hills.
Morphology Description (Habit)
An erect or prostrate, much branched, roughly hairy, annual, rooting at the nodes; the leaves are opposite, sessile and lanceolate; the flower-heads are white.
The herb contains wedelolactone and dimethyl wedelolactone possessing potent antihepatotoxic properties1.The herb is a rich source of ascorbic acid. It also contains an alkaloid, ecliptine. The plant is a good source of thiophene derivatives which are active against nematodes. The occurrence of mono-, di- and trithiophene acetylenes together with a-terthenyl in this species is noteworthy. The petroleum ether extract of aerial parts contains a trithienyl aldehyde, ecliptal, besides stigmasterol and ß-sitosterol. The roots are very rich in thiophene acetylenes2.
Eclipta is an effective anti-inflammatory agent. It inhibited the higher levels of histamine due to chronic inflammation upto 58.67 percent3. The ethanolic extract of the dried whole plant E.prostrata and its active constituent, culumbin, exhibited remarkable antihypertensive activity on anesthetized rats. No significant side effects or toxicities have been found either on histopathology of liver, kidney, spleen, heart or on biochemical parameters like SGOT, SGPT, BUN, etc. Moreover, no appreciable changes have been found in body weight and in specific organ weight during the course of investigation on Long Evans rats4.
An alcoholic extract of freshly collected E.prostrata aerial parts exhibited dose-dependent (62.5-500.0mg/kg p.o.) and significant hepatoprotective activity against carbon tetrachloride-induced liver injury in rats and mice. The hepatoprotectve activity is further substantiated by its protective role on parameters such as hexobarbitone-induced sleep, zoxazolamine-induced paralysis, bromosulphaphthalin (BSP) clearance, serum levels of transaminases, bilirubin and protein. The extract did not show any signs of toxicity and the minimum lethal dose was greater than 2.0g/kg when given orally and intraperitoneally in mice5.
The herb is used as a tonic and deobstruent in hepatic and splenic enlargements and in skin diseases. The plant juice is administered in combination with aromatics for catarrhal jaundice.The plant possesses antihepatotoxic and anti-inflammatory activities. The fresh plant is considered anodyne and absorbent.
- Bhargava, K.K. et. al., Ind. J. Chem., 1970, 8, 664.
- Singh et. al., Geobios, 1990, 17(1), 35; Das & Chakravarty, Indian J Chem, 1991, 30B, 1052; Singh, Bioact Mol, 1988, 7, 179; Mabberley, 199.
- Reddy, K.R.K. et. al., J. Res. Educ. in Ind. Med., 1990, v., 9(4), 43-46.
- Rashid, Md , International Seminar-Traditional Medicine, Calcutta, 7-9 November, 1992, Abstr. No. 8.16, 134.
- Singh, B. et. al., Phytotherapy Research, 1993, v., 7(2), 154-158; Murthy, T.S. et. al., J. Res. Educ. Ind. Med., 1993, v., 12(2), 41-43.