Clinical Studies

Abstracts are presented below for clinical studies on Boerhavia.

  • Botanical Name: Boerhavia Diffusa

  • Ayurvedic Name: Punarnava

  • Common Name: Boerhavia

Boerhavia Diffusa

Plant Phytonutrient Profile

1: J Nat Prod. 2006 Jun;69(6):903-6.

Spasmolytic effects of nonprenylated rotenoid constituents of Boerhaavia diffusa

Borrelli F, Ascione V, Capasso R, Izzo AA, Fattorusso E, Taglialatela-Scafati O.

Dipartimento di Farmacologia Sperimentale, Universita di Napoli Federico II, Via
D. Montesano 49, 80131 Napoli, Italy. [email protected]

Boerhaavia diffusa is an Ayurvedic remedy used traditionally for the treatment
of a number of diseases, including those affecting the gastrointestinal tract.
In the current investigation, a methanol extract obtained from roots of B.
diffusa exhibited a significant spasmolytic activity in the guinea pig ileum,
probably through a direct effect on the smooth muscle. A detailed phytochemical
analysis of this methanol extract led to the isolation of one new (12) and six
known (6-11) rotenoid derivatives. The structure of the new compound was
determined through interpretation of its MS and NMR data. All the isolated
rotenoids were evaluated for their effect on intestinal motility in vitro, and
the results obtained showed unambiguously that they are active spasmolytic
constituents. Preliminary structure-activity relationships for this class of
compounds are suggested.

Publication Types:
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

PMID: 16792408 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

2: Phytochem Anal. 2005 Nov-Dec;16(6):451-8.

Characterisation of the phenolic profile of Boerhaavia diffusa L. by
HPLC-PAD-MS/MS as a tool for quality control.

Ferreres F, Sousa C, Justin M, Valentao P, Andrade PB, Llorach R, Rodrigues A,
Seabra RM, Leitao A.

Research Group on Quality, Safety and Bioactivity of Plant Foods, Department of
Food Science and Technology, CEBAS (CSIC), Campus Universidade Espinardo,
Murcia, Spain.

Phenolic acids and flavonols of nine leaf and three root samples of Boerhaavia
diffusa L., collected at different locations and subjected to several drying
procedures, were characterised by reversed-phase HPLC-PAD-ESI/MS for the first
time. Ten phenolic compounds were identified:
3,4-dihydroxy-5-methoxycinnamoyl-rhamnoside, quercetin
3-O-rhamnosyl(1-->6)galactoside (quercetin 3-O-robinobioside), quercetin
3-O-(2"-rhamnosyl)-robinobioside, kaempferol 3-O-(2"-rhamnosyl)-robinobioside,
3,5,4'-trihydroxy-6,7-dimethoxyflavone 3-O-galactosyl(1-->2)glucoside [eupalitin
3-O-galactosyl(1-->2)glucoside], caffeoyltartaric acid, kaempferol
3-O-robinobioside, eupalitin 3-O-galactoside, quercetin and kaempferol.
Quantification was achieved by HPLC-PAD and two phenolic patterns were found for
the leaves, in which quercetin 3-O-robinobioside or quercetin
3-O-(2"-rhamnosyl)-robinobioside was the major compound. Caffeoyltartaric acid
was only present in the root material where it represented the main phenolic
constituent. The results obtained demonstrated that the geographical origin
(particularly the nature of the soil), but not the drying process, influences
the phenolic composition.

PMID: 16315490 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

3: Hindustan Antibiot Bull. 2003 Feb-2004 Nov;45-46(1-4):1-4.

Antifungal activity of Boerhavia diffusa against some dermatophytic species of

Agrawal A, Srivastava S, Srivastava MM.

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Dayalbagh Educational Institute,
Dayalbagh, Agra - 282001 India.

Various extracts petroleum ether, chloroform, ethyl acetate and ethyl alcohol)
of aerial and root parts of Boerhavia diffusa was sereened for Antitungal
activity (Inhibition in sporulation) against dermatophytic fungi Microsporum
gypseum, M. fulvum and M. canis by using broth dilution method. Extracts of
aerial part not show any noticeable antifungal activity. Ethyl acetate extract
of root part of the plant was found to be most effective of against target
fungal species. The maximum inhibition of mycelial growth was observed for M.
gypseum (78.83%) followed by M. fulvum (62.33%) and M. canis (42.30%) of ethyl
acetate in the test concentration of 1000 microg/ml 24 hours of incubation. The
sporulation of target fungal species decreases with increasing supplementation
of phytoextract, confirms the presence of some antifungal phytochemical moiety
in roots of the plant.

Publication Types:
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

PMID: 16281821 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

4: Planta Med. 2005 Oct;71(10):928-32.

Isolation of new rotenoids from Boerhaavia diffusa and evaluation of their
effect on intestinal motility.

Borrelli F, Milic N, Ascione V, Capasso R, Izzo AA, Capasso F, Petrucci F,
Valente R, Fattorusso E, Taglialatela-Scafati O.

Dipartimento di Farmacologia Sperimentale, Universita di Napoli Federico II, Via
D. Montesano 49, 80131 Naples, Italy. [email protected]

A bioassay-guided separation of a methanolic extract obtained from the roots of
Boerhaavia diffusa L. (Nyctaginaceae) allowed us to isolate five compounds
belonging to the class of rotenoids: the known boeravinone D ( 1), boeravinone E
( 2), compound 5 and two novel compounds that we have named boeravinone G ( 3)
and boeravinone H ( 4). The structures of the new molecules have been determined
on the basis of their HR-EI-MS, (1)H- and (13)C-NMR and 2D-NMR (HMQC, HMBC)
data. All the isolated rotenoids have been evaluated for their effect on
intestinal motility in vitro. Three of them (boeravinone G, boeravinone E and
compound 5) exhibited spasmolytic activity. Preliminary structure-activity
relationships have been established highlighting the effect of substitutions on
rings B and D.

Publication Types:
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

PMID: 16254824 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

5: J Environ Biol. 2004 Jul;25(3):307-11.

Inhibitory effect of the plant Boerhavia diffusa l. against the dermatophytic
fungus Microsporum fulvum.

Agrawal A, Srivastava S, Srivastava JN, Srivastava MM.

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Dayalbagh Educational Institute,
Dayalbagh, Agra-282 005, India.

Antifungal activity (reduction in colony diameter) of various extracts (pt.
ether, chloroform, ethyl acetate, ethyl alcohol and aqueous) of aerial and root
parts of Boerhavia diffusa (Nictaginaceae) was screened against dermatophytic
fungi Microsporum fulvum. Statistically significant increase has been recorded
in the % inhibition of the target fungal species with increasing test
concentrations (1000-5000 ppm) of chloroform, ethyl acetate and ethyl alcohol
extracts of the root. The maximum % inhibition observed in various solvent
extracts of root was about 26% (chloroform), 46% (ethyl alcohol) and 57% (ethyl
acetate) at 5000 ppm concentration with time exposure of 10 days. The colony
diameter of the target mycelial colony decreased with increasing supplementation
of the phytoextract, showing the presence of significant amount of some
antifungal phytochemical moiety.

Publication Types:
Comparative Study
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

PMID: 15847339 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

6: Int Immunopharmacol. 2005 Mar;5(3):541-53.

Immunosuppressive properties of flavonoids isolated from Boerhaavia diffusa

Pandey R, Maurya R, Singh G, Sathiamoorthy B, Naik S.

Department of Immunology, Sanjay Gandhi Post-Graduate Institute of Medical
Sciences, Lucknow 226 014, India.

Plant extracts have been widely evaluated for possible immunomodulatory
properties. We have earlier reported that ethanolic extract of Boerhaavia
diffusa root, a plant used in Indian traditional medicine, has significant
immunomodulatory potential. B. diffusa hexane, chloroform and ethanol extracts,
and two pure compounds Bd-I (eupalitin-3-O-beta-D-galactopyranoside) and Bd-II
(eupalitin) were evaluated in vitro for their effect on T cell mitogen
(phytohemagglutinin; PHA) stimulated proliferation of human peripheral blood
mononuclear cell (PBMC), mixed lymphocyte culture, lipopolysaccharide (LPS)
stimulated nitric oxide production by RAW 264.7, PHA and LPS induced IL-2 and
TNF-alpha production, in human PBMCs, superoxide production in neutrophils,
human natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity and nuclear translocation of nuclear
factor-(kappa)B and AP-1 in PHA stimulated PBMCs. The chloroform and ethanol
extracts inhibited PHA stimulated proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear
cells, two-way MLR, NK cell cytotoxicity as well as LPS induced NO production by
RAW 264.7; the hexane extract showed no activity. Bd-I purified from the
ethanolic extract at equivalent dose, inhibited PHA-stimulated proliferation of
peripheral blood mononuclear cells, two-way MLR and NK cell cytotoxicity as well
as LPS induced NO production by RAW 264.7 equally or more effectively than the
parent ethanolic extract. Bd-I inhibited production of PHA stimulated IL-2 at
the protein and mRNA transcript levels and LPS stimulated TNF-alpha production
in human PBMCs; it also blocked the activation of DNA binding of nuclear
factor-(kappa)B and AP-1, two major transcription factors centrally involved in
expression of the IL-2 and IL-2R gene, which are necessary for T cell activation
and proliferation. Our results report selective immunosuppressive activity of B.
diffusa leaf extracts and that this activity lies in
eupalitin-3-O-beta-D-galactopyranoside (Bd-I) isolated and purified from the
ethnaolic extract. Thus, Bd-I could be a candidate for development as an
immunosuppressive agent.

Publication Types:
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

PMID: 15683850 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

7: J Med Food. 2004 Winter;7(4):472-6.

Antidiabetic effect of Boerhavia diffusa: effect on serum and tissue lipids in
experimental diabetes.

Pari L, Amarnath Satheesh M.

Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Annamalai University,
Annamalainagar, Tamil Nadu, India.

The present study was designed to investigate the antihyperlipidemic activity of
an aqueous extract of Boerhavia diffusa leaves in alloxan diabetic rats.
Hyperlipidemia is an associated complication of diabetes mellitus. Many herbs
and spices are known to be antihyperglycemic. Oral administration of B. diffusa
leaf extract (BLEt) at 200 mg/kg of body weight for 4 weeks resulted in
significant reduction in serum and tissue cholesterol, free fatty acids,
phospholipids, and triglycerides. Moreover, BLEt supplementation was found to be
more effective than glibenclamide in the treatment of diabetic rats.

PMID: 15671692 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

8: Life Sci. 2005 Feb 4;76(12):1339-49. Epub 2004 Dec 28.

Inhibitory effect of Boerhaavia diffusa on experimental metastasis by B16F10
melanoma in C57BL/6 mice.

Leyon PV, Lini CC, Kuttan G.

Department of Immunology, Amala Cancer Research Centre, Amalanagar P.O.,
Thrissur Dist., Kerala 680 555, India.

Administration of the aqueous methanol (3:7) extract of B.diffusa was found to
be effective in reducing the metastases formation by B16F10 melanoma cells.
Prophylactic administration of the extract (0.5 mg/dose) inhibited the
metastases formation by about 95% as compared to untreated control animals.
There was 87% of inhibition in the lung metastases formation in syngenic C57BL/6
mice, when the extract was administered simultaneously with tumour challenge.
Biochemical parameters such as lung collagen hydroxyproline, hexosamines and
uronic acid levels were also reduced significantly (P < 0.001) in the treated
animals. Levels of serum sialic acids and gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase that are
markers of neoplastic proliferation were also reduced in the tumour plus extract
treated animals. More over treatment with the extract enhanced the survival of
the animals more than double that of untreated control animals. When a non-toxic
concentration of the extract was treated directly to the B16F10 cells in vitro,
it inhibited the cell proliferation as estimated by the 3H - thymidine uptake
assay. From the Zymogram analysis using culture supernatant from the extract
treated cells it became evident that the components of the extract inhibited the
expression or activity of gelatinases A and B (MMP-2 and MMP-9). Since the MMPs
are intimately associated with cell invasion and angiogenesis, inhibition of
these functions along with the anti-proliferative activity (cytostatic) may be
contributing to the antimetastatic property shown by B. diffusa.

PMID: 15670614 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

9: Indian J Exp Biol. 2004 Oct;42(10):989-92.

Antioxidant effect of Boerhavia diffusa L. in tissues of alloxan induced
diabetic rats.

Satheesh MA, Pari L.

Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Annamalai University,
Annamalainagar 608 002, India.

Administration of B. diffusa leaf extract (BLEt; 200 mg/kg) for 4 weeks resulted
in a significant reduction in thiobarbutric acid reactive substances and
hydroperoxides, with a significant increase in reduced glutathione, superoxide
dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione--S-transferase in
liver and kidney of alloxan induced diabetic rats. The results suggest that BLEt
has remarkable antidiabetic activity and can improve antioxidant status in
alloxan induced diabetic rats.

PMID: 15511002 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

10: Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2003 Oct;47(4):459-64.

Chemopreventive action of Boerhaavia diffusa on DMBA-induced skin carcinogenesis
in mice.

Bharali R, Azad MR, Tabassum J.

Department of Biotechnology, Gauhati University, Guwahati 781 014.

Boerhaavia diffusa, Linn (Fam: Nyctagenaceae), is widely used for the treatment
of Jaundice in various parts of India. In the present study, cancer
chemopreventive property of B. diffusa was evaluated on 7,12-dimethyl
benz(a)anthracene (DMBA) induced skin papillomagenesis in male Swiss albino mice
(6-7 weeks old). A single topical application of 7,12-dimethyl benz(a)anthracene
(50 microg/50 microl of acetone), followed 2 weeks later by repeated application
of croton oil (1% in acetone three times a week) and continued till the end of
the experiment exhibited 100% tumor incidence. In contrast, mice treated
topically on the shaven backs with the Boerhaavia diffusa extract at either the
peri-initiational phase (i.e. 7 days before and 7 days after the application of
DMBA; Group II), post initiational phase (i.e. from the day of start of croton
oil treatment and continued till the end of the experiment; Group III) or
continuously at the peri- and post-initiational stages (i.e. 7 days prior to
DMBA application and continued till the end of the experiment; Group IV), a
significant reduction in the values of tumor incidence (Group II - 65%; Group
III - 30%; Group IV - 25%), average number of tumors per tumor bearing mouse
(Group II - 2.8; Group III - 0.75; Group IV - 0.35) and papillomas per papilloma
bearing mouse (Group II - 3.1; Group III - 2.5; Group IV - 1.2) were observed.

Publication Types:
Comparative Study
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

PMID: 15266960 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

11: J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Mar;91(1):109-13.

Antidiabetic activity of Boerhaavia diffusa L.: effect on hepatic key enzymes in
experimental diabetes.

Pari L, Amarnath Satheesh M.

Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Annamalai University,
Annamalainagar, Tamil Nadu 608 002, India. [email protected]

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of daily oral
administration of aqueous solution of Boerhaavia diffusa L. leaf extract (BLEt)
(200 mg/kg) for 4 weeks on blood glucose concentration and hepatic enzymes in
normal and alloxan induced diabetic rats. A significant decrease in blood
glucose and significant increase in plasma insulin levels were observed in
normal and diabetic rats treated with BLEt. Treatment with BLEt resulted in a
significant reduction of glycosylated haemoglobin and an increase in total
haemoglobin level. The activities of the hepatic enzymes such as hexokinase was
significantly increased and glucose-6-phosphatase, fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase
were significantly decreased by the administration of BLEt in normal and
diabetic rats. An oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was also performed in the
same groups, in which there was a significant improvement in glucose tolerance
in rats treated with BLEt. A comparison was made between the action of BLEt and
antidiabetic drug-glibenclamide (600 microg/kg). The effect of BLEt was more
prominent when compared to glibenclamide.

PMID: 15036478 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

12: Int Immunopharmacol. 2002 Jun;2(7):987-96.

Immunomodulation by ethanolic extract of Boerhaavia diffusa roots.

Mehrotra S, Mishra KP, Maurya R, Srimal RC, Singh VK.

Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India.

We have earlier reported that ethanolic extract of Boerhaavia diffusa, a plant
used in Indian traditional system of medicine, significantly inhibits the cell
proliferation. This led us to evaluate the immunomodulatory properties of this
plant extract on various in vitro tests such as human natural killer (NK) cell
cytotoxicity, production of nitric oxide (NO) in mouse macrophage cells, RAW
264.7, interleukin-2 (IL-2), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha),
intracytoplasmic interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and expression of various cell
surface markers on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Ethanolic
extracts of B. diffusa roots inhibited human NK cell cytotoxicity in vitro,
production of NO in mouse macrophage cells, IL-2 and TNF-alpha in human PBMCs.
Intracytoplasmic IFN-gamma and cell surface markers such as CD16, CD25, and
HLA-DR did not get affected on treatment with B. diffusa extract. Our study
demonstrates immunosuppressive potential of ethanolic extract of B. diffusa.

Publication Types:
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

PMID: 12188040 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

13: Afr J Med Med Sci. 1999 Sep-Dec;28(3-4):167-9.

Antimicrobial screening of Bridelia, micrantha, Alchormea cordifolia and
Boerhavia diffusa.

Abo KA, Ashidi JS.

Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, College of Medicine,
University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.

This report is on the antimicrobial potential of Bridelia micrantha, Alchornea
cordifolia and Boerhavia diffusa sourced from traditional healers through an
ethnobotanical survey of antiinfective plants in Egbado South in Ogun State,
Nigeria. Extracts of B. micrantha and A. cordifolia exhibited significant
inhibitory activity against the pathogenic organisms. In some cases, the
antibacterial activity was comparable to those of ampicillin and gentamycin.
However, only the leaf of A. cordifolia showed reasonable antifungal activity
when compared with Trosyd. The study shows that there is justification for the
use of these medicinal plants in traditional medicine.

PMID: 11205824 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

14: J Ethnopharmacol. 1996 Nov;54(2-3):119-24.

Activity of a crude extract formulation in experimental hepatic amoebiasis and
in immunomodulation studies.

Sohni YR, Bhatt RM.

Department of Biology, Alabama A&M University, Normal 35762, USA.

The activity of a crude extract formulation was evaluated in experimental
amoebic liver abscess in golden hamsters and in immunomodulation studies. The
formulation comprises the following five plants-Boerhavia diffusa, Tinospora
cordifolia, Berberis aristata, Terminalia chebula and Zingiber officinale. The
formulation had a maximum cure rate of 73% at a dose of 800 mg/kg/day in hepatic
amoebiasis reducing the average degree of infection (ADI) to 1.3 as compared to
4.2 for sham-treated controls. In immunomodulation studies humoral immunity was
enhanced as evidenced by the haemagglutination titre. The T-cell counts remained
unaffected in the animals treated with the formulation but cell-mediated immune
response was stimulated as observed in the leukocyte migration inhibition (LMI)

PMID: 8953425 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

15: Int J Food Sci Nutr. 1996 Jan;47(1):41-53.

Mineral values of selected plant foods common to southern Burkina Faso and to
Niamey, Niger, west Africa.

Smith GC, Clegg MS, Keen CL, Grivetti LE.

Graduate Group in Geography, University of California, Davis 95616, USA.

Wild and cultivated fruits, leaves, nuts, seeds, spices and vegetables from
southern Burkina Faso and Niamey, Niger, were analysed for their copper, iron,
magnesium, manganese and zinc concentrations and compared to imported, exotic
reference foods found within the study area. The species analysed covered a
broad spectrum of local diet; 33 were wild and 16 were cultivated. The edible
wild plants were often the highest in mineral concentrations. Five species
analysed, exhibited consistently high mineral values, specifically, Adansonia
digitata, Boerhavia diffusa, Cerathoteca sesamoides, Sclerocarya birrea and
Xylopia sp. The latter was particularly high in zinc, an observation which
suggests that there may be a solid rationale for local traditions which
recommended its consumption during pregnancy and lactation. Respondents
indicated that during times of drought, wild plants were not consumed in the
volume they once were, due to changes of infrastructure and in famine relief

Publication Types:
Comparative Study
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

PMID: 8616672 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

16: J Ethnopharmacol. 1995 Jan;45(1):43-52.

The antiamoebic effect of a crude drug formulation of herbal extracts against
Entamoeba histolytica in vitro and in vivo.

Sohni YR, Kaimal P, Bhatt RM.

Microbiology Department, CHM College, University of Bombay, India.

The antiamoebic effect of a crude drug formulation against Entamoeba histolytica
was studied. In the traditional system of medicine in India, the formulation has
been prescribed for intestinal disorders. It comprises of five medicinal herbs,
namely, Boerhavia diffusa, Berberis aristata, Tinospora cordifolia, Terminalia
chebula and Zingiber officinale. The dried and pulverized plants were extracted
in ethanol together and individually. In vitro amoebicidal activity was studied
to determine the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of all the
constituent extracts as well as the whole formulation. The formulation had a MIC
of 1000 micrograms/ml as compared with 10 micrograms/ml for metronidazole. In
experimental caecal amoebiasis in rats the formulation had a curative rate of
89% with the average degree of infection (ADI) reduced to 0.4 in a group dosed
with 500 mg/kg per day as compared with ADI of 3.8 for the sham-treated control
group of rats. Metronidazole had a cure rate of 89% (ADI = 0.4) at a dose of 100
mg/kg per day and cured the infection completely (ADI = 0) when the dosage was
doubled to 200 mg/kg per day. There were varying degrees of inhibition of the
following enzyme activities of crude extracts of axenically cultured amoebae:
DNase, RNase, aldolase, alkaline phosphatase, acid phosphatase, alpha-amylase
and protease.

Publication Types:
Comparative Study

PMID: 7739226 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]