Hemigraphis is a genus of about 90 species of low-growing, slender-stemmed annuals, perennials and subshrubs.
Dahon-pula is a prostrate herb. Leaves are opposite, ovate, 4.5 to 8 centimeters long, 3.5 to 4.5 centimeters wide, with a subobtuse tip and rounded and heart-shaped base with toothed margins. Upper surface of the leaves is dark purple throughout. Flowers are white, borne in terminal spikes up to 7 centimeters long, with large imbricate bracts. Calyx is green and 5-parted. Corolla is tubular, cylindric below, swollen above, 10 to 15 millimeters long, and 5-lobed. Capsule is linear.
- Cultivated in Manila and roadside provincial garden-marts for its leaves.
- Makes a good border plant.
- Native of Java.
- Now widely distributed in cultivation.
- 100 grams of fresh leaves reported to yield 0.351 grams of potassium.
- Extracts of leaves and stems yielded pheol, carbohydrates, steroids, saponins, coumarins, tannins, proteins, carboxylic acids, flavonoids, xanthoproteins and alkaloids.
- Considered diuretic.
• Leaves consumed as a cure for gallstones
• Used as diuretic.
• In Java, leaves used in treatment of bloody dysentery and hemorrhoids.
• Used as decoction for excessive menstruation.
• Used externally for skin complains.
• In Vanuatu, sap of leaf buds squeezed in water and drunk at dawn for 4 days as contraceptive and to induce sterility.
• Phytoremediation / Indoor Air-Purifying Plant:
VOQs (volatile organic compounds including benzene, xylene, hexane, heptane, octane, decane, trichlorethylene (TCE) and methylene chloride) have been known to cause or aggravate various illnesses when people are exposed to them in indoor spaces. Studies have shown the ability of some plants to remove VOCs, a process called "phytoremediation." Of 28 species tested with 5 volatile indoor pollutants - benzene and toluene (plastics, cleaning solutions, environmental tobacco smoke), octane (paints, adhesive materials), TCE (tap water, cleaning agents, insecticides), and alpha-pinene (synthetic pains and odorants) - Hemigraphis alternata, Hedera helix, Hoya carnosa, Asparagus densiflorus had the highest removal rates for all the VOCs introduced.
Antibacterial screening showed the benzene extract demonstrated maximum zone of inhibition against the pathogen Acinetobacter sp and S. aureus.
• Wound Healing:
Study evaluated the wound healing property of a leaf paste (topical application) or suspension in an excision wound model. The leaf paste promoted wound healing in mice, with faster wound contraction and epithelialization. The oral suspension was ineffective.