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Family Caesalpinioideae / Leguminosae
Chamaercrista mimosoides (L.) Greene

Shan bian dou

Scientific names Common names
Cassia angustissima Lam. Karagain (Bag.)
Cassia mimosoides Linn. Kilkidis (Bon.)
Cassia nictans "sensu Stickman, non L." [Misapplied] Artillery plant (Engl.)
Cassia procumbens "sensu Stickman, non L." Feather-leaved cassia (Engl.)
Cassia sensitiva Roxb. Fishbone cassia (Engl.)
Chamaecrista mimosoides (L.) Greene Japanese tea (Engl.)
  Mountain flat bean (Engl.)
  Tea senna (Engl.)
  Shan bian dou (Chin.)
Cassia mimosoides L. is a synonym of Chamaecrista mimosoides (L.) Greene The Plant List
Chamaecrista mimosoides (L.) Greene is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
HINDI: Patwa ghas.
MARATHI: Chinchini, Pivala lajalu.
TELUGU: Nela ponna.

Karagain is a low, diffuse shrub, 15 to 30 centimeters or more in height. Leaves are 7 to 10 centimeters long, with 40 to 60 pairs of narrow leaflets, and a solitary, sessile gland on the rachis below the leaflets. Flowers grow one or two together in the axils of the leaves, shining, small and yellow. Pods are strap-shaped, flat, and about 5 centimeters long, containing rhomboid, dark-brown seeds.

- In northern Luzon to Mindanao in open grasslands at low and medium altitudes.
In some areas, ascending to 1,500 meters.

- Also occurs in India to southern China, and southwards through Malaya to Australia.

- Anthraquinones reported from seeds (physcion, physcion-9-antrhone, emodine-9-anthrone, and physcion 10,10-bianthrone; aerial parts (chrysophanol, physcion, and emodin). (12)
- Ethanol extract yielded eight compounds: emodin (1), luteolin (2), 1,3-benzenediol (3), oleanolic acid (4), (R)-artabotriol (5), α-L-rhamnose (6), β-sitosterol (7) and daucosterol (8). (17)

- Antidiarrheal, stomachic.

Parts used
Roots, stems, leaves.


- In Japan, young stems and leaves are dried and used as a substitute for tea.
- An aqueous extract from leaves, stems and pods called "hama-cha" is a conventional beverage in the San-in district of Japan. (12)
- Roots used as a cure for diarrhea.
- In tropical Africa, roots used for colic.
- Milk decoction used in dysentery.
- Entire plant used as remedy for facial eruptions.
- Roots given for stomach spasms.
In northwestern Tanzania, aerial parts of C. mimosoides are pounded and mixed with animal fat, applied topically or taken orally for fractures, cleaning of the uterus by pregnant women, as antibacterial. Also, aerial parts pounded with the leaves of Cassia polytricha and the paste tied around a fracture to promote healing.
- In Japan, raw material used as diuretic or antidote in folk remedy. (12)
New Age / Fat Burner Ingredient
• Weight loss: Cassia mimosoides sold as extract or ingredient in diet pills and various weight-reducing products because of it possible lipase-inhibiting property, with consequent less fat being absorbed and stored. To date, there are no validating clinical data.

Lipase Inhibitor / Fat Burning Potential:
Studied as possible lipase inhibitor. Some studies in rats have shown fat loss; not demonstrated in humans.
Nyctinasty: Novel and non-radioactive photoaffinity probes for the bioorganic study of nyctinasty are designed and synthesized based on potassium isolespedesate, a leaf-opening substance of Cassia mimosoides. (2)
Lipase Inhibitor / Anti-Obesity Effect: In the course of screening lipase inhibitors among natural products, an extract from Nomame Herba (Cassia mimosoides L. var. nomame Makino) showed a remarkable inhibitory effect on lipase. CT-II inhibited lipase activity in vitro and suppressed body weight in a dose-dependent manner. Results suggest the lipase inhibitor CT-II was effective in preventing and ameliorating obesity, fatty liver and hypertriglyceridemia in rats fed a high-fat diet. (4)
Lipase Inhibitor: Study concluded that as a lipase inhibitor Cassia nomame extract reduced body weight and fat, reduced plasma triglyceride elevation
and is an effective aid in preventing and ameliorating obesity, fatty liver and hypertriglyceridemia. Additionally, weight loss effect may be through enhanced thermogenic activity and diuretic effect.
Hepatoprotective: Ethanol extract of Cassia mimosoides showed significant inhibitory effect on the dimethylnitrososamine-induced hepatic fibrosis in rats, and the inhibitory mechanism may be related to the protection of hepatic cells and the inhibition on collagen fiber synthesis. (6)
Suppression of Mitomycin Cytotoxicity: Study showed extract from Cassia nomame pods, leaves and stems can prevent the physiological damage in Chinese hamster ovary K1 cells treated with MMC (mitomycin C). (9)
Anticlastogenic Effects: Study evaluated the suppressing effect of a hot-water extract of C. nomame on the frequency of chromosomal aberrations in Chinese hamster ovary K1 cells. The frequency of chromosome aberrations in100 metaphase cells was significantly lower with the extract than without the extract. (10)
Nyctinasty / Probe Compounds: Study synthesized probe compounds. NBD-type probe, 2, showed leaf opening activity, one-fifth as strong as the natural product, potassium isolespedezate. The fluorescence-labeled probe compound directly bound to a motor cell in pulvina of C. mimosoides. The binding was specific to C. mimosoides. (11)
Larvicidal / Mosquito Repellent: Study evaluated the larvicidal activities of extracts of C. mimosoides leaves and pods vector control potential in malaria and repellent effect against Anopheles gambiae mosquito. Results showed larvicidal activity with petroleum ether>dichlormethane>ethanol>water. The cream containing 2%-6% (w/w) extract achieved 100% repellency against mosquitoes. Results suggest potential for an eco-friendly larvicide and mosquito repellent. (14)
Anti-Hepatic Fibrosis: Study evaluated the effect of C. mimosoides in rats with demethylnitrosamine induced hepatic fibrosis. Results showed C. mimosoides can preserve liver functions and inhibit the hyperplasia of collagenous fibers. (15)
Anti-Ulcer / Bark: Study evaluated the antiulcer activity of C. mimodoides bark extracts in shay rat model. Results showed anti-ulcer activity at 800 mg/kbw, comparable to that produced by 5 m/kg ranitidine in shay rat. (16)
Anti-Ulcer / Leaves: Study evaluated the anti-ulcer activity of petroleum ether and chloroform extracts of leaves in pyloric ligation and aspirin induced ulcer models. Results showed anti-ulcer and anti-secretory activity which may be attributed to gastrin inhibition. (17)

Raw materials, extracts, and as ingredient in weight loss supplements in the cybermarket.

Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Update October 2015

IMAGE SOURCE: File:Cassia mimosoides in Hyderabad, AP W IMG 0105.jpg /J Chamaecrista mimosoides (syn. Cassia mimosoides)- Feather-leaved cassia, fish-bone cassia, Japanese tea, Chichani (Marathi), Pivla lajalu (marathi) in Hyderabad , India. / M Garg / 20.9.08 / GNU Free Documentation License / click on image to go to source page / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: PHOTO / Closeup of flower / / File:Cassia mimosoides in Hyderabad, AP W IMG 0099.jpg/J M Garg / 20.9.08 / GNU Free Documentation License / click on image to go to source page / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Seeds / Tracey Slotta, hosted by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
The Ethnomedicine of the Haya people of Bugabo ward, Kagera Region, north western Tanzania / Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 2009, 5:24 doi:10.1186/1746-4269-5-24 / Prelude Medicinal Plants Database
Syntheses of novel photoaffinity probes for bioorganic studies on nyctinasty of leguminous plants / Takanori Sugimoto, Tomohiko Fujii et al /
Tetrahedron Letters. Volume 43, Issue 37, 9 September 2002, Pages 6529-6532 / doi:10.1016/S0040-4039(02)01460-0
Stacker 2 Review: As Effective As The Original? / Ultimate Fat Burner
Anti-obesity effects of lipase inhibitor CT-II, an extract from edible herbs, Nomame Herba, on rats fed a high-fat diet / M Yamamoto, S Shimura, Y Itoh et al / International Journal of Obesity, June 2000, Volume 24, Number 6, Pages 758-764
Difference and Similarity between Dimer Flavans of Cassia Nomame from other appetite suppressant / Michael Derrida / CCBA
Inhibitory Effect of Ethanol Extract of Cassia mimosoides Linn. on Dimethylnitrosamine- induced Hepatic Fibrosis in Rats / Zhang Wen, Zhang Jida, Li Ruliang et al / Traditional Chinese Drug Research & Clinical Pharmacology, 2009-04 / DOI: CNKI:SUN:ZYXY.0.2009-04-006
Cassia Nomame Extract / Nutritional Activation Strategies
The Suppressing Effect of the Extract from Cassia nomame on Clastogenicity and Cytotoxicity of Mitomycin C in CHO Cells / Shin'ichi Kadosaki, Kazufumi Naitou et al /J. Health Sci., Vol. 47, pp.86-88 (2001) / doi:10.1248/jhs.47.86
Anti-clastogenic ingredients in Cassia nomame extract / Konishi T, Naitou K, Kadowaki S, Takahara Y, Yamamoto K / Biofactors. 2004;22(1-4):99-102.
Fluorescence study on the nyctinasty of Cassia mimosoides L. using novel fluorescence-labeled probe compounds / Sugimoto, Takanori; Wada, Yoko; Yamamura, Shosuke; Ueda, Minoru / Tetrahedron , Volume 57 (49) Elsevier – Dec 3, 2001
A review of anthraquinones isolated from Cassia species and their applications / Hemen Dave and Lalita Ledwani / Indian Journal of Natural Products and Resources, Vol 3 (3), Sept 2012, pp 291-319.

Chamaecrista mimosoides (L.) Greene / Synonyms / The Plant List
Chemical Constituents and Anti-hepatic Fibrisis Mechanism of Cassia Mimosoides Linn
/ Zhang Ji Da / PhD Thesis / 2008
Antiulcer Activity of Cassia mimosoides Bark Extract and Its Comparison with Ranitidine in Shay Rat. / Panda P.K., Patro V.J., Mohanty P.K.*, Panda S.K., Jaliwalla Y.A. / Research Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry,: 2011, Volume 3, Issue 4
Chemical Constituents of Cassia mimosoides Linn. / ZHANG Ji-da, HU Ying-jie, ZHANG Wen, HUANG Xin-an, ZHANG Heng-liu / Chinese Journal: Journal of Tropical and Subtropical Botany, 2009-01
Phytochemical & Pharmacological evaluation of pet-ether and chloroform extract of leaves of Cassia mimosoide Linn (family-Caesalpiniaceae) / Prusty K.B*, Panda P.K., Dash, S.K., Subudhi, S.K. / International Journal of Pharmacy and Biological Sciences, Vol 1, Issue 4, Oct-Dec 2011, pp 484-495
Feather-leaved Cassia / Common names / Flowers of India

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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