Lagundi is an erect, branched
tree or shrub, 2 to 5 meters high. Leaves are usually 5-foliate, rarely with
3 leaflets only, and palmately arranged. Leaflets are lanceolate, entire, 4 to 10 centimeters long, slightly
hairy beneath, and pointed at both ends, the middle leaflets being larger than the others, and distinctly stalked. Flowers
are numerous, blue to lavender, 6 to 7 millimeters long, borne in terminal inflorescences (panicles) 10 to 20 centimeters long. Calyx is hairy, and 5-toothed. Corolla is densely hairy in the throat, and the middle lobe of the lower lip is longest. Fruit is a succulent drupe, globose, black when ripe,
about 4 millimeters in diameter.
- Widely distributed in the Philippines.
- At low and medium altitudes,
in thickets and waste places.
Flowering year round. Best propagated
by use of mature, leafless stem cuttings.
- Also occurs in tropical East Africa, Madagascar, India to Japan, and southward through Malaya to western Polynesia.
- Leaves, bark, roots and seeds.
Leaves may be harvested three
months after establishment.
• Plant is considered anti-inflammatory, astringent, antibacterial, antifungal, analgesic, alterant, depurative, rejuvenating, stomachic.
• Roots considered tonic, febrifuge, anti-rheumatic, diuretic and expectorant.
• Leaves and seeds considered vulnerary.
• Leaves are considered aromatic, bitter, anti-inflammatory, bronchial smooth muscle relaxant, lactagogue, emmenagogue, insecticide, and vermifuge.
• Flowers are astringent, carminative, hepatoprotective, digestive, vermifuge and febrifuge.
• Fruit is considered nervine, cephalic, aphrodisiac, emmenagogue and vermifuge.
• Volatile oil; resin; alkaloid; lichen acids; glucoside.
• Constituents of oil: sabinene, linalool, terpinen-4-ol, b-caryophyllene,
a-guaine and globulol.
• Study on essential oils showed B-caryophyllene common to leaves,
flowers and dried fruits.
• Leaves yield a colorless essential oil and a resin; the fruit yields an acid resin, an astringent organic acid, mallic acid, and coloring matter.
• Leaves contain an alkaloid nishindine, flavones, luteolin-7-glucoside, casticin, iridoid glycosides.
• Phytochemical screening of ethanol leaf extract yielded alkaloids, iridoids, phenolic acids, flavonols and flavonoids.
• Seeds contain hydrocarbons, B-sitosterol, benzoic acid and phthalic acid, anti-inflammatory diterpene, flavonoids and triterpenoids.
• Essential oil of seeds yielded forty-two components representing 91.36% of the oil. Major constituents were n-Hexadecanoic acid (17.68%), eudesm-4(14)-en-11-ol (12.39%) and caryophyllene oxide (10.79%) were found to be the major constituents. (See study below) (43)
• Essential oil analysis fresh leaves, flowers and dried fruit yielded main constituents, viz., leaves: α-guaiene, caryophyllene epoxide and ethyl-hexadecenoate; flowers:-α-selinene, germacren-4-ol, caryophyllene epoxide and (E)-nerolidol; fruit: β-selinene, α-cedrene, germacrene D and hexadecanoic acid. (See studies below) (46)
• Aerial parts of Vitex negundo var. cannabiolia yielded four phenolics, salviaplebeiaside (1), γ-tocopherol (2), chrysosplenol-D (4), and isovitexin (5), along with α-tocoquinone (3) and β-sitosterol (6). (see study below) (54)
- Seeds used as condiment as pepper substitute.
- Leaves and roots used in making tea.
- Decoction of leaves used externally for cleaning ulcers and internally for flatulence. Also used as a lactagogue and emmenagogue.
- Decoction of bark, tops and leaves used as antigastralgic.
- Leaves used in aromatic baths; also as insectifuge.
- Vapor bath prepared with the plant used for treatment of febrile, catarrhal, and rheumatic affections.
- Decoction of leaves used as warm bath by women suffering with after-pains in the puerperal period. Also used as baths for new born children.
- Seeds are boiled in water and eaten or the water drunk to prevent the spread of toxin from bites of poisonous animals.
- Infusion of seeds used for disinfecting wounds and ulcers.
- Infusion of seeds in wine used for dropsy.
- Pounded leaves applies on the forehead and temples for headaches.
- Leaf decoction for fever, headache, toothache, cough, asthma.
- Root used as tonic, febrifuge and expectorant.
- Fruit used as nervine, cephalic, and emmenagogue.
- Tincture of root bark used for irritable bladder and for rheumatism.
- Powdered root used for piles as demulcent; also for dysentery.
- Root used for dyspepsia, colic, rheumatism, worms, boils, and leprosy.
- Flowers are used for diarrhea, cholera, fever, and diseases of the liver; and also as cardiac tonic.
- Powdered flowers and stalks are used for bleeding from the stomach and bowels.
- Fruit used for headaches, catarrh, and watery eyes. Dried fruits are used as vermifuge.
- Seeds are prepared as cooling medicine for skin diseases, leprosy, and inflammation of the mouth.
- Oil prepared with the juice used for sinuses and scrofulous sores. Oil also used as a rubbing application to glandular or tubercular swelling of the neck. Oil also used for treatment of sloughing wounds and ulcers.
- Leaves used for reducing inflammatory and rheumatic swellings of the joints and testicular swelling associated with gonorrheal epididymitis and orchitis. Poultice of leaves also applied to sprained limbs, contusions, leech bites, etc. For these, fresh leaves in an earthen pot are heated over fire, and applied and applied as tolerated over the bruised parts. Leaves heated over fire are also applied with oil externally on wounds.
- Pillow stuffed with leaves is placed under the head for relief of catarrh and headache. Dried leaves when smoked also used to relieve catarrh and headaches.
- Decoction of leaves and long pepper used for catarrhal fever associated with head congestion and dullness of hearing.
- Juice of leaves used to remove fetid discharges and worms from ulcers.
- Plaster of leaves applied to enlarged spleens.
- Folkloric preparations: (1) For fever and toothaches, boil 6 tbsp of the chopped leaves in 2
glasses of water for 15 minutes; strain and cool. Divide the decoction
in 3 parts and take one part every 3-4 hours. Also, bruised leaves may
be applied to forehead. (2) For asthma and cough: Take 1/4 of the decoction three times a day. (3) Aromatic bath or sponge bathing: Boil 4 handfuls of leaves in a
pot of water for 5 minutes; use the lukewarm decoction for sponge bathing.
- In Ayurveda and Unani,
leaves and seeds used for rheumatism and joint inflammation. Decoction
of leaves taken as a diuretic. Used for pacifying vata nerves.
- In Bangladesh, used for headaches, weakness, vomiting, malaria black fever.
- In Indo-China, root decoction used for intermittent fevers.
- In Sri Lanka, used for eye disease, toothache, rheumatism; used as tonic, carminative and vermifuge.
- Insecticide / Fumigant: Leaves considered insecticide and placed between pages of books and folds of silk and woolen clothing to preserve them from insects. Fresh leaves burnt with grass as fumigant against mosquitoes.
- Dyeing: Ashes much used as alkali in dyeing.
- Basketry: Young stems used for making baskets.
- Stems used for making wattles.
Lagundi has been proven to be an effective analgesic and antitussive
(prepared as a pleasant tasting cough syrup) and has been considered
as a replacement for dextromethorphan in the public health system.
Studies have shown benefit through reduction of coughing and relaxation
of the bronchial smooth muscles. Being promoted by the Department of
Health (DOH) for cough and asthma. One of a few herbs recently registered
with the Bureau of Foods and Drugs (BFAD) as medicines.
to make lagundi syrup
• Clean fresh lagundi leaves and chop.
• In 4 glasses of water, boil 4 tablespoons of minced lagundi
leaves for 15 minutes.
• Strain the liquid extract and add 1 part honey to 4 parts extracts.
• Boil in an earthen pot or enamel-lined saucepan for 15 minutes
until the desired viscosity is attained; cool.
• Pour the syrup in clear amber-colored bottles. (6)
Tested against Vipera russellii and Naja kaouthia venom, a methanolic extract study of VN showed it possesses potent
snake venom neutralizing capacity and suggests further investigation. (1)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Potentiation of Phenylbutazone and Ibuprofen: Study showed sub-effective dose of VN significantly potentiated anti-inflammatory activity of phenylbutazone
and ibuprofen in albino rats in carrageenan induced hind paw edema and cotton pellet granuloma models. (2)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Prostaglandin Inhibition: Study suggests VN possess anti-inflammatory activity against
acute and sub-acute inflammation probably due to prostaglandin inhibition
and reduction of oxidative stress. (3)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic:
Study showed the fresh leaves of VN have anti-inflammatory and pain suppressing activities possibly mediated through PG synthesis inhibition, antihistamine, membrane stabilizing and antioxidant activities.
• Antibacterial / Essential Oil: Study showed the essential oils and extracts to have antibacterial
activity. Essential oil and extracts showed promising results against B subtilis and E coli. Ethyl acetate and ethanol extracts showed prominent antibacterial
activity against all tested strains. (4)
• Antibacterial / Leaf, Flower and Fruits: Study of extracts of leaf, flower and fruit of VN was done to evaluate in vitro antibacterial activity against phytopathogens Pseudomonas solanacearum and Xanthomonas axonopodis. The ethyl acetate extract showed significant inhibition. Phytochemical screening yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, cardiac glycosides and terpenoids.
• Antifungal: (1)
New antifungal flavonoid glycoside from Vitex negundo: Study found a
new isolated flavone glycoside and a known compound to have significant
antifungal activity against Trichophyton mentagrophytes and Cryptococcus
neoformans. (2) Ethanol extract of fruit seeds showed significant activity
against Fusarium solani and moderate response against Microsporum canis
with no effect against C albicans.
• Larvicidal: Differential
larvicidal efficacy of four species of Vitex against Culex quinquefasciatus
larvae: The methanolic extracts of all Vitex species showed varying
levels of larvicidal activity. (7)
Study of ethanolic extracts of Moringa oleifera and Vitex negundo on
anthelmintic activity against Indian earthworm Pheretima posthuma showed
both to have dose dependent activity, with Moringa oleifera showing
more activity. (8)
• Antioxidant: Study of 17 Indian medicinal plants, including the alcoholic extract of VN, all showed dose-dependent nitric oxide (NO) scavenging activity. (11)
• Antioxidant: Report indicated VN can produce reduction of oxidative stress mainly by reducing lipid peroxidation.
• Antioxidant: Study of ethanolic leaf extract showed antioxidant activity attributed to the presence of phenolic compounds like flavonoids and flavonols.
• Antioxidant: Study showed the leaves showed 23.21 mg/100 of Ascorbic acid Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity (AEAC).
• Anticonvulsant / Adjuvant Therapy: Study evaluated the anticonvulsant activity of VN leaf extracts in albino mice. Results suggest that VN possesses anticonvulsant activity particularly against PTZ (pentylenetetarazole) induced seizures, with a significant reduction of number and duration of convulsions. The potentiation of diphenylhydantoin and valproic acid suggests it may be useful as adjuvant therapy to lower the requirements of the drug therapies. (23)
• Insecticidal / Pesticidal: Studies have shown the plant products to possess insecticidal activity against mosquito larvae, houseflies and stored product pests.
• Pharmacokinetic Interaction / V. negundo and Paracetamol: Study showed a significant decline in plasma concentration of paracetamol. Results conclude that if the VN extract or an ayurvedic formulation is co-admiinstered with an allopathic drug like paracetamol, the allopathic drug has to be adjusted for achieve its desired therapeutic response. (13)
• Antibacterial / Cytotoxic: Study showed all fractions with prominent zones of inhibition against B subtilis, B megaterium, S typhi, Vibrio mimicus and a fungal strains, A niger. Results also showed significant cytotoxic activity against brine shrimp nayplii. (14)
• Antimicrobial: Extracts were tested against five bacterial species (S aureus, P vulgaris, B subtilis, E coli, P aeruginosa) and three fungal species ( A niger, A flavon, C albicans). Among all extracts the water/ethanol extract showed maximum antimicrobial activity and the water extract, maximum antifungal activity against all species tested.
• Gastroprotective / Flavonoids: Study in albino rats investigating the gastroprotective activity of the aqueous extract of VN against aspirin-induced mucosal damage revealed VN to have a pivotal role in treating ulcer. Phytochemical studies yielded the presence of flavonoids probably responsible for its gastroprotection.
• Hepatoprotective / Negundoside: Negundoside, an iridoid glycoside from the leaves of VN was studied for its hepatoprotective effect on CCl4-induced liver toxicity. Results showed NG exerts a protective effect of CYP2E1-dependent CCl4 toxicity via inhibition of lipid peroxidation, followed by improved intracellular calcium homeostasis and inhibition of Ca-dependent proteases. (15)
• Anxiolytic: Study showed VN is an effective anxiolytic agent. The action of the extract upon anxiety models tested were consistent with the traditional use of VN and presents a potential for use in primary medical care. (16)
• Essential Oil / Flowers: Study on the essential oil of flowers of VN yielded 45 components. The major compounds were sabinene (20.3%), B-caryophyllene (14.1%) and globulol (19.2%). (19)
• Antinociceptive / Anti-Inflammatory / Seeds: Study showed ethanol extract of VN seeds interacted with the opioid system and may be more effective3 on inflammatory pain. Further results suggest that the analgesic effects may be partially mediated by it anti-inflammatory activity. The analgesic activity could be due to the abundance of fatty acids with synergistic effects. (20)
• Anti-Microfilarial: Study investigating the antifilarial effect against Brugia malayi microfilariae, the roots extract of VN caused complete loss of motility of microfilariae after 48 hrs of incubation. Study yielded the presence of alkaloids, saponins and flavanoids from the roots of VN.
• Antinociceptive / Leaves: Study in mice investigating the antinociceptive activity of an ethanolic leaf extract showed significant dose-dependent analgesic activity. Ten times the extract dose produced the effects comparable to the standard drug meperidine. Naloxone did not reverse the analgesic effect of the VN extract. Results suggest both central and peripheral analgesic activity and also suggests a potential as adjuvant therapy with analgesic drugs. (24)
• Antiamnesic: Study investigated the anti-amnesic activity of VN in scopolamine-induced amnesia in rats. Results showed that VN treated groups had decreased phenomenon of amnesia by increasing learning of memory through antioxidant effect and decreasing AChE activity. (27)
• Cytotoxicity / Antitumor: Study of ethanol and aqueous extract of leaves of Vitex negundo against Dalton's Ascitic Lymphoma showed antitumor effect. (29) Study of showed a hydroalcoholic extract of aerial parts showed higher in vitro cytotoxicity activity against Dalton's ascites lymphoma line. (48)
• Hepatoprotective / Paracetamol-Induced Injury: Study of ethanolic extract showed V. negundo was effective in protecting the liver against paracetamol-induced injury in rats. (31)
• Antioxidant / Antiproliferative / Pass-Predicted V. negundo: VN extract showed the strongest free radical scavenging power compared to two commercial antioxidants. An ethanolic extract showed cytotoxicity to HepG2 cells in a dose- and time- dependent manner. The experimental studies verified the predictions obtained by a PASS-predicted design strategy. (35)
• Amelioration of Induced Colitis / Leaves: An ethanolic extract of leaves of V. negundo showed significant amelioration of experimentally induced colitis, which may be attributed to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant property. (36)
• Larvicidal / Mosquitocidal: Study showed V. negundo ethanol leaf extracts had larvicidal activity against mosquito larvae. (37) Study evaluated crude leaf extracts of Leucas aspera, Vitex negundo and Eucalyptus for larvicidal activity against Culex quinquefasciatus. Eucalyptus and V. negundo showed good larvicidal activity against Cx. quinquefasciatus. Leucas aspera showed poor mortality. Four different solvent extracts of V. negundo showed good larvicidal activity. Results suggest a potential for the crude extracts for mosquito control and replacement of chemical pesticides. (52)
• Antidiabetic Potential / Leaves: Study evaluated aqueous and ethanol leaf extracts of V. negundo for antidiabetic activity in alloxan induced diabetic rat models. Results showed the aqueous extract with significant activity, greater than the ethanol extract, and comparable to glibenclamide, the standard antidiabetic drug. (38)
• Dermal Toxicity Study / Essential Oil: Study evaluated V. negundo essential oil for potential acute and subchronic dermal toxicities in Wistar rats for five weeks. Results showed all animals to be normal without any behavioral, chemical, hematological, necroscopical and histopathological changes, with NOEL (no observed effect level) and NOAEL (no observed adverse effect level) on 250 to 1000 mg/kbw/day, respectively. (39)
• HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase Inhibition / Leaves: Study evaluated the effects f an ethanolic leaf extract of Vitex negundo against HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase (RT) and to identify and quantify the flavonoids present. Results showed VN possess anti-RT substances. The activity was attributed possibly to the presence of flavonoids, in particular, the high quantity of kaempferol, myricetin, and quercetin. (40)
• α-Amylase / Lowering of Post Prandial Hyperglycemia: Study evaluated the alpha amylase inhibitory effects of flavanoid extracts of different part of V. negundo and A. paniculata. Except for Vitex leaf flavonoid extract, all other tested flavonoids of both plant parts showed ore than 50% inhibition of α-amylase activity, indicating the flavonoids of both plants may be effective in lowering post prandial hyperglycemia. (41)
• Miticidal / Anti- Scabies: Study evaluated the miticidal effect of a methanolic extract of V. negundo through topical applications on scabies-affected camel, buffalo, goat, dog, and man. Results showed 10, 20, and 30% concentrations to cause 70, 80, and 90% mortality of Sarcoptes scabei mites, compared to ivermectin (85%) and methyl alcohol (5%) mortality. (42)
• Antifungal / Essential Oil: Study investigated the constituents and antimicrobial activity of essential oil from V. negundo seeds. Results yielded forty-two components, and the oil exhibited significant antifungal activity against Candida albicans. (43)
• Anxiolytic / Essential Oil: Study evaluated the efficacy of ethanolic extracts of leaves of V. negundo in animal tests of anxiety. In mice using the elevated plus maze test, results showed anxiolytic behavior similar to diazepam. (44)
• Antieosinophilic / Anti-Asthma / Leaves: Study evaluated leaf extracts and fractions for action on bronchial hyperresponsiveness using egg-albumin induced asthma in guinea pigs. Results showed the aqueous subfraction of leaves possessed antieosinophilic activity, reducing bronchial hyperresponsiveness. Results suggest potential usefulness in the treatment of asthma and various inflammatory, allergy, and immunologic disease. (45)
• Antibacterial / Essential Oils: Essential oils from fresh leaves, flowers, and fried fruits were evaluated for antibacterial potential against S. aureus, B. subtilis, E. coli, and P. aeruginosa. All the essential oils and successive extracts showed activity against B. subtilis and E. coli. EA and ethanol extracts showed activity against all tested strains. Fruits and leaves were most active against E. coli and S. aureus. Only the flower oil was active against P. aeruginosa. (see constituents above) (46)
• Toxicity Studies / Essential Oils: Study evaluated combined extracts of V. negundo, V. leucoxylon, and V. trifolia for toxicity in mice. Results showed no toxicity or evidence of adverse effects in mice following acute oral administration at highest dose of 2000 mg/kg crude extracts. (47)
• Neuroprotective / Ethanol Induced Cerebral Oxidative Stress: Study evaluated various fractions of hydromethanolic extract of leaves against ethanol-induced cerebral oxidative stress in rats. Results showed protective action on the brain, attributed to its antioxidant potential. The chloroform fraction activity was comparable to standard α-tocopherol. (49)
• Anti-Typhoid Activity / Leaves: Study evaluated the methanolic leaf extracts of V. negundo and A. vasica for anti-typhoid activity against Salmonella typhi. Leaf extracts of both V. negundo and V. vasica showed considerable antioxidant activity and anti-typhoid activity. (50)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Leaves: Study evaluated Vitex negundo, A. marmelos and B. serrata for potential anti-inflammatory activity in LPS treated human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells. The methanolic extract of all 3 plants significantly decreased the LPS induced NO production and pro-inflammatory cytokines expression. Of the 3, Vitex negundo and Aegle marmelos leaf extracts showed potent anti-inflammatory activity at 50 and 100 µg/mL. (53)
• Antiseptic / Aerial Parts: Study yielded four phenolics (1-4), along with a-tocoquinone and ß-sitosterol from aerial parts of V. negundo var. cannabifolia. Compound 4, chrysosplenol-D exhibited antibacterial activities against four spoilage test microorganisms viz. E. coli, B. subtilis, Micrococcus tetragenus, and Pseudomonas fluorescens. (see constituents above) (54)
- Commercial formulations: Tablets, capsules, oil, teas, and syrup.