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Family Onagraceae
Ludwigia octovalvis (Jacq.) P.H.Raven
Mao cao long

Scientific names Common names
Epilobium fruiticosum Lour. Balansuit (Bag.)
Jussiaeae angustifolia Lam. Malapako (Bik.)
Jussiaeae calycina C.Presl. Pachar-pachar (Sul.)
Jussiaeae clavata Jones Palangdisin (Ig.)
Jussiaeae didymosperma H. Perrier Talangkau (Ilk.)
Jussiaeae frutescens Jacq. f. ex DC. Tayilakton (Tag.)
Jussiaeae fruiticosa (Lour.) DC. Tubong-talapang (Bik.)
Jussiaeae haenkeana Steud. False primrose (Engl.)
Jussiaeae hirsuta Mill. Primrose willow (Engl.)
Jussiaeae ligustrifolia Kunth  
Jussiaeae macropoda C.Presl  
Jussiaeae occidentalis Nutt. ex Torr. & A. Gray  
Jussiaeae octovalvis (Jacq.) P.H.Raven  
Jussiaeae octovalvis (Jacq.) Sw.  
Jussiaeae parviflora Cambess.  
Jussiaeae persicariaefolia f. major Schltdl.  
Jussiaeae pubescens L.  
Jussiaeae suffriticosa L.  
Jussiaeae venosa C. Presl  
Jussiaeae villosa Lam.  
Ludwigia angustifolia (Lam.) M. Gomez  
Ludwigia pubescens (L.) H. Hara  
Ludwigia sagreana (A.Rich.) M. Gomez  
Oenothera octovalvis Jacq.  
Ludwigia octovalvis (Jacq.) P.H.Raven is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
ASSAMESE: Bon jalakia.
BENGALI: Ban lavanga.
CHINESE: Cao li jin chai, Cao long, Shui ding xiang, Zhen tong ci, Shui long, Shui yang cao, Sao guo cao.
HINDI: Ban long, Banlunga.
INDIA: Panijalokia, Kabo kaji.
INDONESIAN: Cacabean, salah nyowo, lakum air.
KANNADA: Kauakula.
MALAYALAM: Kattukarayamapu, Kattukarayamboov, Kattukarayamb, Neergrambo.
MALAYSIA: Buyang samalam, Lakom ayer, Pujang malam.
MARATHI: Pan lavang.
NIGERIAN: Shaashaatau.
SANSKRIT: Bhu lavangah (Bhoolvananga).
SPANISH: Yerba de jicotea.
TAMIL: Kattukkirampu, Nirrkrambu.
TELUGU: Nirubaccala.
THAI: Thian nam, yaa raknaa.
VIETNAMESE: Rau murong dung, Mu[uw][ow]ng d[aas]t.
WEST AFRICAN: Serer perte, Loko lamingi, Julo n'dingo.

Malapako is a stout, coarse, smooth or somewhat hairy herb, more or less branched, often half-woody, and 0.4 to 1.5 meters high. Leaves are lanceolate, 6 to 15 centimeters long. Flowers are solitary, yellow, axillary, without a stalk or with a very short stalk, borne in the upper leaf axils. Calyx is green. Petals are four, yellow, orbicular-obovate, and about 1 centimeter long. Capsules are green or purplish, clove-like shape, 3 to 5 centimeters long, 5 millimeters thick or less, and 8-ribbed, containing many rounded black seeds. Calyx lobes are persistent, oblong-ovate, and about 1 centimeter long.

- Throughout the Philippines In open, damp places, in swamps, etc.
- Pantropic.

- Occurs in Hawaii and other Pacific Islands.
- Native to Micronesia.

- Study of Ludwigia octovalvis yielded thirteen compounds: beta-sitosterol (1), oleanolic acid (2), 2alpha-hydroxy ursolic acid (3), tormentic acid (4), daucosterol (5), maltol (6), luteolin (7), quercetin (8), apigenin (9), methyl brevifolincarboxylate (10), gallic acid (11), 3, 4, 8, 9, 10-pentahydroxydibenzo[b, d]pyran-6-one (12), and ellagic acid (13). (4)
- Phytochemical screening yielded flavonoids (+), alkaloids (+), tannin (+++), saponin (+++), phenol (++), and steroids (+). (10)
- Study of whole plant yielded three new oleanane-type triterpenes, (23Z)-coumaroylhederagenin (1), (23E)-coumaroylhederagenin (2), and (3Z)-coumaroylhederagenin (3), together with two known triterpene acids, oleanolic acid and ursolic acid. (see study below) (23)

- Considered astringent, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, and vermifuge.
Studies have shown antipyretic, antioxidant, antibacterial, hepatoprotective, antiproliferative, antidiabetic properties.

Parts used
Leaves, roots.


- Leaves used for tea by the Malay.
- Among the Kalanguya tribe in Tinoc, Ifugao in Northern Luzon, leaf extract is applied to chickenpox lesions. (25)
- Plant, pulped and steeped in buttermilk, used for diarrhea and dysentery.
- Decoction used as diuretic, vermifuge and purgative; also, used for flatulence.
- As astringent, used for hemoptysis and leucorrhea.
- Mucilaginous leaves used for poulticing headaches and for orchitis and glands in the neck.
- Leaves used for nervous diseases.
- Roots used for skin diseases.
- In India, leaf paste applied externally to eczematous lesions. especially old age eczema. (10) In Tamil, India, leaf juice used for relief of cough and cold. (
- In the Thoubal district of Manipur, northeast India, the Meitei and Loi communities use boiled extract of whole plant for treatment of diabetes. (12)
- The Keffi people in Nigeria use roots to treat dermatosis; root extract in water taken orally three time daily to treat any skin injury. (13)
- In Uttar Pradesh, India, leaf juice used for intermittent fever. (15)
- In the Tinsukia District of Assam, India, ethnic communities apply plant paste to fungal infections of the toes. (27)
- In Saint Lucia, plant used as emmenagogue. Plant also used for ground itch by boiling it and washing the feet with hot water. (16)
- In Java, plant used to treat ulcerations of the nose. In India and Malaysia, mucilaginous leaves used as poultice for various complaints including headache, swollen glands, orchitis. Decoction used for diarrhea, nervous disorders and as carminative and vermifuge. In Nigeria, pulp of plant is boiled and taken as laxative and vermifuge. (17)
- In Malay traditional medicine, used to treat gastrointestinal complaints such as diarrhea and dysentery. (26)
- Fodder: In Vietnam, fresh or cooked green forage used as feed for pigs. (11

Study was done to evaluate the anti-pyretic potential of a methanol extract of the aerial part of Jussiaea suffruticosa in yeast-induced pyrexia in albino rats. Various doses of MEJS showed significant dose-dependent reduction in normal body temperature and yeast-provoked temperature elevation. The effect was comparable to that of paracetamol. (2)
Anti-Diarrheal: Study was done to evaluate the anti-diarrheal potential of a methanol extract of J. suffruticosa on experimental models in rats. Results showed a significant reduction in gastrointestinal motility following a charcoal meal in rats. The extract exhibited significant anti-diarrheal potential in all animal models. (3)
Toxicological Study / Hepatoprotective / immunostimulatory / Cardioprotective: Study evaluated the toxicity profile of an 80% methanolic extract of in BALB/c mice. Results showed no mortality or morbidity in acute and subacute toxicity testing. The extract yielded biologically active principles which may have immunostimulatory, hepatoprotective and cardiovascular protective properties. (5)
Antioxidant / Antibacterial: Study evaluated twelve extracts of L. octovalvis for their total phenolic content, antimicrobial, and antioxidant activity. There was a strong correlation between total phenolic content and antioxidant activity. Results showed the leaf of L. octovalvis as a potential new source of natural mixture of antioxidant and anti-E. coli O157:H7. (6)
Chlorophyll a / Anti-Proliferative: Study evaluated the anti-proliferative activity of extracts and active constituent (chlorophyll a; CHL-a) in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Results showed CHL-a possesses potent anti-proliferative activity, and its apoptotic effects on 3T3-L1 adipocytes are mediated through the activation of CD95 system and AMPK signaling pathway. (8)
Anti-Diabetic / Glucosidase and Lipase Inhibitory Activities: Study in Mexico evaluated hydroalcoholic extracts of selected plants for glucosidase and lipase inhibitory activities. Ludwigia octovalvis showed high α-glucosidase inhibitory activity of 82.7 %, IC50 202 µg/mL and high lipase inhibitory activity at 31.4%, IC50 288 µg/mL. (14)
Diuretic: Study evaluated the diuretic potential of whole plant of Jussiaeae suffruticosa in male albino rats. A methanolic extract at 400 mg/kg dose produced very significant increase in urine volume, urinary concentration of sodium, potassium and chloride ions. Phytochemical screening yielded alkaloids, steroids, flavonoids, tannins, carbohydrates, and glycosides that may individually or collectively possess natriuretic and diuretic activities. (18) Methanolic extract of J. suffruticosa aerial parts significant diuretic potential with a two-fold increase in urine volume and increased electrolyte excretion. The activity was comparable to that of standard diuretic agent furosemide. (19)
Antitussive: Study of leaf extract showed dose-dependent inhibition of cough on sulphur dioxide induced experimental cough model. Results were comparable to effect by codeine phosphate. The highest inhibition of cough (59.81%) was produced by a 400/mg dose, whereas codeine phosphate 10 mg/kg showed 63.37% inhibition. (Murugesan T, Ghosh L, Pulok Mukherjee K, Pal M, Saha BP. 399. Evaluation of antitussive potential of Jussiaea suffruticosa Linn. extract in albino mice. Phytotherapy Research. 2000; 14:541-542.) (20)
• Anti-Aging Potential: Study evaluated the anti-aging effects of Ludwigia octovalvis using fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as model organism. Results showed significant extension of fly lifespan . The LO extract may regulate lifespan through a dietary restriction-related pathway. The LOE also attenuated age-related cognitive decline in both flies. LOE contained high levels of polyphenols and flavonoids, and was shown to attenuate paraquat-induced oxidative damage and lethality in flies. GC-MS analyses yielded 17 known molecules, of which ß-sitosterol and squalene were most abundant. (21)
• Antidiabetic / Glucosidase and Lipase Enzyme Inhibition: Study evaluated 23 medicinal plants used in traditional treatments for diabetes in Mexico for glucosidase and lipase inhibitory activities. Ludwigia octovalis and Iostephane heterophylla showed the highest inhibition of α-glucosidase activity at 82.7% (IC50=202 µg/mL) and 60.6% (IC50=509 µg/mL), respectively. On lipase activity, L. octavalis and T. stans showed highest inhibition at 31.4% and27.2%, respectively. (22)
• Oleanane-Type Triterpenes / Cytotoxicity Against Human Cancer Lines: Study yielded three new oleanane-type triterpenes, together with two known triterpene acids. All new triterpenes showed significant cytotoxicity against two human tumor cell lines, oral epidermoid carcinoma KB and colorectal carcinoma NT29 with IC50s in the range of 1.2-3.6 µM. (see constituents above) (23)
• Phytotoxicity / Uptake of Arsenic / Phytoremediation Study: Arsenic (AS) is a first rank dangerous and toxic chemical. Ludwigia octovalvis has been noted to survive on an arsenic contaminated site in Malaysia. Study evaluated the phytotoxicity and uptake of As by LO at various concentrations of 5, 22, and 39 mg/kg in a pilot reed bed system. An increase in As uptake by whole L. octovalvis plants occurred with increasing As concentration in the spiked sand, providing evidence that As can induce toxic effects of L. octovalvis. (24)
• Immune-Stimulating Against Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli: Study evaluated the in vitro antibacterial activity of L. octovalvis against Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7, an important foodborne pathogen, on male Balb/c mice model. There was an increased systemic immune response to E. coli O157:H7 via potentiation of the synthesis of IgA antibodies. (26)


Updated March 2018 / July 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: / Photo / File:Starr 020803-0057 Ludwigia octovalvis.jpg / Forest & Kim Starr / 3 August 2002 / Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported / click on photo to see source image / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE / Public Domain / File:Jussiaea sp Blanco2.322-original.png / Flora de Filipinas / 1880 - 1883 / Francisco Manuel Blanco (O.S.A) / Wikimedia Commons
Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Ludwigia octovalvis (Jacq.) P. H. Raven / Catalogue of Life, China
Evaluation of anti-pyretic potential of Jussiaea suffruticosa L. extract in rats
/ T. Murugesan, S.C. Mandal, T. Bhakta, J. Das et al / http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0944-7113(00)80008-2,
Evaluation of antidiarrhoeal profile of Jussiaea suffruticosa Linn. extract in rats / T Murugesan, Lopamudra Ghosh, Kakali Mukherjee et al / Phytotherapy Research, Volume 14, Issue 5, pages 381–383, August 2000 / DOI: 10.1002/1099-1573(200008)14:5<381::AID-PTR590>3.0.CO;2-P
Studies on the chemical constituents in herb of Ludwigia octovalvis / Yan J, Yang XW. / Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2005 Dec;30(24):1923-6.
Toxicological evaluation of 80% methanol extract of Ludwigia octovalvis (Jacq.) P.H. Raven leaves (Onagraceae) in BALB/c mice. / Kadum Yakob H, Manaf Uyub A, Fariza Sulaiman S. / J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Aug 1;142(3):663-8. / doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.05.035. Epub 2012 Jun 13.
Antioxidant and Antibacterial Activity of Ludwigia octovalvis on Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Some Pathogenic Bacteria / Haidar Kadum Yakob, Shaida F. Sulaiman and Abd M. Uyub / World Applied Sciences Journal 16 (1): 22-29, 2012
Willow primrose / Common names / Flowers of India
Chlorophyll a, an active anti-proliferative compound of Ludwigia octovalvis, activates the CD95 (APO-1/CD95) system and AMPK pathway in 3T3-L1 cells. / SJ Wu, LT Ng, GH Wang, YJ Huang, JL Chen, FM Sun / Food Chem Toxicol (2009) 0:
Ludwigia octovalvis / Synonyms / The Plant List
Phytochemical and antioxidant activities of ethno- medicinal plants used by fisher folks of Chilika lagoon for Indigenous Phytotherapy / Sikha Mandal, Jnanendra Rath / Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry 2015; 3(5): 55-65
Evaluation of farmer knowledge and their composition on the use of non-cultivated plants for livestock feed in the Mekong delta of Vietnam / Nguyen Nhut Xuan Dung, Britta Antonsson-Ogle and P Udén / FAO Corporate Document Repository
Antidiabetic plants used in Thoubal district of Manipur, Northeast India / Mohd Habibullah Khan & P S Yadava / Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, Vol 9 (3), July 2010, pp 510-514.
Plant Remedies Practiced by Keffi People in the Management of Dermatosis / Alqasim Abdullahi Mustapha*, Gabriel Owuna, Is-Haq Ishaq Uthman / Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies, 2013, Volume 1, Issue 5
In Vitro Screening of Medicinal Plants Used in Mexico as Antidiabetics with Glucosidase and Lipase Inhibitory Activities / Guillermo Ramírez, Miguel Zavala, Julia Pérez, and Alejandro Zamilpa / Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2012 (2012) / http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/701261
Ethnobotanical perspective of antimalarial plants: traditional knowledge based study
/ Abdul Qayum, Rakesh Arya and Andrew M. Lynn / BMC Research Notes 20169:67 / DOI: 10.1186/s13104-015-1827-z
Ludwigia octovalvis / Plants of Saint Lucia
Ludwigia octovalvis: medicinal uses / PROTA4U
Evaluation of Diuretic Activity of Jussiaea Suffruticosa Linn. / R.Mythreyi, N.Rajkumar* and E.Sasikala / Maharaji College of Pharmacy, Besant Nagar, Chennai-90 and Central Research Institute for Siddha, Arumbakkam, Chennai-106 / PharmacologyOnLine
Evaluation of Diuretic Potential of Jussiaea suffruticosa Linn. extract in Rats / T. Murugesan, L. Manikandan, K. B. Suresh, M. Pal, and B.P. Saha / Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Mar-Apr 2000
Antitussive Medicinal Herbs - An Update Review / G. R. Saraswathy*, R. Sathiya, J. Anbu, E. Maheswari / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Research 2014; 6(1): 12-19
The anti-aging effects of Ludwigia octovalvis on Drosophila melanogaster and SAMP8 mice / Wei-Sheng Lin, Jun-Yi Chen, Jo-Chiao Wang, Liang-Yu Chen et al / Age (Dordr), Apr 2014; 36(2): 689-703 / doi:  10.1007/s11357-013-9606-z
In Vitro Screening of Medicinal Plants Used in Mexico as Antidiabetics with Glucosidase and Lipase Inhibitory Activities / Guillermo Ramirez, Miguel Zavala, Julia Perez, and Alejandro Zamilpa / Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Vol 2012 (2012) /
Three New Oleanane-Type Triterpenes from Ludwigia octovalvis with Cytotoxic Activity against Two Human Cancer Cell Lines / Chi-I Chang, Ching-Chuan Kuo, Jang-Yang Chang, and Yueh-Hsiung Kuo / J. Nat. Prod., 2004, 67 (1), pp 91–93 / DOI10.1021/np030267m
Phytotoxicity and Uptake of Arsenic by Ludwigia octovalvis in a Pilot Reed Bed System / Titah Harmin Sulistiyaning, Abdullah Siti Rozaimah Sheikh, Mushrifah Idris, Anuar Nurina, Basri Hassan, and Mukhlisin Muhammad / Environmental Engineering Science, Vol 31, No 2 (2013) / https://doi.org/10.1089/ees.2013.0207
Ethnomedical knowledge of plants and healthcare practices among the  Kalanguya tribe in Tinoc, Ifugao, Luzon, Philippines / Teodora D Balangcod* & Ashlyn Kim D Balangcod / Indian Journal Of Traditional Knowledge, Vol. 10(2), April 2011, pp. 227-238
Immune-stimulating properties of 80% methanolic extract of Ludwigia octovalvis against Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 in Balb/c mice following experimental infection / Haidar Kadum Yakob, Abd. Manaf Uyub, Shaida Fariza Sulaiman / Journal of Ethnopharmacology 172 (2015): pp 30-37
Ethnomedicinal Plants Used by the ethnic Communities of Tinsukia District of Assam, India / Jitu Buragohain* / Recent Research in Science and Technology 2011, 3(9): pp 31-42
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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