Genus hydrocotyle is an extensive family of almost
100 species of small, inconspicuous marsh herbs. The name "sheep
rot" came from a false belief that it causes the "liver rot"
when eaten by sheep; the real culprit proving to be liver fluke which
lives in the plant. It has more than a century of recorded folkloric
Creeping or floating perennial herb. Stems are slender,
creeping, rooting at the nodes. Leaf stalk is attached to the leaf blade
in the center of the under-surface.Leaves have long and slender petioles,
glossy, dark green, crenate, peltate to orbicular, 6-9 veined, iup to
4 cm across. Flowers are white, tinged with pink and green, 1mm, subsessile,
3-6 in a simple head-like umbel, 3mm across, somtimes with 1-3 whorls
of flowers below..
Recently introduced to the Philippines.
Grows wells in marshy and acidic soil.
Provides good ground cover.
Propagated by cuttings and seeds.
Leaves and roots.
Edible: Leaves, cooked, in limited
No recorded folkloric medicinal
use in the Philippines.
Elsewhere has a long recorded history of folkloric medicinal use.
In 1850s, used in India
for treatment of leprosy.
Used for eczema and other dermatologic maladies: scrofula, ulcers.
Also used for rheumatism, headaches, dizziness, bloody stools.
Leaves used to dress burns or applied to skin diseases.
In Malaya, traditionally used for treating wounds and as a diuretic.
In Danish folk medicine,
used for whooping cough.
Preferred infusion use, 1 ounce of root in 1 pint of fluid, used as
1/2 - 1 fluid ounce 3 - 4 times daily.
• Cytotoxicity: Study showed cytotoxic activity of compounds isolated from the stem and root of H vulgaris, tested against a human erythromyeloblasted leukemia cell line.