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Family Rubiaceae
Oldenlandia biflora Linn.

Shuang hua er cao

Scientific names Common names
Gerontogea racemosa (Lam.) Cham. & Schltdl. Dalumpang (Sub.)
Gonotheca biflora (L.) Masam. Kaddok-na-kalinga (Ibn.)
Hedyotis alsinifolia Zipp. ex Span. Palarapdap (S. L. Bis.)
Hedyotis biflora (L.) Lam. Pisek (Iv.)
Hedyotis blumeana Steud. Coastal vine weed (Engl.)
Hedyotis burmanniana Schult. Two flower mille graines (Engl.)
Hedyotis debilis Roem. & Schult.  
Hedyotis dichotoma Cav.  
Hedyotis media Cav.  
Hedyotis multiflora Cav.  
Hedyotis paniculata (L.) Lam.  
Hedyotis paniculata Rottler ex Wight & Arn. [Illegitimate]  
Hedyotis racemosa Lam.  
Hedyotis ramossisima Blume [Illegitimate]  
Neanotis paniculata (L.) M.R.Almeida  
Oldenlandia alata J.Koenig ex Roxb.  
Oldenlandia biflora Linn.  
Oldenlandia brachypoda Zoll. ex Miq.  
Oldenlandia dichotoma (Cav.) Willd. ex Cham. & Schltdl.  
Oldenlandia multiflora (Cav.) DC.  
Oldenlandia paniculata L.  
Thecagonum biflorum (L.) Babu  
Oldenlandia biflora L. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Shuang hua er cao
COOK ISLANDS: Pokea teatea.
JAPANESE: Sonare mugura.

Pisek is an annual, smooth herb. Branches are somewhat angled, ascending, and up to 30 centimeters in length. Leaves are shortly stalked, oblong, oblong, elliptical to narrowly elliptical, up to 5 centimeters long. Cymes with 3 to 7 flowers occur in the upper axils, somewhat paniculate, and with slender pedicels. Calyx is green. Corolla is white and small. Capsules are cup-shaped or ovoid, about 3 millimeters long, crowned by four small calyx teeth.

- Common weed in waste places, cultivated soil, etc., at low and medium altitudes throughout the Philippines.
- Also occurs in India to China, Malaya and Polynesia.

- Phytochemical screening yielded alkaloids, tannins, and flavonoids. Saponins and steroids were absent. (see study below) (4)

- Considered a bitter tonic, febrifuge, anti-dysenteric, anti-ulcer.
- Studies have shown cytotoxic and antibacterial properties.

Parts used
Whole plant.


- In the Philippines, plant is pounded and applied to wounds.
- Used for fever and gastric ulcers.
- Decoction given internally for diarrhea and dysentery.
- In India, leaves used for remittent fevers, gastric irritation and nervous depression.
- In Hindi medicine, used in prescriptions for fever, diarrhea, skin diseases. Decoction of plant used in bilious fever, stomach irritability, and delirium.

Furocoumarins / Cytotoxic Compounds:
Study of methanol extract isolated three new 6-oxygenated 8,9-dihydrofurocoumarin-type compounds, hedyotiscones A, B and C, together with 7 known compounds. Compounds 1-3 showed marginal cytotoxicity against Hep G2 cells (human liver cancer cells). (2)
Antibacterial: Study evaluated various extracts of Oldenlandia biflora and Pegularia daemia for phytochemical constituents and antibacterial activities against gram postive (B. subtilis, S. aureus) and gram negative (Pseudomonas epidermis, E. coli, S. dysenteriae and S. typhi) bacteria. Oldenlandia biflora extracts showed better activity than P. daemia extracts. The ethyl acetate extracts of both plants exhibited greater antibacterial activity compared to petroleum ether and aqueous extracts. (4)


Last Update August 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: Oldenlandia biflora / Habit of flowering plant / Copyright © 2011 by Leonardo L. Co (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL26922] / PHYTOIMAGES / PhytoImages.siu.edu / Click on image to view original photo

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Nat. Order. Rubiaceae. Oldenlandia Herbacea, Dc. Oldenlandia biflora. Roxb / Health and Healing / The Materia Medica Of The Hindus
New Cytotoxic 6-Oxygenated 8,9-Dihydrofurocoumarins, Hedyotiscone A-C, from Hedyotis biflora / Yung-Husan Chen, Fang-Rong Chang et al / Letter / Planta Med 2006;72:75-78
Hedyotis biflora / Catalogue of Life, China /
Antibactirial and Phytochemical Evaluation of Oldenlandia Biflora L. and Pergularia Daemia
/ N. Sridhar*, N. V. S. Pradeep Kumar, D. Sasidhar, A. Kiran Venkatesh, L. K. Kanthal / Int. J. Drug Dev. & Res., April-June 2012, 4(2): 148-152
Oldenlandia biflora / Synonyms / The Plant List

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