Family • Asteraceae - Vernonia cinerea (Linn.) Less. - ASH-COLORED FLEABANE - Ye xiang niu

Scientific names

Vernonia cinerea Linn.
Vernonia vialis DC.
Conyza cinerea Linn.
Conyza chinensis Linn.
Eupatorium luzoniensis Llanos
Ye xiang niu (Chin.)

Common names

Agas-moro (Ilk.)
Bulabod (Sub.)
Kolong-kugon (S.L. Bis.)
Magmansi (Pang.)
Sagit (Bon.)
Tagulinai, tagulinay (Tag.)
Tagulinau (Tag.)
Sahadevi (India)
Ironweed (Engl.)
Ash coloured Fleabane (Engl.)
Ji se cao (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Jia xian xia cua, Xiao shan hu, Ran se cao, Suo gai ban jiu ju, Guia gun can.
GERMAN: Kleines Eisenholz, Kleines Scheinaster
INDIA: Sahdei, Sahaderi, Sandri; Kukseem, Sadori, Naichette, Mukuthipundu, Pirina.
INDONESIA: Buyung-buyung, Sawi Langit, Lidah Anjing, Rumput ekor kuda.
JAPAN: Yambaru-higotai
LAOS: Nya Phaen Din Yen
MALAYSIA: Rumput tahi babi, Tambak-tambak, Tambak bukit.
MYANMAR: Byaing-chay-pin
PUERTO RICO: Yerba Socialista
VIETNAM: Bach Dau Ong


Agas-moro is an erect, slender, sparingly branched, somewhat pubescent annual herb, growing up to 20 to 80 centimeters high. Leaves, smaller at higher altitudes, are oblanceolate to obovate, 2 to 6 centimeters long, with pointed or obtuse tips, with shallowly toothed margins. Heads are small, stalked, borne in open, lax corymbs, and about 7 millimeters long and 2.5 millimeters in diameter. Flowers are rather bright-purple, all perfect, the corolla all equal, tubular, slender 5-lobed, about 20 in each head, twice as long as the involucral bracts which are linear and silky. Fruits are achenes, striate, ribbed or angled; pappus hairs numerous.


– Throughout the Philippines in open, waste places in all settled areas at low and medium altitudes.
– A common weed, flowering all the year.
– Occurs in the Old World Tropics.
– Introduced into the New World.

– Phytochemical screening yielded steroids glycosides, triterpenoids and esters in a methanolic extract of stem bark and leaves. Study also yielded lupeol, 12-oleanen-3-ol-3ß-acetate, stigmasterol, ß-sitosterol in an n-hexane fraction.
– Methanol extract of whole plant yielded 3 major components, i.e., (n- hexadecanoic acid (42-88%) 1,2 benzenedicarboxylic acid, diisoocty ester (23.00) and squalence (11.31%) and six minor compounds, i.e.,caryophyllene oxide (2.31%) Guaiol (1.75% 3,7,11,15 Tetramethyl -2- hexadecen -1-01(2.87) decanoic acid, ethyl ester (2.10%) 9,12 Octadecanoic and(z-z)-(9.38) and octadecanoic and (4.,41%).
– Study of hexane extract of flowers isolated a new sesquiterpene lactone, 8a-hydroxyhirsutinolide , and a new naturally occur- ring derivative, 8a-hydroxyl-1-O-methylhirsutinolide, along with seven known compounds (1 and 4– 9).

– Considered cooling, febrifuge, sedating, anti-infectious, stomachic, tonic, astringent.
– Root is bitter; considered anthelmintic and diuretic.
– Seeds considered anthelmintic and alexipharmic.
– According to Ayurveda, the herb is sweet, cold, tonic, stomachic, astringent.

Parts used
Whole plant.
Collect from May to August.
Rinse and sun-dry.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Diuretic and antidiuretic diuretic of the leaf extracts of Vernonia cinerea (Less) (Fam. Compositae) / J O Adeboye et al / Phytotherapy Research • Volume 11 Issue 6, Pages 454 – 456 / Published Online: 4 Dec 1998

(2) Studies on bioactive constituents of whole herbs of Vernonia cinerea / Hua-xu Zhu et al / Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi 33(16):1986-8 (2008) /

(3) Evaluation of anti-inflammatory activity of Vernonia cinerea Less. extract in rats / U. K. Mazumder / Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Jadavpur University, Calcutta-700 032

(4) Vernonia cinerea / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED

(5) Phytochemical investigation of Vernonia cinerea (Family: Asteraceae) / Md. Ahsanul Haque, Md. Musfizur Hassan, Atanu Das, Bilkis Begum, Md. Yousuf Ali and Helal Morshed / Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science 02 (06); 2012: 79-83

(6) Chemical Constituents of Vernonia cinerea. Isolation and Structure Elucidation of a New Pentacyclic Triterpenoid / T. N. Misra, R. S. Singh, J. Upadhyay, R. Srivastava /Journal of Natural Products, 1984 47 (5), 865-867

(7) Toxicity study of Vernonia cinerea / L. Yoga Latha, I. Darah, K. Jain, S. Sasidharan / Pharmaceutical Biology, January 2010, Vol. 48, No. 1 , Pages 101-104 / (doi:10.3109/13880200903046203)

(8) Effect of Vernonia cinerea Aerial Parts Against Cisplatin-induced ?ephrotoxicity in Rats/ A. Sreedevi, K. Bharathi, K.V.S.R.G. Prasad / Pharmacologyonline 2: 548-555 (2011) Sreedevi et al.

(9) Ameliorative effect of Vernonia cinerea in vincristine-induced painful neuropathy in rats. / Thiagarajan VR, Shanmugam P, Krishnan UM, Muthuraman A. / Toxicol Ind Health. 2012 Oct 18.

(10) Antitumor activity of aerial parts of vernonia cinerea(L) Less. against Dalton’s ascitic lymphoma /
Sangeetha.T., Venkatarathinakumar.T. / International Journal of PharmTech Research, Vol.3, No.4, pp 2075-2079, Oct-Dec 2011

(11) Antidiarrheal Activity of Methanolic Extract of Vernonia cinerea (L.) Less. on Female Albino Rats / Panday Ganesh, Kasana Virendra Kumar and Hore Suredra Kumar / International Research Journ of Pharmacy, Vol 2, No 5, 2011: 211-213.

(12) Larvicidal efficacy of Vernonia cinerea (L.) (Asteraceae) leaf extracts against the filarial vector Culex quinquefasciatus Say (Diptera: Culicidae) / S. Arivoli*, Samuel Tennyson and J. Jesudoss Martin / Journal of Biopesticides, 4 (1): 37 – 42 (2011)

(13) GC-MS analysis of methanol extracts of Vernonia cinerea / P. Abirami* and A. Rajendran** / European Journal of Experimental Biology, 2012, 2 (1):9-12


(15) Immunomodulatory effect of hexane extract of Vernonia cinerea Less. trunk on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells / Thitiporn Laosim, Siriporn Chuchawankul and Tewin Tencomnao* / J. Chem. Pharm. Res., 2011, 3(4):188-195

(16) Anti-diarrheal, Anxiolytic, Antimicrobial and Membrane Stabilizing Activities of Vernonia cinerea Less:A Medicinal Plant of Bangladesh / Md. Khairul Bashar, Mohammed Ibrahim, Irin Sultana, Md. Ruhul Kuddus, Ridwan Bin Rashid, Mohammad Abdur Rashid* / American Journal of PharmaTech Research

(17) Protective role of Vernonia cinerea L. against gamma radiation—induced immunosupression and oxidative stress in mice / P. Pratheeshkumar / Hum Exp Toxicol August 2011 vol. 30 no. 8 1022-1038 / doi: 10.1177/0960327110385959

(18) Anti-inflammatory sesquiterpene lactones from the flower of Vernonia cinerea / U. J. Youn et al. / Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 22 (2012) 5559–5562

• In the Philippines infusion of plant taken internally for cough.
• Plant also used for wounds.
• Decoction of leaves used against humid herpes, eczema, etc.
• Used for colds and fever; also for acute jaunditic hepatitis.
• Plant decoction used by Hindus to promote perspiration in febrile affections.
• Combined with quinine, used for malarial fevers.
• Expressed juice of plant used for hemorrhoids.
• In Chuta Nagpus whole plant used as remedy for bladder spasms and strangury.
• Root given for dropsy.
• Flowers used for conjunctivitis; also reported useful for fevers.
• In Patna, leaves employed as alexipharmic and anthelmintic.
• In the Nighantas plant used for asthma, bronchitis, and consumption.
• Neurasthenia, insomnia, night urination among infants, infected sores, mastitis, snake bites, sprains, furuncle.
• Dosage: 15 to 30 gms dried material (among infants, 9 to 15 gms), 30 to 60 gms fresh material in decoction.
• Poultice of fresh material used for eczema, carbuncle and snake bites.
• In India, whole herb juice is used most frequently – for eye problems. Also used for poisonous insect and snake bites. As a tonic, taken twice a month with milk. For ringworm, applied to affected parts with milk. Used for all types of fever and considered one of the best remedies for typhoid.
• In India seeds used for cough, flatulence, intestinal colic. Paste of seeds with lime juice used to treat pediculi. Flowers used for conjunctivitis, rheumatism, fever.
• In Ayurveda, used for consumption, asthma, bronchitis and fevers.
• In Senegal and French Guinea plant infusion used to wash newborn infants; also used for children with incontinence of urine.
• Bitter root used as vermifuge.
• In Ceylon, used for wounds and sores; taken internally to promote sweating.

Study Findings
• Anti-Arthritic / Anti-Inflammatory: An alcoholic extract from the flower of Vernonia cinerea was tested in adjuvant arthritic rats. The extract reversed major histopathological changes in the arthritic hind paws. Phytochemical studies revealed the presence of alkaloids, saponins, steroids and flavanoids. The study concluded that the extract contains a yet-unidentified anti-inflammatory principle.
• Free Radical Scavenging: The levels of oxygen derived free radicals, antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione) were studied in experimental rats.
• Nephroprotective: A study on three extracts from the plant showed promising nephrocurative activity and nephroprotective activity in rat-model of cisplatin-induced renal toxicity. Cisplatin is a potent antitumor agent with limited clinical use because of its renal toxicity.
• Nephroprotective: In a study of extracts of aerial parts in cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity in albino rats, an alcoholic extract showed pronounced curative activity, an EAE showed good prophylactic activity, and a petroleum ether extract showed moderate protection in curative and prophylactic models.
• Antioxidant / Anti-Inflammatory: Methanol extract of VC was found to scavenge hydroxyl radicals and nitric oxide. It also significantly inhibited carrageenan-induced inflammation together with down regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokine level and gene expression.
• Diuretic / Anti-Diuretic Effects: The chloroform extract of leaf induced significant diuresis while the methanol and aqueous extracts induced significant anti-diuresis in rats. In both, the effects were dose-dependent.
• Smoking Cessation Treatment: Veronia cinerea has been used in traditional Thai medicine to relieve cigarette craving. A 24-week, randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel trial on 64 subjects randomized to an infusion of 3-gm crushed dried whole plant of VC in infusion three times daily or placebo. Results were promising and suggest that VC may be a potential alternative to treatment for smoking cessation with significant cost savings. Large scale trials are needed to verify its efficacy.
• Bioactive Constituents: Study isolated four compounds: (+)-Lirioresinol B, stigmasterol, stigmasterol-3-O-beta-D-glucoside and 4-sulfo-benzocyclobutene. Three of the compounds showed cytotoxicity on PC-12 and three compounds showed inhibition activity. Compound 4 induced NGF-activity.
• Anti-Inflammatory: Methanol extract of the whole plant of VC exhibited significant dose-dependent activity against all phlogistic agents. In the chronic model, it exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity compared with the standard drug phenylbutazone.
• Antipyretic / Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory: Chloroform, methanolic and ether extracts of VC showed to possess analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic effects together with changes in behavioral activities.
• Bactericidal Against Ocular Pathogen: VC was one of 40 different medicinal plants that showed bioactivity against Corynebacterium macginleyi.
• Toxicity Study: A methanol extract which exhibited antimicrobial activity was tested for toxicity in mice. The extract did not show toxic effects in mice and brine shrimp in acute toxicity study.
• Larvicidal / Quinauefasciatus: Study of leaf extracts against common filarial vector, Culex quinquefasciatus third instar larvae showed effective results with an LC50 of 1.63 mg/ml after 24 hours. Results show potential for use in filarial and mosquito management programs.
• Antifungal / Candia albicans: Study of methanol extract screened screened for activity against pathogenic yeast Candida albicans showed complete inhibition and prolonged anti-yeast activity.
• Antinociceptive / Amelioration of Vincrinstine-induced Painful Neuropathy: Study investigated the antinociceptive potential of V. cinerea on vincristine-induced painful neuropathic pain in rats. Pretreatment showed significant dose-dependent attenuation of vincristine-induced painful behavioral, biochemical and histological effects. Results may be due to antioxidative, neuroprotetive, and calcium inhibitory action.
• Hepatoprotective / CCl4-Induced Dysfunction: A herbal powder prepared from leaves showed ameliorative hepatoprotective activity on both pre- and post-treated groups of CCl4-induced hepatic dysfunction in rats.
• Antitumor: Study evaluated various extracts against Dalton’s Ascitic Lymphoma (DAL) in Swiss albino mice. Results suggest an ethanolic extract and chloroform extract possess significant antitumor effect.
• Antidiarrheal: Study evaluated the antidiarrheal activity of whole plant of V. cinerea. Results showed a reduction in peristaltic movement of the GI tract of animals., with significant and dose-dependent decrease in the number of wet faeces and total number of faeces compared to control rats.
• Antifungal / Anti-Dandruff / Leaves: Study evaluated an ethyl acetate extract for antifungal activity against Candida albicans, C. parapsilosis and C. tropicalis. Results showed very good antifungal activity at all concentrations tested. It also exhibited excellent anti-dandruff activity against Piturosporum ovale and P. folliculitis.
• Immunomodulatory / Human Peripheral Mononuclear Cells: Study evaluated the toxicity of hexane extract of V. cinerea trunk and its anti-inflammatory effect on peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The hexane extract significantly reduced pro-inflammatory cytokine level (IL-6) which may be due to inhibition of NF-kB nuclear translocation. Results suggest an immunomodulatory effect on human PBMCs.
• Antihyperglycemic: A sesquiterpene lactone, Compound 1, possible a Hirsutinolide type, isolated from V. cinerea was evaluated against alloxan induced diabetic rats. Results showed a significant reduction of blood glucose, possibly through potentiation of insulin effect of plasma by increasing pancreatic secretion of insulin from ß cells of the islets of Langerhans or its release from bound form.
• Anti-Diarrheal / Anxiolytic / Antimicrobial / Membrane Stabilizing: Study evaluated a crude extract for anti-diarrhea, anxiolytic, antimicrobial and membrane stabilizing activities. There was significant and dose-dependent anti-diarrheal activity in the castor-oil induced diarrhea model in mice. The anxiolytic effect was compared with standard anxiolytic drug diazepam. There was moderate antimicrobial activity against Blastomyces dermatitidis. There was inhibition of heat-induced hemolysis of RBCs in RBC stability test.
• Radioprotective Effect: Study evaluated the radioprotective effect of VC extract against gamma-radiation induced immunosuppression and oxidative stress in balb/c mice. Treatment reduced enzyme elevations (ALP and GPT) and lipid peroxidation after irradiation. There was reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines that increased with irradiation. Administration of V cinerea did not compromise the anti-neoplastic effects of radiation; rather, there was a synergistic action of radiation and V. cinerea in reduction solid tumors. Results suggest potential as adjuvant during radiation therapy.
• Anti-Inflammatory Sesquiterpene Lactone / Flowers: Study of hexane extract of flowers isolated a new sesquiterpene lactone, 8a-hydroxyhirsutinolide , and a new naturally occur- ring derivative, 8a-hydroxyl-1-O-methylhirsutinolide , along with seven known compounds (1 and 4– 9). Isolated compounds were evaluated for cancer chemopreventive potential. Compounds 1, 2, 4, 5, and 9 inhibited TNF-a-induced NF-jB activity, while compounds 4 and 6–9 exhibited significant NO inhibitory activity.
• Antimetastatic Activity: Study strongly suggests the antimetastatic potential of V. cinerea and Vernolide-A. VC and vernolide-A inhibited tumor cell invasion and metastasis through stimulation of CMI and regulation of MMPs, VEGF, prolyl hydroxylase, lysyl oxidase, ERK-1, ERK-2, TIMPs, nm23 and proinflammatory cytokine gene expression in metastatic lung tissue.