Family • Verbenaceae - Lippia nodiflora (Linn.) Rich. - HAIRY FOGFRUIT

Scientific names

Lippia nodiflora (Linn.) Rich
Lippia repens Spreng.
Phyla nodiflora (Linn.) Greene.
Phyla canescens (Kunth) Greene
Verbena capitata Forsk.
Verbena nodiflora Linn.

Other vernacular names

CAMBODIA: Man am ca dam.
HINDI: Bukkan, Jaipapli.
MARATHI: Patolia vakkan.
SANSKRIT: Vasir vasuka.
TAMIL: Poduthalai.
THAI: Ya kelt pla.
VIETNAM: D[aa]y l[uws]c, S[af]i d[aas]t gi[ar].

Common names

Busbusi (Tag.)
Chachahan (Tag.)
Lopulupu (P. Bis.)
Nakulad (Iv.)
Sirik puyo (Bis.)
Creeping vervain (Engl.)
Fogfruit (Engl.)
Frogfruit (Engl.)
Hairy fogfruit (Engl.)
Matgrass (Engl.)
Lippia (Engl.)
Turkey tangle fogfruit (Engl.)

Busbusi is a creeping, minutely strigose herb. Stems extend from 15 to 30 centimeters, much branched and rooting at the nodes. Leaves are numerous, nearly without stalks, obovate, 1 to 2.5 centimeters long, with blunt or rounded tip and wedged-shaped base; margins on the upper half are sharply toothed. Flowers are very small, pink or white, crowded in ovoid or cylindric spikes, 1 to 2.5 centimeters long and about 6 millimeters in diameter. Corolla consists of a slender and cylindric tube, about 3 millimeters long, with a limb 2.5 millimeters wide, opening at the apex as it lengthens. Spikes appear at the ends of stalks, growing singly from the axils of the leaves.

– A common weed throughout the Philippines, in open, waste places at low and medium altitudes.
– Pantropic in distribution.

– Bitter, anodyne, antibacterial, carminative, deobstruent, diuretic, emmenagogue, parasiticide and refrigerant.
– Considered analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, nociceptive, antimicrobial, antipyretic, antitumor, lipid peroxide scavenging and free radical scavenging.


– Plant yields triterpenoids, flavonoids, phenols, and steroids.
– From the aerial parts were isolated new triterpenoid lippiacin and a benzofuranone rengyolone (halleridone), flavonoids, flavone aglycones, and flavone sulphates.
– Ethanolic extract of dried plant yielded two glucosidic coloring matters – nodiflorin A and nodiflorin B.
– Aqueous extract yielded free lactose, maltose, glucose, fructose, and xylose.
– Yields flavone, nodifloretin, a mixture of glucosides of ß-sitosterol and stigmasterol, two flavone glycosides (lippiflorin A and lippiflorin B), nepetin and batatilfolin.
– Flowers yield flavone glycosides, nepetin and batalifolin.
– Dried powdered leaves yielded hallerione and hallerone.
– Study of essential oil of leaves yielded nodifloretin, ß-sitosterol glucoside, stigmasterol glucoside, nodifloridin A, and nodifloridin B.

Parts used 

– In the Philippines, fresh leaves used as tea substitute; hence referred to as “chachahan.”

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Phyla nodiflora – (L.)Greene. / Frogfruit / Plants For A Future

(2) Antioxidant and Free Radical Scavenging Effects of Lippia nodiflora / Ruraira Ashokkumar et al / Summary
Pharmaceutical Biology, 2008, Vol. 46, No. 10-11, Pages 762-771

(3) Studies on the elemental composition and anti-fungal activity of medicinal plant Lippia nodiflora L against skin fungi / Pirzada A J et al / J Pak Assoc Derma Apr – Jun 2005;15(2):113-8.

(4) STUDY OF PHYTOCHEMICAL AND DIURETIC POTENTIAL OF METHANOL AND AQUEOUS EXTRACTS OF AERIAL PARTS OF PHYLA NODIFLORA LINN. / Sangita shukla et al / International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol. 1, Issue 1, July-Sep. 2009

(5) Medicinal plants used by traditional healers in Kancheepuram District of Tamil Nadu, India / Chgellaiah Muthu et al /

(6) Antidiabetic activity of γ-sitosterol isolated from Lippia nodiflora L. in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. / Balamurugan R, Duraipandiyan V, Ignacimuthu S. / Eur J Pharmacol. 2011 Sep 30;667(1-3):410-8. Epub 2011 Jun 7.

(7) Neuropharmacological activity of Lippia nodiflora Linn. / Kumaresan P. Thirupathy, Asish Tulshkar, and C. Vijaya / Pharmacognosy Res. 2011 Jul-Sep; 3(3): 194–200. / doi: 10.4103/0974-8490.85007

(8) Effect of ethanolic extract of Phyla nodiflora (Linn.) Greene against calculi producing diet induced urolithiasis / Sujatha Dodoala, Ranganayakulu Diviti et al / Indian Journal of Natural Products and Resources, Vol 1, No 3, Sept 2010, Pp 314-321.

(9) Effect on Inhibition of Proliferation and Antioxidant Enzyme Level of Lippia nodiflora in EAC Cell Line Treated Mice / Ashokkumar, Durairaj / Mazumder, Upal Kanti / Gupta, Malaya / Selvan, V. Thamil / Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine. Volume 6, Issue 1 / DOI: 10.2202/1553-3840.1233, August 2009

(10) Molecular basis of the anti-inflammatory property exhibited by cyclo-pentano phenanthrenol isolated from Lippia nodiflora. / Balakrishnan G, Janakarajan L, Balakrishnan A, Lakshmi BS. / Immunol Invest. 2010;39(7):713-39

(11) Sorting Phyla names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 – 2020 / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia.

(12) Phyla nodiflora (L.) Greene / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED

(13) A Review on Phyla nodiflora Linn.: A Wild Wetland Medicinal Herb / R.A. Sharma, Renu Singh* / Int. J. Pharm. Sci. Rev. Res., 20(1), May – Jun 2013; no 11, 57-63

(14) POTENTIAL ANTICANCER EFFECT OF PHYLA NODIFLORA EXTRACTS IN BREAST CANCER CELL LINE, MCF7 / Peik Lin Teoh*, Rabi’atul’adawiyahMohd. Ali and Bo Eng Cheong / World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 6, 6053-6061.

(15) Melanogenesis Inhibitor(s) from Phyla nodiflora Extract / Feng-Lin Yen, Moo-Chin Wang, Chan-Jung Liang, Horng-Huey Ko, and Chiang-Wen Lee / Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012) / http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/867494

(16) Antihypertensive efficacy of Lippia nodiflora – whole plant on uninephrectomized doca – salt hypertensive rats / Rekha Gadhvi, Gaurav J Mishra*, M. N. Reddy and Manish Nivserkar / IOSR Journal of Pharmacy, Volume 2 Issue 6, Nov-Dec. 2012, pp 24-28

(17) Eupafolin, a skin whitening flavonoid isolated from Phyla nodiflora, downregulated melanogenesis: Role of MAPK and Akt pathways. / Ko HH, Chiang YC, Tsai MH, Liang CJ, Hsu LF, Li SY, Wang MC, and Yen FL /Journal of ethnopharmacology 151:1 2014 Jan 10 pg 386-93


(19) In-Vitro Antioxidant Activity of Aerial Parts of Lippia nodiflora Rich. / Shukla et al / Pharmacologyonline 2: 450-459 (2009)


– In the Philippines, Infusion of leaves and tops used as carminative and diuretic.
– In India, used as demulcent in gonorrhea. Also, paste of leaves applied to swellings and wounds.
– Toasted tender stalks and leaves, in infusion, used for children’s indigestion.
– Juice of roots used for gastric problems.
– Used for treatment of hookworms.
– Used as by women after childbirth.
– Hindus used it for fever and as diuretic. Applied as paste to promote suppuration.
– Infusion used in colds with fever; also as diuretic and for lithiasis.
– Poultice of fresh plant used to hasten ripening of boils.
– Used for liver disorders, dandruff control, and indigestion in children.
– Plant used for joint pains, constipation, ulcers, boils, swollen cervical glands, and gonorrhea.
– Used for asthma, bronchitis, diseases of the heart, blood, and eyes.
– Plant vapors inhaled to treat coughs and colds. Root juice used for gastric problems.
– Paste or poultice of plant applied to swollen cervical glands, erysipelas and to chronic indolent ulcers.

Study Findings
• Antioxidant / Free Radical Scavenging: Study on the methanol extract of Lippia nodiflora exhibited potent total antioxidant activity increasing with concentration. It has effective reducing power, free radical scavenging, superoxide anion radical scavenging and concentration dependent total phenolic content.
• Antifungal / Elemental Composition: Study on the antifungal activity of various extracts of L nodiflora was tested against human pathogenic fungi – A flavus A niger, P varioti, M gypseum and T rubrum. All the extracts showed high activity against the test organisms; the ethanol and aqueous extracts showed the best activity. Concentrations of Al, Ca, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, P, S and Zn were studied and showed considerable amounts of elements which are important components of skin care formulations.
• Diuretic Potential / Phytochemicals: Study yielded steroids, alkaloids, carbohydrates, flavonoids, essential oil, tannins and potassium salts. The methanol and aqueous extracts exhibited significant increase in urine volume and electrolyte excretion. Both extracts showed significant diuretic activity.
• Antidiabetic / Hypolipidemic / y-Sitosterol: Study screened y-sitosterol isolated from L. nodiflora for anti-diabetic activity in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Results showed a significant decrease in blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin with a significant increase in insulin level, body weight, and food intake. There was also an antihyperlipidemic effect with decrease in total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides with an increase in HDL.
• Neuropharmacological: Ethanolic and chloroform extracts showed central inhibitory (sedative) activity , anticonvulsant, and anxiolytic effects in mice. The central inhibitory effect was attributed to flavonoids.
• Hepatoprotective / Antioxidant: Study on a methanol extract of Lippia nodiflora in rats with acute experimental injury induced by paracetamol showed good hepatoprotective activity probably through antioxidant activity on the hepatocytes.
• Antiurolithiatic: An ethanol extract of the whole plant was studied for antiurolithiatic activity against most common types of renal stones. The extract significantly prevented calcium oxalate stone formation and also dissolved pre-formed calcium oxalate stones in the kidney along with significant effect on both in vitro and in vivo antioxidant parameters.
• Antibacterial / Seeds: A methanol extract of seeds was screened for in-vitro antibacterial activity against gram positive and gram negative bacteria by cup-plate method. The seed extract significantly inhibited growth of bacteria as compared to standard bactericide Streptomycin.
• In Vitro Antimicrobial: Chloroform leaf extract showed activity against E. coli, and an ethyl acetate extract was effective against Salmonella typhi.
• Antitumor Activity/ Seeds: Study evaluated the antitumor activity of a methanolic extract against Erlich’s ascites carcinoma on Swiss albino mice. Results showed antitumor activity with significant decrease in tumor volume, packed cell volume, increase in life span of tumor bearing mice, etc. The activity was attributed to increased antioxidant activity.
• Anti-Inflammatory / Cyclo-Pentano Phenanthrenol: Study evaluated the anti-inflammatory potential of cyclo-pentano phenanthrenol isolated from L. nodiflora. Results showed anti-inflammatory activity via inhibition of MAPK phosphorylation and NF-kB translocation.
• Antibacterial: Study described the extraction, fractionation and antibacterial activity of Phyla nodiflora. An ethyl acetate and chloroform fractions showed excellent activity against Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus epidermis and S. aureus. Study showed antibacterial activity against E. coli, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus.
• Anticancer Effect / Breast Cancer Cell Line: Study investigated the potential anticancer effect of P. nodiflora in MCF7 cells. Results showed all the extracts exhibited antiproliferative results, inhibiting MCF7 breast cancer cell growth via apoptosis.
• Melanogenesis Inhibitors: Overexpression of tyrosinase can cause excessive production of melanin and lead to hyperpigmentation disorders, including melasma and freckles. Study showed treatment with P. nodiflora methanol extract showed significant dose-dependent reduction of cellular melanin content and tyrosinase activity. The extract also showed significant antimelanogenesis effect. Results suggest a potential use as cosmetic skin-whitening agent and clinical use to cure or prevent hyperpigmentation.
• Antihypertensive: Study investigated the antihypertensive effect of a methanolic extract of Lippia nodiflora on uninephrectomized DOCA-salt-induced hypertensive Wistar rats. Results showed a significant decrease in blood pressure.
• Eupafolin / Skin Whitening: Eupafolin is a functional flavonoid isolated from Phyla nodiflora. Study evaluated its antimelanogenesis effects in B16F10 mouse melanoma cells. Eupafolin treatment significantly reduced cellular melanin content and tyrosinase activity in a dose-dependent manner. No cytotoxic effects were noted. Inhibition of Akt and activation of phospho-ERK or p38 MAPK may lead to suppression of melanogenesis in eupafolin-treated B16F10 mouse melanoma cells.
• Central Inhibitory Effects on Motor Activity: Study showed an ethanolic and chloroform extracts produced central inhibitory (sedative), anticonvulsant, and anxiolytic effects in mice.
• Antioxidant Activity / Aerial Parts: Study of methanolic extract of aerial parts showed antioxidant activity attributed to flavonoids.