Family • Orobanchaceae - Aeginetia indica Linn. - GHOST FLOWER - Ye gu

Scientific names

Aeginetia indica Linn.
Aeginetia abbreviata Walp.
Aeginetia pedunculata F.-Vill.

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Ye gu, Guan hen huang.
HINDI: Aankuri bankuri.

Common names

Bangbañgan-ti-kiuing (Bon.)
Dagatan (Tag.)
Kola (Pamp.)
Lapo (Ibn.)
Suako-ti-uak (Ilk.)
Dapong-tubo (Tag.)
Cabrita (Tag.)
Indian broomrape (Engl.)
Forest ghost flower (Engl.)
Ghost flower (Tag.)

Dapong-tubo is a gregarious root parasite, producing numerous tubercles or swellings. Scapes are solitary or several, very slender, from 10 to 50 centimeters high, arising from the tubercle. Flowers are solitary. Calyx is ovoid, 1.5 to 3 centimeters long, purplish with longitudinal yellow stripes. Corolla is pale purple, two-lipped, tubular, bell-shaped, 2.5 to 5 centimeters long, 2.5 centimeters in diameter or less, and fimbriate in the margins. Capsules are ovoid or rounded, 1.5 to 2 centimeters long. Seeds are yellowish.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Seed extract of Aeginetia indica L induces cytokine production and lymphocyte proliferation in vitro / Chai J G et al / Immunopharmacology. 1994 Jan-Feb;27(1):13-21.

(2) An extract of seeds from Aeginetia indica L a parasitic plant induces potent antigen-specific antitumor immunity in Meth A-bearing BALB/c mice / Chai J G et al /

(3) Th1-cytokine induction and anti-tumor effect of 55 kDa protein isolated from Aeginetia indica L., a parasitic plant / Go Ohe et al / Cancer immunology and immunotherapy, 2001, vol. 50, no5, pp. 251-259

(4) Effects of a Chinese Herbal Medicine, Guan-Jen-Huang (Aeginetia indica Linn.), on Renal Cancer Cell Growth and Metastasis / Yu-Huei Liu, Meng-Luen Li, Meng-Yu Hsu, Ya-Yueh Pang, I-Ling Chen, Ching-Kuei Chen, Sai-Wen Tang, Hsuan-Yuan Lin, and Jung-Yaw Lin / Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2012 (2012) / doi:10.1155/2012/935860


(6) Forest ghost flower / Common names / Flowers of India

– A root parasite on various coarse grasses, such as sugar cane, at low altitudes, and on wild grasses at medium altitudes, in all or most provinces in Luzon from Cagayan to Sorsogon; in Panay and Leyte.
– Also occurs from India to Japan, through Burma and China.

– Studies have yielded aeginetic acid, aeginetolide, aeginetoside, polyenes and ionone glycosides.
– Solvents have extracted essential oil, polysaccharide, glycoprotein, phenolics, terpenoid, waxes, fats, resin and portions of wood gum.
– Study yielded apigenin 7-O-glucuronide (flavonoid) from the aerial parts.

– Considered immunostimulating, anticancer, tonic, and anti-inflammatory.

Parts utilized
Whole plant.

• In the Philippines an infusion of the plant taken internally for diabetes.
• Decoction of plant used for treatment of anasarca due to acute nephritis.
• In Chinese folk medicine, used to treat chronic liver diseases, cough, and arthritis.



Study Findings
• Immunomodulation: A indica, a root parasite that grows on bamboo, used extensively in Thai traditional medicine, was studied for its immunological effects. Results showed extracts from A indica had T cell stimulatory activity.
• Cytokine Production / Lymphocyte Proliferation: Previous study reported A. indica induces potent antitumor immunity in tumor-bearing mice. This study investigated the in vitro effects of A. indica extract on various lymphoid cells. Spleen cells from mice pretreated with AIL produced IL-2, IFN gamma, TNF and IL-6 when cells were stimulated in vitro by AIL. CD4 T cells were main producers of IL2 and TNF, while CD4 and CD8 T cells secreted IFN.
• Phenylpropanoid Glycosides: Study yielded two new phenylpropanoid glycosides with seven known compounds.
• 55 kDa Protein / Cytokine Induction / Anti-Tumor Effect: Study isolated a 55 kDa protein from the seed extract of Aeginetia indica. Results strongly suggested that the 55kDa protein is a potent Th1 inducer and may be a useful immunotherapeutic agent for patients with malignant diseases.
• Anticancer: Study investigated the effect of A. indica in the treatment of renal cancer. In a xenograft animal model, A. indica extract showed an inhibitory effect on tumor cell-induced metastasis. Results suggest the extract has a synergistic effect on apoptosis induced by chemotherapeutic agents and an inhibitory effect on cell adhesion, migration, and invasion. It provides evidence as a potential of A. indica extracts as novel alternatives in the treatment of human renal cancer.