Family • Boraginaceae - Trichodesma zeylanicum Burm. f - CAMEL BUSH

Scientific names

Trichodesma zeylanicum Burm. f
Boraco africana Blanco
Boraco indica Blanco
Boraco zeylanica Burm. f.
Pollichia zeylanica F.M.

Common names

Dilang-usa (Tag.)
Mabulo (Tag.)
Sigang-dagat (Tag.)
Trikantaka (India)
Camel bush (Engl.)
Cattle bush (Engl.)
Rough blue bell (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

HINDI: Dhadhona, Hetemuria, Jalasirasa.
KANNADA: Ethina naalige gida, Gaaya maari.
SANSKRIT: A mbusirishika, Dhindhinika, Durbala,Jjhingi.
TAMIL: Kalutaikkali.
TELUGU: Pedda gurragutti.

Dilang-usa is an erect, branched and hairy annual herb, 30 to 70 centimeters in height. Leaves are hairy, oblong to lanceolate, 5 to 12 centimeters long, on short stalks, pointed at both ends. The hairs on the upper surface of the blade arise from tubercles. Flowers are borne on long stalks, in axillary or terminal racemes, of four or five flowers. Calyx is densely hairy, about 1 centimeter long in the flower. Corolla is pale blue, about 1.3 centimeters in diameter.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Trikantaka, Indian Medicinal Plants

(2) Chewa medical botany: a study of herbalism in southern Malawi / Brian Morris

(3) Herbal medicines for wound healing among tribal people in Southern India: Ethnobotanical and Scientific evidences / Ayyanar M, Ignacimuthu S / International Journal of Applied Research in Natural Products Vol. 2(3), pp. 29-42, Sep-Oct 2009

(4) Evaluation of the Wound Healing Potential of Trichodesma zeylanicum (Burm. f.) Formulation in Excision Wounds in Albino Rats / Frank Ngonda* / Annual Research & Review in Biology 4(6): 828-839, 2014

(5) Anti-inflammatory activity of alkanoids and triterpenoids from Trichodesma amplexicaule Roth. / Abstract / Free Library by Farlex

(6) In- vitro Anti-oxidant Activity and Free Radical Scavenging Potential of roots of Malawian / Trichodesma zeylanicumm (burm. f.) / Frank Ngonda* / Asian Journal of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences; 3(20) 2013, 21-25.

(7) Camel Bush / Indian common names / Flowers of India


– A weed found in cultivated areas and waste places at low altitude.
– Found in Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Pampanga, Rizal and Quezon Provinces in Luzon.
– Also occurs in tropical Asia to Mauritius, Malaya, tropical Australia, to eastern tropical Africa.

– Yield a low toxic alkaloid supinine.

– Sudorific and pectoral.
– Considered emollient, demulcent and diuretic.
– Seeds contain 30% oil.
– Roots considered analgesic and healing.

Parts used 
Leaves, roots,

• In Malawi, leaves cooked as a side dish.


• Leaves are used as emollient poultice.
• In Ayurveda, used for treatment of leucoderma and piles.
• Powdered root applied to painful ulcers.
• In Tanzania, oil is used for its emollient and soothing properties.
• In Malawi, used for stomach ailments and indigestion. Infusion of leaves and roots used for intestinal worms, coughing, chest complaints, itching and throat pains. Root scraping used for wound dressing.
• In Madagascar, decoction of leaves used as emollient, demulcent and diuretic. Decoction of flowers used as sudorific and diuretic. Externally, powdered root used as analgesic when applied to wounds and skin infections.
• Roots used for bilharzia, swelling of lymph glands, coughing, toothache and abdominal pains.
• In southern India, leaf of the plant is mixed with the rhizome of Glycyrrhiza glabra, stem of Canna indica and stem bark of Punica granatum, then ground into a paste and applied topically to heal wounds.
• In Western Ghats, fresh leaves are roasted with Allium cepa in coconut oil and made into curry. The curry is taken before meals twice daily for four to five days to treat bleeding piles.

Some reports contend it is poisonous to stock.

Study Findings
• Wound Healing: Study evaluated in vivo wound healing effect of a herbal ointment formulated with 15% w/w Trichodesma zeylanicum methanolic root extract in excision wounds in albino rats. Results showed wound healing potential. Study suggested further evaluation to assess the potential accumulation of low toxic alkaloid supinine in wound healing.
• Anti-Inflammatory / Alkane: Study evaluated anti-inflammatory activities of isolated phytoconstituents in arthritis models in rats. Results showed alkanoic acid significantly inhibited carrageenan-induced acute arthritis. Alkane also suppressed the development of chronic arthritis induced by CFA. Alkane was the major phytoconstituent reported in the in vivo studies.
• Antioxidant / Free Radical Scavenging Potential / Roots: Study of T. zeylanicum powdered root extract showed good scavenging ability compared to standard ascorbic acid. Reducing power assay showed concentration dependent reducing ability and were higher compared to ascorbic acid. Results suggest a potential source of antioxidants relevant to wound treatment.