Family • Lamiaceae - Anisomeles indica Linn. - MALABAR CATMINT

Scientific names

Anisomeles ovata R. Br.
Anisomeles indica Linn.
Anisomeles disticha (L.) Heyne ex Roth
Nepeta disticha (L.) Blume
Nepeta indica Linn.
Phlomis indica Blanco

Common names

Kabling lalake (Tag.)
kabling-parang (Tag.)
Talingharap (Tag.)
Lilitan (Ilk.)
Litalit (Ilk.)
Subusuba (Ilk.)
Sawang-sawang (Mbo.)
Malabar catmint (Engl.)
Guang fang feng (Chin.)


Kabling-parang is an erect, branched, more or less hairy annual herb; 1 to 2 meters in height. Stems are 4-angled, pubescent. Leaves are thin, ovate 3 to 12 centimeters long; long-stalked and pointed at the tip with round-toothed margins. Leaves have a strong aromatic scent when crushed. Flowers are numerous, crowded and almost stalkless and occur in spikelike racemes 5 to 25 centimeters long and 2 to 3 centimeters in diameter. Calyx is about 6 millimeters long, hairy and pointed-toothed; the tube long and bell-shaped. Corolla purplish, 10 to 12 centimeters long, strongly zygomorphic, the upper lip being oblong-ovate and the lower lip have two middle lobes.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Bioactive Cembrane Diterpenoids of Anisomeles indica / Yu-Li Chen et al / J. Nat. Prod., 2008, 71 (7), pp 1207–1212 / DOI: 10.1021/np800147

(2) Screening of anti-Helicobacter pylori herbs deriving from Taiwanese folk medicinal plants / Yuan-Chuen Wang, Tung-Liang Huang / FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology, Volume 43, Issue 2, pages 295–300, February 2005 / DOI: 10.1016/j.femsim.2004.09.008

(3) Water Extract of Leaves and Stems of Preflowering but not Flowering Plants of Anisomeles indica Possesses Analgesic and Antihyperalgesic Activities in Rats / M.G. Dharmasiri, W.D. Ratnasooriya and M.I. Thabrew / Summary Pharmaceutical Biology / 2003, Vol. 41, No. 1, Pages 37-44

(4) Anisomeles indica / Chinese Plant Names

(5) Anisomeles indica: An Overview/ Vivek K Baranwal, R Irchhaiya, Shobhit Singh / IRJP 2012, 3 (1)

(6) HIV-inhibitory diterpenoid from Anisomelesindica / M. Shahidul Alama, M.A. Quadera, M.A. Rashid / Fitoterapia, Volume 71, Issue 5, 1 September 2000, Pages 574–576


– In waste places and along borders of thickets, in settled areas at low and medium altitudes, in most or all islands and provinces throughout the Philippines.
– Certainly introduced.
– Occurs in India to China and Malaya.

– Contains a volatile oil and a bitter alkaloid.
– Plant yields triterpenoids, anisomelic acid, ovatodiolide, 4,7-oxycycloanisomelic acid, iso-ovatodiolide, ß-sitosterol, stigmasterol, flavones, apigenin and an essential oil.
– Essential oils are a-pinene, ß-pinene, d-limonene, methyl chavicol, d-alpha thujene, citral, borneol, 1,8 cineole, a-terpineol, eugenol, azullene, and caryophyllene.

– Minty-bitter tasting,
– Antirheumatic, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, antiphlogistic, analgesic.
– Considered carminative, stomachic, diaphoretic, and astringent.

Parts utilized
Entire plant.

– In the Philippine, used for gastric catarrh and intermittent fevers.
– Decoction of leaves used as antirheumatic and stomachic.
– Decoction of dried or fresh material used as a wash for external afflictions, eczema, pruritus skin problems.
– Leaves chewed for toothache.
– Used for snake bites.
– Used for rheumatism, bone pains, cold, fever, abdominal cramps and gas pains.
– Juice of leaves use for colic in children, dyspepsia, and for fever associated with teething.
– Inhalation of vapor of hot infusion used to induce copious perspiration.
– Decoction of plant used as fomentation for rheumatic joints.
– Essential oil distilled from leaves used externally as embrocation in rheumatic arthritis.
– Distilled oil used for uterine affections.
– In the Dutch Indies, decoction of plant used for gravel.
– In Sri Lanka, boiled stems and leaves used for gastroprotection. Also, a decoction of leaves and stems used for pain.
– In China, used medicinally for rheumatism, colds, fevers, abdominal pain, skin sores and snake bites.
– In Chinese and Indian medicine, used to treat gastric dysfunction, inflammatory disorders, and hypertension.

– Natural herbicide: Study showed that the mulch of A. indica holds good promise for use as a natural herbicide for managing weeds in wheat fields.
– Repellent: Plant is burned to act as mosquito-repellent.

Study Findings
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study isolated a diterpenoid, two benzenoids, five flavonoids and six phenyl propanoids. Some compounds exhibited potent antiinflammatory activity which provides ethnopharmacologic relevance to its use in folk medicine for treatment of iinflammation. Study showed the anti-inflammatory activity of the pre-flowering plant is from cyclooxygenase-1 inhibition, plasma membrane stabilization, antihistamine and free radical scavenging activities, while revealing a loss of activity after flowering.
• Gastroprotective / Antioxidant: Study showed decoction of leaves and stems of Anisomeles indica at the pre-flowering stage, provide significant gastroprotection. The extract of AI also showed in vitro antioxidant activity.
• Anti-Thrombin / Inhibition of Platelet Aggregation:Bioactive Cembrane Diterpenoids of Anisomeles indica: Study isolated fire new cembrane-type diterpenoids, a new flavonoid glucoside and 17 other known compounds. A compound showed cytotoxicity against a panel of human cancer cell lines. Some showed selective platelet aggregation activity while others showed inhibition of thrombin induced antiplatelet aggregation.
• Anti-H. Pylori Activity: 50 Taiwanese folk medicinal plants were studied for anti-Helicobacter pylori activity. Anisomeles indica was one of six studied plants that exhibited strong anti-H.pylori activity.
• Analgesic / Antihyperalgesic: Water extracts of stems and leaves of flowering and preflowering plantshowed dose-dependent analgesic effect without toxic effects. Antihyperalgesic effect was noted in preflowering but not in flowering plants. The analgesic and antihyperalgesic effects of preflowering plant were attributed to COX-1 inhibition with resulting impairment of prostaglandin synthesis.
• Anti-Arthritic / Anti-Inflammatory / Anti-Platelet: Methanolic extract of A. malabarica exhibited significant antiinflammatory activi5y and remarkable anti-arthritic and anti-platelet functions.
• Anti-HIV Activity: Study showed inhibition of the cytoprothic effects of HIV-1 infection by ovatodiolide, a diterpenoid. The anti-HIV activity of ovatodiolide was compared to that of AZT.
• Anti-Cancer: Ovatodiolide compound showed cytotoxicity effects by causing apoptosis in producing reactive oxygen species and down-regulation of FLICE inhibitory protein leading to cell cycle arrest towards oral squamous cell carcinoma.
• Phytotoxicity Effect : The leaf and root of Anisomeles indica showed phytotoxicity effect towards little seed canary grass suggesting a usefulness as a useful herbicide in wheat fields.