Family • Rubiaceae - Borreria hispida (Linn.) K. Schum. - SHAGGY BUTTON WEED

Scientific names

Borreria hispida (Linn.) K. Schum.
Borreria articularis (L.f.) F.N. Williams ?
Spermacoce hispida Linn.
Spermacoce muriculata Blanco
Spermacoce mutilata Blanco
Spermacoce scaberrima F.-Vill.

Common names

Landrina (Tag.)
Ligad-ligad (Sul.)
Shaggy button weed (Engl.)
Jointed buttonweed (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

TAMIL: Nathaichuri.

Landrina is a procumbent, branched, hairy or rough herb, 10 to 14 centimeters long. Branches are greenish or purplish, ascending, stout and 4-angled. Leaves are ovate, spatulate, or elliptic, 1 to 3.5 centimeters long, 0.8 to 1.7 centimeters wide, pointed or rounded at the tip. Flowers are 4 to 6, occurring in whorls in the axils of leaves. Calyx-teeth are linear-lanceolate. Corolla is pale blue or white, 5 to 10 millimeters in length. Fruit is a hairy capsule about 5 millimeters long. Seeds are oblong, granulate, opaque, unusually variable, 3 millimeters or less in length.


– From the Batan Islands to Batangas and Laguna in Luzon, and in Mindoro, Panay and Basilan, in open, dry places at low and medium altitudes,
– Also occurs in India to China and Malaya.

– Methanolic extract yielded flavonoids and amino acids.
– Various extracts of whole plant yielded alkaloids, carbohydrates and glycosides, phytosterols, fixed oil and fats, saponins, phenolic compounds and tannins, protein and amino acid, coumarins, and flavonoids

– Roots possess properties similar to sarsaparilla.
– Considered alterative, tonic, cooling, demulcent, aphrodisiac, constipative.
– Used as antieczemic, antibacterial, antidiarrheal, antidysentery.

Parts used

– In the Konkan, the plant is eaten with other herbs as vegetable.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) EVALUATION OF ANTIBACTERIAL ACTIVITY OF VARIOUS EXTRACTS OF WHOLE PLANT OF Borreria hispida (Linn) / A. Kottai Muthu et. al. / International Journal of Pharma Sciences and Research (IJPSR) Vol.1(2), 2010, 127-130 /

(2) In- vitro antioxidant studies of various extracts of whole plant of Borreria hispida (Linn) / C.D.Shajiselvin, A.Kottai Muthu / RJPBCS Volume, 1 Issue 2 Page No. 17, April – June 2010

(3) Pharmacognostical and Proximate Analysis of Leaves of Borreria Hispida. / A J Ptel, Patel Jatin, Macwan Carol, Patel Mayuree, Soni Arun / Asian Journal of Biochemical and Pharmaceutical Research Issue 2 (Vol. 1) 2011

(4) Induction of Apoptotic Effects of Antiproliferative Protein from the Seeds of Borreria hispida on Lung Cancer (A549) and Cervical Cancer (HeLa) Cell Lines / S. Rupachandra and D. V. L. Sarada / BioMed Research International, Volume 2014 (2014) /

(5) PHYTOCHEMICAL SCREENING STUDY AND CONSTIPATION ACTIVITY OF SPERMACOCE HISPIDA L. (RUBIACEAE) BY USING ALBINO RATS / Muthuboopathi, G.; Padmalatha, K.; Sundar, S.; Poojitha, K.; Hindu Addala, V. / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences & Research;Dec2013, Vol. 4 Issue 12, p4669


(7) INVITRO EVALUATION OF FREE RADICAL SCAVENGING POTENTIAL OF VARIOUS EXTRACTS OF WHOLE PLANT OF Borreria hispida (Linn) / C.D.Shajiselvin1and A.Kottai Muthu* / International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences V1(2)2010

(8) Antihyperlipidaemic Activity of Spermacoce Hispida Ethanolic Extract in Triton WR-1339 Induced Hyperlipidaemic Rats / G. Sivaelango, P. Senthil Kumaran, P. Kumaravel, P. Revathi and A. Jaswan / Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science 02 (02); 2012: 95-98t

(9) Leaves of Spermacoce hispida as a Novel Cancer Therapeutic – An In Vitro Study / Rathi M.A., Meenakshi P., Kumar D. Guru, Raj C. Arul, Sunitha M., Gopalakrishnan V.K.* / Research Journal of Pharmacy and Technology: 2011, Volume 4, Issue 8.

(10) borreria / T. Rajkumar / International Journal of Innovative Pharmaceutical, 1(1), 2013, 62-70.


– In the Philippines, leaves are brewed in decoction and used as astringent for hemorrhoids.
– In Martinique, plant is used as tonic and stimulant. Also used for hemorrhoids.
– Leaves applied to the head in cases of headache, with it cooling effect, somewhat allaying the pain.
– The seeds in confection are cooling and demulcent; used for dysentery and diarrhea.
– Seeds considered by some as aphrodisiac.
– Used as alternative therapy for diabetes.
– In Siddha medicine, seeds used to cure diarrhea; roots used as tonic.
– Used for headaches, constipation, hypertension, scabies, IBS, erysipelas, mouth ulcers, abscesses, and as antifertility medicine.

Study Findings
• Cardiac Benefits: Study showed BHE-treated rat hears showed improved post-ischemic ventricular function and reduced myocardial infarct size and cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Results suggest BHE has a potential as a plant-based nutraceutical for the management of cardiovascular diseases.
• Antibacterial: Study of extracts of Borreria hispida showed antibacterial activity against B subtilis, B pumilus, S aureus, P aeruginosa, E coli and K. pneumonia, with the methanolic extract found to be the most effective. Results supports its use as remedy for superficial bacterial and fungal infections in traditional medicine.
• Antioxidant: In an vitro study, a methanolic extract of whole plant of Borreria hispida yielded a high amount of flavonoids, and suggests a potential source of natural antioxidant.
• Antiproliferative and Apoptotic Activity / Seeds: K3, a 35 KDa protei, was purified from the seeds of Borreria hispida. The F3 protein exhibited cytotoxic activity, with dose-dependent antiproliferative and apoptotic activity against lung (A549) and cervical (HeLa) cancer cells.
• Constipation Activity : Study evaluated constipation activity of Spermacoce hispida using albino Wistar rats, using the extract in an irritable bowel model in lieu of loperamide.
• Antihyperlipidemic Activity : Study evaluated the antihyperlipidemic effect of Spermacoce hispida seed-flavonoid rich fraction by a dose-dependent study. Results showed significant reduction of total cholesterol, triglycerides, plasma phospholipids, free fatty acids, LDL cholesterol, and VLDL-C, with significant elevation of HDL. Activity was attributed to the presence of ursolic acid, quercetin, isorhamnetic, and hesperetin.
• Free Radical Scavenging Potential: Study evaluated in vitro free radical scavenging potential of various extracts of whole plant of Borreria hispida. The methanolic extract showed strong antioxidant activity by inhibiting DPPH and superoxide anion scavenging and iron chelating activities. It contained a noticeable amount of total phenols and can be used as an easily accessible source of natural antioxidants and as possible food supplement.
• Antihyperlipidemic Activity: Study evaluated an ethanolic seed extract for antihyperlipidemic activity against triton-WR-1339 induced hyperlipidemia in rats. Results showed it effectively suppressed the triton induced hyperlipidemia, suggesting a potential protective role in coronary heart disease.
• Anti-Nociceptive: Study evaluated an ethanolic extract for anti-nociceptive activity using an acetic acid-induced abdominal constrictions and Tail immersion models. Results showed significant analgesic potential compared to standard drug Aspirin and Pentazocine.
• Anti-Cancer / Ovarian Cancer Cell Line / Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated a leaf extract for antioxidant and antiproliferative activities. The extract dose dependently inhibited growth of cell lines in human ovarian cancer cell line PA 1, and also showed to be a rich source of antioxidants.
• Hepatoprotective / Nitrobenzene Induced Hepatotoxicity: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective activity of an ethanolic extract of whole plant against nitrobenzene induced hepatic damage in rats. Histopathological analysis showed severe centrilobular necrosis, fatty infiltration and lymphocyte infiltration. Treatment resulted in decreased liver marker enzymes activity and lipid peroxidation levels with increase in antioxidant status.
• Antimicrobial / Seed Oil: Study evaluated various extracts of seed oil for antimicrobial activity. Studies on Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms reveal the methanolic extract to show significant activity compared to other solvents taken for extraction.