Family • Euphorbiaceae - Euphorbia thymifolia Linn. - CHICKEN WEED - Qian gen cao

Scientific names

Euphorbia thymifolia Linn.
Euphorbia rubrosperma Lotsy
Euphorbia microphylla Lam.
Chamaesyce thymifolia (L.) Millsp.
Anisophyllum thymifolium

Common names

Makikitot (Tag.)
Nayoti (India)
Golondrina (Span.)
Chickenweed (Engl.)
Gulf sandmat (Engl.)
Thyme leaf spurge(Engl.)
Qian gen cao (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

BENGALI: Nanha pusi toa, Raktakerui, Shwet-keruee. RUSSIAN: Molochai tim’ianolistnyj.
CHINESE: Xi ye du jian cao, Xiao fei yang, Ziao lei yang cao. SANSKRIT: Dugdhika, Gorakshadugdhi, Laghudugdhi, Laghududhika, Raktabinducchada.
HINDI: Choti-dudhi, Chothadudhi, Chhotidudhi, Chhoti-dudhi, Duddhi, Dudhiya, Nigachuni. SINHALESE : Bindadakiriya, Chittirapalavi.
INDONESIAN: Patikan china, Gelang pasir, Krokot china, Ki mules, Nanagkaan gede, Jalu-jalu tona. SPANISH: Golondrina.
KANNADA : Bilechitra phala, Bilee chitraphala. TAMIL: Ammam pacharisi, Peṟu siththiṟa pāllādai, Peṟu siththirai pālāvi, Peṟung kuṟumpai.
MALAYALAM: Caicotten-pala, Nilappala. THAI: Nam nom ratchasi lek.
MALAYSIA: Gelang susu, Jarak blanda, Rumpot janggot, Sedang padang, Sisik merah. TELUGU: Bidurunabiyam, Bidurunanabiyam.
ORIYA: Rangoalathi. VIETNAMESE: Co sa dat.
PERSIAN: Hazardanah.

Makikitot is an annual, spreading or prostrate, much branched, slender, smooth or somewhat hairy herb. Stems are usually reddish, growing up to 20 centimeters in length. Leaves are opposite, distichous, somewhat oblique, elliptic to oblong, 4 to 7 millimeters long and obscurely crenulate. Involucres are about 1 millimeter long, purplish and borne on the axils of much reduced leaves or bracts on crowded short branchlets from the leaf axils. Fruits are capsules, hairy, 3-angled and about 1.5 millimeters long.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) EUPHORBIA THYMIFOLIA SUPPRESSES HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS-2 INFECTION BY DIRECTLY INACTIVATING VIRUS INFECTIVITY / Chien-Min Yang, Hua-Yew Cheng et al / Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology, Vol 32 Issue 5-6, Pages 346 – 349 / DOI 10.1111/j.1440-1681.2005.04194.

(2) LAXATIVE ACTIVITY OF AQUEOUS EXTRACT OF EUPHORBIA THYMIFOLIA LINN. / S R Kane, S K Mohite et al / Journal of Herbal Medicine and Toxicology 3 (1) 139-140 (2009)

(3) Sorting Euphorbia names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 – 2000 The University of Melbourne.

(4) Indian Herbal Remedies / C. P. Khare

(5) Euphorbia thymifolia / Vernacular names / GLOinMED

– Throughout the Philippines in waste places along roads and trails in fallow, rice paddies, etc.
– Pantropic.

Contains quercetin, a crystalline alkaloidal principle.
Studies revealed phenolics, tannins, flavonoids, steroids.

– Considered aromatic, astringent, demulcent, stimulant, vermifuge, antidermatoses and laxative.
– Slightly acidic tasting and cooling.
– Considered antispasmodic, antifungal, bronchodilatory.

Parts utilized:
· Entire plant.
· Collect from May to October.
· Rinse and sun-dry.


· Acute bacillary dysentery, enteritis, diarrhea: use 15 to 30 gms dried material in decoction.
· Anaphylactic dermatitis, eczema, skin pruritus: use decoction of fresh material and apply as external wash.
· Poultices of leaves to counteract effects of snake bites.
· Leaves used as efficient vulnerary.
· Latex used for corneal opacities.
· Juice of powdered plants mixed with wine for venomous bites; also applied externally to the bite.
· Mixed with ammonium chloride, used for dandruff and ringworm.
· Used for coughs as expectorant.
· In Konkan juice used for ringworn.
· In Indo-China plant used as a cathartic.
· In La Reunion plant used for diarrhea and dysentery.
· In Java infusion used for diarrhea and dysentery.
· Root decoction for amenorrhea.
· Seeds and small leaves are aromatic and astringent and given in powder form for bowel complaints of children.
· In northern India used as stimulant and laxative.
· Javanese and Arabs use the leaves for wounds.
· Poultice of leaves applied to areas of dislocated bones and skin complaints.
· Used for asthma.
· In India, leaves used as ingredient in vegetable soup for diarrhea, bleeding hemorrhoids. Also, as antihelmintic.
· Latex used for ringworm, dandruff and boils.
· Root used for amenorrhea. Leaf as astringent in diarrhea.
· Leaf, seeds and latex used as purgative.
· In Ayurveda, plant pacifies vitiated vata, flatulence, constipation, chronic cough, asthma, bronchitis, skin disease.


Study Findings
• Anti-viral: Study showed anti-HSV2 activity by inhibiting multiplication through reduction of virus infectivity.
• Review: Phcog Rev.: Plant Review Therapeutic Uses of Euphorbia thymifolia: A Review – Includes antimicrobial activities, antibacterial against E coli and S flexneri, antioxidant and antiviral (HSV2) activities, anti-lipid peroxidation acitivity, free-radical scavenging, anti-superoxide radical formation, etc.
• Antioxidant / Anti-HSV-2 Activities: The water extract and pure compounds of E thymifolia exhibited superoxide radical and hydroxyl radical scavenging activities. Results concluded that ET possess antioxidant and anti-HSV2 activities.
• Anthelmintic Activity: Study on the methanolic and aqueous extracts of Euphorbia thymifolia on Pheretima posthuma and Ascardia galli showed significant anthelmintic activity.
• Diuretic / Laxative Activity: Study of crude ethanol extracts showed significant diuretic and laxative activities with potentiation by the fractions.
• Laxative Activity: Study of crude aqueous extract of Euphorbia thymifolia produced a significant laxative effect in a dose-dependent manner.