Family • Asteraceae - Siegesbeckia orientalisLinn. - COMMON ST. PAUL'S WORT - Xi xian cao

Scientific names

Siegesbeckia orientalis Linn.
Siegesbeckia brachiata Roxb.
Siegesbeckia gracilis DC..
Siegesbeckia humilis Koidz.
Siegesbeckia microcephala DC.
Xi lian (Chin.)

Common names

Kaedes (Iv.)
Put (Bon.)
Holy herb (Engl.)
St. Paulswort (Engl.)
Common St. Paul’s wort (Engl.)
Small yellow crown beard (Engl.)
Xi xian cao (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Xia gan cao, Zhan hu cai, Hai lim cho
CREOLE: : Colle colle.
DENMARK: : Siegesbeckie
FRENCH: : Herbe de Placq, Herbe de Saint-paul
ITALIAN: : Sigesbechia.
JAPAN: : Kirenso
KOREA: : Oech’umch’o.
TONGA: : Kakamiika

Put is an erect, hairy herb about 60 centimeters in height, with spreading branches below. Leaves are opposite, somewhat arrow-shaped, 3 to 10 centimeters long, and pointed at the tip, the base running down on the petioles. Flowering heads are yellow, small, somewhat rounded, and 5 to 6 millimeters in diameter. Involucral bracts are very dissimilar. Ray flowers are red beneath, very short, recurved and 3-toothed. Achenes are each enclosed in a boat-shaped bractlet which is hairless and slightly rough.


– In open, waste places, fallow fields, etc., chiefly at medium altitudes, ascending to 2,100 meters.
– In the Philippines, found in the Batan Islands; In Benguet and Bontoc Subprovinces, Abra and Rizal Provinces in Luzon; and in Mindanao.
– Introduced by the New World.
– Found in the Old World Tropics.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Siegesbeckia / Botanical.com

(2) Studies on liposoluble constituents from the aerial parts of Siegesbeckia orientalis L / Guo Da, Zhang ZG et al / Yao Xue Xue Bao. 1997 Apr;32(4):282-5.

(3) Effect of Siegesbeckia orientalis L. on Cervical Cancer HeLa Cell in Vitro / Wang Jian-ping, Luo Qiong, Ruan Jin-lan et al / DOI: CNKI:SUN:YYDB.0.2009-01-014

(4) Immunosuppressive Activity of the Ethanol Extract of Siegesbeckia orientalis on the Immune Responses to Ovalbumin in Mice / Hong-Xiang Sun, Hua Wang / Chemistry & Biodiversity, Vol 3, Issue 7, pages 754–761, July 2006 / DOI: 10.1002/cbdv.200690077

(5) Inhibitory effect of immunoglobulin E production by jin-deuk-chal (Siegesbeckia orientalis) / Hwang WJ, Park E J et al / Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2001 Nov;23(4):555-63.

(6) ent-Pimarane Diterpenoids from Siegesbeckia orientalis and Structure Revision of a Related Compound / Fei Wang, Xue-Lian Cheng et al / J. Nat. Prod., 2009, 72 (11), pp 2005–2008

(7) Topical anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity of kirenol isolated from Siegesbeckia orientalis. / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2011

(8) Novel Diterpenoids and Diterpenoid Glycosides from Siegesbeckia orientalis / Xiang, Y., Zhang, H., Fan, C.-Q. Yue, J.-M. / Journal of Natural Products, 2012 / DOI 10.1021/np0400407

(9) Chemical Constituents of Siegesbeckia orientalis L. / Li-Li Wang andLi-Hong Hu* / Journal of Integrative Plant Biology, Volume 48, Issue 8, pages 991–995, August 2006 / DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2006.00279.x

(10) Phytoremediation and Biofortification: Two Sides of One Coin / Xuebin Yin, Linxi Yuan / Springer Science & Business Media


(12) The anti-inflammatory effects of Siegesbeckia orientalis ethanol extract in vitro and in vivo models / Yong-Han Hong, Li-Wen Weng, Chi-Chang Chang, Hsia-Fen Hsu, Chao-Ping Wang, Shih-Wei Wang, Jer-Yiing Hounga / Institute of Biotechnology and Chemical Engineering, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

(13) Kirenol production in hairy root culture of Siegesbeckea orientalis and its antimicrobial activity. / Wang JP, Zhou YM, Zhang YH. / Phcog Mag 2012;8:149-55

– In 1885, a crystalline bitter principle, darutyne (darutine), was isolated from the plant.
– Study of aerial parts yielded liposoluble constituents: Two new natural products, siegesesteric acid and siegesetheric acid, with known compounds: ent-16 beta, 17-dihydroxy-kauran-19-oic acid, kirenol, beta-sitosteryl glucoside, heneicosanol, methyl arachidate and beta-sitosterol.
– Study of ethanol extract yielded six new ent-pimarane diterpenoids: ent-14β,16-epoxy-8-pimarene-3β,15α-diol, 7β-hydroxydarutigenol, 9β-hydroxydarutigenol, 16-O-acetyldarutigenol, 15,16-di-O-acetyldarutoside, and 16-O-acetyldarutoside.
– Study isolated four crystalline substances and a flavanoid, 3,7-dimct/ylquercetin(I), together with inorganic salts, potassium nitrate, and two unknown terpenoids.
– Study yielded eight new ent-pimarane diterpenoids and diterpenoid glycosides, together with seven known diterpenes.
– Study of aerial parts yielded two new compounds, namely β-D-glucopyranosyl-ent-2-oxo-15,16-dihydroxy-pimar-8-en-19-oic-late (compound 1) and [1(10)E,4Z]-8β-angeloyloxy-9α-methoxy-6α,15-dihydroxy-14-oxogermacra-1,4,11-trien-12-oic acid 12,6-lactone (compound 2), as well as five known ent-pimarane diterpenes (compounds 3–7).
– Phytochemical screening for secondary metabolities yielded phenolics, tannins, flavanoid saponins, glycosides, and triterpenoids in in vitro and in vivo developed plants.

– Seeds and flowers are sticky.
– Considered alterative, antiseptic, aperient, depurative, sialagogue, tonic, vulnerary.

Parts used
Leaves, shoots, whole plant.


– In the Philippines, leaf decoction used as alterative; in lotion form, used as vulnerary.
– Used for diseases of the urethra.
– Aqueous extract, in syrup, sometimes combined with potassium iodide, used as alterative, sudorific, and antisyphilitic.
– In Europe, mixture of equal parts of a tincture and glycerine used externally for ringworm and other parasitic eruptions.
– As antiseptic, fresh plant applied to unhealthy ulcers. Decoction of leaves and young shoots, used as lotion for ulcers and parasitic skin diseases.
– In La Reunion, reputed as sialagogue, vulnerary, tonic, aperient, and depurative.
– Juice of fresh herb used as a dressing for wounds, where it dries leaving a varnish-like coating.
In China, long known as a remedy for ague, rheumatism and renal colic. Used for worm fever, loss of appetite, to relieve wound pains, chronic malaria and extremity numbness. Also, used as anthelmintic, tonic antidote, analgesic, and for treating gout and rheumatism.
– In Perichon’s Sirop depuratif vegetal, used for venereal and scrofulous affections.
– In Indo-China, whole plant prescribed as cardiotonic.
– In Tahiti. plant is an ingredient for herbal preparations used for wounds, sprains, dislocations, and contusions.
– Used to induce menstruation.
– In Britain, with glycerine, used for ringworm.
– In Marutius Islands, used for syphilis, leprosy and other skin diseases.
– Used externally to soothe inflammation and facilitate wound healing.
– Used by Creoles as protective covering for wounds, burns, etc. Leaves applied to the skin provides a covering similar to collodion, called ‘colle colle’ – stick stick.
New Uses
– Skin / Stretch Mark Remover: An ingredient in many skin care products with claims made as stretch mark remover.

Study Findings
• Immunosuppressant: Study showed the ethanol extract of Siegesbeckia orientalis could suppress the cellular and humoral response to ovalbumin in mice, and presents a potential for development as immunosuppressant.
• Inhibition of Immunoglobulin E Production / Antiallergic: Elevated levels of immunoglobulin E (IgE) are associated with immediate-type allergic reactions. SO inhibited the plasma levels of IgE induced by antigens and inhibited the IL-4 dependent IgE production of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated whole spleen cells. Results show SO have antiallergic activity by inhibition of IgE production by the B cells.
• Anti-Stretch Marks: Study claims SO extract is beneficial in restructuring the collagen matrix, aids in wound healing, tissue regeneration, restoring skin elasticity, with claims of a more than 50% decrease in length and degree of indentations of stretch marks, a decrease in depth and increase in smoothness.
• Anticancer: Study on the cyclostatic action of S. orientalis on human cervix cancer HeLa cell showed remarkable in vitro inhibition of the growth of HeLa cells.
• Kirenol / Topical Anti-Inflammatory and Analgesic: Several topical formulations containing kirenol was investigated for anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities in a carrageenan-induced rat inflammation and formalin test model in rats. Results showed kirenol with an anti-inflammatory effect similar to piroxicam gel.
• Phytoremediation / Selenium: Study evaluated the ability of plants to take up Se from soil. Siegesbeckia orientalis showed relatively high root concentration, 2.48. The stem also accumulated Se with BCFs more than 1.
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study investigated anti-inflammatory responses and related mechanisms in inflammatory cells or mice pretreated with S. orientalis ethanol extract. In vitro and in vivo evidence indicates that SOE can attenuate local and systemic inflammation by inhibiting inflammatory mediators, such as NO and IL-6, via suppression of MAPKs- and NF-kB-dependent pathways.
• Kirenol from Roots / Antimicrobial: Study investigated the antimicrobial activities of kirenol, hairy root, and S. orientalis. High level of kirenol contents was obtained from hairy roots of S. orientalis. Kirenol was effective against gram-positive bacteria. The extract from hairy roots showed a diverse antimicrobial effect from that of kirenol and S. orientalis.
• Wound Healing: Study investigated the effects of S. orientalis on the proliferation of fibroblasts and wound healing in rats. Results showed external application of extract accelerated cutaneous wound healing probably through stimulation of fibroblast proliferation.

Creams and extracts in the cybermarket.