Family • Plumbaginaceae - Plumbago zeylanica Linn. - LEAD WORT - Bai hua dan

Scientific names

Plumbago viscosa Blanco
Plumbago zeylanica Linn.

Common names

Bambang (Ilk.)
Bangbang (Ilk.)
Sandikit (Tag.)
Sangdikit (Tag.)
Talankau (Ilk.)
Talankaw (Ilk.)
Ceylon lead wort (Engl.)
Whilte leadwort (Engl.)
Wild leadwort (Engl.)
Wild plumbago (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

BENGALI: Safaid-sitarak.
CHINESE: Bai hua dan.
HAWAIIAN: Hiliee, Iliee, Ilihee, Lauhihi.
HINDI: Chitrak.
INDONESIAN: Ceraka, Daun encok, Ki encok, Gadong encok, Poksor, Kareka, Bama, Oporie.
KANNADA: Chitramulika.
MALAYALAM: Vellakoduveli.
MALAYSIA: Celaka, Celaka bukit, Celaka putih, Ceraka.
NEPAL: Chitu.
TIBET: Tsi tra ka.

Sangdikit is a spreading or somewhat climbing, half-woody plant, 1 to 2 meters high, and smooth except for glandular calyces. Leaves are oblong-ovate, 4 to 10 centimeters long, pointed at the tip, the base of the stalk dilated and clasping the stem. Spikes are 5 to 25 centimeters long. Calyx is green, about 1 centimeter long and covered with long-stalked glandular hairs. Corolla is white or very pale blue, about 1.5 centimeter in diameter, with a slender tube, about 2 centimeters long, and spreading limb.


– In thickets and along roadsides at low and medium altitudes in Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Batangas, Rizal, and Laguna Provinces in Luzon; and in Palawan.
– Probably introduced.
– Occurs in the Old World Tropics.


– Roots contain plumbagin.
– Leaves and stems contain a little plumbagin, fixed oil and volatile oil.
– Fresh roots yield a greater proportion of plumbagin than stored roots.
– Phytochemical screening with various extracts yielded alkaloids, carbohydrates, flavanoids, glycosides, saponins, steroids, and tannin.


– Considered antirheumatic, antibacterial, antifungal, anticarcinogenic, carminative, disperses contusion, anthelmintic, antiinflammatory, radiomodifying and antiphlogistic.
– Leaves minty, pungent, toxic.
– Roots, bitter tasting.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Plumbago zeylanica action on blood coagulation profile with and without blood volume reduction / R Vijayakumar et al / doi:10.1016/j.vph.2006.02.001 / Vascular Pharmacology Vol 45, Issue 2, August 2006, Pages 86-90

(2) Anti-Helicobacter pylori activity of Plumbago zeylanica L. / Yuan-Chuen Wang / FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2005 Mar 1;43(3):407-12.

(3) Toxicity studies on dermal application of plant extract of Plumbago zeylanica used in Ethiopian traditional medicine / Teshome Kefale et al / Journal of ethnopharmacolog • 2008, vol. 117, no2, pp. 236-248

(4) Ethanol Extract of Plumbago zeylanica. Stems Alleviates Delayed-Type Hypersensitivity in Mice / Dai Yue and Hou Li-Fei / Summary Pharmaceutical Biology / 2005, Vol. 43, No. 3, Pages 243-248

(5) HEPATOPROTECTIVE ACTIVITY OF AERIAL PARTS OF PLUMBAGO ZEYLANICA LINN AGAINST CARBON TETRACHLORIDE-INDUCED HEPATOTOXICITY IN RATS / Rajesh Kumar et al / International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol. 1, Suppl 1, Nov.-Dec. 2009

(6) Antifertility Activity of Stems of Plumbago zeylanica Linn. in Female Albino Rats / Sheeja Edwin, Siddheshwar Balkrishna Joshi and Dharam Chand Jain l / Iranian Journal of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, July 2008, Vol 7, No 2, pp 169-174

(7) In vitro screening of Indian medicinal plants for antiplasmodial activity / Henrik Toft Simonsen et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology• Volume 74, Issue 2, February 2001, Pages 195-204 / doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(00)00369-X /

(8) Antimutagenic Activity of Methanolic Extracts of Four Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants / Farrukh Aqil et al / Indian Journal of Experimental Biology • Vol 46, Sept 2008, pp 668-672

(9) Protective role of Plumbago zeylanica extract against the toxic effects of ethinylestradiol in the third instar larvae of transgenic Drosophila melanogaster (hsp70-lacZ)Bg9 and cultured human peripheral blood lymphocytes / Yasir Hasan Siddique, Gulshan Ara, Mohammad Faisal, Mohammad Afzal / Alternative Medicine Studies, Vol 1, No 1, 2011. / DOI: 10.4081/ams.2011.e7


(11) Evaluation of wound healing activity of methanolic root extract of Plumbago zeylanica L. in wistar albino rats / Devender Rao Kodati, Shashidher Burra and Kumar Goud P./ Asian Journal of Plant Science and Research, 2011, 1 (2): 26-34

(12) Chitrak / Common names / Flowers of India

(13) Plumbago zeylanica / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED

(14) Phytochemical Screening and Antimicrobial Studies on Plumbago zeylanica L. / Kakad Subhash, A. S. Wabale and M. N. Kharde / Advances in Bioresearch, Vol4 (3) September 2013: 115-117

(15) POSSIBLE MECHANISM OF PLUMBAGO ZEYLANICA IN PREVENTION OF HEPATIC DAMMAGE IN WISTAR RAT / Rohit Goyal and Pyare Lal Sharma / American Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology, 2012, 7 (3), 101-108


(17) Phytochemical Analysis and Cardioprotective Activity of Plumbago zeylanica Linn in Isoproterenol Provoked Oxidative Myocardial Injury in Albino Wistar Rats / Karre Siva Venkata Subhash, Tallapudi Kiran Kumar, N Chidambranathan, Vinodth Prabhu / IRJP 2012, 3(9)

Parts used
Roots, leaves and stems.

– Promotes appetite, helps digestion.
– Used for dyspepsia, piles, and skin diseases.
– Roots have been used as abortifacient in some indigenous practices, internally or as an irritant to the os uteri.
– Pounded roots for blistering; antiscabies; ecbolic.
– Rheumatic bone pains and gouty arthritis: decoction of dried roots.
– Snake bites and boils: 3 – 4 leaves, pounded with other herbs, and applied as poultice for 15 minutes only to avoid blistering. Not to use in pregnant women.
– In some parts of India, root is considered abortifacient. Also used for diarrhea, dysentery, piles and peptic ulcers, as expectorant and diuretic, for abscesses, anemia, ascites, liver ailments, coryza, hoarseness and sore throat. In India, paste of fresh roots applied to filarial legs. Paste made from roots of P. zeylanica and stem barks of Erythroxylon monogymum and M. olifera ground in cow’s milk used as external application of leg edema.
– In India, paste of root of PZ, Nerium oleander and stem bark of S. anacardium and H. integrifolia with pigeon excreta is applied to abscesses to induce maturation, facilitate rupture and healing. Root paste prepared with curd or butter used to relieve piles.
– Paste from fresh roots soaked in cow’s urine used for scabies.
– Used for wound healing.
– Fine root paste instilled into the vagina to the ostium uteri to induce abortion.
– In Ethiopia, used for a variety of skin diseases.

Study Findings
• Platelet Adhesiveness: Study showed chronic administration of PZ prolongs bleeding time through alteration of platelet adhesiveness and coagulation.
• Anti-Helicobacter pylori Activity: In a Taiwan study of 50 medicinal plants, Plumbago zeylanica showed to have the highest inhibitory effect against H pylori.
• Anthelmintic: A polyherbal anthelmintic preparation of P zeylanica leaves, Hyoscyamus niger roots and Abultion indicum leaves showed the ethanolic superior to the aqueous extracts and concluded that the herb mixture preparation is an effective and better anthelmintic preparation.
• Antiviral activity: Study showed PZ to have inhibitory activity against Coxsackie virus B3, with an weak anti-influenza A virus activity.
• Analgesic / Antiinflammatory: Study yielded plumbagin, zeylanone among other napthaquinone derivatives, confirmed the analgesic and antiinflammatory properties of the extract probably through inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis and peripheral inhibitory mechanisms.
• Dermatotoxicity Study: Study on dermatotoxicity showed showed limited toxic effects as a moderate irritant, without overt signs of toxicity.
• Antioxidant / Plumbagin: Study showed the extracts of P zeylanica and its active ingredient Plumbagin have significant antioxidant abilities which may explain some of its many reported therapeutic effects.
• Antibacterial / Phytochemicals: Study of alcoholic extract of Pz exhibited strong antibacterial activity against all test bacteria (S paratyphi, S aureus, E coli, Shigella dysenteriae). Phytochemical study of the crude extract yielded flavonoids, saponins and naphthoquinone.
• Alleviation of Delayed-Type Hypersensitivity: Study showed extract alleviated delayed-type hypersensitivity in mice, an effect attributable to the inhibition of proliferation and differentiation of T lymphocytes as well as anti-inflammatory activities.
• Hepatoprotective: Study of methanol extract of aerial parts of Pz showed significant hepatoprotection against carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity in wistar rats. Histopathologic studies confirmed the hepatoprotective nature of the extract.
• Antifertility : Study showed the acetone extract to be the most effective in interrupting the normal estrous cycle of rats., with a prolongation of the diestrous stage of the estrous cycle and consequent temporary inhibition of ovulation. Results indicated antifertility activity of Pz stem extract in female Wistar rats.
• Hyperglycemic Effect : Ethanolic root extract was investigated for induction of hyperglycemia. Results of enzyme activities suggest a possible increase in liver gluconeogenesis while the excessive accumulation of glycogen indicates the presence of active principles that reduced glycogen phosphorylase activity in the liver. An inhibition of phosphofructokinase activity, consequent decrease in glycolytic flux, glucose uptake and utilization of the glycolytic pathway probably contribute to the observed hyperglycemia.
• Antiplasmodial / Antimalarial Effect : Study of 80 ethanol extracts from 47 species or antiplasmodial properties showed Pz as one of five species of interest for further antimalarial studies.
• Antimutagenicity : Study of four ayurvedic medicinal plants all showed varying levels of antimutagenicity, Pz showing fourth in the study. The total phenolic content did not correlate with the mutagenic activity.
• Toxicity Studies / Protective Effect : Study of selected doses of PZ extract were not toxic but potent enough to significantly reduce the toxic effects induced by ethinylestradiol in cultured human peripheral blood lymphocytes.
• Hepatoprotective / Paracetamol-Induced Liver Toxicity: Study of showed a petroleum ether root extract of Plumbago zeylanica exhibited significant protection against paracetamol-induced hepatocellular injury.
• Analgesic : Study of an ethanol extract of root and callus exhibited significant peripheral analgesic activity. A root extract showed significant analgesic activity compared to the callus extract.
• Wound Healing : Study of a methanol root extract of PZ showed significant wound healing activity in an excision wound model in rats. Alkaloids and terpenoids may play a major role in the wound healing process.
• Anti-Inflammatory: Methanol extract of roots of a methanol exhibited inhibition of acute inflammation in the carrageenan-induced paw edema model.
• Anti-Inflammatory / Roots: A saline extract of roots was evaluated for anti-inflammatory activity. The extract exhibited a biphasic response—reduced enzymatic activities of acid and alkaline phosphatases and stimulation of adenosine triphosphatase activity—suggesting anti-inflammatory action.
• Antibacterial / Roots: Study evaluated various extracts of roots for antibacterial activity against S. aureus and B. subtilis. Methanol and ethanol extracts showed moderate antibacterial activity. Phytochemical screening yielded alkaloids, carbohydrates, flavonoids, tannins, steroids and saponin.
• Hepatoprotective / Roots: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective effects of methanol extracts of root on paracetamol, CCl4 and alcohol induced hepatic injuries in rats. Results showed marked dose-dependent hepatoprotective potential against experimentally induced liver toxicity.
• Benefits on Learning and Memory / Roots: Study investigated the effect of PZ roots on learning and memory of mice. Results showed promising memory enhancing effect in mice. There was also significant reversal of amnesia produced by scopolamine, probably due to facilitation of cholinergic transmission in mice brain. The antioxidant, hypolipidemic and anti-atherosclerotic properties may also contribute to the memory enhancing effect.
• Cardioprotective / Roots: Study evaluated the cardioprotective effect of PZ in isoproterenol ( ß-adrenergic agonist) induced myocardial injury. The hydroalcoholic extract showed significant cardioprotective effect and antioxidant activities, with better cardiac protection when compared to standard propranolol. The cardioprotective effect may be due to stabilization of the myocardial membrane.