Family • Aizoaceae / Molluginaceae - Papait - Mollugo oppositifolia Linn. - SLENDER CARPETWEED - Cheng geng xing su cao

Scientific names

Glinus oppositifolius (L.) Aug. DC.
Mollugo oppositifolia Linn.
Mollugo spergula Linn.
Mollugo subserrata Blanco

Common names

Amargoso-babi (Pamp.)
Malagoso (Tag.)
Margoso-damulag (Pamp.)
Papait (Ilk.)
Sarsalida (Tag.)
Bitter leaf (Engl.)
Slender carpetweed (Engl.)
Cheng geng xing su cao (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

BANGLADESH: Gima shak.
CHINESE: Jia fan lu, Cu huo li mu cao.
SANSKRIT: Trayamana.
TAMIL: Thara.
THAI: Phak-khee-khuang.

Sarsalida is a slender, spreading or ascending, smooth, branched, annual herb, with branches as long as 10 to 40 centimeters. Leaves are opposite or whorled, spatulate, oblanceolate to oblong-obovate, 1 to 3 centimeters long, and up to 1 centimeter wide. Flowers are white and fascicled, with slender stalks up to 1 centimeter long. Sepals are 3 to 3.5 millimeters long. Capsule is ellipsoid, a little shorted than the sepals. Seeds are numerous and covered with raised tubular points.


– A common weed in and about towns at low and medium altitudes.
– Also found in India to tropical Africa and Australia.


• Study of aerial parts of Mollugo spergula yielded two novel triterpenoid saponins – spergulin A and spergulin B.
• Exceptionally rich in iron and a good source of calcium.
• Phytochemical screening yielded alkaloids, saponins, and terpenoids in excess; together with tannins, glycosides, steroids, and flavonoids.
• Phytochemical screening of methanolic extract yielded carbohydrates, alkaloids, tannins, flavonoids, and saponins.
• Methanolic extract of whole plant isolated an amino acid derivative, L-(−)-(N-trans-cinnamoyl)-arginine, along with kaempferol 3-O- galactopyranoside, isorhamnetin 3-O-β-D-xylopyranosyl-(1→2)-β-D-galactopyranoside, vitexin, vicenin-2, adenosine and L-phenylalanine.


• Considered a stomachic, appetizer, aperient, antiseptic, uterine stimulant.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Direct Uses Of Medicinal Plants And Their Identification / R.Vardhana

(2) An immunomodulating pectic polymer from Glinus oppositifolius / Karl T. Inngjerdingen et al / Phytochemistry, Vol 68, Issue 7, April 2007, Pages 1046-1058 / doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2007.01.011

(3) Free radical scavenging and antioxidant activities of Glinus oppositifolius (carpet weed) using different in vitro assay systems / K AsokKumar et al / Summary Pharmaceutical Biology, June 2009, Vol. 47, No. 6, Pages 474-482

(4) Screening of Malian medicinal plants for antifungal, larvicidal, molluscicidal, antioxidant and radical scavenging activities / D Diallo, A Marston et al / Phytotherapy Research, Vol 15 Issue 5, Pages 401 – 406 / DOI 10.1002/ptr.73

(5) Glinus oppositifolius (.) Aug. DC [AIZOACEAE] / Karl Inngjerdingen / The Malian medicinal plant project -Global Health Research Norway-Mali-

(6) Triterpenoid saponins from Mollugo spergula / Niranjan P Sahu, Kazuo Koike et al / Phytochemistry
Volume 58, Issue 8, December 2001, Pages 1177-1182 / doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(01)00346-

(7) Phytochemical screeing and detection of antimicrobial activity of Mollugo oppositifolia, a herb / Vishali, Rekha, Sumathi, Asha / Conference Proceeding / Research Gate

(8) Bioactive pectic polysaccharides from Glinus oppositifolius (L.) Aug. DC., a Malian medicinal plant, isolation and partial characterization / Kari Tvete Inngjerdingen∗ et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology 101 (2005) 204–214 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2005.04.021

(9) Antioxidant and antihyperglycemic activities of methanolic extract of Glinus oppositifolius leaves / Nazia Hoque, Mohammad Zafar Imam, Saleha Akter, Md. Ehsanul Hoque Mazumder, S.M. Raquibul Hasan, Jamiuddin Ahmed and Md. Sohel Rana / Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science 01 (07); 2011: 50-53

(10) Hepatoprotective activity of aerial part of Glinus oppositifolius L. against Paracetamol-induced Hepatic Injury in Rats. / S. K. Sahu*, D. Das and N. K. Tripathy / Asian J. Pharm. Tech. 2012; Vol. 2: Issue 4, Pg 154-156

(11) L-(−)-(N-trans-Cinnamoyl)-arginine, an Acylamino Acid from Glinus oppositifolius (L.) Aug. DC. / Poolsak Sahakitpichan, Wannaporn Disadee, Somsak Ruchirawat, and Tripetch Kanchanapoom* / Molecules 2010, 15, 6186-6192 / doi:10.3390/molecules15096186

(12) Immunological and structural properties of a pectic polymer from Glinus oppositifolius / Inngjerdingen, K. T., Patel, T. R., Chen, X., Kenne, L., Allen, S., Morris, Gordon, Harding, S. E., Matsumoto, T., Diallo, D., Yamada, H., Michaelsen, T. E., Inngjerdingen, M. and Paulsen, B. S. / Glycobiology, 17 (12). pp. 1299-1310 / DOI: 10.1093/glycob/cwm088

(13) EVALUATION OF HYPOGLYCEMIC ACTIVITY OF MOLLUGO PENTAPHYLLA AND GLINUS OPPOSITIFOLIUS (L) / S. K. Sahu*, D. Das, N. K. Tripathy, S. C. Dinda and H. K. Sundeep Kumar / Rasayan J. Chem, Vol. 5, No.1, pp 57-62, January – March 2012.


(15) Gastric Ulcer Curative Potential of Mollugo oppositifolia Linn. Extract – A Preclinical Study / Dr. S. Gopinathan and Ms. S. Nija / World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, Vol 3, No 7, 929-948, 2014

(16) ANTIDIABETIC EFFICACY OF MOLLUGO OPPOSITIFOLIA LINN. EXTRACT- AN ANIMAL MODEL STUDY / Dr. S. Gopinathan* and Ms. S. Subha / Gopinathan Sinnadurai / World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, 10/2014; 3(8):735-768.

Parts used
• Whole plant, leaves, juice.

Edibility / Nutrition
• Whole plant, without the roots, consumed as vegetable.
• Very bitter when not properly cooked.

• Plant used as a stomachic, aperient and antiseptic.
• Used for the suppression of lochia.
• Whole plant used as cataplasm for dyspepsia in children.
• For earaches, applied warm, moistened with a little castor oil.
• In Puddokota, juice is applied to itches and other skin diseases.
• In India, used by tribal people for liver diseases.
• In Tamil Nadu, leaf used for animal bite poisons.
• In Mali, used for malaria, joint pains, inflammation, intestinal parasites, furuncles, and wounds. Aerial parts used for abdominal pains and jaundice. Fresh leaves used against dizziness and to stimulate the appetite.
• In Mali, dried stems are ground into a fine powder, added to food, and used for treating abdominal pains and jaundice. Decoction of fine powder of aerial parts used for treatment of malaria. Maceration of pounded material mixed with oil or water used as a wound healing remedy.
• In Bangladesh, used for joint pains, inflammation, diarrhea, fever, boils, and skin disorders.
• In Thailand, leaves used as expectorant and antipyretic.

Study Findings
• Immunomodulating: An immunomodulating pectic polymer, GOA1, from the aerial parts of Glinus oppositifolius was shown to induce proliferation of B cells and secretion of IL-1ß by macrophages.
• Free Radical Scavenging / Antioxidant: Study showed Glinus oppositifolius scavenges free radicals and reduces lipid peroxidation, ameliorating the damage imposed by oxidative stress in different disease conditions. It serves as a potential source of natural antioxidants.
• Antifungal / Larvicidal / Molluscicidal / Antioxidant: In a study of 78 different extracts from 20 medicinal plants from 14 plant families, G oppositifolius was one of three plant extracts that gave positive responses to all four tests – antifungal, larvicidal, molluscicidal and antioxidant testing.
• Antifungal / Larvicidal: A DCM-extract reported to be fungicidal against C. albicans and larvicidal against Anopheles gambiae and Culex quinquefasciatus.
• Molluscicidal: Mollusicidal activity has been demonstrated against Biomphalaria glabrata, B. pfeifferi and Bulnus truncates.
• Hepatoprotective: Study evaluating the methanol extracts of Glinus oppositifolius and T decarndra against paracetamol induced liver damage in rats concluded that both plants significantly restored altered biochemical parameters towards normal.
• Antimicrobial: Study evaluated aqueous and ethanolic extracts of leaves, flowers and stems for secondary metabolites and antimicrobial activity. Antimicrobial activity was significant in the stem, leaf, and flower samples, the activity attributed to saponins.
• Bioactive Pectic Polysaccharides / Complement Fixating: Study of water extract of aerial parts isolated two pectin type polysaccharides, GOA1 and GOA2. Results showed potent dose-dependent complement fixating activities, and induced chemotaxis of macrophages.
• Antioxidant / Antidiabetic: Study evaluated the antioxidant and antidiabetic potential of a methanolic extract of Glinus oppositifolius leaves in alloxan-induced diabetic mice. There was dose-dependent reduction of blood glucose. DPPH radical scavenging assay activity was greater than 1000 µg/ml ascorbic acid. Results showed the methanolic extract to possess moderate antioxidant activity and significant antihyperglycemic activity.
• Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory: Study investigated G. oppositifolius methanolic extract for analgesic activity using acetic acid induced writhing and tail immersion test and anti-inflammatory activity by carrageenan induced paw edema testing. Results showed central and peripheral analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity.
• Hepatoprotective / Aerial Parts: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective effect of an ethanolic extract of aerial parts against paracetamol-induced hepatitis in rats. Treatment with the extract showed dose-dependent reversal of the altered levels of biochemical markers.
• Immunomodulating / GOA2 Peptic Polymer: Study investigated the structure and immunomodulating properties of peptic polymer GOIA2, previously isolated from G. oppositifolius. Enzymatic treatments yielded GOA2-I, GOA2-II, and GOA2-III. On testing, GOA2-I showed significantly greater effects than native GOA2m and also exhibited more potent intestinal immune stimulating activity. It also induced secretion of proinflammatory cytokines.
• Antidiabetic / Aerial Parts: Study evaluated the antihyperglycemic activity of ethanolic extracts of aerial parts of Mollugo pentaphylla and Glinus oppositifolius in alloxan-induced hyperglycemic rat models. The extracts produced significant decrease in blood glucose levels comparable to standard drug glibenclamide.
• Antihelmintic / Antioxidant: Study showed in vitro anthelmintic activity against aquarium worm, Tubifex tubifex, more effective than reference drug piperazine citrate. The anthelmintic activity was significantly correlated with polyphenolic contents and free radical scavenging potential.
• Anti-Diabetic: Study evaluated the anti-diabetic potential of Mollugo oppositifolia extract on alloxan induced diabetic rats.Results showed significant alterations in biochemical parameters i.e., blood glucose, serum insulin, glycosylated hemoglobin, glycogen metabolizing enzymes and lipid profiles, liver marker enzymes, antioxidant enzymes. In most parameters, the performance of the plant extract was better than the standard drug, Glibenclamide.
• Anti-Ulcer: Study evaluated the gastroprotective and antiulcer efficacy of Mollugo oppositifolia plant extract in alcohol induced ulcerated rats. Treatment with MO extract significantly inhibited the alcohol induced ulcer congestion, hemorrhage and necrosis. The gastroprotective activity was comparable with standard drug, Omeprazole.