Suob kabayo

Family • Lamiaceae - Hyptis suaveolens Poir. - BUSH MINT - Jia huo xiang

Scientific names

Marrubium indicum Blanco
Ballota suaveolens Linn.
Hyptis suaveolens Poir.
Schaueria suaveolens (L.) Hassk.

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Mao she xiang.
INDIA: Vilayati tulsi.

Common name

Amotan (Bik.)
Bangbangsit (Ilk.)
Bauing (Sul.)
Bawing (Sul.)
Kabling-kabayo (Tag.)
Kolongkogong (Bik.)
Litalit (Ilk.)
Loko-loko (Bis.)
Pansi-pansian (Tag.)
Pilodo (P. Bis.)
Suag-kabayo (Tag.)
Suob-kabayo (Tag.)
Bush mint (Engl.)
Bush-tea-bush (Engl.)
Pignut (Engl.)
Wild spikenard (Engl.)

Suob kabayo is a coarse, erect, branched, more or less hairy, aromatic annual, 0.5 to 2 meters tall. Stems are square. Leaves are ovate, opposite, 4 to 9 centimeters long, pointed at the tip, pointed to somewhat heart-shaped at the base, and toothed at the margins.
Flowers are long-stalked, occurring at the axils of leaves. Calyx in flower is hairy, about 4 millimeters long, but soon enlarges in fruit to about 1 centimeter long, striate with erect, stiff teeth. Corolla blue, strongly zygomorphic, bilabiate; stamens are 4, declinate, and about 8 millimeters long, with a limb 5 millimeters in diameter. Fruits have flat and mucilaginous seeds.

Suob kabayo

– Very abundant in open, waste places at low and medium altitudes throughout the Philippines.
– Native of tropical America.
– Now pantropic.

Suob kabayo2

• Study yielded a greenish, volatile oil, with a powerful menthol odor.
• Study yielded essential oils in the fruiting stage. The principle constituents were spathulenol, 1,8-cineole, and (E)-caryophyllene. source
• Study of constituents of essential oil from leaves revealed eucaliptol (47.64%) to be most abundant, followed by gama-ellemene, beta-pynene, (+)3-carene, trans-beta-cariophyllene and germacrene.
• Phytochemical screening yielded sterols, flavonoids, and tannins.
• Leaves yield alkaloids, terpenes, and volatile oils.

Suob kabayo3

• Bitter, minty and aromatic.
• Leaves considered stimulant, carminative, sudorific, galactagogue.
• Considered analgesic, decongestant, emmenagogue, antipyretic, stimulates blood circulation.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings


(2) Comparative Assessment of InsecticidalEffect of A indica, H suaveolens and O gratissimum on Sitophilus zeamais and C maculatus

(3) Antimicrobial activity of the leaf extracts of Hyptis suaveolens (L.) poit / DOI: 10.4103/0250-474X.36946 / Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences / Year : 2007 | Volume : 69 | Issue : 4 | Page : 568-569

(4) Biological Control of Yellow Fever Mosquito (Aedes aegypti) usiing Leaf Extract of Chan (H suaveolens) and Hedge Flower (Lantana camara) / School of Biology, Inst of Science, Suranaree Univerisity of Technology, Nakhon Ratchasima, 30000, Thailand / Email:

(5) Antinociceptive effect and acute toxicity of the Hyptis suaveolens leaves aqueous extract on mice / Fitoterapia ISSN 0367-326X / 2007, vol. 78, no5, pp. 333-336

(6) Essential oil chemotypes in Hyptis suaveolens from Brazilian Cerrado / N R Azevedo et al / Biochemical Systematics and Ecology • Volume 30, Issue 3, March 2002, Pages 205-216 / doi:10.1016/S0305-1978(01)00075-8 |

(7) Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activities of Hyptis suaveolens Essential Oil / Witayapan Nantitanon et al / Sci Pharm. 75, 35-46 (2007)

(8) The Insecticidal Activity of Petroleum Ether Extract of Hyptis suaveolens Poit (Labiatae) Seeds on Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lepidoptera:Y ponomeutidae) / S S Keila, B A Umoetok and J G Smith / Agricultural Journal
Year: 2006 | Volume: 1 | Issue: 1 | Page No.: 11-13 / DOI: 10.3923/aj.2006.11.13

(9) Chemical composition and antifungal activity of Hyptis suaveolens (L.) poit leaves essential oil against Aspergillus species / Ana Carolina Pessoa Moreira; Edeltrudes de Oliveira Lima; Paulo Alves Wanderley,; Egberto Santos Carmo, Evandro Leite de Souza / Braz. J. Microbiol. vol.41 no.1 São Paulo Jan./Mar. 2010 /

(10) Wound Healing Activity of Hyptis suaveolens (L.) Poit (Lamiaceae) / Chitra Shenoy, M B Patil and Ravi Kumar / International Journal of PharmTech Research CODEN( USA): IJPRIF ISSN : 0974-4304 Vol.1, No.3, pp 737-744 , July-Sept 2009


(12) Phytochemical Screening and Antidiarrhoeal Activity of Hyptis suaveolens / Md. Zeshan Hashib Shaikat, Md.Taleb Hossain and Md. Golam Azam* / International Journal of Applied Research in Natural Products Vol. 5 (2), pp. 1-4.

(13) Antioxidant and Neuroprotective Activities of Hyptis suaveolens (L.) Poit. Against Oxidative Stress-Induced Neurotoxicity / Hadi Ghaffari, Behrouz Jalali Ghassam, S. Chandra Nayaka, K. Ramachandra Kini, H. S. Prakash / Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, January 2014

(14) Mosquito repellent activity of essential oils of Hyptis suaveolens / Singh, Vineet; Shrivastava, Gaurav; Shukla, Sharad; shukla, Atul; Pandey, Vikas / Journal of Pharmacy Research;Aug2011, Vol. 4 Issue 8, p 2778

(15) Gastroprotection of Suaveolol, Isolated from Hyptis suaveolens, against Ethanol-Induced Gastric Lesions in Wistar Rats: Role of Prostaglandins, Nitric Oxide and Sulfhydryls / Carlos Vera-Arzave, Leticia Cruz Antonio, Jesús Arrieta, Gerardo Cruz-Hernández, Antonio Magdiel Velasquez-Mendez, Adelfo Reyes-Ramírez and María Elena Sánchez-Mendoza * / Molecules 2012, 17, 8917-8927; doi:10.3390/molecules17088917

(16) Hepatoprotective activity of aqueous extract of the leaves of Hyptis suaveolens (l.) Poit on acetaminophen Induced hepatotoxicity in rabbits / Babalola O.O., Ojo O.E. and Oloyede F.A / Research Journal of Chemical Sciences, Vol. 1(7), 85-88, Oct. (2011)

(17) Inhibition of calcium oxalate crystallization in-vitro by various extracts of Hyptis suaveolens (L.) Poit  / Agarwal Kumkum, Varma Ranjana / IRJP 2012, 3(3).


Suob kabayo4Parts utilized
– Whole plant.
– Collect from April to June.
– Wash, cut in pieces and compress. Dry under the sun.

· Edible shoot tips used for flavoring dishes.

· In the Philippines, leaves and tops are used in the preparation of antirheumatic and antisuporific baths , and internally, as antispasmodic.
· The intense odor emitted by leaves is used by the Filipinos to drive out bedbugs, putting branches under beds, chairs, etc.
· Decoction of roots valued as appetizer.
· Decoction of plant used for flatulence.
Suob kabayo5· Leaves are crushed and applied to boils.
· Leaves juice applied to athlete’s foot and ringworm lesions.
· Crushed leaves also applied to forehead or temples for headaches.
· Pounded fresh material applied as poultice may be used for treatment of snake bites.
· Decoction of fresh material may be used as external wash for dermatitis, eczema.
· Infusion of dried leaves is taken for fever or applied to the forehead for headaches and to boils. The juice of leaves, mixed with lime juice, is drunk for stomach aches.
· Root decoction used as emmenagogue. Also used as stimulant for rheumatism.
· A small amount of root, chewed with betel-nut, used as stomachic.
· In Malaya, used as stimulant and sudorific, and against catarrh.
· Used as lactagogue.
· Used for poulticing skin complaints.
· Juice of leaves used for athlete’s foot, applied daily to interdigital areas.
· In Nigeria, leaf decoction used in the treatment of diabetes and in fever associated with colds.
· In India, leaf paste is applied on sores and fungal skin infections. Also, used for cancers.

• Repellent: A bedbug repellent from the intense pungency of the leaves. In Kenya, burned overnight in rooms to repel mosquitoes.
• Hyptis oil: A high concentration of omega-6 lipids suggests hyptis oil to be an ideal product for dry, flaky skin.

Study Findings
• Antimicrobial / Essential Oil: Study of the volatile oil distilled from the overground parts of H suaveolens showed activity against bacteria and fungi.
• Antimicrobial / Leaves: Study showed a leaf extract with the highest antifungal and antibacterial activity against Aspergillus niger and Micrococcus luteus.
• Insecticidal Effect : A comparative study showed that H suaveolens exerted better larvicidal and ovicidal effect than A indica and O gratissimum.  Study of the insecticidal activities of the petroleum ether extract of H suaveolens showed high toxicity on the second instar larvae of the Diamond back moth, Plutella xylostella.
• Acaricidal Effect : A hydro-distillate of HS leaves showed the adult and nymphal stages of ticks of Hyalomma sp , Rhipicephalus sp, and Haemophysalis sp to be highly susceptible, favoring its use as an acaricide.
• Larvicidal Effect / Aedes aegypti: Study showed the essential oil of Hyptis suaveolens demonstrated high larvicidal activity against Aedes aegypti compared to that Lantana camara . A synergistic effect with 100% mortality was obtained with the mixture of leaf essential oils of H suaveolens and L camara. It presents a promising source for natural larvicidal compounds.
• Antinociceptive Effect :Study of HS aqueous leaf extracts showed dose-dependent nociceptive effects significantly antagonized by naloxone. No toxicity was found on doses of up to 5 g/kg p.o.
• Antiinflammatory Effect / Essential Oil : In a comparative study with the antiinflammatory activity of diclofenac sodium, Hyptis suaveolens leaf essential oil showed to have better antiinflammatory activity than the marketed formulation.
• Essential Oils: Study on the composition of essential of H suaveolens showed 1,8-cineole and (E)-caryophyllene to be the principal constituents. Latitude seems to be the most important environmental factor.
• Antioxidant / Antifungal / Essential Oils: Study on the essential oil of H suaveolens showed time and concentration dependent antioxidant effect. Results showed antifungal potential more pronounced than antibacterial properties.
• Mosquito Repellent / Essential Oils: Study showed H. suaveolens to have a high mosquito repellency rate. Statistical analysis showed no significant difference between 10% H. suaveolens essential oil and DEET indicating both products are similarly effective. Study shows a formulation containing 10% essential oil of H. suaveolens has a potential for the integrated management of disease-vector mosquitoes.
• Antifungal / Essential Oils: Study of essential oil revealed an anti-Aspergillus property and a possible rational use as alternative source of new antifungal compounds for aspergillosis treatment.
• Wound Healing: Five extracts were subjected to antibacterial screening for wound healing activity using excision, incision, and dead space wound healing models. A petroleum ether extract showed significant activity on all three models.
• Acute Toxicity Study / Antidiabetic: Acute toxicity study showed an LD50 of 2154.1 mg/KBW in rats.A methanol extract in alloxan-induced diabetic rats showed significant reduction in blood glucose concentration.
• Cytotoxicity / Anticancer: Study of the anticancer potentials showed both Hyptis suaveolens and Leonotis nepetaefolia exhibiting potent cytotoxicity against Erlich Ascites carcinoma by activating the apoptotic pathway.
• Bioefficacy Against Fish Pathogens: Study investigated the bioefficacy of various leaves extracts of H. suaveolens against fish pathogens isolated from Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). An ethanolic extract exhibited broad spectrum of inhibition for B. subtilis, P aeruginosa, K pneumonia and E. coli.
• Antidiarrheal / Leaves: Study investigated an ethanol leaves extract for antidiarrheal activity against an experimental model of castor oil-induced diarrhea in mice. Results showed significant and dose-dependent inhibitory activity against castor oil induced diarrhea.
• Neuroprotective / Antioxidant: Study investigated the neuroprotective effects of a methanol extract of H. suaveolens using various in vitro systems. The extract showed potent antioxidant activity. Pretreatment with the extract promoted upregulation of tyrosine hydroxylase (s.42-fold, p<0.05) and brain-derived neurotropic factor genes against haO2-induced cytotoxicity in N2A cells.
• Natural Mosquito Repellent / Essential Oil: Study investigated the mosquito repellent activity of Hyptis suaveolens through four parts: plant placement, smoldering, spraying, and stick formation. H. suaveolens was found to a very useful in overcoming the problems associated with synthetic repellents i.e., allergy, unpleasant smell and cost, and most importantly, it is easily available in rural and hilly areas.
• Gastroprotective / Suavelol: Study investigated the gastroprotective activity of H. suaveolens in an ethanol-induced gastric ulcer model in rats. Results showed a hexane extract to have protective effect, and the compound suavelol was one of the active gastroprotective agents. The gastroprotective mechanism involved NO, prostaglandins and sulfhydryl groups.
• Hepatoprotective / Acetaminophen Induced Hepatotoxicity: Study investigated the possible hepatoprotective activity of pretreatment with aqueous extract of leaves on acetaminophen induced hepatotoxicity in rabbits. Marker enzymes were significant reduced almost toward normal. Hepatoprotective potential was suggested by numerous reported bioactivity.
• Hepatoprotective / Cytoprotective: Study showed a methanol extract of H. suaveolens with protective effect against CCl4-induced oxidative damage in albino Wistar rats and H2O2-induced oxidative damage in HepG2 cells.
• Antiurolithiasis / Calcium Oxalate: Study investigated the inhibition of in-vitro calcium-oxalate crystal formation by various extracts of Hyptis. Results showed the inhibitory potency of alcohol extracts of H. suaveolens was comparable to that of cytone (a proprietary drug for dissolving kidney stones).
• Hematologic and Sperm Effect: Study evaluated H. suaveolens, Cleome viscosa and Urena lobata for toxic effects on hematological parameters and sperm count of albino rats. Hyptis suaveolens showed a significant decrease (<0.05) in headless tail which may be of significant effect to their fertility. H. suaveolens hematologic effects were slight and insignificant.

Toxicity Concerns and Studies 
• Hepatotoxicty: Animal study suggests that the use of extracts of H suaveolens in high doses may be accompanied by weight loss and toxic effects on the liver.
• Chronic Toxicity Study: A study of water extract of HS for 6-month chronic toxicity in Wistar rats at five treatment doses failed to produce any dose-related changes or significant toxic effects based on hematologic, biochemical, and histopathologic parameters.