Family • Asteraceae - Emilia sonchifolia (Linn.) DC, - LILAC - ASSLEFLOWER - Yang ti cao

Other scientific names

Emilia sonchifolia (Linn.) DC,
Cacalia sonchifolia Linn.
Crassocephalum sonchifolium Less.
Emilia humifusa Elm..
Emilia marivelensis Elm.
Emilia purpurea
Yi dian hong (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

AFRICA: Nti-ele; Mchekacheka (Swahili); Odundunodo.
BANGLADESH: Bon tulsi, Sadimodi, Mechitra, Sadusi.
CHINESE: Hong bei ye, Hua gu mao, Niu nai nai, Hong tou cao, Ye xia hong, Hong bei guo, Zi bei ye
HAWAII: Pupu lele
HINDI: Hiranakhuri.
INDIA: Muel-schery
INDONESIA: Patah kemucli, Tempuh wiyang, Tambutu-
MALAYSIA: Sawi tekukur.
NEPAL: Ngangir sag; Toir Phule; Chaulene Jhur, Muda Pate, Tori Phul; Dhule.
PUERTO RICO: PHuye que te cojo; Yerba socialista.
SRI LANKA: Kadupara.

Common names

Cetim (Bis.)
Kipot-kipot (Bik.)
Lamlampaka (Ilk.)
Libun (Bik.)
Marsilanana (Tag.)
Tagulinau (Tag.)
Tagulinas (Tag.)
Yagod-no-kangkang (Iv.)
Cupid’s shaving brush (Engl.)
Emilia herb (Engl.)
Flora’s paintbrush (Engl.)
Lilac tasselflower (Engl.)
Yang ti cao (Chin.)

Tagulinau is an erect or ascending, variable, smooth or sparingly hairy, more or less branched plant 10 to 40 centimeters high. Leaves are sessile, somewhat fleshy and clasping, the lower ones being lyrate-lobed or sinuate toothed and 5 to 10 centimeters long, and the upper ones much smaller and usually entire. Undersurface is usually tinged with violet hue. Flowering heads are 12 to 24 millimeters in length and long-peduncled; the branches are usually dichotomous. Involucral-bracts are green, cylindric, somewhat inflated below, and about as long as the purple flowers. Flowers all perfect and tubular, the limb long, 5-toothed. No ray flowers. Fruits are achenes, narrowly oblong, about 2.4 millimeters long and ribbed. The pappus is white, soft and copious.


– In open places, wastelands, cultivated lands, gardens, etc., in and about towns and settlements at low and medium altitudes throughout the Philippines.
– Pantropic weed of Old World origin.


– Methanolic extracts yielded flavonoids, tannins, and alkaloids.
– Contains senkirkine and doronine.
– Total alkaloid content, o.2%.
– Pyrrolizidine alkaloids: integerrimine, nilgirine.
– Ethanol extracts of aerial parts yielded 15 compounds: rhamnetin, isorhamnetin, quercetin, luteolin, tricin-7-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside, 8-(2″-pyrrolidinone-5″-yl) -quercetin, 5, -2′, 6′-trihydroxy-7, 8-dimethoxyflavone-2′-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside, succinic acid, fumaric acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, 4-hydroxy isophthalic acid, 3, 4-dihydroxycinnamic acid, esculetin, isowedelolactone and uracil.


– Prepared drug has bitter taste, cooling nature.
– Astringent, antipyretic, anti-infection, febrifuge, antiinflammatory, diuretic, sudorific.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) In vitro cytotoxic and antitumor property of Emilia sonchifolia (L.) DC in mice / B S Shylesh and J Padikkala / doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(00)00317-2 / Journal of Ethnopharmacology Volume 73, Issue 3, December 2000, Pages 495-500

(2) Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity of Emilia sonchifolia / B S Shylesh and J Padikkala / Fitoterapia Vol 70, Issue 3, 1 June 1999, Pages 275-278 / doi:10.1016/S0367-326X(99)00037-4 /

(3) Modulation of selenite cataract by the flavonoid fraction of Emilia sonchifolia in experimental animal models / Y Lija, P G Biju, A Reeni et al / PTR. Phytotherapy research ISSN 0951-418X / 2006, vol. 20, no12, pp. 1091-109

(4) Antinociceptive effect of extract of Emilia sonchifolia in mice. / Couto VM, Vilela FC, Dias DF, Dos Santos MH, Soncini R, Nascimento CG, Giusti-Paiva A. / J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Mar 24;134(2):348-53. Epub 2010 Dec 24.

(5) Analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect of whole Ageratum conyzoides and Emilia sonchifolia alcoholic extracts in animal models / Md. Atiar Rahman, Nasima Akter, Hasanur Rashid, Nazim Uddin Ahmed, Nazim Uddin1 and Md. Shahidul Islam / African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology Vol. 6(20), pp. 1469-1476, 29 May, 2012

Vol 4, Suppl 3, 2012

(7) Effect of Emilia sonchifolia (Linn.)DC on alcohol-induced oxidative stress in pancreas of male albino rats. / Dominic Sophia, Murugesan Gomathy, Thomas Shebin, Paramasivam Ragavendran, Chinthamony Arulraj, Velliyur Kanniapan Gopalakrishnan / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine 12/2011; 4(12):973-7. DOI:10.1016/S1995-7645(11)60229-0

(8) Activations of Both Extrinsic and Intrinsic Pathways in HCT 116 Human Colorectal Cancer Cells Contribute to Apoptosis through p53-Mediated ATM/Fas Signaling by Emilia sonchifolia Extract, a Folklore Medicinal Plant / Yu-Hsuan Lan, Jo-Hua Chiang, Wen-Wen Huang, Chi-Cheng Lu et al / Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2012 (2012) / doi:10.1155/2012/178178

(9) Antiviral activity of a new flavone glycoside from Emilia sonchifolia DC / R N Yadava & Mamta Raj / Indian Journ of Chemistry, Vol 51B, April 2012, pp 635-638

(10) Protective effect of Emilia sonchifolia (L.) against high protein diet induced oxidative stress in pancreas of Wistar rats / Dominic Sophia, Paramasivam Ragavendran, Chinthamony Arul Raj, and Velliyur Kanniappan Gopalakrishnan / J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2012 Jan-Mar; 4(1): 60–65. / doi: 10.4103/0975-7406.92735

(11) Protective effect of Emilia sonchifolia on azaserine-induced pancreatic dysplasia / Dominic Sophia, Paramasivam Ragavendran, Chinthamony Arul Raj, Velliyur Kanniappan Gopalakrishnan / Journal of Acute Medicine / doi:10.1016/j.jacme.2014.02.003

(12) Anti-Inflammatory and Analgesic Potential of Methanolic Extract of Emilia Sonchifolia (Compositae) Leaves in Rodents / Essien, G.E, Nwidu, L.L and Nwafor P.A / African Journal of Biomedical Research

(13) Ethanolic Extract of Emilia sonchifolia Leaves Possess Erythropoietic and Hepatoprotective Effect in Mice Infected with Plasmodium Berghei Berghei / Innocent A. Edagha, Koofreh G. Davies, Blessing C. Akpan, Christopher C. Mbadugha, Wonderful U. Udoiso / Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences. Volume 7, Issue 1, Pages 11–17, April 2014 /DOI: 10.3889/mjms.1857-5773.2014.0345


(15) Evaluation of the Protective Effects of Emilia sonchifolia Linn. (DC.) on Perchlorate-Induced Oxidative Damage / D Gayathri Devi, Lija Y, Cibin Raghavan, Biju P G, V. Gayathri, Abraham Annie / Journal of Biological Sciences  / 05/2006; DOI: 10.3923/jbs.2006.887.892

(16) Preliminary Study: Neurobehavioural Effects of Nauclea latifolia and Emilia sonchifolia on Fear, Anxiety and Locomotion in Mice Infected with Plasmodium berghei berghei / Innocent A. Edagha*, Davies G. Koofreh , Sunday O. Ita, Aquaisua N. Aquaisua, Blessing E. Anwana /

Tagulinaw4Parts utilized
· Whole plant.
· Collect year round.
· Wash, dry under the sun.

– Plant is edible. At a later stage the stem-leaves can be eaten, but best when cooked.
– In India used as a salad plant before flowering. Stems and leaves are cooked and eaten as vegetable.
– In the Philippines, leaves and flowers are used as styptic for cuts and wounds, especially for long standing superficial ulcers resistant to all forms of orthodox therapies.
– Plant decoction or infusion used as expectorant or antihemostatic.
– In Malabar plant decoction used as febrifuge. Mixed with sugar, given for bowel complaints.
– In Indo-China leaf decoction used as antipyretic.
Tagulinaw5– In the Gold Coast, leaves mixed with Guinea grains and lime juice used for sore throat.
– Used for cold-fever, swelling pain in the oropharynx, mouth cavity ulcer, dental caries, infections of external wounds, furuncle swellings, scabies, eczema, sprains, piercing by nail or other pointed objects.
– Used for enteritis, diarrhea, dysentery, urinary tract infection and snake bites.
– Plant decoction used as febrifuge in infantile tympanites and bowel complaints.
– For dermatitis and eczema, decoction of fresh material may be used as external wash.
– In Nepal juice of roots used for diarrhea. Juice of leaves used for eye infections and night blindness; and dropped in ears for earaches. Flowers chewed for tooth decay. Juice from leaves mashed with salt and onion applied to the throat in tonsillitis.
– In La Reunion plant used as astringent, antiasthmatic, and vulnerary.
– In Malaya leaves are used for dressing ulcers; used as poultice for small sores.
– In Java used for fevers and swellings; juice instilled into eyes blinded by the sun; also instilled into sore ears.
– Decoction of plant used for coughs and phthsis.
– In the Dutch Indies, roots used to stop diarrhea.
– In Africa, consumed as vegetable for its laxative properties. Decoction of leaves used for tapeworm and roundworm infestations. Decoction of leaves used as febrifuge, bathing infants to prevent convulsions.
– In China, tea of whole plant used for abscesses influenza, burns and snakebites.
– Chewa tribe of Malawi use a root decoction for difficult labor.
– Used in Brazilian folk medicine for asthma, fever, cuts, wounds, and rheumatism.

Study Findings
• Anti-tumor / Cytotoxicity: Study of methanolic extract of ES showed cytotoxic activity against lymphoma / ascites carcinoma / mouse lung fibroblast cells and reduced the development of tumor and increased life span of tumor bearing mice.
• Antioxidant / Antiinflammatory: Fresh juice and methanolic extract of ES exhibited antioxidant activity and inhibited carrageenan-induced edema.
• Antiinflammatory: Study showed reduction of rat paw edema induced by subplantar injection of albumin, the aqueous extract of ES leaves showing more pronounced antiinflammatory effect than the methanolic extract.
• Cataract Modulation: Study suggests that the flavonoids from ES can modulate lens opacification and oxidative stress in selenite-induced cataract.
• Anti-Cancer / Apoptosis / Dalton’s Lymphoma Challenge: Study isolated an anti-cancer terpene fraction from ES that induced cell-specific apoptosis and appears a promising anticancer agent.
• Antinociceptive: Study of hydroethanolic extract exhibited antinociceptive activity in mice. The extract had a stronger antinociceptive effect than morphine.
• Antimicrobial / Food Preservative: Study evaluated the antimicrobial activities of E. sonchifolia, Tridax procumbens, and Vernonia cinerea. All the plants possessed activity against at least one strain of bacteria and fungi. Results suggested further testing for development of new pharmaceuticals in food preservation.
• Antioxidant: Study of whole plant yielded a predominant amount of enzymatic antioxidants. Results suggest E. sonchifolia is a significant source of natural antioxidants which can scavenge free radicals that can prevent oxidative stress.
• Pancreato-Protective Herb in High Protein Diets: Study of an n-hexane extract in rats showed amelioration of damage caused by a high protein diet. Results suggest effective medicinal property as a pancreato-protective herb.
• Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory: Study of alcoholic extracts of A. conyzoides and E. sonchifolia in Swiss albino mice showed dose-dependent inhibition of acetic acid induced pain and time-dependent inhibition in a carrageenan-induced paw edema model. Results showed effective analgesic and anti-inflammatory potentials as complementary and alternative therapy. Study of methanolic extract showed dose-dependent inhibition of carrageenin, egg-albumin, capsaicin, formalin-induced licking, acetic-induced writhing and hot plate nociception in mice, suggesting usefulness as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic agent.
• Flavone Glycoside / Natural Antioxidant / Antiviral: (1) Study of stems yielded a new flavone glycoside, along with three known compounds: The compound showed potent antioxidant activity. (2) Compound 1, tested for antiviral activity against Japanese Encephalitis Virus in vitro showed 50% antiviral activity.
• Alcohol-Induced Oxidative Stress: Study showed promise for an n-hexane extract in alcohol-induced oxidative stress.
• Colorectal Cancer / Apoptosis through p53-Mediated ATM/Fas Signaling: Study investigated the induction of apoptosis and its molecular mechanisms in ES extract-treated human colorectal cancer cells in vitro. ESE induced cell growth inhibition in a concentration- and time-dependent response. Results suggest both extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways may be involved in ESE-provoked apoptotic death in HCT116 cells. ESE may be potentially efficacious in the treatment of colorectal cancer.
• Flavone Glycoside / Antiviral: Compound 1, tested for antiviral activity against Japanese Encephalitis Virus in vitro showed 50% antiviral activity.
• Protective Effect in Azaserine-Induced Pancreatic Dysplasia: Study investigated the effect of Emilia sonchifoia on azaserine-induced pancreatic dysplasia in Wistar albino rats. Treatment showed reduction of pancreatic and hepatic damage and suggests a potential therapeutic agent against precancerous lesions to prevent pancreatic dysplasia.
• Corrosion Inhibition: Emilia sonchifolia extract showed an inhibitive effect on corrosion of mild steel in acidic environment. Inhibition efficiency increased with increase in inhibitor concentration.
• Erythropoetic and Hepatoprotective Effect: Ethanolic extracts of Emilia sonchifolia leaves were evaluated on male Swiss albino mice infected with Plasmodium berghei. The extract promoted erythropoeisis at 325 mg/kg and haemolysis at 650 mg/kg, mild toxic effect on histopathology at 325 mg/kg, and hepatoprotection in treated mice.
• Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Study evaluated E. sonchifolia flavoured fraction on experimental model of inflammatory bowel disease in wistar rat. Results showed significant inhibitory activity against inflammatory bowel disease possibly through its anti-inflammatory properties.
• Antimicrobial / Roots: Study evaluated the antimicrobial potential of a methanolic extract of roots against Gram negative and Gram positive bacteria and fungi. Results showed significant antimicrobial activity at 100 mg/ml against the test organisms.
• Antioxidant / Antiperoxidative / Flavonoid Fraction: A flavonoid fraction isolated from E. sonchifolia whole plant was fed to female albino rats with 2% sodium perchlorate induced oxidative stress. Results showed the flavonoid fraction is a potent inhibitor of peroxidative damage.
• Neurobehavioural Effects: Study evaluated the effects of ethanolic extracts of Nuclea latifolia and Emilia sonchifolia on anxiety, fear, and locomotion in mice infected with Plasmodium berghei berghei. Results showed a decrease in fear and anxiety in the parasitized mice while increasing locomotion and exploratory activity. Findings suggest the potential for isolating psychoactive ingredients that could be of use in the management of convulsive neurologic disorders.