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Useful Tropical Plants

Scoparia dulcis

L.

Plantaginaceae

+ Synonyms

Capraria dulcis (L.) Kuntze

Gratiola micrantha Nutt.

Scoparia grandiflora Nash

Scoparia nudicaulis Chodat & Hassl.

Scoparia procumbens Jacq.

Scoparia purpurea Ridl.

Scoparia ternate Forsk.

Common Name: Sweet Broom

Scoparia dulcis
Flowering plant
Photograph by: Mark Marathon
Creative Commons License
Scoparia dulcis Scoparia dulcis Scoparia dulcis Scoparia dulcis Scoparia dulcis Scoparia dulcis Scoparia dulcis

General Information

Sweet broom is an erect, annual plant, though it sometimes persists for more than a year[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
]. A perennial species[
72
Title
Manual of the Southeastern Flora.
Publication
 
Author
Small J.K.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
University of N. Carolina Press.
Year
1933
ISBN
 
Description
Getting rather dated now, an immense work covering the flora of Southeastern N. America. No pictures, it is not for the casual reader. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. It is usually many-branched, often slightly woody below, growing 50 - 100cm tall[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].
The plant has spread as a weed from the Americas throughout the tropics and subtropics and, almost wherever it has gone, it has become an important medicinal herb. Commonly gathered from the wild, it is sometimes cultivated in South America for sand dune fixation, in Vietnam for medicinal purposes[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. The plant is sold for medicinal purposes in local markets in Asia and Africa[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/

Range

Originally from the American tropics, the plant is now naturalized throughout the tropics and subtropics.

Habitat

Moist thickets or along sandy stream beds, abundant in waste or cultivated ground, frequent about dwellings, at elevations up to 800 metres[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitAnnual/Perennial
Height0.75 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

A common weed of lowland tropical and subtropical areas, found in areas where it rains all year round and also where there is a prolonged dry season[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
Succeeds in most soils[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
This is one of the half dozen commonest weeds of Central America, and may be found almost anywhere in the lowlands[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].
Plants can flower and fruit all year round[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
The plant is a probable host for the coconut-yellows-disease, caused by a mycoplasma-like organism[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Edible Uses

An infusion of the seeds, obtained by soaking them in water overnight, is a cooling drink[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

People place bunches of the branches in containers of drinking water, and claim that the water is thus kept cool,
as if iced[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].

Medicinal

Originally from the American tropics, sweet broom has spread as a weed throughout the tropics and been widely taken up as a medicinal herb wherever it goes. It has a very wide range of uses in tropical America where it is used to treat conditions such as digestive problems, pulmonary complaints, fevers and skin disorders,[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
]. The plant is seen as an antibilious, antibiotic, antidote, aphrodisiac, bitter, blood purifier, emetic, febrifuge, hepatic, hypoglycaemic and stomachic[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].
The roots, leaves and tops are traditionally used in India, Indo-China and South-East Asia as an analgesic, diuretic and antipyretic, to treat gastric disorders such as diarrhoea and dysentery, and also for cough, bronchitis, hypertension, haemorrhoids and insect bites[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
Research has shown that the plant contains a number of medically active compounds - the aerial parts contain about 4% of a viscous oil which, besides fatty acids like stearic, myristic and linolenic acid, also contains a series of diterpenes[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. The aerial parts also yield nitrogen-containing components and flavonoids[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
Scopadulin, a diterpene from the aerial parts, has shown mild antiviral activity[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
The antiviral activity of scopadulciol, a tetracyclic diterpenoid, was found to inhibit the virus replication, as shown by reduction of virus production[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
Scopadulcic acid B has been shown to have a tumour-inhibiting action and has also been shown to inhibit replication of herpes simplex virus type 1[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
The fresh stems and leaves contain a compound called amellin, thought by some to have an important therapeutic action in diabetes; however, others doubt this[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. Oral administration of amellin relieves symptoms of glycosuria, reduces hyperglycaemia and increases RBC count. It has also been found helpful in anaemia, albuminuria, ketonuria, retinitis and other complications associated with diabetes mellitus. Unlike insulin, amellin does not cause blood sugar levels to drop below normal and reduction of both blood and urine sugar occurs gradually[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
In a clinical trial, 25 healthy people and 30 with gingivitis were given mouthwashes containing 1% aqueous extract of the plant or 0.02% chlorhexidine gluconate for 6 weeks. There was a slight increase in gingival inflammation in people with gingivitis using the extract, but the antiplaque activity was similar to that of 0.02% chlorhexidine[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

The whole plant is used for treating a wide range of disorders including diabetes, herpes, coughs and colds, fevers, nausea, dizziness, and as an antidote for snakebites and cassava intoxication. In low doses, often in milk, it is used to relieve vomiting in infants, whilst in larger does it is used to induce vomiting to clear out the digestive system[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
]. A decoction of the plant is drunk as a treatment for remittent fever and gonorrhoea, and also to induce labour[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. A cold decoction of the plant is taken as a remedy for gravel and kidney complaints[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].
The fresh or dried plants are used externally to treat a wide range of skin problems, including pimples, impetigo, ulcers, eczema, bruises and contusions[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
]. An infusion of the herb is used as a mouthwash for infected gums[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

The leaves are chewed to treat cough; they first taste bitter and later sweet (like liquorice)[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. They were formerly used in the treatment of diabetes[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. The leaves are macerated in warm water and drunk copiously when cooled in the treatment of feverish headaches[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant is sometimes used as a sand binder[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Other Uses

The bushy stems are much used to make temporary brooms for sweeping floors, and there is a belief that they destroy fleas[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].

The fresh or dried plants are said to kill fleas, lice and intestinal worms[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Propagation

Seed -
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-11-18. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Scoparia+dulcis>

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