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Useful Tropical Plants

Euphorbia thymifolia

L.

Euphorbiaceae

+ Synonyms

Anisophyllum thymifolium (L.) Haw.

Aplarina microphylla (Lam.) Raf.

Chamaesyce mauritiana Comm. ex Denis

Chamaesyce microphylla (Lam.) Soják

Chamaesyce rubrosperma (Lotsy) Millsp.

Chamaesyce thymifolia (L.) Millsp.

Euphorbia afzelii N.E.Br.

Euphorbia botryoides Noronha

Euphorbia foliata Buch.-Ham. ex Dillwyn

Euphorbia microphylla Lam.

Euphorbia philippina J.Gay ex Boiss.

Euphorbia rubicunda Blume

Euphorbia rubrosperma Lotsy

Common Name:

Euphorbia thymifolia
Close-up of the flowers
Photograph by: loupok
Creative Commons License
Euphorbia thymifolia Euphorbia thymifolia Euphorbia thymifolia Euphorbia thymifolia Euphorbia thymifolia Euphorbia thymifolia

General Information

Euphorbia thymifolia is a prostrate annual plant producing stems up to 25cm long. The stems usually produce numerous adventitious roots[
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
].
The plant is a very popular medicinal herb in much of Africa and also in many other areas of the tropics. It is commonly harvested from the wild and is also sold in local markets.

Known Hazards

Although we have seen no specific information for this plant, the latex in most, if not all Euphorbias is caustic and toxic - skin contact often causing irritation and blistering; contact with the eyes causing temporary or even permanent blindness; whilst ingestion can cause purging or more severe problems[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Botanical References


Range

Originally native to the tropical and subtropical areas of the Americas, but widely naturalized in many other areas of the tropics.

Habitat

A common weed of cultivated and waste ground, often on sandy or gravelly soils, at elevations up to 1,650 metres[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitAnnual
Height0.05 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details



A common weed of cultivated and waste ground, often on sandy or gravelly soils, at elevations up to 1,650 metres[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Euphorbia thymifolia grows very rapidly and completes its life cycle in 3 - 4 months; it can be found flowering and fruiting throughout the year in warm tropical conditions[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The plant is widely used in Africa in decoction or infusion as a treatment for dysentery, enteritis, diarrhoea and venereal diseases[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The plant is rich in medically active compounds. From an aqueous acetone extract of the dried whole plant a range of hydrolysable tannins have been isolated as well as several flavonoids[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Both flavonoids and tannins have been reported to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, haemostatic, antithrombic, antioxidant and vasoprotective actions[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The flavonoids furthermore have antiviral, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, and antitumour properties[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The essential oil from the leaves has a pungent odour and irritating taste, and contains cymol, carvacrol, limonene, sesquiterpenes and salicylic acid[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
An extract prepared with 1.5% HCl inhibited the growth of gram-positive (Bacillus subtilis) and gram-negative (Escherichia coli) bacteria[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Ethyl acetate and chloroform extracts of the aerial parts of the plant inhibited the growth of Escherichia coli and Shigella flexneri in vitro. The ethyl acetate extract was also found to be active against Shigella flexneri in vivo[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The ethanol and water extracts of the whole plant showed significant antifungal activity against the dermatophytes Trichophyton mentagrophytes and Trichophyton verrucosum in vitro and in vivo in calves[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The ether extract of the whole plant showed significant activity against the Sarcoptes scabei mite, which causes scabies[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Several extracts from the whole plant as well as several pure compounds have been shown to possess antioxidant activities. Some have also shown significant activity against Herpes simplex virus type 2 in vitro in a dose-dependent manner[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Several derivatives of the tannin galloyl-β-D-glucose show significant cytotoxicity against a range of human tumour cell lines[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
In pot tests, infection of Vigna radiata by tomato spotted wilt virus was prevented by spraying the plants first with water extracts of whole Euphorbia thymifolia plants[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].


The essential oil is put into medicinal soaps for treatment of erysipelas, sprays to keep off flies and mosquitoes, and a vermifuge for dogs[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The dried leaves and seeds are slightly aromatic and are used as a stimulant, astringent, anthelmintic and laxative[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Plant and seed decoctions are also taken as a galactagogue, and to treat hypertension and venereal diseases[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

An infusion of the leafy stems is taken as a bitter diuretic[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The leaves are used in a decoction to treat cystitis and kidney ailments[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. A maceration of the dried leaves is drunk for facilitating childbirth; it is claimed to stimulate contractions of the uterus[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The leaves are pulped with water and applied to the head to treat headache[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The ground fresh leaves are rubbed in to treat intercostal pain[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

A decoction of the whole plant is drunk to treat lung problems, fever, influenza, hypertension, absence of menstruation and venereal diseases[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
A decoction of fresh aerial parts is applied externally to treat dermatitis, measles, eczema and skin inflammations[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The decoction is also used as an eye wash to treat conjunctivitis[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Fresh crushed plants are applied as a plaster for healing sprains[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Crushed plants are rubbed on the scalp for strengthening the skull bones of children to enable them to carry loads on their heads as adults, and also as mild irritating rubefacient products to treat alopecia[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Women with heavy menstruation drink the latex as a tonic[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The latex is applied externally to treat to warts and as a remedy for ringworm and scabies[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. It is used in the treatment of eye swellings, discharge and conjunctivitis[
481
Title
Medicinal Plants in Papua New Guinea
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
World Health Organisation
Year
2009
ISBN
978-92-9061-249-0
Description
Traditional medicinal uses of 126 species from Papua New Guinea, including information on any modern research into the plants.
].

Other Uses

The essential oil is put into sprays to keep off flies and mosquitoes[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Propagation

Seed -
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2021-07-28. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Euphorbia+thymifolia>

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