Baccharis indica L.
Conyza corymbosa Roxb.
Conyza foliolosa Wall. ex DC.
Conyza indica Blume ex DC.
Placus indicus (L.) Baill.
Pluchea foliolosa DC.
Common Name: Indian Sage
Pluchea indica is a slender, erect, much-branched, evergreen shrub, growing 1 - 3 metres tall. All parts of the plant are softly pubescent and scented[
A popular herbal remedy within its native range, the plant is gathered from the wild and also traded locally, especially for its use as a diuretic[
]. The plant also provides edible leaves, and is cultivated in gardens as a hedge.
E. Asia - Bangladesh, Myanmar, southeast China, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia (Java), Philippines, northern Australia
Occurs especially along the sea shore and tidal streams and swamps, on clayish or hard and stony soils, occasionally near salt-springs in the interior, in sunny or slightly shaded localities[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
A plant of the lowland tropics[
Grows best on fertile soils[
]. Grows in the wild in brackish marshes and other saline habitats[
Plants are very tolerant of pruning[
]. They are trimmed regularly in order to provide a constant supply of young shoots for use as a vegetable[
Young leaves, shoots and inflorescences - raw or cooked[
]. Added to salads or steamed and used as a side dish with rice[
]. The are also used as a condiment[
Leaves, young tops and inflorescences, either raw or cooked, are consumed in Java as a side-dish to rice, or as a salad, and sometimes as components of a soup[
]. In Thailand, the leaves are eaten as a flavouring[
Indian sage is commonly used within its native range to treat a wide range of disorders. Considerable research has been carried out into the plant and a range of medically active compounds have been demonstrated[
The leaves and aerial parts of the plant contain terpenoids, flavonoids and an essential oil[
]. The main components of the oil are camphor, 'ALFA'-pinene, benzyl alcohol, benzyl acetate, eugenol, linalool and 'DELTA'-cadinol[
The essential oil has demonstrated antimicrobial activity under laboratory conditions on the growth of the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, the pathogenic fungi Microsporium gypseum and Candida albicans, as well as of the non-pathogenic Pithium ultimum and Xanthomonas campestris[
The plant extract displays a dose-related diuretic effect, with no detectable pathological changes even after high doses[
The roots contain pterocaptriol, plucheoside C, D1, D2 and D3 and E, plucheol A and B, hop-17(21)-en-3'BETA'-yl acetate and boehmeryl acetate.
A methanol extract of the roots was tested in various models of inflammations and ulcers in vivo[
]. It demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory action, and also a protective action against ulcers[
]. This extract also showed significant hepatoprotective activity against experimentally induced liver damage[
The methanol extract of the roots was also screened for activity against the venom of the snake Vipera russellii, where it was found to significantly reduce venom-induced lethality and haemorrhagic activity[
]. Venom-induced coagulant and anticoagulant activity was also antagonized[
In traditional medicine, the leaves are considered to be antitussive, diaphoretic, febrifuge, galactagogue and stomachic[
]. An infusion is used to stimulate perspiration in a fever[
]. An infusion of the leaves as a tea, or the leaves and young shoots crushed in alcohol, are used for treating lumbago[
]. The crushed leaves, raw or steamed, are eaten to correct foul breath and offensive perspiration odour[
]. A decoction of the leaves and stem is drunk to ease asthma and other pulmonary problems[
A decoction of the fresh leaves is used in an inhalant to cure colds[
Externally the leaves are used to relieve skin diseases, whilst the fresh leaves are applied to cure haemorrhoids. The powdered leaves, mixed with beeswax and castor oil, are applied in bandaging closed fractures[
The juice from the crushed leaves, mixed with the juice of other plants, is used as a remedy for dysentery[
]. An infusion of the leaves, usually in combination with other ingredients, is given as a treatment against leucorrhoea[
Indian sage is used externally, in special baths as an aromatic and stimulant, and also in nerve-strengthening fomentations[
]. It is mixed with other ingredients into a poultice which is an effective embrocation against weakness after diarrhoea, and against ulcers and sores[
In Thailand all parts of the plant are used as a diuretic and antidiabetic[
A decoction of the roots or leaves is recommended for treating fever, headache, rheumatism, sprains, dysentery and dyspepsia[
It is used in baths to treat scabies[
]. The roots, mixed with other ingredients, are applied as a poultice for rheumatic pains[
Plants are grown as an intercrop in teak forests[
Cultivated as a hedge at lower elevations, sometimes up to elevations of 1,000 metres[