Eclipta prostrata Linn, more commonly referred to as Han Lian Cao, is a flowering plant that is native to the United States. Eclipta is not only found in over forty U.S. states, it is also found in tropical areas worldwide. The Eclipta plant is approximately 50 centimeters tall and from a single stem protruding from the ground, it branches into several more stems . The stems can contain little white flowers that look very similar to daisys. For this reason, the Eclipta plant has an alternative name of the "Fake Daisy". Oddly, Eclipta seeds not only sprout in the ground but also the seeds can sprout in water.
Eclipta, D. Tenaglia, Copyright 2007. Permission Requested. http://www.missouriplants.com/Whiteopp/White_flowers_opposite_page2.html
Eclipta, Han Lian Cao, is used primarily for the "treatment of liver damage due to cirrhosis, infective hepatitis, and hepatic enlargement" . The plant is also known to treat dysfunction of the kidneys, spleen, and gall bladder. The chemical compounds which give Eclipta its medicinal value are Wedelolactone and Demethylwedlolactone.
Scientific studies have been conducted in which rats were treated with phalloidin or carbon tetrachloride. The rats were then given Eclipta plant extracts and the mortality rates of the rats were obtained. 70% of the rats that were not given Eclipta extracts died, whereas all 100% of the rats that were given the eclipta extract remained alive. Researchers later concluded that the Eclipta extract, more specifically the Wedelolactone contained within the extract, could regulate the levels of liver drug-metabolizing enzymes .
The common names of the Eclipta plant include: Eclipta, Han Lian Cao, Bhringraj, Keshraj, Yerba de Tajo and False Daisy. The botonical name of the Eclipta plant is Eclipta prostrata (L.) L.. There are two subspecies of the Eclipta plant which fall below Eclipta prostrata (L.) L. and include: Eclipta alba (L.) Hassk. and Eclipta erecta L..
The Eclipta plant is found all over the world in primarily warm temperate climates. The Eclipta plant can grow in a variety of soil types; sand, dirt, and clay, and "the soil pH can range from about 5.2 to 7.9" . The soil must be moist or wet providing the plant with a fairly constant source of water. The plant also prefers a shaded environment. Since the Eclipta plant is an annual, its active growth rate occurs during the summer each year. It is at this time that the little flowers of the Eclipta plant also bloom. The Eclipta plant has a maximum mature height at 3 foot 2 inches and grows vertically into a "bunch". The Ecplita plant is endangered in the state of New York .
Eclipta Distribution in the United States. Regions in which the Eclipta plant is found is shaded in green.
USDA. Copyright 2007. Permission Requested.
Pharmacological Effects of Eclipta
The Eclipta plant has numerous pharmcological effects depending upon
which part of the plant is used medicinally. The stems and roots of the
Eclipta plant have antihepatotoxic acitivty. Therefore, the Eclipta plant
can protect the liver from damaging toxins. The stems and roots can also be
administired to promote bile flow and increased kidney function. The
leaves of the
Eclipta plant, when dried, have analgesic activity." The leaves
antibacterial activity against pathogenic bacteria including Bacillus
subtillis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus
aureus" . A paste can be prepared from griding the
leaves and stems of the plant which can be used as an anti-inflammatory
agent in treating insect bites, burns, swelling, and other skin diseases.
The juice extracted from the plant is said to help reduce fevers, lessen
joint pain, increase memory function, and decrease respiratory congestion.
leaves of the Eclipta plant can also be boiled to produce a black hair and
body dye. Medicinally, usage of the Eclipta plant is considered safe with
no adverse side effects." This is an assumption, however, based upon the
fact that rats and mice treated with Eclipta plant extracts show no signs
of toxicity"  .
The Eclipta plant has been incorporated into a variety of dietary supplements that can be bought directly through pharmaceutical companies or at local drug stores. One particular research group, The Allergy Research Group offers a dietary supplement titled "Eclipta Morinda." The supplement is hypoallergenic and contains 1200 mg of Eclipta leaf extract per capsule. The possible benefits of the "Eclipta Morinda" supplement are "hepatoprotective activity, health of the mind, nerves, liver, eyes, and hair, increase in cellular energy production, immunity, strenght and recovery" .
|Systematic Name:||7-Methoxy-5,11,12-trihydroxycoumestan||Molecular Weight:||314.25||Molecular Formula:||C16H10O7||CAS Number:||524-12-9|
- Tenaglia D., 2007. "Eclipta alba (L.) Hassk." Retrieved Feburary 23, 2007, from http://www.missouriplants.com/Whiteopp/Eclipta_alba_page.html
- Tropilab Inc., 2007. "Eclipta Tincture". Retrieved Feburary, 26, 2007, from http://www.tropilab.com/ecliptatincture.html
- Allergy Research Group, 2006."Eclipta-Morinda PDF Product Sheet". Retrieved Feburary 26, 2007, from http://www.allergyresearchgroup.com/proddesc/discuss/Eclipta-MorindaPDFProductSheet081706.pdf
- Plants for a Future, 2004. "Eclipta prostrata". Retrieved Feburary 26, 2007, from http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Eclipta+prostrata
- United States Department of Agriculture, 2007. "Plants Profile: Eclipta prostrata (L.) L.. Retrieved Feburary 26, 2007, from http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ECPR
- ICS-Unido. Database on Important Medicinal and Aromatic Plants. "Eclipa alba (L.) Hassk." Retrieved Feburary 27, 2007, from http://www.ics.trieste.it/MedicinalPlant/_MedicinalPlant.aspx?id=36
- Biomol Int., LP. Online Catalog ."Wedelolactone." Retrieved Feburary 27, 2007, from http://www.biomol.com/Online_Catalog/Online_Catalog/Products/Product_Detail/38/?categoryId=181&productId=2490
- Aclepsa.com, Online Health Superstore, 2007. "Eclipa Raj Hair Oil." Retrieved Feburary 27, 2007, from http://www.aclepsa.com/eclipta-raj-hair-oil.shtml
- Li, C.C. J. of Organic Chemistry 2003, 68, 8500-8504. "Total Synthesis of Wedelolactone." http://mutex.gmu.edu:2314/cgi-bin/article.cgi/joceah/2003/68/i22/pdf/jo030228f.pdf
- Wu, J., Liao, Y., Yang, Zhen., J. of Organic Chemistry 2001, 66, 3642-3645. "Synthesis of 4-Substituted Coumarins via the Palladium-Catalyzed Cross-Couplings of 4-Tosylcoumarins with Terminal Acetylenes and Organozinc Reagents." http://mutex.gmu.edu:2314/cgi-bin/article.cgi/joceah/2001/66/i10/pdf/jo0102157.pdf
- Alcides J. M. da Silva, Paulo A. Melo, Noelson M. V. Silva, Flávia V. Brito, Camilla D. Buarque, Daniele V. de Souza, Verônica P. Rodrigues, Elisa S. C. Poças, François Noël, Edson X. Albuquerque, et al. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letter 2001, 3, 283-286. "Synthesis and preliminary pharmacological evaluation of coumestans with different patterns of oxygenation." http://mutex.gmu.edu:2096/science?_ob=ArticleListURL&_method=list&_ArticleListID=544441412&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000035118&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=650615&md5=27eb267355a70f1caee2b5bc2614a802
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