Aquatic rotula proven benefits uses


Scientific names Common names
Rotula aquatica Lour. Bongtal (Tag.)
Rhabdia lycioides Mart. Buntut-buaya (Tag.)
Kulatai (Tag.)
Takad (Tag.)
Aquatic rotula (Engl.)
Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Lun guan mu.
HINDI: Pashanabhed.
KANNADA: Paashaanabheda.
MALAYALAM: Kallurvanchi.
MARATHI: Machim.
SANSKRIT: Ashmahabhedah, Mutrala, Pashanabhedah.

Aquatic rotula is a shrub or bush that grows to a height of 2 to 3 meters. Leaves are alternate, imbricate, ovate-oblong, usually 0.8 to 1.5 centimeters in length, and short-stalked. Flowers are small and crowded, and borne on terminal inflorescences. Sepals are five, about 4.5 millimeters long, and narrow with sharp points. Corolla is purple or pink, 5 to 6 millimeters long, and five lobed. Fruit is an orange or red drupe, somewhat rounded, fleshy, about 4 millimeters in diameter, and containing four seeds.


– Grows characteristically among rocks crevices and trailing over gravel bars in stream beds at low altitudes in Cagayan, Isabela, Ilocos Norte, Zambales, Bulacan, and Rizal Provinces in Luzon; and in Mindoro.

– Pantropic.

– Also native to China, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.


– Phytochemical study yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, steroids, and nutrients (amino acids and protein).

– Roots have yield allantoin and a sterol, rhabdiol.


– Bitter, astringent, diuretic, sudorific, antilithic.

– Root considered laxative and diuretic. The diuretic action of the root is attributed to allantoin.

Parts used

Stems, roots.

Folkloric traditional benefits and uses of Aquatic rotula

– Decoction of stems used as sudorific and diuretic.

– In Ayurveda, plant used for piles, diabetes, venereal diseases, kidney and bladder stones.

– Root decoction is used as diuretic and laxative.

– In Indian traditional system, used for cancer treatment.

– Root tuber is astringent, bitter and diuretic; used for treating coughs, heart problems, dysuria, blood disorders, fever, poisonings, ulcers and uterine diseases.

Scientific studies on Aquatic rotula

Antilithic Effect / Crystal Dissolution Activity:

Study screened the decoction of Rotula aquatica for antilithic activity in male Wistar rats with induced-nephrolithiasis. Results showed reduction of calcium and oxalate ion concentration in urine, confirming a stone inhibitory effect. The decoction showed no toxicity over a 45-day treatment period. (3)

Antilithic Effect:

In a study of three plants, the aqueous extracts of Rotula aquatica and C wightii showed crystal dissolving activity against monosodium urate. (5)

Polyphenols / Antioxidant / Anticancer:

Study yielded polyphenols, and polyphenols in polar extracts showed stronger antioxidant activity compared to non-polar phytoconstituents. Study suggests the herb may be used as protective measure in caner patients undergoing radiotherapy. (6)

Antimitotic / Anticancer:

Study evaluated the antimitotic activity of R. aquatica. The mitotic index of the root tips markedly decreased with increasing concentration of the aqueous extract. Results showed extract of R. aquatica were extremely effective in the prevention of cell proliferation of the pancreatic cancer cell lines. (2)

Anthelmintic / Roots:

Study evaluated the anthelmintic effect of an aqueous extract on earthworm Pheretima posthuma. Results showed dose-dependent activity compared to standard drug piperazine citrate. (7)

Analgesic / Antipyretic / Anti-Inflammatory:

Study of alcoholic extract of root showed significant antipyretic activity. It also showed significant activity on a carrageenin-induced paw edema model. The action was attributed to possible inhibition of lipooxygenase pathway. The tail immersion and hot plate tests revealed high analgesic activity. (8)


Study evaluated the antidiarrheal activity of alcoholic extract of Rotula aquatica showed significant antidiarrheal activity in different models. (9)


Study evaluated the antiurolithic effect of an alcoholic extract against ethylene glycol-induced urolithiasis in albino rats. Histopathological studies confirmed reduction of lithiasis after treatment with the extract. (10)


Study evaluated the antidiabetic activity of methanolic extract of roots in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. Results showed significant decrease in blood glucose, with good activity at dose of 400 mg/kbw. (11)


Study evaluated methanolic and aqueous stem extract of Rotula aquatic for antioxidant activity. Results showed the stem extract to possess phenolic and flavonoid constituents that are responsible for antioxidant activity. (12)

Anthelmiintic / Bark:

Study evaluated a methanolic extract of bark for anthelmintic activity against adult Indian earthworm Pheretima posthuma. Results showed wormicidal activity with both dose-dependent spontaneous paralysis (vermifugal) and killing of earthworms (vermicidal). (13)


Links to the sources of this article

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