Borreria articularis L F F N Williams

[After William Borrer (1781-1862) a British botanist and from Latin, articulatus = articulate]

Synonymy: Borreria hispida K. Schum., Spermacoce flexuosa Lour., Spermacoce hispida L.

Common names: Harsh-leaved button weed; rumput susur (Malay); kertas watu (Javanese).

Physical description: It is a common herb of sandy and waste lands or seashores of the tropical and sub-world. The stems are quadrangular and fleshy. Leaves: simple, decussate and hairy. The stipules are interpetiolar and form a cup with bristle on their edges. The blade is 1.2cm-2cm x 2cm-8mm, blunt at the apex and tapering at the base. The flowers are tiny and arranged in small axillary heads. The calyx consists of 4 sepals. The corolla is tubular, white or pink, and 4-lobed. The fruits are splitting hairy capsules crowned with sepals (Fig. 342).

Pharmaceutical interest: The therapeutic potential of this common herb remains unexplored. Note that Borreria verticillata produces borreverine, an


Uses: Borreria articularis (L. F.) F. N. Williams is astringent. In China, the plant is used to combat fever. In Indonesia, an infusion of the plant is drunk to expel urinary stones. In Malaysia, a poultice is used to soothe sores, wounds and to assuage headache. In the Philippines, a decoction of the leaves is used to heal hemorrhoids, whereas a decoction of the root is used to wash the mouth. In Vietnam, Borreria articularis (L. F.) F. N. Williams is used to relieve the bowels of costiveness and to induce vomiting. In India, a decoction of the plant is used to combat fever. The seeds are used instead of coffee, and vapors are inhaled to expel tooth worms.

alkaloid that inhibits the growth of Gram-positive cocci at a dose inferior to 6 ^g/mL (Maynart G et al., 1980). This alkaloid could be responsible for the antibacterial activity of Borreria ocymoides (Ebana RW et al, 1991), and for the antiseptic property of Borreria articularis (LF) FN Williams.

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