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Record Number


PROSEA Handbook Number

12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2


Achyranthes bidentata Blume

This article should be read together with the article on the genus: Achyranthes in the Handbook volume indicated above in this database.


Bijdr. 545 (1825).


Achyranthes javanica Moq. (1849), Achyranthes mollicula Nakai (1920).

Vernacular Names

Chaff flower (En). Genou de buffle (Fr). Papua New Guinea: denogil, kul (Simbu Province). Thailand: khuai nguu noi, phan nguu noi (northern). Vietnam: ng[uw]u t[aas]t.


Throughout tropical Africa and Asia, in Malesia occurring in Sumatra, Java, Lombok, the Philippines, Sulawesi, the Moluccas and New Guinea. It is cultivated in China and Vietnam.


In Malaysia, the leaves are chewed against malignant ulcers in the mouth. In Java, the plant is used as a vermifuge for horses. In Papua New Guinea, the heated young leaves are eaten with salt to relieve abdominal pains and to destroy hook worms and other intestinal parasites. In China and Vietnam, the root is commonly prescribed as a diuretic and emmenagogue, in rheumatism, to facilitate delivery, and for vaginal discharges.


A perennial herb, 40—170 cm tall, stem quadrangular, furrowed, rather flaccid, thinly to densely pubescent, often purple in upper part; leaves elliptical-oblong, lanceolate or ovate, 5—20 cm x 2—8 cm, base attenuate, apex mostly long acuminate, sparsely to densely velvety tomentose on both sides, petiole 0.5—3.5 cm long; spike terminal and axillary in the upper leaf axils, 4—45 cm long, including 1—15 cm long peduncle, more or less whitish-tomentose, bract ovate-oblong, 3—3.5 mm long, apex acuminate, not pungent, margin ciliate, bractoles spinescent, as long as perianth, 3.5—5.5 mm long, apex often recurved, basal wing inserted on lower part of spine; tepals membranaceous, veins absent, acute, 4.5—7 mm long, not pungent in fruit, pseudo-staminodes truncate, dentate; utricle oblong, 2—2.5 mm long. Achyranthes bidentata occurs often in forests and well-shaded localities, and along footpaths or streams, under per-humid conditions, in Java from 350—2500 m altitude.

Selected Sources

[135] Burkill, I.H., 1966. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Revised reprint. 2 volumes. Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Vol. 1 (A—H) pp. 1—1240, Vol. 2 (I—Z) pp. 1241—2444.
[177] Che, X., 1988. Anti-fertility effects of Achyranthes bidentata in mice. Journal of Xi'an Medical University 9(2): 119—121.
[191] Chevallier, A., 1996. The encyclopedia of medicinal plants. Reader's Digest Association. Westmount, Quebec, Canada. 336 pp.
[215] Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, 1948—1976. The wealth of India: a dictionary of Indian raw materials & industrial products. 11 volumes. Publications and Information Directorate, New Delhi, India.
[262] Doan Thi Nhu, 1988. Pharmacological study on hypotensive and reducing blood cholesterol concentration action of Achyranthes bidentata Blume. Journal of Pharmacy (Vietnam) 2: 11—13. (in Vietnamese)
[264] Doan Thi Nhu, Nguyen Thuong Thuc, Do Huy Bich & Vu Thuy Huyen (Editors), 1990. Les plantes médicinales au Vietnam. Livre 1. Médicine traditionelle et pharmacopée [The medicinal plants of Vietnam. Volume 1. Traditional medicine and pharmacopoeia]. Agence de coopération Culturelle et Technique, Paris, France. 201 pp.
[310] Flora Malesiana (various editors), 1950—. Foundation Flora Malesiana. Rijksherbarium/Hortus Botanicus, Leiden, the Netherlands.
[605] Li, H.-L. et al. (Editors), 1975—1979. Flora of Taiwan. Angiospermae. 6 volumes. Epoch Publishing Co., Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.
[608] Li, X. & Hu, S., 1995. Determination of oleanolic acid in the root of Achyranthes bidentata Bl. from different places of production by TLC-scanning. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica 20(8): 459—460. (in Chinese)
[732] Ngo Ngoc Kien, 1970. Technique for planting Achyranthes bidentata. Bulletin of Materia Medica 8: 13—14. (in Vietnamese)
[739] Nguyen Van Duong, 1993. Medicinal plants of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Mekong Printing, Santa Ana, California, United States. 528 pp.
[788] Pételot, A., 1952—1954. Les plantes médicinales du Cambodge, du Laos et du Vietnam [The medicinal plants of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam]. 4 volumes. Centre National de Recherches Scientifiques et Techniques, Saigon, Vietnam.
[808] Qin, C., Liu, J., Cheng, Z. & Jiao, Y., 1994. Experimental studies on Uncaria sinensis (Oliv.) Havil and Achyranthes bidentata Blume and their compatibility. Zhongguo Zhongyao Zazhi 19(6): 371—373. (in Chinese)
[1003] Tian, G.Y., Li, S.T., Song, M.L., Zheng, M.S. & Li, W., 1995. Synthesis of Achyranthes bidentata polysaccharide sulfate and its antivirus activity. Yaoxue Xuebao 30(2): 107—111. (in Chinese)


J. Raymakers & G.H. Schmelzer

Correct Citation of this Article

Raymakers, J. & Schmelzer, G.H., 2001. Achyranthes bidentata Blume. In: van Valkenburg, J.L.C.H. and Bunyapraphatsara, N. (Editors): Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2. PROSEA Foundation, Bogor, Indonesia. Database record:

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