Rhinacanthus nasutus belonging to the family Acanthaceae is t is widely distributed in some parts of the subcontinent India, China and in the region of Southeast Asia including Thailand. It is commonly called as Nagamalli, Kaligai, Anichi in Tamil, Nagamalli in Telugu, Doddapatika in kannada, Jupani in Hindi, Yuthikaparni in Sanskrit and Gajakarni in Marathi. A diffuse subshrub with a height of 1-2 meters, branchlets hirsute. Leaves elliptic to oblanceolate, base acute, apexacute; petiole 2 cm. Panicles terminal or in upper axils, divaricate, ending in cymes, peduncle 15 cm; bracts and bracteoles lanceolate. Calyx lobes 5, linear-lanceolate, basally connate. Corolla white, upper lip linear and lower one broader. Stamens 2. Ovary pubescent. Fruit capsule, ellipsoid, with a basal beak. Seeds 4, orbicular, rugose. The leaves are oblong, 4 to 10 centimeters in length, and narrowed and pointed at both ends. The inflorescence is a spreading, leafy, hairy panicle with the flowers usually in clusters. The calyx is green, hairy, and about 5 millimeters long. The corolla-tube is greenish, slender, cylindric, and about 2 centimeters long. The corolla has two spreading lobes (lips); the upper lip is white, erect, oblong or lanceolate, 2-toothed at the apex, and about 3 millimeters in both length and width; and the lower lip is broadly obovate, 11 to 13 millimeters in both measurements, 3-lobed, and white, with a few, minute, brownish dots near the base. The fruit (capsule) is club-shaped and contains 4 seeds. The plant has been recently cultivated for use in the treatment of hepatitis, diabetes, hypertension and skin diseases in Taiwan. The decoction of its roots or whole plant is drunk for treatment of some cancer forms. It has long been used in Thai traditional medicine for treatment of many diseases like pruritic rash, ringworm, abscess pain, skin diseases, goitre, leprosy. Various parts of this plant have been used for the treatment in various diseases such as eczema, pulmonary tuberculosis, herpes. The leaves and stems of this plant are often used for the treatment of hepatitis, diabetes, hypertension and skin disease. The leaf petroleum ether fraction shows significant mosquitocidal activity. It also possess antifungal, anti proliferative, anti oxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, haemorrhoid and anti-cancer properties.
Key words: Rhinacanthus nasutus, anti cancer, antifungal, anti proliferative.
Rhinacanthus nasutus: Herbal Remedies