Rhoeo discolor

Other scientific names Common names
Rhoeo spathacea Bangka-bangkaan (Tag.)
Oyster plant (Engl.)
Moses-in-the-cradle (Engl.)



Moses in a Cradle: The small white three-petaled flowers (Moses) arise from within the boat-shaped purple bracts (the cradle) nestled between the leaf axils. Botany
· A stout perennial herbaceous, somewhat fleshy plant, 0.5 m in height or less, the stem thick and unbranched.
· Leaves: lanceolate, acuminate, 40 to 60 cm long, 4 to 6 cm wide, fleshy, the upper surface dark green, the lower purple.
· Flowers: numerous in each inflorescence, fascicled, white, about 1 cm in diameter. Inflorescence, axillary, short, peduncled, the flowers surrounded by 2 large, imbricate, laterally compressed, distichous, 3 to 4 cm long, purplish bracts.

Ornamental cultivation; scarcely established.

Parts utilized
Fowers, leaves.
Collect the whole year round. Sun-dry.

Properties and constituents
• Decongestant, expectorant, blood refrigerant, antidysenteric.
• Phytochemical studies yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, steroids, saponins, cardiac glycosides, terpenoids, tannin and phenolic coumpounds and oil

· Cough, cold, coughing phlegm with blood, whooping cough.
· Nose bleed.
· Bacillary dysentery, blood in the stool.
· Dosage: use 30 to 60 gms fresh material, 15 to 84 gms dried material or 20 to 30 pieces dried material in decoction.
· In Singapore, sold in markets as both ornamental and medicinal: Boiled in water, it is believed to have cooling properties.

Caution !
The plant sap is considered poisonous. Contact may cause stinging and itching of the skin and eyes. Ingestion may cause irritation of the lips, mouth, throat and abdominal pain.

Anti-tumor / Chemoprevention: Aqueous crude extract of Rhoeo discolor decreases the formation of liver preneoplastic foci in ratsIn Mexico, Rhoeo discolor has been used to treat cancer. A study was done to validate its antitumoral property. It showed a reduction of preneoplastic lesions and justifies continuing further studies for its chemoprevention potential.
Antigenotoxic, antimutagenic and ROS scavenging activities: (1) Extensively used in traditionally medicine in Mexico for the treatment of superficial mycoses, a study was done to evaluate its antimutagenic and antigenotoxic activities. The extract was neither mutagenic nor genotoxic. It showed dome radical scavenging, less than a-tocopherol and more than ascorbic acid. (2) Study of antimutagenic mechanisms showed the extract might be used to avoid DNA damage by alkylation, corrected alkylguanine transferase protein encoded with ogt gene.
• ·Antimicrobial / Phytochemical Constituents : Phytochemical studies yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, steroids, saponins, cardiac glycosides, terpenoids, tannin and phenolic coumpounds and oil. Study showed good inhibitory activity with dose-dependent increase in effect. K pneumonia was found to be most susceptible.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


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