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*Amita Pandey1, Dr. Shalini Tripathi2
1Research scholar, Rameshwaram Institute of Technology and Management, Sitapur Road, Lucknow (U.P.)
2Professor, Rameshwaram Institute of Technology and Management, Sitapur Road, Lucknow (U.P.)
*[email protected]

Pharmacognostical parameters for the leaves of Tridax procumbens L were studied with the aim of drawing the pharmacopoeial standards for this species. Macroscopical and microscopical characters, pre-phytochemical and pharmacological Studies. The determination of these characters will aid future investigators in their Pharmacological analyses of this species. The Pre-phytochemical screening revealed the presence of alkaloids, carotenoids, flavonoids (catechins and flavones), fumaric acid, fl-sitosterol, saponins and tannins. It is richly endowed with carotenoids, saponins, oleanolic acid and ions like sodium, potassium and calcium. Luteolin, glucoluteolin, quercetin and isoquercetin have been reported from its flowers. It has known for its number of pharmacological activities like hepatoprotective activity, antiinflammatory, wound healing, antidiabetic activity, hypotensive effect, immunomodulating property, bronchial catarrh, dysentery, diarrhoea and to prevent falling of hair promotes the growth of hair, and antimicrobial activity against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. The leaf juice possesses antiseptic, insecticidal and parasiticidal properties, as a remedy against conjunctivitis and is used also to check haemorrhage from cuts, bruises and wounds insect repellent. It is also used as bioadsorbent for chromium (VI). This review focus on folk occurrence and the wide pharmacological activities of Tridax procumbens.

Tridax procumbens Linn. is a wild plant, found as weed throughout India.The plant is native of tropical America and naturalized in tropical Africa, Asia, and Australia. Local people knew it as “Ghamara”, in English popularly called ‘coat buttons’ and is dispensed for “Bhringraj” by some of the practitioners for hair growth in Ayurveda.

Table 1: Scientific and Biological classification of Tridax procumbens


Scientific Name

Biological Name




Sub kingdom


Vascular plants






Flowering plants












Aster family


Tridax L



Tridax procumbens L

coat buttons


1.1 Morphological Description
Stems decumbent, producing roots at the nodes, up to 50 cm tall. Stems clothed in pale hairs. Leaf blades 30-60 x 15-35 mm, clothed in hairs, lateral veins 2-3 on each side of the midrib. Petioles hairy, 5-10 mm long. Flowers produced in heads about 10 x 10-12 mm. Peduncles hairy, 11-20 cm long. Heads surrounded by bracts, the outer bracts hairy, each bract about 7 x 4 mm, inner bractsglabrous, 7-8 mm long. Calyx(pappus) consists of barbed or fimbriate hairs 10-12 mm long. Corolla on the ray florets ligular, 9-10 x 4 mm, apex3-lobed. Corolla of the disk florets tubular, about 5 mm long, corollalobes about 0.5 mm long. Stamens fused to form a tube. Ovary 2-2.2 x 1 mm, densely clothed in long pale brown or golden hairs. Fruit (achene)1.6-2 mm long; pappus of slender, plumose bristles 5-6 mm long, with fine spreading hairs. Seedlings Features is not available.(Du Puy et al. 1993)

1.2 Geographical Distribution
The plant bears daisy like yellow-centered white or yellow flowers with three-toothed ray florets. The leaves are toothed and generally arrowhead-shaped. Its fruit is a hard achene covered with stiff hairs and having a feathery, plumelike white pappus at one end.Calyx is represented by scales or reduced to pappus The plant is invasive in part because it produces so many of these achenes, up to 1500 per plant, and each achene can catch the wind in its pappus and be carried some distance. This weed can be found in fields, meadows, croplands, disturbed areas, lawns, and roadsides in areas with tropical or semi-tropical climates.

1.3 Chemical Constituents
ß-sitosterol-3-0-ß-D-xylopyranoside, Quercetin, Dexamethasone, Luteolin, Glucolutin,alkaloids, carotenoids, flavonoids (catechins and flavones) and tannins. It is richly endowed with carotenoids and saponins. The proximate profile shows that the plant is rich in sodium, potassium and calcium 4. Leaf of Tridax mainly contains croud proteins 26%, crude fiber 17% soluble carbohydrates 39% calcium oxide 5%, Luteolin, glucoluteolin, quercetin and isoquercetin have been reported from its flowers.Whereas the fumaric acid, fl-sitosterol and tannin has also been reported in the plant . Oleanolic acid was obtained in good amounts from Tridax and found to be a potential antidiabetic agent when tested against aglucosidase (Jahangir, et al., 2002)

1.4 Uses of Tridax plant (Functions Reported)
Tridax possesses significant anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, wound healing, ant diabetic activity and antimicrobial activity against both gram-positive and gram negative bacteria (Vilwanathanet al.2005). The leaf juice possesses antiseptic, insecticidal and parasiticidal properties and is used also to check haemorrhage from cuts, bruises and wounds. Its leaves also use for bronchial catarrh, dysentery, diarrhoea and to prevent falling of hair promotes the growth of hair, insect repellent (mahanto and Chaudhary, 2005). Interestingly it also has hypotensive effect and potent immunomodulating property (Saxena and Albert, 2005). In the West Africa sub-region and tropical zone of the world, Traditional medical practitioners and the native peoples of these areas use the leaves of the plant as a remedy against conjunctivitis. It is also used as bio adsorbent for chromium (VI) is one of the highly toxic ions released into the environment through leather processing and chrome plating industries (Singanan et al.2007) (Table 2)

Table 2 Uses of Tridax plant

Traditional uses

Pharmacological uses

Medicinal uses

Antiviral, Anti-Oxidant, Antibiotic, Efficacies, Wound Healing Activity, InsecticidalAnd Anti-Inflammatory Activity

(Suseela et al.,2002)

Antimicrobial activity against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria,



Antiseptic,Insecticidal, Parasiticidal,


Wound healing

To check haemorrhage from cuts, bruises and wounds

Hypotensive activity

Antidiabetic activity

To prevent falling of hair and promote the hair growth.

Dysentery, Diarrhoea.

Against conjunctivitis Immunomodulating property

Insect repellent activity

(Saxena et al ,2005)

Antiviral, Anti-Oxidant Antibiotic Efficacies,

Antimicrobial activity against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria,



Antiseptic, Insecticidal, Parasiticidal,


Wound healing

To check haemorrhage from cuts, bruises and wounds

Hypotensive activity

Antidiabetic activity

To prevent falling of hair and promote the hair growth.

Dysentery, Diarrhoea.

Against conjunctivitis Immunomodulating property

Insect repellent activity

(Saxena et al,2005;Suseela et al.,2002)


2.1 Macroscopic study:
The Macroscopical characters (size, shape colour, odour, texture, margin, base, apex and petiole) of the leaves were observed 3, 1. Then, anatomical study, powder was identified with routine reagents to study the lignified cells, Trichomes, stomata, fibres etc. Quantitative microscopy was determined by methods prescribed by Trease and Evans12, 13.

Table 3: Macroscopic of Tridax procumbens L.








3-7 cm long, 1- 4 cm wide


Lanceolate to ovate








Rough & Scabrous


Irregularly toothed




wedge- shaped







2.2 Microscopic study:
2.2.1 Petiole

Kidney shaped towards the distal end and crescent shaped towards the laminal side. Single layered epidermis covered with cuticle and interrupted by simple, multicellular, 3-5 celled trichomes. Hypodermis 1-2 celled collenchymatous. Ground tissue parenchymatous; vascular bundles 5, the size of the vascular bundles various from centre to margin i.e. Large too small. These are centripetal i.e. xylem surrounded by the phloem.

2.2.2 Leaf
T.S. leaf is dorsiventral, epidermis single layered on both the surfaces and covered with thick cuticle. T.S. passing through the mid rib region shows slight depression on ventral side and slightly protuberated on dorsal size.Trichomes are simple, multicelled (3-6 celled) and more in number on dorsal side. The basal cells of the Trichomeare swollen and Trichome looks like claw. Meristeel consists of single centrally located collateral vascular bundle surrounded by some parenchymatous cells filled with dark content. T.S. passing through the laminar region shows single layered palisade cells just below the appear epidermis followed by 5-7 celled mesophyll parenchyma mostly devoid of inter cellular spaces.

Figure 1Microscopy of Tridax procumbens leaf and petiole

Abbreviations: cu, cuticle; le, lower epidermis; pal, palisade cells; sm, spongy mesophyll; t, Trichome; vb, vascular bundle. Powder A – I (A and B, simple Trichome; C, glandular Trichome; D, Trichome base; E, laticifers and vessels; F and G, stone cell; H, spiral vascular bundle; I, laticifers and with adjacent parenchyma

Chemical tests were carried out on the aqueous extract and on the powdered specimens using standard procedures to identify the phytoconstituents as described by Sofowara (1993), Trease and Evans (1989) and Harborne (1989)

Table 4 pre-phytochemical study of tridax plant


























Cardic glycoside


Literature review contains pharmacological activities of different parts ofTridax procumbens plants. With the help of the literature and studying of the different articles its came into the knowledge that Tridax plant has most of the pharmacological activities in different plant parts. In this review some pharmacological activities (Mundada and Shivhare, 2010) are described .Following are some pharmacological activities of tridax plant on which work has been reported:

4.1 Hepatoprotective Activity
The hepatoprotective activity of aerial parts of Tridax shows significant protection in alleviation of D Galactosamine/Lip polysaccharide (D-GalN/LPS)induced hepatocellular injury 7. D-GalN/LPS havebeen proposed to be hepatotoxic due to its ability todestruct liver cells. The multifocal necrosis producedby D-GalN and the lesion of viral hepatitis in humansare similar. This amino sugar is known to selectivelyblock the transcription and indirectly hepatic proteinsynthesis and as a consequence of endotoxin toxicity,it causes fulminant hepatitis within 8 hr after administration. (Mundada and Shivhare, 2010)

4.2 Antidiabetic Activity
The knowledge of diabetes mellitus, as the history revels, existed with the Indians since from prehistoric age. Madhumeha another name of diabetes in which a patient passes sweet urine and exhibits sweetness allover the body in the form of sugar, i.e., in sweat, mucus, urine blood, etc. from ancient time various herbs were practically used for  lowering of blood glucose level as such or in juices form. Aqueous and alcoholic extract of leaves of Tridax showed a significant decrease in the blood glucose level in the model of alloxan-induced diabetis in rats.(Bhagwat,et al ,2008)

4.3 Immunomodulatory Activity
Ethanolic extracts of leaves of Tridax have immunomodulatory effect on Albino rats dosed with Pseudomonas aeruginosaalso inhibits proliferation of same (Oladunmoye, 2006). Also a significant increase in phagocytic index, leukocyte count and spleenic antibody secretingcells has been reported to ethanol insoluble fraction of aqueous extract of Tridax. Stimulation of humoral immune response was also observed along with elevation in heamagglutination antibody titer. Study also reveals that Tridax influences both humoral as well as cell mediated immune system.( Tiwari ,et al, 2004)

4.4 Antimicrobial Activity
Whole plant of Tridax has reported for its antimicrobial activity on various species of bacteria. A whole plant is squeezed between the palms of hands to obtain juice. Fresh plant juice is applied twice a day for 3-4 days to cure cuts and wounds. The extract of whole plant of Tridax showed antibacterial activity only against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The disk diffusion method was used to test the antibacterial activity. Four strains of bacteria employed in test were two-gram positive Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococusaureusand two gram negative Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. (Mahato and Chaudhary, 2005)

4.5 Wound Healing Activity
Wound healing involves a complex interaction between epidermal and dermal cells, the extra cellular matrix, controlled angiogenesis and plasma-derived proteins all coordinated by an array of cytokines and growth factors (Bhat,et al,2007). Tridax antagonized antiepithelizationand tensile strength depressing effect ofdexamethasone (a known healing suppressant agent) without affecting anticontraction and antigranulationaction of dexamethasone. Aqueous extract was alsoeffective in increasing lysyl oxidase but to a lesserdegree than whole plant extract. Further it has beenshown that extract of leaves of this plant also promoteswound healing in both normal andimmunocompromised (steroid treated) rats in deadspace wound healing model. The plant increase notonly lysyl oxidase but also, protein and nucleic acid content in the granulation tissue, probably as a result of increase in glycosamino glycan content (Nia,, 2003)

4.6 Cardiovascular Activity
The cardiovascular effect of aqueous extract from the leaf of Tridax was investigated on anaesthetized Sprague-Dawleyrat. The aqueous extract caused significant decreases in the mean arterial blood pressure in a dose-related manner, i.e. the extract caused greater decrease in the mean arterial blood pressure at higher dose than at lower dose also higher dose leads to significant reduction in heart rate whereas lower dose did not cause any changes in heart rate .It means that a leaf of Tridax has hypertensive effect. (Salahdeen,et al, 2004)

4.7 Anti-malarial Activity
In one study, essential oils extracted by steam distillation from leaves Tridax were evaluated for its topical repellency effects against malarial vector Anopheles stephensi(An. Stephensi) in mosquito cages. All essential oils were tested at three different concentrations (2, 4 and 6%). Of these, the essentialoils of Tridax exhibited relatively high repellency effect (>300 minutes at 6% concentration) and concluded that Tridax are promising as repellents at 6% concentration against An. Stephens’ (Rajkumar and Jebanesan, 2007)

4.8 Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Activity
Tridax also reported for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activity when DPPD (2, 2 –diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl hydrate) and HET –CAM (Hen’s egg chorioallanthoic membrane) assay were done. (Nia,, 2003)(Table 1.5)



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Table 5: List of various Pharmacological activity of parts of plant Tridax procumbens

Tridax procumbens Linn. (Compositae) is found throughout India, it is native of tropical America and naturalized in tropical Africa, Asia, and Australia. This plant widely distributed and it’s each and every part having noble pharmacological activity. The work done till todate on its Pharmacognostical, pre-phytochemical and pharmacological activities like hepatoprotective effect, immunomodulating property, promising wound healing activity, antidiabetic, hypotensive effect, antimicrobial, insect repellent activity, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, bronchialcatarrh, dysentery, diarrhoea also prevent falling of hairs and leads to hair growth promotion. This plant also used as bioadsorbent for removal of Cr (VI) from the industrial wastewater (summarized in Table 5). This is dispensed for “Bhringraj” by some of the practitioners of Ayurveda. In future, there is huge room for research in direction of more pharmacological activities of plant and to elucidate the mechanism of action of same. The studies on plant Tridax procumbens Linn. also desired development of novel therapeutic agents isolated from it, as isolation of oleanolic acid a single triterpenoids is reported from this plant.

I am cordially grateful to my Parents and my esteemed respected guide Dr. (Prof.) Shalini Tripathi, Department of Pharmacy, Rameshwaram Institute of Technology and Management for her supervision, advice and guidance from the very early stage of this research as well as giving me extraordinary experiences throughout the work.

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PharmaTutor (ISSN: 2347 - 7881)

Volume 2, Issue 4

Received On: 19/01/2014; Accepted On: 29/01/2014; Published On: 01/04/2014

How to cite this article: A Pandey, S Tripathi, A Review on Pharmacognosy, Pre-phytochemistry and Pharmacological analysis of Tridax procumbens, PharmaTutor, 2014, 2(4), 78-86



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