Euphorbia hirta L.

DeFilipps, Robert A. & Krupnick, Gary A., 2018, The medicinal plants of Myanmar, PhytoKeys 102, pp. 1-341: 68-69

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Euphorbia hirta L.


Euphorbia hirta L. 


Myanmar: kywai-kyaung min hsay, kywai-kyaung min thay, hsay min kyaung, kanah-tanow pryin (Mon). English: Australian asthma weed, milk weed, Queensland asthma herb.


Pantropical weed. Widely distributed throughout Myanmar, growing naturally.


Whole plant: A decoction is given for asthma and bronchitis. New mothers eat it any way they like to promote lactation. In a salad or with fish paste or fish sauce dip, it is consumed to alleviate stomach pains from heat stroke, as well as to strengthen nerves and blood vessels along the breathing passages. Juice from crushing the five parts (stem, leaf, flower, fruit, and root) is used to treat fatigue in asthmatics, is taken with water after every meal to promote digestion, and is considered beneficial for the heart and the air passages. It is used to treat vomiting of blood, loose stools, and chest pain. Sap: Described as sweet, bitter, sharp and salty, with heating properties, it is known to increase semen and stabilize pregnancy, as well as to alleviate fevers, coughs, colds, and runny noses. Applied topically, it is used to clear pimples and scabies. Leaf: Sweet and astringent, used to control heat, and also applied topically for ringworm, scabies, itching, and other skin disorders. The juice is used widely to treat mucus within the chest in, inflammation of air passage, and coughs in children. A decoction of the leaves is mixed with a large amount of sugar and ingested to alleviate bleeding dysentery.


The medicinal uses of this species in South China, the Malay Peninsula, Indonesia, and Indo-China are discussed in Perry (1980).

Reported chemical constituents of the species include quercetin, triacontane, phytosterol, phytosterolin, jambulol (now identified as ellagic acid); melissic, gallic, palmitic, linolic, and oleic acids; euphosterol; also an alkaloid, xanthorhamnine. The plant also contains hydrogen cyanide and a triterpinoid, an extract of which "has some antibiotic activity on Staphylococcus  " ( Perry 1980). A pharmacognostical profile including medicinal uses of this plant in Africa is given in Iwu (1993).


Agricultural Corporation (1980).