Bryophyllum pinnatum (Lam.) Oken (= Bryophyllum calycinum Salisb.; Kalanchoe pinnata (Lam.) Pers.)

DeFilipps, Robert A. & Krupnick, Gary A., 2018, The medicinal plants of Myanmar, PhytoKeys 102, pp. 1-341: 57

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Bryophyllum pinnatum (Lam.) Oken (= Bryophyllum calycinum Salisb.; Kalanchoe pinnata (Lam.) Pers.)


Bryophyllum pinnatum (Lam.) Oken (= Bryophyllum calycinum Salisb.; Kalanchoe pinnata (Lam.) Pers.) 


Myanmar: ywet-kya-pin-bauk. English: air plant, floppers, leaf of life, life plant.


Old World tropics; exact origin unknown. Widely distributed in Myanmar.


Leaf: Used to treat alopecia. Apply leaf juice to areas affected by impetigo, erysipelas and boils to treat sores. Roasted and stuck on the wound to stop the flow of blood and to promote healing. Roasted and stuck onto contusions to alleviate and heal inflammation. Crushing one or two leaves together with a bit of pepper and taking the mixture orally will treat retention of urine and other symptoms caused by hemorrhoids and venereal diseases. Crushing the leaf and taking the resulting juice will help treat cholera. Applying the juice of the leaf will heal dislocations, knotted muscles, and burns. Crushed and placed over eyes to treat eye ailments. Juice from the leaf together with rock sugar to treat blood in the urine and dysentery. Juice from the leaf can be ground together with salt and pressed into a scorpion bite to neutralize the poison.


Crushed leaves are cooling and used as a disinfectant by indigenous cultures. From southern China to Guam, they are used on suppurating boils, wounds, skin diseases, burns, scalds, corns, and also (with friction) for rheumatism, neuralgia, and pain. Leaves are placed on the forehead for headaches, and on the chest for cough and pain. They are mixed with leaves from other species for a poultice applied to the abdomen for bowl troubles. Similar uses are recorded from the Philippines. Juice from heated leaves and stems is squeezed on body areas infected with scabies ( Perry 1980). In India the leaf is used for acidity and other gastric trouble; also on wounds and insect bites ( Jain and DeFilipps 1991). The medicinal uses of this species in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (India) are described by Dagar and Singh (1999).

The medicinal uses of this plant in the Caribbean region, as well as its chemistry, biological activity, toxicity and dosages, are discussed by Germosén-Robineau (1997). Mors et al. (2000) discuss the immunosuppressive effect of extracts of this species in the form of an inhibitory action on human lymphocyte proliferation. The "active constituent is bryophylline, a substance used to treat intestinal troubles caused by bacteria" ( Perry 1980).


Agricultural Corporation (1980), Forest Department (1999).