Herbal Medicine

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General info:
The name derives from the Greek words pedilon, meaning "slipper," and anthos, meaning "flower." Botany
Half-Woody plant growing to a height of 1.5 meters or less, with fleshy branches which produce milky juice. The leaves are fleshy, smooth, alternate, deciduous, ovate or oblong, 3.5 to 7.5 cm long, pointed at both ends. Flowers are reddish. Capsules are 9 mm broad. Parts utilized


Considered emetic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiseptic, antihemorrhagic, antiviral, antitumoral and abortive.  Milky juice is caustic, irritant, and emetic.
A study assessing its scavenging properties yielded the antioxidant principles: a kaempferol, quercitrin, isoquercitrin and scopoletin; phenolics and flavonoids - gallic acid and rutin. • A new proteolytic enzyme, pedilanthain, with antiinflammatory activity was isolated from the latex. • Caustic, milky juice of the roots, stems and leaves contains euphorbol and other diterpene esters which are irritants and cocarcinogens. A lectin and proteolytic enzymes are experimentally indicated.

Used for venereal disease.
In other folk systems, leaf tea used for laryngitis, mouth ulcers, venereal disease, asthma, cough. Root tea has been used as abortifacient and as purgative substitute for ipecacuanha. Latex has been used to treat cancer and umbilical hernia; also, dripped into painful dental caries and aching ears. Used for treating warts, calluses and ringworms.

The centipede leg-like leaf arrangement has given it folkloric application for treatment of centipede and scorpion stings.


Anti-inflammatory: Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity of a medicinal tincture from Pedilanthus tithymaloides: A Cuban study showed inhibition of carrageenan-induced rat paw edema while scavenging assays showed it to be effective against all assayed ROS and RNS. Study results support its traditional use as an...
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