Euphorbia hirta

euphorbiahirta copy

Botanical Name: Euphorbia hirta
Common name: Dudeli (Hindi), Asthma herb (English) (Kumar et al., 2010)
Family: Euphorbiaceae (Perumal & Mahmud, 2013, p. 1).
Parts used: Leaf, stem (Kumar et al., 2010)


  • Alkanes
  • Triterpenes
  • Phytosterols
  • Tannins
  • Polyphenols
  • Falonoids

(Kumar et al., 2010)



  • Anti-inflammatory (Ahmad, Khan, Bani, Kaul, Sultan, Ali, Satti, Bakheet, Attia, Zoheir & Abd-Allah, 2013, Abstract; Perumal & Mahmud, 2013, p. 1; Kumar et al., 2010)
  • Antibacterial, antifungal (Kumar et al., 2010; Perumal & Mahmud, 2013, p. 1)
  • Anticancer (Perumal & Mahmud, 2013, p. 1; Kumar et al., 2010)
  • Antithelmintic (Kumar et al., 2010; Perumal & Mahmud, 2013, p. 1)
  • Antioxidant (Perumal & Mahmud, 2013, p. 1)
  • Antipyretic (Ahmad et al., 2013, Abstract; Kumar et al., 2010)
  • Antispasmodic (Kumar et al., 2010)
  • Anxiolytic (Perumal & Mahmud, 2013, p. 1; Kumar et al., 2010)
  • Diuretic (Perumal & Mahmud, 2013, p. 1)
  • Hypotensive (Perumal & Mahmud, 2013, p. 1; Kumar et al., 2010)
  • Immunosepressor (Ahmad et al., 2013, Abstract)


History and Traditional Use

There are over 1600 species in the Euphorbia genus, which is characterised by the excretion of a white milky latex which is often toxic (Kumar et al., 2010). Euphorbia hirta is a common weed used in Auyrvedic medicine, traditional medicine in Africa, Australia and Malaysia (Ahmad, et al., 2013, Abstract; Perumal & Mahmud, 2013, p. 1; Kumar et al., 2010).

In Ayurvedic medicin Euphorbia hirta is used to treat female disorders, respiratory ailments, worm infestations in children, jaundice, gonorrhoea, digestive problems and tumours Kumar et al., 2010

In traditional Malay medicine Euphorbia hirta is used for gastrointestinal disorders and in the respiratory system (Perumal & Mahmud, 2013, p. 1).




  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Hay fever


  • Diarrhoea
  • Dysentery and
  • Parasites


  • Has a sedative effect of urinary tract



Dried Herb Decoction: often used for skin disease

Fresh Herb Decoction: Used as a gargle for thrush

A leaf poultice is used to treat swelling and boils

(Kumar et al., 2010).


Cautions & Contradictions

Has shown to lower sperm count in studies and therefore may reduce fertility (Kumar et al., 2010).


Ahmad, S. F., Khan, B., Bani, S., Kaul, A., Sultan, P., Ali, S. A., Satti, N. K., Bakheet, S. A., Attia, S. M., Zoheir, K. M., & Abd-Allah, A. R. (2013). Immunosuppressive effects of Euphorbia hirta in experimental animals.Inflammopharmacology, 21(2), 161-8. DOI: 10.1007/s10787-012-0144-6

Ahmad, S. F., Attia, S. M., Bakheet, S. A., Ashour, A. E., Zoheir, K. M., & Abd-Allah, A. R. (2014). Anti-inflammatory effect of Euphorbia hirta in an adjuvant-induced arthritic murine model. Inflammopharmacology, 43(3), 197-211. DOI: 10.3109/08820139.2013.857350

Kumar, S., Malhotra, R., & Kumar, D. (2010). Euphorbia hirta: Its chemistry, traditional and medicinal uses, and pharmacological activities. Pharmacognosy Reviews, 4(7), 58-61. doi:  10.4103/0973-7847.65327

Perumal, S., & Mahmud, R. (2013). Chemical analysis, inhibition of biofilm formation and biofilm eradication potential of Euphorbia hirta L. against clinical isolates and standard strains. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 13: 346 doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-346

Image: Pati, K. (2010). ASTHMA WEED, Euphorbia hirta. Retrieved from:

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