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Xanthium strumarium L.

Xanthium americanum Walter
Xanthium canadense Mill.
Xanthium cavanillesii Schouw
Xanthium chinense Mill.

Group: Dicot
Family: Asteraceae - Aster family
Duration: Annual
Growth Habit: Forb/herb

Bangla/Vernacular Name: Ghagra, Lehra, Bichaphal, Chhotoghagra bichaphal, Banokra, Khagra

Tribal Name: Lengra (Chakma), Son Keng (Bawm)

English Name: Cocklebur, Burweed

Description of the Plant:

An erect herb. Leaves alternate, broadly ovate to cordate. Male heads globose, florets numerous, whitish-green.

Chemical Constituents:

Heptacosanol, stigmasterol, ß-sitosterol and its glucoside, 3,4-dihydroxycinnamic acid, KCl, KNO3 and K2SO4 have been isolated from roots and stems. Leaves contain xanthumin, isohexacosane, chlrobutanol, stearyl alcohol, ß-sitosterol, palmitic acid, strumasterol, oleic acid, 3,4-dihydroxycinnamic acid, ß-sitosterol-D-glucoside and KCl.

Leaves contain a- and ?-tocopherols and plastoquinone. Essential oil of the plant contains d-Limonene, d-carveol, terpinolene, ß-caryophyllene, p-cymene and a-pinene. ß-Sitosterol glucoside (Strumaroside), stigmasterol, polyphenols, 3,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid and 1,3,5-tri-O-caffeoyl quinic acid have been isolated from the fruits.

Seeds contain a glucoside, xanthostrumarin and oxalic acid. Four xanthnolides viz., tomentosin, 8-epi-xanthatin-l ß-5 ß-epoxide, xanthumin and 8-epi-xanthin have been isolated from the aerial parts. Plant also contains xanthatin, xanthinin, two new sesquiterpene lactones - xanthanol and isoxanthanol and choline (Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1990 & 93; Ghani, 2003).

Mode of Uses:

  • The leaves are administered internally in scrofula and herpes. Leaves are also given for malaria (Bawm).
  • A paste of the leaves is applied to affected areas for the treatment of infections of the fingers (Chakma).
  • Leaves with young shoots are cooked as vegetable (Khumi).


All over Bangladesh in fallow lands.

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