Erva Tostao Powder - Boerhaavia diffusa - Erva tostao - Boerhaavia hirsuta Erva Tostão Powder

Boerhaavia diffusa

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Erva tostão contains flavonoids, steroids, and alkaloids, many of which drive its documented biological activities.* It has a long history of use in the Amazon for various liver and kidney problems.* For more information about erva tostão (Boerhaavia diffusa), please refer to the Database File for Erva Tostão in the Tropical Plant Database. To see pictures of erva tostão, click here. Check out the new Discussion Forums to see if anyone is talking about how they are using this natural rainforest remedy.

Traditional Uses:* for liver disorders (jaundice, hepatitis, cirrhosis, anemia, flukes, detoxification, chemical injury, etc.); for gallbladder disorders (stones, sluggish function, low bile production, emptying, and detoxification); for kidney and urinary tract disorders (stones, nephritis, urethritis, infections, renal insufficiency/injury, etc.); for menstrual disorders (pain, cramps, excessive bleeding, uterine spasms, water retention); to tone, balance, and strengthen the adrenals (and for adrenal exhaustion and excess cortisol production)

Suggested Use: This plant is best prepared as a decoction. Use one teaspoon of powder for each cup of water. Bring to a boil and gently boil in a covered pot for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and settle for 10 minutes and strain warm liquid into a cup (leaving the settled powder in the bottom of the pan). It is traditionally taken in 1 cup amounts, 2-3 times daily. For more complete instructions on preparing herbal decoctions see the Methods for Preparing Herbal Remedies Page.

Contraindications:
  • Animal studies have demonstrated the hypotensive properties of erva tostão. This plant is probably contraindicated for persons with low blood pressure.
  • This herb has also demonstrated myocardial depressant activity and should therefore not be taken by anyone with heart failure or those taking heart depressant medications unless under the direction and care of a qualified health care practitioner.
Drug Interactions: Erva tostão may enhance the actions of cardiac depressant medications. In an animal study erva tostão inhibited barbiturates and decreased sleeping time. Therefore, the use of this plant may decrease the effect of barbiturates.





Third-Party Published Research*

All available third-party research on erva tostão can be found at PubMed. A partial listing of the third-party published research on erva tostão is shown below:


Liver Protective Actions:
Olaleye, M., et al. "Antioxidant activity and hepatoprotective property of leaf extracts of Boerhaavia diffusa Linn against acetaminophen-induced liver damage in rats." Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Aug-Sep;48(8-9):2200-5
Rawat, A. K., et al. “Hepatoprotective activity of Boerhaavia diffusa L. roots—a popular Indian ethnomedicine." J. Ethnopharmacol. 1997; 56(1): 61–66.
Chandan, B. K., et al. “Boerhaavia diffusa: a study of its hepatoprotective activity." J. Ethnopharmacol. 1991; 31(3):299–307.

Diuretic & Kidney Protective Actions:
Pareta, S., et al. "Aqueous extract of Boerhaavia diffusa root ameliorates ethylene glycol-induced hyperoxaluric oxidative stress and renal injury in rat kidney." Pharm Biol. 2011 Dec;49(12):1224-33.
Yasir, F., et al. "Effect of indigenous plant extracts on calcium oxalate crystallization having a role in urolithiasis." Urol Res. 2011 Oct;39(5):345-50.
Raut, A., et al. "Preliminary study on crystal dissolution activity of Rotula aquatica, Commiphora wightii and Boerhaavia diffusa extracts." Fitoterapia. 2008 Dec;79(7-8):544-7.
Rawat, A. K., et al. “Hepatoprotective activity of Boerhaavia diffusa L. roots—a popular Indian ethnomedicine." J. Ethnopharmacol. 1997; 56(1): 61–66.
Devi, M. V., et al. “Effect of Phyllanthus niruri on the diuretic activity of punarnava tablets." J. Res. Edu. Ind. Med. 1986; 5(1): 11–12.
Mishra, J. P., et al. “Studies on the effect of indigenous drug Boerhaavia diffusa Rom. on kidney regeneration." Indian J. Pharmacy 1980; 12: 59.
Mudgal, V. “Studies on medicinal properties of Convolvulus pluricaulis and Boerhaavia diffusa.” Planta Med. 1975;28: 62.
Gaitonde, B. B., et al. “Diuretic activity of punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa).” Bull. Haffkine Inst. 1974; 2: 24.
Chowdhury, A., et al. “Boerhaavia diffusa: effect on diuresis and some renal enzymes." Ann. Biochem. Exp. Med. 1955; 15: 119–26.
Singh, R. P., et al. “Recent approach in clinical and experimental evaluation of diuretic action of punarnava (B. diffusa) with special reference to nephrotic syndrome." J. Res. Edu. Ind. Med. 1955; 7(1): 29-35.

Anti-hemorrhaging Actions:
Barthwal, M., et al. “Management of IUD-associated menorrhagia in female rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta)." Adv. Contracept. 1991; 7(1): 67–76.
Barthwal, M., et al. “Histologic studies on endometrium of menstruating monkeys wearing IUDS: comparative evaluation of drugs.” Adv. Contracept. 1990; 6(2): 113–24.

Antimicrobial Actions:
Hilou, A., et al. "In vivo antimalarial activities of extracts from Amaranthus spinosus L. and Boerhaavia erecta L. in mice." J. Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Jan; 103(2): 236-40.
Agrawal, A., et al. “Inhibitory effect of the plant Boerhavia diffusa L. against the dermatophytic fungus Microsporum fulvum.” J. Environ. Biol. 2004 Jul; 25(3): 307-11.
Agrawal, A., et al. “Antifungal activity of Boerhavia diffusa against some dermatophytic species of Microsporum.” Hindustan Antibiot. Bull. 2003 Feb-2004 Nov; 45-46(1-4): 1-4.
Perumal, S. R., et al. “Ethnomedicinal plants from India.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1999; 66(2): 235–40.
Qureshi S, et al. "In vitro evaluation of inhibitory nature of extracts of 18-plant species of Chhindwara against 3-keratinophilic fungi." Hindustan. Antibiot. Bull. 1997 Feb-Nov; 39(1-4): 56-60.
Sohni, Y., et al. “The antiamoebic effect of a crude drug formulation of herbal extracts against Entamoeba histolytica in vitro and in vivo.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1995; 45(1): 43–52.
Olukoya, D., et al. “Antibacterial activity of some medicinal plants from Nigeria.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1993; 39(1): 69–72.
Awasthi, L. P., et al. "Effect of root extract from Boerhaavia diffusa L., containing an antiviral principle upon plaque formation of RNA bacteriophages." Zentralbl. Mikrobiol. 1986; 141(5): 415-9.
Aynehchi, Y. “Screening of Iranian plants for antimicrobial activity.” Acta Pharm. Suecica. 1982; 19(4): 303–8.
Verma, H., et al. “Antiviral activity of Boerhaavia diffusa root extract and physical properties of the virus inhibitor." Can. J. Bot. 1979; 57: 926–32.

Anticonvulsant, Muscle Relaxant, Antispasmodic & Pain-Relieving Actions:
Irié-N'guessan, G., et al. "Tracheal relaxation of five Ivorian anti-asthmatic plants: role of epithelium and K^(+) channels in the effect of the aqueous-alcoholic extract of Dichrostachys cinerea root bark." J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Nov 18;138(2):432-8.
Kaur, M., et al. "Anti-Convulsant Activity of Boerhaavia diffusa: Plausible Role of Calcium Channel Antagonism." Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:310420.
Borrelli, F., et al. "Spasmolytic effects of nonprenylated rotenoid constituents of Boerhaavia diffusa roots." J. Nat. Prod. 2006; 69(6): 903-6.
Borrelli, F., et al. “Isolation of new rotenoids from Boerhaavia diffusa and evaluation of their effect on intestinal motility.” Planta Med. 2005; 71(10): 928-32.
Hiruma-Lima, C. A., et al. “The juice of fresh leaves of Boerhaavia diffusa L. (Nyctaginaceae) markedly reduces pain in mice." J. Ethnopharmacol. 2000; 71(1–2): 267–74.
Akah, P., et al. “Nigerian plants with anti-convulsant property.” Fitoterapia 1993; 64(1): 42–44.
Adesina, S. “Anticonvulsant properties of the roots of Boerhaavia diffusa.” Q. J. Crude Drug Res. 1979; 17: 84–86.
Dhar, M., et al. “Screening of Indian plants for biological activity: Part I.” Indian J. Exp. Biol. 1968; 6: 232–47.

Cytotoxic & Anticancerous Actions:
Srivastava, R., et al. "Inhibition of Human Cervical Cancer Cell Growth by Ethanolic Extract of Boerhaavia diffusa Linn. (Punarnava) Root." Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:427031.
Sreeja, S., et al. "An in vitro study on antiproliferative and antiestrogenic effects of Boerhaavia diffusa L. extracts." J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Nov 12;126(2):221-5.
Manu, K., et al. "Anti-metastatic potential of Punarnavine, an alkaloid from Boerhaavia diffusa Linn." Immunobiology. 2009;214(4):245-55.
Manu, K., et al. "Punarnavine induces apoptosis in B16F-10 melanoma cells by inhibiting NF-kappaB signaling." Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2009;10(6):1031-7.
Manu, K., et al. "Boerhaavia diffusa stimulates cell-mediated immune response by upregulating IL-2 and downregulating the pro-inflammatory cytokines and GM-CSF in B16F-10 metastatic melanoma bearing mice." J Exp Ther Oncol. 2008;7(1):17-29.
Manu, K., et al. "Effect of Punarnavine, an alkaloid from Boerhaavia diffusa, on cell-mediated immune responses and TIMP-1 in B16F-10 metastatic melanoma-bearing mice." Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2007;29(3-4):569-86.
Leyon, P. V., et al. “Inhibitory effect of Boerhaavia diffusa on experimental metastasis by B16F10 melanoma in C57BL/6 mice.” Life Sci. 2005 Feb; 76(12): 1339-49.
Bharali, R., et al. “Chemopreventive action of Boerhaavia diffusa on DMBA-induced skin carcinogenesis in mice.” Indian J. Physiol. Pharmacol. 2003 Oct; 47(4): 459-64.
Mehrotra, S., et al. "Antilymphoproliferative activity of ethanolic extract of Boerhaavia diffusa roots." Exp. Mol. Pathol. 2002 Jun; 72(3): 236-42.

Antidiabetic & Hypoglycemic Actions:
Gulati, V., et al. "Enzyme inhibitory and antioxidant activities of traditional medicinal plants: Potential application in the management of hyperglycemia." BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012 Jun 19;12:77.
Singh, P., et al. "Antihyperglycaemic and renoprotective effect of Boerhaavia diffusa L. in experimental diabetic rats." J Complement Integr Med. 2011 Jan;8(1).
Gholap, S., et al. “Hypoglycaemic effects of some plant extracts are possibly mediated through inhibition in corticosteroid concentration.” Pharmazie. 2004; 59(11): 876-8.
Satheesh, M. A., et al. “Antioxidant effect of Boerhavia diffusa L. in tissues of alloxan induced diabetic rats.” Indian J. Exp. Biol. 2004; 42(10): 989-92.
Pari, L., et al. “Antidiabetic effect of Boerhavia diffusa: effect on serum and tissue lipids in experimental diabetes.” J. Med. Food. 2004 Winter; 7(4): 472-6.
Pari, L., et al. “Antidiabetic activity of Boerhaavia diffusa L.: effect on hepatic key enzymes in experimental diabetes.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Mar; 91(1): 109-13.

Hypotensive Actions:
Hansen, K., et al. “In vitro screening of traditional medicines for anti-hypertensive effect based on inhibition of the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE)." Ethnopharmacol. 1995; 48(1): 43–51.
Lami, N., et al. "Constituents of the roots of Boerhaavia diffusa L. III. Identification of Ca2+ channel antagonistic compound from the methanol extract." Chem. Pharm. Bull. 1991; 39(6): 1551-5.
Ramabhimaiah, S., et al. “Pharmacological investigations on the water soluble fraction of methanol extract of Boerhaavia diffusa root." Indian Drugs 1984; 21(8): 343–44.

Cellular Protective, Immunomodulating & Antioxidant Actions:
Vineetha, V., et al. "Arsenic Trioxide Toxicity in H9c2 Myoblasts-Damage to Cell Organelles and Possible Amelioration with Boerhavia diffusa." Cardiovasc Toxicol. 2012 Nov 19
Gulati, V., et al. "Enzyme inhibitory and antioxidant activities of traditional medicinal plants: Potential application in the management of hyperglycemia." BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012 Jun 19;12:77.
Aviello, G., et al. "Potent antioxidant and genoprotective effects of boeravinone G, a rotenoid isolated from Boerhaavia diffusa." PLoS One. 2011;6(5):e19628.
Olaleye, M., et al. "Antioxidant activity and hepatoprotective property of leaf extracts of Boerhaavia diffusa Linn against acetaminophen-induced liver damage in rats." Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Aug-Sep;48(8-9):2200-5
Manu, K., et al. "Immunomodulatory activities of Punarnavine, an alkaloid from Boerhaavia diffusa." Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2009;31(3):377-87.
Manu, K., et al. "Boerhaavia diffusa stimulates cell-mediated immune response by upregulating IL-2 and downregulating the pro-inflammatory cytokines and GM-CSF in B16F-10 metastatic melanoma bearing mice." J Exp Ther Oncol. 2008;7(1):17-29.
Manu, K., et al. "Effect of Punarnavine, an alkaloid from Boerhaavia diffusa, on cell-mediated immune responses and TIMP-1 in B16F-10 metastatic melanoma-bearing mice." Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2007;29(3-4):569-86.
Manu, K., et al. "Studies on the protective effects of Boerhaavia diffusa L. against gamma radiation induced damage in mice." Integr Cancer Ther. 2007 Dec;6(4):381-8.
Ahmed-Belkacem, A., et al. "Nonprenylated rotenoids, a new class of potent breast cancer resistance protein inhibitors." J Med Chem. 2007 Apr 19;50(8):1933-8.
Pandey, R., et al. “Immunosuppressive properties of flavonoids isolated from Boerhaavia diffusa Linn.” Int. Immunopharmacol. 2005; 5(3): 541-53.
Jagetia, G. C., et al. “The evaluation of nitric oxide scavenging activity of certain Indian medicinal plants in vitro: A preliminary study.” J. Med. Food. 2004 Fall; 7(3): 343-8.
Satheesh, M. A., et al. “Antioxidant effect of Boerhavia diffusa L. in tissues of alloxan induced diabetic rats.” Indian J. Exp. Biol. 2004; 42(10): 989-92.
Mehrotra, S., et al. “Immunomodulation by ethanolic extract of Boerhaavia diffusa roots." Int. Immunopharmacol. 2002; 7: 987-96.
Mehrotra, S., et al. "Antilymphoproliferative activity of ethanolic extract of Boerhaavia diffusa roots." Exp. Mol. Pathol. 2002 Jun; 72(3): 236-42.
Mungantiwarn, A. A., et al. “Studies on the immunomodulatory effects of Boerhaavia diffusa alkaloidal fraction.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1999 May; 65(2): 125-31.


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Last updated 12-17-2012