Anisomeles Malabarica

Botanical Name: Anisomeles Malabarica

Sanskrit Name: Vaikuntha / Osthaphala

Family Name: Lamiaceae


Vernacular names :

  1. Hindi – gopoli
  2. Kannada –karitumbi
  3. Malayalam –perumtumpa
  4. Tamil –peyimarutti


Anisomeles malabarica, with common name Malabar catmint, is a species of herbaceous plant native to India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago, Mauritius, Réunion, northern Australia.

Botanical details

Perennial, semi-shrubby herb; stem to about 2 m high, much branched from base, subquadrangular, thickened below to 1.8 cm in diam., densely lanate. Leaves ovate-lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, 3.6-16 x 1.3-7 cm, narrowed and rounded at base, acute, crenate-serrate, slightly bullate and velvety lanate above, densely so beneath; petioles 0.7-3.5 cm long, stout, lanate. Racemes to 34.5 cm long; verticils close, dense; peduncles densely lanate.Floral leaves 8-10 mm long, densely lanate.Bracts linear, to 5 mm long. Calyx to 9 mm long; tube to 5 mm long, lanate without, glabrous within; lobes lanceolate, to 4 mm long, acuminate. Corolla 1.4-2 cm long; tube to 9 mm long, white, glabrous without; throat pilose towards base of lower lip; Upper lip oblong, 4-6 mm long, obtuse at apex, slightly arched, whitish; lower lip to 1 cm across, coral pink, with 2 white streaks towards base, pilulose without with gland-tipped hairs, the lateral lobes shallowly rounded, the median one larger, broadly orbicular, 2-fid. Style glabrous; branches linear, unequal.Nutlets ovoid, 2.5 x 1.5 mm, trigonous, glabrous, blackish-brown and shining.


An aromatic, densely pubescent, perennial herb, 1.2- 2.0 m in height, commonly found in the western ghats from Maharashtra to Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.   Stems tetragonous; leaves oblong-lanceolate, 6.3-10.0 cm x 2.0-4.5 cm,   crenate- serrate, thick; flowers pale purple, occasionally white, in axillary whorls of dense cymes; outlets ellipsoid, smooth, compressed, 3-4 mm long.

Ethnobotanical and folk medicinal uses of Anisomeles malabarica

  • Bite(Snake)
  • Colic
  • Dyspepsia
  • Fever
  • Rheumatism
  • Sting(Scorpion)
  • Teething

Other uses – detailed view

  • The species has been one of the several disputed sources of gaozaban, aUnani drug available in Indian bazaars. The drug gaozaban as obtained from the market is found to be a mixture of the leaves and outlets of Anchusastrigosa and the flowers of Echiumamoenum (Qadry& Hamid, J sciindustr Res,, 1962, 21C, 317; Sitholey, Quart J Ctude Drug Res, 1970, 10, 1581; 1971, 11, 1818).
  • The herb is reported to possess anti-spasmodic, emmenagogue, ., diaphoretic,   anti-pyretic   and   antiperiodic properties. A decoction of the herb is beneficial in rheumatic joints. The fresh juice of the leaves or an infusion is given to children in colic, dyspepsia and fever due to teething [Kirtikar&Basu, III, 2011; Chopra et al, 1956, 19; Kannabiran& Krishnamurthy, J Res   Indian Med, 1972, 7(4), 43; Dastur, Medicinal Plants, 31].
  • The plant yields a light brown essential oil: roots and stems, 0.005; leaves, 0.025; and flowers, 0.07%. The oil distilled from the leaves collected from Kerala (Karinthumpa oil) has   the following   constants:   d 1500.9072; [alpha]D, -45°49′; acid val, 2.2; and ester val, 22.4. It consists mainly of hydrocarbons, citral and geranic acid.
  • The oil is used externally as an embrocation in rheumatic arthritis (Basalas, Perfumessent Oil Rec, 1967, 58, 437; Gildemeister& Hoffmann, VII, 90, 99; Kannabiran& Krishnamurthy, loc. cit.).
  • An aqueous extract of the shoot showed in vitro spermicidal   effect in albino   rats and also on human semen. The ethanolic extract (50%) of the aerial parts was active against P388 lymphocytic leukaemia in mice. On extraction with hexane, the plant yields anisomelic acid (C20H2604, mp 155°) and ovatodiolide. The presence of betulinic acid and P-sitosterol is also reported (Setty et al, Indian J expBiol, 1977, 15, 231; Dhar et al, ibid, I 974, 12,
  • 512; Purushothaman et al,Indian J Chem, 1975, 13, 1357; Anjaneyulu et al, ibid, 1965, 3, 237; Gopinath et al, J sciindustr Res, 1962, 21B, 507).