The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

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Black Face General

Scientific Names

Black Face General

  • Strobilanthes crispus
  • Cericocalyx crispus
  • Strobilanthes crispa
  • Saricocalyx crispus
  • Acanthaceae family

Common Names

  • Bayam karang (Malaysia)
  • Black Face General
  • Enyoh kelo (Java)
  • Hei mian jiang jun (Chinese)
  • Jin batu (Malaysia)
  • Kecibeling (Java)
  • Kejibeling (Java)
  • Ngokilo (Java)
  • Pecah beling (Malaysia)
  • Pecah kaca (Malaysia)
  • Picah beling (Jakarta)
  • Yellow strobilanthus

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Parts Usually Used

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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Strobilanthes crispus is a flowering shrub that grows up to 2 meters tall, usually found wild near riverbanks, abandoned fields or in scrublands. The plant’s flowers are yellow.

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Where Found

The Black Face General plant is native to Malaysia, Indonesia and Madagascar.

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Medicinal Properties

The Black Face General plant posesses anticancer, antioxidant, antiangiogenic, antimicrobial, anti-HIV, antilytic, laxative, diuretic, free radical scavenging, wound healing, antidiabetic, hypolipidemic and antiulcerogenic properties.

According to A number of studies demonstrated that S. crispus crude extracts are cytotoxic to cancer cell lines. We showed that a bioactive sub-fraction of S. crispus leaves (SCS) induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis of human breast cancer cell lines. The mechanism involves perturbation of mitochondrial function and modulation of cell cycle regulatory proteins and apoptotic signaling molecules. SCS acted synergistically with the antiestrogen, Tamoxifen, suggesting the potential to achieve the desired cytotoxic effect in cancer treatment at lower drug doses with the potential for reduction in side effects or toxicity of the drug on non-cancerous cells. SCS also displayed potent anticancer effects in vivo. SCS reduced tumour volume and tumour multiplicity in rats bearing N-methyl nitrosourea-induced mammary tumors. These were accompanied by modulation of the expression of cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinases as well as various signaling molecules of both the intrinsic and extrinsic pathways. Interestingly, SCS is also capable of activating the immune system in vivo that may contribute to the anticancer effects of SCS. Importantly, hematological and clinical biochemistry profiles indicated that SCS is relatively safe, further lending support for the therapeutic potential of SCS.

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Biochemical Information

Strobilanthes crispus flower

This plant contains caffeine, polyphenols, catechins, flavonoids, alkaloids and tannins. Specifically, leaf extracts contain phenolic acids (p-hydroxybenzoic acid, p-coumaric acid, gallic acid, vanillic acid, gentinic acid, caffeic acid, ferulic acid, trans-cinnamic acid, syryngic acid, chlorogenic acid) and flavonoids (apigenin, rutin, catechin, quercetin, naringenin, kaempferol)

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In West Malaysia, the fresh leaves are chewed and swallowed to increase the immune system.

The heated leaves are applied to the hips to treat kidney stones in Malaysia.

A tea or infusion made from the leaves is used traditionally to treat cancer and diabetes.

A poultice on the chest is used for treatment of cough or ague in children.

This plant is also often used as a laxative.

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Formulas or Dosages

Crushed, dried leaves are simmered in hot water to create a tea. It is often sweetened with a bit of sugar.

Fresh leaves are crushed to a puree or juiced and consumed.

The leaves can be boiled to create an infusion.

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Nutrient Content

The plant contains significant amounts of minerals and vitamins C, B1 and B2.

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How Sold

Capsules, teas, leaf powder

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It is not advisable to use this plant while pregnant.

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Resource Links

Recent Studies Show Seven Herbs Help Stop Cancer Growth These Medicinal Plants Put Brakes on Cancer Growth

Journal of Ethnopharmacology: Evaluation of anti-proliferative activity of medicinal plants used in Asian Traditional Medicine to treat cancer

National University of Singapore: Anti-cancer properties uncovered in plants

Phytochemical constituents and biological activities of different extracts of Strobilanthes crispus (L.) Bremek leaves grown in different locations of Malaysia

Wikipedia: Strobilanthes crispa

US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Chemopreventive effects of Strobilanthes crispus leaf extract on azoxymethane-induced aberrant crypt foci in rat colon

US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Strobilanthes crispus tea aqueous extracts on glucose and lipid profile in normal and streptozotocin-induced hyperglycemic rats

ResearchGate: Strobilanthes crispus

ResearchGate: Strobilanthes crispus

International Food Research Journal: Phytochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology properties of Strobilanthes crispus

Anticancer effects of Strobilanthes crispus in experimental breast cancer Effects of Strobilanthes crispus Juice on Wound Healing and Antioxidant Enzymes in Normal and Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats

Malaysian Herbal Monograph: Pecah Beling Leaves

Green Culture Singapore: Black Face General

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