Euphorbia hirta information & Medicinal Uses

Euphorbia hirta(Asthma herb or Dugadhika) is medicinal herb which is used in various countries for treatment of diseases. It is a succulent herb with white latex and soft hairs. In India and South East Asia, it is found throughout the warmer region as weed. This very common weed is known by many names viz. Dudhi, Dugdhika, kshira in Sanskrit due to its milky sap. In Siddha medicine system, it is known as Amman Pacharisi. Amman Pacharisi powder, decoction (Kudineer) are prepared from this herb and used to treat diseases. In India and south east Asia it is found throughout the warmer region as weed.


In folk medicine it is used to increase breast milk in women. It is also used to treat female disorders, respiratory ailments (cough, coryza, bronchitis, and asthma), worm infestations in children, dysentery, jaundice, pimples, gonorrhoea, digestive problems, and tumours. In Philippines, this herb is known as tawa-tawa and used to treat Dengue fever.

In Philippines, this herb is known as tawa-tawa and used to treat Dengue fever.

Vernacular Names

Latin Name: Euphorbia hirta, synonym E. pilulifera auct. non Linn.

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Sanskrit: Dugadhika, Amampatchairaisi
English: Bearing spurge, Asthma weed, Snakeweed, Asthma weed
Hindi: Dudhi
Gujarati: Dudeli
Malayalam: Nelapalai
Marathi: Dudnali, Govardhan
Orissa: Jhotikhuntian
Tamil: Amumpatchaiyraissi
Telugu: Reddinanabrolu, Nanabala, Nanabiyan
Indonasia: Daun biji Kacang, Patikan kebo
Philippines: Tawa-tawa, gatas-gatas or mangagaw

Distribution of Euphorbia hirta

E. hirta is distributed throughout the hotter parts of India, Australia, Central America and subtropical parts of world. It is found in waste places along the roadsides, field as a weed.

Botanical description

A small, erect or ascending annual herb reaching up to 50 cm, with hairy stems;leaves are opposite, elliptical, oblong or oblong-lanceolate, with a faintly toothed margin and darker on the upper surface;flowers are small, numerous and crowded together in dense cymes about 1 cm in diameter, fruits yellow, three-celled, hairy, keeled capsules, 1-2 mm in diameter, containing three brown, four-sided, angular, wrinkled seeds

Part used: whole plant, fresh or dried

Dosage of Euphorbia hirta (Amman Pacharisi):0.12–0.3 ml liquid extract, 120–300 mg herb as tea, 0.6–2 ml herb tincture, 28–56 ml plant decoction, 14–28 ml plant tea


Flavonoids: Euphorbianin, leucocyanidol, camphol, quercitrin and quercitol

Tannins: Euphorbins

Alkanes: Heptacosane, n-nonacosane and others

Anti-asthmatic activity due to choline and shikimic acid. Shikimic acid and choline showed relaxant and contracting properties on guinea-pig ileum.

Euphorbia hirta medicinal properties

  • Antipyretic, Astringent
  • Bronchodilator
  • Cardio-depressant, Respiration depressant
  • Emetic, Sedative
  • Lactagogue, Mastogenic (causes swelling and growth of breast tissues)
  • Muscle relaxant
  • Increases platelets

The decoction of dudhi has sedative, anxiolytic, analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory activities. It also exerted an inhibitory effect on platelet aggregation.

Traditionally decoction prepared from Dudhi is used for treating

  • Respiratory problems:- asthma, laryngitis, chronic nasal and bronchial catarrh
  • Digestive problems:- diarrhoea, dysentery, intestinal parasitosis
  • Female disorders:- in post-delivery problems, Improving breast milk quantity
  • Also used in:- Dengue fever, kidney stones, diabetes and in conjunctivitis

Medicinal uses of Amman Pacharisi or Dudhi

Dugdhika, Amman Pacharisi, or Dudhi is used both internally and externally. It is a common weed and you can find it growing in waste lands, gardens, roadside and other similar places.
Here is given, how you can use this medicinal herb as home remedy for treatment of some common ailments.

External uses of Amman Pacharisi or Dudhi

Chapped lips, wart, wounds: For this purpose, take the milky sap and apply on cracked lips.
Swelling, ulcer, wart, bleeding wounds: E. Hirta has antibacterial and antifungal activities. These property is useful in treating skin conditions, wounds, ulcers etc. Apply paste of leaves or powder on swelling and ulcers.
Pimple, acne: Make a paste of tulsi leaves and dudhi and apply on pimples.

Internal uses of Amman Pacharisi or Dudhi

Gonorrhoea (disease involving inflammatory discharge from the urethra or vagina), blood in urine. Take one gram leaf paste with a glass of milk.

Dysentery, loose motions, jaundice: Dudhi leaves contain Quercitrin. It is glycoside and has anti-diarrheal effect. So this herb effectively treats diarrhoea. Collect and wash thoroughly these three herbs, Dudhi, Bringraj and Dronpusphi. Take each one gram and grind to make fine paste. Add pinch of black pepper. Mix in a glass of milk and drink.

Stimulating breast milk:Take few cooked leaves of dudhi.

Aggravated pitta, burning sensation in body, increased body heat: Take 1 gram of leaf paste with one glass milk. 

Side-effects of Amman Pacharisi

  • The herb has depressant action on heart and respiration.
  • In high doses it has antifertility effect. It reduces sperm motility and testis sperm suspension significantly and thus leading to infertility.
  • It should be avoided during pregnancy.
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