A Review of Botany, Phytochemical, and Pharmacological Effects of Dysphania ambrosioides

  • Lavisiony Gracius Hewis Indonesia International Institute for Life Sciences
  • Giovanni Batista Christian Daeli Indonesia International Institute for Life Sciences
  • Kenjiro Tanoto Indonesia International Institute for Life Sciences
  • Carlos Carlos Indonesia International Institute for Life Sciences
  • Agnes Anania Triavika Sahamastuti Indonesia International Institute for Life Sciences
Keywords: Dysphania ambrosioides, phytochemicals, pharmacological effect, secondary metabolites, toxicity


Traditional medicine is widely used worldwide due to its benefits and healthier components that these natural herbs provide. Natural products are substances produced or retrieved from living organisms found in nature and often can exert biological or pharmacological activity, thus making them a potential alternative for synthetic drugs. Natural products, especially plant-derived products, have been known to possess many beneficial effects and are widely used for the treatment of various diseases and conditions. Dysphania ambrosioides is classified as an annual or short-lived perennial herb commonly found in Central and South America with a strong aroma and a hairy characteristic. Major components in this herb are ascaridole, p-cymene, α-terpinene, terpinolene, carvacrol, and trans-isoascaridole. Active compounds isolated from this herb are found to exert various pharmacological effects including schistosomicidal, nematicidal, antimalarial, antileishmanial, cytotoxic, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antioxidant, anticancer, and antibiotic modulatory activity. This review summarizes the phytochemical compounds found in the Dysphania ambrosioides, together with their pharmacological and toxicological effects.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Lavisiony Gracius Hewis, Indonesia International Institute for Life Sciences

Student of pharmacy study program

Giovanni Batista Christian Daeli, Indonesia International Institute for Life Sciences

Student of pharmacy study program

Kenjiro Tanoto, Indonesia International Institute for Life Sciences

Student of pharmacy study program

Carlos Carlos, Indonesia International Institute for Life Sciences

Student of pharmacy study program


Albuquerque, U. P., Patil, U., & Máthé, A. (2018). Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of South America. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.
Almeida, B. J., Rodrigues, C. A., de Freitas, M., Rodrigues, F., de Souza, M., & da Silva, A. et al. (2019). Chemical composition, antimicrobial, modulator and antioxidant activity of essential oil of Dysphania ambrosioides (L.) Mosyakin & Clemants. Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, 65, 58-64. doi:10.1016/j.cimid.2019.04.010
Arena, J. S., Omarini, A. B., Zunino, M. P., Peschiutta, M. L., Defagó, M. T., & Zygadlo, J. A. (2018). Essential oils from Dysphania ambrosioides and Tagetes minuta enhance the toxicity of a conventional insecticide against Alphitobius diaperinus. Industrial Crops and Products, 122, 190–194. doi:10.1016/j.indcrop.2018.05.077
Barros, A., Campos, V., de Paula, L., Oliveira, D., de Silva, F., & Terra, W. et al. (2019). Nematicidal screening of essential oils and potent toxicity of Dysphania ambrosioides essential oil against Meloidogyne incognita in vitro and in vivo. Journal of Phytopathology, 167(7-8), 380-389. doi:10.1111/jph.12803
Blanckaert, I., Paredes-Flores, M., Espinosa-García, F., Piñero, D., & Lira, R. (2011). Ethnobotanical, morphological, phytochemical and molecular evidence for the incipient domestication of Epazote (Chenopodium ambrosioides L.: Chenopodiaceae) in a semi-arid region of Mexico. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, 59(4), 557-573. doi:10.1007/s10722-011-9704-7
Brahim, M. A. S., Fadli, M., Hassani, L., Boulay, B., Markouk, M., Bekkouche, K., Abbad, A., Ait Ali, M., Larhsini, M. (2015). Chenopodium ambrosioides var. ambrosioides used in Moroccan traditional medicine can enhance the antimicrobial activity of conventional antibiotics. Industrial Crops and Products, 71, 37–43. doi:10.1016/j.indcrop.2015.03.067
Buckle, J. (2016). Clinical Aromatherapy: Essential Oils in Healthcare (3rd ed.). London: Churchill Livingstone.
Cysne, D. N., Fortes, T. S., Reis, A. S., Ribeiro, B. D., Ferreira, A. D., Amaral, F. M., et al. (2016). Antimalarial Potential of Leaves of Chenopodium ambrosioides L. Parasitology Research, 115(11), 4327-4334. doi:10.1007/s00436-016-5216-x
da Silva, G. D., Botura, M. B., de Lima, H. G., de Oliveira, J. V. A., Moreira, E. L. T., Santos, F. O., & de Souza, T. S. (2016). Evaluation of the anthelmintic activity and toxicity of an aqueous extract of Chenopodium ambrosioides in goats. Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Medicine, 38(Supl. 1), 156-162. Retrieved 9 June 2020, from http://rbmv.org/index.php/BJVM/article/view/265
El Yahyaoui El Drissi, A., Khouchlaa, A., Bouyahya, A., Chebat, A., Soulaymani Bencheikh, R., Talbaoui, A. et al. (2017). RISK OF INTOXICATION THE PLANTS MORE USED IN HERBAL MEDICINE IN MOROCCO. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, 1463-1475. doi:10.20959/wjpr20174-8154
Faria, J. M. S., Sena, I., Ribeiro, B., Rodrigues, A. M., Maleita, C. M. N., Abrantes, I., Figueiredo, A. C. S. (2016). First report on Meloidogyne chitwoodi hatching inhibition activity of essential oils and essential oils fractions. Journal of Pest Science, 89(1), 207–217. doi:10.1007/s10340-015-0664-0
Fatokun, Diyaolu, A. H., Esievo, K., Adamu, A., Aboh, M., & Okhale, S. E. (2019). Chemical Composition and Antibacterial Activity of the Essential Oil of Dysphania ambrosioides (L.) Mosyakin & Clemants from North Central Nigeria. Retrieved 19 May 2020, from https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jopat/article/view/195447
Ferreira, T., Santos, J., Modesto, L., Souza, L., Santos, M., Bezerra, D., & Paula, J. (2019). An eco-friendly method for extraction and quantification of flavonoids in Dysphania ambrosioides. Revista Brasileira De Farmacognosia, 29(2), 266-270. doi:10.1016/j.bjp.2019.01.004
Gouveia, M., Brindley, P., Gärtner, F., Costa, J., & Vale, N. (2018). Drug Repurposing for Schistosomiasis: Combinations of Drugs or Biomolecules. Pharmaceuticals, 11(1), 15. doi:10.3390/ph11010015
Hajissa, K., Muhajir, A., Eshag, H., Alfadel, A., Nahied, E., & Dahab, R. et al. (2018). Prevalence of schistosomiasis and associated risk factors among school children in Um-Asher Area, Khartoum, Sudan. BMC Research Notes, 11(1). doi:10.1186/s13104-018-3871-y
Jesus, R., Piana, M., Freitas, R., Brum, T., Alves, C., & Belke, B. et al. (2018). In vitro antimicrobial and antimycobacterial activity and HPLC–DAD screening of phenolics from Chenopodium ambrosioides L. Brazilian Journal Of Microbiology, 49(2), 296-302. doi:10.1016/j.bjm.2017.02.012
Juliana, P., Fernando, P., Paulo, E., & Jorge, T. (2015). Extraction of essential oil from inflorescences of Dysphania ambrosioides and its activity against Botrytis cinerea. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 9(39), 1006-1012. doi:10.5897/jmpr2015.5743
Krishnamurti, C., & Rao, S. (2016). The isolation of morphine by Serturner. Indian Journal Of Anaesthesia, 60(11), 861. doi:10.4103/0019-5049.193696
Langsi, D., Tofel, H., Fokunang, C., Suh, C., Eloh, K., Caboni, P., & Nukenine, E. (2018). Insecticidal activity of essential oils of Chenopodium ambrosioides and Cupressus sempervirens and their binary combinations on Sitophilus zeamais. GSC Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 3(2), 024-034. doi:10.30574/gscbps.2018.3.2.0032
Limaverde, P., Campina, F., da Cunha, F., Crispim, F., Figueredo, F., & Lima, L. et al. (2017). Inhibition of the TetK efflux-pump by the essential oil of Chenopodium ambrosioides L. and α-terpinene against Staphylococcus aureus IS-58. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 109, 957-961. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2017.02.031
Machín, L., Tamargo, B., Piñón, A., Atíes, R. C., Scull, R., Setzer, W. N., & Monzote, L. (2019). Bixa orellana L. (Bixaceae) and Dysphania ambrosioides (L.) Mosyakin & Clemants (Amaranthaceae) Essential Oils Formulated in Nanocochleates against Leishmania amazonensis. Molecules, 24(23), 4222. doi:10.3390/molecules24234222
Mohlenbrock, R. M. (1992). Dysphania ambrosioides (L.) Mosyakin & Clemants Mexican tea [Online image]. USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database/USDA NRCS. https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=DYAM
Mokni, R., Youssef, F., Jmii, H., Khmiri, A., Bouazzi, S., & Jlassi, I. et al. (2019). The Essential Oil of Tunisian Dysphania ambrosioides and its Antimicrobial and Antiviral Properties. Journal of Essential Oil Bearing Plants, 22(1), 282-294. doi:10.1080/0972060x.2019.1588171
Monzote, L., Stamberg, W., Staniek, K., & Gille, L. (2009). Toxic effects of carvacrol, caryophyllene oxide, and ascaridole from essential oil of Chenopodium ambrosioides on mitochondria. Toxicology And Applied Pharmacology, 240(3), 337-347. doi:10.1016/j.taap.2009.08.001
Murray, P., Rosenthal, K., & Pfaller, M. (2015). Medical microbiology (8th ed.). Elsevier - Health Sciences Division.
Nguta, J. M., Appiah-Opong, R., Nyarko, A. K., Yeboah-Manu, D., Addo, P. G., Otchere, I., Kissi-Twum, A. (2016). Antimycobacterial and cytotoxic activity of selected medicinal plant extracts. J Ethnopharmacol, 182, 10–5. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2016.02.010
Nitsch-Velásquez, L. (2020). Bacterial Growth Stimulation and Antifungal Effects of The Essential-oil-less-extracts Of The Food Spice Dysphania ambrosioides. BioXriv. doi: 10.1101/2020.02.04.934885
Ortner, D. J., & Buikstra, J. E. (2019). Identification of Pathological Conditions in Human Skeletal Remains. London: Academic Press.
Pavela, R., Maggi, F., Lupidi, G., Mbuntcha, H., Woguem, V., Womeni, H. M., et al. (2017). Clausena Anisata and Dysphania Ambrosioides Essential Oils: From Ethno-Medicine to Modern Uses as Effective Insecticides. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 25(11), 10493-10503. doi:10.1007/s11356-017-0267-9
Pedro, Cintia, Leme, Ednilse, Floriano, Rafael, Rostelato-Ferreira et al. (2019). Entomotoxicity of Dysphania ambrosioides (Amaranthaceae) and Coronopus didymus (Brassicaceae) hydroalcoholic leaf extracts assessed in cockroach semi-isolated heart preparation. Current Topics in Toxicology, 15, 109-114.
Pinheiro Neto, V.F., Ribeiro, R.M., Morais, C.S. et al. (2017). Chenopodium ambrosioides as a bone graft substitute in rabbits radius fracture. BMC Complement Altern Med, 17, 350. doi:10.1186/s12906-017-1862-5
Pizzorno, J. E., Murray, M. T., & Joiner-Bey, H. (2016). The Clinician's Handbook of Natural Medicine. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
Rios, C., Abreu, A., Braga Filho, J., Nascimento, J., Guerra, R., & Amaral, F. et al. (2017). Chenopodium ambrosioides L. Improves Phagocytic Activity and Decreases Bacterial Growth and the Systemic Inflammatory Response in Sepsis Induced by Cecal Ligation and Puncture. Frontiers In Microbiology, 8. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2017.00148
Sá, R. D., Santana, A. S., Silva, F. C., Soares, L. A., & Randau, K. P. (2016). Anatomical and histochemical analysis of Dysphania ambrosioides supported by light and electron microscopy. Revista Brasileira De Farmacognosia, 26(5), 533-543. doi:10.1016/j.bjp.2016.05.010
Santiago, J. A., Cardoso, M. D. G., Batista, L. R., Castro, E. M. de, Teixeira, M. L., & Pires, M. F. (2016). Essential oil from Dysphania ambrosioides L.: secretory structures, antibacterial and antioxidant activities. ActaScientiarum. Biological Sciences, 38(2), 139. doi:10.4025/actascibiolsci.v38i2.28303
Shah, S.M., Ayaz, M., A-u Khan, Ullah, F., Farhan, Shah, et al. (2015). 1,1-Diphenyl,2- picrylhydrazyl free radical scavenging, bactericidal, fungicidal and leishmanicidal properties of Teucrium stocksianum. Toxicol Ind Health, 31, 1037–1043. doi:10.1177/0748233713487250
Soares, M., Dias, H., Vieira, T., de Souza, M., Cruz, A., & Badoco, F. et al. (2017). Chemical Composition, Antibacterial, Schistosomicidal, and Cytotoxic Activities of the Essential Oil of Dysphania ambrosioides (L.) Mosyakin & Clemants (Chenopodiaceae). Chemistry & Biodiversity, 14(8), e1700149. doi:10.1002/cbdv.201700149
Tauchen, J., Huml, L., Bortl, L., Doskocil, I., Jarosova, V., & Marsik, P. et al. (2018). Screening of medicinal plants traditionally used in Peruvian Amazon for in vitro antioxidant and anticancer potential. Natural Product Research, 33(18), 2718-2721. doi:10.1080/14786419.2018.1462180
Thirumurugan, D., Cholarajan, A., Raja, S. S. S., Vijayakumar, R. (2018). An Introductory Chapter: Secondary Metabolites. Secondary Metabolites - Sources and Applications. Ramasamy Vijayakumar and Suresh S.S. Raja, IntechOpen. doi:10.5772/intechopen.79766
Villalobos-Delgado, L., González-Mondragón, E., Salazar Govea, A., Andrade, J., & Santiago-Castro, J. (2017). Potential application of epazote (Chenopodium ambrosioides L.) as natural antioxidant in raw ground pork. LWT, 84, 306-313. doi:10.1016/j.lwt.2017.05.076
Wakabayashi, K., de Melo, N., Aguiar, D., de Oliveira, P., Groppo, M., & da Silva Filho, A. et al. (2015). Anthelmintic Effects of the Essential Oil of Fennel (Foeniculum vulgareMill., Apiaceae) againstSchistosoma mansoni. Chemistry & Biodiversity, 12(7), 1105-1114. doi:10.1002/cbdv.201400293
World Health Organization. (2019). WORLD MALARIA REPORT 2019. [S.l.]: World Health Organization.
Yeganeh, A., Mahmodi, M., Farahini, H., & Moghtadaei, A. (2016). Short-term Outcomes of Induced Membrane Technique in Treatment of Long Bone Defects in Iran. Medical Archives, 70(4), 284. doi:10.5455/medarh.2016.70.284-287
Yuan, H., Ma, Q., Ye, L., & Piao, G. (2016). The Traditional Medicine and Modern Medicine from Natural Products. Molecules, 21(5), 559. doi:10.3390/molecules21050559
Zefzoufi, M., Smaili, A., Fdil, R., Rifai, L., Faize, L., & Koussa, T. et al. (2019). Composition of essential oil of Moroccan Dysphania ambrosioides and its antimicrobial activity against bacterial and fungal phytopathogens. Journal of Plant Pathology, 102(1), 47-58. doi:10.1007/s42161-019-00371-x
Zohra, T., Ovais, M., Khalil, A., Qasim, M., Ayaz, M., & Shinwari, Z. (2018). Extraction optimization, total phenolic, flavonoid contents, HPLC-DAD analysis and diverse pharmacological evaluations of Dysphania ambrosioides (L.) Mosyakin & Clemants. Natural Product Research, 33(1), 136-142. doi:10.1080/14786419.2018.1437428
How to Cite
Hewis, L., Daeli, G., Tanoto, K., Carlos, C., & Sahamastuti, A. (2020). A Review of Botany, Phytochemical, and Pharmacological Effects of Dysphania ambrosioides. Indonesian Journal of Life Sciences, 2(2), 70 - 82. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.54250/ijls.v2i2.42