Practical ecological knowledge for the temperate reader.

Dysphania botrys - Jerusalem-oak

Family: Amaranthaceae (Amaranth) (Previously in Chenopodiaceae) [E-flora]

"Dysphania botrys L. synonym Chenopodium botrys L. belongs to family Amaranthaceae, having the English names sticky goosefoot, Ambrosia, Jerusalem oak and feather geranium. Previously D. botrys was placed in the genus Chenopodium, but due to recent taxonomic and phylogentic investigations, it was shifted to a separate genus, Dysphania (Clemants and Mosyakin, 2003)." [Khan & Jan, 2019]

"General: Annual herb from a taproot; stems ascending to erect, solitary, freely branched from the base, 15-60 cm tall, copiously glandular-hairy, strongly aromatic." [IFBC-E-flora]

"Habitat / Range Dry roadsides, fields and waste places in the steppe and lower montane zones; frequent in SC BC, infrequent in SW BC; introduced from Eurasia." [IFBC-E-flora]

Status: Exotic [E-flora]


Medicinal Use

"It is a medicinal plant with diuretic, antispasmodic, carminative, antidiarrhoeic properties, and a candidate plant for cancer treatment." [Jongsun et al.,2020]

"It is natural growing wild plant, traditionally used by the rural and endemic inhabitants of different regions of Pakistan for the curing of asthma, cough, wounds, fever, pain, liver, respiratory, urinary and gastric complaints (Khare, 2007; Hazart et al., 2011; Bano et al., 2014). In some areas of Kohistan, young and fresh leaves are used as an antiseptic and for wounds healing (Hazart et al., 2011). In Indian folk medicine, extract of D. botrys is well-known for urinary, digestive, respiratory, liver and stomach disorders (Khare, 2007)." [Khan & Jan, 2019]

"Plant extract given in catarrh and asthma, also used as anthelmintic. Leaves analgesic, anthelmintic, for headache, colds, influenza (7). In Iranian herbal medicine, C. botrysis used as expectorant, anticonvulsant and tonic and for treatment of asthma (6). In France and Southern Europe, C. botrys(feather Geranium) is used in catarrh and humoral asthma and said to be a good substitute for C. ambrosioides(4). In Serbian traditional medicine, dried aerial parts are used for preparing infusions or liquid extracts as remedies with diuretic, antispasmodic, carminative and antidiarrhoic properties; sometimes as a spice (15). In Skardu valley of Pakistan, whole plant infusion is used orally for treatment of stomachache, liver complaints and headache;it is also known as laxative and diuretic (16). Young leaves and branches of C. botrysare used for healing of wounds in Kohistan valley, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Pakistan (17). In India, C. botrysis known as stimulant, diuretic, carminative, antispasmodic, emmenagogue, pectoral; it is also used in asthma, catarrh; diseases of the stomach and liver (18). In Lahul, a province of the Punjab of India, C. botrysis used as a popular flavoring for a soup of meat, cheese and barley (10, 19). In Ladakh, India, C. botrysis considered to be anthelmintic, diuretic and laxative (10). In Jaunsar-Bawar hills, Uttar Pradesh of India, leaf juice dropped into the nostrils of cattle to expel leeches (20). In Lahaul-Spiti region of Indian western Himalaya, vegetable prepared from tender shoots and leaves of C. botrysis found effective to cure severe headache (21). Seeds are considered toxic (18). An ethnomedicinal survey reports that in the Kashmir Himalays a decoction of the seeds is ingested in cases of tapeworm infestation,especially in children (10). This plant is a vermifuge, for example, the prescription from Alabama: for worms, one teaspoonful of the seed or the stalk tea mixed with syrup, three times a day. There is, too, a remedy, using the inner bark of this plant, boiled and mixed with molasses to make a candy. It also seems to have been used in some way for tuberculosis (12). Dioscorides said that botrys(oldWorld Chenopodium) was mainly used to place in clothing because its odor repelled clothes moth (22). In Germany still in the 19th cent. frequently cultivated against moths and as a medicinal plant (23). In Spain, C. botrys, known as té deValladolid(Valladolid tea), has been used to treat coughs and probably for digestive disorders; it is also antihelminthic (24). Fernald et al. recommend that C. botrysnot be consumed as a potherb (8). This plant contains pharmacologically active principles. It is suggested that its consumption be avoided, or at least highly limited (8)." [Morteza-Semnani, Katayou (2015)]

"The plant has been used for treatment of catarrh and humoral asthma and is known as a good substitute for the traditionally known medicinal plant Chenopodium ambrosioides (Yadav et al., 2007)." [Andov, Ljubica Adji, et al.]


"D. botrys have characteristic odor due to presence of sesquiterpenes and monoterpenes (Kletter and Krichbaum, 2001). Secondary metabolites like alkaloids, flavonoids, phenols, terpenoids and ascaridole are present in varying amount depending upon its origin and habitat. Various studies carried out on contents of flavonoids in D. botrys, led to the separation of flavonoids which include; quercetins, chrysoeriol, hispidulin, flavones, 7-methyleupatulin, 5-methylsalvigenin, salvigenin, jaceosidin and sinensetin (Kletter and Krichbaum, 2001). Among alkaloids, betaine is present in prominent amount in all parts of plant and has been isolated (Khyalibova, 1968; Rustembekova et al., 1973)." [Khan & Jan, 2019]

"The proximate composition analysis of whole plant of D. botrys displayed that it contains reasonable amount of carbohydrate (38.45%), suggested that the plant can be used as source of energy which play a key role in metabolism at the cellular level (Mensah et al., 2008). The amount of protein was 30.26%, which could contribute the daily protein requirement and also might act as good source of different amino acid having structural and functional role inside living organisms (NRC, 1975). The amount of fats contents (3.68%) was in the range as reported by earlier literature in other members of this genus (Ferreira et al., 2015). The content of crude fiber and moisture was low as compared to other plants. Low value of moisture in the whole plant is extremely useful in increasing shelf life of herbal drugs and decreases the chance of fungal and bacterial growth, which grows fast on substances having high moisture contents as compared to low moisture containing substances (Witthuhn et al., 2005). The value of ash (18.73%) designates the existence of inorganic substances in the plant extract and could be an excellent source of minerals. The content of ash is commonly considered as a measure of significance for evaluation of useful qualities of food (Hofman et al., 2002)." [Khan & Jan, 2019]

"Mineral composition analysis of D. botrys plant showed reasonable amount of macronutrients like calcium, potassium and sodium having 3268 μg/g, 2673 μg/g and 591 μg/g concentrations respectively. Our results also indicated that it is a good source of iron and zinc, having 223 μg/g and 46.7 μg/g respectively. All the tested metals were present within the permissible limit and no chromium and cadmium were detected" [Khan & Jan, 2019]

"The herb contains flavonoids,alkaloids and severalterpenoids.C.botrysofdifferent originsyielded0.08-2%essentialoil.According to several studies, the essential oil varied in amount and composition (10, 18, 25-28). Bicyclic sesquiterpenoids were found in C. botrys(1). The characteristic odour of the plant is due to monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes (10). The headspace of C. botryswas analyzed; monoterpenes (camphor, δ-3-carene, fenchone, linalool, menthone, nerol, β-pinene, pulegone, terpineol-4 and thujone) and sesquiterpenes (β-elemene, elemol and β-eudesmol) were found to be responsible for the aromatic, herbaceous, earthy, dull, heavy and pine-like odor of slimy anserine (29). Early studies on the essential oil refer to ascaridole as a compound (10, 30). Ascaridole is a bicyclic monoterpene that has an unusual bridging peroxide functional group (3). Indian oil is reported to be devoid of ascaridole, the anthelmintic principle (18). Studies on benzene and hexane extracts of Spanish plant samples led to the isolation of numerous elemane, eudesmaneand guaianetype sesquiterpenes;chenopodic acid, a terpenoid, was also identified asa constituent of the essential oil (10, 31, 32). C. botrys growing in Saudi Arabia was rich in essential oil (2% v/w); the sesquiterpenes α-and β-eudesmol were found to be the major compounds (26). Both sesquiterpenes, α-and β-eudesmol, also occur in the essential oil of Egyptian origin (10). The major components of C. botrysoil from North America include α-and β-chenopodiol (36%), eudesma-3,11-dien-6α-ol (9.4%), botrydiol (9.0%), elemol (6.5%), elemol acetate (5.5%), γ-eudesmol (5.4%), and α-and β-eudesmol (3.7%); guaia-3,9-dien-11-ol, a new sesquiterpene alcohol, accounted for 7.4% of the oil (33). The main components of C. botrysoil fromtwo different localities of Iran (east of Tehran, Khojir Park and Khalkhal, province of Ardebil) were juniper camphor (16.5% and 25.7%), elemol (14.3% and 13.4%) and α-cadinol (8.2% and 11.6%), respectively (27). Essential oil from aerial parts of C.botryscollected from Khoy county, West Azerbaijan province of Iran was obtained by two methods, hydro-distillation and solvent extraction using n-hexane. In the first oil, the major constituents were α-eudesmol (15.2%), epi-α-muurolol (11.1%)and cubenol (10.2%); in the second oil, α-chenopodiolacetate (35.0%) and eudesma-3,11-dien-6-α-ol (18.9%) were identified as the main compounds (34).The main components of the essential oil of C.botryscollected from the suburb of Sari (Mazandaran province, North of Iran)were γ-terpineol (52.8%), p-cymene (19.0%) and iso-ascaridole (7.0%) (28). The oil of C. botrysfrom Greece comprised mainly sesquiterpenes with elemol acetate (16.3%), elemol (14.1%), botrydiol (11.1%), α-chenopodiol (9.5%), β-eudesmol (7.0%) and selina-3.11-dien-6α-ol (6.1%) being the major components (35). Ascaridole (7.5% and 40%) was reported in essential oils of C. botryscollected from Spain and Slovakia, respectively (3). α-Terpinene (21.4%),p-cymene(15.2%),E-caryophyllene (6.5%) and limonene (6.1%) were identified as major compounds in the essential oil of C. botrys from the East Mediterranean; in addition, β-myrcene was also found in C. botrys oil (3). 2,3-dehydro-4-oxo-β-Ionone (22.4%), (+)-7-epi-amiteol (11.5%) were found as the major components of the oil of C. botryscollected from suburb of Kashan, Iran (36). 2-(4α.8-dimethyl-α.5.6.7-octahydro-naphthalen-2-yl)-prop-2-en-l-ol was identified as the main compound in the essential oil of sticky goosefoot, C. botrys, growing in Turkey (37)." [Morteza-Semnani, Katayou (2015)]

"Studies on the flavonoid content of the plant led to the isolation of flavonols; chrysoeriol, quercetin, quercetin-3-O-β-D-glucopyranoside and quercetin-3-O-β-(D-glucopyranosyl-6-β-D-glucopyranoside); flavones: hispidulin, salvigenin, 5-methylsalvigenin,7-methyleupatulin, sinensetin and jaceosidin (10, 38-41). The plant contains alkaloids e.g. betaine has been isolated (42, 43). Betaine is found in all parts of the plant (18). Some species of chenopods had previously been investigated for the presence of phytoecdysteroids; these compounds are plant steroidal analogues of invertebrate steroid hormones (ecdysteroids). Phytoecdysteroids were not found in seeds of C. botrys(44)." [Morteza-Semnani, Katayou (2015)]

"The results of the GC/FID/MS analysis showed that the main compounds of the essential oil of C. botrys herba were the sesquiterpenes: elemol acetate, saline-11-en-4α-ol, selina-3,11-diene-6α-ol and elemol, followed by lower content of α-eudesmol acetate, α-henopodiol, botrydiol and α-chenopodiol-6-acetate. These compounds represent-ed 62.74-81.21% of the oil. Additionally more than 50 other compounds were identified in very low quantities or in traces. The monoterpene ascaridol was absent." [Andov, Ljubica Adji, et al.]

"The essential oil isolated from C. botrys from differ-ent regions in the world contains varying chemical compo-sition where dominant components are the sesquiterpenes, mainly α- and β-chenopodiol, eudesma-3,11-dien-6α-ol, botrydiol, elemol, elemol acetate, α- β- and γ-eudesmol and new identified compound guaia-3,9-dien-11-ol, that was also identified in our oil. Some authors point out on higher presence of other sesquiterpenes such as α-cadinol, epi-α-muurolol, cubenol and E-caryophyllene, while some other identified higher percentages of monoterpenes γ-terpineol, β-myrcene, p-cymene, α-terpinene, limonene, and espe-cially ascaridole which were reported in essential oils of C. botrys from Spain and Slovakia (Morteza-Semnani, 2015)." [Andov, Ljubica Adji, et al.]

"According Kokanova-Nedialkova et al. (2009) Chenopodium species contain phenol derivatives such as alco-hols, aldexydes and glycosides (vanillic alcohol and vanil-lic acid, phenolic glycoside named chenoalbuside, cinnamic, sinapic and ferulic acid and their derivatives, hydroxy-cinnamic acylglycosides and many other phenolic com-pounds. In the group of flavonoids, quercetin, isorhamne-tin, kaempferol and herbacetin and their glycosides were the only flavonols isolated from Chenopodium species, in-cluding C. botrys, besides highly metylated flavons: salvi-genin, sinensetin, hispidulin and their derivatives." [Andov, Ljubica Adji, et al.]

"From Chenopodium botrys, five flavonoids have been isolated: hispidulin, 1, salvigenin 2, 5-methylsalvigenin, 3, 7-methyleupatulin, 4 and sinensetin, 5. None of them have been previously reported from Ch. botrys." [Pascual-T J et al.]

"The essential oil of Chenopodium botrys, which grows on the eastern slope of the central Sierra Nevada range in California, consists of 90% oxygenated sesquiterpenoids. Major components include α- and β-chenopodiol (36%), eudesma-3, ll-dien-6α-ol (9.4%), botrydiol (9.0%), elemol (6.5%), elemol acetate (5.5%), γ-eudesmol (5.4%) and α- and β-eudesmol (3.7%). Guaia-3, 9-dien-ll-ol, a new sesquiterpene alcohol, accounted for 7.4% of the oil." [Bedrossian et al.,2001]


"The aim of the study was to explore phytochemical constituents of methanolic crude extract (MCE) and various solvent fractions and in-vitro antimicrobial activities of whole plant of D. botrys. Qualitative phytochemical screening of MCE and solvent fractions of D. botrys showed the presence of alkaloids, phenols, flavonoids, saponins, tannins and sterols, however in n-hexane fraction (HxF) only flavonoids and saponins were detected. In quantitative analysis, among all the solvents, ethyl acetate fraction (EAF) had highest amount of phenol (27.4 mg/g), flavonoids (15.5 mg/g) and alkaloids (3.14 mg/g), while MCE displayed maximum amount of saponins (34.3 mg/g). In the proximate analysis, nitrogen freed extract was present in higher amount (38.45±0.83 %) followed by protein (30.26±0.72 %) while crude fibers were found least in amount (1.43±0.53 %). Among different minerals, reasonable amount of calcium (3268±0.53 μg/g), potassium (2873±0.71 μg/g), sodium (591±0.23 μg/g) and iron (223 ± 0.46 μg/g) were found while no cadmium and chromium was detected. MCE and EAF displayed considerable antibacterial activity against Xanthomonas campestris and Pseudomonas aeruginosa causing 12.6±0.54 mm and 20.6±0.53 mm zone of inhibition, respectively which was analogous to that of cefixime, used as standard drug. In case of antifungal activity MCE hindered the growth of Fusarium oxysporum effectively, causing 19.3±0.41 mm zone of inhibition, while the activity of other solvent was moderate." [Khan & Jan, 2019]

Antimicrobial, Giardicidal and Nematicidal activities

"The essential oil (0.43%w/w) isolated from aerial parts of C. botrys collected from locus typicus near the town of Vlasotince (Southern Serbia) exhibited significant bactericidal and fungicidal activity against selected strains of microorganisms, viz.Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Aspergillus niger, Candida albicans, Sarcina lutea, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Salmonella enteridisand Shigella flexneri(15). The oil of C. botrysgrowing in Saudi Arabia showed the antimicrobial activity (26). The results of antimicrobial activity of the essential oil from aerial parts of C. botrysgrowing in Greece were also reported (35). C. botrysoil exhibited significant antibacterial activity against Salmonella aureusand Bacillus cereus; the residual water solution showed a good activity against Salmonella heidelbergand Bacillus cereus(1, 45). The essential oil of C. botryscollected from suburb of Kashan (Iran) showed strong antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus saprophyticus followed by Klebsiella pneumoniae, Bacilluscereus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Streptococcus mutans, Listeria monocytogenesand Salmonella typhimurium; the oil had slight effect on Candida albicansand showed inhibitory effect on Aspergillusspecies and Bacillussubtilis(36). The essential oil obtained from C. botrysshowed a strong activity against the tested dermatophytes, e.g., Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Epidermophyton floccosumand Microsporum canis; the oil possessed bactericidal but not bacteriostatic effects (1). The aqueous extracts of C. botryscollected from Guba region of Azerbaijan showed the high fungistatic activity (46).Both alcoholic and aqueous extracts of C. botryscollected from suburb of Birjand (Iran) have in-vitrogiardicidal effect on Giardia lambliacysts. The highest giardicidal effect of alcoholic and aqueous extracts of C. botrysat 37°C, in 20 mg/ml and 5 hour after experiment were 100% and 66.1% respectively. Giardicidal effect of both extracts of C. botryssignificantly increased by rising the concentration, time and temperature (P<0.0001). The ethanol extractsof this plant have more giardicidal effect (47). Ayazpour et al. reported that the leaf extract of C. botryswas effective on citrus nematode control in Fars province, Iran (48)." [Morteza-Semnani, Katayou (2015)]

Anti-inflammatory and allergenic activities

"The aerial parts of C. botryshave anti-inflammatory activity (49, 50). Amjad studied pollen extracts allergenicity of C. albumand C. botryscollected from area of Tehran, Karaj city and around Kandovan (Iran). Pollens were extracted using phosphate-buffered saline, pH 7.4. Male guineapigs were sensitized and treated with C. albumand C. botryspollen extracts and skin prick tests were performed on guinea pigs and quantified on the basis of wheal diameter. During the skin prick test, the allergenic sensitivity was observed for C. albumpollen grains, with an average wheal diameter of about 4 cm and for C. botryspollen grains, with an average wheal diameter of about 2.5 cm. The presence of blood eosinophilia, an increase in neutrophilia number with the presence of the other factors which have been reported as allergic indicators proved the allergenicity of C. albumand C. botryspollen grains. Moreover, the observations suggest that C. albumpollen grains are more allergenic than C. botryspollens (51)." [Morteza-Semnani, Katayou (2015)]

Effects on cardiovascular and respiratory system

"Alkaloids extracted of C. botrysby Et2O-H2SO4, when applied in doses of 0.005-0.01 g/kg caused temporal excitation of respiration and increase of the arterial pressure by 10-40 mm Hg. Tartrates from the petroleum ether extract had an analogous effect in doses of 0.002-0.03 g/kg. On the other hand tartrates from the CHCl3extract caused a marked decrease in the arterial pressure and respiration, when applied in doses of 0.001-0.009 g/kg. Doses of 0.01-0.015 g/kg led toa complete loss of the pressure and caused a block in respiration (1)." [Morteza-Semnani, Katayou (2015)]


"C. botryscan grow in some heavy metal contaminated soils and is a high accumulator plant species for Cu and moderately accumulator plant species for Fe, Mn, and Zn (13). C. botrysaccumulated Cu and Mn in its root and shoot (14)." [Morteza-Semnani, Katayou (2015)]


Dysphania Sp. - Mexican Tea/Wormwood

"Habit: Annual to perennial herb, glandular, +- strongly scented. Stem: generally +- branched. Leaf: alternate, generally petioled; blade linear to ovate, entire to lobed, dentate or serrate, base generally tapered. Inflorescence: spikes, panicles, or dense axillary spheric clusters; bracts leaf-like, reduced, or 0. Flower: generally sessile; calyx lobes 1--5, fused or not, flat to keeled, persistent; stamens 1--5; stigmas 1--3. Fruit: achene, +- 1 mm; fruit wall free or attached to seed, thin, smooth to papillate, occasionally densely glandular. Seed: vertical or horizontal, red-brown to black."
"Species In Genus: +- 32 species: temperate; some cultivated for food, medicine. Etymology: (Greek: obscure, apparently for inconspicuous flowers) Note: Fruit generally required for identification." [Jepson]


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