Pupalia lappacea is a variable plant that is grown annually or perennially. It has stems ranging from 50 – 200cm in length. It belongs to the family Amaranthaceae. These stems are less woody at the base. Morphologically, the plant is sometimes erect, prostrate or sprawling. The plant’s leaves and stem can be used as medicine. The leaves are edible but must be harvested for food after watering the plant. Pupalia lappacea is indeed an all in one plant because it’s use touches every sphere of life viz:

1. To treat Infections and diseases
2. As food
3. For beautification of our skin
4. It adds an aesthetic colour to our environment
5. It is used to treat constipation


The botanical name is Papulia lappacea. Common names are forest burr, creeping cock’s comb.


Igbo : Ose, oso
Yoruba : emo agbo
Bassa-Nge- mama-agbo
Hausa : marin-kasu



1. it is used as food when added with groundnut or coconut milk and eaten with rice.
2. It is used for scarifying the skin
3. The forest burr plant is believed to be an indicator of the fertility of the soil in any area where it is grown.
4. When applied externally, the leaves are mixed with palm oil to treat boils.
5. It is used as an antitusive especially by pregnant women
6. It is used in management of diabetes because it has an hypoglycemic effect
7. It is used in treatment of wounds and cut as a traditional first aid therapy.
8. It is used for its aesthetics value in any environment it is found.

The forest burr herb contains alkaloids and some bio – molecules that potentates a hypoglycemic effect in the body, hence it is used for management of diabetes. It also compounds with anti bacterial properties thus it is used for treatment of cuts, wounds. It contains an antihistamine agent, hence it is used for treatment of stubborn coughs. It contains an anti oxidant that helps eliminates dangerous free radicals from our circulatory system (A. A felix et al, antioxidant activity of papulia lappacea, research Journal of biological sciences, vol 13).

The forest burr plant has been said to cause colic in Somalia if it is eaten prior watering so ensure it is watered before its harvest and consumption. The flower head is an ingredient of rat poison in Nigeria. The leaves are anti diabetic, diuretic and febrifuge. On histological analysis, the forest burr plant has been found to lack toxic compounds especially when it is harvested and consumed after watering.


The immense benefits of the pupalia lappacea is limitless. From its use to treat chronic cough, dysenteriferous diarrhoea and oedema to its use for scarying the skin, lower blood glucose and treat boils it is at ease that researchers chose to call it the “all in one plant”.



1. H. fatima, B. M Reddy. “Evaluation of antinocieptive and antipyretic effects of pupalia lappacea juss “, international current pharmaceutical Journal, vol 2, no 2, pp 23-28., 2013.

2. A. A felix, O. A. Domingo. “Anti oxidant activity and chemical constituent of pupalia lappacea”. Research Journal of biological sciences, vol 3, no 7, pp 783 – 788, 2008.

3. A. Ravi , M. Alvala et al.  ” Anti cancer activity of pupalia luppacea on chronic myeloid leukemia K562 cells “, DARU Journal of pharmaceutical sciences, vol 20, no 1, article 86, 2012.

4. Vick kamar, et al. ” Biological evaluation of pupalia lappacea for antidiabetic, antiadipogenic and hypolipidemic activity both in vitro and in vivo “. Hindawi Journal scientifica, 2016.

5. Prasad .P., Naidu et al. “Evaluation of wound healing potential of different leaf extract of pupalia lappacea “. Academic Journals,  p- 11, 2014.

6. L. B. Kagale et al. ” The antipodals of pupalia lappacea juss ” current science, vol 6, no 5, pages 222, 1937.

7. S. T. Tanson.  ” Naturally occurring polyploidy in pupalia leppacea”.  Current science, vol 31, no 6, pages 252 – 254, 1962.

8. Harder Singh. ” A new aerial host of pupalia Lappacea. ” Current science vol 31, No 12, pages 521- 522, 1962.

9. Dr amehs G. ” The hypoglycemic effect of the Forest Burr plant. “Indian Journal of pharmaceutical science, vol 5, pages 115 -119, 2011.

10. Anthony. C et al.  ” The pupalia lappacea plant: uses and toxicology”.  Pakistani newsletter of science, vol 51, pages 65- 69.

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