• Name : Gorakhmundi
  • English Name :East Indian Globe Thistle
  • Scientific Name :Sphaeranthus indicus



An aromatic, much branched herb, 30 to 60 cm high found abundantly in damp places throughout the country, ascending to an altitude of 1,500 m.1


Morphology Description (Habit):

Root - Pieces 5 to 15 cm long and 0.3 to 0.5 cm thick, a few branching; smooth, slender, somewhat laterally flattened, greyish-brown; fracture, short; odour not characteristic; taste, slightly bitter.

Stem - Pieces 10 to 30 cm long, 0.2 to 0.4 cm thick, branched, cylindrical or somewhat flattened with toothed wings, rough due to longitudinal wrinkles, externally brownish black to brownish-green, internally creamish-grey; fracture, fibrous; odour nil, taste, bitter.

Leaf - Sessile, decurrent, 2 to 7 cm long, 1 to 1.5 cm wide, obovate-oblong, narrowed at the base, dentate or serrate, hairy, greenish-brown; odourless; taste, bitter.

Flower - Globose, head about 1.5 cm long and about one cm in diameter; purplish-brown with linear involucral bracts which are shorter than the head and ciliate at apex; peduncle with toothed wings; outer female flowers 12 to 16, inner bisexual 2 or 3, corolla of female 2 toothed, ovary, inferior, carpels 2, style - arms connate.

Fruit - Achene, smooth, stalked.1


Parts Used:

Whole Plant



The whole plant and its anatomical parts have been reported with different types of secondary metabolites which include eudesmanolides, sesquiterpenoids, sesquiterpene lactones, sesquiterpene acids, flavone glycosides, flavonoid C-glycosides, isoflavone glycoside, sterols, sterol glycoside, alkaloid, peptide alkaloids, amino acids and sugars.2


As per Ayurveda:

           Rasa (Taste)                 : Sweet, pungent, bitter and astringent

           Guna (Property)           : Light

           Veerya (Potency)         : Hot

           Vipaka (End Result)      : Pungent


Pharmacological Actions:

The plant is bitter, stomachic, restorative, alterative, pectoral, demulcent and externally soothing. The whole plants, its isolated secondary metabolites and different anatomical parts have been reported for ovicidal, antifeedant, anthelmintic, antimicrobial, antiviral, macrofilaricidal, larvicidal, analgesic, antipyretic, hepatoprotective, antitussive, wound healing, bronchodilatory, mast cell stabilizing activity, anxiolytic, neuroleptic, immunomodulatory, anti-diabetic, antihyperlipidemic and antioxidant, antioxidant, central nervous system depressant, anti-arthritic, nephroprotective, anticonvulsant activities and many other activities. It is also effective on psoriasis.2

Sphaeranthus indicus Linn. (Asteraceae) is widely used in Ayurvedic system of medicine to treat vitiated conditions of epilepsy, mental illness, hemicrania, jaundice, hepatopathy, diabetes, leprosy, fever, pectoralgia, cough, gastropathy, hernia, hemorrhoids, helminthiasis, dyspepsia and skin diseases. There are reports providing scientific evidences for hypotensive, anxiolytic, neuroleptic, hypolipidemic, immunomodulatory, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, bronchodialatory, antihyperglycemic and hepatoprotective activities of this plant.3

Mundi is Tridoshahara. The primary pharmacological actions of this herb are summarized as under:



Central Nervous System:

i. The flowers possess anti-amnesic activities that may be useful for cognitive impairment treatment.4

ii. Has been observed to exhibit anxiolytic, central nervous depressant, and anticonvulsant activities.5


Endocrinal System: 

i. Sphaeranthus indicus may prove to be effective in the treatment of type II diabetes mellitus owing to its ability to decrease insulin resistance.6

ii. Its antioxidant and lipid lowering effect could help prevent diabetic complications.7


Reproductive System: 

i. Exhibits 5α-reductase inhibitory and anti-androgenic activity.8

ii. Useful in the treatment of prostatic hyperplasia.9


Urinary System: 

i. S. indicus has protective effect against cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity, which may be attributed to its antioxidant potential.10


Skin and Hair: 

i. Accelerates wound healing on topical application.11



i. β-Sitosterol and 7-hydroxyfrullanolide are its potent anticancer compounds.12

ii. Flower of S. indicus has significant anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.13

iii. S. indicus has potent mast cell stabilizing effects thereby inhibiting mediator release from mast cells.14

iv. The drug shows good promise as an immunomodulatory agent, which acts by stimulating both humoral and cellular immunity as well as phagocytic function.15



Testosterone induced BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia)

Type 2 Diabetes mellitus

Anxiety and cognitive impairment

Immunocompromised states

Skin ulcers



1. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, Part-1, Vol-4.

2. Ramachandran S. Review on Sphaeranthus indicus Linn. (Koṭṭaikkarantai). Pharmacogn Rev. 2013 Jul;7(14):157-69.

3. Galani VJ, Patel BG, Rana DG. Sphaeranthus indicus Linn.: A phytopharmacological review. Int J Ayurveda Res. 2010 Oct;1(4):247-53.

4. Patel MB, Amin D. Sphaeranthus indicus flower derived constituents exhibits synergistic effect against acetylcholinesterase and possess potential antiamnestic activity. J Complement Integr Med. 2012 Sep 24;9:Article 23.

5. Galani VJ, Patel BG. Effect of hydroalcoholic extract of Sphaeranthus indicus against experimentally induced anxiety, depression and convulsions in rodents. Int J Ayurveda Res. 2010 Apr;1(2):87-92.

6. Ghaisas M, Zope V, Takawale A, et al. Preventive effect of Sphaeranthus indicus during progression of glucocorticoid-induced insulin resistance in mice. Pharm Biol. 2010 Dec;48(12):1371-5.

7. Ramachandran S, Asokkumar K, Uma Maheswari M, et al. Investigation of Antidiabetic, Antihyperlipidemic, and In Vivo Antioxidant Properties of Sphaeranthus indicus Linn. in Type 1 Diabetic Rats: An Identification of Possible Biomarkers. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011.

8. Nahata A, Dixit VK. Evaluation of 5α-reductase inhibitory activity of certain herbs useful as antiandrogens. Andrologia. 2014 Aug;46(6):592-601.

9. Nahata A, Dixit VK. Sphaeranthus indicus attenuates testosterone induced prostatic hypertrophy in albino rats. Phytother Res. 2011 Dec;25(12):1839-48.

10. Mathew JE, Joseph A, Srinivasan K, et al. Effect of ethanol extract of Sphaeranthus indicus on cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity in rats. Nat Prod Res. 2012;26(10):933-8.

11. Sadaf F, Saleem R, Ahmed M,et al. Healing potential of cream containing extract of Sphaeranthus indicus on dermal wounds in Guinea pigs. J Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Sep 19;107(2):161-3.

12. Nahata A, Saxena A, Suri N, et al. Sphaeranthus indicus induces apoptosis through mitochondrial-dependent pathway in HL-60 cells and exerts cytotoxic potential on several human cancer cell lines. Integr Cancer Ther. 2013 May;12(3):236-47.

13. Ali A, Shyum Naqvi SB, Gauhar S, et al. Anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities of ethanolic extract of Sphaeranthus indicus Linn. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2011 Jul;24(3):405-9.

14. Mathew JE, Srinivasan KK, Dinakaran V, Joseph A. Mast cell stabilizing effects of Sphaeranthus indicus. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Mar 18;122(2):394-6.

15. Bafna AR, Mishra SH. Immunomodulatory activity of petroleum ether extract of flower heads of Sphaeranthus indicus Linn. J Herb Pharmacother. 2007;7(1):25-37.


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