Research J. Pharm. and Tech. 5(6): June 2012
A Review on Medicinal Properties of Lantana camara Linn.
Sanjeeb Kalita, Gaurav Kumar, Loganathan Karthik, Kokati Venkata Bhaskara Rao*
Molecular and Microbiology Research Laboratory, Environmental Biotechnology Division,
School of Bio Sciences and Technology, VIT University, Vellore, Tamil Nadu - 632 014, India.
*Corresponding Author E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The knowledge of traditional medicine and medicinal plants and their study of scientific chemical principles may lead
to the discovery of newer and cheaper drugs. Lantana camara is well known to cure several diseases and used in
various folk medicinal preparations. In last few decades, scientist and researchers around the globe have elaborately
studied the chemical composition of whole plant of L. camara as well as biological pharmacological activities. These
studies established the therapeutic potential of Lantana camara in modern medicines and a possible candidate for the
drug discovery. The present review gives a bird’s eye view on ethnobotany, phytochemistry, pharmacology and
toxicology of L. camara.
KEYWORDS Medicinal plants, Lantana camara Linn., ethnobotany, phytochemistry, pharmacology.
Medicinal plants represent an important source of medically
important compounds. Since ancient time, medicinal plants
are used to cure several types of health problems. Systemic
analysis of these plants provides a variety of bioactive
molecules for the development of newer pharmaceutical
products. Recently, there is a growing interest in the
pharmacological evaluation of various plants used in
different traditional system of medicine. In last few
decades, many of traditionally known plants have been
extensively studied by advanced scientific techniques and
reported for various medicinal properties viz, anticancer
activity, anti-inflammatory activity, antidiabetic activity,
anthelmintic, antibacterial activity, antifungal activity,
hepatoprotective activity, antioxidant activity, larvicidal
activity etc. 1-10
Lantana camara Linn. is a flowering ornamental plant
belonging to family Verbenaceae. L. camara is also known
as Lantana, Wild Sage, Surinam Tea Plant, Spanish flag and
West Indian lantana. L. camara is a well known medicinal
plant in traditional medicinal system and recent scientific
studies have emphasized the possible use of L. camara in
Received on 10.05.2012 Modified on 21.05.2012
Accepted on 24.05.2012 © RJPT All right reserved
Research J. Pharm. and Tech. 5(6): June 2012; Page 711-715
The present review aims to document the morphology,
distribution, phytochemistry and medicinal properties of L.
camara and its future prospects for the further scientific
investigation for the development of effective therapeutic
Kingdom: Planate; Division: Magnoliophyta; Class:
Magnoliopsida; Order: Lamiales; Family: Verbenaceae;
Genus: Lantana; Species: Lantana camara Linn.
Morphology of L. camara is reported in Figure 1. L.
camara is a low erect or subscandent vigorous shrub with
tetrangular stem, stout recurved pickles and a strong odour
of black currents. Plant grows up to 1 to 3 meters and it can
spread to 2.5 meter in width. Leaves are ovate or ovate
oblong, acute or sub acute, crenate serrate, rugose above,
scabrid on both sides. The leaves are 3-8 cm long by 3-6 cm
wide and green in colour. Leaves and stem are covered with
rough hairs. Small flower held in clusters (called umbels).
Colour usually orange, sometime varying from white to red
in various shades and the flower usually change colours as
they ages. Flowers are having a yellow throat, in axillary
head almost throughout the year. The calyx is small, corolla
tube slender, the limb spreading 6 to 7 mm wide and
divided in to unequal lobes. Stemen four in two pairs,
included and ovary two celled, two ovuled. Inflorescences
are produced in pairs in the axils of opposite leaves.
Inflorescences are compact, dome shaped 2-3 cm across and
contain 20-40 sessile flowers. Root system is very strong
Research J. Pharm. and Tech. 5(6): June 2012
and it gives out new fresh shoots even after repeated
Figure 1: Morphology of Lantana camara Linn. (golden variety),
A) Plant, B) Dorsal and ventral surface of leaves, C) Flowers, D)
Stem, E) Root
L. camara is a tropical origin plant and native to Central
and Northern South America and Caribbean. L. camara is
now spreaded to nearly 60 countries viz, New Zealand,
Mexico, Florida, Trinidad, Jamaica and Brazil. It is reported
in many African countries including Kenya, Uganda,
Tanzania and South Africa.
In India, L. camara was probably introduced before 19th
century. Currently L. camara is distributed throughout
India. L. camara is known by different name in various
different languages in India viz, Raimuniya (Hindi),
Chaturangi and Vanacehdi (Sanskrit), Arippu and
Unnichedi (Tamil), Aripoov, Poochedi, Konginipoo and
Nattachedi (Malayalam), Thirei, Samballei and Nongballei
(Manipuri), Tantani and Ghaneri (Marathi), Pulikampa
(Telegu), Kakke and Natahu (Kanada).
L. camara is an important medicinal plant with several
medicinal uses in traditional medication system. It is been
used to cure many health problems in different parts of the
World. Leaves are used to treat cuts, rheumatisms, ulcers,
catarrhal infection, tetanus, rheumatism, malaria, cancer,
chicken pox, asthma, ulcer, swelling, eczema, tumour, high
blood pressure, bilious fever, ataxy of abdominal viscera,
sores, measles, fevers, cold and high blood pressure. In
Ghana, infusion of the whole plant is used to cure bronchitis
and the powdered root in milk was given to children for
stomach-ache and as a vermifuge. Lantana oil is used in the
treatment of skin, itches, as an anticeptic for wounds. In
leprosy and scabies decoctions were applied externally. 12-14
Phytochemical composition of the L. camara has been
extensively studied in last few decades. Different parts of L.
camara are reported to possess essential oils, phenolic
compounds, flavonoids, carbohydrates, proteins, alkaloids,
glycosides, iridoid glycosides,
oligosaccharides, quinine, saponins, steroids, triterpens,
sesquiterpenoides and tannin as major phytochemical
L. camara is an important medicinal plant of the family
Verbenaceae. In recent history this plant is reported for
various medicinal properties (Figure 2).
Figure 2: Medicinal properties of Lantana camara Linn.
Different varieties of L. camara plants’ leaves and flowers
were reported for antibacterial activity. Three different
solvent extract of leaves and flowers of four different
varities of L. camara exhibited significant antibacterial
activity E. coli, Bacillus subtilis and P. aeruginosa whereas
poor antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus. 19
Ethanolic extracts of L. camara leaves and roots were
reported for antibacterial activity. The in vitro antibacterial
activity was performed by microdilution method. The
extracts exhibited antimicrobial
Staphylococcus aureus, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas
aeruginosa, Víbrio cholareae, Escherichia coli and two
multiresistant strains E. coli and S. aureus. 20
Research J. Pharm. and Tech. 5(6): June 2012
Methanolic extracts of different parts of L. camara were
screened for antimicrobial activity against 10 bacteria and 5
fungi by disk diffusion method and broth microdilution
method. The leaves extract of L. camara showed highest
activity against Gram positive Bacillus cereus and Gram
negative Salmonella typhi. 21
Antifungal potential of L. camara was screened against
Alternaria sp. which causes different plant diseases
especially in vegetable plants. The antifungal activity was
performed by food poison plate method at three different
concentrations of extract viz, 10 mg/ml, 15 mg/ml and 20
mg/ml. At 20mg/ml dose L. camara exhibited significant
antifungal activity against Alternaria sp. 22
Antifungal activity of ethanol and hot water extract of L.
camara was screened against wood destroying white and
brown rot fungi. Both extracts exhibited efficient antifungal
activity against white and brown rot fungi, however ethanol
extract was highly potential at very low concentration
Antiulcerogenic activity of the methanol extract of leaves of
L. camara was reported on asprin, ethanol and cold resistant
stress induced gastric lesions in rats. Pre‐treatment of the
effected rats with the extract (200 and 400 mg/kg body
weight) showed significant protective effect in aspirin
induced, ethanol induced and cold restraint stress induced
ulcers in rats. The extract resulted in dose dependent
antiulcerogenic activity in all models. 24
The hemolytic activity of L. camara aqueous extract and its
solvent fractions was performed by modified spectroscopic
method at four different concentrations (125, 250, 500,
1000 µg/ml). The aqueous extract and its solvent fractions
exhibited very low hemolytic activity towards the human
erythrocytes. The hemolytic activity of the different extracts
was found in the following order: chloroform fraction >
hexane and ethyl acetate fraction (50:50) > aqueous extract
> ethanol fraction >methanol fraction. 17
Antihyperglycemic activity of methanol extract of leaves L.
camara was reported in alloxan induced diabetic rats. Oral
administration of the methanol extract of L. camara (400
mg/kg body weight) leaves resulted in decrease in blood
glucose level to 121.94 mg/dl in alloxan induced diabetic
Hypoglycemic activity of methanol extract of L. camara
Linn fruits was screened in streptozotocin induced diabetic
rats (Wistar albino rats). Extract treatment at doses of 100
and 200 mg/kg body weight resulted in dose dependent
decrease in serum glucose level in streptozotocin induced
diabetic rats. Extract treatment also showed improvement in
body weight, HbA1c profile as well as regeneration of liver
Wound healing activity:
Wound healing property of aqueous extract of leaf of L.
camara was reported in rats. Topical application of the
extract on the wound (100 mg/kg/day) significantly
enhanced the rate of wound contraction (98%), synthesis of
collagen and decreased wound healing time. 27
Ethanol extract of leaf of L. camara was reported for wound
healing activity in adult male Wister rats. Topical
application of the extract over the wound significantly
increased the wound healing activity. Histological analyses
of healed wounds confirmed the role of extract in healing. 28
Methanol extract of L. camara leaves was reported to
possess antimotility activity in mice. Intestinal motility was
assayed by charcoal meal test in mice. At a dose of 1 g/kg
body weight, the extract completely inhibited the transit of
charcoal in normal mice. Intraperitoneal administration of
125 and 250 mg/kg body weight the extracts significantly
reduced the fecal output in castor oil induced diarrhoea in
Mosquito controlling activity:
Essential oil from the leaves of L. camara was reported to
possess adulticidal activity against Aedes aegypti, Culex
quinquefasciatus, Anopheles culicifacies, An. fluvialitis and
An. stephensi mosquitoes with LD50 values 0.06, 0.05, 0.05,
0.05 and 0.06 mg/cm(2) while LD90 values were 0.10, 0.10,
0.09, 0.09 and 0.10 mg/cm(2) against Ae. aegypti, Cx.
quinquefasciatus, An. culicifacies, An. fluvialitis and An.
stephensi respectively. 30
Mosquito larvicidal activity of methanol and ethanol
extracts of leaves and flowers of L. camara were reported
against 3rd and 4th instar larvae of Ae. aegypti and Cx.
significant larvicidal activity against both species of
mosquitoes, however, at low concentrations (1mg/ml)
extracts were highly active against Ae. aegypti than that of
Cx. quinquefasciatus. 31
Antifilerial activity of crude extract of L. camara stem was
reported. The extract and its chloroform fraction resulted in
the death of adult Brugia malayi and sterilised most of the
surviving female worms in the rodent model Mastomys
Antiinflammatory activity :
Aqueous extract of L. camara was reported for anti-
inflammatory activity in albino rats. Extract treatment
(500mg/kg body weight) significantly decreased paw
volume in carrageenan induced paw oedema test in rats. 33
Anti fertility activity (Embryo toxicity):
Effects of hydroalcoholic extract of L. camara leaves was
studied on fertility, general reproductive performance and
teratology in female albino Wistar rats. The extract
interfered in the frequency of fetal skeleton anomalies from
Both extracts exhibited
Research J. Pharm. and Tech. 5(6): June 2012
dams treated with the extract and induced embryotoxicity as
indicated by post-implantation loss, without any signs of
maternal toxicity. 34
Ethanolic extract of the leaves of L. camara was reported
for antiurolithiatic activity against ethylene glycol and
ammonium chloride induced calcium oxalate urolithiasis in
male albino rats. Extract treatment significantly reduced the
deposition of calcium, oxalate and also reduced urinary
excretion of calcium, oxalate and creatinine. 35
Anticancer and antiproliferative activity:
Oleanonic acid isolated from L. camara was screened for
anticancer activity against a murine tumour (Ehrlich ascites
carcinoma), and three human cancer cell lines, namely
A375 (malignant skin melanoma), Hep2 (epidermoid
laryngeal carcinoma) and U937 (lymphoma). Oleanonic
acid exhibited promising cytotoxicity against A375 cells. 36
Leaves of L. camara were reported to exhibit cytotoxicity
effect on Vero cell line. In vitro cytotoxicity test was
performed by MTT assay. The methanol extract (500
µg/ml) concentration inhibited the growth of cells 2.5 times
less than did Triton 100 × 1%. 37
Leaves of L. camara were reported for antiproliferative
activity against HEp-2 (laryngeal cancer) and NCI-H292
(lung cancer) cell lines. In vitro antiproliferative test was
performed by MTT assay. Methanol extract of L. camara
leaves exhibited antiproliferative activity against NCI-H292
cells (% living cells= 25.8±0.19). 38
Anti mutagenic activity:
22β-acetoxylantic acid and
lantanolic acid from L. camara showed antimutagenic
activity. The antimutagenicity test was performed by
micronucleus test in Swiss mice. Both compounds exhibited
high antimutagenic activity in Mitomycin C induced
mutagenesis in mice. 39
Ethanolic extract of L. camara exhibited significant
antioxidant activity in in vivo studies. The extract treatment
decreased the extent of lipid peroxidation in the kidneys of
urolithic rats. In vitro studied were carried out by DPPH
radical scavenging assay and Nitric oxide free radical
scavenging assay. Extract exhibited high antioxidant
properties in both the assays. 35
Antioxidant activity of the leaves of L. camara was
reported by reducing power activity and 1, 1- diphenyl-2-
picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging assay. Leaves
extracts exhibited high antioxidant effect, however younger
leaves exhibited strong antioxidant activity than the older or
matured leaves. 18
L. camara is one among the most toxic plants known so far,
possibly with in top ten. Reports of L. camara toxicity have
been reported from Australia, India, New Zealand, South
Africa and America. However, the toxicity occurs only on
the consumption of high amount of plants material. It is
reported that sheep, cattle and goats are susceptible to
lantadenes A, B, D and icterogenic acid toxicity, where as
horses, rats, neonatal calves and lambs are not susceptible
to lantadene A. The prominent clinical sign of poisoning
includes photosensitisation and jaundice. Loss of appetite in
poisoned animals occurs within 24 hours and decrease in
appetite also observed. The most severely poisoned animals
die within 2 days of poisoning but usually death occurs
after 1 -3 weeks after poisoning. The kidneys are swollen
and pale in colour, the gall bladder is grossly distended and
the liver is enlarged. The oral toxic dose of lantadene A for
sheep is 60 mg/kg is toxic and 1–3 mg/kg by intravenous
route. 40, 41
Ethnomedical and scientific reports about the medicinal
properties of L. camara represent it as a valuable plant and
establishing it as a candidate for the future drug
The authors wish to thank the Management and Staff of
VIT University, Vellore, TN, India for supporting this
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