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Bidens pilosa is a cosmopolitan, annual herb which originates from tropical and Central America. Its hardiness, explosive reproductive potential, and ability to thrive in almost any environment have enabled it to establish throughout the world. Generally introduced unintentionally through agriculture or sometimes intentionally for ornamental purposes, B. pilosa is a major crop weed, threat to native fauna, and a physical nuisance. It is considered one of the most noxious annual weeds in East Africa. B. pilosa had strong allelopathic effects which is beneficial in enhancing its capacity in interspecific competition and to promote its invasion. It is used as a folkloric medicine for the treatment of various diseases and used extensively by indigenous people, especially in Africa, for the treatment of a variety of ailments. Various compounds with biological activity, mainly, polyacetylenes and flavonoids have been isolated and identified in all parts of the plant. Pharmacognostic studies and phytochemical screenings of B. pilosa had also shown the presences of other compounds with biological activities which include terpenes, essential oils, tannins, polysaccharides, phenols, amino acids, ascorbic acid and organic acids. These plants are ingested as decoctions, teas and juice preparations to treat respiratory infections as well as various other ailments. Aqueous extract of the leaves is used by the Zulu tribe in South Africa for treating dysentery, diarrhea and colic. Juice preparations are also made into a poultice and applied directly on the infected wounds or burns. The widespread use of B. pilosa both in Africa and the rest of the world indicate that this plant may yield valuable drugs to treat a variety of different ailments such as malaria. Although considered an invader in many countries, the potential benefit may outweigh the risks that the weed poses to the environment.
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Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol. 6(17), pp. 3282-3287, 9 May, 2012
Available online at http://www.academicjournals.org/JMPR
DOI: 10.5897/JMPR012.195
ISSN 1996-0875 ©2012 Academic Journals
Review
Bidens pilosa L.: Agricultural and pharmaceutical
importance
G. D. Arthur, K. K. Naidoo* and R. M. Coopoosamy
Department of Nature Conservation, Mangosuthu University of Technology, P. O. Box 12363, Jacobs, 4026, Durban,
South Africa.
Accepted 22 March, 2012
Bidens pilosa is a cosmopolitan, annual herb which originates from tropical and Central America. Its
hardiness, explosive reproductive potential, and ability to thrive in almost any environment have
enabled it to establish throughout the world. Generally introduced unintentionally through agriculture
or sometimes intentionally for ornamental purposes, B. pilosa is a major crop weed, threat to native
fauna, and a physical nuisance. It is considered one of the most noxious annual weeds in East Africa.
B. pilosa had strong allelopathic effects which is beneficial in enhancing its capacity in interspecific
competition and to promote its invasion. It is used as a folkloric medicine for the treatment of various
diseases and used extensively by indigenous people, especially in Africa, for the treatment of a variety
of ailments. Various compounds with biological activity, mainly, polyacetylenes and flavonoids have
been isolated and identified in all parts of the plant. Pharmacognostic studies and phytochemical
screenings of B. pilosa had also shown the presences of other compounds with biological activities
which include terpenes, essential oils, tannins, polysaccharides, phenols, amino acids, ascorbic acid
and organic acids. These plants are ingested as decoctions, teas and juice preparations to treat
respiratory infections as well as various other ailments. Aqueous extract of the leaves is used by the
Zulu tribe in South Africa for treating dysentery, diarrhea and colic. Juice preparations are also made
into a poultice and applied directly on the infected wounds or burns. The widespread use of B. pilosa
both in Africa and the rest of the world indicate that this plant may yield valuable drugs to treat a variety
of different ailments such as malaria. Although considered an invader in many countries, the potential
benefit may outweigh the risks that the weed poses to the environment.
Key words: Bidens pilosa, medicinal properties, black jack.
INTRODUCTION
Wildlife of flora is a gem of different plant species which
is of immense significance to humans globally. Holmstedt
(1991) noted that there is an increasing desire in the use
of herbs in the living hood set-ups. Benli et al. (2008)
stated that the world is trying to keep away from synthetic
drugs and as a result natural products from several plant
species have been isolated. There are 200 species of
weeds in South Africa. These non-native invasive plant
species labeled as exotic pest plants and invasive exotics
grow in native plant communities. Among such plants is
*Corresponding author. E-mail: kuben@mut.ac.za. Tel: +27 31
9077626. Fax: +27 86697598.
the genus Bidens (Asteraceae: Heliantheae) that
comprises about 240 species and that is known for its
invasive nature. Bidens pilosa L. is one of the species
that stands out in this genus due to the many natural
characterized products and the biological activities
reported from its extracts, fractions and compounds
(Lima et al., 2011).
Origin and geographic distribution
Bidens pilosa is a cosmopolitan weed, originating from
South America and common in all tropical and subtropical
areas of the world climates (Geissberger and Séquin,
1991; Alvarez et al., 1999). Its hardiness, explosive
reproductive potential, and ability to thrive in almost any
environment have enabled it to establish throughout the
world. Generally introduced unintentionally through
agriculture or sometimes intentionally for ornamental
purposes, B. pilosa is a major crop weed, threat to native
fauna, and a physical nuisance.
In Africa, B. pilosa is recorded as a weed in many
countries and it is likely to occur in all countries, including
the Indian Ocean islands. It is reported as a vegetable or
potherb, among others, in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d’
Ivoire, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of
Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Botswana,
Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique (Karis and Ryding,
1994). B. pilosa is a weed in both field and plantation
crops and is recorded as troublesome in about 30 crops
in more than 40 countries, including about 20 African
countries. It is considered one of the most noxious annual
weeds in East Africa (Grombone-Guaratini et al., 2005). It
often becomes dominant after the eradication of
perennial grasses, and displays allelopathic effects on a
number of crops (Lima et al., 2011).
Although the plant is an invader and is generally
regarded as a nuisance in most countries outside South
America, it may possess medicinally importance com-
pounds that can be used to treat a variety of ailments.
The medicinal role of B. pilosa will be discussed as well
as determining whether the medicinal importance
outweighs the detrimental role that this plant plays in the
environment. In many resource poor countries, financial
constraints prevent effective management of the
environment. However, the medicinal role of weeds such
as Bidens may curtail its spread and help to limit its effect
on pristine ecosystems.
METHODOLOGY
Most of the literature was based on secondary sources
and information was gathered from the internet as well as
from relevant case studies. In all instances, work was
duly acknowledged. Information regarding the economic
implications of B. pilosa was carefully studied in order to
give a balanced perspective of the weed. Case studies
dealing with antibacterial and antifungal effects were
carefully studied as well as articles dealing with the
detection of compounds from crude extracts of the plants.
These themes were broadly classified under agricultural
and pharmaceutical importance and dealt with at length.
Content analysis and discourse analysis were therefore
used as methods of analysis as the work was secondary
data based and qualitative in nature.
Sampling and interview of traditional healers
Due to the low education level or lack of understanding of
English of most traditional healers, structured
Arthur et al 3283
questionnaires based on the use of B. pilosa were
discussed on an individual basis and explained by an
interpreter. The results were then transcribed by the
interpreter as some traditional healers could not write.
Common names and uses of B. pilosa
B. pilosa is known by various names in different countries
(Table 1). It is used as a folkloric medicine for the treat-
ment of various diseases (Horiuchi and Seyama, 2006)
and used extensively by indigenous people, especially in
Africa, for the treatment of a variety of ailments (Table 2).
B. pilosa showed negative results in the bacterial reverse
mutation test, suggesting that it is potentially safe to use
as medicinal plant supplements even at high doses
(Hong et al., 2011). A study carried out to examine the
possibility of using B. pilosa for weed and plant fungus
control suggested that the wide distribution of the plant
might be due to its antifungal activity against
phytopathogens (Deba et al., 2007; Strobel, 2003).
Carotinoids have been detected in the seeds (Kiokias
and Gordon, 2003). The dried aerial parts of B. pilosa L.
were extracted with petrol ether, chloroform, methanol,
and methanol/water. The petrol ether and the methanol/
water extracts showed some antimicrobial activity.
Fractionation of the extracts yielded well known
substances, most of which have, however, not yet been
described as constituents of B. pilosa (Geissberger and
Séquin, 1991). The detection of these compounds in
extracts from B. pilosa may rationalize the use of this
plant in traditional medicine in the treatment of wounds,
against inflammations and bacterial infections of the
gastrointestinal tract. An endophytic fungus
(Botryosphaeria rhodina) that is known for its anti-
inflammatory, antiseptic and antifungal effects was
isolated from the stems of the B. pilosa. Additionally,
endophytes have been recognized as a prolific source of
a wide array of new pharmacologically active secondary
metabolites that might prove suitable for specific
medicinal or agrochemical applications (Strobel and
Daisy, 2003).
Livestock browses on the plants in many parts of Africa
and in South Africa B. pilosa has been used as a fodder
for pigs. However, dairy cattle are discouraged from
browsing on it because the aromatic oil present in the
plant has an objectionable smell that can taint milk.
Consumption of the leaves, as in South Africa, has been
found to promote the development of oesophageal
cancer, and dried leaves of B. pilosa have a co-
carcinogenic action for oesophageal tumors induced in
rats.
In addition to the acetylenes, other compounds such as
phytosterols (β-sitosterol), triterpenes (friedelin and
friedelan-3β-ol) and caffeic acid(s) are also reported from
B. pilosa (www.database.prota.org). The main flavonoids
from leaf extracts are aurones and chalcones. Since
3284 J. Med. Plants Res.
Table 1. Common names of B. pilosa in different countries.
Species Common name Country
Bidens pilosa
Kinehi / Ko'oko'olau Hawaii
Xian Feng Cao ("Abundant Weed"), Gui Zhen Cao ("Demon Spike
Grass" or "Ghost Needle Weed") China
Amor Seco Peru
Beggars Tick / Spanish Needle / Needle Grass United States of America
Black Jack South Africa
Cobblers Peg, Farmer's Friend Australia
Fisi 'Uli Tonga
Has Kung Chia, Han Feng Taiwan
Ottrancedi India
Picao preto, Cuamba Brazil
Piripiri Cook Islands
Sanana Vinillo, Saytilla, Natilluna Bolivia
Spanish Needle, Needle Grass Barbados
Z'Herbe Zedruite Caribbean
Te de Coral Mexico
Z'Herbe Zedruite, Z'Herbe Z'Aiguille Dominican Republic
Fisi'uli [Tonga] Tonga
Uqadolo southern Africa
friedelin and friedelan-3β-ol, as well as several flavonoids
have anti-inflammatory properties, their detection in
extracts from B. pilosa, together with the presence of the
described acetylenes, may explain the use of B. pilosa in
traditional medicine, especially for treating wounds,
against inflammations and against bacterial infections of
the gastrointestinal tract (www.database.prota.org).
Agricultural benefits
B. pilosa had strong allelopathic effect which is beneficial
in enhancing its capacity in interspecific competition and
to promote its invasion (Mao et al., 2010). Aqueous
extracts of B. pilosa with low concentrations of up to 20
mg/ml had some facilitating effect on bud growth of
pasture Trifolium repens and Medicago sativa, while high
concentrations of 100 mg/ml or greater had a
considerable inhibitory effect on seed germination and
seedling growth. The allelopathic inhibitory effects
generally increase with the increase of concentrations
(Mao et al., 2010). Cui and He (2009) reported that soil
biota and nutrient availability are drivers of the plant
invasions. B. pilosa was observed to grow better in rich
soil from under shrubs than in poor soil from spaces
between the shrubs. Sterilization had greater negative
effects on the growth of B. pilosa than Saussurea
deltoidea indicating that mutualists appear to have
stronger effects on the invasive than on the native plant.
In contrast, B. pilosa had greater total biomass in non-
sterile shrub soil than in non-sterile gap soil. The
indication was that positive invasive capacity of B. pilosa
is due to the effect of soil biota thus its habitat association
seems to be closely linked to soil biota, but not soil
nutrients. Antifungal activity against a range of
pathogenic fungi such as Aspergillus terreus (MIC 26.03
lM for botryorhodine A and 49.70 lM for B) and the plant
pathogen Fusarium oxysporum (MIC 191.60 lM for
botryorhodine A and 238.80 lM for B) had been noted
(Abdou et al., 2010).
Pharmaceutical benefits
In developing countries particularly, in Colombia, low
income group such as farmers, people of small isolated
villages and native communities use B. pilosa for treating
common infections. These plants are ingested as
decoctions, teas and juice preparations to treat
respiratory infections (Gonzalez, 1980). They are also
made into a poultice and applied directly on the infected
wounds or burns (Rojas et al., 2006). It is use as pain
killer in Brazil and the Chinese use it for tea and for
treating conditions such as diabetes, inflammation,
enteritis, dysentery and pharyngitis, diuretic and anti-
rheumatic (Brandão et al., 1997; Brandão et al., 1998,
Arthur et al 3285
Table 2. Uses of B. pilosa in Africa (modified from Pozzi, 2010).
Country Plant part/preparation Treatment
Uganda
Crushed leaves Blood clotting agent
Leaf decoction Headache
Crushed leaves Ear infection
Decoction of leaf powder Kidney problems
Herbal tea Flatulence
Zimbabwe (Manyika) Leaf tea
Stomach/mouth ulcers
Diarrhea
Headaches
Hangovers
South Africa (Zulu) Suspension of powdered leaves Enema for abdominal pain
Concoction of leaf
Arthritis/ malaria
Congo Concoction of whole plant Poison antidote
Ease child delivery
Relieve pain from hernia
Cote d’ Ivoire Crushed leaves Jaundice/dysentery
Tanzania Leaf sap Burns
Nigeria Powder from seeds Anesthetic
Kenya (Giriama)
Leaf extract Swollen spleens
Ground leaves
Insecticides
Colds/flu
Urinary tract infections
Infected wounds of skin
Upper respiratory tract infections
Valdés and Rego, 2001). The boiling water extract of the
aerial parts of B. pilosa in Japan has anti-inflammatory
and anti-allergic properties (Horiuchi and Seyama, 2006).
Aqueous extract of the leaves is used by the Zulu tribe in
South Africa for treating dysentery, diarrhea and colic
(Rabe and van Staden, 1997).
Various compounds with biological activity, mainly,
polyacetylenes and flavonoids have been isolated and
identified in all parts of the plant (Brandão et al., 1997;
Isakova et al., 1986; Geissberger and Séquin, 1991; Sarg
et al., 1991; Alvarez et al., 1999). The flavonoids from
various species of the genus Bidens, including B. pilosa,
are mainly aurones and chalcones (Sashida et al., 1991).
For the polyacetylenes, 1-phenylhepta-1,3,5-tryine has
been the principal representative of this group of
compounds. It is claimed that antimicrobial, antihelmintic
and protozoocidal activities shown by different extracts of
B. pilosa is due to its content of polyacetylene
(Bondarenko et al., 1985; Geissberger and Séquin,
1991). The ethylacetate extract of the fungal isolate
exhibits significant antifungal activity as well as potent
cytotoxic and antiproliferative effects against several
cancer cell lines (Abdou et al., 2010). Four complex
depsidones, botryorhodines A–D and the auxin indole
carboxylic acid were isolated. Botryorhodine A and B
showed moderate to weak cytotoxic activities against
HeLa cell lines with a CC50 of 96.97 lM and 36.41 lM,
respectively.
B pilosa var. radiate Schult.Bip. is used to treat
stomach disorders including peptic ulcers. The ethanolic
extract (0.5 to 2 g/kg) decreased the gastric juice volume,
acid secretion, as well as pepsin secretion in pylorus
ligated rats. B. pilosa extract showed antiulcer activity
against indomethacin-induced gastric lesions. The extract
effectively inhibited gastric haemorragic lesions induced
by ethanol, and with an effective dose of 2 g/kg being
more potent than sucralfate (400 mg/kg). In contrast,
ranitidine (50 mg/kg) failed to reduce these lesions.
3286 J. Med. Plants Res.
These results indicated that B. pilosa ethanolic extract
exerts a cytoprotective effect in addition to its gastric
antisecretory activity that could be due, partly to the
presence of flavonoids, of which quercetin, was identified
by HPLC (Alvarez et al., 1999). A new compound,
heptanyl 2-O-β-xylofuranosyl-(16)-β-glucopyranoside
(1), and eight phenolic compounds, namely quercetin 3-
O-rabinobioside (2), quercetin 3-O-rutinoside (3),
chlorogenic acid (4), 3,4-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid (5), 3,5-
di-O-caffeoylquinic acid (6), 4,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid
(7), jacein (8), centaurein (9) were for the first time
isolated from B. pilosa. Compounds 2 to 7 are the major
antioxidative constituents in the B. pilosa extract (Yi-Ming
et al., 2004). Using a modified agar well diffusion method,
water extracts of B. pilosa L. showed a higher activity
against Bacillus cereus and Escherichia coli than
gentamycin sulfate and the ethanol extract was active
against Staphylococcus aureus (Rojas et al., 2006). The
ethanol extract of the leaves of Bixa orellana possesses
antimicrobial activity against Gram (+) microorganisms
and C. albicans (Fleischer et al., 2003). Pharmacognostic
studies and phytochemical screenings of B. pilosa had
shown the presences of other compounds with biological
activities which include terpenes (Geissberger
and Séquin,
1991;
Zuluetac et al., 1995) essential oils (Deba et al.,
2008) tannins, polysaccharides, phenols, amino acids,
ascorbic acid, organic acids and polyacetylenes
(Pozharitskaya et al., 2010).
The increasing prevalence and distribution of malaria
has been attributed to a number of factors, one of them
being the emergence and spread of drug resistant
parasites. It is estimated that there are at least 300
million clinical cases of malaria per annum, making it one
of the top three killers among communicable diseases
(WHO, 2003). Despite intensive efforts to control malaria,
the disease continues to be one of the greatest health
problems facing Africa (Ridley, 2002). Although a number
of advances have been made towards the understanding
of the disease, relatively few antimalarial drugs have
been developed in the last 30 years. Efforts are now
being directed towards the discovery and development of
new chemically diverse antimalarial agents (Ridley,
2002). Since the treatment and control of malaria
depends largely on a limited number of chemo-
prophylactic and chemotherapeutic agents, there is an
urgent need to develop novel, affordable antimalarial
treatments. This urgency has been further highlighted by
the increasing prevalence of drug resistant strains of the
malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, which have
contributed to the escalating disease load (Clarkson et
al., 2004). The leaves have also been used to treat
malaria and leishmaniasis (Irobi et al., 1996). The
ethanolic crude extract from the roots of B. pilosa contain
polyacetylenes and flavonoids that exert in vitro anti-
malarial activity against Plasmodium falciparum (Oliveira
et al., 2004). Therefore, it is possible that with further
developments, future anti-malarial drugs containing
extracts from B. pilosa may become available to treat
communities in Africa.
The widespread use of B. pilosa both in Africa and the
rest of the world indicate that this plant may yield
valuable drugs to treat a variety of different ailments
including malaria. Although considered an invader in
many countries, the potential benefit may outweigh the
risks that the weed poses to the environment. Ethanolic
extracts have demonstrated both antibacterial and
antifungal activity as well as potent cytotoxic and anti-
proliferative effects. Various polyacetylenes and
flavonoids that have been isolated have shown to
possess antimicrobial, antihelmintic and protozoocidal
activities. The wide spread use of the plant by indigenous
communities for treating a variety of ailments implied that
medicinal knowledge regarding Bidens has been passed
down from generation to generation. However, further
studies, especially cytotoxicity testing may be needed to
determine the full potential of this valuable medicinal
plant.
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Bidens pilosa. Phytochemistry, 38: 1449–1450.
... Bidens pilosa L. is an annual herb originated from South America and widely distributed around the tropical and subtropical regions [90] [91]. The plant is regarded as a noxious weed in the agricultural fields [92]. In sub-Saharan countries, the young tender leaves (Figure 10) are consumed as a vegetable in times of food scarcity [92]. ...
... The plant is regarded as a noxious weed in the agricultural fields [92]. In sub-Saharan countries, the young tender leaves (Figure 10) are consumed as a vegetable in times of food scarcity [92]. The medicinal role of the plant in many parts of the world such as Africa, Asia, and tropical America includes anti-inflammation, anti-bacterial infection, antioxidant, liver protection, regulating blood pressure and blood sugar has been extensively described by many authors [92] [93] [94] [95]. ...
... In sub-Saharan countries, the young tender leaves (Figure 10) are consumed as a vegetable in times of food scarcity [92]. The medicinal role of the plant in many parts of the world such as Africa, Asia, and tropical America includes anti-inflammation, anti-bacterial infection, antioxidant, liver protection, regulating blood pressure and blood sugar has been extensively described by many authors [92] [93] [94] [95]. American Journal of Plant Sciences The medicinal role offered by this plant is due to the presence of bioactive compounds. ...
... ILV utilisation and consumption are generally associated with the socioeconomic status of diverse ethnic groups, their dietary lifestyles and traditions. The report of Arthur, Naidoo and Coopoosamy (2012) showed that Bidens pilosa leaves possess esophageal anticancer properties. Furthermore, pharmacological studies have revealed that bioactive compounds such as tannins, terpenes, amino acids and ascorbic acids found in most of the ILVs possess antipathogenic activities (Arthur et al. 2012). ...
... The report of Arthur, Naidoo and Coopoosamy (2012) showed that Bidens pilosa leaves possess esophageal anticancer properties. Furthermore, pharmacological studies have revealed that bioactive compounds such as tannins, terpenes, amino acids and ascorbic acids found in most of the ILVs possess antipathogenic activities (Arthur et al. 2012). Momordica balsamina reported in this study is highly acclaimed by the Zulu-speaking people in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa in the management of stomach pains (Hutchings 1996). ...
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Background: There is a high loss of indigenous knowledge, resulting in negative effects on the health and lives of cultural people living in poor communities mostly in the rural areas, hence, an urgent need for indigenous knowledge conservation. Aim: This study is aimed at presenting the potentials of leafy indigenous vegetables as an essential source of food and nutrition for poor communities. We argue that through knowledge transfer, these species have a chance of being revitalised and used, thereby conserving plant biodiversity while ensuring food and nutrition security. Setting: An ethnobotanical survey was conducted in the Ehlanzeni District of the Mpumalanga Province, South Africa, to uncover and document the indigenous leafy vegetables (ILVs) from the area as well as to evaluate the community’s indigenous vegetable knowledge and utilisation state. Methods: Using a structured questionnaire, 95 respondents were interviewed. Older women were particularly targeted since they are the repositories of ethnobotanical information related to ILVs. Results: The study revealed 17 indigenous leafy vegetable species from 10 families. About 85% of the ILVs cited possessed medicinal properties. The most common means of preservation was sun-drying, although consumption of vegetables in their fresh state was most preferred. Conclusion: High blood pressure was cited to be treated by most of the ILVs; therefore, there is a need to include these vegetables in our daily diets.
... They are used in traditional and or ethnoveterinary medicine for the treatment and prevention of diseases. Several medicinal uses of wild vegetables have been reported in South Africa (Lewu and Mavengahama, 2011;Mokganya and Tshisikhawe, 2019), for example, Bidens pilosa L. reported by Mokganya and Tshisikhawe (2019) found in Vhembe District Municipality, Limpopo Province, South Africa (Table 2), is being used for the treatment of malaria, dysentery, diarrhoea and infected wounds or burns (Andrade-Neto et al., 2004;Arthur et al., 2012). Idris et al. (2017) in their work reported the use of Rumex crispus L. in the treatment of parasitic worms in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. ...
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Overdependence on exotic plant species constitutes a major setback for the consumption of wild fruits and vegetables among South Africans. The country is not spared from the adverse effects of climate change which play a substantial role in altering the ecosystem and have a ripple effect on food security. Wild fruits and vegetables have been identified to be underutilized despite the country's struggle in nourishing its population. This paper reviewed the impacts of climate change on the phenology, physiology, and economic benefits of wild fruits and vegetables in South Africa. Furthermore, spatial-based data was used to evaluate the possible productivity of wild fruits and vegetables through land use/land cover (LULC) assessment. The result showed that South Africa had varied vegetation and land cover dynamics. For example, Northern Cape and Western Cape Provinces are dominated by shrubland and barren land, thus unsuitable for fruit and vegetable production. In contrast, Limpopo, NorthWest , Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Free State, some parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape Provinces are covered with grassland and cultivated areas which made them good for vegetable farming and potential ground for wild fruit and vegetable cultivation. Thus, there is a need to develop cultivation strategies for edible wild fruits and vegetables with known nutritional characteristics to expand knowledge about nutritional benefits and options in utilizing the wild species. This will boost the country's economy, help to improve diet, and can play a crucial role in food security.
... B. pilosa is an annual herb belonging to Asteraceae that originated from the tropical Americas (Reddy and Singh 1992). The hardiness and explosive reproductive capacity of B. pilosa have enabled it to become established throughout the world, causing serious damage to local biodiversity and agricultural production (Arthur et al. 2012). The distribution area of B. pilosa covers tropical, subtropical, and temperate zones, but it seriously threatens agricultural production and biodiversity in subtropical regions (Hong et al. 2004;Deng and Zou, 2012). ...
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Winter low temperature disturbance in the southern subtropics has important effects on the weed community structure, but the role of uniquely low temperatures in biological invasions is unclear. Here, we examined the competitive effects of an invasive plant, Bidens pilosa L., and its native congener, Bidens biternata (Lour.) Merr. et Sherff, during high and low temperature seasons to determine whether low temperatures promote the competitiveness of B. pilosa in the southern subtropics of China. The growth and physiological responses of the two Bidens species to low (10/5 °C) and optimum (30/25 °C) temperatures were examined to determine how the invasive B. pilosa responds to low temperature stress. Our results showed that the competitive balance index values of B. pilosa in low temperature seasons were significantly higher than those in high temperature seasons, which implied that low temperatures may be more beneficial to the competitiveness of B. pilosa than high temperatures in the southern subtropics. The smaller decline in the relative growth rate and the photosynthetic ability of B. pilosa compared with B. biternata under low temperature stress indicated that the former was less negatively affected by low temperature than the latter. A higher DPPH· (1.1-diphenyl-2-picrylhy-drazyl) scavenging rate and greater heat-stable protein content in B. pilosa under low temperatures might help the invasive plant to maintain more effective physiological functions and thus a higher growth rate. Overall, the uniquely low temperature in the southern subtropics of China is expected to promote the invasiveness of the exotic B. pilosa.
... These species are adapted to diverse edaphic and climatic conditions. D. ascendens is distributed in all tropical regions of the world (Vanni 2001), Bidens pilosa is a cosmopolitan species (Arthur et al. 2012) and kikuyo (Pennisetum clandestinum) is a eurytopic and invasive species (Fernández-Murillo et al. 2015). Therefore, this agrees with what farmers say, that because these species are invasive they adapt or grow easily in soils with very low fertility. ...
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Local farmers' knowledge of edaphic fertility indicators is a decisive factor for decision making and sustainable soil management. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine soil fertility indicators according to the criteria of small farmers and contrast it with scientific knowledge. A field study was developed in northern Ecuador, where 95 semi-structured surveys were applied to farm owners in the Andean and Subtropical zones. Each questionnaire grouped several questions with topics such as plant indicators of soil fertility, physical indicators of soil fertility, forms of soil degradation and conservation strategies, as well as the acquisition of knowledge over time according to farmers' perception. Farmers consider that crops are indicators of soil fertility, while the presence of “weeds” indicate poor soils. Additionally, characteristics like color, texture, stoniness, depth, the presence of macrofauna and crop yield indicated soil fertility. Also, farmers are aware of the soil's contamination and of conservation strategies available to avoid this; however, since their main objective is to improve crop yield and not precisely soil conservation, they do not always apply these strategies. Some of these practices are transmitted from one generation to the next and are at risk of being lost, hence the importance of integrating farmers’ perception and scientific knowledge to generate guidelines for sustainable soil management.
... It has been utilised in the treatment of various ailments, including ear infections, kidney problems, arterial hypertension, ulcers and diabetes [2][3][4][5][6]. The medicinal properties possessed by the plant can be rationalised by the enormous variety of bioactive phytochemicals identified in this plant, which include flavonoids, aromatics and terpenoids [1,2,[7][8][9][10]. Flavonoids in particular constitute a prevalent class of metabolites in B. pilosa [9,[11][12][13]. ...
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Bidens pilosa plant has been shown to produce okanin flavanone glycoside and its chalcone derivative. In most other plants, due to chalcone isomerase enzyme, the flavanone tends to exist in higher proportions than their chalcone precursors. Herein we have utilized liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry approach and shown that within the leaves of Bidens pilosa plant the two okanin glycosides exist in unusual equal proportional distribution, which indicates that Bidens pilosa plant is an alternative rich source of these highly sought-after antioxidant molecules. The aglycone okanin chalcone (ONC) and okanin flavanone (ONF) have experimentally been shown to exhibit antioxidant activity. However, experimental findings have not conclusively determined which of the two compounds is a more potent antiradical than the other. Herein, the density functional theory (DFT) method is utilized to establish, from structural and thermodynamic energetic considerations, the preferred antioxidant molecule between the two aglycone okanins. A theoretical study on the antioxidant properties of ONC and ONF has been performed by considering their radical scavenging and metal cation (Mn+, where M = Cu(II) or Fe (III)) chelation ability. The study has been performed using B3LYP/6-31 + G(d,p) method. In the case of the metal chelation mechanism, the LANL2DZ pseudo-potential was selected to describe the selected Mn+ cations. The results of the study suggest that ONC is a better radical scavenger than ONF because of the extended electron delocalization on its neutral radical, which is due to the presence of conjugation within the ONC neutral radical after hydrogen atom abstraction. In the metal chelation mechanism, it is noted that the binding energies depend on the media, the nature of the ligand and the cation and the cation coordination site on the ligand. The charge and the spin density on Mn+ decrease on coordination to the ligand. The ability of the ligands to reduce Mn+ cations, coupled with the strong Mn+ binding properties, has significant implication on the antioxidant ability of both okanins. However, since ONC⋅⋅⋅M+n interaction results in higher binding energy than ONF⋅⋅⋅M+n interaction, the implication is that ONC is a preferred free metal ion chelator than ONF.
... The consumption of the leaves of B. pilosa has been reported as a risk factor for esophageal cancer in South Africa. On the other hand, pharmacological studies conducted on this plant showed a number of many bioactive compounds including terpenes, tannins, essential oils amino acids and ascorbic acid that aid in the remedial of many various ailments (Diouf et al., 1999;Arthur et al., 2012;Silva et al., 2011). ...
... However, it was also an edible herb with medicinal applications in many countries. For example, it was a leaf vegetable as well as a traditional medicinal herb in many African countries such as Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya, Tanzania, etc. [14]. In Taiwan, three varieties of Cobbler's pegs, i.e., B. pilosa var. ...
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In Taiwan, the good agricultural practices for Bidens pilosa L. (Cobbler's pegs) had been established due to its pharmacology application. However, the reproduction of this species that may cause phytotoxicity to the subsequent crops has not been investigated extensively. We hypothesized that both the phytotoxicity and canopy shading conditions that were altered by agricultural practices might affect its seed reproduction. Three experiments from laboratory, pot and field were conducted under different light treatments and residue application rates to evaluate the light requirement and phytotoxicity on the germination of Cobbler's pegs. The results showed that the germination in the laboratory, dark treatments was higher than that of light treatment while it was inhibited in the darkness in the pot experiments (24% of the light treatments). Moreover, some seeds in the pot experiments germinated in the far-red light (FR) pretreated dark treatments. This observation indicated that the germination response of the investigated plant might be a very low fluence response (VLFR). Results also showed that the autotoxicity enhanced the germination reduction in the FR pretreated dark treatment while increasing the residues buried in the field. Accordingly, both autotoxicity and canopy shading may inhibit the reproduction of Cobbler's pegs, but the application method needs further study.
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Gui Zhen Cao is an herbal formulation that has been documented in Chinese traditional medicine as a remedy for diarrhea, dysentery, inflammation, and toxicity. The sources of this formulation (Bidens pilosa L., Bidens biternata (Lour.) Merr. & Sherff, Bidens bipinnata L.) are also listed in ethnomedicinal reports all over the world. In this study, all these plants are tested for in vitro anti-candida activity. A quantitative evaluation of the phytochemicals in all these plants indicated that their vegetative parts are rich in tannins, saponins, oxalates, cyanogenic glycoside and lipids; moreover , the roots have high percentages of alkaloids, flavonoids, and phenols. The results indicated significant anticandida activity, especially for the hexane extract of B. bipinnata leaves which inhibited C. albicans (42.54%), C. glabrata (46.98%), C. tropicalis (50.89%), C. krusei (40.56%), and C. or-thopsilosis (50.24%). The extract was subjected to silica gel chromatography and 220 fractions were obtained. Purification by High Performance Liquid Chromatography with Diode-Array Detection (HPLC-DAD) and Gas Chromatography tandem Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) analysis led to the identification of two anticandida compounds: dehydroabietic and linoleic acid having an inhibition of 85% and 92%, respectively.
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Blackjack (bidens pilosa l.) grows naturally as a perennial herb across the world, especially in tropical regions, and it is used in many parts of the world for treating illnesses such as diarrhea, indigestion, wounds, and respiratory infections. Blackjack's agricultural and pharmaceutical benefits have been well studied by scientists, following which several suggestions for using it as a source of supplements and alternative antibiotics have been made. Moreover, blackjack is edible but very much underutilized for food purposes. In this article, the author reviews the advantages and disadvantages of blackjack and argues for the deliberation of promoting its use for food.
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The present study describes the chemical composition, antibacterial and antifungal activities of essential oils from Bidens pilosa, a traditional medicinal plant widely distributed in the subtropics and tropics. The essential oils from the fresh leaves and flowers of B. pilosa were analyzed by GC–MS. Forty-four components were identified, of which β-caryophyllene (10.9% and 5.1%) and τ-cadinene (7.82% and 6.13%) were the main compounds in leaves and flowers, respectively. The oils and aqueous extracts of leaves and flowers were subjected to screening for their possible antioxidant activities by using 2,2′-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and β-carotene bleaching methods. In the former case, the essential oils from leaves and flowers were found to be superior to all aqueous extracts tested with an IC50 value of 47.5 and 49.7μg/ml, respectively, whereas all extracts and essential oils seemed to inhibit the oxidation of linoleic acid in the latter case. The oils from B. pilosa exerted significant antibacterial and antifungal activities against six bacteria and three fungal strains. The inhibitory activity of the flower essential oils in Gram-negative bacteria was significantly higher than in Gram-positive. Our findings demonstrate that the essential oils and aqueous extracts of B. pilosa possess antioxidant and antimicrobial activities that might be a natural potential source of preservative used in food and other allied industries.
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Cui Q-G & He W-M (2009). Soil biota, but not soil nutrients, facilitate the invasion of Bidens pilosa relative to a native species Saussurea deltoidea. Weed Research49, 201–206. Existing evidence has shown that soil biota and nutrient availability in the introduced ranges are drivers of plant invasions. Bidens pilosa, an invasive species, grows better in rich soil from under shrubs than in poor soil from spaces between the shrubs. Here, we hypothesise that soil biota will benefit B. pilosa more than the native herb Saussurea deltoidea and that B. pilosa will also be favoured over S. deltoidea in nutrient-rich soil compared with soil lower in nutrients. To test both hypotheses, we conducted an experiment in which B. pilosa and S. deltoidea were subjected to non-sterile and sterile soils from both shrubs and gaps. Sterilisation had greater negative effects on the growth of B. pilosa than S. deltoidea indicating that mutualists appear to have stronger effects on the invasive than on the native plant. Although shrub soil was significantly richer in nutrients than gap soil, this difference did not affect biomass production of B. pilosa. In contrast, B. pilosa had greater total biomass in non-sterile shrub soil than in non-sterile gap soil. These findings suggest that successful invasions of B. pilosa are because of the shrub-dependent effect of soil biota in the introduced ranges and that its habitat association appears to be closely linked to soil biota, but not soil nutrients.
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This study was carried out to examine the possibility of utilizing Bidens pilosa, a weed widely distributed in the subtropics and the tropics, for weed and plant fungus control. The extract of B. pilosa shows strong phytotoxic action against the growth of Raphanus sativus and Echinochloa crus-galli and antifungal activity against phytopathogens in bioassays. The extract of the roots exhibited plant growth inhibitory activity more than those of the leaves and stems. Fifteen phenolic compounds, including pyrocatechin, salicylic acid, p-vinylguaiacol, dimethoxyphenol, eugenol, 4-ethyl-1,2-benzenediol, iso-vanillin, 2-hydroxy-6-methylbenzaldehyde, vanillin, vanillic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, protocatechuic acid, p-coumaric acid, ferulic acid, and caffeic acid were identified by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. Caffeic acid was in the highest amount among the detected substances. Dimethoxyphenol and vanillic acid were found only in the roots of B. pilosa. Ferulic acid and p-hydroxybenzoic acid were higher in the roots than in the leaves and stems. These identified constituents might be responsible for the phytotoxic and fungitoxic activities of B. pilosa.
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Purpose: Bidens pilosa, Cleistopholis paterns, and Tetrapleura tetraptera are plants that are used traditionally for cancer treatment, as well as anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory agents in Africa. We used the Ames test to evaluate the bacterial reverse mutation effects in these plants. Methods: In the in vitro Ames test, Salmonella typhimurium strains TA 98, TA 100, TA 1535, TA 1537 and Escherichia coli WP2uvrA were used with or without metabolic activation by S9 mix. The highest concentration of B. pilosa, C. paterns, and T. tetraptera for the Ames test was established at 5000 μg/plate. Results: B. pilosa, C. paterns, and T. tetraptera did not cause any increase in the number of his+ revertant colonies compared to the negative control values obtained from S. typhimurium and E. coli WP2uvrA strains, with or without the addition of S9 mixtures. The results indicated that these plants are non-mutagenic to all the five S. typhimurium and E. coli test strains in the presence and absence of metabolic activation. Conclusion: B. pilosa, C. paterns, and T. tetraptera showed negative results in the bacterial reverse mutation test, suggesting that it is potentially safe to use them as medicinal plant supplements even at high doses. © Pharmacotherapy Group, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Benin, Benin City, 300001 Nigeria.
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