Cyanthillium cinereum Plant: Discover its Medicinal Uses (Little Ironweed | Ash-Colour Fleabane) – A Comprehensive Guide

Cyanthillium cinereum medicinal uses

Cyanthillium cinereum


  • English: Ash-colour fleabane, Purple fleabane, Little ironweed, Ash colored Fleabane, inflammation bush,
  • Kannada: Dandothpala, Gaaya doppalu, Gaayathoppalu, Kaadu hoge soppu, Sahadevi
  • Hindi: Daudotpala, Kalgira, Kaljiri, Sadodi, Sadori, Sahadevi
  • Malayalam:Ppoovamkurunnila
  • Tamil: Cakatevi, Cirilai, Citevi, Cenkalunir, Puvamkuruntal
  • Telugu: Garita kammi, Garitikamma, Gharitikamini
  • Bengali: Kukshim
  • Sanskrit: Sahadevi, Ardhaprasadana, Dandotpala, Vishvadeva
  • Sri Lanka : Monara kudumbiya
  • Malaysia : Agas moro
  • Indonesia : Buyung-buyung, maryuna, sasawi langit
  • Philippines: agas-moro; bulak-manok; kolong-kugon
  • Japan: mura-saki-mukashi-yomogi, yambaru-higotai
  • Spanish : Machadita, Rabo de buey, Yerba morada
  • Nepal: Pramalamram
  • China : Ye xiang niu, Jia xian xia cua, Xiao shan hu

Plant Information – Growth, Importance

Cyanthillium cinereum or little ironwood plant is an annual erect small plant, which grows up to 15cm-85cm. Ash-colour fleabane has more flowers around 20-35 per capitulum color pinkish or purple. Leaves ovate, petioles 0.5-1.5 cm long and variable in shape. It was previously identified as Vernonia cinerum, and now it is a separate genus. Currently, five species are recognized within Cyanthillium.

It is own to the Asteraceae family, which recognized 1920 genera and around 23.600 species. Cyanthillium cinereum growing fast and some countries consider this as an invasive weed. This plant is native to native to Africa, Arabian in Caribbean countries, Pacific and South America, and tropical Asia. 

It spread in tropical and subtropical region countries like the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Papua New Guinea Galápagos Islands, Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, etc.

Purple fleabane or little ironweeds’ leaves, roots, taken for medicines in all over the world. This plant was popular recently because in Thailand it was introduced as a remedy for quitting smoking. According to the research done on   Differentiation of Cyanthillium cinereum, a smoking cessation herb, from its adulterant Emilia sonchifolia in 2020.

Tea of Cyanthillium cinereum included in national essential medicines, Thailand since 2012. So researches revealed that it acts as a nicotine replacement substance and nitrate salt in leaves and stem creates numbness and it causes less feel smell & taste of the cigarette.

Medicinal Uses

Cyanthillium cinereum has the potential to use for a wide range of diseases. Many Countries use little ironweed for various purposes. Commonly it has anti-inflammatory, anthelmintic, depurative, diuretic, diaphoretic, anodyne, anti-inflammatory, Antipyretic, alexeteric, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and antiperiodic, Nephroprotective, sudorific properties. Further Studies showed its usage for degenerative diseases and tissue aging against free radicals.

Medicinal uses of Parts of the Plants


Cyanthillium cinereum Roots are used for many health conditions. Root paste can be used for boils, and In case of scorpion stings & can be used against intestinal worms, elephantiasis have diuretic property. Juice or decoction made from little ironweed roots taken to treat diarrhea, stomach ache, piles.


Leaves of Purple fleabane have antibiotic, diuretic & blood purifying activities. So these leaves used for dropsy, urinary ailments, elephantiasis, Worm infestations, skin diseases like herpes, eczema.

Same as roots leaves have the ability to act on common cold symptoms, for fever & chills. Leaves boil water used to gargle for sore throat. Further Poultice made from little ironweed leaves aid to treat bronchitis & asthma apply on the forehead to headaches. also in Java young shoots add to prepare meals as a vegetable.

A decoction prepared to Cyanthillium cinereum act as an abortifacient and it uses for treating albuminuria, swelling, sprains, menstrual pains, some skin diseases. A poultice of the leaves applied to the forehead relieves the headache.


Seeds Paste mix with lime juice of this herb use for controlling human lice and further Seeds use for flatulence. Cough, Leucoderma, Skin Diseases, Dysuria.

Also, Seeds contain oil that acts as an antidote for poisoning due to high effects. Moreover, researchers found that it has alterative, anthelmintic alexipharmic qualities. Seeds are useful in treating leprosy and threadworms & roundworms.

Herbal Remedies

  • Make a paste using lime juice and little ironweed seeds apply them into your hair for controlling lice, wash out after 10 minutes.

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