Emilia sonchifolia Plant: Discover its Medicinal Uses (Lilac Tasselflower | Cupid’s Shaving Brush) – A Comprehensive Guide

Emilia sonchifolia medicinal uses

Emilia sonchifolia


  • English: lilac tassel flower or cupid’s shaving brush, consumption weed, cupid’s paintbrush, Flora’s paintbrush, purple sow thistle, sow thistle
  • Spanish: borlitas, brochita, clavel chino; huye que te cojo, pincel de amor; pincelillo de poeta, yebra socialista
  • French: cacalie a feuilles de laiteron; émilie; herbe a lapin, manger lapin; salade a lapin
  • Portuguese: bela-emilia, serralha
  • Hindi: hirankhuri, kirankuri, hirankuri 
  • Sanskrit: sasasruti, sasasrutih 


  • Bahamas: purple emilia
  • Brazil: brocha, falsa-serralha, pincel, serralha-mirim
  • China: ye xia hong 
  • Cambodia: smau reang tük
  • El Salvador: molendera, rabanillo, rabano falso
  • Germany: purpur-quastenkoepfchen
  • Indonesia: djombang, dwaji rowo, patah kemudi, kemendilan (Javanese), jonge (Sundanese)
  • Japan: usubeni-nigana
  • Nepal: Moolaapaate, Toree Phool, Chaulaane Jhaar, Hiran Khuee
  • Madagascar: tsiontsiona
  • Malawi: kalimwendo, mambenawo
  • Malaysia: ketumbit jantan, setumbak merah, tanbak-tambak merah, tetambak merah
  • Philippines: cetim; kipot-kipot, lamlampka, tagiulinau, yagod-no-kang kang, pisowa-pisowa (Bisaya)
  • Puerto Rico: clavelito Colorado, clavelitos del cafetal
  • Sri Lanka: Kadupahara
  • Thailand: hangplachon (central), phakdaeng (central), phakbang (northern)
  • Vietnam: co chua le, rau má tiá, rau chua lè, hồng bối thảo

Plant Information – Growth, Importance

Emilia sonchifolia an annual herb that most countries recognized as a weed crop that native to China and Southeast Asia. Though it’s naturalized all over the world including regions like Africa, America, the Pacific Islands, Australia.

Based on the researches This plant host for few pathogens which become a problematic weed in agriculture corps like cotton, cassava, maize, papaya, tomato, sweet potato. Furthermore, in 2018 two begomoviruses identified that associate with Emilia sonchifolia.

Lilac Tasselflower or Emilia sonchifolia grows up to 20cm – 80cm life cycle end around 90 days. Leaves of Lilac Tasselflower are 3cm- 12cm average long & 1cm-8cm wide, upper leaves are comparatively are small than lower leaves & they are alternate and lower leaves are kidney shape, ovate, pandalifore. Occasionally leaves color changes to purplish color as they are matured. Flowers are urn-shaped and have 20-40 heads, a cup of flower heads are green, cylindrical.

Even though Emilia sonchifolia caused a reduction of harvest this plant some medicinal values, which people use for many diseases & use the leafy as a vegetable.

Medicinal Uses

In Africa and South East Asia young non-flowering Emilia sonchifolia plants, sometimes leaves and young shoot takes as a vegetable. In Malaysia, Bangladesh eats it raw by making traditional salads though they are a little bit bitter in taste. African believe Leaves are having laxative properties. Also, steam them and use as a side dish for main course rice in some countries.

Apart from taking as a vegetable, parts of the Lilac Tassel flower use for medicinal purposes in the traditional medicine system. Especially for in Ayurveda Emilia sonchifolia use to treat inflammation, rheumatism, wounds, coughs, and tumors.

Moreover, it aid to make treatments for diarrhea,  eczema, fever, sore throat, and for snake bites. In Nepal powder of Lilac Tasselflower add as ferment ingredients to make a special cake called “Marcha”.

In African countries like Nigeria, Emilia sonchifolia leaves used to treat epilepsy in infants and in child delivery. Further infusion of leaves is used to treat dysentery.

For decaying tooth, some people used to chew flower heads and keep around 10 minutes in the mouth. The root is used in treating diarrhea.

According to research done in 2014, about the protective effects of Emilia sonchifolia pancreatic dysplasia suggested the potential of this plant to use as a therapeutic agent. Researches further claimed that this plant has contains anti-microbial, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-diarrheal anti-diabetic, hepatoprotective, anti-anxiety, antiphlogistic, and anti-cataract, anti-cancer, antioxidant biochemical activities

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