Hedyotis diffusa, Oldenlandia diffusa, snake needle grass

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Hedyotis diffusa seeds


Hedyotis diffusa, also known as white flower snake-tongue grass or snake needle grass, is an important herb in traditional Chinese medicine. Its second and more common scientific name is Oldenlandia diffusa. It derived from China, where the Danish botanist Henrik Bernard Oldenland discovered it and gave his name to it. This plant belongs to the botanical coffee family (Rubiaceae).

In China the common name is bai hua she she cao, which indicates the agkistrodon snake, which is called baihuashe in China. Here the name of the plant deviates its original use. It was used to detoxify the bite of this snake. The second word shecao describes the tongue of a snake. The leaves of Hedyotis diffusa appear like small green snake tongues and are very thin.

This herbaceous annual plant blossoms during the summer months with small white flowers. Soil should be kept humid and not dry out!

This plant is also an important object in research and occidental medicine! It has many adjuvant impacts for healing and treating diseases, for example it is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, cardiotonic, diuretic, sedative, depurative and even antitumor! In research they found out that the brew of this plant stops growing of many cell cultures of different cancer types, some cultures where even killed! As medical support it is administered against breast cancer, liver cancer, throat cancer and even leukemia. The decoction helps to boost the immune system aswell. For external usage it can be applied to skin irritations, snake bites or eczema. Attention to pregnant women: They should not drink the brew of this plant!

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