Agnichela, Agnimaala, Ceylon Leadwort, Chita, Chitra, Chitrak, Chitraka, Chitramoolam, Chitramulamu, Doctorbush, Lead Wort, Lead Wort-White Flowered, Plumbago, Plumbago zeylanica, Tellachitramulamu, Wild Plumbago, White Chitraka, White Plumbago.


Overview Information

Ceylon leadwort is a shrub that grows in India and other parts of Southwest Asia. It is used as a medicine in Africa and Asia.

Orally, Ceylon leadwort is used for birth control, diarrhea, constipation, stomach ulcers, high cholesterol, diabetes, asthma, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

How does it work?

Ceylon leadwort contains a chemical called plumbagin that might kill bacteria and cancer cells. Plumbagin might also have effects on fertility and the immune system.

Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Asthma.
  • Birth Control.
  • Diabetes.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Stomach ulcers.
  • Other uses.
Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: There isn't enough reliable information to know if Ceylon leadwort is safe or what the side effects might be.

When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if Ceylon leadwort is safe or what the side effects might be.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Ceylon leadwort is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth or applied to the skin when pregnant or breastfeeding. Ceylon leadwort might cause an abortion; avoid using.

Diabetes: There is some concern that taking Ceylon leadwort might make it more difficult to control blood sugar. If you take Ceylon leadwort, monitor your blood sugar levels closely.

Surgery: Ceylon leadwort might prolong bleeding and interfere with blood sugar control. Stop taking Ceylon leadwort at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.



We currently have no information for CEYLON LEADWORT Interactions.



The appropriate dose of Ceylon leadwort depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Ceylon leadwort. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


  • Abdul KM, Ramchender RP. Modulatory effect of plumbagin (5-hydroxy-2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone) on macrophage functions in BALB/c mice. I. Potentiation of macrophage bactericidal activity. Immunopharmacology. 1995 Sep;30(3):231-6. View abstract.
  • Ahmad I, Aqil F. In vitro efficacy of bioactive extracts of 15 medicinal plants against ESbetaL-producing multidrug-resistant enteric bacteria. Microbiol Res. 2007;162(3):264-75. View abstract.
  • Aqil F, Ahmad I, Owais M. Evaluation of anti-methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) activity and synergy of some bioactive plant extracts. Biotechnol J. 2006 Oct;1(10):1093-102. View abstract.
  • Aziz MH, Dreckschmidt NE, Verma AK. Plumbagin, a medicinal plant-derived naphthoquinone, is a novel inhibitor of the growth and invasion of hormone-refractory prostate cancer. Cancer Res. 2008 Nov 1;68(21):9024-32. View abstract.
  • Checker R, Sharma D, Sandur SK, Khanam S, Poduval TB. Anti-inflammatory effects of plumbagin are mediated by inhibition of NF-kappaB activation in lymphocytes. Int Immunopharmacol. 2009 Jul;9(7-8):949-58. View abstract.
  • Chen A, Zhou X, Tang S, Liu M, Wang X. Evaluation of the inhibition potential of plumbagin against cytochrome P450 using LC-MS/MS and cocktail approach. Sci Rep. 2016 Jun 22;6:28482. View abstract.
  • Cong HJ, Zhang SW, Shen Y, Zheng Y, Huang YJ, Wang WQ, Leng Y, Xuan LJ. Guanidine alkaloids from Plumbago zeylanica. J Nat Prod. 2013 Jul 26;76(7):1351-7. View abstract.
  • Edwin S, Joshi SB, Jain DC. Antifertility activity of leaves of Plumbago zeylanica Linn. in female albino rats. Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2009 Jun;14(3):233-9. View abstract.
  • Galal AM, Raman V, Avula B, Wang YH, Rumalla CS, Weerasooriya AD, Khan IA. Comparative study of three Plumbago L. species (Plumbaginaceae) by microscopy, UPLC-UV and HPTLC. J Nat Med. 2013 Jul;67(3):554-61. View abstract.
  • Giday M, Teklehaymanot T, Animut A, Mekonnen Y. Medicinal plants of the Shinasha, Agew-awi and Amhara peoples in northwest Ethiopia. J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Apr 4;110(3):516-25. View abstract.
  • Hsieh YJ, Lin LC, Tsai TH. Measurement and pharmacokinetic study of plumbagin in a conscious freely moving rat using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2006 Nov 21;844(1):1-5. Epub 2006 Jul 11. View abstract.
  • Jamal MS, Parveen S, Beg MA, Suhail M, Chaudhary AG, Damanhouri GA, Abuzenadah AM, Rehan M. Anticancer compound plumbagin and its molecular targets: a structural insight into the inhibitory mechanisms using computational approaches. PLoS One. 2014 Feb 27;9(2):e87309. View abstract.
  • Jia Y, Jing J, Bai Y, Li Z, Liu L, Luo J, Liu M, Chen H. Amelioration of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by plumbagin through down-regulation of JAK-STAT and NF-?B signaling pathways. PLoS One. 2011;6(10):e27006. View abstract.
  • Kumar D, Patil PA, Roy S, Kholkute SD, Hegde HV, Nair V. Comparative toxicity profiles of Plumbago zeylanica L. root petroleum ether, acetone and hydroalcoholic extracts in Wistar rats. Ayu. 2015 Jul-Sep;36(3):329-34. View abstract.
  • Kumar SS, Shanmugasundaram KR. Amrita Bindu-an antioxidant inducer therapy in asthma children. J. Ethnopharmacol. 2004;90:105-114.
  • Lin LC, Yang LL, Chou CJ. Cytotoxic naphthoquinones and plumbagic acid glucosides from Plumbago zeylanica. Phytochemistry. 2003 Feb;62(4):619-22. View abstract.
  • Mandavkar, YD, Jalalpure, SS. A comprehensive review on Plumbago zeylanica Linn. African J. Pharmacy and Pharmacology. 2011;5(25):2738-2747.
  • Nazeem S, Azmi AS, Hanif S, Ahmad A, Mohammad RM, Hadi SM, Kumar KS. Plumbagin induces cell death through a copper-redox cycle mechanism in human cancer cells. Mutagenesis. 2009 Sep;24(5):413-8. View abstract.
  • Nguyen AT, Malonne H, Duez P, Vanhaelen-Fastre R, Vanhaelen M, Fontaine J. Cytotoxic constituents from Plumbago zeylanica. Fitoterapia. 2004 Jul;75(5):500-4. View abstract.
  • Olagunju JA, Jobi AA, Oyedapo OO. An investigation into the biochemical basis of the observed hyperglycaemia in rats treated with ethanol root extract of plumbago zeylanica. Phytother Res. 1999 Jun;13(4):346-8. View abstract.
  • Panda S, Naik D, Kamble A. Population structure and genetic diversity of the perennial medicinal shrub Plumbago. AoB PLANTS. 2015;7: plv048.
  • Poosarla A, D N R, Athota RR, Sunkara VG. Modulation of T cell proliferation and cytokine response by Plumbagin, extracted from Plumbago zeylanica in collagen induced arthritis. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2011 Nov 16;11:114. View abstract.
  • Purohit A, Vyas SK, Vyas KB. Contraceptive efficacy of Plumbago zeylanica root extract (50% etoh) in male albino rats with special emphasis on testicular cell population dynamics. Anc Sci Life. 2008 Jan;27(3):31-5. View abstract.
  • Sand JM, Bin Hafeez B, Jamal MS, Witkowsky O, Siebers EM, Fischer J, Verma AK. Plumbagin (5-hydroxy-2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone), isolated from Plumbago zeylanica, inhibits ultraviolet radiation-induced development of squamous cell carcinomas. Carcinogenesis. 2012 Jan;33(1):184-90. View abstract.
  • Sandeep G, Dheeraj A, Sharma NK, Jhade D, Bharti A. Effect of plumbagin free alcohol extract of Plumbago zeylanica Linn. root on reproductive system of female Wistar rats. Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2011 Dec;4(12):978-84. View abstract.
  • Sandur SK, Pandey MK, Sung B, Aggarwal BB. 5-hydroxy-2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone, a vitamin K3 analogue, suppresses STAT3 activation pathway through induction of protein tyrosine phosphatase, SHP-1: potential role in chemosensitization. Mol Cancer Res. 2010 Jan;8(1):107-18. View abstract.
  • Saritha K, Rajesh A, Manjulatha K, Setty OH, Yenugu S. Mechanism of antibacterial action of the alcoholic extracts of Hemidesmus indicus (L.) R. Br. ex Schult, Leucas aspera (Wild.), Plumbago zeylanica L., and Tridax procumbens (L.) R. Br. ex Schult. Front Microbiol. 2015 Jun 9;6:577. View abstract.
  • Sharma, A, Singh, N. A multifarious potent herb: Plumbago zeylanica-a mini review. Int. J. Recent Sci. Res. 2015;6(6):4825-4829.
  • Sheeja E, Joshi SB, Jain DC. Bioassay-guided isolation of anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive compound from Plumbago zeylanica leaf. Pharm Biol. 2010 Apr;48(4):381-7. View abstract.
  • Sunil C, Duraipandiyan V, Agastian P, Ignacimuthu S. Antidiabetic effect of plumbagin isolated from Plumbago zeylanica L. root and its effect on GLUT4 translocation in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Food Chem Toxicol. 2012 Dec;50(12):4356-63. View abstract.
  • Szmulewicz AG, Valerio MP, Smith JM. Switch to mania after ayahuasca consumption in a man with bipolar disorder: a case report. Int J Bipolar Disord. 2015 Feb 24;3:4. View abstract.
  • Teshome K, Gebre-Mariam T, Asres K, Perry F, Engidawork E. Toxicity studies on dermal application of plant extract of Plumbago zeylanica used in Ethiopian traditional medicine. J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 May 8;117(2):236-48. View abstract.
  • Vijayakumar R, Senthilvelan M, Ravindran R, Devi RS. Plumbago zeylanica action on blood coagulation profile with and without blood volume reduction. Vascul Pharmacol. 2006 Aug;45(2):86-90. View abstract.
  • Wang YC, Huang TL. Anti-Helicobacter pylori activity of Plumbago zeylanica L. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2005 Mar 1;43(3):407-12. View abstract.
  • Xu KH, Lu DP. Plumbagin induces ROS-mediated apoptosis in human promyelocytic leukemia cells in vivo. Leuk Res. 2010 May;34(5):658-65. View abstract.
  • Yan W, Tu B, Liu YY, Wang TY, Qiao H, Zhai ZJ, Li HW, Tang TT. Suppressive Effects of Plumbagin on Invasion and Migration of Breast Cancer Cells via the Inhibition of STAT3 Signaling and Down-regulation of Inflammatory Cytokine Expressions. Bone Res. 2013 Dec 31;1(4):362-70. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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