Callisia fragrans: Classification, Characteristics, Distribution, Chemical Constituents, and Medicinal properties

Callisia fragrans: Classification, Characteristics, Distribution, Chemical Constituents, and Medicinal properties


In eastern Australia, more than 500 species of the Commelinaceae family have been cultivated to harvest their leaves and stems, particularly the Vietnamese Callisia fragrans (C. fragrans). This plant has a long history of being used in medicine for a wide range of purposes, including anti-inflammation, painkillers, burn treatments, and cardiovascular medications. It has a wide range of bioactive components, including flavonoids, phytosteroids, vitamins, and microelements. All higher plants contain polyphenols, which are secondary metabolites. More than 8,000 phenolic structures were found in polyphenols, and they were grouped into 10 classes under their structures. More than 4,000 flavonoid structures have reportedly been discovered, 143 of which are proanthocyanidins. Phenolic acids, which include gallic acid, protocatechuic acid, and derivatives of cinnamic acid, are crucial components of nonflavonoids and are thought to be benzoic acid derivatives. In addition, due to biological characteristics of the activation of numerous enzymes and cell receptors, polyphenols have been thought of as antioxidant agents and anticancer components. Because their aromatic-ring structures may impact the absorbance of UV light spanning from 280 to 315 nm, polyphenols have been widely used to prevent sunburn. There are two categories of solid-liquid extraction techniques, including both traditional and cutting-edge ones. Pharmacy and the food business have long used traditional extraction methods like maceration, percolation, and decoctionSince the Soxhlet extraction (SE) method’s fundamental principles depend on thorough extraction producing higher yields, this method has typically been used in laboratories due to the raw material restrictions and because it works best for extracting vegetable oil when compared to other conventional techniques like maceration. This approach could need a lengthy extraction time, produce pollution issues due to the consumption of volatile and dangerous solvents, and only use high-purity solvents despite the advantage of the amount of solvent reduction. In many regions of the world, the use of ultrasound, microwave, enzyme, and pressured liquid has become commonplace due to the invention and improvement of green extraction technologies. Based on its unique capabilities, the use of supercritical fluid, particularly supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) extraction technology, has been researched internationally to extract natural compounds from plants. Due to the prevention of heat degradation of target molecules, supercritical fluid technology has attracted interest from the food and pharmaceutical industries. For instance, SC-CO2 extraction at industrial scales has been used to decaffeinate tea and coffee since the 1970s. In contrast to polar phenolic structures, the nonpolar carbon dioxide (CO2) compound can change its polarity by including additional solvents known as cosolvents or modifiers, such as ethanol, to improve the selectivity and extraction yield of end products. Preliminary research indicates that temperature and pressure are crucial factors in the SC-CO2 extraction process. Additionally, it has been noted that cosolvent concentration and CO2 flow rate are beneficial parameters that have significant effects on extraction yields.


Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Commelinales

Family: Commelinaceae

Genus: Callisia

Species: C. fragrans

Scientific Name: Callisia fragrans

Common NamesBasket plant, Chain plant, or Inch plant.


1. The decorative herb plant Callisia fragrans has a rosette growth shape and is grown indoors.

2. It features huge clusters of spirally organized, green, purplish-green, or purplish leaves that range in size from 5 to 40 cm long and 2 to 10 cm wide.

3. These leaves are pointed at the tips, oblong or elongated in form, and hairless.

4. On the much smaller leaves found along the stolons, the base of the leaf narrows to a hardly perceptible sheath.

5. These branched clusters are grouped into smaller, dense clusters, each of which is subtended by a papery bract, and they are filled with many blooms.

6. Late winter and early spring are the prime times for blossoming. Little three-celled capsules make up the fruit.


The basket plant is native to Mexico. it has now naturalized in the West Indies, many regions around the United States, and a few other locations.


Since the early 1900s, it has grown as an interior decorative in various nations. In humid, fertile soil, it can even be seen growing outside in warmer climates. The herb prefers locations with some shade.

Chemical Constituents

A cultivated perennial herbaceous succulent called Callisiafragrans (Olennikov et al., 2008). A variety of biologically active substances, including phenolic, flavonoid, coumarin, anthraquinone, triterpene, alkaloid, choline, and fatty acids, are present in the leaves of C. fragrans. These substances include carbohydrates, ascorbic acids, amino acids, and ascorbic acid (Chernenko et al., 2007; Nguyen and Trinh, 2019). Callisia fragrans has been shown to have radioprotective, hypersensitivity, antihypoxic, antiherpetic, and other therapeutic characteristics that are good for the liver, pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, skin, and bronchial asthma (Ludmila et al., 2010; Mairapetyan et al., 2014; Susan et al., 2006; Malakyan et al., 2015; Thom et al., 2018)

The Commelinaceae family contains the useful medicinal plant known as C. fragrans (Callisia fragrans (Lindl.) Woodson). Numerous bioactive chemicals, including phenolic compounds, amino acids, carbohydrates, flavonoids, coumarins, vitamins, etc., are present in the plant. The medicinal plant’s complex chemical make-up gives rise to its antioxidative, antiradical, stress-protective, immunomodulating, antiherpetic, and other therapeutic effects.

Medicinal properties

1. It has a long history of folklore use as an antiviral and antibacterial plant.

2. Its leaves are used to cure a variety of skin conditions, burns, and joint ailments, particularly in Eastern Europe.

3. It has been discovered that the plant known as “Callisia Fragrans” has tremendous therapeutic potential in the treatment of numerous ailments.

4. Beta-sitosterol, one of the very potent compounds of Callisia Fragrans, lowers blood cholesterol levels while strengthening and purifying blood vessel walls.

5. It is used to treat inflammations of the prostate as well as metabolic illnesses, atherosclerosis, and endocrine disorders.

6. It contains copper, iron, nickel, vitamin B2, vitamin C, and vitamin B2. The leaves include phospholipids and their fatty acid compositions, neutral glycol, and physiologically active flavonoids.

7. The substances included ecdysteroid, megastigmane, adenosine, and N-trans-feruloytyramine agents, which have been utilized for many generations to treat digestive diseases, protect the nervous system, and prevent inflammation and osteomalacia.

8. In vitro testing has demonstrated that an ethanol leaf extract can successfully prevent HSV-1, HSV-2, and an ACV-resistant variant of the latter from infecting Vero cells. However, the ethanol leaf extract was inefficient against VZV compared to an aqueous extract. The HSV-2 mutant could be inhibited by the ethanol leaf extract, which may be less toxic than ACV despite having a lower selectivity index (toxicity vs. efficacy) than ACV. It appears to require direct interaction with the viruses and prevent their entrance into the host cells.

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