Oxalis corniculata (Khati Buti): Classification, Distribution, Characteristics, Chemical constituents, and Ethnomedicinal Uses

Oxalis corniculata (Khati Buti): Classification, Distribution, and Characteristics


Kingdom: Plantae

Class: Magnoliopsida

Order: Oxalidales

Family: Oxalidaceae

Genus: Oxalis

Species : O. corniculata

Common Names: Hindi Seh, Khatri-buti, Indian sorrel


Throughout human history, herbal treatments have been used to cure a variety of infectious disorders. Herbs are commonly used in traditional medicine, and their healing properties have been thoroughly documented. Traditional medicine is a primary source of health treatment in many poor nations. India is a medicinal plant varietal emporium and one of the world’s most fertile countries in terms of medicinal plant genetic resources. The agro-climatic conditions are ideal for bringing in new exotic plants. Herbal medicines have traditionally been used in India to treat and cure a variety of ailments. In traditional systems of medicine like Ayurveda, Unani, and Siddha, some 1500 herbs are methodically used. However, ethnopharmacologists, botanists, microbiologists, and natural-product chemists all over the world are always looking for ways to improve the medical efficacy of plants and their photochemical properties. Oxalis corniculata is a flowering plant with a corniculate shape. One of India’s newest emphasis plants is creeping wood sorrel. The botany, phytochemistry, pharmacology, biochemistry, traditional knowledge, and therapeutic application of the plant are all briefly discussed in this article. This is an attempt to aggregate and document information on various aspects of Oxalis corniculata, as well as to emphasise the need for further research and improvement.

Oxalis corniculata


Oxalis corniculata Linn. is found in Asia, Europe, North America, and Africa. It is a member of the Oxalidaceae family. It grows readily among human settlements, roadsides, gardens, and yards in practically all warmer sections of India, particularly in the Himalayas up to 2500 metres in elevation.

It is a delicate-looking, low-growing herbaceous plant found in wet gloomy locations, roadsides, plantations, lawns, and practically all regions throughout the warmer sections of India, especially in the Himalayas up to 8,000 feet altitude. (Hemant and colleagues, 2011)


1. Oxalis corniculata is bushy in appearance and forms a mat-like structure in its natural habitat.

2. It’s a herbaceous plant that thrives in wet, dark environments.

3. It is a herbaceous medicinal plant with a modest growth habit and a delicate appearance. It grows up to a height of 2500 m in the Himalayas and is extensively spread on roadside, yards, gardens, parks, human-populated places, and practically all milder sections of India.

4. The tops of the plants are erected in a weakly smooth or bushy manner. They are rooted at the nodes and branch out from the bottom.

5. The plants have trifoliate, slender, heart-shaped leaves.

6. A pronounced apical indentation can be seen on the leaflets. The leaves are alternately placed along the stem, and the leaflets feature reticulate venation.

7. They are 0.1 tall, tap-rooted herbs that are bushy or mat-forming. The higher portions are ascending or weakly erect smooth or hairy, branching from the base and commonly rooted at the nodes (David et al., 1996).

8. The plant’s stem has a slender shape and is coated with velvety short hairs. The internodes range in length from 5 to 9 cm. It has a sour flavour and an acidic odour.

9. The alternate trifoliate leaves have slender, heart-shaped leaflet blades with a prominent apical indentation. Leaflets are 0.5 to 1 cm long and venation is reticulate. The blades are smooth on the upper surface, have a few appressed hairs along the veins on the bottom surface, and along the lower half of the margins, and are somewhat folded upward longitudinally along the principal vein.

10. The leaves are alternately placed along with the stalks. From the leaf axils, a single long stalk emerges, from which three flower stalks, each with a single bloom, stretch.

11. The flowers have 5 yellow petals and are 7-11 mm broad. (David and colleagues, 1996)

12. The fruit is a capsule with a cross-section that is 1-1.5 cm long, cylindrical, pointed apically, and 5-ridged. 1996)

13. The seeds are oval, have a transversely ridged surface, and are apically rounded, basally pointed, flattened in cross-section, light brown, and apically rounded. Stolons are seen in corniculata. (David et al., 2005)

14. It is a well-known plant in India, and it’s biological benefits are well-known around the world.

15. It includes important phytochemicals for human health. It aids in the removal of piles, Kapha, and vata, as well as diarrhoea, dysentery, and skin issues.

Chemical constituents

Flavanoids, tannins, phytosterol, phenol, glycosides, fatty acids, and volatile oil have been discovered in the plant Oxalis corniculata. through photochemical analysis. Iso vitexine and vitexine-2″- O- beta- D- glucopyranoside are flavonoids found in the leaves. Palmitic acid, oleic, linoleic, linolenic, and stearic acids are all abundant in them. They are high in oxalates and contain a lot of vitamin C (125 mg/100g) (12 per cent of dry material). Tartaric and citric acids can be found in the leaves and stem, and malic acid can be found in the stem. Carbohydrates, glycosides, phytosterols, phenolic chemicals, flavanoids, proteins (12.5 per cent), amino acids, and volatile oil can all be found in the methanolic and ethanolic extracts of this plant. Carbohydrates (1.36 0.3%) and fatty acids (13.2 0.7%) are found in the leaves. Palmitic acid (1.8%), oleic, linoleic, and lenolenic acid (3.8%), protein (12.5 0.5%), fibre (6.2 0.3%), tannin (0.62 0.3%), and moisture (92.3 2.8%) Phytoestrogens are thought to be present in whole plant extracts.

Ethnomedicinal Uses

Oxalis corniculata is used for a variety of ethnomedical purposes. In Nepalese villages, it is used to treat liver and intestinal issues. The leaf paste is applied to the forehead to relieve headaches. To halt bleeding from cuts, crushed leaves are employed. Assam’s Boro tribals use the plant’s juice as an eye drop to treat conjunctivitis. Boiling plant parts are combined with buttermilk to help with digestion and diarrhoea. It’s also a tasty appetiser that helps with Kapa, Vata, piles, indigestion, and anaemia. It treats skin conditions like warts, corns, and edoema. In the event of a snake bite, Zairians produce a salted plant paste from Aframomum saguineum and apply it to the entire biting region. It’s also utilised as an anti-venom agent. The plant’s leaf extract is combined with castor oil and used for excellent sleep as a home treatment for insomnia. The decoction of the plant leaves is also used in the eyes for itching lids and to reduce opacities of the cornea. The leaves are used to gurgle and as an antidote for poisoning caused by Datura seeds, arsenic, or mercury. Insect bites, burns, and skin outbreaks are treated with the leaves’ sup. In the treatment of scurvy, the entire plant pars are utilised as an anti-scorbutic.

Pharmacological activities: Antihelmintic, antiinflammatory, analgesic, astringent, depurative, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, relaxant, lithontripic, stomachic, and styptic are some of the pharmacological properties of the Oxalis Corniculata plant. Flu, fever, urinary tract infections, enteritis, diarrhoea, traumatic injuries, sprains, and venomous snake bites are all treated with it. Hookworms can be removed from children using an infusion as a wash. In the treatment of scurvy, the herb is utilised as an antiscorbutic. The leaves are used to treat poisoning caused by Datura seeds, arsenic, and mercury. Insect bites, burns, and skin eruptions are treated with leaf juice. It has antibacterial properties. An infusion of leaves is used to treat corneal opacities and itchy lids by dropping them into the eyes.

Nematocidal activity: The ethanolic extract of the Oxalis corniculata plant has phytoparasitic nematode nematotoxic action. Oxalis corniculata ethanolic extract had the same activity as Meloidogyne incognita, according to another study. The nematode’s immobility was seen under a light microscope after 7 days of incubation, indicating that this plant has nematocidal activity.

Antimicrobial activity: The antibacterial activity of methanolic and ethanolic extracts of the Oxalis corniculata plant was shown to be substantial against Xanthomonas and fourteen human pathogenic bacteria. In comparison to K-cycline and Bact-805, Methanol extract demonstrated significantly substantial-effectiveness against plant pathogenic bacteria. When compared to normal streptomycin, methanol extract had somewhat substantial antibacterial action against human pathogenic microorganisms.

Antifungal activity: The antifungal activity of aqueous extracts from four different plants was tested against a variety of diseases. All four plants had varied responses to all of the pathogenic fungi. After three days of incubation, Oxalis corniculata showed considerable antifungal action against A. niger, suppressing fungal mycelial development by 71 to 86 per cent. The antifungal efficacy of Oxalis corniculata aqueous extract was found to be 31% against A. niger and 10.7% against P. theae.

Antiimplantation and Abortifacient: From day one to day seven of pregnancy, petroleum ether and ethanol extracts of the whole plant of Oxalis corniculata were given orally at doses of 100 and 200 mg/kg body weight. After laprotomise implantation treatment on day 10, the results demonstrated strong implantation action. Additionally, pregnant rats treated from day 8 to 14 of pregnancy revealed strong abortifacient action.

Anti-cancer Property

According to a study, ethanolic decoction proved effective in suppressing tumour growth in solid tumour models.

Anti-diabetic Property

The inhibitory potential of the plant’s aqueous decoction against procaine pancreatic amylase was examined in a previous study. Because the organic extracts exhibited no significant inhibition, it’s possible that the bioactive chemicals in the water decoction only had amylase inhibitory effects. The highest inhibition in this investigation was 89.27 per cent at 100g/ml extract concentration.

Anti-ulcer Property

Aqueous and ethanolic decoctions of the plants were tested for anti-ulcer properties at dose levels of 200 and 400 mg/kg in a study. Gastric mucosal ulcers and pylorus ligated ulcers were generated using the organic solvent ethanol. With the decoctions, there was a considerable reduction in gastric volume as well as a reduction in free and total acidity, as well as an increase in catalase and SOD levels and a drop in lipid peroxide.

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