Rhinacanthus Nasutus: habitat, Chemical Composition, Properties, uses

Rhinacanthus nasutus is known as snake jasmine or “mukunuvena” in some areas. A plant holds an important place in traditional medicine. Due to its rich history and proven medicinal properties, this herb has attracted the attention of both herbalists and researchers. In this article, we will learn in detail about Rhinacanthus nasutus. 
Rhinacanthus Nasutus: habitat, Chemical Composition, Properties, uses
Table of Contents


Snake jasmine, Mukunuwenna (in Sri Lanka), Lizard tail plant

Habit and Habitat

Rhinacanthus nasutus is a perennial herb typically growing to 1–2 meters in height. It belongs to the Acanthaceae family and is native to tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, including India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. This herb requires moist, well-drained soil to grow. It is often found in the wild on forest edges, grasslands, and river banks.

Other names

Snake jasmine, Lizard tail plant

Chemical Composition

Various bioactive compounds have been identified in its leaves, stems, and roots. Some of the major chemical components include Alkaloids, Flavonoids, Triterpenoids, Sterols, and Glycosides

Parts Used

The leaves, stems, and roots are the most commonly used parts of the plant for medicinal purposes. 

Properties of Rhinacanthus Nasutus

Ayurvedic Properties

In Ayurveda, This herb is known as “Hatha Jodi” and is known for its powerful medicinal properties. This herb has the following Ayurvedic properties
  1. Rasa (taste): Tikta (bitter), Kashaya (astringent)
  2. Guna (qualities): Laghu (light), Ruksha (dry)
  3. Virya (potency): Sheeta (cooling)
  4. Vipaka (post-digestive effect): Katu (pungent)
  5. Valuable herb for balancing the body’s doshas.

Therapeutic properties

Some of its notable therapeutic properties include:
  1. Anti-inflammatory
  2. Antioxidant
  3. Antimicrobial
  4. Anticancer
  5. Hepatoprotective
  6. Immunomodulatory
  7. beneficial for treating a wide range of health conditions, from skin ailments to chronic diseases.

Health Benefits of Rhinacanthus Nasutus

This herb offers many health benefits. Some of the major health benefits include:
  • Take care of skin health: It has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties making it beneficial in treating various skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis. It reduces inflammation and helps promote skin healing by fighting bacterial infections.
  • Support liver health: Rhinacanthus nasutus has hepatoprotective properties, making it beneficial for the liver. It helps protect the liver from damage, improves liver function, and aids in detoxification.
  • Boosts Immunity: It has immunomodulatory properties that help strengthen the immune system. This makes the body more resistant to infections and diseases.
  • Anti-cancer properties: Preliminary studies suggest that Rhinacanthus nasutus may have anti-cancer properties, inhibiting the growth and spread of cancer cells in various types of cancer.
  • Anti-aging properties: The antioxidant properties of Rhinacanthus nasutus help fight oxidative stress and free radical damage. These slow down the aging process and promote overall longevity.

Uses of Rhinacanthus nasutus

Rhinacanthus nasutus can be used in traditional medicine in various forms including:
  • As herbal tea: Herbal tea is made using the leaves and stems of Rhinacanthus nasutus, consumed for their medicinal properties.
  • Topical Preparations: Its extracts and oil are used in topical preparations such as creams, lotions, and ointments to treat skin conditions.
  • As a supplement: Some people also use it in supplement forms such as capsules, tablets, and tinctures. Its health benefits are in a more concentrated form.
  • In Ayurvedic Formulation: In Ayurveda, Rhinacanthus nasutus is used to treat specific health conditions and promote overall well-being.


Rhinacanthus nasutus is known for its rich history and medicinal properties. From Ayurvedic properties to diverse therapeutic benefits, this herb offers a holistic approach to health and wellness. You can use it in any form but it is important to consult a health care professional before adding any new herb to your health routine.

Remember, before starting any new wellness regimen, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure it is suitable for your specific needs and circumstances.

Frequently Asked Question
Rhinacanthus nasutus common name is snake jasmine.
Snake jasmine flowers (Rhinacanthus nasutus) are not commonly known for specific benefits, but the leaves are used in traditional medicine in Southeast Asia for a variety of purposes.

Naphthoquinones: These are the most prominent compounds in which Rhinaxanthin A, B, C, D, and other compounds are found. Apart from this, other compounds like flavonoids, benzenoids, coumarins, anthraquinones, quinones, glycosides, carbohydrates, triterpenes, sterols, and methyl-α-D-galactopyranoside have also been identified.

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