The east Asian form of this species is better known as Ajuga bracteosa, but it is now considered to be the same species as the African form (Ajuga integrifolia), which was named first and therefore has priority.
Ajuga alba (Gürke) Robyns
Ajuga bracteosa Wall. ex Benth.
Ajuga crenata Chiov.
Ajuga densiflora Wall. ex Benth.
Ajuga hyosciami Wall. ex Benth.
Ajuga remota Benth. in N.Wallich
Ajuga integrifolia is a low-growing, erect or ascending, herbaceous perennial growing usually less than 20cm tall, sometimes reaching 30cm.The stems are much branched, the plant spreading by stolons to produce a mat of growth[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and is a potential source of an essential oil.
Northeast and east tropical Africa; through Arabia. Afghanistan, China, Indian Subcontinent, Myanmar, Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea
Moist ground and grassy slopes, often along tracksides, at elevations of 700 - 4,000 metres in Nepal[
]. Stream banks; shaded ravines; open grassland; clearings; rice-fields; coffee estates, mostly in damp places; to 200 metres in Indonesia[
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Ajuga integrifolia has a wide native range, from northeast Africa, through Arabia, temperate and tropical Asia to New Guinea. It grows in tropical lowland areas (Indonesia) and also at elevations up to 1,600 metres (Philippines), whilst in Nepal it can be found up to 4,000 metres. In Pakistan it is found at elevations up to 2,200 metres and is said to be rather xerophytic[
]. It should, therefore, be fairly adaptable to a wide range of conditions.
Prefers a humus-rich, moisture retentive soil and a sunny position[
The plant is aromatic, astringent, depurative, diuretic, stimulant and tonic[
]. It is useful in the treatment of agues[
]. It is used to stop bleeding and reduce inflammation[
]. The plant is said to have a peculiar resinous odour and a bitter taste[
The juice of the root is used in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery[
The leaves are a bitter astringent[
]. They are used in the treatment of fevers as a substitute for quinine (Cinchona spp)[
]. The leaf juice is used as a blood purifier[
Applied externally, the powdered leaves are used to treat burns and boils[
Studies have shown that a 70% ethanol extract of the plant possesses promisiing anti-inflammatory activity, probably mediated through inhibition of COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes. These results support its traditional use for treating inflammatory diseases[
The plant is a ptential source of linalyl acetate, a valuable perfumery compound[
Seed - sow spring in situ or in containers in a greenhouse for planting out later.
Division in spring.