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Family Asteraceae
Oriental hawkweed
Youngia japonica
(L.) DC.
Huang an cai

Scientific names Common names
Crepis japonica (L.) Benth.            Yangiyang-hapon (Tagalog)
Prenanthes japonica L.          Asiatic false hawksbeard (Engl.)
Youngia japonica (L.) DC.          False hawksbeard (Engl.)
Accepted Infraspecifics (3) Japanese hawkweed (Engl.)
Youngia japonica subsp. elstonii (Hochr.) Babc. & Stebb. Oriental false hawksbeard (Engl.)
Chondrilla lyrata  (Houtt.) Poir.            Oriental hawkweed (Engl.)
Crepis japonica var. elstonii Hochr.             
Crepis lyrata  (Houtt.) Benth. & Hook.f.             
Ixeris lyrata (Houtt.) Miq.        
Lautuca pseudosenecio Vaniot          
Prenanthes lyrata Houtt.      
Youngia lyrata Cass.      
Youngia pseudosenecio (Vaniot) C.Shih      
Youngia thunbergiana DC.      
Youngia japonica subsp. japonica  
Chondrilla japonica Lam.             
Chondrilla multiflora Poir.             
Chondrilla runcinata Wall.             
Crepis fastigiata Sch.Bip.             
Crepis formosana Hayata             
Crepis taquetii H.Lév.             
Lactuca japonica Regel             
Lactuca napifoloa DC.             
Lactuca japonica H.Lév. & Vaniot             
Lactuca taraxacum H.Lév. & Vaniot             
Prenanthes fastigiata Blume            
Prenanthes multiflora Thunb.            
Prenanthes napiflolia Wall.          
Prenanthes poosia Buch.-Ham. ex Wall.           
Prenanthes striata Blume            
Youngia ambigua DC.            
Youngia fastigiata DC.            
Youngia formosana (Hayata) H.Hara          
Youngia gracilis Miq.            
Youngia integrifolia Cass.          
Youngia japonica var. formosana (Hayata) H.L.Li        
Youngia mauritiana DC.            
Youngia multiflora DC.            
Youngia napifolia DC.            
Youngia poosia DC.            
Youngia runcinata DC.            
Youngia striata DC.            
Youngia japonica subsp. monticola Koh Nakam. & C.I Peng  
Yangiya is an invented plant name, until a local name becomes available.
Youngia japonica is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
BENGALI: Youngaful.
CHINA: Huang an cai.
CUBA: Yunga.
FIJI: Mosita ni Viti.
HONDURAS: Estrellita.
MANIPURI Tera paibi macha.
NEPALI: Chaulaane, Dudhe.
TONGAN: Fisi puna.

Gen info
- Youngia is a genus of Asian plants in the tribe Cichorieae within the family Asteraceae.
- Youngia was first described in 1831 by H. Cassini. The genus was later united with Crepis Taxonomic and cytogenetic studies by E. B. Babcock and G. Ledyard Stebbins led to the reclassification of the genus in the 1930s.
- Youngia japonica (Oriental false hawksbeard) is a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae. It is native to eastern Asia, but is now found as a weed nearly worldwide.

• Oriental Hawkweed is a biennial herb growing up to 2 ft tall. Basal leaves are in a rosette, lyrate-pinnatifid, lobes toothed, terminal lobe largest. Stem leaves are few, reduced above into bracts. Flower-heads are many, 4-7 mm across, yellow, in corymblike panicles. Involucre bracts are 6-8, narrowly oblong, green, erect. Florets are yellow, 10-20. Seed pods are brown to publish brown, 1.5-2.5 mm long, fusiform, tip narrowed; pappus white, 3-3.5 mm long. (3)

- Native to the Philippines.
- A weed in clearings, talus slopes, riverbanks, etc.

- Also native to Afghanistan, Assam, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hainan, Himalaya, Japan, Kazan-retto, Korea, Laos, Malaya, Myanmar, Nansei-shoto, Nepal, Ogasawara-shoto, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Tibet, Vietnam. (1)

- GC-MS analysis of methanol extract of leaves yielded 10 components, of which 9,12,15 Octadeca-trienoic acid,2,3bis[(trimethylsilyl) oxy]propyl ester, (Z,Z,Z) (RT=58.34%), psi.,.psi. Carotene, 1,1', 2,2'tetrahydro1' hydroxyl1methoxy (RT=23.20%) and hexadecanoic acid, methyl ester (RT=3.64%) were major constituents. (see study below) (4)
- Total phenolic and flavonoid content of ME of leaves at 250 µg/ml yielded 82.62 mg GAE/g and 41.64 mg QE/g, respectively. (4)
- Study of whole plant isolated two new guaiane-type sesquiterpenes (1,2), 2 new phenylpropanoid derivatives (3,4), and 5-oxo-11-hydroxy-8(Z)-undecenoic acid 11-O-glucoside (5) along with 17 known compounds. (see study below) (8)
- GC-MS study of aerial parts for essential oil revealed 31 compounds with menthol (23.53%), α-asarone (21.54%), 1,8-cineole (5.36%), and caryophyllene (4.45%) as major constituents. (see study below) (9)
- Study of methanol extract of whole plant isolated a new guaiane-type sesquiterpene (1), together with three related guaianolides, youngiajaponicoside A (2), crepiside H (3), and crepeside E (4). (see study below) (12)
- Qualitative phytochemical screening of aqua-methanol extract of Y. japonica yielded alkaloid +, carbohydrate +++, flavonoids ++, phenols +++, proteins +, quinines ++, saponins +, steroids +,  tannins ++, terpenoids ++, with absence of cardiac glycoside. (13)

- Studies have suggested antiviral, antibacterial, anticancer, antioxidant properties.

Parts used
Leaves, stems, roots.


- Leaves are edible, used in salad.
- Young leaves and stalks consumed as wild vegetable as famine food in ancient time.
- Plant used as febrifuge and antitussive.
- In Bangladesh, paste prepared from leaves and stems are applied to wounds by tying with a piece of cloth. Fresh leaf juice taken three times daily to treat fever. Leaves of plants used for treatment of boils and snakebites. (5)
- In Chinese traditional medicine, leaves are widely used for reducing fever, detoxification, and atopy. Leaf paste applied to relieve shingles. In Bangladesh, leaves applied to wounds, as styptic and to hasten healing. Root juice used as antilithic.

Antoxidant / Leaves:
Study evaluated the antioxidant activity of methanol leaf extract of Y. japonica. In vitro antioxidant analysis using DPPH, H2O2, and Phosphomolybdenum assay showed significant results compared to ascorbic acid. At 250 µg/ml concentration, ME showed 51.97% inhibition of DPPH, compared to ascorbic acid at 43.54% inhibition; H2O2 scavenging ability of 66.5% inhibition vs ascorbic acid at 61.9% inhibition. The % inhibition of phosphomolybdenum at 250 µg/ml was 93.62 % compared to  standard ascorbic acid at 78.62%. (see constituents above) (4)
Anticancer / Antiviral / Whole Plant: Study evaluated aqueous and ethanol extracts of Youngia japonica for in vitro anti-tumor activity against three cell lines, human promyelocytic leukemia (HL-60), human myelogenous leukemia (chronic K-562) and mouse sarcoma 180 (S-180), and for antiviral activity against respiratory syncitial virus (RSV), influenza A virus (Flu A), and herpes simples virus type 1 (HSV-1) by cytopathic effect (CPE) reduction assay. The hot water extract inhibited cell proliferation and growth of all cancer cell lines to various extents. K-5r62 cells were most sensitive to the extract, and S-180 the least. It showed no cytotoxicity to Vero cells up to concentration of 450 µg/ml. The ethanol extract of whole plant exhibited antiviral activity against RSV cultured in HEp-2 cells, but had no activity against Flu A and HSV-1. (6)
Anticancer / Antiviral / Whole Plant: Study evaluated antimicrobial agents purified and chemically characterized from ethanol extract of Youngia japonica viz., 3,4-dicaffeoylquinnic acid (1), 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid (2), and luteolin-7-O-glucoside (3). The two dicaffeoylquinic acids exhibited prominent anti-RSV with 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 0.5 µg/ml in vitro. Luteolin-7-O-glucoside together with 1 and 2 also manifested some antibacterial activity towards causal agents of food-borne disease, namely Vibrio cholerae and Vibrio parahemolyticus at concentration of 2 mg/ml. Bacillus cereus was sensitive to 1 and 2. (7)
Anti-Atopy / Antiallergenic / Antioxidant / Whole Plant: Study of whole plant isolated two new guaiane-type sesquiterpenes (1,2), 2 new phenylpropanoid derivatives (3,4), and 5-oxo-11-hydroxy-8(Z)-undecenoic acid 11-O-glucoside (5) along with 17 known compounds. Compound 17, guaiane-type sesquiterpene, grosheimin, exhibited strong antiallergic and antioxidant activities. (8)
Larvicidal against Aedes albopictus / Essential Oil of Aerial Parts: Study evaluated the larvicidal activity of essential oil of Youngia japonica aerial parts against larvae of Aedes albopictus. GC-MS revealed 31 compounds with menthol and α-asarone as major compounds. The essential oil exhibited larvidical activity against fourth instar larvae of A. albopictus with LC50 of 32.45 µg/mL. α-Asarone and menthol showed larvicidal activity against fourth instar larvae of A. albopictus with LC50s of 24.56 and 77.97 µg/ml, respectively. Results suggest a potential source of natural larvicides. (see constituents above) (9)
CNS Depressant / Analgesic / Antioxidant / Anti-Inflammatory: Study evaluated the antioxidant potential, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and CNS depressant activities of different fractions of Youngia japonica plant extracts. In DPPH assay, the chloroform extract exhibited highest scavenging activity with IC50 of 9.70 µg/ml. In hydroxyl radical scavenging assay, the ethyl acetate extract showed most significant activity with IC50 15.09 µg/ml, with highest amount of total phenolic content (43.92 mg GAE/g dried extract). In acetic acid induced writhing, formalin test and Eddy's hot plate method, all fractions significantly (p<0.01) reduced writhing and number of licking in a dose dependent manner. Extracts also showed significant inhibition (p<0.001) of carrageenan induced paw edema. In CNS depressant activity by hole cross test, there was significant (p<0.001) decrease in locomotor activity. (10)
Phytoremediation / Cadmium Hyperaccumulator: Cadmium (Cd) is one of the most toxic contaminants, causing harm to the environment and human health. Study evaluated Cd(II) effects on growth, biomass, physiological properties, Cd uptake and accumulation in Youngia japonica plants and evaluated the effect of Y. japonica growth on enzyme activity of Cd-contaminated soils. Results showed Y. japonica has typical properties of a Cd hyperaccumulator and may be employed to alleviate Cd from contaminated soils. (11)
Sesquiterpene Glycosides: Study of methanol extract of whole plant isolated a new guaiane-type sesquiterpene (1), together with three related guaianolides, youngiajaponicoside A (2), crepiside H (3), and crepeside E (4). The isolated compounds 1-4 were evaluated for inhibitory effect on the proliferation of four cultured human tumor cell lines such as A549, SK-OV-3, SK-MEL-2, and HCT-15, in vitro. (12)


October 2023

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Youngia japonica, flower and fruiting heads / SAplants / CC BY-SA 4.0 / click on image or link to go to source page / / Species.Wikimedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Youngia japonica - Oriental false hawksbeard / Copyright © Larry Allain, U.S. Geological Survey / Plants of Louisiana / Image modified / click on image or link to go to the source page / USGS
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Youngia japonica - Oriental false hawksbeard / Copyright © Jeff McMillan, Almost Eden / Plants of Louisiana / Image modified / click on image or link to go to the source page / USGS

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Youngia japonica / Synonyms / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Youngia japonica / Wikipedia
Oriental hawkweed / Flowers of India

Evaluation of antioxidant activity and GC-MS analysis of bioactive compounds present in leaf extract of Youngia japonica (L.)DC. from Chandigarh /  Harsimran Kaur, Richa Puri, M L Sharma, Sana Khan, Rinku Jhamta / International Journal of Life Sciences Research, 2019; 7(1): pp 304-311 / pISSN: 2348-313X / ISSN: 2348-3148
Youngia japonica / Medicinal Plants of Bangladesh / Nature Info Database
Anticancer and antiviral activities of Youngia japonica (L.) DC (Asteraceae, Compositae) / Linda S M Ooi, Hua Wang, Choi-Wan Luk, Vincent E C Ooi / J Ethnopharmacol., 2004; 94(1): pp 117-122 /
DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2004.05.004
Antiviral activities of purified compounds from Youngia japonica (L.) DC (Asteraceae, Compositae) / Linda SM Ooi, Hua Wang, Zhendan He, Vincent EC Ooi /  Joournal of Ethnopharmacology, 2006; 106(2): pp 187-191 / DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2005.12.028
Studies on the Constituents of Whole Plants of Youngia japonica/ Emiko Yae, Shoji Yahara, Mona El-Aasr, Toshihiro Nohara et al / Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 2009; 57(7): pp 719-723 /
DOI: 10.1248/cpb.57.719
Larvicidal activity of the essential oil of Youngia japonica aerial parts and its constituents against Aedes albopictus / Xin Chao Liu, Qiyong Liu, Xu Bo Chen, Qi Zhi Liu, Zhi Long Liu / Zeitschrift für Naturforschung C, 2014 / DOI: 10.1515/znc-2014-4074
Pharmacological Activities of Youngia japonica Extracts / M Munira, Kabir, I Haque et al /
DOI: 10.9734/arrb/2018/40629   / Corpus ID: 90075730
Phytoremediation potential of Youngia japonica (L.) DC.: a newly discovered cadmium hyperaccumulator /
Baohong Yu, Yajung Peng, Jieru Xu, Dan Qin, Jinyan Dong et al / Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 2021; 28: pp 6044-6057 / DOI: 10.1007/s11356-020-10853-6
Sesquiterpene Glycosides from the whole Plant Extract of Youngia japonica / Mi Ri Kim, Mi-Ran Cha, Yeon Hee Choi, Shi Yong Ryu et al / Korean J. Pharmacogn., 2010; 41(2): pp 103-107
Comparative evaluation of antioxidant profiling and quantitative phytochemicals of Ixeris polycephala Cass. and Youngia japonica (L.) DC. (Asteraceae)  / Deepti Rawat, P B Rao / The Pharma Innovation Journal, 2020; 9(1): pp 5-9 / eISSN: 2277-7695 / pISSN: 2349-8242
Youngia / Wikipedia

DOI: It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants
                                          New plant names needed
The compilation now numbers over 1,300 medicinal plants. While I believe there are hundreds more that can be added to the collection, they are becoming more difficult to find. If you know of a medicinal plant, native or introduced, to suggest for inclusion, please email the info: local plant name (if known), any known folkloric medicinal use, scientific name (most helpful), and, if possible, a photo. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

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