The cookie settings on this website are set to 'allow all cookies' to give you the very best experience. Please click Accept Cookies to continue to use the site.

Eclipta Prostrata Han Lian Cao


Pinyin: Han Lian Cao Latin: Eclipta Prostrata

Physical Characteristics

Eclipta Prostrata or Han Lian Cao is an annual growing to 0.6m by 0.6m hardy to zone 9 and flowers in August. The Eclipta flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) and requires moist or wet soil.



Edible Uses*

Edible Parts: Leaves.*

The tender leaves and young shoots of Han Lian Cao are cooked and used as a vegetable[105, 177, 179, 254, 272].*

Traditional Chinese Medicinal (TCM) Uses:*

Eclipta Prostrata or Han Lian Cao is widely used in traditional Chinese herbal medicine, and in Ayurveda[238].*

Eciplta Prostrata is considered to be the best remedy for the hair and is also used as a rejuvenative and liver tonic[238, 254].*

The whole Eclipata Prostrata plant contains the alkaloids nicotine and ecliptine as well as coumarin[283]. Eclipta Prostrata is astringent, deobstruent, depurative, emetic, febrifuge, ophthalmic, purgative, styptic and tonic[147, 176, 178].*

Eclipta Prostrata or Han Lian Cao is used internally in the treatment of dropsy and liver complaints[152], anemia, diphtheria etc[238], tinnitus, tooth loss and premature greying of the hair[176]. Externally, Eclipta is used as an oil to treat hair loss and is also applied to athlete's foot, eczema, dermatitis, wounds etc[238, 254].*

The Han Lian Cao plant juice, mixed with an aromatic, is used in the treatment of catarrhal problems and jaundice[243]. The leaves are used in the treatment of scorpion stings[243]. They are used as an antidote for snake bites in Korea[279]. The Eclipta Prostrata plant is harvested as it comes into flower and is dried for later use[238]. The roots are emetic and purgative[240]. They are applied externally as an antiseptic to ulcers and wounds, especially in cattle[240].*

Other Uses*

A black dye is obtained from the plant[238] used as a hair dye and for tattooing[238].*


  • [105] Tanaka. T.Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing 1976
  • [147] ?A Barefoot Doctors Manual. Running Press 0 ISBN 0-914294-92-X
  • [152] Lassak. E. V. and McCarthy. T.Australian Medicinal Plants. 0
  • [176] Yeung. Him-Che.Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas. Institute of Chinese Medicine, Los Angeles 1985
  • [177] Kunkel. G.Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books 1984 ISBN 3874292169
  • [178] Stuart. Rev. G. A.Chinese Materia Medica. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre 0
  • [179] Reid. B. E.Famine Foods of the Chiu-Huang Pen-ts'ao. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre 1977
  • [238] Bown. D.Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. 1995 ISBN 0-7513-020-31
  • [240] Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. 1986
  • [243] Medicinal Plants of Nepal Dept. of Medicinal Plants. Nepal. 1993
  • [254] Chevallier. A.The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London 1996 ISBN 9-780751-303148
  • [272] Manandhar. N. P.Plants and People of Nepal Timber Press. Oregon. 2002 ISBN 0-88192-527-6
  • [279] Medicinal Plants in the Republic of Korea World Health Organisation, Manila 1998 ISBN 92 9061 120 0
  • [283] Nguyen Van Dan & Doan Thi NhuMedicinal Plants in Vietnam World Health Organisation 1989 ISBN 92 9061 101 4

Source: Eclipta Prostrata Han Lian Cao Plants For A Future, England 1996-2008.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


Natural dietary supplements are designed to offer the body support to promote health, harmony, balance and overall well being.*

Used in Indian Ayurvedic and TCM, Eclipta Prostrata or Han Lian Cao is used internally in the treatment of dropsy and liver complaints, anemia, diphtheria, tinnitus, tooth loss and premature greying of the hair.*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. TCM is an acronym for Traditional Chinese Medicine.

**The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only, not intended to replace your doctor's or other health care professional's advice or treatment. Nor is any information contained on or in any product label or packaging intended to provide or replace professional health care advice. Do not use the this site's information for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem, nor for prescription of any treatment or medication. Always consult with a healthcare professional before undertaking any diet, exercise, herbal or other supplementation program, taking any medications, or if you suspect you may have or already have any type of health problem. Do not stop taking any medication without first consulting your doctor.