Physalis angulata Linn

Plant Name

Physalis angulata Linn

Botanical Info

Herbaceous annual plant. A tree can reach up to 6 feet high, approximately 2 meters.


Native to tropical America; cultivated in Indian gardens ; also grows in moist places as a weed. In Tashkent grows in Botanical garden.

Chemical Content

Aerial parts yielded seco-withanolides—cleaved steroidal constituents containing physalins. In Taiwan, physalin B and F have been isolated from the ethanolic extract of the whole plant.

Traditional Use and Activity

Plant—diuretic. Both physalin B and F are reported to inhibit the growth of several human leukaemia cell systems. In addition to anticancerous and antileukemic actions of Physalis, several research groups have confirmed its antibacterial and antiviral activity. Most recently in 2002 and 2000, this plant was shown to be active in vitro against several strains of mycobacteriums and mycoplasmas (both very stubborn types of bacteria which are not widely susceptible to standard antibiotics). In addition to these actions, Physalis has demonstrated effective antibacterial properties in vitro against numerous types of gram positive and gram negative bacteria, including Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus and Streptococcus. Other research groups in Japan have been focusing on its antiviral actions and preliminary studies show that it is active in vitro against Polio virus I, Herpes simplex virus I, the measles virus, and HIV-I – demonstrating reverse transcriptase inhibitory effects.