Kenikir (Cosmos caudatus Kunth.)


Kenikir (Cosmos caudatus Kunth.)


1. Name of Plants


General Name : Kenikir


Local Name : Sumatera : Ulam raja (Melayu), Kenikir (Jawa Tengah).


2. Classification of Plants
Division : Spermatophyta
Subdivision : Angiospermae
Class : Dicotyledonae
Order : Asterales
Family : Asteraceae
Genus : Cosmos
Species : Cosmos caudatus Kunth.


3. Morphology of Plant


Shrubs with a height of 75-100 cm and a characteristic odor. Stems upright, rectangular, longitudinally grooved, branched, purplish green segmented. The leaves are compound, crossed opposite, pinnate share, pointed tip, flat edge, length 15-25 cm, green. Compound interest, head shape, at the tip of stem, stem length of ± 25 cm, crown consisting of eight petals, ± 1 cm long, red, stamen tube shape, dark brown anthers, pistil-haired, yellow-green, red. The fruit is hard, needle shape, the tip-haired, young green after dark brown. Seeds hard, small, needle shape, length of ± 1 cm, black. Taproot and white.


4. Chemical Ingredients and Uses


Cosmos caudatus leaves contain saponin, flavonoid polifenol and minyak atsiri. Its roots contain alcohol hidroksieugenol and koniferil(Fuzzati et al., 1995).
Kenikir leaves (Cosmos caudatus Kunth.)
many people are consumed as a vegetable. Traditionally the leaves is also used as an appetite enhancer drugs, weak stomach, bones and insect repellent amplifier.


5. Research anticancer mechanism


Research shows kenikir leaves contain antioxidant compounds that have high enough power with IC50 of 70 mg/L (Lotulung et al., 2001). Compounds that are antioxidants can stimulate apoptosis through the intrinsic pathway (mitochondrial pathway). Apoptosis spuring is one way of inhibition of carcinogenesis.


Abas et al., (2003) mention that the methanolic leaf extract of kenikir contain flavonoids and quercetin glycosides. Flavonoid compounds are known to induce apoptosis through inhibition of the activity of DNA topoisomerase I / II, modulationsignalling pathways, decrease in gene expression of Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL, an increase in gene expression of Bax and Bak, and activation of endonucleases(Ren, et al., 2003). Quercetin has the ability to induce apoptosis of colon cancer cells, Caco-2 and HT-29 cells and HL-60 leukemia cancer by stimulating the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria(Taraphdar, 2001).


Pebriana et al. (2008) Cytotoxic test methanolic leaf extract of kenikir on T47D breast cancer cells, IC50 values ​​obtained for 345 πg/ml. Based on the results of the cytotoxic test, methanolic extract of leaves of kenikir have a relatively high IC50 values ​​against the T47D cell. However, observation of cell morphology after treatment showed the phenomenon of cell death. The dead cells are round, look cloudy and float.


In the absence of DNA staining visible bright green fluorescence in control cells.Uniform light green color in the nucleus is owned by living cells, which still have intact cell membranes (McGahon, et al., 1995). Whereas in cells treated with methanolic extract of leaves of kenikir showed non-uniform color that is green mixed with orange, which indicates apoptosis. This happens because the cells start to undergo membrane blebbing, so ethidium bromide began to enter the cell. Some cells undergo condensation nuclei is indicated by the yellow color in the nucleus. This suggests that early events of apoptosis(Pebriana et al., 2008).

Methanolic extract of leaves of kenikir have spurred activity in T47D cell death through apoptosis mechanism, so the potential to be developed as an anticancer target specific action.Therefore, more research needs to be done to determine the active compounds in the extract are responsible for pacing mechanism T47D cell apoptosis.


Abas, F., Shaari, K., Lajis, N.H., Israf, D.A., dan Kalsom, Y.U., Antioxidative and radical scavenging properties of the constituents isolated from Cosmos caudatus Kunth., Nat. Prod. Sciences, 9(4), 245-248.

Fuzzati, N., Sutarjadi, Dyatmiko, W., Rahman, A., and Hostettmann, K., 1995, Phenylpropane derivatives from roots of Cosmos caudatus, Phytochemistry, vol. 39:2, 409-412

Lotulung, P.D.N., Minarti, dan Kardono, L.B.S., 2005, Penapisan aktivitas antibakteri, antioksidan dan toksisitas terhadap larva udang Artemia salina ekstrak tumbuhan Asteraceae, Abstrak, Pusat Penelitian Kimia LIPI.

Pebriana, RB., Wardhani, BWK., Widayanti, E., Wijayanti, NLS., Wijayanti, TR., Riyanto, S., Meiyanto, E., Pengaruh Ekstrak Metanolik Daun Kenikir (Cosmos caudatus Kunth.) Terhadap Pemacuan Apoptosis Sel Kanker Payudara, Pharmacon, Vol. 9, No. 1, Juni 2008, 21-26.

Ren, W., Qiao, Z., Wang, H., Zhu, L., Zhang, L., 2003, Flavonoids: Promising Anticancer Agents, Medicinal Research Reviews, 23 (4), 519-534

Taraphdar, Amit, K., Madhumita, Roy, dan Bhattacharya, R.K., 2001, Natural products as inducers of apoptosis : Implication for cancer therapy and prevention, Current Science, 80(11), 1391

Contributors : Sarmoko, Endang Sulistyorini

Photo: sarmoko (kecamatan ngargoyoso, karanganyar, jawa tengah)

Last update: 10 November 2010