Coix lachryma Linn.

Family: Gramineae


Family Synonyms

Common Names

Tasbi (Bengali), Job's Tears (England), Ranjan (Marma), Lacrima di Giobbe (Tipra), Yemi ren (Chinese), Jelai batu (Malaysia), Juzudama (Japanese).

Local Availability

All over Bangladesh in fallow lands.

Worldwide Availability

Common throughout the Philippines in settled areas, at low and medium altitudes, in most or all islands and provinces. Native of the Old World. Now pantropic.

Botanical Description 21

Tasbi growing plant about 1 to 2m in height. Leaves of these plants are broad and cordate base, about 4 cm in width, 10 to 40 cm in long. While, stem are stout, branched and straight. Even as spikes a

Common Ethnobotanical Use 22

The plants are knows as laxative and diuretic; used in fever, tumour, cancers , small fox, anthrax and dysentery. Roots are usually taken in strangury and menstrual complaints, although seeds are blood purifier, diuretic and tonic. Furthermore, seeds are used in inflammation of urinary passage, and also in catarrhal addection of the air passage.

Chemical Constituents

Compound Name Compound in Plant Parts Reference
Vanillic acidSeed; Root2, 9
VanillinSeed; Root1, 9
p-HydroxybenzaldehydeSeed; Root1, 9
SyringaldehydeSeed1, 2, 9
trans-p-Coumaric acidSeed2
p-Hydroxybenzoic acidRoot9
Caffeic acidSeed; Root2, 9
Protocatechuic acidSeed2
Myristic acidSeed8
Leonuriside ARoot7
Ferulic acidSeed; Root2, 4, 9
CoixolSeed; Root1, 6
Coixspirolactam ASeed3, 5
Coixspirolactam BSeed3, 5
Coixspirolactam CSeed3, 5
Coixlactam Seed3, 5
Methyl dioxindole-3-acetateSeed3, 5
Syringic acidSeed; Root4, 9
4-Ketopinoresinol Seed; Root4, 7
4-(beta-D-Glucopyranosyloxy)benzoic acidRoot9
Coixlachryside A Root9

Pharmacological Evidence

Plants Parts Extract Type Activity Reference
Methylene Chloride Lung Cancer 10
Aqueous Antibacterial 18
Ethanol Antidiabetic 19
Aqueous; Ethanol Anthelmintic 20
Methanol Cervical Cancer 16
Methanol Colon Cancer 17
Ethanol Gastric Cancer 12
Oil Anticancer 11
Ethanol Antiulcerant 12
Dried Antiviral 13
Ethanol Antidiabetic 14
Whole Plant
Polyphenol Cardioprotective 15


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  • 2 Chen, H.-J., Lo, Y.-C. and Chiang, W. (2012) Inhibitory effects of adlay bran (Coix lachryma-jobi L. var. ma-yuen Stapf) on chemical mediator release and cytokine production in rat basophilic leukemia cells. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 141, 119-127.
  • 3 Lee, M.-Y., Lin, H.-Y., Cheng, F., Chiang, W. and Kuo, Y.-H. (2008) Isolation and characterization of new lactam compounds that inhibit lung and colon cancer cells from adlay (Coix lachryma-jobi L. var. ma-yuen Stapf) bran. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 46, 1933-1939.
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  • 5 Han, A.R., Kang, U., Kil, Y.S., Lee, J. and Seo, E.K. (2015) Identification of Two New Lactams from the Hulled Seeds of Coix lachryma‐jobi var. ma‐yuen. Bulletin of the Korean Chemical Society, 36, 2401-2403.
  • 6 Nagao, T., Otsuka, H., Kohda, H., Sato, T. and Yamasaki, K. (1985) Benzoxazinones from Coix lachryma-jobi var. ma-yuen. Phytochemistry, 24, 2959-2962.
  • 7 Otsuka, H., Takeuchi, M., Inoshiri, S., Sato, T. and Yamasaki, K. (1989) Phenolic compounds from Coix lachryma-jobi var. ma-yuen. Phytochemistry, 28, 883-886.
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  • 9 Hong, S.S., Choi, C.W., Choi, Y.-H. and Oh, J.S. (2016) Coixlachryside A: A new lignan glycoside from the roots of Coix lachryma-jobi L. var. ma-yuen Stapf. Phytochemistry Letters, 17, 152-157.
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  • 15 Wang, L., Sun, J., Yi, Q., Wang, X. and Ju, X. (2012) Protective effect of polyphenols extract of adlay (Coix lachryma-jobi L. var. ma-yuen Stapf) on hypercholesterolemia-induced oxidative stress in rats. Molecules, 17, 8886-8897.
  • 16 Manosroi, A., Sainakham, M., Chankhampan, C., Abe, M., Manosroi, W. and Manosroi, J. (2016) Potent in vitro anti-proliferative, apoptotic and anti-oxidative activities of semi-purified Job’s tears (Coix lachryma-jobi Linn.) extracts from different preparation methods on 5 human cancer cell lines. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 187, 281-292.
  • 17 Manosroi, A., Sainakham, M., Chankhampan, C., Manosroi, W. and Manosroi, J. (2016) In vitro anti-cancer activities of Job’s tears (Coix lachryma-jobi Linn.) extracts on human colon adenocarcinoma. Saudi journal of biological sciences, 23, 248-256.
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