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Maroon Bush

Maroon Bush

Common Names

  • Prickly fan-flower
  • Currant bush

For Patients & Caregivers

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Maroon bush has not been studied in humans.

Maroon bush is an Australian shrub used in traditional Aboriginal medicine for cold and stomach ailments. Lab studies have shown that it has antibacterial and antiviral activities, but it is not known whether it has anticancer effects in humans.

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  • Boils
    There is no scientific evidence to support this use.
  • Sores
    This use is not backed by published data.
  • Ulcers
    There are no data to confirm this use.
  • Stomach ache
    This use is not supported by clinical data.
  • Colds
    Although used in traditional medicine, there are no clinical data to confirm this.
  • Cancer
    Even though it is purported to have anticancer effects, there are no scientific data to support this use.
  • Diuretic
    Maroon bush is used in traditional medicine as a diuretic but there is no evidence to establish this use.
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For Healthcare Professionals

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Scaevola spinescens
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Maroon bush describes a bushy shrub used in traditional medicine for colds, stomach ailments, and as a diuretic by the Aboriginal people in Australia. Flavonoids, tannins, alkaloids, anthraquinones, polysteroids, saponins, cardiac glycosides and phenolic compounds are among the constituents found in maroon bush (2) (3).

Extracts of maroon bush have demonstrated antibacterial and antiviral properties in vitro without any toxic effects (1) (2). The infusion of the leaves and branches has had purported uses for cancer leading to heightened interest in this plant as an alternative cancer treatment. However, there are no published scientific studies showing anticancer effects of maroon bush in humans.

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  • Boils
  • Sores
  • Ulcers
  • Stomach ache
  • Diuretic
  • Colds
  • Cancer
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  1. Semple SJ, Reynolds GD, O’Leary MC, Flower RL. Screening of Australian medicinal plants for antiviral activity. J Ethnopharmacol. 1998 Mar;60(2):163-72.

  2. Kerr PG, Longmore RB, Betts TJ. Myricadiol and other taraxerenes from Scaevola spinescens. Planta Med. 1996 Dec;62(6):519-22.

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Email your questions and comments to aboutherbs@mskcc.org.

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