Nicotiana rustica L.


Nicotiana rustica L.

Botanical name:         Nicotiana rustica L.Leaves of nicotiana rustica L.

Kingdom:                      Plantae

Order:                             Solanales

Family:                          Solanaceae

Genus:                          Nicotiana

Species:                       N. rustica

Local Name:              Tambaku

Sindhi Name:            Tambaku

English Name:          Tobacco

Part used:                   Leaves, cured and dried.



N. rustica is glandular herb with long fibrous root. Leaves are simple and exstipulate. Flowers are showy, solitary or in racemes. Calyxes are lobed, and campanulate, usually persistent and enlarged in fruit. Ovary is superior, oblique and has placentation axile. Seeds are compressed. Fruit is seeded capsule or berry. 1



N. rustica is native to North and South America, and are found commonly in the Andes, Polynesia and Australia. In Pakistan is cultivated in Chitral, Kaghan, Mardan, and other parts of NWFP provinces.2,3

Ethnomedicinal Uses in Skin Diseases 


Leaves of N. rustica are dissolved in water and used as a bandage on the infected areas for the treatment of itching in District Jacobabad, and Sukkur (Sindh).


Nicotine is the major constituent of N. rustica. Leaves contain pyridine, furfurol, collidine, hydrocyanic acid, and carbon-monoxide. 4


Chemical Structures:

Nicotiana rustica

Medicinal Uses and Pharmacological/ Scientific Studies

Leaves of N. rustica are used for the treatment of cancerous wounds and cancerous ulcers of the spleen.It is reported that leaves possess antispasmodic, narcotic, cathartic, and emetic properties and used as a poultice externally for the treatment of rheumatic swelling, skin diseases and scorpion sting.5   They are used as antihelminthic agent.8 Dried leaves of the plant are used as a stimulant.6   The plant itself possesses sedative, diuretic, and expectorant properties.4   It is reported that extract of the plant is used as insecticide.7


  3. Askari, S.H.A., (2010). “Poisonous Plant of Pakistan”. Publisher, Oxford University Press. p: 361.
  8. Hussain, F., Shah M., Sher,H. (2007). “Traditional Resource Evaluation of Some Plants of Mastuj, District Chitral, Pakistan”. Pakistan Journal of Botany. 39(2) p: 339-354.