Bryophyllum pinnatum plants are used as a folkloric medicine to heal wounds and treat infections and bowel diseases, among other ailments, according to a study in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Its leaves have been found to have antiviral and anticancer properties, specifically by inhibiting the growth of the HPV virus and the cervical cancer cells caused by the HPV virus.
According to an article by Anjoo Kamboj and Ajay Kumar Saluja in Pharmacognosy Reviews, Bryophyllum is used for its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-ulcerous, antiviral and anti-allergic properties. It is also used to reduce fever and suppress the immune system and treat diarrhea, vomiting, heartburn, earaches, epilepsy, hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, upper respiratory infections and the flu. It is used as an insecticide, a muscle relaxant, an antihistamine and a sedative.
Bryophyllum is used medicinally in tropical Africa, South America, India, China and Australia, where it grows as a weed. It is a succulent perennial. Its leaves, and sometimes its bark, roots and stems, are used both internally and externally for medicinal purposes, notes Kamboj and Saluja. The leaves are used either raw or roasted and steeped as a tea. The juice of the leaves can be extracted and used externally as an analgesic. Its roots and leaves can also be soaked in cold water to drink.