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Ojaransin – Nature’s Cure for Cancer?

March 29, 2010

Ojarasin, Ojaransin, Horasin – Kalanchoe mortagei

For those who have come across this page and have not heard of Ojaransin, here’s a brief overview. Ojaransin is the Spanish name for a succulent plant, belonging to the genus Kalanchoe, a group of plants with a broad, world-wide distribution, containing something between 150 and 200 species. The significance of this and similar plants, is that it they have been used for centuries as a reported cure for cancer, among many other illnesses. This is a bold statement, to say that a plant has been found that can cure what modern science has been toiling with in laboratories for over a century, and yet still has no answer. This blog is not posted as a recommendation for treatment of any illness, but as a informative reference to shed light on the subject, so that those who are searching can find what they are after.

The table below has been taken directly from the website, where more information can be found regarding the medicinal usages and documented, research-based properties of Kalanchoe pinnata. Although K. pinnata is the most widely researched species, it is thought that many if not all of the other Bryophyllum species contain the same medicinal properties and compounds (Bryophyllum is a subgenus within Kalanchoe that produces baby plants on their leaves).

Main Actions Other Actions Standard Dosage
  • kills bacteria
  • prvents ulcer
  • kills viruses
  • increases urination
Infusion: 1 cup twice daily
  • kills fungi
  • lowers cholesterol
Juice: applied topically
  • reduces fever
  • constricts blood vessels
  2-3 times daily
  • heals wounds
  • mildly sedative
  • suppresses coughs
  • blocks histamine
  • relieves pain
  • relaxes muscles
  • reduces inflammation


Specifically referencing the title of this Blog, I turn my attention to Ojaransin.

There has been a lot of confusion as to what species Ojaransin is, or the age-old problem with common names vs. scientific names. In this blog I aim to make it clear which species is which, with pictures to help this.

As there is already a lot of good, relevant information available on parts of this subject, I will not restate what has already been written; instead I offer corrections and additional information that has not been yet available.

The page at the link below seems to be a fairly comprehensive document talking about the use of Ojaransin and Arantes or Aulaga (Kalanchoe daigremontiana, Bryophyllum daigremontianum), and other bits of information I did not feel the need to post, or have not posted a correction/addition to. Using google translator some sense can be made of this, for those who do not speak spanish.

Ojaransin, Ojarasin, Horasin = Bryophyllum mortagei = Kalanchoe mortagei

Ojaransin is the common name of Kalanchoe (Bryophyllum) mortagei. This species has (potentially) very long leaves that can be over 45 cm in length in adults. The leaves of this species never have spotting (a common confusion with Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri). Leaves are typically born close to one another, but in low light environments the plant may be taller and with greater space between leaves. Unlike its cousin species (see below), Ojaransin only creates two small plants on the tips of its leaves at first. After some time sporadic plants will form in the notches further up the leaf, but this species never produces nearly as many plantlets as other species.

The links below show fantastic pictures of Ojaransin:


Leaves –

Baby Plants –

Flowers –

Below are pictures of Ojaransin, or Kalanchoe mortagei.

Ojaransin / Kalanchoe mortagei - courtesy of

Ojaransin / Kalanchoe mortagei – courtesy of


NOTE: (Bryophyllum is a subgenus of Kalanchoe, referring to the species that produce epiphyllous buds (little baby plants) on the margins or edges of the leaves. As far as this topic is concerned, Kalanchoe and Bryophyllum can more or less be used interchangeably, but to be scientifically correct, Bryophyllum is the correct genus, but Kalanchoe is most commonly used.)

There has been confusion and debate as to the correct identification and linking of common and Latin (Scientific) names for Ojaransin. While the name Ojaransin may have referred to one or several species, I will address the name of the most commonly referenced species, that which is said to have large leaves, without spots, the “true” Ojaransin, Kalanchoe mortagei. Many sources refer to this plant as any of the following:


Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri – (Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri is quite similar in vegetative morphology (leaves, stems, babies etc.), but one marked difference is the apparent spotting on the upper leaf surface. When comparing Floral morphology (flower forms) however, there is no comparison between gastonis-bonnieri and mortagei, as can be seen in the following pictures. K. gastonis has consistently red corollas, as K. mortagei has consistently yellow.)

Kalanchoe pinnata (syn. brasiliensis) – (Kalanchoe pinnata can be mistaken for K. mortagei at an early age, but leaves are of a clearly different shape and general appearance at maturity. Epiphyllous buds are freely formed at the tips of attached leaves of K. mortagei and K. gastonis-bonnieri, whereas K. pinnata forms plantlets only when a leaf is detached from the mother plant.

Kalanchoe sp. Colombiana, Kalanchoe rosei cv. Colombiana (any other variation) – According to IPNI (International Plant Names Index), there is no Kalanchoe sp. Colombiana, possibly this was an informal guess at the plant name, but regardless is not an accepted nor widely used name.)

Conversing with experts in the field, another species came up as a very close candidate, next to K. mortagei. Kalanchoe suarezensis is nearly indistinguishable from K. mortagei, aside from slight, highly ambiguous and subjective lengths and general shapes of the flowers and their parts. Very few individuals are known living, and fewer yet in cultivation. Teasing apart the two species from vague literature references is a nightmare, but based off cultivation information, K. suarezensis is said to have preferred lower temperatures than K. mortagei. One expert thinks that K. suarezensis and K. mortagei may be synonyms, or one may be a subspecies of the other, which is likely. For this purpose however, K.mortagei is the only name that can be found when searching for these plants.

Other Bryophyllum Species

There exist many different species of Kalanchoe, and many within the genus Bryophyllum (again, those Kalanchoe that produce small baby plants on the margin of their leaves). These other Bryophyllum species below may as well have the same medicinal compounds and healing properties as the well documented and researched Bryophyllum (Kalanchoe) pinnata, but this has yet to be determined.

 – Kalanchoe daigremontiana – This is the Kalanchoe known as Aulaga or Aranto. Another common name is Mother of Thousands, for obvious reasons. It is very widespread and considered a pest in many parts of the world. This also has a long history of use by native people, but there is not much research that has been done with the species.

Kalanchoe daigremontiana - courtesy of -

Kalanchoe daigremontiana – courtesy of –

– Kalanchoe laetivirens – There is another Kalanchoe in cultivation that has a close resemblance to Kalanchoe daigremontiana, but appears to be more green and lacking the stripes that K. daigremontiana develops. Although a different species, this species may very well prove to have the same medicinal properties as other Kalanchoe (Bryophyllum).

– Kalanchoe serrata – This Kalanchoe is easily confused for and lumped together with Kalanchoe daigremontiana, as the shape of leaves and the striping is very similar. This species has smaller leaves however, and leaves are born with less space between them. The edges of the leaves of K. serrata are more tooth-like than in K. daigremontiana. Both species can grow quite tall. There is a form of this species in cultivation that has pink plants, but lacking chlorophyll these plants rarely if ever survive. Propagation is by stem cuttings of the mother plant.

Kalanchoe serrata - courtesy of -

Kalanchoe serrata – courtesy of –

Kalanchoe serrata pink form - courtesy of -

Kalanchoe serrata pink form – courtesy of –×768/0000_0000/1209/0261.jpeg

– Kalanchoe tubiflora –  This Kalanchoe is not easily mis-identified, as it is very unique. Only on the very tips of the cylindrical leaves do small plants form.

Seed propagation

It has already been stated that all the Bryophyllum members produce plantlets at the leaf tips and along the leaf margins. Some species still retain the ability to produce viable seeds, while others have seemingly transferred the ability to reproduce into the epiphyllous buds (plantlets) alone. Below is a chart outlining various species and their means of reproduction from a study done by Garces et al. 2007 ‘Evolution of asexual reproduction in leaves of the genus Kalanchoë’

Based soley on the fact that K. mortagei and K. gastonis-bonnieri are very similar in terms of physical appearance, you might assume, and as a best guess with a lack of genetic analysis that K. gastonis-bonnieri and K. mortagei are very close genetically speaking. With this assumption, theoretically K. mortagei should produce viable seed. I have not tested this though, and more than likely more than one clone or genetically unique individual is needed for seed production. Outcrossing and sexual reproduction, although slower and more energy intensive for propagators, is an important practice, as it is unknown how large the genetic pool of these Bryophyllum species are, since they produce vegetatively so readily. It could be likely that a few prolific individuals dominate the current distribution of these species, therefore to ensure variability and diversity, viable seed production, if at all possible, should be explored.

Tissue Culture

Kalanchoe mortagei appears to respond very well to tissue culture, and readily forms a callous of cells that quickly develop into shoots. Somewhat effective protocols for Kalanchoe pinnata and Kalanchoe daigremontiana have been developed, as outlined by Naz et al. 2009 ‘An efficient protocol for Rapid Multiplication of Bryophyllum pinnatum and Bryophyllum daigremontianum’. Although this is possible, with such an prolific natural ability to reproduce themselves, it would hardly be necessary to use tissue culture to bulk up the numbers of plants.

If any questions or clarification is needed, please feel free to contact me at codavis (at) ucdavis (dot) edu, if I do not respond soon, post a comment on this blog and I will respond.


All of the plants I have mentioned above Kalanchoe mortagei (Ojaransin), Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri (Donkey Ears), Kalanchoe pinnata (Coirama), Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Aranto) can be purchased at a reputable online nursery called Glass House Works. Below is a link to their site.

Glass House Works –