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Family Urticaceae
Alagasi
Leucosyke capitellata Wedd.

TOOTH SCRUBBER

Scientific names Common names
Leucosyke capitellata Wedd. Alagasi (Bis., Tag.)
  Alangasi (Bis.) 
  Amagasi (Bik., tag.)
  Anagau (Bik.)
  Anugas (Bik.)
  Alalasi (Bon., Ilk.)
  Aragasi (Bik., S. L., Bis.)
  Ararasi (Bon.)
  Arasi (Bon.)
  Asis (Tag.)
  Bahibahi (P. Bis.)
  Bauaua (S. L. Bis.)
  Bilan-bilan (Sub.)
  Bunkilan (Yak.)
  Damakadios (P. Bis.)
  Gasigasi (Sul.)
  Ginagasi (Tag.)
  Gombilan (Zamb.)
  Gugutu (Ig.)
  Haganasi (Bik.)
  Halagasi (Tag.)
  Hilagasi (Tag.)
  Hinagasi (Tag.)
  Hinlagasi (P. Bis.)
  Isis (Tag.)
  Isis ngipin (Tag.)
  Karikasin (Neg.)
  Lagasi (Tag., C. Bis.)
  Laglag (P. Bis.)
  Lalasi (Ig.)
  Langasi (Bis.)
  Lapsik (Ig.)
  Layasin (Tag.)
  Liasin (Tag.)
  Manombila (Buk.)
  Opli (Tag.)
  Sagombibilan (Mbo.)
  Salagiso (Bik.)
  Salasi (Bon.)
  Tinagasi (Bik.)
  Upli (Tag.)
  Toothscrubber (Engl.)
Leucosyke capitellata Wedd. is an unresolved name. The Plant List
Catalogue of Life: 26th February 2018 list Leucosyke capitellata (Poir.) Wedd. with various synonyms, all of which are unresolved: Leucosyke angusta Unruh, Leucosyke capitellata var. celtidifolia (Gaudich.) Wedd, Leucosyke kjerllbergii Unruh, Leucosyke leytensis Merr., Leucosyke palawanensis Unruh, Leucosyke samarensis Unruh.

Other vernacular names
INDONESIA: Ki beunteur, Jurang gunung, Kayu te pa'ei, Simarhambing-hambing.
MALAYSIA: Mandahasi, Tahpoi, Teh kampung, Kuliat-mato


Botany
Alagasi is an erect shrub or small tree, reaching a height of 2 to 4 meters. Leaves are papery, oblong or ovate, 10 to 15 centimeters long, 3 to 5 centimeters wide, felty and harsh to touch, gray or chalky white beneath and green on the other side; pointed at the apex, abruptly and broadly rounded, and 3-nerved at the base. Flowers are capitate, on 8-millimeter long peduncles, either single or few-clustered, 1 centimeter in diameter. Male flowers are white, upon short pedicels. Fruiting heads are dark green, nearly spherical, with compressed achenes.

Distribution
- In thickets and second-growth forests at low and medium altitudes throughout the Philippines.
- Also occurs from Taiwan to Java and New Guinea.

Constituents
• High Magnesium Content: The Kampung (Leucosyke capitellata) leaves are particularly high in magnesium (626 mg/100 g).
(1)

Parts used
Roots, leaves.

Uses
Folkloric
- Decoction of roots used for phthisis, coughs, headache and gastralgia.
- Subanens in Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur, apply the bark on the throat for treatment of cough. (
7)
- Subanen tribe of Lapuyan, Zamboanga del Sur eat small amounts of stem for cough. Necklace made out of the outer layer of stem put around the chlld's neck for colds. Decoction made from trunk of L capitellata with leaves of Coleus aromaticus and roots of Flemingia strobilifera drunk for cough. (16)
- In Malaysia, decoction of leaves used for diabetes, high blood pressure and lumbago.
- In Kalimantan, Indonesia, plant used for treating stomachaches. (4)
- In Sabah, Malaysia, plant sap used as eye drops and for pain in the ears. (3)
Used by Kadazandusun tribe to treat diabetes. (2)
- In Borneo, decoction of leaves used to treat hypertension and diabetes. (8)
Others
Fiber: Bark used for its strong bast fibers in making ropes.
Scouring: Leaves, with its one-sided roughness, used for scouring pots and pans.

Studies
Antihyperglycemic / Antioxidant:
Study evaluated L. capitellata leaves for its effect on blood glucose in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Results suggest the leaves extract has the ability to reduce oxidative stress and possess antihyperglycemic effect in diabetic rats probably through its antioxidant property. (2)
Adaptogenic / Anti-Stress / Roots: Study evaluated the adaptogenic effect of aqueous extracts of roots of Leucosyke capitellata on stress-induced mice based on time of exhaustion using the Swim endurance test. Mice pretreated with higher doses of alagasi roots exhibited longer duration of time compared to control. (9)
Antioxidant / Anti-Stress / Roots: Study evaluated various extracts of leaves five plant species, the decoction, crude ethanol and 50:50 ethanol-water extracts of L. capitellata and L. aculeate showed antioxidant profiles comparable to those of standards ascorbic acid and butylated hydroxytoluene. (10)
• Antioxidant / Bark: Study evaluated the in vitro antioxidant activity of 37 methanolic extracts of Indonesian plants using DPPH assay. Twenty-nine of the samples exhibited radical scavenging activities of more than 50% at 1000 ppm. Five, including bark extracts of L. capitellata, exhibited high activities. (11)
• Hepatoprotective / Leaves: Study investigated the hepatoprotective effect of L. capitellata leaf decoction using carbon tetrachloride (CCL4)-induced hepatic damage in mice. The leaf decoction of leaf significantly decreased ALT, AST, and ALP (p<0.05) along with significantly increase TP level. Histopathological exam supported the biochemical improvements in liver damage. Reference drug was silymarin. (12)
• Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated the antioxidant activities of decoction, crude ethanol and 50:50 ethanol:water extracts from leaves of five plant sources using DPPH and total phenolic contents. Best results were obtained from Leucosyke capitellata and Leea aculeata with comparable antioxidant profiles with reference standards ascorbic acid and BHT. (15)
• Antiplatelet Activity / Leaves: Study evaluated ethanolic extract of leaves of L. capitellata for antiplatelet activity. Results showed inhibition of blood coagulation. Plasma absorbance reduction before and after addition of ADP showed significant comparison from negative to positive control of 0.007 to 0.05. Previous studies have shown the presence of antioxidative flavonoid compound which may inhibit the adherence, aggregation and secretion of plates through its obstructive effect on the metabolism of arachidonic acid by cyclooxygenase. (17)


Availability
Wild-crafted.

© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Updated March 2018 / February 2016

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
The Nutritional Value of Indigenous Fruits and Vegetables in Sarawak / Voon Boon Hoe and Kueh Hong Siong
/ Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1999, Volume 8 Issue 1, Pages 24 - 31
(2)
Evaluation of anti-hyperglycaemic effect of Leucosyke capitellata leaf in normal and streptozotocin - induced diabetic rats / Ling, Lina / (2008) / Institutional Repository, Universiti Malaysia Sabah. (Unpublished)
(3)
LOCAL USE OF FOREST PRODUCTS IN KUYONGON, SABAH, MALAYSIA / Jacob Andersen et al / ASEAN Review of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation (ARBEC) January-March 2003
(4)
MEDICINAL PLANTS OF KALIMANTAN FOREST : A REVIEW / Wawan Kustiawan / Natural Life, Vol. 2. No.1, 2007, 24-34
(6)
Leucosyke capitellata (Poir.) Wedd. / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED
(7)
Medicinal Plants of the Subanens in Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines / Lady Jane G. Morilla, Nanette Hope N. Sumaya, Henry I. Rivero and Ma. Reina Suzette B. Madamba / International Conference on Food, Biological and Medical Sciences (FBMS-2014) Jan. 28-29, 2014 Bangkok (Thailand)
(8)
MEDICINAL PLANTS USED BY KADAZANDUSUN COMMUNITIES AROUND CROCKER RANGE /
Fasihuddin B. Ahmad and Ghazally Ismail / ASEAN Review of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation (ARBEC) January-March 2003
(9)
Adaptogenic evaluation of Alagasi leucosyke capitellata, poir., 1869, aqueous root extracts on stress-induced mice / Arvin Jay G. Mangawang, Ritzjerald Christer A. Pahilan / Thesis/Dissertations / Oct 2013 / University of San Carlos
(10)
The antioxidant properties of the Philippine medicinal plants Cassia sophera L., Derris elliptica Benth, Ficus minahassea Tesym. and De Vr., Leea aculeata Blume and Leucosyke capitellata Wedd / Uy, Mylene M.; Villazorda, Marvelous G. L. / Advances in Agriculture & Botanics;2015, Vol. 7 Issue 3, p150
(11)
ANTIOXIDANT SCREENING ACTIVITY OF SEVERAL INDONESIAN MEDICINAL PLANTS USING 2,2-DIFENIL 1-1 PICRYLHIDRAZYL (DPPH) / Dewi Wulansari, Chairul Chairul / Majalah Obat Tradisional, Vol 16, No 1 (2011)
(12)
HEPATOPROTECTIVE EFFECT OF Leucosyke capitellata Wedd. (KAJAJAHI) LEAVES AGAINST CCl4-INDUCED LIVER DAMAGE IN MICE / Nurlely, Asmiliati, Refiana Prima Putri, Noor Cahaya / Universitas Lambung Mangkurat
(13)
Leucosyke capitellata / Synonyms / The Plant List
(14)
Leucosyke capitellata / Synonyms / World Plants / Catalogue of Life
(15)
The antioxidant properties of the Philippine medicinal plants Cassia sophera Linn., Derris elliptica Benth, Ficus minahassea Tesym. and De Vr., Leea aculeata Blume and Leucosyke capitellata Wedd / Mylene M Uy, Marvelous G L Villazorda / Advances in Agriculture and Botanics-International Journal of the Bioflux Socieity
(16)
Ethnobotany of Medicinal Plants Used by the Subanen Tribe of Lapuyan, Zamboanga del Sur / Jhoan Rhea L. Pizon, Olga M. Nuñeza, Mylene M. Uy, WTPSK Senarath / Bull. Env. Pharmacol. Life Sci., Vol 5 (5); April 2016: pp 53-67





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