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Family Urticaceae
Alagasi
Leucosyke capitellata (Poir.) Wedd.

TOOTH SCRUBBER

Scientific names Common names
Leucosyke capitellata (Poir.) 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.)
  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

Other vernacular names
INDONESIA: Ki beunteur, Jurang gunung, Kayu te pa'ei.
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)
- 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)


Availability
Wild-crafted.

Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Update 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

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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