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Family Sapindaceae
Lepisanthes tetraphylla (Vahl) Radlk.

Scientific names Common names
Anomosanthes tetraphylla (Vahl) Pierre. Bayag-daga (Tag.)
Lepisanthes tetraphylla (Vahl) Radlk. Pospos (Tag.)
Sapindus tetraphyllus Vahl Sarakag-tilos (Phil.)
Accepted infraspecifics Four-leaved soapnut (Engl.)
Lepisanthes tetraphylla var. tetraphylla Torchwood (Engl.)
Lepisanthes tetraphylla var. trichocarpa (Thwaites) Wadhwa & Meijer  
Lepisanthes tetraphylla (Vahl) Radlk. is an accepted name. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
INDIA: Katu yette (Kannada), Lokhandi (Konkani), Kalpoovathi, Kulappunna, Naikolli, Poovalmaram, Naaukkolli (Malayalam), Karpa, Lokhandi (Marathi), Kuhamathi, Kuhamathi, Nehotaa, Nekota, Neykkoddaan, Poovanti (Tamil), Or korivi, Koravi (Telugu), Kurpa.
INDONESIA: Katilayu watu.
MALAYSIA: Arit-arit, Bansisi, Jung.
THAILAND: Ma fueng chang, Ma fueng pa, Ma kham de khwai.
VIETNAM: Gio khoi, Vo khoi.

Gen info
- Lepisanthes is a genus of 24 or 25 species of trees or shrubs native to tropical Africa, South and South East Asia, Australia, and Madagascar. It includes species formerly classified in the genera Aphania, Erioglossum, and Otophora.
- Etymology: The genus name Lepisanthes derives from Greek words "lepis" meaning scaly and "anthos" meaning flower.   Species epithet "tetraphylla'" means four-leaved.

Lepisanthes tetraphylla is a evergreen tree, to 15 m high; trunk and branchlets crooked; bark reddish-brown, peels off in irregular thin scale, rough; blaze pink-red. Leaves paripinnate, alternate, estipulate; rachis 1.5-20 cm, terete, stout, glabrous, swollen at base; leaflets 4-8, opposite or subopposite; petiolule 3-8 mm, stout, glabrous; lamina 6-22 x 2-6 cm, elliptic, oblong, elliptic-oblong, elliptic-lanceolate, obovate-oblong or oblong lanceolate, base acute, obtuse or unequal; apex obtuse, emarginate, acute or acuminate, margin entire, undulate, glabrous, coriaceous; lateral nerves 6-13 pairs, pinnate, prominent, secondary laterals also prominent; intercostae reticulate, prominent. Flowers polygamodioecious, creamy yellow, crowed in axillary or terminal panicles; branches fulvous-tomentose; sepals 5, hairy outside, glabrous within; outer 2 smaller than inner 3, in 2 rows; petals 4-5, obovate, subequal, obtuse, 2-fid, fimbriate, inner surface callose at base and with 2-3 scales, often scales attached to the claw; disc thick, 4-5 lobed; stamens 8; filaments free, pilose; anthers ovoid; ovary superior, globose, eccentric, trigonus, 3-celled, ovules 1 each cell; style simple; stigma oblique. Fruit a drupe, 2 x 1.5 cm, subglobose or trigonus, orange-yellow, tomentose, apiculate; seed one, oblong, exarillate. (Dr N Sasidhara, Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi) (3)

Lepisanthes tetraphylla is a large shrub to small tree up to 12 m tall. Bark is brownish, densely lenticellate; blaze pale orange. Branchlets terete, slightly pubescent when young. Leaves compound, paripinnate, rarely imparipinnate, alternate, spiral, to 40 cm long; rachis pulvinate slightly pubescent when young; petiolule 0.4-0.8 cm, stout, glabrous; leaflets 3-6 pairs, opposite-subopposite, 9-25 x 2.5-7 cm, narrow elliptic-oblong, apex obtuse or shortly acuminate with blunt tip, base acute, margin entire, coriaceous, glabrous; midrib raised above; secondary nerves 12-25 pairs, gradually curved and ascending; tertiary nerves broadly reticulate. Inflorescence axillary or terminal panicled racemes; flowers polygamodioecious, white, sessile. Fruit is drupaceous, 3-lobed, 3-sided; seeds ellipsoid, black. (B R Ramesh, N Ayyappan, Pierre Grard, Juliana Prosperi, S Aravajy, Jean Pierre Pascal, The Biotik Team, French Institute of Pondicherry). (3)

- Native to the Philippines.
- Grows primarily in the wet tropical biome.
- Also native to Andaman Is., Assam, Bangladesh, Borneo, Cambodia, India, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Myanmar, New Guinea, Nicobar Is., Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Thailand, Vietnam.

- Phytochemical screening of leaves yielded carbohydrates, proteins and amino acids,  steroids, phenols, tannins, flavonoids, saponins, with absence of alkaloids and glycosides. (see study below) (7)

- Studies have suggested antioxidant, antidiabetic, nematicidal, anticonvulsant properties.

Parts used
Roots, leaves, bark.


- Fruit reported to be edible. (10)

- No recorded folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- In Bangladesh, roots of L. tetraphylla are used in herbal mixtures for treatment of diarrhea and gastric trouble. an herbal mix of roots of L. tetraphylla, bark of M. indica and Z. mauritiana and gall bladder of monitor lizard used for treatment of diarrhea. Roots also used in a herbal mixture for treatment of gastric trouble. (5)
- Traditionally used for treatment of elephantiasis, skin diseases, fever, and convulsions. Juice used for fever and cough. Seeds used for dandruff. In Ayurvedic medicine, used for treatment of eczema, psoriasis, and for removing freckles. (7)
- Wood: Heavy, hard, and close-grained. Used for house posts, tool handles, furniture, turning.

- Veterinary: Decoction of mixture of stem bark with stem bark of Albizia amara, Pterocarpus santalinus, pepper and garlic used to treat hemorrhagic septicemia in cows. (6)
- Others: Leaves are one of the ingredients in Ayurvedic shampoos and cleansers.

Silver Nanoparticles / Antibacterial / Leaves:
Study reports on the synthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) using aqueous leaf extract of Lepisanthes tetraphylla as reducing agent. Antibacterial activity of synthesized AgNPs were compared to the crude methanolic leaf extract by well diffusion method. The AgNPs at 30-50 µg (0.03-0.05 mg) concentration significantly inhibited bacterial growth against multi-drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Acinetobacter species. The crude methanolic leaf extract only inhibited the growth of E. coli at 1 mg/ml concentration. (4)
Anticonvulsant / Leaves: Study evaluate the anticonvulsant activity of L. tetraphylla in albino Wister rats by MES (maximal electroshock induced convulsion) and PTZ (pentylenetetrazole-induced convulsion) methods. Results showed highly significant activity similar to standard drug Phenytoin. (see constituents above) (7)
Nematicidal: Study evaluated 19 solvent extracts from seven Sri Lankan plants for nematicidal activity against root knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita. Lepisanthes tetraphylla was one four that showed significant nematicidal activity. (8)
Antidiabetic / Lucenin / In Silico Study: Study evaluated the antidiabetic effect of phytocompounds of L. tetraphylla through in silico molecular modeling studies carried out against human pancreatic alpha-amylase, human dipeptidyl peptidase IV, human PPAR-gamma and Glucagon receptor using Glide module. Phytocompounds showed better binding score against human PPAR-gamma protein. Compound Lucenin was identified as a potent lead molecule for the management of diabetes mellitus. (9)


January 2023

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Photo: Sapindaceae : Lepisanthes tetraphylla / fruits / Copyright © 2011 Leonardo L Co [ref. DOL26624] / Non-Commercial Use / click on image to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photo: Sapindaceae : Lepisanthes tetraphylla / Leaves / Copyright © 2011 Leonardo L Co [ref. DOL26630] / Non-Commercial Use / click on image to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photo: Sapindaceae : Lepisanthes tetraphylla / Dinesh Valke / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic / Wikimedia Commons
IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph: Blood lily--Scadoxus multiflorus / Jim Evans / CC by SA 4.0 / click on image to go to source page / Wikipedia

OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photo: Scadoxus multiflorus / image modified /  © World of Succulents / click on image to go to source page / World of Succulents

OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photo: Scadoxus multiflorus berries / Maja Dumat  / CC by 2.0 / click on image to go to source page / North Carolina EXTENSION GARDENER Plant Toolbox
IMAGE SOURCE: Hedyotis costata / Subject Database of China Plant <http://www.naturemuseum.net/album/ShowPhoto.aspx?photoid=2671c974-77ca-44f9-b304-0f16660a06f7> Helixcn
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: /Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Kunth ex Walp. - quickstick GLSE2 / Steve Hurst @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Photo / Rutaceae : Lunasia amara det. John Rey Callado / Leaf / Copyright © 2012 by P.B. Pelser & J.F. Barcelona (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL52015] / Non-Commercial Use / Phytoimages.siu.edu
IMAGE SOURCE: / Photos (2) / Pterocaulon redolens (Willd.) F.-Vill. / © Collected by www.plant.ac.cn / ZHIWUTONG / CLICK ON IMAGE TO GO TO SOURCE PAGE
IMAGE SOURCE: / Line drawing / Pterocaulon redolens (Willd.) F.-Vill. / © Collected by www.plant.ac.cn / ZHIWUTONG / CLICK ON IMAGE TO GO TO SOURCE PAGE
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Photo / Rutaceae : Lunasia amara det. John Rey Callado / Leaf / Copyright © 2012 by P.B. Pelser & J.F. Barcelona (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL52015] / Non-Commercial Use / Phytoimages.siu.edu
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Flower close-up / dracobotanicus -- Wayne Dumbleton / Creative Commons Attribution / flickr / Click on graphic to see original image / flickr /
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Illustration / Cissampelos pareira L. [5809-247450-161657] / Indian medicinal plants, vol. 1: t. 42 / PlantIllustrations.org
flickr /
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)
Photos ©Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
Content © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
Content / Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Lepisanthes tetraphylla (Vahl) Radlk.
/ KEW: Plants of the World Online

Lepisanthes / Wikipedia
Lepisanthes tetraphylla / Indian Biodiversity Portal
Green synthesis of silver nanoparticles using leaves of Lepisanthes tetraphylla and evaluation of their antibacterial activity against drug resistant clinical isolates / N Meena, M Jeya, S Aroumugame, P Arumugam, E Sagadevan / International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences, 2012; 3(2) / ISSN: 0975-6299
Ethnographic information and medicinal formulations of a Mro community of Gazalia Union in the Bandaras district of Bangladesh / Md Megbahul Haque, Md Shahed Choudhury, Mohammed Rahmatullah et al / American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, 2012; 6(3): pp 162-171
Medicinal plants used to treat livestock diseases in Eastern Ghats of Namakkal district of Tamil Nadu
/ S Usha, A Yasotha / Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies, 2021; 9(6): pp 127-129 / eISSN: 2320-7078 / pISSN: 2349-6800
Anticonvulsant activity of ethanol extract of leaves of Lepisanthes tetraphylla (Sapindaceae) / Ranjini G, Pragash P, Karthigadevi K, Selvakumari E, Gopal V / International Journal of Universal Pharmacy and Bio Sciences, 2013; 2(4) / ISSN: 2319-8141
Nematicidal Activity of some Sri Lankan Plants / ULB Jayasinghe, BMM Kumarihamy, AGD Bandara, EA Vasquez, W Kraus / Natural Product Research, 2003; 17(4) / DOI: 10.1080/1057563021000060121
In silico molecular docking and ADME/T Analysis of some selected compounds of Lepisanthes tetraphylla (Vahl) Radlk against type 2 diabetes mellitus / Sudha Kesavarthini P, Rani S, Vishwanath BA / IJBPAS: International Journal of Biology, Pharmacy and Allied Sciences, 2020; 9(8): pp 1963-1970 / ISSN: 2277-4998
Lepisanthes tetraphylla / India Biodiversity Portal

DOI: 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. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants

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