Bayag-usa is a tree reaching a height of up to 3 meters.
Leaves are simple, opposite, oblong-elliptic; dark green in the upper
surface and pale beneath. Flowers are creamy white and showy. Fruit
comes in pairs, brownish, 3 to 5 centimeters in diameter. Seeds are embedded
in the pulp.
- Endemic to the Philippines.
- In secondary forests and
thickets at lower elevations.
- Sometimes ornamentally cultivated for its flowers.
- Preliminary phytochemical screening of leaves yielded alkaloids, saponins, 2-deoxysugars, and hydrolyzable tannins. (see study below) (10)
- A bioassay-guided purification yielded
Globospiramine (1), a new spirobisindole alkaloid possessing an Aspidosperma-Aspidosperma skeleton, together with deoxyvobtusine (2), deoxyvobtusine lactone (3), vobtusine lactone (4) and lupeol (5). (see study below) (11)
- Studies have suggested anti-tumor, antimycobacterial, and anticholinesterase properties.
- In Bataan, used in the treatment of ulcers, wounds, and tumors. (9)
- Fruit used as antidote for food poisoning. (8)
- Pounded fruits used to stupefy eels. (6)
A study reports nine of 35 tree species tested had positive anticancer
activity. Voacanga globosa was added to the list of trees with anticancer
substances based on a report on actual remission and inhibition of induced
• Alkaloids / Tabernaemontanine:
Further studies on the alkaloids of Voacanga globosa (Blanco) Merrill
Isolation and characterization of tabernaemontanin.
• Anticancer: Study of medicinal plants in the Philippines lists nine of 35 tree species to possess anticancer activity, including Voacanga globosa, with anticancer substances based on remission and inhibition of induced cell division.
• Anti-Colon Cancer / Apoptosis: Study evaluated the cytotoxic and pro-apoptotic activity of fractions of leaves on HCT116 human colon carcinoma and A549 human lung carcinoma cell lines. Results showed the MP3 fraction exerted cytotoxic activity on HCT116 cells via induction of apoptosis triggered by loss of mitochondrial membrane potential crucial for cell survival.
• Antibacterial / Antifungal / Antiprotozoal / Leaves: Study evaluated ethanol extracts of leaves of Voacanga globosa for cytotoxicity and for activity against bacteria, fungus, and protozoa.
Results showed antibacterial activity against Staph aureus, Bacillus cereus, P. aeruginosa, Micrococcus luteus, and Salmonella typhimurium; antifungal assay showed inhibition of Candida albicans; antiprotozoal assay showed activity against Trichomonas vaginalis and Entamoeba histolytica. (10)
• Antimycobacterial / Anticholinesterase: Bioassay-guided
purification yielded globospiramine, a new spirobisindole alkaloid, together with deoxyvobtusine, deoxyvobtusine lactone, vobtusine lactone, and lupeol. Globospiramine exhibited potent antituberculosis activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis H(37)Rv. The bisondole alkaloids also showed promising anticholinesterase activity. (11)
• Cytotoxicity Screening of Alkaloids / Leaves: Study evaluated the cytotoxic activity of alkaloids from T. pandacaqui and Voacanga globosa leaves using Brine Shrimp Lethality Assay.
The alkaloid content of the extracts were quantified as milligrams of Vincristine Sulfate Equivalent (mg VSE) using Bromocresol Green Assay. VG yielded an alkaloid content of 105.3 mg VSE translating to a yield of 0.527%, with a LC50 value of 40.8 ppm. Results warramt further investigation for cytotoxic action with potential use in cancer chemotherapy. (12)