Berba is a fast growing tree reaching a height of about 5 m with a straight, slim trunk supporting a densely branched pyramidal crown. Bark is dark brown, smooth, which exudes a sticky yellowish sap when wounded. Leaves are opposite, short-petioled, thick, leathery, elliptic or elliptic-lanceolate, 8-15 cm long and 1-5 cm wide, or larger, with numerous lateral veins, conspicuous on both surfaces, bright red when young, becoming dark green above, pale green or brownish on the underside. Flowers are small, greenish white or ivory colored, densely clustered below the leaves, 4-petaled, the male with 25-30 stamens; female flowers are solitary or occasionally in clusters. Fruit is oval or oblong, 2-3.2 cm long, smooth, orange or yellow, with thin and easily peeled skin; one- or two-seeded with a white edible but scant pulp, with an appealing sweet and sour flavor.
- Native range is Central Mexico to Ecuador.
- Propagated by seeds.
- Cultivated sporadically throughout the tropics.
- Study of leaves yielded active components, the polyisoprenylated benzophenone derivative guttiferone A and the xanthone 8-desoxygartanin with biflavonoids podocarpusflavone A and amentoflavone, and friedelin. (3)
- Study of fruits yielded guttiferone A, gutti8feronne E, xanthochymol, Fukugetin, volkensiflavone, and fukugeside. (see study below) (4)
- Guttiferone Am 8-desoxygartanin, podoscarpusflavone A, amentoflavone, and friedelin have bee identified in the leaves.
- Fruiting may occur in as early as two years.
- Studies have suggested antioxidant, antiproliferative, trypanocidal properties.
- Fruit is edible with an appealing sweet and sour taste.
- Fruit can be used for making jams, jellies, and drinks.
- In Benguet, Cordillera administrative region, fruit use in the treatment of flu.
- Wood: Termite resistant. Used for light construction, making fence posts, tool handles and temporary
railroad ties. Bark is rich in tannin.
• Phytoconstituents / Trypanocidal Activity / Leaves: Study evaluated the leaves of Garcinia intermedia and heartwood of Calophyllum brasiliense for phytoconstituents based on their trypanocidal activity against epimastigotes of Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiologic agent for Chagas disease. Garcinia intermedia yielded active components, the polyisoprenylated benzophenone derivative guttiferone A and the xanthone 8-desoxygartanin with biflavonoids podocarpusflavone A and amentoflavone, and friedelin. (3)
• Antioxidant / Antiproliferative Against Colon Cancer Cells / Fruits: Study of fruits yielded guttiferone A, gutti8feronne E, xanthochymol, Fukugetin, volkensiflavone, and fukugeside. The antioxidant activity of guttiferone A on DPPH assay showed an IC50 of 46 µM. The antiproliferative effect of guttiferone against colon cancer cells (HT-29) was IC50 15.8 µM. (4)
• Garcinia Benzophenones / Inhibition of Human Colon Cancer Cells / Synergism with Sulindac and Turmeric: Previous studies have showed extracts and purified components from Garcinia species inhibit the growth of human colon cancer cells. Garcinia benzophenones activate the expression of genes in the endoplastic reticulum and cellular energy stress (mTOR) pathways. Study evaluated the growth inhibitory and synergistic effects of Garcinia benzophenones, alone or combined with chemopreventive agents, on human colon cancer cells. New and known benzophenones from G. intermedia inhibited the growth of human colon cancer cells. Studies indicate the potential of benzophenones, alone or combined with sulindac sulfide or turmeric, to prevent and treat colon cancer. (6)
• Benzophenones and Biflavonoids / Antioxidant / Fruits: A methanol extract exhibited low antioxidant activity (IC50=118.1 ±0.94 µg/mL) in DPPH assay. The chloroform and ethyl acetate partition exhibited high activity, (23.4±1.28 µg/ml and 41.4±3.66 µg/ml respectively. The n-butanol partition showed moderate activity (68.0 ± 1.41 µg/ml). Guttiferone E, isoxanthochymol, fukugetin and volkensflavone have been previously isolated. The antioxidant activity of these compounds have previously been reported, except for guttiferone A with IC50=46 µM, which is comparable to gallic acid (IC50=35µM). (7)