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Family Euphorbiaceae

Chinese croton
Excoecaria cochinchinensis Lour.
FIRESTORM

Ji wei su

Scientific names Common names
Excoecaria bicolor Lour. Firestorm (Engl.)
Excoecaria bicolor var, purpurascens Pax & K. Hoffm. Chinese croton (Engl.)
Excoecaria bicolor (Hassk.) Zoll. ex Hassk.  
Excoecaria cochinchinensis Lour.  
Excoecaria quadrangularis Mull.Arg.  
Excoecaria cochinchinensis Lour. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Ji wei su.
INDIA: Tsillay cheddie, Tilay cheddey.
INDONESIA: Ki sambang, Daun remek daging, Sambang daging.
MALAYSIA: Buta-buta, Bebuta, Daun sambang, Sambang merah, Sambang darah.
THAILAND: Ka buea, Kamlang krabue, Kra bue chet tua, Lin krabue, Bai thong dae.
VIETNAM: Cay leiodo.



Botany
Excoecaria cochinchinensis is a shrub that grows to a height of 2 meters. Leaves are alternate, oblong, acuminate, up to 15 centimeters long and 5 centimeters wide, bright green above and crimson red below. Flowers are small and greenish.

Distribution
- Recently introduced to the Philippines.
- Garden cultivation; easy indoor growth.
- Native to China and Japan.

Constituents
Study of stems and roots of Excoecaria cochinchinensis var. viridis yielded 8 compounds: shikimic acid, 1-cyclohexane-1-carboxylic acid-5-hydroxy-3,4-isopropylidene-dioxy, oxy-bis(5-methylene-2-furaldehyde), beta-sitosterol, tetracosanoic acid, steric acid and hentriacontane. (2)
Study of extract of leaves and twigs isolated three new highly oxygenated diterpenoids. (1)
Study of leaves yielded two compounds: gallic acid and ellagic acid. An ethyl acetate extract of leaves yielded two flavonols: kaempferol 7-0-glycoside and kaempferol. (9)

Properties
• Considered anti-parasitic, antipruritic, haemostatic, antimicrobial, uteretonic.

Uses
Folkloric
• No known folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
• In Indonesia, decoction of leaves used for dysentery. Juice squeezed out of boiled leaves used for hematemesis. Roots used for post-partum hemorrhage. Decoction of roots considered abortifacient, and use not recommended during pregnancy. In India, decoction of leaves used for epilepsy. (6)
• Used in folk medicine for itching, furuncles, and allergies.

Studies
Cytotoxicity / Anti-Cancer: In a study of 120 plant extracts from 29 Indonesian plants tested in vitro cytotoxicity in cultured human lung, colon and stomach cancer cells, five extracts derived from E alba and Excoecaria cochinchinensis displayed potent cell-line selective cytotoxicity. (5)
Chemical Constituents: Study of stems and roots yielded 8 compounds: shikimic acid, 1-cyclohexane-1-carboxylic acid-5-hydroxy-3,4-isopropylidene-dioxy, oxy-bis(5-methylene-2-furaldehyde), beta-sitosterol, tetracosanoic acid, steric acid and hentriacontane. (2)
Antimicrobial / Anti-Acne: Study showed the ethanolic and water extracts of E cochinchinensis to be effective against S aureus and Propionibacterium acnes. The water extract also showed outstanding activity against clindamycin resistant S aureus. Phytochemical analysis showed tannin and phenolic compounds. The study was looking for data for the development of anti-acne products from natural plant extracts. (3)
Megastigmane Glucosides / Excoecariosides: Study isolated two new megastigmane glucosides – excoecariosides A and B – from the leaves together with seven known compounds. (4)
Aldose Reductase Inhibitory Activity: Aldose reductase (AR) is a key enzyme in the polyol pathway, playing an important role in the pathogenesis of diabetic complications such as cataract formation. In a study of 49 Vietnam herbal medicines, Excoecaria cochinchinensis (aerial parts) is one of seven plants that exhibited significant inhibitory activity against aldose reductase. (7)
Uterotonic Activity / Daphnane and Tigliane Factors: Latex of Excoecaria bicolor yielded four fractions highly enriched in diterpene esters., acetone extract and EA fraction yielded daphnane and tigliane (diterpene esters). Daphnane type esters are currently in routine use in China for fertility regulation. Daphnane and tigiiane type Excoecaria factors present in the latex of E. bicolor may be responsible for the uterotonic activity of leaves used in Thai herbal medicine. (8)
Aldose Reductase Inhibition / Aerial Parts: Aldose reductase is a key enzyme in the polyol pathway involved in the pathologic pathway of cataract formation. In a study of 49 Vietnam herbal medicines for in vitro aldose reductase inhibitory activities, 7 herbal medicines, including E. cochinchinensis aerial parts exhibited significant inhibitory activity against aldose reductase.
(10)

Availability
Wild-crafted.

Last Update March 2015

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
Three New Highly Oxygenated Diterpenoids from Excoecaria cochinchinensis Lour. / Jin-Hua Yang et al / Helvetica Chimica Acta, Vol 88 Issue 5, Pages 968 - 973 / DOI 10.1002/hlca.200590090
(2)
Studies on the chemical constituents of Excoecaria cochinchinensis Lour. var. viridis Merr. / Xie J M et al / Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 1989 May;14(5):292-4, 319.
(3)
ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY OF HERBAL EXTRACTS ON STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS AND PROPIONIBACTERIUM ACNES / P Leelapornpisid et al / Acta Hort. (ISHS) 679:97-104
(4)
New Megastigmane Glucosides from Excoecaria cochinchinensis LOUR. var. cochinchinensis / Giang Phan Minh et al / Chem Pharm Bull, VOL.53;NO.12;PAGE.1600-1603 (J-STAGE)(2005)
(5)
Evaluation of Cytotoxic Potential of Indonesian Medicinal Plants in Cultured Human Cancer Cells / Park, Go-Woo Ni et al / Natural Product Sciences / v.8, no.4, 2002, pp.165-169
(6)
Exoecaria cochinchinensis / Vernacular names and traditional uses / GLOBinMED
(7)
Screening of Inhibitory Effect on Aldose Reductase of Vietnam Herbal Medicines (Ⅱ) [dec2008 / Lee YM, Kim JM, Kim YS, Jang DS, Kim JH, Bae KH, Kim JS / Korea Agricultural Science Digital Library
(8)
Medicinal plants of euphorbiaceae occurring and utilized in thailand. V. Skin irritants of the daphnane and tigliane type in latex of Excoecaria bicolor and the uterotonic activity of the leaves of the tree / C. Karalai, P. Wiriyachitra, B. Sorg andE. Hecker* / Phytotherapy Research, Volume 9, Issue 7, pages 482–488, November 1995 / DOI: 10.1002/ptr.2650090704
(9)
Isolation of Flavonoids from Excoecaria cochinchinensis Lour. var. cochinchinensis / Nguyen Thi An / Journal of Medicinal Materials - Hanoi 2003; 8(4) : 103-107
(10)
Screening of Inhibitory Effect on Aldose Reductase of Vietnam Herbal Medicines (Ⅱ) [dec2008] / Lee YM, Kim JM, Kim YS,Jang DS,Kim JH, Bae KH, and Kim JS / AGRIS: International Information System for the Agricultural Science and Technology


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