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Family Pinaceae
Caribbean pine
Pinus caribaea Morelet
Gu ba song

Scientific subspecies Common names
Pinus caribaea Morelet Caribbean pine (Engl.)
Pinus caribaea var, anomala Rowlee Caribbean slash pine (Engl.)
Pinus caribaea var, caribaeae Cuban pine (Engl.)
Pinus recurvata Rowlee Pitch pine (Engl.)
Infraspecific taxa Pino de la costa (Span.)
Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis (Griseb.) Barrett & Golfari Yellow pine (Bahamas)
Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis (Senecl.) Barrett & Golfari  
Two species of the family Pinaceae common in the Mountain Province: (1) Benguet Pine, native to the Philippines, also known as Baguio pine, Pinus kesiya, Pinus insularis and (2) Cuban pine, Pinus carbaea, recenty introduced.
Pinus caribaea Morelet is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Gu ba song, Jia le bi song.
FRENCH: Pin des Caraïbes, Pin des Bahamas, Pin des îles Bahamas.
GERMAN: Karibische Kiefer.
JAPANESE: Karibea matsu.
POLISH: Sosna karaibska.
SPANISH: Pino tea.
TURKISH: Caribbean çamı

A fast-growing evergreen, coniferous tree growing to a height of 30 to 45 meters. Bole is straight with a diameter of 50 to 80 centimeters. Lower branches are large, horizontal and drooping, the upper branches are ascending to form a rounded pyramidal crown. Leaves are in fascicles of 3 to 5, glossy dark green, up to 30 centimeters long. Cones are conic-oblong, up to 15 centimeters long.

Recently introduced to the Philippines.
Found in the high altitude areas of the Mountain Province.
Occasionally cultivated in the lowlands where it thrives poorly.

• Crude leaf extracts showed resin characteristics with pH around 3.), attributable to phenolic acid.
• Bark yields procyanidins.
• GC-MS and CC analysis of fresh needles for essential oil yielded 44 constituents by hydrodistillation, largely dominated by monoterpene hydrocarbons (83.6%). Among the sesquiterpenes, there was an abundance of limonene (42.9%) and beta-phellandrene (24.4%), beta-caryphyllene (7.6%). (10)
• GC-MS and CC analysis of needles of P. caribaea yielded 39 compounds. The most abundant components were limonene (38.6%), α-pinene (27.6%), borneol (6.7%), and myrcene (3.5%). Aristolene, ledol, and guaiol were reported for the first time. (11)

Parts used
Leaves, bark, latex.

- Seeds are edible, raw or cooked.
- No recorded folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- Oil of turpentine: Obtained from the oleo-resin of all pine trees is antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, and vermifuge. Applied externally as liniment plasters and poultices or used as herbal steam baths and inhalers. (9)
- Leaf oil used for medicinal baths.
- Reforestation: In Sri Lanka, a reforestation was done with the tree in heavily eroded lands. It is the only species of tree successfully used to reforest barren, eroded, and denuded lands with tree cover. :(9)
- Oleoresin: Sapwood yields oleoresin, a pale yellow, clear and sticky mass, which on distillation yields gum rosin (75%) and turpentine (25%). Gum rosin is used in making paper, soap and glue; turpenstine is used in the pain and batik industries. :(9)
- Tannin: Bark yields tannin. :(9)
- Wood: Light to moderately heavy, moderately durable, susceptible to borer and termite attacks, but resistant to beetles and fungi. yields tannin. Limited construction use; suitable for turnery, toys, moulding, trim work, veneer, plywood, particle board, fiber board, etc. :(9)
- Adhesive: Bark yields wood adhesive.

Antioxidant / Antimutagenic: A study showed Pinus caribaea and C. citratus extracts were antigenotoxic suggesting antimutagenic components and activity unlike its antioxidant activity.
One of the plants extracts in a study to evaluate antimicrobial activity, Pinus caribaea showed moderate activity against Bacillus sp. (2)
Larvicidal / Aedes aegypti / Lignins:
Study evaluated the larvicidal activity of dried leaf extracts of Pinus caribaea against Aedes aegypti. Results showed the acetone extract to be the most active, and the larvicldal activity was associated with lignin concentration. (3)
Pulping Studies:
Study evaluated Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis and Pinus oocarpa for their potential as pulpwood species.
Caribaea yielded 45% and P. oocarpa yielded 46% of pulp with a kappa no of 40. All mechanical and thermo-mechanical pulps from these species were suitable for newsprint. (4)
Procyanidins / Anti-Cancer / Radical Scavenging Activity:
Study evaluated the biological activities of procyanidins from the bark of Pinus caribaea. Study showed strong radical scavenging activity using a DPPH assay. Study also showed a strong inhibitory effect of the bark procyanidins on promyelocytic cells HL-6), an effective inhibition on human adenocarcinoma cells BGC-823, and human hepatocellular carcinoma cells BEL-7402. (5)
Bark Tannins / Antigenotoxic Against Gamma-Rays:
Study evaluated the genotoxicity and antigenotoxicity of a tannin fraction from the bark of Pinus caribaea against gamma-rays. Results showed antigenotoxic activity against gamma-rays when in experimental E. coli cells were pre- or co-treated with the extracts, but no during post-irradiation treatment. (6)
Healing Effect on Aseptic Open Wound / Paste from Green Foliage:
Study evaluated the wound healing activity of chlorophyll carotene pases from green foliage of P. caribaea var. caribaea in wound wounds in rats. Results showed significant reduction in wound areas at 8 and 11 days, along with histological evidence of high percentage of wound healing in Phase II of the epidermis and dermis. Results were comparable to drugs from Rhizophora mangle. (6)
Activated Carbons / Sawdust:
Study has reported on the production of activated carbons from P. caribaea sawdust through use of CO2 and steam activating agents. (13)


Updated July 2020 / March 2013

                                                  PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE:Photo id: 71396 - Pinus caribaea / W.R. Mattoon - USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database - Not copyrighted image/ alterVISTA
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE:Photo id: 71400 - Pinus caribaea / Caption: A.G. Snow - USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database - Not copyrighted image / alterVISTA
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE:Páginas de Especies: Pinus caribaea / Foto por: O. Vargas / Datos de Colección #2525/ Click on image to go to source page / LA SELVA florula digital

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Usefulness of the SOS chromotest in the study of medicinal plants as radioprotectors
International journal of radiation biology ISSN 0955-3002 / 2006, vol. 82, no5, pp. 323-329
Efeito larvicida dos extratos de folhas secas de Pinus caribaea contra Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus, 1762) (Diptera: Culicidae) / Luiz Alberto KanisI; Rodrigo Damian AntonioI; Ériston Paes AntunesI; Josiane Somariva ProphiroII; Onilda Santos da SilvaII / Rev. Soc. Bras. Med. Trop. vol.42 no.4 Uberaba July/Aug. 2009 / http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0037-86822009000400003
Pulping studies of Pinus caribaea and Pinus oocarpa growing in Zimbabwe / RAD, Research for Development, 1982-1984
Biological activities of procyanidins from the bark of Pinus caribaea Morelet
/ Natural Product Research: Formerly Natural Product Letters, Volume 23, Issue 8, 2009 / Zhengge Zhanga, Xueyu Dua & Fei Wanga* / DOI: 10.1080/14786410802242984
Tannins from barks of Pinus caribaea protect Escherichia coli cells against DNA damage induced by gamma-rays. / Fuentes JL, Vernhe M, Cuetara EB, Sánchez-Lamar A, Santana JL, Llagostera M / Fitoterapia, 2006 Feb; 77(2): pg 116-20 / PubMed ID 16439067
Sorting Pinus names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher, / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / A Work in Progress / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne
Pinus caribaea Morelet / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
Pinus caribaeae / Synonyms / The Plant List
Pinus caribaea / Ken Fern: Tropical Plants Database / useful Tropical Plants
The Needle Oil of Pinus caribaea Morelet From Nigeria / Dorcas O Moronkola, Isiaka Ajani Ogunwande, Isaac Oyewole, Gulmira Ozek et al / Journal of Essential Oil Research, July 2009; 21(4): pp 342-344 / DOI:  10.1080/10412905.2009.9700186
Healing effect of Pinus caribaea var. caribaea paste on aseptic open wounds / Betty Mancebo Dorvigny, Luz Maria Sanchez Perera, Elena Cordero Machado et al / Revista Cubana de Plantas Medicinales, 2011; 16(1): pp 24-33 / Corpus ID: 74172665
Chemical composition of essential oils from Pinus caribaea Morelet needles / Kirima John Mary, Moses Okuta, Timothy Omara / French-Ukranian Journal of Chemistry, 2020; 8(1) / DOI https://doi.org/10.17721/fujcV8I1P142-148
POWDERED ACTIVATED CARBONS FROM PINUS CARIBAEA SAWDUST / F Marquez-Montesinos, T Cordero, J Rodriguez-Mirasol, J J Rodriguez / Separation Science and Technology, 2001; 36(14): pp 3191- 3206

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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