Halubagat-baging is a climbing
and spiny shrub, growing to a height of 3 or more meters. Leaves
and branches are hairy. Spines are short, sharp, recurved and
subtending each leaf or branch. Leaves are oblong to oblong-ovate,
8 to 17 centimeters long, leathery, shiny, with a rounded base, pointed at the tip. Flowers are seriately arranged
in vertical lines above the axils, usually 3 to each axil,
pedicels 2 to 3 cm long. Sepals are pale green, 1 centimeter long. Petals
are pink turning to purple, oblong to ovate, 1.5 centimeter long. Fruit
is fleshy, ovoid or rounded, smooth, bright red when ripe, 4 to 5 centimeters in diameter, with a thin, somewhat stony rind. Pulp is whitish, transparent, sweet, with a fairly good flavor, and with numerous seeds.
- Common in thickets,
secondary forests at low and medium altitudes from northern Luzon to Mindanao.
- Also occurs in Burma, Thailand, and Indo-China to the Malay Peninsula and Archipelago.
- Phytochemical screening of C. zeylanica yielded saponins, p-hydroxybenzoic, syringic, vanillic, ferrulic, and p-coumanic acids. Leaves and seeds have yielded b-carotene, thioglycoside, glycocapparin, n-tricortane, a-amyrin and fixed oil.
Root bark yielded an alkaloid, a phytosterol, and a mucilaginous substance.
- Preliminary phytochemical screening of an alcoholic extract yielded
sterols, alkaloids, carbohydrates, saponins, and flavonoids. (see study below) (16)
- Root extract yielded phenolic compounds (43.625 ± 1.45 mg/g of dry extract), total tannins (24.75 ± 1.23 mg/g DE), total flavonols (1.653 ± 1.41 rutin equivalents/g DE), total flavonoids (0.876 ± 0.26 mg/g rutin/g of DE), saponins (1.22 ± 1.35 mg/g DE) and fatty acids (0.0867 ± 0.01 mg/g of dry extract). (see study below)
- Ethanol and water extracts of roots yielded phenolic compounds, tannins, flavonols, alkaloids, saponins and flavonoids. (see study below) (22)
- Leaves are
counter-irritant and slightly stomachic.
- Root-bark is considered analgesic, anthelmintic, aperient, depurative, diuretic, sedative, stomachic, antihidrotic.
- Plant is used as stimulant and antiscorbutic.
- Fruit considered rubifacient.
- Pulp is edible.
- Fruit and immature flower buds are pickled.
- Tender young shots and immature leaves eaten as vegetable.
- In the Philippines' Rizal Province, decoction of roots used in gastralgia and as uterine tonic after childbirth.
- Decoction of root-bark used for vomiting, abdominal pain, gastric irritation, and for improving the appetite.
- Used for treatment of asthma and breast pains.
- Also used for excessive perspiration.
- Leaves also used to improve the appetite.
- Leaves used as cataplasm
for boils, swelling and hemorrhoids.
- In Cambodia, roots and bark considered diuretic.
- Wood used for bronchitis and ulceration of the mucous membranes of the nose.
- In India, traditionally used as antidote for snake bites, for testicular swellings, small pox, boils, cholera, colic, neuralgia, sores, pneumonia, and pleurisy.
- In Madras, decoction of leaves used for syphilis.
- Root-bark used as sedative, stomachic, and antihidrotic; leaves are slightly stomachic.
- In Nagpur, bark mixed with native spirits used for cholera.
- Plant decoction used for vaginal thrush.
- Poultice of leaves used externally for gout.
- In India, leaves are used as counter-irritant, febrifuge, and as cataplasm in swellings, boils, and piles.
- In Tamil Nadu,India, root bark is ground with water, boiled, and drunk to treat indigestion. (27)
• Immunomodulatory Effects: A study to investigate the immunomodulatory activity of ethanolic and water extracts of C zeylanica showed a significant increase in neutrophil adhesion to nylon fibers and an augmentation of humoral immune response to sheep RBC evidenced by a dose-related increase in both primary and secondary antibody titers in mice. Extracts also prevented myelosuppression in mice treated with with cyclophosphamide. (2)
• Immunomodulatory Effects: Oral administration of an ethyl acetate fraction and n-butanol fraction of Capparis zeylanica showed an ability to modulate both cell mediated and humoral components of the immune system.(6)
• Analgesic / Antipyretic / Phytochemicals: A study showed dose-dependent and significant increases in pain threshold in the tail-immersion test. Both extracts showed a dose-dependent inhibition of writhing and a significant inhibition of both phases of the formalin pain test. Phytochemical testing yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, saponin glycosides, terpenoids, tannins, proteins and carbohydrates. (3)
• Antimicrobial / Roots: Study of various extracts of roots showed antimicrobial activity against B subtilis, S aureus, B pumilus, E coli, P vulgaris. None of the extracts showed antifungal activity. (4)
• Free Radical Scavenging / Antioxidant Potential: Study of in vitro antioxidant potential of fractions of the methanolic extract of aerial parts of C zeylanica showed the butanol fraction with more scavenging activity than other fractions, comparable to ascorbic acid. (5)
• Gastroprotective / Anti-Ulcer: Study of the anti-ulcer activity of methanolic extract of leaves of C. zeylanica on aspirin- plus pylorus ligation-induced gastric ulcer in rats, HCl-ethanol induced ulcer in mice and indomethacin-induced ulcer in rats showed a significant anti-ulcer activity in all models. (7)
• Antipyretic: Methanolic extract of C. zeylanica showed significant dose-dependent antipyretic activity in rats. (8)
• Anti-Aggressive Activity: Study evaluated an ethanolic extract of root for circumvention of aggression in an animal model. Aggression can occur when a disturbance occurs in the fine balance of neurotransmitters such as 5-HT, GABA, dopamine,, and receptor subtypes. Results showed the extract minimized aggression dose-dependently in validated models of aggression. There was promising anti-aggressive activity qualitatively comparable to that of diazepam. (11)
• Anticonvulsant Activity / Toxicity Study: Study evaluated ethanol extracts of root in animal models of epilepsy. The extract was found to be non-toxic up to the recommended dose of 2000 mg KBW. In various induced-seizure models the extract exhibited anticonvulsant effect comparable to antiepileptic drugs Diazepam and Phenytoin. (12)
• Antidiarrheal: Study evaluated the methanolic extract of leaves for antidiarrheal activity against castor oil-induced diarrhea and small intestine transit method on mice. Results showed a significant dose dependent decrease in severity of diarrhea. Loperamide was used as standard. (13)
• Nootropic / Effect on Spatial Learning and Memory: Study evaluated petroleum ether and methanol extract of leaves for effect on spatial learning and memory in rats. Results showed nootropic activity. The antioxidant property may contribute to the memory enhancement effect. (14)
• Neuropharmacological Depressant Effects: Study evaluated an alcoholic extract of C. zeylanica for neuropharmacological activities. The extract significantly and dose dependently decreased exploratory activity, spontaneous motor activity and swimming, climbing behavior in forced swimming test. At doses tested, it was devoid of memory impairment and neurotoxicity. (16)
• Sedative / Anxiolytic / Roots: Study confirmed the presence of stigmasterol and stachydrine in an ethanolic root extract. The root extract showed sedative and anxiolytic effects which may be due to constituents present and present a potential safe alternative in the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. (17)
• Antioxidant / Roots: Study of Capparis zeylanica extract in an in vivo study in rats showed significant dose dependent antioxidant activity in the DPPH test. The antioxidant activity of the extract at doses of 100 and 200 mg/kg were comparable to that of α-tocopherol (10 mg/kg). (see constituents above). (18) Study evaluated the antioxidant activity of extracts of dried root powder of C. zeylanica using DPPH and reducing power assays. Both extracts showed strong antioxidant activity, with the ethanolic extract showing better activity than the methanolic extract. (24)
• Antibacterial / Antifungal / Leaves: Study evaluated various extracts of leaves of Capparis zeylanica for antimicrobial activity. An ethyl acetate extract showed maximum inhibition against Vibrio fischeri and Salmonella paratyphi. An aqueous extract inhibited the growth of Tricophyton rubrum. (19)
• Anthelmintic / Roots: Study evaluated different root extracts of C. zeylanic for anthelmintic activity against Pheretima posthuma as test worms. Crude ethanolic extract and aqueous extracts showed significant paralysis and death of worms in a dose dependent manner. Reference drug was albendazole. (20)
• Wound Healing / Roots: Study evaluated a methanol extract of roots for wound healing potential in excision and incision wound models. In the incision model, 200 mg/kg showed pronounced healing properties in tested paratmeters, tensile strength and DNA content. In the excision model, a 2% concentration showed better healing when compared with povidone iodine ointment. (21)
• Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory / Antipyretic / Roots: Study evaluated ethanolic and water extracts in acute and chronic models of rats and mice. The extracts showed dose-dependent and significant (p<0.05) increases in pain threshold in tail-immersion testing. It showed dose-dependent inhibition of writhing and significant inhibition (p<0.05) of both phases of formalin induced pain. The alcoholic extract significantly (p<0.05) reversed yeast-induced fever. (22)
• E-Octadec-7-en-5-ynoic Acid / Subacute Toxicity Testing / Roots: Study of roots isolated a novel compound E-Octadec-7-en-5-ynoic acid from the chloroform extract of the roots. Subacute toxicity study in rats showed no adverse effect. (23)
• Anthelmintic / Comparative Activity of Seeds and Leaves: Study evaluated the comparative anthlemintic activity of crude hydroalcoholic extracts of leaves and seeds of C. zeylanica and its different fractions against Indian adult earthworm Pheretima posthuma. Results showed seeds crude hydroalcoholic extracts and chloroform and methanol fractions significantly showed paralysis and death of worms compared to standard reference Albendazole. (25)
• AChE Inhibitory Activity / Memory Enhancing Effect: Study evaluated the acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory and memory enhancing activities of Capparis zeylanica in in vitro and ex vivo models. Results showed methanolic and aqueous extracts of CZ improved scopolamine-induced memory deficits through inhibition of AChE activity, but not by direct MAO inhibition. (26)