Iba is a small, smooth, deciduous
tree growing to a height of 4 to 9 meters. Branches are thickened with
nodules in the axils of the fallen leaves. Leaves are unequally pinnate,
crowded at the ends of the branches, 20 to 40 centimeters long. Leaflets are alternate,entire,
oblong-ovate, 2 to 7 centimeters long. Flowers are pink, small, and crowded in many-flowered fascicles
along the racemes. Male and female flowers are usually on separate plants. Fruit is fleshy, acidic, edible, greenish white, rounded,
1 to 1.5 centimeters diameter, angled, with a hard, bony, 6- to 8-grooved, 3-
or 4-celled stone, each cell with a single seed.
- Planted in most parts
of the Philippines for its acid, edible fruit, but nowhere abundant.
- Of prehistoric introduction.
- Also occurs in India to Malaya and Polynesia.
- Introduced in tropical America.
- Fruit contains dextrose 0.33 per cent, levulose 1 percent, and saccharose.
- 18 % tannin is reported in the root-bark, with saponin and gallic acid.
- Study isolated active constituents from the roots: phyllanthusols A
- Food value per 100 g of edible portion: Moisture, 91.9 g; protein, 0.155 g; fat, 0,52 g; fiber, 0.8 g;
ash, 0.51 g; calcium 5.4 mg; phosphorus, 17.9 mg; iron, 3.25 mg, carotene, 0.019 mg; thiamine, 0.025 mg; riboflavin, 0.013 mg, niacin, 0.292 mg; ascorbic acid, 4.6 mg. (6)
- Studies have isolated phyllantusols A and B,and aglycon.
- Phytochemical screening of root bark yielded carbohydrates, saponins, and tannins.
(see study below) (12)
- Phytochemical screening of leaf extract yielded
alkaloids, flavonoids, steroids, and phenols, with an absence of terpenoids, anthroquinone, saponin and tannin. (see study below) (13)
- HPLC analysis of bark extracts yielded known antioxidant molecules viz. gallic acid, ellagic acid, coumaric acid, hydoxyl benzoic acid, rutin, quercetin, myrcetin and lutolin. (see study below) (31)
- Acetone extract of fruit yielded flavonoids, tannins, phlobatannin, saponin, terpenoids and glycosides. (see study below) (36)
- Study isolated 19 new highly oxygenated norbisabolane sesquiterpenoids, phyllanthacidoid acid methyl esters (1), C-T (4-21) and two known phyllanthusols A (2) and B (3). (see study below) (40)
- Fruit is acid and astringent.
- Root is purgative.
- Juice of root bark
is weakly poisonous. (21)
- Seed is cathartic.
- Leaves are diaphoretic, mucilaginous and demulcent.
- Studies have shown antibacterial, antinematodal, antitumor, antioxidant, hepatoprotective, diuretic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory properties.
Leaves, seeds, bark, roots.
- Unripe fruit is cooked
and used as a sour flavoring.
- Can be pickled or made into jams and jellies.
- Young leaves are cooked as greens.
- Decoction of leaves is
used externally for urticaria, the fruit given at the same time to eat.
- Decoction of the bark used for bronchial catarrh.
- Some believe the roots to be poisonous, but the Malays boil it for steam
inhalation in use for coughs.
- In Java, root infusion used for asthma.
- In Borneo, used with pepper
- Poultice of leaves for lumbago and sciatica.
- Root used for psoriasis.
- Used in chronic liver diseases.
- Decoction of leaves is diaphoretic.
- Leaves used for gonorrhea.
- In Burma, fruits are eaten to promote appetite ; sap swallowed to induce vomiting and relieve bowel costiveness. In Indonesia, leaves are used as counterirritant in sciatica and lumbago. In Malaysia, vapors from boiling of roots inhaled for coughs and headache. (11)
- In Bangladesh used for skin diseases - eczema, abscesses, acne, etc.
- In India, fruits are taken as liver
tonic. Leaves, with pepper, are poulticed for sciatica, lumbago or rheumatism.
Leaves taken as demulcent for gonorrhea.
- In Maharashtra, India, decoction
of seeds used twice daily for asthma and bronchitis.
- In Malaya, root infusion, in small
doses, taken for asthma. The root is used for foot psoriasis.
- Latex is emetic and purgative. (37)
- Tanning: In India, bark used as tanning agent. (21)
- Wood: Used for fuel. Also, for making small utensils. (21)
- Poison: Plant extract used as nematicidal against pine wood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus. Juice of root bark is weakly poisonous. (37)
Cystic Fibrosis: An
extract from the medicinal plant Phyllanthus acidus and its isolated
compounds induce airway chloride secretion : A potential treatment for
cystic fibrosis: Previous studies have reported that flavonoids and
nutraceuticals correct electrolyte transport defects in cystic fibrosis.
Study showed no cytotoxic effects of P. acidus. The effects on epithelial
transport suggests a potential novel complementary nutraceutical treatment
for CF lung disease. (2)
• Antibacterial: Antibacterial
properties of tropical plants from Puerto Rico:
In the study, Phyllanthus acidus was one of the plants that showed the
highest antibacterial activity against E coli and Staphylococcus aureus. (3)
Methanolic extracts of 79 Malaysian plants were assessed
for antinematodal activity against Bursaphelenchus xylophilus. Cicca
acida showed strong antinematodal activity. (4)
• Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory / Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated leaves extracts showed significant dose-dependent anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities. Extracts also showed significant antioxidant activity correlating with the flavonoids and phenolic compounds content. (8) Study of PA leaves extract showed significant the analgesic (acetic acid induced writhing method, formalin induced paw licking, tail immersion and eddy's hot plate methods) and anti-inflammatory (carrageenan induced hind paw edema) potential of ethanolic extract of PA leaves on Swiss albino mice. (33)
• Diuretic / Leaves: Study evaluated the diuretic effect of an ethanol extract of P. acidus leaves in female Wistar rats. Results showed a significant diuretic and saluretic effect at doses of 22.5, 45, and 90 mg/kbw compared to control, but significantly less than furosemide 3.6 mg/kbw. (10)
• Antioxidant / Cytotoxicity / Root Bark: Study showed free radical scavenging activity on DPPH assay. Brine shrimp lethality assay showed an LC50 of 35.48 µg/ml. (see constituents above) (12)
• Antimicrobial / Leaf: Study of leaf extract showed antimicrobial activity. The presence of alkaloids in the solvent fractions may correlate with the antimicrobial activities. (see constituents above) (13)
• Hepatoprotective / Carbon Tetrachloride Toxicity / Antioxidant: Phyllanthus acidus and silymarin exhibited significant hepatoprotective effect as evidenced by enzyme parameters. Study also showed remarkable DPPH scavenging activity. The hepatoprotective effect of P. acidus against CCl4-induced oxidative damage may be related to its antioxidant and free radical scavenging potentials. (14)
• Hepatoprotective / Acetaminophen Mediated Hepatic Injury / Fruit: An ethanolic extract of fruit showed hepatoprotective activity against APAP-induced hepatotoxicity likely mediated through the inhibition of P450-mediated APAP bioactivation, free radical scavenging and antioxidant activities. (15)
• Cytotoxic and Anti-Tumor Activity / Leaf: Study evaluated the cytotoxic and anti-tumor activity of an EA extract of leaves. Results showed significant in vitro cytotoxic activity against Hep G2 and DLA cell lines. The anti-tumor activity using DLA cell line induced solid tumor model in Swiss albino mice showed significant reduction of tumor volume. (16 )
• Antimicrobial Synergism / Anti-Tubercular: Study evaluated the synergistic antimicrobial and anti-tubercular activities of methanol extract of P. acidus. The extract was used in combination with oxytetracycline. Results showed a broad antimicrobial activity spectrum for possible use in antiseptic and disinfectant formulations. The anti-tubercular activity was compared with standard drug Rifampicin. (17)
• Remedial Effect on Bleomycin Provoked Pneumopathy: Study investigated the salubrious role of P. acidus against bleomycin provoked pneumopathy in a rat model. Results suggest P. acidus has curative effects in Bleomycin induced pulmonary fibrosis. (18)
• Inhibition of Platelet Aggregation / Enhanced Phagocytic Function / Folk Wisdom Boiled Herb Concoction: Study evaluated the effects of a boiled herb concoction (folk wisdom boiled herb) of Phyllanthus amarus, Phyllanthus acidus, and Pandanus amaryllifolius on neutrophil, RBC, and platelet functions. Results showed the folk wisdom boiled herb extract could enhance phagocytic cell function and inhibit platelet aggregation. (19)
• Phamacologic Activities / Pulp: Study evaluated a methanolic extract of P. acidus pulp for pharmacological activities. Results showed: (1) Significant hypoglycemic activity (p<0.05) by glucose tolerance test. (2) Anti-diarrheal activity by castor oil induced diarrhea inhibition method showed inhibition of defecation. (3) Significant analgesic activity (p<0.05) by Tail-immersion method, and (4) Good CNS anesthetic activity in experimental animal. (23)
• Hepatoprotective / Acetaminophen and Thioacetamide Mediated Hepatic Injury / Leaves: Study of crude ethanolic extract and aqueous extracts of leaves showed hepatoprotective activity against acetaminophen (APAP) and thioacetamide-induced hepatotoxicity. The aqueous extract showed more potency than the ethanolic extract and also showed better DPPH radical scavenging potential than the ethanolic extract. The hepatoprotective activity may be attributable to high phenolic and flavonoid content and antioxidant properties. (24)
• Immunopharmacologic Activities / Aerial Parts:Study
of a methanolic extract of aerial parts for anti-inflammatory activity using LPS-treated macrophages, HVl/EtOH induced gastritis model and acetic-acid-injected capillary permeability mouse model. Results showed anti-inflammatory activity in vitro and in vivo by suppressing Src, Syk, and their downstream transcription factor, NF-kB. (25)
• Antibacterial / Cytotoxic / Antioxidant / Fruit: Study of a methanolic extract of fruit
showed antibacterial activity with moderate to good zones of inhibition against B. megaterium, B. subtils, S. typhi, ad S. dysenteriae. It showed good results on brine shrimp cytotoxicity assay with LC50 of 4.46 µg/ml and LC90 of 70.79 µg/ml. It showed good dose dependent antioxidant activity with DPPH IC50 of 2063.42 µg/ml compared to ascorbic acid of 52 µg/ml. (26) Study evaluated fruit extracts of P. acidus or antioxidant and antibacterial activities. At higher concentration, a crude extract showed moderate to good inhibition of E. coli and P. aeruginosa. Phenolic content was 122.22 mg/g GAE and flavonoid content was 163.15 mg/g quercetin equivalent. DPPH radical scavenging activity increased with concentration with IC50 of 7.31 µg/mL compared to ascorbic acid IC50 of 8.65 µg/ml. (see constituents above) (36)
• Cholinesterase Inhibitory / Neuroprotective / Antioxidant / Fruit: Study of methanolic extract of fruit revealed considerable amount of antioxidant activity and anti-acetycholinesterase and anti-butyrlcholinesterase activity suggests a potential for use in Alzheimer's disease and neurodegenerative disorders. The ME showed considerable total antioxidant activity and reducing capacity. (27)
• Enzymatic Extraction
of Star Gooseberry juice with High Antioxidant Level / Fruit: Study evaluated Pectibex Ultra SP-L preparation with preparation with pectinase activity was used in extraction of star gooseberry juice. Application of pectinase preparation to fruit juice extract was potential for improvement of antioxidant level of the product. (28)
• Antioxidant / Leaf and Fruit: Study
evaluated the antioxidant value of P. acidus leaf and fruit methanolic extract. Results showed moderate to good antioxidant activity. On DPPH assay, there was 13.85% inhibition in leaf methanol and 12.2% inhibition in fruit methanol. Ascorbic acid standard was 12.03. (29)
• Neuroprotective / Memory and Learning Impairment: Study evaluated the neuroprotective effect of methanolic extract of PA on learning and memory impairment in scopolamine-induced dementia and oxidative stress in rats using EMP, PA, and NOR tests and various antioxidant enzyme values. Results showed neuroprotective effect as via improvement in cognitive functions and reduction of oxidative stress as evidenced by increase in brain antioxidant enzymes and decrease in lipid peroxidation and acetylcholinesterase activity. Results suggest potential for use in enhancing learning, memory, antioxidant potentiality and anti-acetylcholinesterase activity in neurodegenerative disorders like AD. (30)
• Antioxidant / Bark: Study evaluated P. acidus bark for antioxidant activity. Results showed high phenolic content of 152.12 ± 0.079 µg/mg (PAE) and 219.81 ± 0.19 µg/mg (PAA) gallic acid equivalent. The extracts scavenged >90% of ABTS radicals at low concentrations. Extracts showed potential electro catalytic effect during during electro chemical oxidation of dopamine. (see constituents above) (31)
• Anticancer Activity / MCF-7 and SSC-40 Cancer Cell Lines
/ Leaves: Study evaluated the cytotoxic potential of various extracts of PA leaves against two human cancer cell lines. SRB assay showed a chloroform plant extract showed maximum anti-cancer properties against both Human Breast Cancer (MCF-7) and Human Oral Cancer (SSC-40) cell lines. Results suggest a potential candidate for anti-neoplastic drug development. (32)
• Hypolipidemic / Leaves: Study of leaves of P. acidus showed hypolipidemic activity in hypercholesterolemic diet fed rats. (34) Study evaluated the effects of ethanolic extract of ceremai leaves (P. acidus) on malondialdehyde (MDA) levels and heparhistopathology of hypercholesterolemic rats. Results showed reduction of malondialdehyde and improvement of histopathology of hepar after therapy. Study suggests leaves have potential use in hypercholesterolemia therapy. (38)
• Antioxidant / Cytotoxic / Fruits: Study evaluated fruit extract of P. acidus for antioxidant and cytotoxic activity. A water extract showed high antioxidant activity with IC50 of 26.06 µg/mL. Brine shrimp lethality assay showed LC50 ranging from 473.26 to 908.98 µg/mL, with water extract showing lowest value. (35)
• Hepatoprotective / Inhibition of Macrophage Function: Study evaluated the molecular mechanism of P. acidus methanolic extract on AP-1 activation pathway and its hepatoprotective potential. The Pa-ME significantly suppressed the production of LPS-induced pro-inflammatory cytokines and strongly inhibited activator protein (AP-1) activation and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphorylation in LPS- stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages cells and U937 monocyte like human cell line. Results suggest a potential ethnopharmacological role as hepatoprotective herbal remedy via suppression of MAKP signaling and activity of downstream transcription factor AP-1. (39)
• Anti-Hepatitis B Virus Norbisabolane Sesquiterpenoids: Study isolated 19 new highly oxygenated norbisabolone sesquiterpenoids together with two known phyllanthusols (A and B). Compounds 1-5, 7-9, 10 and 14 displayed potential anti-hepatitis B virus (HBV) activities, with IC50 of 0.8-36 µM against HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) and HBV excreted antigen (HBeAg). (see constituents above) (40)
Juice of the root-bark
is used as poison to produce headache, sleepiness, abdominal pains,
and sometimes, death.