Genus name Plumiera derives from Charles Plumier, a distinguished French botanist.
Plumeria obtusa is a shrub or small tree growing up to 5 meters tall. Branches are thick, succulent, widely spaced, and covered with knobby protuberances. Stems and leaves yield a milky sap. Leaves are dark green, leathery, obovate to oblong-obovate, up to 30 centimeters long, with conspicuous parallel secondary veins running from the mid-vein, and clustered near the tips of the branches. Flowers are white, five-lobed, with a yellow center, borne in clusters at the end of the branches.
- Widely cultivated in the Philippines.
- Native to tropical America.
- Neutral N2 fraction of methanolic extract of fresh, undried and uncrushed leaves of Plumeria obtusa isolated a new lupane triterpenoids (1) along with five known compounds viz., obtusaline, betulinic acid, oleanolic acid, ursolic acid, kaneroside and oleandrin. (3)
- N3 neutral fraction yielded 10 new compounds (11-13, 15-19, 22, 23) together with 8 known compounds (7-10, 14, 20, 21, 24) isolated for the first time from this species, viz., a-amyrin (7) neriucoumaric acid (8), isonericoumaric acid (9), alphitolic acid (10), obtuscin (11), oytusinin (12), obtusilin (13), 3b.23-dihydroxyurs 12-en.28 oic acid (14), obtusidin (15-19), 27.p-Z.coumaroytoxyursolic acid (20), 27.p--E.coumaroytoxyursolic acid (21), coumarobtusanoic acid (22) coumarobtusane (23) and oleanonic acid (24). (3)
- Study of flowers for essential oil yielded 21 compounds viz., linalool, (Z)-geraniol, (Z)-citral, (E)-geraniol, (E)-citral, (Z)-beta-farnesene, (E)-beta-farnesene, 1-hexadecene, 2-methylpentadecane, alpha-farnesene, (Z)-farnesol, (E)-farnesol, (E)-farnesal , benzyl benzoate, 1-octadecanol, benzyl salicylate, eicosane, unknown1, unknown2, (E)-farnesyl acetate, and heneicosane. (see study below) (4)
- Phytochemical screening of various extracts of leaves yielded sterols, alkaloids, favonoids, terpenoids, glycosides. (see study below) (7)
- Study of fresh leaves yielded two new iridoids viz., 6″-O-acetylplumieride p-E-coumarate and 6″-O-acetylplumieride p-Z-coumarate, and three known iridoids viz., plumieride, plumieride p-Z-coumarate and plumieride p-E-coumarate. (8)
- Oil of Plumeria obtusa was found rich in benzyl salicylate (45.4%) and benzyl benzoate (17.2%), with only minute concentrations of alkanoic acids. (12)
- Phytochemical screening of stem bark extract yielded triterpenoids, flavonoids, carbohydrate, essential oil, glycosides and alkaloids. (see study below) (13)
- Considered purgative, vulnerary, pectoral, hemostatic.
- Studies have shown antimicrobial, antiproliferative, antioxidant, insecticidal properties.
Flowers, bark, leaves.
· No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
· Used for blenorrhagia, boils, herpetic lesions, sores, syphilis, and wounds. Used as cicatrizant, pectoral, purgative and hemostatic.
· In Cambodia, bark decoction used as purgative; also used as remedy for edema.
· In the Sekhukhune District of South Africa, decoction of leaves taken three times daily for diabetes. (9)
· In Asia, decoction of leaves used for treating wounds and skin diseases. Bark and latex used as diuretic and purgative. (10)
· Ornamental / Ritual: In Cambodia, flowers are used to make necklaces; used in ritual offerings.
· Oils / Perfumery: Essential oil used as ingredient in cosmetics, candles, potpourri, massage oils, and aromatherapy.
• Essential Oil / Flowers: In various scented compound extraction methods using P. obtusa flowers, the major chemical component in the essential oils from all distillation methods and solvents was benzyl salicylate. Extracts from cold and hot enfleurage were linalool and n-undecanoic acid, respectively. Isolation of frangipiani absolute by hexane extraction was considered the most appropriate method at pilot scale for extract use in perfume and cosmetic materials. (see constituents above) (4)
• Antimicrobial / Flowers: Study evaluated various solvent extracts from flowers of P. obtusa for antimicrobial activity against a broad spectrum of human pathogenic organisms. The extracts showed variable degrees of inhibition of all microorganisms. Among gram positive bacteria, the most susceptible was B. subtilis, the most resistant S. aureus. Among gram negative bacteria, the most susceptible was Eriwina carotovora, the most resistant P. aeruginosa. (5)
• Antimicrobial / Leaves: Study evaluated various solvent extracts of leaves of P. obtusa for antimicrobial activity. Results showed PE, iso-butanol and EA fractions showed inhibitory activities against all nine microbial species except K. pneumonia and P. aeruginosa. (6)
• Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated the phytochemical constituents and antioxidant potential of a methanol extract and fractions of P. obtusa leaf extract and fractions. Results showed moderate dose-dependent antioxidant activity based on DPPH and lipid peroxidation inhibition assays. (see constituents above) (7)
• Antiproliferative / Leaves: Study evaluated leaf extracts of 10 Apocynaceae species against three human cancer cell lines (MCF-7, MDA-MB-231, and HeLa). Plumeria obtusa was one of six plants that showed positive growth inhibitory activity, with ≤50% cell growth. The n-hexane extract of P. obtusa inhibited MCF-7 and HeLa cells. (10)
• Insecticidal / Leaves: Study evaluated the insecticidal efficacy of two Plumeria species (P. rubra and P. obtusa) foliar extracts on mosquito and beans weevil populations. P. obtusa yielded mosquito mortality rate of 86.2% and weevil mortality of 90%. while P. rubra was 88.75% and 95%, respectively. Results suggest potential applications in public health pest and disease management, food preservation and crop protection. (11)
• Antiulcer / Stem Bark: Study showed gastroprotective effects of P. obtusa stem bark extracts in peptic ulcer induced by pylorus ligation and indomethacin. The ulcer healing effects could be due to reduction in gastric acid secretion, gastric cytoprotection and proton pump inhibition. (See constituents above) (13)
- Ornamental cultivation.