Krus-krusan is a small tree, 3 to 6 meters high. Leaves occur in fascicles at the nodes of the branches. Leaves are striking in appearance, with its winged leaflike stalk, about 1 centimeter wide, at the tip of which are three leaflets, shorter than the leaflike petiole. Leaflets are broadest near the end, with a notched tip and a wedged-shaped base, 4 to 7 centimeters long, without individual stalks. Flowers are borne singly on the trunk, brownish and rank-scented. Calyx is split into two lobes, about 1.5 centimeters long. Corolla is somewhat bell-shaped, about 6 centimeters long, 4 centimeters wide, with 5 short lobes. Fruit is hard, rounded, and about 5 centimeters in diameter.
- Occasionally cultivated for ornamental purposes in Rizal and Quezon Provinces.
- Introduced from Mexico during Spanish colonial times.
- Analysis of the pulp yielded: mineral salts, fixed oil 8%, resin, glucose, tannic acid, peptic principles, dextrine and cellulose.
- Study pulp of fruits of Crescentia alata isolated four new 11-nor-iridoids, 6beta,7beta,8alpha,10-tetrahydroxy-cis-2-oxabicyclo[4.3.0]nonan-3-one (1), 6beta,7beta,8alpha,10-tetra-p-hydroxybenzoyl-cis-2-oxabicyclo[4.3.0]nonan-3-one (2), 1beta,6beta,7alpha,8alpha,10-pentahydroxy-cis-2-oxabicyclo[4.3.0]nonane (3), and 6beta-hydroxy-2-oxabicyclo[4.3.0]Delta8-9-nonen-1-one (4). (1)
- Chemical evaluation of ensilaged fruit material material
showed the meals to contain on average 17% crude fat, 11% crude fiber, and 18% crude protein. (3)
- Studies have yielded flavonols
rutin, kaempferol 3-O-rutinoside, and kaempferol.
- Phytochemical study of leaves and bark yielded three compounds from the bark:
a phenylpropanoid, 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzoic acid (vanillic acid); a triterpenoid, lupeol; and a flavonol glycoside, quercetin-3-rutinoside (rutin), and one compound from the leaves: a sterol, 24-ethyl-5,22-cholestadien-3-b-ol (stigmasterol). (see study below) (8)
- Fractionation of methanol extract yielded two flavonol glycosides: quercetin 3-O-alpha-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1->6)-beta-D-glucopyranoside (rutin) (1), kaempferol 3-O-alpha-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1->6)-beta-D-glucopyranoside (kaempferol 3-O-rutinoside) (2), and flavonol aglycone, kaempferol (3). (see study below) (9)
- Considered astringent, anti-hemorrhagic, pectoral.
- Studies have shown antimicrobial, antioxidant, bioinsecticidal properties.
- Seeds are edible, high in protein, with a licorice-sweet taste. Used in Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua in making a horchata, Semilla de Jicaro. (4)
- Decoction of leaves employed as astringent and anti-hemorrhagic.
- Used for hemoptysis and dysentery.
- In Mexico, pulp taken internally as a pectoral and for diseases of the kidney.
- Pulp or decoction of leaves used for diarrhea.
Decoction also used for hair growth or to prevent it from falling.
- In Guatemala, used for inflammation, respiratory diseases, fever and weight loss.
• Iridoids: Study yielded four new 11-nor-iridoids from the pulp of the fruits of Crescentia alata. (1)
• Antimicrobial: Study of 18 crude extracts from six different plants evaluated for potential antimicrobial activity against S aureus, E faecalis, S pneumonia, S pyogenes, E coli and C albicans. The extracts of G oxyphyllum, G americanum and Crescentia alata possessed strong antimicrobial activity against the pathogens tested. (2)
• Chemical Evaluation of Flours: Chemical evaluation of ensilaged fruit material material
showed the meals to contain on average 17% crude fat, 11% crude fiber, and 18% crude protein. The flours were limiting in the sulfur amino acid, lysine and threonine content. (3)
• Distribution Factors: Report hypothesizes that the distribution of jicaro dramatically changed with the introduction of the horse. The pulp is eaten by horses, surrogate Pleistocene dispersal agents, and the seeds pass through to germinate in dung. Two samples of ripe fruits weighed an average of 210 and 390 g containing an average of 400 and 600 seeds. (6)
• Bioinsecticidal / Larvae of Spodoptera frugiperda: Study evaluated the activity of Crescentia alata against Spodoptera frugiperda. Results showed bioinsecticidal activity. Possibly, the iridoids identified from C. alata fruit fractions are responsible for the antifeedant activity and mortality. (7)
• Antioxidant / Phytochemicals of Bark and Leaves: Phytochemical study of leaves and bark yielded one compound from the leaves, stigmasterol; and three compounds from the bark, vanillic acid, lupeol, and rutin. Screening of crude extracts and pure compounds showed antioxidant activity comparable to vitamin E. (see constituents above) (8)
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study evaluated a methanolic extract for in vivo anti-inflammatory activity on carragenan paw edema in rats. Results showed significant in vivo anti-inflammatory activity at highest dose tested. Same extract showed in vitro inhibitory activity on induced NO synthase expression and NO formation in LPS-primed 3774.A1 cells. (see constituents above) (9)