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Family Malvaceae
Melochia umbellata (Houtt.) Stapf

Scientific names Common names
Glossospermum cordatum Wall. Anabiong (Philippines)
Glossospermum velutinum Wall. Anabo (Phil.)
Hypericum pentandrum Blanco Baliknong (Phil.)
Melochia arborea Blanco Bignon (Phil.)
Melochia indica Kurz Bingabing (Phil.)
Melochia umbellata (Houtt.) Stapf Bindnga (Phil.)
Melochia velutina Wall. ex Bedd. Bunot-bunot (Phil.)
Pentaglottis tomentosa Wall. Lablyo (Phil.)
Riedlea aleurodendron Steud. Lapnis (Phil.)
Riedlea cordata DC. Gunpowder tree (Engl.)
Riedlea wallichiana Steud. Melochia (Engl.)
Visenia indica J.F.Gmel.  
Visenia javanica J.ungh  
Visenia tomentosa Miq..  
Visenia umbellata Houti.  
Visenia velutina Turcz..  
Melochia umbellata (Houtt.) Staph is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
SPANISH: Hierba del soldado.
OTHERS: Tangkal bintenoo, Kwara'ae, Kasie bulu.

Gen info
- Etymology: The specific epithet comes from the Latin umbellatus (umbel-like), referring to the inflorescence..

Melochia umbellata is a rapidly growing shrub or small tree attaining a height of 2 to 15 meters. Leaves are large, broadly ovate, 90 to 300 millimeters long. Flowers are pale pink to red. Seeds are winged and wind-dispersed.

- introduced.
- Cultivated in warm regions of the world as a shade tree.
- Invasive in some places.

- Study of n-hexane extract of leaves yielded two compounds i.e., 1-tetracisanol and a steroid compound. (see study below) (3)
- Study of stem bark for secondary metabolites yielded alkaloids and triterpenoids. Isolate E is a triterpenoid group compound, while FKs and FKb are steroid group compound. (see study below) (6)

- Studies have suggested antibacterial, anti-dengue, anti-tumor properties.

Parts used
- Leaves, roots, stem, bark.


- No reported medicinal use in the Philippines.
- In South Sulawesi, Indonesia, used for treatment of hepatitis, high cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension.
- Fodder: A cut-and-carry feed for ruminants.

Antibacterial / Leaves:
Study evaluated various extracts of M. umbellata (Houtt.) Stapf var. K. degrabata leaves for antibacterial activity against three bacterial strains i.e., E. coli, S. aureus, and S. dysenteriae. At concentrations of 2500, 5000, 10,000 and 20,000 ppm, the N-hexane extract was most active against S. aureus with ZOI of 10.5 mm, 10.80 mm, 11.00 mm, and 11.45 mm, respectively. The ethyl acetate extract was most active against S. dysenteriae. (see constituents above) (3)
Dengue Antiviral Activity / Cytotoxicity / Bark: Study evaluated the dengue antiviral activity on a polar bark extract of M. umbellata var Vicenia. An ethyl acetate extract was tested against A. salina and dengue virus. Results showed IC50 of 101.66 µg/ml against A. salina and IC50 of 1.67 µg against dengue virus. The toxicity to brine shrimp A. salina has a positive correlation with the dengue antivirus activity. (4)
Antibacterial / Stem Bark: A hexane extract of stem bark of M. umbellata showed highest antibacterial activity against B. subtilis with inhibitory zone diameter of 12.0 mm. Isolate D showed weak inhibitory effect on all test bacteria. FKs compound showed highest diameters of inhibition against B. subtilis and A. aureus, 18.0 mm and 13.0 mm, respectively. FKb showed highest ZOI of 12.0 mm against B. subtilis. (5)
Methyl ß-(p0hydroxyphenyl( Acrylic Compound / Antitumor / Root Bark: Study of root bark yielded methyl ß-(p-hydroxyphenyl) acrylic. The compound was evaluated for antitumor activity using P-388 murine leukemia cell. Results showed high antitumor activity with IC50 of 5.35 µg/mL. (6)


November 2019

IMAGE SOURCE: Photographs / Melochia umbellata: leaves, flowers and fruits / Credit: Forest and Kim Starr / Creative Commons / Flora of North America / click on image to go to source page / Lurig AlterVista

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Melochia umbellata / Synonyms / The Plant List

Melochia umbellata / Wikipedia
STUDY OF COMPOUNDS FROM EXTRACT OF Melochia umbellata (Houtt.) Stapf var. Degrabrata K. (PALIASA) LEAVES THAT HAS POTENTIAL AS ANTIBACTERIAL / Selfi Wullur, Nunuk Hariani Soekamto / DOI:10.20956/ica.v8i1.2472
Dengue antiviral activity of polar extract from Melochia umbellata (Houtt) Stapf var. Visenia / Nunuk Hariani Soekamto, S Liong, S Fauziah, I Wahid, Firdaus, P Taba and F Ahmad / The 2nd International Conference on Science (ICOS) IOP Publishing IOP Conf. Series: Journal of Physics: Conf: 2017 / doi:10.1088/1742-6596/979/1/012017
ISOLATION OF SECONDARY METABOLITE COMPOUNDS AND ANTIBACTERIAL ACTIVITIES TESTS FROM HEXANE EXTRACT OF STEM BARK MELOCHIA UMBELLATA (HOUTT) STAPF VAR. DEGRABRATA K / Usman Usman, Muh Amir M, Nunuk Hariani Soekamto, Ahyar Ahmad, Maulidiyah Maulidiyah / Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, Aug 2018; 11(8) / DOI https://doi.org/10.22159/ajpcr.2018.v11i8.25464
Methyl β-(p-hydroxyphenyl) acrylic compound from Melochia umbellata (Houtt) Stapf var. degrabata and their antitumor activity / Nunuk Hariani Soekamto, Firdaus and Whiwiek Surwendah / International Journal of ChemTech Research, 2017; 10(4): pp 529-532
Melochia umbellata: Philippine names / Minor products of Philippine foreests, ed. by William H. Brown: Vol 1, No 3 / 1884
Melochia umbellata / PIER

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)
Abuse and Plagiarism of the Compilation on Philippine Medicinal Plants Under the Guise of Fair Use

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