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Family Urticaceae
Dendrocnide meyeniana (Walp.) Chew

Yao ren gou

Scientific names  Common names
Dendrocnide batanensis (C.R.Rob.) Chew Adalateng (Ig.)
Dendrocnide diffusa (C.R.Rob) Chew Adalatang (Ibn.)
Dendrocnide meyeniana (Walp.) Chew Adalupa (Gad.)
Dendrocnide platyphylla (Merr.) Chew Alingatong (Neg.)
Dendrocnide subglabraa (Hayata) Chew Apariagua (Bis.)
Laportea batanensis C.B. Rob. Bulan-bulan (P. Bis.)
Laportea diffusa (C.R.Rob) Chew Langaton (Bis.)
Laportea gaudichaudiana Wedd.  Langatong (Bis.)
Laportea meyeniana (Walp.) Warb.  Lingaton (S. L. Bis.)
Laportea mindanaensis Warb.  Lipa (Tag.)
Laportea platyphylla Merr.  Lipai (Tag., Bis.)
Laportea pterostigma Wedd.  Lipang-kalabaw (Tag.)
Laportea subglabra Hayata  Lipang-lalaki (Neg.)
Urtica meyeniana Walp.  Lipang-doton (Pamp.)
  Lopa (Pamp.)
  Lupa (Ilk.)
  Tokbo (Bon.)
  Tubo (Is.)
  Carabao lipa (Engl.)
  Lipa tree (Engl.)
"Lipang aso" and its other common names are shared by two species of differing Genus: (1) Lipang-aso (Fleurya interrupta): lopa, lipang-kastila (2) Lipa (Laportea meyeniana): lipai, lipang-kalabaw, lipang-lalaki, lipang-doton, lopa, lupa. Both possess stinging hairs and can cause intense itching on contact. Fleurya interrupta is a weed / herb, up to 1.3 meters high; Laportea meyeniana, a shrub or small tree growing to a height of 3-5 meters.
Laportea meyeniana (Walp.) Warb. is a synonym of Dendrocnide meyeniana (Walp.) Chew The Plant List
Dendrocnide meyeniana (Walp.) Chew is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Yao ren gou, Song ye ma.
INDONESIAN: Bajakah. .

Gen info
· Laportea meyeniana belongs to the Urticacea (Nettle) family characterized by the presence of stinging hairs known for causing contact dermatitis.
· Botanical factoid: Lipa City in Batangas is named after the Urticaceae species Dendrocnide meyeniana, known for the stinging trichomes on its twigs.

Lipa is a deciduous shrub or small tree, growing to a height of 3 to 5 meters. Leaves are ovate to broadly elliptic-ovate, 20 to 40 centimeters long, 10 to 22 centimeters wide, entire, with shortly pointed at the tip, and somewhat heart-shaped at the base. Upper surface is green and smooth, the underside paler and rather densely covered with numerous, soft and stinging hairs, abundant on the margins of the leaves. Petioles are about 20 centimeters long. Male inflorescence is axillary, paniculate, up to 20 centimeters long. Flowers are very numerous, crowded in small glomerules on the branches, the perianth- segments about 2 millimeters long. Female flowers are at the end of the branchlets of the inflorescence, 8 to 12, flabellately arranged, and greenish, about 5 to 7 millimeters in diameter. Fruit is small, fleshy, white to pale violet, 5 to 7 millimeters in diameter.

- Native to the Philippines and Taiwan.
- In thickets, at low and medium altitudes from northern Luzon to Mindoro and Guimaras.

· Phytochemical screening of crude methanol extracts of leaves yielded anthrones, flavonoids, glycosidic flavonoids, phenolic compounds, steroids, tannins, triterpenes, and anthraquinones. (1)

· Caution: Fresh leaves sting!
· Leaves have numerous, conspicuous stinging hairs. The hairs have a large bulbous base from which projects a long tapering tube that ends in a curved tip that breaks off easily.
· Contact with the leaves causes breaking of the tips of the hairs and a poison is released that causes immediate and intense skin irritation. The stings are painful and may cause the formation of blisters, immediate and possibly progressing to confluence. Ammonia is used as treatment, rubbed on the affected part. In rural Quezon, Pungapong is used as a counterirritant, rubbing the stem juice to the affected parts.
· A study of the Australian species, Laportea gigas Wedd., which resembles Laportea meyeniana, shows it contains ninety times the free acid of European nettle.
· The poison could be formic and acetic acids, the latter in greater proportion than the former.
· Although much of the irritation is attributed to formic acid, some believe it is due to some albuminous poison.

- Studies have suggest antioxidant cytotoxic, penetration enhancing properties.

Parts used
Roots and leaves.

· Roots use for making tea.  
- Note: A formulation, Alingatong Miracle Roots Tea,  was included in the FDA advisory No 2020-2151, a public health warning on the purchase and consumption of an unregistered product.   (11)
· Dried or powdered leaves use to stop bleeding.
· Leaves used topically to cure carbuncles.
· Pounded roots applied externally for scrofula.
· Decoction used for nosebleeds.
· Infusion of roots and leaves used as diuretic in urinary retention associated with  medications,  urethral blockage, and obstructive  problems caused by benign prostatic hypertrophy, urethral stricture,  bladder stones, cystocoele, or tumors.
· Used for treatment of hypertension, diabetes, myoma, and UTIs.
- In Zamboanga del Sur, healers and locals use the wood for treatment of skin rashes, itchiness, carbuncle, furuncle, dermatitis, scabies, arthritis, rheumatism, swollen ankles and feet, kidney problem, flatulence and gas pain (9)
- In Cavite, Philippines, decoction of leaves drunk for abdominal pain. (10)

* Phytochemicals / Antioxidant / Cytotoxicity: The crude methanolic extracts of four Philippine medicinal plants, including Laportea meyeniana, were studied for their antioxidant and cytotoxic activities. Brine shrimp lethality assay showed 100% mortality at 1000 µg/ml with LC50 of 89.5 µg/ml. (see constituents above) (1)
* Alternative Therapy for Autosensitization Dermatitis : A combination formula of Xiao-feng-san (XFS) and Huang-lian-jie-du-tang (HLJDT) in the form of concentrated herbal extracts was found to be a potential alternative treatment for autosensitization dermatitis caused by Dendrocnide meyeniana. (3)
* Lal lat tan: A wild plant from Imugan, Santa Fe, Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines was subjected to molecular and phylogenetic studies.  Using  chloroform+methanol  solvents, the plant was identified as Dendrocnide meyeniana. Screening for phytochemical constituents yielded saponins, phenols, tannins, flavonoids, anthrones, anthraquinones, terpenes and steroids. (6)
* Enhance Penetration on Transdermal Delivery of  Hypoglycemic Compounds: Study evaluated the effect of plants as penetration enhanced on in vivo penetration of insulin and insulin sensitizers (curcumin and rutin) through diabetes-induced mouse skin.  Sting crude extracts of Dendrocnide meyeniana were used as penetration enhancers with mouse skin irritation induced by smearing.  Results showed enhancers induced a slight erythema without edema on the mouse skin that completely recovered after 6 hours.  No damaged cells were found in the HaCaT keratinocytes under sting crude extract treatments.  There was a significant decreased in blood sugar level in sensitizer-treated mice.  Results suggest safety and an alternative for plants as penetration enhancers. (7)
* Pancreatic Lipase Inhibition / Antioxidant: In a study of 13 endemic medicinal plants for antidiabetic, antiobesity, and antioxidant activities, seven plants, including Dendrocnide meyeniana, showed strong inhibitory activity of >70% against PPL (porcine pancreatic lipase). All the plant extracts showed  statistically (p<0.05) higher antioxidant activity compared to vitamin C.   (9)


Updated  January 2022 / May 2017 / May 2015

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Antioxidant and cytotoxic activities and phytochemical screening of four Philippine medicinal plants / Nonita P Peteros and Mylene M Uy / Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol. 4(5), pp. 407-414, 4 March, 2010
Dendrocnide meyeniana (Walp.) Chew
/ Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
Alternative therapy for autosensitization dermatitis
/ Chang YT, Shen JJ, Wong WR, Yen HR. / Chang Gung Med J. 2009 Nov-Dec;32(6):668-73. /
Chang Gung Med J, Vol. 32, No. 6, November-December 2009 (4)
Dendrocnide meyeniana / Folkloric uses / Useful Tropical Plants
Dendrocnide meyeniana (Walp.) Chew / Synonyms / The Plant List
DNA barcoding and phytochemical profiling of wild plant "Lal lat tan" from Imugan, Sta Fe, Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines / John Dave C. Aquino, Lariza Mae Pajarillaga, Jerwin R. Undan / International Journal of Secondary Metabolite"; Dec 2018 / 10.21448/ijsm.493809
Effects of Sting Plant Extracts as Penetration Enhancers on Transdermal Delivery of Hypoglycemic Compounds / Yuh-Ming Fuh, Dinh-Chuong Pham, Ching-Feng Weng / Medicina, 2019; 55(5): 10.3390/medicina55050121
Medicinal pln ats of Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines: Traditional knowledge and use amongst healers and locals / Jason R Pucot, Cesar G Demayo / Plant Diversity /
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pld.2021.12.004
In vitro antidiabetic, antiobesity, and antioxidabr activities of selected endemic medicinal plants from Mount Mayong and Mount Malinao, Albay, Philippines
/ Lilibeth A Cajuday,  Jocelyn  E Serrano, Diomerl Edward Baldo et al / Int J Biosc; March 2020;  16(3): pp  648-661 /
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12692/ ijb/16.3.648-661
The practice of using medicinal plants by local herbalists in Cavite, Philippines
/  E S Caunca and  L O Balinado /
Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge,  April 2021; 20(2): pp 335-343 /
FDA Avisory No. 2929-2151 / Public Health Warning Against the Purchase and Xibaymption of the following Unregulated Food Products /

DOI: 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)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants

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