- The common name "bird catcher tree" may derive from the sticky fruits that readily adhere to the feather of birds, causing entanglement and rendering flight impossible (Priddle & Carlile 1995b). (8)
Maluko is an erect, unarmed, smooth or nearly smooth tree, attaining a height of 10 meters. Leaves are thin, very pale green or greenish yellow - those at the end of branches being nearly white- oblong-ovate, 12 to 15 centimeters long, with pointed apex and rounded base. Flowers are borne in terminal, dense, corymbose cymes. Male flowers are white or greenish-white, about 6 millimeters long. Female flowers are smaller. Fruit is long-pedicelled, club-shaped, 12 to 18 millimeters long, 5-angled, each angle bearing one row of prickles.
- Ornamental cultivation for its yellow leaves
- Seldom flowering in the Philippines.
- Also occurs in tropical Asia and Malaya.
- Methanolic extract of stem of Pisonia umbellifera yielded three new compounds, secopisonic acid, 6,8-dimethylisogenistein, and (+)- ENT-ficusol, with four first isolates from nature, pisoninol pisoninol II, pisoquinoline and pisodienone, together with 15 known compounds. (See study below) (6)
- Considered carminative, anti-inflammatory.
- Studies have suggested antidiabetic, antioxidant, anti-tubercular properties.
- In Ceylon and Bombay, young tender lettuce-tasting leaves are eaten.
- In the Philippines, leaves used for cooking fish wrapped in it.
- Fresh leaves moistened with Eau-de-Cologne used to subdue elephantoid inflammation of the legs.
- Leaves cooked or eaten by people suffering from arthritis or rheumatism.
- Leaves used as carminative, to expel flatulence.
- In traditional Indian medicine, used as an anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory; used in the treatment of algesia, ulcer, dysentery and snake bites.
• Blood Glucose Lowering / Antioxidant: Treatment of alloxan diabetic wistar rats with P. alba extracts caused a significant reduction of blood glucose levels. It also exhibited potent antioxidant effects on DPPH assay testing. There was also near-normal restoration of histological architecture of the liver, kidney and pancreases in the alloxan-induced diabetic rats. (1)
• Anti-Diabetic / a-Glucosidase inhibitory Activity: Extract exhibited a-glucosidase inhibitory activity in a concentration-dependent manner. Results indicate P. alba extract is effective in hyperglycemia and also protects from metabolic aberrations caused by alloxan. (2)
• Subacute Toxicity Study: Study showed the crude extract of P. alba leaves at the dose of 2 g/kg has not toxic effect on the liver and heart of rats. (3)
• Silver Nanoparticles / Leaf Extract: Metal nanoparticles have unique optical, electronic, mechanical, magnetic and chemical properties. Nanotechnology impacts all spheres of human life. An effective technique for the reduction of silver into silver nanoparticles was achieved using the ethanolic extract of leaves of Pisonia grandis R. Br (synonym Pisonia alba). (5)
• Chemical Constituents / Antitubercular: Methanolic extract of stem of Pisonia umbellifera yielded three new compounds, secopisonic acid (1), 6,8-dimethylisogenistein (2), and (+)- ENT-ficusol (3), with four first isolates from nature, pisoninol pisoninol II, pisoquinoline and pisodienone, together with 15 known compounds. Seven of the isolates showed antitubercular activities against Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37R(V) in vitro with MC ≤50 µg/mL. (6)