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Family Solanaceae
Physalis angulata L.

Scientific names  Common names 
Boberella angulata (L.) E.H.L.Krause Assiyu (Bis.)
Physalis angulata L. Putokan (Tag.)
Physalis capsicifolia Dunal Tutulaka (Tag.)
Physalis esquirolii H.Lév. & Vaniot Cow pops (Engl.)
Physalis lanceifolia Nees Chinese lantern (Engl.)
Physalis linkiana Nees Cut-leaved ground cherry (Engl.)
Physalis ramossisima Mill. Mullaca (Engl.)
  Tooth-leaved bladder cherry (Engl.)
  Wild gooseberry (Engl.)
Putokan is a local name shared by (1) Crotalaria retusa, kalog-kalog (2) Crotalaria quinquefolia, suso-susoyan,and (3) Physalis angulata, putokan.
Physalis angulata L. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Deng long cao, Deng long pao.
DUTCH: Klap.
FRENCH: Petit poc poc (Africa).
INDONESIA: Ceplukan.
SPANISH: Jua-de-capote.

Taxon confusion
Physalis, a genus of the family Solanaceae consists of about 100 species. Among these, Physalis minima (pantug-pantugan) has been confused with P. angulata. Some compilations list them as synonyms, as other list them as separate species. In Bangladesh, the two have long been misidentified. A critical examination separates them as species. (See below: sources)

Putokan is an erect and branching herb with angled and much branched stems, growing to 1 meter high. Petioles are 1 to 5 centimeters long. Leaves are alternate, oblong-ovate, up to 9 centimeters long with pointed tips and acute and unequal base with margins that are more or less entire. Flowers are solitary, campanulate, pale yellow, up to 6 millimeters long. Fruit is a berry, 1.5 to 2 centimeters diameter surrounded by an inflated and ovoid calyx.

- Native to tropical America.
- Introduced to the Philippines during the Spanish times, now widely distributed.
- Propagated by seeds.

- Methanol extract of fruits yielded alkaloids, saponins, phenols, etc.
- Phytochemical screening yielded steroids, flavonoids, and alkaloids.

- Screening of various crude extracts for secondary metabolities yielded alkaloids, tannins, terpenoids, phenolics, and terpenoids. (see study below) (27)

- Phytochemical studies yield plant steroids Physalins with activity against numerous type of human and animal cancer cells.
- Studies have shown anti-inflammatory, genotoxic, antimicrobial, anti-leishmanial, immunomodulatory, molluscicidal, anticancer, antidiabetic, anti-asthmatic properties.

Parts utilized
Whole plant, leaves, roots.

- Fruits are edible, sweet-tart..
- Roots and epigeal parts used for tea or infusion.
- Folkloric

- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- In the Amazon, leaf infusion used as diuretic.
- In Colombia, some tribes consider the fruits and leaves to be narcotic: decoction of leaves used as antiinflammatory and skin disinfectant.
- In the Amazon, leaf juice used for worms.
- In the Solomon Islands, a decoction of fruit used for infertility.
- In the West Indies and Jamaica, leaves used to prevent miscarriages.
- In Peru, leaf infusion used for postpartum infections.
- In Peru and Brazil, roots are sliced, macerated in rum, honeyed, and used for diabetes.
- In Brazil, used for asthma, malaria, hepatitis, dermatitis and rheumatism.
• In Cameroon, Physalis angulata is used in herbal recipes for pregnancy termination. A dangerous practice uses dried and ground seeds which are wet with saliva and rolled into a ball and inserted into the vagina with expected fetal expulsion in a week. However, it is commonly accompanied by abdominal pains, severe bleeding, anemia, and sometimes, death.

Anti-inflammatory: Study showed inhibitory effects against acute and subacute inflammation and significant inhibition of type IV allergic reaction in mice. (2)
Genotoxicity: Study evaluated the in vtiro genotoxic effects of aqueous extracts of P. angulata using comet assay and micronucleus assay in human lymphocytes from 6 healthy donors. Results showed that although the Physalis extract was not cytotoxic, it exhibited important genotoxic effects on human lymphocytes in vitro, suggesting caution with its use. (3)
Antimicrobial / Physalin B: Study yielded complex physalin metabolites from the fruit capsules. A mixture of physalins B, D, F, and G inhibited S aureus and Neisseria gonorrhea. Physalin B by agar diffusion inhibited S. aureus by 85% and may be considered responsible for the antimicrobial activity. (4)
Antileishmanial / Physalins: Physalins B and F were able to reduce the percentage of Leishmania-infected macrophages and the intracellular parasite number in vitro without no cytotoxicity to macrophages. Physalin F significantly reduced the lesion size, parasite load, and histological alterations in Leishmania infected mice. (6)
Lipid Benefits / HDL Elevation: Study showed that the flower extract of Physalis angulata in rats showed a significant elevation of HDL-cholesterol. (7)
Molluscicidal / Leaves and Roots: Study showed the ethanolic extracts from the leaves and roots of Physalis angulata are mollusicidal; while the ethanol extracts from the stem and whole plant was inactive. (8)
Immunomodulatory Effects: Study investigated different extract fractions of Physalis angulata (PA-VII, PA-VII-A , PA-VII-B, PA-VII-C) for immunomodulatory effects in mice. PA-VII and PA-VII-C exhibited a strongly enhanced blastogenesis response, together with a stimulatory activity on B cells (less on T cells). PA-VII, PA-VII-B and PA-VII-C caused augmentation of antibody responses. (9)
Anticancer / Breast Cancer Cycle Arrest: Study showed Physalis angulata inhibited cell proliferation and induced G2/M arrest and apoptosis in human breast cancer MAD-MB 231 and MCF-7 cells lines.   (10)
Anti-Neoplastic / Fruit Capsule: Study on its anti-neoplastic activity showed the most significant inhibition from the fruit capsule fractions. The extract of roots of PA is most often used for human hepatic disorders, but the substance responsible for efficacy is still undefined. Physalin F has shown antitumor activity against five human cancer lines, the most potent, anti-hepatoma H A 22 T.
Antimicrobial / Essential Oil: Study showed the essential oil extract to have both antifungal and antibacterial properties, with more of the former. The activities are more concentrated in the aerial parts of the plant. (15)
Genotoxic Effects on in-vitro Human Lymphocytes: Study evaluated the in vitro genotoxic effects of an aqueous extract in human lymphocytes from 6 healthy donors. Results demonstrated the genotoxic effects of P. angulata extract on human lymphocytes in vitro. Although the extract did not show cytotoxicity, the in vitro genotoxic effects requires caution since in vivo genotoxicity has not been evaluated. (16)
Physangulidine A / Withanolide / Apoptosis in Prostate Cancer Cells: Study evaluated the biologic effects of physangulidine A, one of three withanolides isolated in the study (physangulidines A-C). Physangulidine A significantly reduced of two hormone-independent prostate cancer cell lines. Results showed antimitotic and proapoptotic effects. (17)
Antibacterial / Anti-Staphylococcal Activity / Fruit: Study evaluated the inhibitory effect of zinc oxide ointment formulation and unformulated crude extract of fruits of Physalis angulata against clinical wound isolates of Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Results showed significant inhibitory activity against S. aureus suggesting efficacy in treating staphylococcal infections. (18)

Anti-Ulcer / Leaves: Study evaluated the antiulcer effect of ethanolic extract of P. angulata leaves in different models of gastric ulceration in rats. Results showed a protective effect which might be mediated by anti-secretory and cytoprotective mechanisms. (19)
Topical Anti-Inflammatory / Physalin E / Experimental Dermatitis: Study evaluated the anti-inflammatory effect of physalin E, a seco-steroid isolated from P. angulata on acute and chronic models of dermatitis induced by 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate (TPA) and oxazolone in mouse ear. Topically applied physalin E potently inhibited the induced dermatitis, with reversal of effects by mifepristone, a steroid antagonist. (20)
Anti-Diabetic / Fruit Extracts: Study evaluated the in vitro antidiabetic activity of P. angulata fruit extracts. The methanol extract showed inhibition showed prominent antidiabetic properties in vitro with inhibition of alpha amylase and alpha glucosidase. (21)
Inhibition of Tumor Metastasis and Angiogenesis: Study of ethyl acetate extracts of P. angulata against human oral squamous carcinoma (HSC-3) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells showed anti-metastatic and anti-angiogenic activity, with a potential for development of chemopreventive agent for cancer and inflammation. (22)
Anti-Inflammatory / Anti-Arthritic / Leaves: Study of various extracts and fractions of leaves showed in vitro anti-inflammatory activity by HRBC membrane stabilization method and in vitro activity by protein denaturation method. All extracts showed positive response compared to standard Diclofenac sodium.(23)
Anti-Diabetic / Lipid Benefits / Roots: Study evaluated the antidiabetic potential of ethanolic root extract in alloxan induced diabetic rats. Results showed significant reduction of blood glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL, with significantly increase in HDL. (24)
Anthelmintic / Larvicidal Leaves: A crude ethanolic leaf extract of P. angulata s0owed anthelmintic activity against Pheretima posthuma. A crude ethanolic extract sowed larvicidal activity against Culex quinquefasciatus species of mosquito larvae. (25)
Anti-Asthmatic / Roots: Study evaluated the anti-asthmatic activity of an alcoholic extract of roots in ovalbumin induced experimental mice model. Results showed inhibition of ovalbumin induced asthma by decreasing the release of inflammatory mediators. The activity was probably through reduction of inflammatory mediator's release. (26)
Antibacterial: Antimicrobial screening of ethanolic extract of plant at different concentrations of 25, 50, 100, and 125 mg/ml revealed various zones of inhibition from 8.2 to 17.2 mm for different organisms. (see constituents above) (27)
Anthelmintic / Larvicidal / Leaves: Study evaluated rude ethanolic leaf extract of P. angulata for anthelmintic activity against Pheretima posthuma and mosquito larvicidal activity against Culex quinquefasciatus. Results showed significant paralysis and death of helminthes especially at higher concentration of 50 mg/ml, compared to standard piperazine citrate. Larvicidal activity was observed with LC50 value of 51.8802 mg/l. (28)
Antidiabetic / Fruit: Study evaluated the antidiabetic effect of an isolated compound from P. angulata in alloxan induced diabetic rats. The isolated compound significantly (p<0.05) reduced blood sugar level. Glibenclamide 150 mg/kg p.o. was used as reference drug. (29)
Anti-Inflammatory / Roots: Study
evaluated a lyophilized aqueous extract from roots of Physalis angulata for anti-inflammatory effect on inflammation induced by injection of 1% carrageen-an into subcutaneous rat's air pouches.  Results showed powerful anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activities, interfering with the cyclooxygenase pathway, lymphocyte proliferation, NO, and TGF-ß production. (30)
Physalins / Antinociceptive / Roots: Study evaluated the antinociceptive properties of physalins B, D, F, and G isolated from P. angulata in inflammatory and centrally mediated pain tests in mice. Results showed Physalins B, D, F, and G has antinociceptive properties associated with central, but not anti-inflammatory, events. (31)
Cytotoxicity / COX-2 Inhibition in MCF-7 Cells: Ceplukan (P. angulata) have shown cytotoxic effects towards various cancer cell lines: HeLa, KB, Colo 205, Calu and MCF-7 cells in vitro. One of the mechanisms of cytotoxicity is the inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) pathway. Study of a 70% ethanol extract of P. angulata showed inhibitory effect on COX-2 activity in MCF-7 cell with IC50 of 37.57 ± 3.11 µg/mL. (32)
Anti-Leishmaniasis / Roots: Study evaluated an aqueous extract of roots of P. angulata on Leishmania proliferation, morphology, and the presence and contribution of physalins to its pharmacologic efficacy. Physalins A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H were isolated from the roots. Results showed AEPa effectively promotes antileishmanial activity with several important morphological alterations, with no cytotoxic effects on host cells. (33)
Physagulin-F / Anti-Diabetic: Study isolated physagulin-F from Physalis angulata fruit. The compound was evaluated for anti-diabetic activity against STZ-induced diabetic rats. The compound produced significant (p<0.5) reduction in blood glucose level, similar to the blood glucose reduction (p<0.5) produced by standard drug, glibenclamide. (34)

- Wild-crafted. 
- Mullaca powder in the cybermarket.

Last Update October 2016

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Mullaca : Physalis angulata / Tropical Plant Database

Investigations of anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities of Piper cubeba, Physalis angulata and Rosa hybrida / Eun-Mi Choi and Jae-Kwan Hwang / Journal of Ethnopharmacology Vol 89, Issue 1, November 2003, Pages 171-175 / doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(03)00280-0
Genotoxic effect of Physalis angulata L. (Solanaceae) extract on human lymphocytes treated in vitro / Alves dos Santos R, Cabral TR, Cabral IR, Antunes LM, Pontes Andrade C, Cerqueira dos Santos Cardoso P, de Oliveira Bahia M, Pessoa C, Martins do Nascimento JL, Rodríguez Burbano R, Takahashi CS. / Biocell (Mendoza) v.32 n.2 Mendoza jun./ago. 2008
Studies on antimicrobial activity, in vitro, of Physalis angulata L. (Solanaceae) fraction and physalin B bringing out the importance of assay determination / Melissa TG Silva et al / Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Vol. 100(7): 779-782, November 2005
Antihepatoma activity of Physalis angulata and P. peruviana extracts and their effects on apoptosis in human Hep G2 cells / Shu-Jing Wu et al / Life Sciences Vol 74, Issue 16, 5 March 2004, Pages 2061-2073 / doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2003.09.058
Activity of physalins purified from Physalis angulata in in vitro and in vivo models of cutaneous leishmaniasis / Elisalva T. Guimarães et al / Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, doi:10.1093/jac/dkp170
Effect of some medicinal plants on plasma antioxidant system and lipid levels in rats / Eun-Mi Choi, Jae-Kwan Hwang / Phytotherapy Research Vol 19 Issue 5, Pages 382 - 386
Molluscicidal Activity of Physalis angulata L. Extracts and Fractions on Biomphalaria tenagophila (d’Orbigny, 1835) under Laboratory Conditions / José Augusto A dos Santos et al / Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Vol. 98(3): 425-428, April 2003
Immunomodulatory activity of various fractions derived from Physalis angulata L extract. / Lin Y S; Chiang H C; Kan W S; Hone E; Shih S J; Won M H / The American journal of Chinese medicine 1992;20(3-4):233-43. / DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1142/S0192415X92000242
Breast cancer cell cycle arrest is induced by Physalis angulata / Women's Health Weekly (2006-09-14)
Physalis angulata L. antineoplasic activity, in vitro, evaluation fromit’s stems and fruit capsules / I.M. Ribeiro et al / Rev. Bras. Farmacogn., v. 12, supl., p. 21-23, 2002.
Abortifacient Plants of the Buea Region, their participation in the sexuality of adolescent girls / Emmanuel Noumi and Claudette Djeumen / Indian Journ of Traditional Knowledge / Vol 6 (3), July 2007, pp 502-507
PHYSALIS ANGULATA L. (SOLANACEAE)-A NEW ANGIOSPERMIC RECORD FOR BANGLADESH / Nahid Sultana, M A Hassan et al / Bangladesh J. Bot. 37(2):195-198, 2008 (December) - Short communication
Sorting Physalis names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 - 2020 The University of Melbourne.

Antimicrobial Activity of Essential Oils of Physalis Angulata. L / A Osho, T Adetunji, S O Fayemi, and DO Moronkola / Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2010; 7(4): 303–306.
Genotoxic effect of Physalis angulata L. (Solanaceae) extract on human lymphocytes treated in vitro / Raquel Alves dos Santos, Teresinha Rosa Cabral, Isabel Rosa Cabral, Lusânia Maria Greggi Antunes, Cristiane Pontes Andrade, Plínio Cerqueira dos Santos Cardoso, Marcelo de Oliveira Bahia, Claudia Pessoa, José Luis Martins do Nascimento, Rommel Rodríguez Burbano, Catarina Satie Takahashi / Biocell v.32 n.2 Mendoza jun./ago. 2008
Physangulidine A, a Withanolide from Physalis angulata, Perturbs the Cell Cycle and Induces Cell Death by Apoptosis in Prostate Cancer Cells / E. Merit Reyes-Reyes, Zhuang Jin, Abraham J. Vaisberg, Gerald B. Hammond, and Paula J. Bates * / J. Nat. Prod., 2013, 76 (1), pp 2–7 / DOI: 10.1021/np300457g
Antibacterial activity of the fruit extract of Physalis angulata and its formulation / A-M. Donkor, R.L.K. Glover, J.K. Boateng and V.Y. Gakpo / Journal of Medical and Biomedical Sciences (2012) 1(4): 21-26
Topical anti-inflammatory potential of Physalin E from Physalis angulata on experimental dermatitis in mice /
N.B. Pinto, T.C. Morais, K.M.B. Carvalho, C.R. Silva, G.M. Andrade, G.A.C. Brito, M.L. Veras, O.D.L. Pessoa, V.S. Rao, F.A. Santos / Phytomedicine 17 (2010) 740–743
Phytochemical Analysis And In Vitro Antidiabetic Activities Of Physalis Angulata Fruit Extracts / Sateesh Poojari*, Raju Porika* and Estari Mamidala**. / NJIRM. 2014; 5(2): 34-38
Inhibitory effects of Physalis angulata on tumor metastasis and angiogenesis / You-Cheng Hseu, Chi-Rei Wu, Hsueh-Wei Chang, K.J. Senthil Kumar, Ming-Kuem Lin, Chih-Sheng Chen, Hsin-Ju Cho, Chun-Yin Huang, Chih-Yang Huang, Hong-Zin Lee, Wen-Tsong Hsieh, Jing-Gung Chung, Hui-Min Wang, Hsin-Ling Yang ∗ / Journal of Ethnopharmacology 135 (2011) 762–771
In Vitro Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Arthritic Activity of Leaves of Physalis angulata L / Shravan Kumar N, Kishore G, Siva Kumar G, Sindhu Priya E S / Indian J. Pharm & Ind. Res, Vol 01, Issue 3, Jul-Sep 2011
EFFECTS OF ETHANOLIC ROOT EXTRACT OF Physalis angulata ON ALLOXAN INDUCED DIABETIC RATS / Oladele,G.M., Ode, O.J., Akande, M.G.,Ogunbodede, M.A. and Simon, M.K / Int.J.A.PS.BMS , Apr‐Jun.2013, Vol.2.(2) ,095‐100.
Evaluation of In-vitro vector control activity of Physalis angulata. / Sandhya S*, Jafferi S.A.H, Vinod K.R, Ottilia Banji, David Banji, Chaitanya R.S.N.A.K.K, Chandrasekhar J, Venkataramana.K / Hygeia.J.D.Med .vol.2 (2), 2010, 14-21
Physalis angulata / Synonyms / The Plant List
Secondary Metabolite Constituents and Antibacterial Potency of Physalis angulata against some Clinical Isolates / Marili Funmilayo Zubair, Ibikunle Ibitayo Anibijuwon, Mubarak Oloduowo Ameen, H A Abdulrahim / Nigerian Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 2014; 29 (2): 161-165
Evaluation of In-vitro vector control activity of Physalis angulata. / Sandhya S*, Jafferi S.A.H, Vinod K.R, Ottilia Banji, David Banji, Chaitanya R.S.N.A.K.K, Chandrasekhar J, Venkataramana.K / Hygeia.J.D.Med, Vol.2 (2), 2010, 14-21
Anti-diabetic activity of compound isolated from Physalis angulata fruit extracts in alloxan induced diabetic rats. / Porika Raju and Estari Mamidala / The Ame J Sci & Med Res, 2015,1(1); Pages 1-6. / doi:10.17812/ajsmr2015.11.1
Physalis angulata extract exerts anti-inflammatory effects in rats by inhibiting different pathways / G.N.T. Bastos, A.J.A. Silveira, C.G. Salgado, D.L.W. Picanço-Diniz, J.L.M. do Nascimento / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 118, Issue 2, 23 July 2008, Pages 246–251 / http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2008.04.005
Antinociceptive Properties of Physalins from Physalis angulata / Milena da Silva Lima, Afrânio Ferreira Evangelista, Gisele Graça Leite dos Santos, Ivone Maria Ribeiro, Therezinha Coelho Barbosa Tomassini, Milena Botelho Pereira Soares, and Cristiane Flora Villarreal* / J. Nat. Prod., 2014, 77 (11), pp 2397–2403 / DOI: 10.1021/np5003093
The Ethanol Extract of Physalis angulata Linn Inhibits COX-2 Activity in MCF-7 Cell In Vitro / EM Sutrisna*, Indwianiastuti, Haryadi / nternational Conference: Research and Application on Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Health Care (TCAM) June, 22nd-23rd 2012 Surakarta Indonesia
In vitro biological action of aqueous extract from roots of Physalis angulata against Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis / Raquel Raick P. da Silva, Bruno J. M. da Silva, Ana Paula D. Rodrigues, Luis Henrique S. Farias, Milton N. da Silva, Danila Teresa V. Alves, Gilmara N. T. Bastos, José Luiz M. do Nascimento and Edilene O. Silva / BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine (ISCMR) 201515:249 /
DOI: 10.1186/s12906-015-0717-1
Anti-diabetic activity of Physagulin-F isolated from Physalis angulata fruits / Sateesh Pujari and Estari Mamidala / The American Journal of SCIENCE AND MEDICAL RESEARCH, 1(1), 53-60

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.

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