Sagai-uak is a smooth, prostrate herb. Branches are slender, straggling, 60 to 90 centimeters long, rooting at the lower nodes. Leaves are ovate, 3 to 6 centimeters long, 2 to 3 centimeters wide, pointed at both ends, and toothed at the margins. Flowers are crowded on short axillary and terminal racemes. Calyx in the flower is about 6 millimeters long, double that length in the fruit; its outer sepals are broadly ovate and heart-shaped. Corolla is dark reddish brown. Fruit is a capsules, ovate, flattened, 3 to 4 millimeters long, bivalved with several seeds. Spherical seeds are about 0.6 millimeter in diameter, with 8 oblong hollows.
- On forested slopes at low altitudes, ascending to 400 meters, rather rare and local.
- Found in Cagayan, Kalinga and Laguna Provinces in Luzon and in Zamboanga, Mindanao.
- Occurs in India to Indo-China and through Malaya to the Moluccas.
- Plant yields an amorphous bitter glucoside, curangin, which is either nonpoisonous or only very slightly poisonous.
- Study isolated two triterpenoids: (1) picfeltarraenone I (3,11,22-trioxo-16alpha-hydroxy-(20S,24)-epoxy-cucurbit-5,23-diene) and (2) picfeltarraenin XI (3,11,22-trioxo-16alpha-hydroxy-(20S,24)-epoxy-cucurbit-5, 23-diene-2beta-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside). (11)
- Study isolated seven compounds: apigenin (1), apigenin-7-O-β-D-glucuronide (2), apigenin-7-O-α-L- rhamnopyranosyl(1→2)-β-D-glucuronide (3), rosmarinic acid (4), picfeltarraegenin Ⅳ (5), picfeltarraegenin X (6), and acteoside (7). (12)
- Plant, especially the leaves, is very bitter.
- Considered aperient, febrifuge, diuretic, emmenagogue, sudorific.
- Curangine, an alkaloid derived from the plant, reported to have a marked febrifuge property.
- Studies suggest antimicrobial, antidiabetic, and complement inhibiting properties.
Whole plant, leaves.
- In the Philippines, decoction of the plant is used as febrifuge, especially for malaria.
- The plant, masticated, decocted or infused, is used as stomachic and for irregular menstruation.
- Leaves are aperient; a stimulant to the intestines, sudorific, diuretic and emmenagogue.
- Leaves are used in the early stages of dropsy, in intermittent fevers, amenorrhea, arrested lochia, colic and lumbar pains.
- In the Moluccas, used as vermifuge, for tertian fever, as liver and bile stimulant. Also used for colic.
- Malays used it for its bitterness to whet the appetite.
- Juice given to provoke nausea.
- Decoction of leaves used for stomachache.
- Leaves applied to the head in cases of headache; cooling the head and allaying the pain.
- In Chinese medicine used as folk medicine for the treatment of herpes, infections, cancer, and inflammation. (14)
• Flavonoid Glucoronides: Study of a n-butanol extract yielded three flavonoid glucoronides: apigenin 7-O-β-glucuronide, luteolin 7-O-β-glucuronide and a new compound, apigenin 7-O-β-(2″-O-α-rhamnosyl)glucuronide, the latter one being a new compound. (2)
• New Cucurbitacin: Study yielded a new compound, 11, 24-dioxo-5, 21-diene-cucurbit-3alpha-O-beta-D-xylopyranosyl-16alpha-O-alpha-L-rhamnopyranoside (dehydrobryogenin glycoside). Hexanorcucurbitacin F, was obtained for the first time from Picria fel-terrae. (3)
• New Phenylethanoid Glycosides: Study searching for bioactive compounds from the whole plant yielded three new phenylethanoid glycosides, picreosides A-C, along with five known phenylethanoid glycosides: wiedemannioside, acteoside, acteoside isomer, cis-acteoside isomer, and cis-acteoside. (4)
• Complement-Inhibiting Cucurbitacin Glycosides: Study isolated four cucurbitacin glycosides: Picfeltarraenins 1A and 1B, picfeltarraenin IV, and a new compound picfeltarraenin VI. All showed activity as inhibitors of both the classical and alternative pathways of the complement system. (5)
• ß- Sitosterol / Anti-Diabetic Effect: Study isolated ß-sitosterol from an n-hexane extract of leaves of Picria fel-terrae. The extract showed good antidiabetic effect, indicated by significant blood glucose lowering in alloxan induced diabetic mice. (7)
• Antimicrobial /Stem and Leaves: An in vitro study of a crude stem with leaf extract showed against five human pathogenic microorganisms showed effective activity against E. coli, Bacillus subtilis, Klebsiella sp., Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. (8)
• Anthelmintic / Leaves: Study investigated the anthelmintic activity of leaf extract of Curanga fel-terrae against Pheretima posthuma. Results showed anthelmintic activity significantly more potent compared to standard albendazole. (13)
• Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors: Study reports on the isolation of bioactive principles isolated from P. fel-terrae. An AChE inhibitory bioassay coupled HPLX of an EA extract yielded six compounds: picfeltarraenin IA (1), picfeltarraenin IB (2), picfeltarraenin IV (3), picfeltarraenin X (4), picfeltarraenin XI (5), and one unknown compound. (14)