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Family Boraginaceae
Heliotropium sarmentosum (Lam.) Craven

Teng zi dan

Scientific names Common names
Bourrreria setosa (Roxb.) G.Don Patayud (Bis.)
Ehretia setosa Roxb. Kalangun-gug (Bis.)
Heliotropium sarmentosum (Lam.) Craven Kalaniguingug (Ilk.)
Tournefortia acclinis F.Muell. Salakapo (Ilk.)
Tournefortia frangulifolia Zipp. ex Span. Sala-salakapu (Ilk.)
Tournefortia glabrifolia Domin Salsallakapu (Ilk.)
Tournefortia hirsutissima Blanco Tanara-daganan (Bik.)
Tournefortia horsfieldii Miq. Chigger bush (Engl.)
Tournefortia macrophylla K.Schum. & Lauterb. Tree heliotrope (Engl.)
Tournefortia orientalis R.Br.  
Tournefortia sarmentosa Lam.  
Tournefortia sarmentosa var. magnifolia Domin  
Tournefortia urvilleana Cham.  
Tournefortia sarmentosa Lam. is a synonym of Heliotropium sarmentosum.
Heliotropium sarmentosum (Lam.) Craven is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Teng zi dan, Tai wan zi dan.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Kapu, Kisikiri.
VIETNAMESE: Bo cap truron.

Salakapo is a climbing, hairy and somewhat woody vine. Leaves are oblong, 8 to 15 centimeters long, green, shining, somewhat harsh, pointed at the tip, and usually rounded at the base. Flowers are stalkless, pale-green, 5-parted, and borne on terminal, scorpioid inflorescences (cymes) about 10 centimeters or less in diameter. Calyx is 1.5 millimeters long, and hairy. Corolla is 5 millimeters long, with a limb 3.5 millimeters in diameter. Fruit is stalkless, rounded and 4 to 5 millimeters in diameter.

- Native to the Philippines.
- In thickets and secondary forests at low and medium altitudes from the Babuyan Islands and northern Luzon to Palawan and Mindanao, in most or all islands and provinces.
- Also native to Andaman Is., Bangladesh, Borneo, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Maluku, New Guinea, Queensland, Solomon Is., Sulawesi, Sumatera, Taiwan, Vanuatu, Vietnam.

- Study of stems yielded three new isoprenylbenzenes, tournefoline A, B, and C (1-2), and two new 2-ethoxy-4-5-dihydroxybenzoyl compounds, 4 and 5, together with known compounds, salicylic acid and allantoin. (1)
- Fractionation study of stem isolated four new benzenoids, tournefolal (1), tournefolic acids A and B (2,3) and B-ethyl ester (4), together with salvianoolic acid A (5), isosalvianolic acid C (6), lithospermic acid (7), salvianolic acid F (8), and rosmarinic acid (9). (see study below) (2)

- Considered detoxicant, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory.
- Studies have suggested antioxidant, anti-lipid peroxidative, neuroprotective, hepatoprotective, neuroprotective, anti-platelet aggregation, anti-inflammatory properties.

Parts used
Roots, leaves.


- In the Philippines, decoction of roots given internally after childbirth, to hasten expulsion of the placenta.
- Leaves applied as poultice on the forehead for headaches.
- In Papua New Guinea, leaves chewed by people suffering from malaria. Leaves also chewed, or mixed with food, to relieve stomachaches. (12)
- In Taiwan, used as detoxicant, anti-inflammatory, and circulation promoter to remove blood stasis. (1)
- In Trinidad and Tobago, tea leaves used as carminative. Used for cuts, injuries, and swellings. (8)
- In Chinese traditional medicine, used to reduce tissue swelling and tissue detoxification. (13)
- Livestock: Leaves used for destroying larvae in cattle ulcers. (•) In Trinidad and Tobago, leaves used for chiggers. (8)


Anti-Lipid Peroxidative Activity / Benzenoids / Antioxidant: Study yielded four new benzenoids, tournefola, tournefolic acids A and B, and B ethyl ester, together with salvianolic acid A, isosalvionolic acid C, lithospermic acid, salvianolic acid F and rosmarinic acid from the stems of T. sarmentosa. All isolated compounds exhibited anti-LDL-peroxidative activity, more potent than probucol except for salvianolic acid F. (2)
Neuroprotective / Polyphenolic Compounds: Study has isolated a variety of polyphenolic compounds from T. sarmentosa, most possessing antioxidative activity, including tournefolic acid B, TAB methyl ester and TAB ethyl ester. Study showed TABM / TABE blocked the activation of the caspase cascade and eliminated the accumulation of O2, thus conferring neuroprotective effects on NMDA-mediated neurotoxicity. (3)
Hepatoprotective: Study investigated the aqueous extract effect on APAP-induced hepatotoxicity in vivo and in vitro. Pre-treatment of hepatocytes with Ts extract before and during APAP stimulation attenuated the extent of lipid peroxidation, increased cell viability and GSH level, and enhanced antioxidant enzymes. Results showed Ts can prevent APAP-induced hepatotoxicity. (5)
Immunoregulatory: Study investigated the signaling mechanism of T. sarmentosa-medicated immunoregulation. Results suggest T. sarmentosa extract exerts dual functions on macrophages: suppressing ROS (reactive oxygen species) within cells and enhancing inflammatory responses by improving phagocytic ability and proinflammatory cytokine release. (6)
• Inhibition of ADP-Induced Platelet Aggregation / Stem: Study evaluated the effect of T. sarmentosa aqueous stem extract on adenosine diphospnate-induced platelet aggregation. Results showed the aqueous extract of stem inhibited AdP-induced platelet aggregation. Components in T. sarmentosa, including caffeic acid, rosmarinic acid, salvinolic acid played important roles in mediating adenosine diphosphate induced platelet aggregation suppression. Results demonstrate the aqueous stem extract of T. sarmentosa significantly suppressed platelet aggregation through P2Y1 and P2Y12 receptor signal pathways. The anti-aggregation properties of the stem extract might help prevent cardiovascular disease. (7)
• Enhancement of Neutrophil Phagocytosis of E. coli / Caffeic Acid: Study provides evidence that T. sarmentosa can induce increased phagocytic uptake of Escherichia coli by differentiated HL-60 cells and by neutrophils. Results suggest the aqueous extract exerts effects that enhance inflammatory responses by improving phagocytic capability, inhibiting bacterial survival within cells, and increasing Mac-1 expression of neutrophils. (9)
• Tournefolic Acid B / Neuroprotective on NMDA-Mediated Excitotoxicity: A variety of polyphenolic antioxidative compounds, including tournefolic acid B (TAB), have been isolated from Tournefortia sarmentosa. The TAB structure related compounds have exhibited neuroprotective potency against glutamate-mediated neurotoxicity. Study reports on the evens that eliminated the accumulation of O2 and blocked activation of the caspase cascade, thereby conferring neuroprotective effects on NMDA-mediated cytotoxicity. (10)
• Antioxidant / Inhibition of H2O2-Induced Death of H9c2 Cardiomyocytes: Study evaluated the antioxidant effect or T. sarmentosa on rat H9c2 cardiomyocytes treated with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). T. sarmentosa reduced cell death induced by H2O2, inhibited H2O2-induced changes in cell morphology, activation of cell death-related caspases, and production of reactive oxygen species. Caffeic acid, rosmarinic acid, salvianolic acid A, and salvianolic acid B, compounds present in the extract also have similar effects in inhibiting H2O2-induced cell death. (13)


Updated March 2023 / June 2018 / January 2014

IMAGE SOURCE: / Photo / Heliotropiaceae : Tournefortia sarmentosa / Flowering shoot / Copyright © 2011 by Leonardo L. Co (contact: benctan@berkeley.edu) [ref. DOL32879] / Non-Commercial Use / click on image to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Public Domain / File:Tournefortia sarmentosa Blanco1.46-original.png / Flora de Filipinas / 1880 - 1883 / Francisco Manuel Blanco (O.S.A) / Modifications by G Stuart / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Phenolic compounds from tournefortia sarmentosa / Lin YL, Tsai YL et al /
J Nat Prod., 1999; 62(11): pp 1500-15033 / DOI: 10.1021/np9901332 10.1021/np9901332
Anti-lipid-peroxidative principles from Tournefortia sarmentosa / Lin YL, Chang YY, Kuo YH, Shiao MS /
J Nat Prod. 2002 May; 65(5): pp 745-7 / DOI: 10.1021/np010538y
Ester Derivatives of Tournefolic Acid B Attenuate N-Methyl-D-aspartate-Mediated Excitotoxicity in Rat Cortical Neurons / Chuen-Neu Wang, Hsien-Chia Pan et al / Molecular Pharmacology March 2006 vol. 69 no. 3 950-959
Lithospermic acid-containing composition / FreePatentsOnLine
Tournefortia sarmentosa extract attenuates acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity / Chun-Yuh Teng, Yi-Liang Lai et al / Pharmaceutical Biology,
March 2012, Vol. 50, No. 3 , Pp 291-396 / doi:10.3109/13880209.2011.602695)
Effect of aqueous extract of Tournefortia sarmentosa on the regulation of macrophage immune response./
Chen ML, Wu S, Tsai TC, Wang LK, Chou WM, Tsai FM. / Int Immunopharmacol. 2013 Dec;17(4):1002-8. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2013.09.021. Epub 2013 Oct 21.

Aqueous Extract of Tournefortia sarmentosa Stem Inhibits ADP-induced Platelet Aggregation / L. K. Wang, F. M. Tsai, S. Wu, M. C. Lee, T. C. Tsai, Weimou Chou and C. H. Wang / Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences / DOI: 10.4172/pharmaceutical-sciences.1000337
Comparison of plants used for skin and stomach problems in Trinidad and Tobago with Asian ethnomedicine / Cheryl Lans / Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 2007; 3:3 / doi:10.1186/1746-4269-3-3
THE CAFFEIC ACID IN AQUEOUS EXTRACT OF TOURNEFORTIA SARMENTOSA ENHANCES NEUTROPHIL PHAGOCYTOSIS OF ESCHERICHIA COLI / Chen ML, Wu S, Tsai TC, Wang LK, Chou WM, Tsai FM / Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicool, 2014 Dec; 36(6): pp 390-396./ doi: 10.3109/08923973.2014.956753
Ester Derivatives of Tournefolic Acid B Attenuate N-Methyl-d-aspartate-Mediated Excitotoxicity in Rat Cortical Neurons / Chuen-Neu WangHsien-Chia PanYun-Lian LinChih-Wen Chi and Young-Ji Shiao / Molecular Pharmacology, March 2006; 69 (3): pp  950-959 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1124/mol.105.018770
Heliotropium sarmentosum / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Tournefortia sarmentosa (PROSEA) / Plant Resources of South-East Asia / Pl@ntUse
Tournefortia sarmentosa Inhibits the Hydrogen Peroxide-Induced Death of H9c2 Cardiomyocytes / Chih-Jen Liu, Lu-Kai Wang, Chan-Yen Kuo, Mao-Liang Chen, I-Shiang Tzeng, Fu-Ming Tsai / Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Vol 2021; Article ID 8219141 / DOI: 1o.1155/2021/8219141
Tournefortia sarmentosa / William H Brown / Minor Products of Philippine Forests, Vol 1 No 3

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)

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