- Genus named after John Sanchez, a 19th century professor of botany in Cadiz, Spain.
Sanchezia is a small, semiwoody erect evergreen shrub growing 1.3 to 2.4 meters. Stems are smooth bright green to purple. Leaves are large, up to 26 centimeters in length, opposite, lanceolate. Blade is green, with well defined yellow or ivory veins. Flowers are yellow, tubular, with red bracts, about 5 centimeters long, and borne in terminal spikes of 6 to 10. Fruits are oblong capsules with 6 to 8 circular, compressed seeds.
- Popular ornamental plant in the Philippines.
- Native to Peru and Ecuador.
- Phytochemical screening of leaves yielded alkaloids, glycosides, flavonoids, triterpenoids, carbohydrates, steroids, phenolic compounds, saponins, and tannins. (see study below) (4)
- Studies suggest antioxidant, anticancer, antibacterial, antifungal, insecticidal properties.
- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- In Thailand, roots used to treat impotence and increase sexual desire.
• Anti-Cancer / Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated a methanolic fraction of S. speciosa leaves for cytotoxicity on MCF-7 human breast cancer, SK-MEL-5 human malignant melanoma and human umbilical vein endothelial cells, HUVEC cells. Results showed highest activity on MCF-7 and moderate toxicity towards SK-MEL-5. The methanol extract also exhibited significant antioxidant activity, comparable to standard drug quercetin. (2)
• Antibacterial / Antifungal / Insecticidal: Study evaluated various fractions of S. speciosa for antimicrobial and insecticidal activities of S. speciosa. Among the fractions, the chloroform fraction was the best extractive for antibacterial and antifungal properties. Findings also showed insecticidal activity against Tribolium castaneum. (3)
• Cytotoxicity: The n-hexane and ethyl acetate soluble fractionates of leaves extract showed significant cytotoxic activities to brine shrimp lethality bioassay, with standard drug vincristine sulfate as positive control. (see constituents above) (4)