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Family Acanthaceae
Blechum pyramidatum (Lam.) Urban

Scientific names Common names
Barleria pyramidalis Lam. ex Nees             [Invalid] Bamburia (Ilk.)
Barleria pyramidata Lam. Dayang (Tag.)
Blechum blechum (L.) Millsp.                     [Invalid] Karibusuk (Ilk.)
Blechum brownei Juss. Kopis-kopis (Ilk.)
Blechum luzonium Nees Sapin-sapin (Tag.)
Blechum pyramidatum (Lam.) Urb. Tari-tari (Ilk.)
Ruellia blechum L. Blackweed (Engl.)
Ruelia ulignosa Blanco                           Unresolved Browne's blechum (Engl.)
  Green shrimp plant (Engl.)
  John bush (Engl.)
Blechum pyramidatum (Lam.) Urb. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHUUK: Ererion, Fetinin namocels.
GUAM: Yerbas babui, Yetbas babney, Yetbas babui.
YAP: Gacel, malai, malai.

Sapin-sapin is an erect or ascending herb. Stems are often prostrate and rooting below, about 20 to 50 centimeters long and sparingly hairy or nearly smooth. Leaves are thin, ovate, 5 to 10 centimeters long, margins entire or nearly so, pointed at the tip, and widened at the base. Flowers are small, purple or white, and borne in spike-like, terminal inflorescences, occurring mostly in pairs, each pair subtended by a leaf-like, ovate, persistent, 1 to 1.5 centimeters long bract and two smaller brancteoles. Calyx is 4 to 5 millimeters long, hairy, slightly curved, and divided into 5 linear lobes. Corolla is tubular, hairy, slightly curved, about 1.3 centimeters long, and slightly exserted from the bracts. Capsule is ovoid, somewhat compressed and about 6 millimeters long.

- Common in waste places, in open thickets, on and about old walls, in and around towns at low altitudes throughout the Philippines.
- Introduced from Mexico.
- Naturalized in Taiwan and the Marianne Islands.

- Ethyl acetate fraction yielded five compounds: 1­-triacontanol (1), palmitic acid (2), stigmasterol (3), ligulariaphytin A (4), and stigmasterol­-D­-glycoside (5). (see study below) (4)

- Antiblennorrhagic, vulnerary.

Parts used
Entire plant, leaves.


- Entire plant in decoction is used as an antiblenorrhagic.
- Pounded leaves used as vulnerary.
- In Taiwan, leaves used to treat blenorrhea, intestinal parasites, wounds, vomiting with blood, flue and measles. (2)

Non-Phytotoxic / Potential Antidiabetic / Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibition:
Study showed Blechum pyramidatum did not possess significant phytotoxic effect. The negative effects against coffee might be competition for water and nutrients. On further evaluation. the methanol fraction showed good inhibitory effect on alpha glucosidase suggesting a potential as an alternative in reducing blood sugar in patients with diabetes mellitus. (see constituents above) (4)
Yellow Vein Disease:
Study reports on a previously unidentified begomovirus associated with yellow vein disease in Blechum pyramidatum. The disease was observed causing begomovirus-like yellow/chlorotic leaf veins and shortened internodes of Browne's blechum plants on the island of Luzon, the incidence ranging from 1-% to 50% in fields in 2012. (5)
Adjuvant Extract for Use Against Diabetes and Related Diseases:
Study reports on a patent application for an invention of an herbal adjuvant intended for the treatment of diabetes and related diseases, based on Blechum pyramidatum aerial parts (leaves, bracts, flowers and fruits). (6)


Last Update August 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: / PHOTO / Blechum pyramidatum Urb / Forest & Kim Starr - Plants of Hawaii / Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License / BioLib.cz
Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Blechum pyramidatum / Common names / People and Plants of Micronesia
Taiwanese Native Medicinal Plants / Phytopharmacology and Therapeutic Values / Thomas S.C. Li, Ph.D. / Taylor & Francis
Blechum pyramidatum / Synonyms / The Plant List
EVALUATION OF PHYTOTOXIC ACTIVITY OF Blechum pyramidatum, A WEED OF PANAMANIAN COFFEE CROPS / Lilia Cherigo, Marcos Salazar and *Sergio Martínez-Luis / INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CURRENT RESEARCH, Vol. 7, Issue, 12, pp.24172-24176, December 2015
First Report of a Novel Begomovirus Associated with Yellow Vein Disease of Browne's Blechum (Blechum pyramidatum) / Wen-Shi Tsai, Su-Ling Shih, Li-mei Lee, Lawrence Kenyon /
Plant Disease, 98 (5): May 2014 / DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-10-13-1025-PDN
(PAT - WO2009104944)
/ MONTERO JACOME JULIO MONTERO JACOME, JULIO / Publ.of the Int.Appl. with Int.search report - World Intellectual Property Organization
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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