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Family Rosaceae
Rubus moluccanus Linn.

Scientific names Common names
Rubus moluccanus Linn.                   Bunut (Bon.)
Accepted Infraspecifics Bunbunutan (Bon.)
Rubus moluccanus var. angulosus Kalkman                   Dagamit (Bis.)
Rubus moluccanus var. discolor (Blume) Kalkman                   Kinubot (Ig.)
Rubus moluccanus var. moluccanus               Kobot (Ig.)
Rubus moluccanus var. neocaledonicus Schltr.                   Pakauit (Bon.)
Rubus moluccanus var. obtusangulus Miq.                   Salampinit (Sub.)
  Sampinit (Sul.)
  Sapinit (Ig., Bag.)
  Siit (Mbo.)
  Broad-leaf bramble (Engl.)
  Ceylon blackberry (Engl.)
  Eelkek (Engl.)
  Molucca bramble (Engl.)
  Molucca raspberry (Engl.)
  Wild raspberry (Engl.)
Sapinit is a local name shared by: (1) Sagmit, Rubus rosaefolius, and (2) Sampinit, Rubus moluccanus.
Siit is local name shared by: (1) Sapinit, Rubus moluccanus, and (2) Siit, Caesalpinia sumatrana
Rubus moluccanus L. is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
ASSAMESE: Jutulipoka, Tachin-tain,
FRENCH: Grosse ronce, Piquant lou-lou, Vigne marron.
GUJARATI: Shumukan khasheba.
HINDI: Katsol.
NEPALESE: Bipemkanta.

Gen info
- Rubus is a large and diverse genus of flowering plants in the rose family, Rosaceae, subfamily Rosoideae, with other 1,350 species.

Sapinit is a climbing, straggling, prickly shrub, reaching a height of 2 to 3 meters, with branches covered by wooly hairs. Stems, buds, petioles, and lower surfaces of the leaves are velvety. Leaves are thin, flat, usually 3- to 5-lobed, deeply cordate at the base, broadly ovate, and 5 to 15 centimeters wide. Upper surface is hairy and prominently reticulate when dry. Flowers are about 2 centimeters across, usually in small clusters, and borne in racemes at the axils of leaves and at the ends of branches. Calyx lobes are ovate to lanceolate, entire or pectinate. Petals are obovate, white, and shorter than the calyx segments. Berries are bright red, about 1 centimeter in diameter, succulent, slightly acid, with numerous carpels, and hairy receptacle.

- Native to the Philippines.
- In forests at medium and higher altitudes, and in very wet regions at low altitudes, from northern Luzon to Mindanao and Palawan.
- Also native to Assam, Bismarck Archipelago, Borneo, Caroline Is. India, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is. Malaya, Maluku, Myanmar, New Caledonia, New Guinea, New South Wales, Queensland, Solomon Is., Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Thailand, Vanuatu, Victoria, Vietnam. (12)

- Bark contains 10 percent tannin and considered astringent.
- Fruit contains malic and citric acids, pectin and albumin.
- In a study of three wild Rubus species, R. moluccanus yielded the highest total flavonoid content [18.17 ± 0.20 mg catechin equivalents (CE)/g] and anthocyanin content [36.96 ± 0.39 mg cyanidine-3-glucosiide equivalents (c-3-gE)/g]. (see study below) (7)
- Phytochemical screening yielded 26 compounds. Major constituents were hydroxy methyl furfural (21.642) and 1,1,2,-triacetoxyethane (17.908), and 2,4-dihydroxy-2,5-dimethyl-3(2H)-furan-3-one (10.345) and 2-hydroxy-3-methyl1-4-pyrone. (see study below) (7)
- Phytochemical screening of various extracts (ethanol formaldehyde, acetic acid, chloroform) of leaves yielded alkaloids (E), proteins and amino acids (E, C), phenolic compounds (F, E), tannins (F,E), glycosides (E, AA, C) and saponins (E). (see study blow) (8)
- Study of ethanolic extract of defatted whole plant isolated a pentacyclic triterpene, rubonic acid. (9)
- In a study of three wild Rubus species, R. moluccanus showed highest total flavonoid (18.17 mg CE/g) and anthocyanin content [36.96 mg cyanidin-3-glucoside equivalents (c-3-gE)/g]. Total carotenoid content was 9.69 mg BC/g dried sample, and total phenolic content was 20.76 mg GAE/g. (see study below) (13)

- Leaves considered emmenagogue and abortifacient.
- Root is astringent.
- Studies have suggested antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anthelmintic, anticholinesterase properties.

Parts used
Roots, leaves, and fruit.


- Fruit is edible with sour flavor; used in jams and sauces.
- Root, leaves, and fruit used for diarrhea.
- Malays use the fruit as remedy for nocturnal micturition in children.
- Leaves considered a powerful emmenagogue and abortifacient.
- A single dose of sap from young shoots drunk to induce labor. (6)
- Root decoction used for dysentery.
- In India, decoction of tender leaves of R. moluccanus, together with Psidium guajava, Perilla ocimoides and Vernonia volkameriaefolia and Urena lobota root prepared in water administered in an empty stomach once daily for 2-3 days for abdominal pain.
- In Assam, India, fruit and young shoots (leaves and stems) are taken to provide energy, and enhance fertility in female. (10) Leaves part of a herbal leaf concoction used for abdominal pain. Decoction of tender shoots with leaves, fruit, seed kernel, aerial parts of other plants used for peptic ulcer disease. (11)
- Leaf used as antihypertensive.
- In Papua, New Guinea, heated leaves are applied to the abdomen for abdominal pain. (11)
- Leaves chewed with salt and spat onto sores to promote healing. Sap from leaves or stems used to treat eye diseases. (6)
- Fruit considered a remedy for nocturnal bedwetting of children. (6)
- Dyes: Fruit yields a purple dye.

• Antioxidant / Antibacterial:
Study evaluated 80% methanol extracts of three wild Rubus species viz., R. moluccanus, R. fraxinifolius, and R. alpestris. R. moluccanus and R. alpestris extracts showed mild inhibition towards Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Salmonella enteritidis. R. moluccanus showed a total phenolic content of 20.76, total flavonoid 18.17, total anthocyanin 36.96 and total carotenoid 9.69. Antioxidant assays yielded 38.00 ± 1.63 (DPPH assay), 50.37 ± 5.28 (FRAP), and 0..73 ± 0.03 (ABTS) assays. (see constituents above) (7)
• Antimicrobial / Anthelmintic / Leaves:
Study evaluated various extracts of shade dried and pulverized leaves of Rubus moluccanus for antimicrobial and anthelmintic activities. Results showed febrifugal and febricidal activity against adult Indian earthworm, Pheretima posthuma. The ethanol extract showed significant antibacterial and antfungal activity against test pathogenic organisms i.e., E. coli, B. subtilis, and S. aureus. (8)
• Rubonic Acid / New Triterpene:
Rubonic acid, a new pentacyclic triterpene acid from the defatted whole plant of Rubus moluccanus formulated as 3,7-diket-olean-12-ene-28-oic acid on the basis of spectral {IR, UV, PMR and mass) and chemical evidences. (9)
Anticholinesterase Inhibition Activity / Fruit: Study evaluated three wild Rubus species (Rubus moluccanus, R. fraxinifolius, R. alpestris) for phytochemical content, antioxidant, antibacterial, and antiacetylcholinesterase activities. It showed mild inhibition towards Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Salmonella enteritidis. Rubus moluccanus showed highest anticholinesterase activity (26.42%). (13)

- Wild-crafted.
- Seeds, teas, powders, plants in the cybermarket.

Updated May 2023 / September 2018 /July 2013

IMAGE SOURCE / PHOTO / Close-up Fruit/Leaf / Rubus moluccanus jpg / click on image to go to source page / /WELLGROW Horti Trading
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE / Public Domain / File:Rubus moluccanus Blanco2.393-cropped.jpg / Flora de Filipinas / Franciso Manuel Blanco (OSA), 1880-1883 / Modifications by Carol Spears / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE Seeds / Rubus moluccanus L. [excluded] - eelkek RUMO4 / Steve Hurst @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS / USDA
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE Seeds / Rubus moluccanus / Close-up of fruit / Ehoarn Bidault / image modified / CC BY-NC-ND / click on link or image to go to source page /  Useful Tropical Plants

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Traditional medicine in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases in Upper Assam / P K Borah, P Gogoi et al / Indian Journ of Traditional Medicine, Vol 5(4), Oct 2006, pp 510-512
Sources of antioxidant activity in Australian native fruits. Identification and quantification of anthocyanins / Netzel M, Netzel G, Tian Q, Schwartz S, Konczak I. / J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Dec 27;54(26):9820-6.
Medicinal Plants of Asia and the Pacific / Drugswell
Sorting Rubus names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne)
Anthocyanin content, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties of blackberry and raspberry fruits / Camille S Bowen-Forbes, Yanjun Zhang, Muraleedharan G Nair / Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 23(2010)554-560.
Rubus moluccanus / Useful Tropical Plants
Phytochemical Composition and Biological Activities of Selected Wild Berries (Rubus moluccanus L., R. fraxinifolius Poir., and R. alpestris Blume) / Mohd Fadzelly Abu Bakar, Nur Amalina Ismail, Azizul Isha, and Angelina Lee Me Ling / Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2016; 2016: 2482930 / PMID: 27437023 / DOI:  10.1155/2016/2482930
Phytochemical investigation and antimicrobial anthelmintic activities of the leaves of Rubus moluccanus Linn / Santhosh Anasuri, Uma Shankar Damu, Shankaraiah Pulipaka and Madhuri Tekurala / Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, 2017; 6(6): pp 1392-1396
Rubonic acid a new triterpene acid from rubus moluccanus
/ Shaw AK, Antoulas S, Ganguly S N /Indian Journal of Chemistry Section B Organic Chemistry Including Medicinal Chemistry, 26(9): pp 896-897
A study on the medicinal plants used by the local traditional healers
of Dhemaji district, Assam, India for curing reproductive health related disorders / Tarun Chandra Taid, Ratul Chandra Rajkhowa, and Jogen Chandra Kalita / Advances in Applied Science Research, 2014; 5(1): pp 296-301
Traditional medicine in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases in Upper Assam / P K Borah, P Gogoi, A C Phuka & J Mahanta / Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, Oct 2006; 5(4): pp 510-512
Rubus moluccanus / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Phytochemical Composition and Biological Activities of Selected Wild Berries (Rubus moluccanus L., R. fraxinifolius Poir., and R. alpestris Blume) / Mohd Fadzelly Abu Bakar, Nur Amalina Ismail, Azizul Isha, Angelina Lee Mei Ling / Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Vol 2016; Article ID 2482930 / DOI: 10.1155/2016/2482930

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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