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Family Amaryllidaceae

Sibuyas tagalog
Allium ascalonicum L.

Huo cong

Scientific name  Common names 
Allium ascalonicum L. Bawang pula (Tag.) 
Allium carneum Willd. Lasona (Ilk.)  
Allium fissile Gray Sibuyas-Bisaya (Bis.) 
Allium hierochuntinum Boiss. Sibuyas-na-pula (Tag.)
Cepa ascalonica (L.) Garsault                 [Invalid] Sibuyas-tagalog (Tag.) 
Porrum ascalonicum (L.) Rchb. Chinese red onions (Engl.)
  Chinese red shallots (Engl.)
  Shallot (Engl.) 
  Garden shallot (Engl.) 
  Baker's garlic (Engl.) 
Quisumbing made separate entrees for Allium cepa (sibuyas) and Allium ascalonicum (sibuyas-Tagalog). Some compilations list them as synonyms.
Allium ascalonicum L. is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Xi xiang cong, Xiang cong, Xia hong cong, Huo cong.
FRENCH: Échalote rouge 'Red Sun'.
PORTUGUESE: Cebolha roxa.

Sibuyas-tagalog is a low herb, 15 to 50 centimeters high, with red, ovoid, subterranean bulbs, 1.5 to 4 centimeters long, 1 to 4 centimeters in diameter, with accessory bulbs. Leaves are fistular, terete and glaucous with pointed and subulate tips. Pedicles are long, erect, fistular and 20 to 50 centimeters long. Umbels are rounded, 2.5 to 3.5 centimeters diameter, containing many flowers. The pedicels are 1 to 1.5 centimeters long. Sepals are free, ovate-oblong, white or pale lilac, 0.4 to 0.9 centimeter long.

• Introduced during remote times.
Grown extensively in Batangas Province and cultivated in other provinces in Luzon.
Originated in the Levant.
Now cultivated in Java, Malaya, and India.

• Contains ash, phosphorus, calcium and iron.
Contains a volatile oil that stimulates the tear glands and upper mucous membranes causing the eyes and nose to water. This property is the homeopathic basis for using it in treating illnesses associated with tearing eyes and nasal discharge, such as hay fever and colds.
Phytochemical screening showed presence of secondary metabolites such as alkaloids, anthraquinones, saponins, cardiac glycosides, tannins, cyanogenetic glycosides and flavonoids.

• Study of polar extracts of bulbs isolated two new furostanol saponins, ascalonicoside A1 and A2 (1,2) and ascalonicoside B (4), along with compounds 2A and 2B. High concentrations of quercetin, isorhamnetic, and their glycosides were isolated and described. (23)

• Bulbs considered stomachic, tonic, anthelmintic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, hypotensive


• Edible parts are flowers, leaves and roots.
• Added to salads, used as flavoring or vegetable.
• Bulbs used for pickles in brine.
• In the Philippines, bulbs are used as anthelmintic, stomachic, and tonic.
• Also used for diarrhea, choleraic attacks, pain in the loins, headaches, laryngitis with hoarseness, coughs, amenorrhea, neuralgic pains.
• Poultice of bulb for earache; also, juice dropped into canal.
• In Africa, juice is rubbed on the body for fevers.
In Malaya, juice of bulk, with tumeric juice, is used for stomach aches.
• In the Gold Coast, mixture of b
ulbs with palm oil and large Capsicums used for fever.
• Bulbs used as aphrodisiac and for earache.

Anti-Helicobacter pylori / Leaves:
Crude extract of leaf of AA showed therapeutic potential against H pylori and gastroduodenal disorders. (1)
Renal Protective / Antioxidant: Study showed the protective potential of shallot extract against cyclosporine nephrotoxicity, a benefit probably contributed to by its antioxidant property. (3)
Antibacterial: One of 15 medicinal herbs studied for antibacterial properties, A ascalonicum showed effect against B cereus. (4)
Antifungal: Study investigated the antifungal activities of the fresh extract of Allium ascalonicum. It showed remarkable activity against saprophytic fungi followed by Candida species and dermatophytes. (5)
Antiangiogenesis: Study showed the ethyl acetate fraction potently inhibited angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Findings provide basis for further investigations on shallot for therapeutic and preventive activities against angiogenesis related disorders. (6)
Hypoglycemic / Attenuation of Contractile Responsiveness: Study of AA on diabetic rats showed oral administration for two months could improve hyperglycemia and showed attenuation of contractile responsiveness of the vascular system and thus, may help prevent the development of hypertension in diabetic rats. (7)
Anti-Cancer / Anti-Inflammatory: Study showed the aqueous extract of A. ascalonicum with most the anti-growth activity on the cancer cell lines and significant anti-inflammatory activity in vivo. (8)
Anti-Diabetic / Hypolipidemic Effect: Study in diabetic rats showed oral administration of AA had a time-dependent significant hypoglycemic effect and improved the lipid profile except for HDL cholesterol. (9)
Antihemolytic / Anti-Lipid Peroxidation: Study showed the hexane-extract of shallot had a very high activity on protecting the human erythrocyte from radicals, inhibiting lipid peroxidation and glutathione depletion in erythrocytes.
Antioxidant: Study showed the antioxidant activity of Thai shallot and the tendency of application for protection and scavenging activity on hydroperoxide formation in the biological system. (10)
Antimicrobial Activity: Study evaluated various extracts for antimicrobial activity. Fresh extracts of garlic showed more activity than similar extracts of onion and shallots. Fungi were more sensitive to shallot extract than bacteria. Among bacteria, Bacillus cereus was most sensitive; among fungi, Aureobasidium pullulans and Microsporum gypseum. (12)
Antimycobacterial: Study evaluated the antibacterial activity of Allium ascalonicum against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Results showed antimycobacterial activity with an MIC value of 500ug/ml., and implies the extract could be used as an effective agent against M. tuberculosis. (13)
Antimicrobial / Crude Juices: Study evaluated the antimicrobial activity of crude juices of Allium ascalonicum, Allium cepa, and Allium sativum. Results showed strong antibiotic properties, and the complete absence of development of resistance from juices of Allium species merit consideration. (14)
Antihyperglycemic / Cardiovascular Effects: Study evaluated the effects of Allium ascalonicum on contractile reactivity of isolated thoracic aorta from diabetic Wistar rats. Results showed oral administration of AA for two months improved hyperglycemia and attenuated the contractile responsiveness of the vascular system, and may help prevent the development of hypertension in diabetic rats. (15)
Pseudomonas aeruginosa Inhibition / Bulbs: Study evaluated the activity of extracts of underground bulbs on Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Results showed P. aeruginosa was sensitive to the bactericide type effect of the extract. The most effective was a 50% aqueous solution. (16)
Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory: Methanol and aqueous extracts significantly exhibited dose-dependent inhibition of albumin-induced paw edema in rats. The methanol extract showed analgesic activity at all test doses. (17)
Ethnoveterinary Antidermatophytic: Crude methanol extracts of Piper betel leaves, Alpinia galanga rhizomes, and Allium ascalonicum bulbs were tested against selected zoonotic dermatophytes (Microsporum canis, M. gypseum, and Trichophyton mentagrophytes) and yeast-like Candida albicans. All extracts suppressed the growth of fungi in a concentration-dependent manner. (18)
• Comparative Antifungal Study / Candida albicans: Study evaluated and compared the antifungal activities of ethanol extracts A. ascalonicum, Marticaria chamomilla and Stachys lavandulifolia on Candida albicans. While all three extracts were effective, Allium escalonicum showed the highest antifungal activity on Candida albicans with an MIC50% of 0.39 mg/ml, MIC90% of 8.5 mg/ml, and MFC of 20. (21)
• Anticancer / HepG2 Cell Line / Dry and Fresh Bulbs: Study investigated the anticancer activity of ethanol extracts of dry and fresh dry and fresh shallot bulbs (A. ascalonicum). Results showed both dry and fresh shallot extracts have anticancer potential with IC50 of 50 µg/ml. (22)
• Mucolytic: Study studied the mucolytic activity of shallot extract in vitro based on decreased viscosity of egg whites by Bookfield viscometer. At 25% concentration, the mucolytic activity of shallot extract was almost equal to 0.2% N-acetylcysteine. (24)
• Anti-Listeriosis / Essential Oil: Study showed shallot essential oil has high antibacterial power against Listeria monocytogenes (Hsani et al, 2011). (25)
• Anxiolytic / Aerial Parts: Study evaluated the anxiolytic activity of aerial parts of hydroalcoholic extract of A. ascalonicum. Results showed anxiolytic properties using hole-board test, elevated plus-maze, light/dark exploration, open field and social interactions tests. (26)
• Wound Healing / Antimicrobial: Study evaluated the antimicrobial and wound healing activity of ethanol extracts of A. ascalonicum in a rat model. Results showed potential antimicrobial activity by inhibition of gram-positive bacteria Staphylococcus epidermis and Bacillus subtilis. Histological studies showed the complete epidermis and the collagen fibers similar to the dermis of the standard group. Study showed the AAE extract possess antimicrobial and wound healing activities. (27)

Cultivated market produce.

Updated September 2018 / March 2013

Photo © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Illustration: Drawing / Allium ascalonicum L (Cepa ascalonica0: L. / Weinmann, J.W. 1979 / Contributed by Missouri Botanical Garden / PlantIllustrations.org

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
In vitro anti-Helicobacter pylori potential of methanol extract of Allium ascalonicum Linn. (Liliaceae) leaf: susceptibility and effect on urease activity / Phytotherapy Research Vol 18 Issue 5, Pages 358 - 361 / 10.1002/ptr.1265 About DOI
Haematological evaluation of ethanolic extract of Allium ascalonicum in male albino rats / B.V. Owoyelea, O.T. Alabia, J.O. Adebayoa, A.O. Soladoyea, A.I.R. Abioyeb, S.A. Jimoh / Fitoterapia 2004 / doi:10.1016/j.fitote.2004.02.006
Beneficial effect of shallot (Allium ascalonicum L.) extract on cyclosporine nephrotoxicity in rats / Food and chemical toxicology, 2008, vol. 46, no5, pp. 1844-1850 / doi:10.1016/j.fct.2008.01.02
Preliminary study of antimicrobial activities on medicinal herbs of Thai food ingredient

Anti fungal activity of shallot, Allium ascalonicum Linn. (Liliaceae), in vitro / A. Zarei Mahmoudabade and M. K. Gharib Nasery / Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol. 3(5), pp. 450-453, May, 2009
In vitro and in vivo anti-angiogenesis effect of shallot (Allium ascalonicum): A heat-stable and flavonoid-rich fraction of shallot extract potently inhibits angiogenesis / Parivash Seyfi, Ali Mostafale et al / Toxicology in Vitro, Vol 24, Issue 6, September 2010, Pages 1655-1661 / doi:10.1016/j.tiv.2010.05.022 |
The effect of oral feeding of Allium ascalonicum L. on thoracic aorta contractile response in diabetic rats / F Fallahi, M Roghani and A Bagheri / Koomesh Journal of Medical Sciences, 2009; 10 (3) :213-218
Anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities of shallot (Allium ascalonicum) extract / Hamid-Reza Mohammadi-Motlagh, Ali Mostafale, Kamran Mansouri / Arch Med Sci 2011; 7, 1: 38-44
DOI 10.5114/aoms.2011.20602
Time-Dependent Hypoglycemic and Hypolipidemic Effect of Allium Ascalonicum L. Feeding in Diabetic Rats / F Fallahi, M Roghani and A Bagheri / J Babol Univ Med Sci;12(1); Apr-May 2010
Antioxidant capacity of Thai shallot (Allium ascalonicum L.) on Amino acid and Glutathione from oxidation in vitro / Nuttakaan Leelarungrayub,Viboon Rattanapanone et al / Bull Chiang Mai Assoc Med Sci Vol. 37, No 1 January 2004
Allium ascalonicum L. / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
Heat stable antimicrobial activity of Allium ascalonicum against bacteria and fungi. / Amin M, Kapadnis BP. / Indian J Exp Biol. 2005 Aug;43(8):751-4.
Antimycobacterial activity of partial purified extract of Allium ascalonicum / Mansour Amin, Sepideh Segatoleslami, Mohammad Hashemzadeh / Jundishapur Journal of Microbiology (2009); 2(4): 144-147
Antimicrobial activity of crude juices of Allium ascalonicum, Allium cepa and Allium sativum
./ Dankert J, Tromp TF, de Vries H, Klasen HJ. / Zentralbl Bakteriol Orig A. 1979 Oct;245(1-2):229-39.
The effect of oral feeding of Allium ascalonicum L. on thoracic aorta contractile response in diabetic rats / F. Fallahi, M. Roghani , A. Bagheri / Koomesh. 2009; 10 (3) :213-218
Effect of aqueous extract of shallot (Allium ascalonicum) on inhibition of growth of Pseudomonas aeroginosa / F Ashrafi; A Akhavan Sepahi; A Kazemzadeh / Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, Volume 3, Supplement 2, Autumn 2004, Page 71-71
Analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of Allium Ascalonicum / BV Owoyele, AIR Abioye, NO Afinowi, SA Jimoh, AO Soladoye / The Tropical Journal of Health Sciences Vol. 13(1) 2006: 28-32
Ethnoveterinary study for antidermatophytic activity of Piper betle, Alpinia galanga and Allium ascalonicum extracts in vitro / N. Trakranrungsie, A. Chatchawanchonteera, W. Khunkitti / Research in Veterinary Science,
Volume 84, Issue 1, February 2008, Pages 80–84 / http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2007.03.006
Sorting Allium names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / A Work in Progress / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.
Allium ascalonicum / Synonyms / The Plant List
Antifungal effects of Allium ascalonicum, Marticaria chamomilla and Stachys lavandulifolia extracts on Candida albicans / Hassan Moghim, Simin Taghipoor, Najmeh Shahinfard, Soleiman Kheiri, Zahra Heydari, Samira Rafieian / J HerbMed Pharmacol., 2014; 3(1): pp 9-14.
Anticancer efficacy of dry and fresh Allium ascalonicum (shallot) against HepG2 cell line / Vetriselvi Pandurangan, Safreen Shaikh Dawood Amanulla, Kumaresan Ramanathan / National Journal of Physiology, Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 2016; Vol 6, Issue 3: pp 196-199
Chemical Composition of Shallot (Allium ascalonicum Hort.) / Ernesto Fattorusso, Maria Iorizzi, Virginia Lanzotti, and Orazio Taglialatela-Scafati / J. Agric. Food Chem., 2002; 50(20): pp 5686–5690 / DOI: 10.1021/jf020396t
Mucolytic Activity Test of Shallot Extract (Allium Ascalonicum L) by in Vitro / D A Deswati*, M A Dhina, and S R Mubaroq / The 2nd Annual Applied Science and Engineering Conference (AASEC 2017) IOP Publishing / doi:10.1088/1757-899X/288/1/012141
Listeriosis Phytotherapy: A Review Study on the Effectiveness of Iranian Medicinal Plants in Treatment of Listeriosis / Mahmoud Rafieian-Kopaei, PhD, Kourosh Saki MD, Mahmoud Bahmani PhD, Sobhan Ghafourian PhD, Nourkhoda Sadeghifard PhD, and Morovat Taherikalani PhD / Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 2017; 22(2): pp 278-283 / DOI: 10.1177/2156587215621460
Anxiolytic activity of aerial part hydroethanolic extract of Allium ascalonicum Linn. (Liliaceae) in mice / Abidemi J. Akindele, Hakeem A. Sanni, Pamela C. Edeh / Functional Foods in Health & Disease, 2012; Vol 2, No 11 / DOI: 10.31989/ffhd.v2i11.71
An investigation of antimicrobial and wound healing potential of Allium ascalonicum Linn. / Saenthaweesuk S, Jitvaropas R, Somparn N, Thuppia A / Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand: Chotmaihet Thangphael, Mar 2015; 98, Suppl 2L pp 522-527

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