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Family Fabaceae / Leguminosae

Caesalpinia sumatrana Roxb.

Scientific names Common names
Caesalpinia sumatrana Roxb. Siit (Tag.)
Mezoneuron koordersii Backer Cat's claw (Engl.)
Mezoneuron peekelii Harms  
Mezoneuron sulfureum Miq.  
Mezoneuron sumatranum (Roxb.) W. & A.  
Caesalpinia sumatrana is an accepted name. The Plant List

Siit is a robust, prickly climber, 6 to 10 meters in length. Leaves are compound, 30 centimeters or more in length. Pinnae are 6, about 10 centimeters long. Leaflets are firm, smooth, oblong or obovate-oblong, 5 to 8 centimeters in length, 2.5 to 3.5 centimeters wide. Racemes are forked, as long as the leaves, hairy and obtuse at the tip. Calyx is smooth, 1 to 1.3 centimeters long, with the upper teeth minute, the lowest longer, and the tube splitting at the insertion of the glabrous filaments. Petals are a little exserted, reddish-yellow, permanently imbricated and oblanceolate-spatulate. Pods are thin, about 15 centimeters long, 4 to 5.5 centimeters wide, furnished with a moderately broad wing, containing 4 to 5 seeds.

- Found in thickets, at low altitudes in Palawan.
- Also known to occur in Sumatra, Borneo, Singapore and the Malay Peninsula.

- The active substance is a saponin.
- Leaf and bark yield a weak alkaloid.

- Phytochemical screening of various extracts (n-hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate and ethanol) yielded alkaloid, flavonoid, coumarin, and carotenoid, with absence of tannin, saponin, and steroids. All extracts yielded alkaloid and flavonoid. (see study below) (2)

- Considered vermifuge, antidiabetic.
- Studies have suggested antioxidant, antidiabetic properties.

Parts utilized

- The Malays use a decoction of leaves used as a vermifuge and for intestinal complaints like diarrhea.
- Also used after childbirth.

- Local tribes in East Kalimantan, Indonesia use the plant for treatment of diabetes. (2)

Antidiabetic / Antioxidant:
Study evaluated various extracts i.e., n-hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate and ethanol, to evaluate for antioxidant and antidiabetic potential. All extracts yielded alkaloid and flavonoid. The ethanol extract exhibited highest antioxidant activity of 82.32% with IC50 of 5.00 µg/ml. The EE also showed
a-glucosidase inhibitory activity with IC50 of 17.16 µg/ml and a-amylase inhibitory activity with IC50 of 16.78 µg/mL. Results suggest potential for a natural antidiabetic and antioxidant agent. (2)


Updated November 2018 / November 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: Photographs / Caesalpinia sumatrana / Cat's claws / click on image to go to source page / ©  www.NatureLoveYou.sg / Nature Love You
Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Caesalpinia sumatrana Roxb. / Synonyms / The Plant List
Antidiabetic potential of Caesalpinia sumatrana, a medicinal herbs traditionally used by local tribe in East Kalimantan / D A Wicaksono, E Rosamah and I W Kusuma / IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 2018; 144 / doi:10.1088/1755-1315/144/1/012027

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