Talisai is a large, deciduous tree,
reaching a height of 20 to 25 meters, smooth or nearly so. Branches are horizontally whorled.
Leaves are shiny, obovate, 10 to 25 centimeters long, tapering below to a narrow and heart-shaped
base with a expanded rounded apex. Leaf stalks are short and stout.
Flowers are white, small, and borne on spikes in the axils of the leaves, 6 to 18 centimeters long. Fruit is smooth and ellipsoid, 3 to 6 centimeters long, and prominently
bi-ridged or keeled down to the sides. Pericarp is fibrous and fleshy, the endocarp
- Found throughout the Philippines
A common inland tree preferred for its umbrella-type
- Occurs in the Old World Tropics.
- Introduced to the New World.
- Seed contains 51.2 percent
fixed oil, Catappa oil, with 54% olein, palmitin, and 46 % stearin.
- Bark contains tannin.
- Phytochemical analysis yielded saponin, saponin glycosides, steroid,
cardiac glycoside, tannins, volatile oils, phenols and balsam (gum).
- Physiochemical analysis of sun dried mesocarp of fruits revealed about 12.65% ash, 84.93%
carbohydrate, 0.37% oil, 316 mg/g glucose, 0.1% protein, 1.30 mg/g tannin, 1.95% moisture, with 3434.5 kcal/kg calorific value.
- Seeds yield 4.13% moisture, 23.78% crude protein, 4.27% ash, 4.94% crude fiber, 51.80% fat, 16.02% carbohydrate and 548.78 Kcal calorific value.
(See study below) (16)
- Classified in the oleic-linoleic acid group, oil contains high levels of unsaturated fatty acids, especially oleic (up to 31.48%) and linoleic (up to 28.93%).
- Leaves are sudorific, antihelmintic
- Bark and roots are astringent.
- Oil extracts exhibit good physiochemical properties and can be useful as edible oil and potential for industrial applications.
Edibility / Nutrition
- Kernels are edible, with a sweet-acidic pericarp.
- Seeds are a good source of minerals; in descending order: potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium.
- Red leaves are used to expel worms.
- Fruit is said to be purgative.
- Leaves mixed with oil are rubbed onto the breast to relieve mammary
- Bark is used for gastric ailments, bilious diarrhea and dysentery.
- The sap of young leaves mixed with the kernel oil has been used for
the treatment of leprosy.
- Bark decoction has been used for the treatment of gonorrhea and stomach
- Leaves are applied to rheumatic joints.
- Juice of young leaves used for scabies and other cutaneous diseases,
headaches and colic.
- Leaves macerated in oil has been used for tonsillitis.
- In Sri Lankan folklore,
juice of tender leaves used for pains, including headaches.
- In India, the bark is
used as a diuretic and cardiotonic; leaves used for headache.
- In Nigeria, leaves macerated
in palm oil used for tonsillitis; stems and bark used for sexual dysfunction.
- Seeds have been used for sexual dysfunction.
- Kernel contains a fixed oil, 51-63% called Indian Almond oil, oil of
Badamier, or in the Philippines, as Talisay oil.
/ Hepatoprotective: Study of leaf extracts of TC and
an isolated antioxidant, corilagin, was found to provide hepatoprotection
in experimentally induced liver injury through suppression of oxidative
stress and apoptosis. (1)
Topical application of ethanol and chloroform extracts of leaves in induced acute and chronic ear edema in mice showed reduced inflammation.
Study of the methanolic extracts of leaves of Eucalyptus camaldulensis
and Terminalia catappa showed inhibitory activity on B subtilis and
S aureus. Phytochemical analysis yielded saponin, saponin glycosides,
steroid, cardiac glycoside, tannins, volatile oils, phenols and balsam
Study showed extract of TC leaves exerted an inhibitory effect on invasion
and motility of highly metastatic lung carcinoma cells. It suggests
TCE could be a potential antimetastatic agent. (3)
Study of the leaf extract of TC concludes that it is useful as an analgesic,
supporting it folkloric use in Sri Lanka.(4)
• Squalene / Antioxidant:
Squalene was identified from the leaf extract of TC. The extract of
leaves exhibited potent antioxidative and scavenging activities. (5)
• Anti-Diabetic: Study of petroleum ether, methanol and aqueous extracts of T catappa all produced significant antidiabetic activity at dose levels 1/5 of their lethal doses. Histological studies of the pancreas earlier necrosed by alloxan showed regeneration by methanolic and aqueous extracts.
• Anti-Diabetic: Damage to pancreas in alloxan-treated diabetic control and regeneration of ß-cells by glibenclamide was observed. A comparable regeneration was noted with aqueous and cold extracts.
• Aphrodisiac: Reports
of Terminalia catappa seeds showing aphrodisiac activities in male rates.(6)
• Anti-inflammatory / Triterpenic Acids:
Study of ethanolic extract of leaves yielded triterpenic acids responsible for the antiinflammatory activity of T catappa leaves. (7)
• Antiparasitic / Antibacterial / Antifungal:
Study looked into T catappa as an alternative to the use of chemicals and antibiotics in the aquaculture industry. Results showed eradication of Trichodina, fish ectoparasites, at 800 ppm. On going research is being done to isolate the active ingredients in the Indian almond for fish pathogen treatment. (9)
• Antibacterial / Ornamental Fish Culture: Study evaluated the concentration of tannin, an antimicrobial substance, in a water extract of leaves and its in vitro antibacterial activity against bacteria isolated from aquatic animals. Results indicated a potential for use as antibacterial alternative for ornamental fish culture.
• Oil / Biodiesel Potential: Study of castanhola in Brazil showed the oil obtained from the fruit kernels to yield around 49% (%mass). The fatty acid composition was similar to other conventional oils. Study of physiochemical properties of the TC biodiesel showed to be in acceptable range for use as in diesel engines.
• Livestock Feed: The mesocarp of T catappa contain major nutrients of carbohydrate, oil and metal ions (Ca, Mg, Fe, Cu, and Zn) provide for biochemical activities required for livestock feed formulation. (11)
Study reports the leaf extracts exhibited significant blood glucose
lowering in alloxan-induced hyperglycemic rats. (12)
• Anthelmintic: Study of TC leaves showed anthelmintic activity through inhibition of motility and survivability of larvae of T. colubriforis, C curticei and H. contortus. (13)
• Hepatoprotective / D-Galactosamine / Radical Scavenging: TC leaf extract showed hepatoprotective effect against D-Galactosamine (D-GalN)-induced liver injury. There was dose-dependent inhibition of mitrochondrial swelling with dose-dependent superoxide radicals scavenging activity. (15)
• Antimicrobial: Study demonstrated antimicrobial activity, more pronounced against bacteria than fungal strains. (14)
• Nutritional Properties of Seed and Oil: Seeds were found to be a good source of minerals. Oil contains high levels of unsaturated fatty acids, especially oleic and linoleic acids. Dominant saturated acids were palmitic and stearic acids. Oil extracts exhibited good physiochemical properties and a potential usefulness as edible oils and industrial applications. (See constituents above) (16)
• Erythropoiesis Enhancement: Study evaluated the potential of Terminalia catappa to induce erythropoiesis in adult Balb C mice. A methanolic extract of T. catappa exhibited erythropoietic potential, inducing production of hemoglobin higher than untreated control. (18)
• Toxicological Study / Leaves: Study evaluated three different doses of T. catappa crude aqueous extract in two stages of toxicity. Results showed no toxicological effects on Sprague-Dawley white rats in a 14-day experimental period. (19)
• Antinociceptive / Leaves: Study of an aqueous extract of leaves showed analgesic activity which may be mediated through both central and peripheral mechanisms. (20)
• Antifungal / Leaves: Study evaluated ethanol and methanol leaf extracts of T. catappa and T. arjuna for in-vitro antifungal activity against A. niger, A. alternata, C. lunata and T. tonsurans. Both showed antifungal activities, with T. arjuna showing better efficacy. Methanol extract showed best activity with Curvularia lunata. (21)
• Antibacterial / Leaves: Study evaluated methanol, ethanol, and aqueous extracts of T. catappa leaves and bark for antibacterial activity against clinical (sensitive and MDR) and ATCC strains of E. coli, K. pneumonia, and MRSA Staphylococcus aureus. Bark extracts showed better activity compared to the leaves extracts, and the methanolic extract the most active of all the extracts. (22)
• Hepatoprotective / Leaves / CCl4-Induced Toxicity / Triterpenoids: Study evaluated a chloroform extract of leaves on carbon tetrachloride-induced acute liver damage and D-galactosamine induced injury. The chloroform extract yielded ursolic acid and asiatic acid, which dose-dependently inhibited Ca2++-induced mitrochondrial swelling. The hepatoprotective activity attributed to protection of the liver mitrochondria and scavenging action of free radicals. (23)
• Natural Anti-solar Agent / Fruit: Study evaluated the UV absorption ability of a methanol extract of fruit of Terminalia catappa as an application as anti-solar agent. Results showed maximum absorbance at 200nm, good absorbance at 240nm to 300 nm, and moderate absorbance at 300-360nm. (24)
• Antitumor / Leaves: Study evaluated the effect of a methanolic extract of leaves of T. catappa against Ehrlich ascitic lymphoma (ELA) in Swiss albino mice. Results showed significant antitumor activity, with the extract bringing back the altered levels of hematological parameters and liver enzymes. (25)