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Family Malvaceae
Thespesia populnea (Linn.) Soland ex Correa

Yang ye xian jin

Scientific names  Common names
Abelmoschus acuminatus (Alef.) Müll.Berol Balu (Sul.) 
Azanza acuminata Alef. Banag (Kuy.) 
Bupariti populnea (L.) Rothm. Banago (Tag., P. Bis) 
Hibiscus blumei Kuntze Banago-pula (Tag.) 
Hibiscus populneus Linn. Banalo (Tag.)
Malaviscus populneus (L.) Gaertn. Banaro (Pang.)
Thespesia macrophylla Blume Ba-ot (Sul.)
Thespesia populnea (L.) Sol. ex Correa Iden (Ting.)
  Tuba-tuba (Bik.)
  Valo (Iv.)
  Aden apple (Engl.)
  Cork tree (Engl.)
  Indian tulip tree (Engl.)
  Large-leaved tulip tree (Engl.)
  Pacific rosewood (Engl.)
  Portia tree (Engl.)
Thespesia populnea (L.) Sol. ex Corrêa is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
BENGALI: Palopipal, Bumbla, Poresh, Gajashuni, Parespipal.
CHINESE: Tong mian, Yang ye xian jin.
FRENCH: Feuilles d'Haiti, Motel debou
GUAM: Kilulo.
GUJARATI: Paarsapeepia.
HINDI: Bhendi, Gajadanda, Kallaaswattha, Parasipal, Paras pipal, Parasipu, Pipal.
INDONESIA: Baru laut, Waru laut, Waru lot, Salimuli.
MALAYSIA: Baru, Baru-baru. Bebaru, Baru laut, Waru, Buah keras laut, Tebawan.
SANSKRIT: Gardha-bhanda.
SPANISH: Palo de jaqueca, Carana, Higuillo, Alamo blanco, Emajaguilla, Palo de jaqueca.
TAMIL: Cheelanthi, Porsung.
THAI: Pho thale, Po kamat phrai.

Banago is a tree that grows to a height of about 10 meters. Branchlets and under surface of the leaves are covered with small, brownish scales. Leaves are glossy, broadly ovate, 8 to 15 centimeters long, with pointed tip and very broad, slightly heart-shaped base. Flowers are borne singly on the axils of leaves. Calyx is truncate, about 1.5 centimeters in diameter. Corolla is yellow, dark-purple inside the base, about 5 centimeters long, with strongly imbricate lobes, turning purplish as it ages. Capsules are rounded and flattened, about 2 to 3 centimeters in diameter.

- Throughout the Philippines along the seashore.
- Pantropic in similar habitats.

- Seeds contain water, 10%; raw protein, 24.88%, and fixed oil (Thespesia oil).
- Study reports the ripe seeds to contain phosphoric acid and the heartwood a garnet-red resin.

- Phytochemical screening of ethanolic and aqueous bark extracts yielded carbohydrate, protein, tannins, phenol, flavonoids, terpenes, saponins, and gums. (

- Heartwood is hard, smooth and durable, of a dark-red color.
- Considered astringent, antifertility, antibacterial, anti-diarrheal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, purgative, hemostatic, and hepatoprotective.
- Bark considered alterative, depurative.
- Roots considered tonic.
- Leaves considered emollient.

Parts utilized
Bark, leaves, fruit.

Young leaves and green fruits said to be edible as vegetables when cooked.
- Young flower buds and leaves eaten raw or fried in butter. (29)

- Decoction of bark used internally as alterative, externally as an embrocation.
- Decoction of leaves used as emollient for itches.
- Juice of fruit used for herpetic diseases.
- In Mauritius, bark is considered depurative and as treatment for dysentery and hemorrhoids.
- Decoction of bark used for washing skin diseases.
- Ground bark mixed with coconut oil used for skin diseases.
- Heartwood used as remedy for bilious attacks and colic; the Malays use it for pleurodynia.
- Leaves applied to inflamed and swollen joints.
- Flowers used for itches.
- Fruit juices used in India as external application for psoriasis.
- Juice of fruit applied to warts.
- In Fiji, decoction of leaves used for coughs and headaches.
- In Tonga, leaf and bark decoction used for treating fevers in teething children.
- In Tahiti, fresh capsules are bruised, applied to the forehead for migraines.
- Yellow sap of peduncles used for insect bites.
- Wood: Craftwood; used since ancient time for making bowls, utensils, jewelry, figurines and other craft items. Hawaiians make "poi" calabashes of it.
- Cordage: In some of the Pacific islands, outer bark used for making rope,
inner bark for finer cordage.
- Ornamental: Provides a dense shade with attractive leaves and yellow flowers.
- Dye: Seed capsules yield a yellowish green color. Wood produces a yellow dye used to dye wool . Bark yields tannin used for tanning leather.
- Illuminant: Lamp oil can be made from seeds.
- Ceremonial: In Tahiti religious tradition, the milo tree was associated with the god of prayer, and planted around temples. Leaves are used by priests in ceremonial offerings.
- Fodder. Leaves are a good source of protein, calcium and phosphorus for livestock. (29)

- Erosion control: Tolerant of saline conditions and suitable for coastal erosion control. In India, planted for that purpose. (29)

Wound Healing / Fruit: Study showed the aqueous extract of the fruits of Thespesia populnea with significant wound healing activity in the excision wound and incision wound models in rats following topical and oral administration. (1)
Antinociceptive / Anti-Inflammatory /
Bark: Study of ethanolic extract of bark yielded alkaloids, carbohydrates, protein, tannins, phenols, flavonoids, gums, mucilage, saponins and terpenes. Results showed anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities. Acute toxicity studies showed no mortality even at the highest doses. (2)

Antioxidant / Hepatoprotective: The aqueous and methanolic extracts of TP bark exhibited significant antioxidant activity against carbon tetrachloride-induced liver injury in rats
. (3)
Cognitive Effects / Potential Alzheimer Benefits / Hypolipidemic: Study on the TP extract showed multifarious beneficial effects, as memory improving property, cholesterol lowering, anticholinesterase and anti-inflammatory activities. It presents a promising candidate for improving memory and a worthwhile plant to explore for its possibilities in the management of Alzheimer patients.
Antibacterial / Flowers: Phytochemical studies of flowers yielded flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins and anthraquinone glycosides. The methanolic extract of flowers was active against 13 of 14 tested bacteria. Results show T populnea is not only an interesting source of antimicrobial activity but also a potential source of phenolic antioxidants.
Antimicrobial Synergism with Oxytetracycline: Study showed a synergistic activity of oxytetracycline with a methanolic extract of Thespesia populnea. It showed synergistic activity against all 12 tested bacteria, both gram+ and gram-, the highest against Shigella boydii. (6)
Anti-Hepatotoxic / Rhamnoglucoside: Study on rats of ethanol extract of fractions of TP using a CCl4 model of liver injury showed significant anti-hepatotoxic activity. Study yielded a rare flavonoid, quercetin-7-O-rhamnoglucoside. (7)
Anti-Psoriatic: Phytochemical study on bark extract yielded carbohydrates, glycosides, tannins, flavonoids, triterpenoids, phytosterols, proteins and lipid/oils.
Study showed the pet-ether extract with maximum anti-psoriatic activity. Results indicate the plant TP is promising for further investigations to prove its anti-psoriatic activity. (8)
Memory Enhancing: Study investigating the effects of TP bark on memory in rats showed it to be a promising candidate for memory improving and worthwhile exploring for its potential in Alzheimer management. (9)
Anti-Implantation: Chromatographic pure principle from PE extract showed significant
anti-implantation activity (60%) at 110 mg/kbw, while EAc extract showed a 48.6% effect. The active principles were found to be a mixture of two groups of long-chain fatty acids from GLC. (10)
Anthelmintic Activity: Study investigating the anthelmintic activity of a polyherbal formulation containing herbs of Thespesia populnea (bark), Terminalia alata (bark), Clematis triloba (roots) and Ceratophyllum demersum (leaves) on adult earthworm Pher
etima posthuma showed the ethanol extract to have a marked and potent anthelmintic activity. Individually, all the plants exhibit anthelmintic activity, but with a more potent effect when combined. (11)
Cytotoxic / Antibacterial Sesquiterpenes: Study isolated eight sesquiterpenoids, populene A-H together with 11 known compounds. The cytotoxic activity was evaluated against four cancer cell lines (MCF-7, HeLa, HT-29 and KB). Antibacterial properties against B subtilis, S aureus, and E faecalis are presented. (12)

Antidiabetic: Study showed an ethanol extract to have an anti-diabetic effect against STZ-induced diabetic rats through a possible mechanism of inhibition of free radical generation. (13)
Antibacterial / Leaves: Study of methanolic leaf and callus extract exhibited significant antibacterial activity against drug resistant strains of E coli, Staphylococcus aureus, K pneumoniae and Salmonella typhi
. (14)
Chemopreventive / Antilipidperoxidative Potential: Study investigated the chemopreventive potential and antilipidperoxidative effect of an ethanolic extract of T. populnea on DMBA-induced hamster buccal pouch carcinogenesis. There was significant prevention of tumor incidence, tumor volume and tumor burden. Results conclude the ethanolic extract of TP bark has potent chemopreventive efficacy and significant antilipidperoxidative effect in DBMA induced oral carcinogenesis. (15)
Hepatoprotective / CCl4-induced Injury: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective activity of an ethanol extract of the stem bark in carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced liver injury in rats. Results showed hepatoprotective effect almost comparable to silymarin, the reference drug. (21) Study evaluated methanol and water extracts of bark of T. populnea for hepatoprotective activity against CCl4 induced liver damage. Extracts showed dose dependent reduction in enzyme parameters with increase in total protein levels. The MET showed higher protection than the AET. (28)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Membrane Stabilization / Fruits: Ethyl alcohol and aqueous extracts of Thespesia populnea were investigated for anti-inflammatory activity via prevention of hypotonicity induced HRBC membrane lysis. Results showed a biphasic anti-inflammatory effect. Diclofenac was used as standard. (24)
• Antibacterial / Bark: Study investigated the antibacterial activity of bark of T. populnea against four bacterial (S. aureus, S. pyogenes, E. coli, P. aeruginosa) and two fungi C. albicans, A. flavus). A petroleum ether extract showed significant activity against all organisms while ethanolic and aqueous extracts showed moderate to mild activity. (25)
α-Amylase Inhibitory Activity/ / Anti-Diabetic / Leaves: Study evaluated the leaves of T. populnea for the presence of amylase inhibitors. Methanolic and ethyl acetate extracts of leaves were found to possess potent amylase inhibitory activity. Leaves also exhibited antioxidant activity. Results suggest T. populnea can mitigate postprandial hyperglycemia and ameliorate oxidative stress and help prevent diabetic complications. (26)
• Diuretic / Bark: Study evaluated various solvent extracts of dried bark powder for diuretic potential in albino rats. At 400 mg/kg, the extract showed significant increase in volume of urine, urinary concentrations of Na, K, and Cl. (see constituents above) (27)
• Wound Healing / Stem Bark: Study evaluated fine powder of stem bark for wound healing activity. Results showed significant acceleration of wound healing in excised wound model in wistar albino rats. (30)
• Apoptotic / Anticancer: Study showed decoction prepared with Thespesia populnea and Adenanthera pavonina exhibited anti-proliferative activity and induced apoptosis on Hep-2 cancer cells without any toxicity against Artemia salina. (31)
• Anti-Steroidogenic / Antifertility Effect / Bark: Study evaluated the anti-steroidogenic effect of T. populnea bark in adult female mice. There was significant reduction (p<0.05) in wet weight of both ovaries. The two ovarian enzymes ]3-,17-hydroxy steroid dehydrogenase and serum estrogen and progesterone also decreased (P<0.05) significantly. The antifertility effect of the methanolic extract was attributed to its anti-steroidogenic activity. (32)
• Effect on Cisplatin Induced Nephrotoxicity: Study evaluated the effect of Thespesia populnea on cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity on male Sprague-Dawley rats. Thespesia populnea extract ameliorated cisplatin induced kidney and liver damage as evidenced by reduction in levels of serum urea, creatinine, AST, ALT, and bilirubin. Reduction in the biomarkers suggest a regeneration process. The activity might be attributable to nephroprotective compounds such as flavonoids, alkaloids, etc. (33)
• Diarrheal / Antimotility and Antisecretory Mechanisms / Stem Bark: Study evaluated fractions of aqueous fractions from stem barks of Thespesia populnea for antidiarrheal activity in castor oil induced diarrhea, prostaglandin E2 induced diarrhea and charcoal meal test as in vivo models. Results showed good antidiarrheal activity. Phytochemical analysis showed the presence of gums and mucilages. Possible mechanisms may be the combination of antisecretory and antimotility mechanisms, i.e., inhibition of elevated prostaglandin biosynthesis and reduced propulsive movement of the intestine. (34)

- Wildcrafted.

- Cultivated.

Updated April 2017 / October 2013

© Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
IMAGE SOURCE: Photo: Thespesia populnea (flowers fruit and leaves). Location: Maui, palauea / File:Starr 070124-3910 Thespesia populnea.jpg / 24 January 2007 /Attribution: Forest & Kim Starr / Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license / click on image to go to source page / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Illustration / File:Thespesia populnea Blanco2.355-original.png / Flora de Filipinas / 1880 - 1883 / Francisco Manuel Blanco (O.S.A) / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons 
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photo / Seeds /Thespesia populnea (L.) Sol. ex Corrêa - Portia tree THPO3 / Steve Hurst @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Wound healing activity of the aqueous extract of Thespesia populnea fruit / A N Nagappa and Binu Cheriyan /
Fitoterapia, Vol 72, Issue 5, June 2001, Pages 503-506 / doi:10.1016/S0367-326X(01)00275-1
Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of Thespesia populnea bark extract / Mani Vasudevan et al /
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol109, Issue 2, 19 Jan 2007, Pages 264-270 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2006.07.025
Antioxidant activity of Thespesia populnea bark extracts against carbon tetrachloride-induced liver injury in rats / Raju Ilavarasan, Mani Vasudevan et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 87, Issues 2-3,, August 2003, Pages 227-230 / doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(03)00147-8 |
Pharmacological actions of Thespesia populnea relevant to Alzheimer's disease / Vasudevan M, Parle M / Phytomedicine. 2006 Nov;13(9-10):677-87. Epub 2006 Jul 24.
Synergistic activity of methanolic extract of Thespesia populnea (Malvaceae) flowers with oxytetracycline / Arthanari Saravana Kumar, K Venkateshwaran et al / Bangladesh J Pharmacol 2009; 4: 13-16 / DOI: 10.3329/bjp.v4i1.958
Chemical Investigation and Antihepatotoxic Activity of Thespesia populnea / Annie Shirwaikar, A. Vasanth Kumar, B. R. Krishnanand and K. K. Sreenivasan / Pharmaceutical Biology, 1995, Vol. 33, No. 4 , Pages 305-310 (doi:10.3109/13880209509065383)
ANTI-PSORIATIC AND PHYTOCHEMICAL EVALUATION OF THESPESIA POPULNEA BARK EXTRACTS / Siddharth Shrivastav, Rakesh K Sindhu et al / International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol. 1, Suppl 1, Nov.-Dec. 2009
Memory-Enhancing Activity of Thespesia populnea in Rats / Mani Vasudevan, Milind Parie / Pharmaceutical Biology, Volume 45, Issue 4 April 2007 , pages 267 - 273 / DOI: 10.1080/13880200701214631
Preliminary study on the antiimplantation activity of compounds from the extracts of seeds of Thespesia populnea / K Ghosh, T K Bhattacharya / Indian J Pharmacol | October 2004 | Vol 36 | Issue 5 | 288-291
Anthelmintic Activity of a Polyherbal Preparation / Dwivedi A, Dwivedi S et al / Ethnobotanical Leaflets 13: 259-62. 2009.
Cytotoxic and Antibacterial Sesquiterpenes from Thespesia populnea / Sompong Boonsri, Chatchanok Karalai et al / J. Nat. Prod., 2008, 71 (7), pp 1173–1177 / DOI: 10.1021/np800055q
Antidiabetic activity of Thespesia Populnea bark and leaf extract against streptozotocin induced diabetic rats
/ R. Parthasarathy, R. Ilavarasan, C.M. Karrunakaran / International Journal of PharmTech Research, Vol.1, No.4, pp 1069-1072, Oct-Dec 2009
Antibacterial potential of Thespesia populnea leaves and its corresponding callus against drug resistant isolates / Archana Moon, Aqueel Khan, and Bharat Wadher / Indian Journal of Natural Product and Resources, Vol 1, No 4, Dec 2010, pp 444-449.
Chemopreventive and Antilipidperoxidative Potential of Thespesia populnea (L.) on Experimental Buccal Pouch Carcinogenesis / Sasikumar Dhanarasu, Awdah Masoud Al-hazimi et al / Ibnosina Journal of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (2010)
Thespesia populnea (Linn.) Solander ex Corrêa / Chinese names/ Catalogue of Life, China
Thespesia populnea
(Aden Apple) /
Common names / Zipcodezoo
Thespesia populnea / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED
.Hepatoprotective property of Thespesia populnea against carbon tetrachloride induced liver damage in rats.
/ Yuvaraj P, Subramoniam A. / J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2009;20(2):169-77
Thespesia populnea (milo) / J. B. Friday and Dana Okano / Species Profiles for Pacific Island Agroforestry, April 2006
Thespesia populnea / Synonyms / The Plant List

Anti-Inflammatory activity of Thespesia populnea fruits by Membrane Stabilization
/ Arun Shirwaikar, Sarala Devi, E N Siju* / International Journal of PharmTech Research, Vol.3, No.4, pp 2060-2063, Oct-Dec 2011

Antimicrobial Activity of Thespesia populnea Soland. ex Correa Bark Extracts
/ T Shekshavali and Shivakumar Hugar / Indian Journal of Natural Products and Resources, Vol 3(1), March 2012, pp 128-130
In Vitro  α-Amylase Inhibitory Activity of the Leaves of Thespesia populnea / R. Sangeetha and N. Vedasree / ISRN Pharmacology, Volume 2012 (2012) / http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/515634
Hepatoprotective activity of Thespesia populnea bark extracts against carbon tetrachloride-induced liver toxicity in rats / R. Llavarasan, Vasudevan Mani, Sockalingam Anbazhagan, and S K Sridhar / Natural Product Sciences 9(2): pp 83-86, June 2003
Thespesia populnea / WorldAgroForestry
Evaluation of the Wound Healing Activity of Thespesia populnea Stems Bark on Wistar Albino Rats / Fathima Naslath M.N. and Varnakulendran N / International Journal of Advanced Ayurveda and Naturopathy 2017, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp. 6-13
Evaluation of anticancer properties of a decoction containing Adenanthera pavonina L. and Thespesia populnea L. / Indeewari K. S. Lindamulage and Preethi Soysa / BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2016, 16:70 / DOI: 10.1186/s12906-016-1053-9
Anti-Steroidogenic Effect of Thespesia populnea (L.) Sol. ex Correa. in Female Mice / G. Chandru , Kaliyamoorthy Jayakumar / World Scientific News, 2016, 55, 263-273
The effect of Thespesia populnea on cisplatin induced nephrotoxicity / Chandrasekaran Guruvayoorappan, Denish Mika / Journal of Cancer Research and Therapeutics, Vol. 9, No. 1, January-March, 2013, pp. 50-53 / DOI: 10.4103/0973-1482.110362
Antidiarrheal effect of fractions from stem bark of Thespesia populnea in rodents: Possible antimotility and antisecretory mechanisms / Gollapalle Lakshminaraya Shastry Viswanatha, Shylaja Hanumanthappa, Nandakumar Krishnadas, Srinath Rangappa / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, Volume 4, Issue 6, June 2011, Pages 451-456

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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