Botolan is a deciduous, smooth, graceful, small to large much-branched shrub, 1 to 3 meters high, occasionally a tree 7 meters high. Leaves are extremely variable in shape, elliptic-ovate, obovate or orbicular, 2.5 to 10 centimeters in length, rather glaucous beneath, and rounded, obtuse or pointed at the tip. Flowers are usually borne on axillary fascicles. Fruit is mostly small, black or white, dry, and about 3 to 5 millimeters in diameter, edible and sweet.
- In dry thickets at low and medium altitudes.
- Bark contains 10% tannic acid and an alkaloid.
- Phytochemical screening of methanol extract of leaves yielded reducing sugars, cardiac glycosides, resin, tannins, saponins, glycosides, flavonoids, glycerin carbohydrate, anthraguine and steroids. (2)
- Phytochemical screening of aqueous extract of dried root
yielded saponins, tannins, cardiac glycosides, and steroids.
- Study of leaves and twigs isolated friedelin (1), epifriedelanol (3), stigmasterol (4) and betulinic acid (5). (see study below) (17)
- Ethanol extract of root bark
yielded polyterpenes, alkaloids. Total aqueous extract yielded polyterpenes, polyphenols, flavonoids, catechin, tannins, quinone substances and alkaloids. (18)
- Study of leaves and twigs yielded 11-O-acetyl bergenin (1), bergenin (2), virosecurinine (3), ent-phyllanthidine (4), kaempferol (5), quercetin (6), gallic acid (7), daucosterol (8) and β-sitosterol (9). (21)
- Phytochemical screening of ethanol leaf extracts yielded tannins, saponins, phenols, alkaloids, flavonoids, carbohydrates
and cardenolide. (see study below) (27)
- Study of twigs and leaves yielded a new terpenoid, 9(10→20)-abeo-ent-podocarpane, 3β,10α-dihydroxy-12-methoxy-13- methyl-9(10→20)-abeo-ent-podocarpa-6,8,11,13-tetraene (1), along with five known compounds (2-6). Also, the structure of dehydrochebulic acid trimethyl ester was revised as (2S,3R)-4E-dehydrochebulic acid trimethyl ester. (see study below) (28)
- Study of leaves of Securinega virosa isolated two cytotoxic alkaloids, virosecurinine (1) and viroallosecurinine (2) as cytotoxic alkaloids from the leaves of Securinega virosa. Study of compound 1 for cytotoxicity and its derivatives showed an α,β‐ and a γ,δ‐unsaturated lactone located in a strained ring system, such as rings ‐B, ‐C, and ‐D of 1, is structurally required for significant cytotoxicity. (1)
- Bark is astringent and considered poisonous.
- Considered aphrodisiac, antidotal, laxative, wound healing.
- Studies have shown antimalarial, antioxidative, analgesic, antimalarial, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, cytotoxic, sedative properties.
Roots, leaves, wood, juice.
- Fruit is edible.
- White fruit reportedly eaten in East Africa.
- In the Rizal Province in the Philippines, charcoal of the wood is powdered and used as cicatrizant of wounds. Decoction of leaves used for cleaning wounds.
- Juice of leaves of paste of leaves with tobacco used to destroy worms in sores.
- Decoction of leaves used as laxative.
- Root, sometimes with the leaves, taken for venereal disease.
- In traditional African medicine, used in the treatment of epilepsy. (26)
- In tropical Africa, used as remedy for diarrhea. Root decoction given as drink to calm children and to help them sleep.
- In Rhodesia, roots used as aphrodisiac.
- In Tanzania, used as aphrodisiac and treatment of impotence. (25)
- In south-central Zimbabwe, all plant parts used to treat frigidity, liver, bile, kidney, testicular inflammation, sterility, urinary and venereal diseases. Root extract drunk for treatment of pneumonia; drunk as contraceptive before sexual intercourse. Dried root powder applied to snake bites; root powder applied to wounds. (14)
- In West Ashantis, root used for gonorrhea.
- In Tanzania and West Africa, used for malaria.
- In Western Uganda, roots and leaves used for sexual impotence and erectile dysfunction.
- Ewe people of Togoland used decoction of leaves internally for constipation.
- In Kenya, roots used for malaria; root bark used for chest pains.
- In Northern Nigeria, root decoction used for treatment of mental illness.
- Tanning / Dye: Bark is used for tanning and as a black dye for matting. Leaves also used for staining.
- Fuel: Makes a good fuel wood.
- Timber: Valued for use in houses and fence posts; as joists, rafters, and tool handles.
- Repellent: Pounded leaves used as insect repellent.
• Cytotoxic Alkaloids / Leaves: Study of leaves of Securinega virosa isolated two cytotoxic alkaloids, virosecurinine and viroallosecurinine as cytotoxic alkaloids from the leaves of Securinega virosa. (see constituents above) (1)
• Anti-Diabetic / Leaves / Roots: Study of a methanol extract of Securinega virosa leaves on streptozocin-induced diabetic rats showed significant reductions of blood glucose levels on three different extract doses. (see constituents above) (2) An aqueous extract of roots of Securinega virosa lowered the area under the OGTT curve dose dependently at doses between 0.1 and 1.0 g/kbw. It did not lower blood glucose below fasting levels in both fed and fasted state. (25)
• Antidiarrheal: Study investigating the antidiarrheal activity of methanolic extracts of leaves, stem bark and root bark of Securinega virosa on a castor oil-induced diarrheal model showed the leaves and root bark extract to possess pharmacological activity against diarrhea.(3)
• Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory / Leaves: Study showed the methanol leaf extract had significant analgesic effect and moderate anti-inflammatory activity. Phytochemical screening revealed alkaloids, tannins, saponins, cardiac glycosides, flavonoids and resins. (4)
• Behavioral Effects / Sedative / Sleep-Inducing: Study of methanol extract showed significant and dose-dependent reduction of the onset and prolonged the duration of sleep. It also produced significant and dose-dependent motor coordination deficit in mice. Results suggest the root bark extract contains biologically active principles that are sedative. (5)
• Sedative Activity: Fractions from a methanolic bark extract exhibited sedative activity. Sedative properties could be due to the presence of flavonoids, saponins, and other phytochemical constituents. (6)
• Antioxidant / New Phenolic Glycosides: Study of leaves isolated one new flavonoid glycoside, 3-O-kaemferol 4-O-(galloyl)-beta-D-glucoside, a new bergenin derivative, 11-0-caffeoylbergenin, along with known flavonoids and phenolic derivatives. The isolated compounds showed quenching activity of DPPH radicals and a direct scavenging activity on superoxide anion. (7)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Antipyretic / Toxicity Study: An aqueous extract of dried root showed significant anti-inflammatory and antipyretic effects at doses of 200mg/kg and 400mg/kg. Toxicity testing showed safety up to 10,000 mg/kg dose with no death in rats. (9)
• Analgesic / Toxicity Testing / Roots: Study evaluated an aqueous extract of roots for acute toxicity and analgesic activity in Wistar rats. Acute toxicity tests showed it is generally safe. It showed a significant dose-dependent inhibition of pain in the formalin test. (10)
• Flueggines / Cytotoxicity: Study of twigs and leaves of Flueggea virosa yielded fleuggines A and B, two dimeric indolizidine alkaloids. Flueggine B exhibited growth inhibitory activity against MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells. (11)
• Hepatic Fibrosis Inhibition / Hepatoprotective: Study of an aqueous extractive from F. virosa on serologic markers in rats with hepatic fibrosis showed hepatoprotection, with reduction of enzyme levels, improvement of proteolipid, and inhibition of hepatic fibrosis. (13)
• Antioxidative / Radical Scavenging Activity: In a study of South African plants for antioxidative activity using the DPPH radical scavenging assay, acetone extracts of F. virosa showed the highest antioxidant activity with IC50 of 30 µg/ml closely matching ascorbic acid. (15)
• Anti-Hepatitis C Dinorditerpenes / Roots: Study of roots yielded four known terpenoids and eight new dinorditerpenes (5-12). Compounds 1, 3, 11, and 12 exhibited significant anti-HCV activity. (16)
• Antiproliferative / Triterpenoids: Study evaluated the antiproliferative activity of five purified compounds isolated from F. virosa. Bioassays were done on two cancer cell lines: adriamycin-sensitive erythroleukemia cells (K562) and adriamycin-resistant erythroleukemia cells (K562/Adr). Compound 5, betulinic acid, showed high cytotoxicity, with an antiproliferative activity independent of multidrug resistance phenotype exhibited by the K562/Adr cell line. (17)
• Antifungal / Roots Bark: Study evaluated solvent extracts of Securinega virosa and A. leiocarpa for antifungal activity. S. virosa yielded polyterpenes, polyphenols, flavonoids, catechin, tannins, quinone substances and alkaloids. Results showed both plants possess compounds with good anticandical properties. (see constituents above) (18)
• Bergenin / Sleep Promoting Effect / Root Bark: Phytochemical evaluation isolated bergenin from the root. It significantly decreased the mean onset of sleep without affecting the total duration of sleep. Results suggest sleep inducing property which could be partly responsible for the sedative potential of the root. (19)
• Neuropharmacological Effects / Sedative and Anticonvulsant / Root Bark: Study evaluated the neuropharmacological effects of an EA fraction of methanol root bark using in vivo animal models. Results showed the root bark contains bioactive principles with sedative and anticonvulsant activities. (20) Study showed a n-butanol fraction of root bark contained bioactive principle/s that possess anticonvulsant activities that may be beneficial against absence seizure. (26)
• Behavioural Effects / Sedative / Root Bark: Study of methanol leaf extract possess biologically active principles that are sedative in nature. The leaf extract at highest dose tested (100 mg/kg) significantly (p<0.001) prolonged the duration of diazepam induced sleep. (22)
• Antipsychotic and Sedative Potential / Leaves: Study evaluated the antipsychotic potential of a methanol leaf extract using apomorphine-induced stereotypic climbing behavior and swim-induced grooming tests in mice. CNS depressant effect was evaluated using ketamine-induced sleep test in mice. Results suggest the extract possesses antipsychotic and sedative potentials. (23)
• Antioxidant / Leaves: Study
evaluated the antioxidant potentials of hexane, ethyl acetate, and ethanolic leaf extracts of Securinega virosa using DPPH radical scavenging assay. While all the extracts showed very good antioxidant activities, the ethanolic extract exhibited the best activity. (see constituents above) (27)
• Anti-Hepatitis C Virus /
Twigs and Leaves: Study of twigs and leaves yielded a new terpenoid, 9(10→20)-abeo-ent-podocarpane, 3β,10α-dihydroxy-12-methoxy-13- methyl-9(10→20)-abeo-ent-podocarpa-6,8,11,13-tetraene (1), along with five known compounds (2-6). Compounds 1-6 were assessed for anti-HCV activity using cell-based HCV cell culture. Compounds 3-5 showed petter potencies than honokiol, a natural anti-HCV agent from Magnolia officinalis, with TI values of 6.8, 9.2, and 2.9, respectively. (28)
• Antimalarial / Leaves: A methanol extract showed high antiplasmodial activity against both D6 and W2 Plasmodium falcifarum strains. (•) In Kenya, aqueous and methanol extracts from leaves of Securinega virosa showed antimalarial activity using CQ-resistant strain with IC50 of 25.52 µg/mL and 2.28 µg/mL, respectively. (29)
• Antimalarial / Bergenin / Leaves: Study evaluated leaves of Flueggea virosa for antimalarial efficacy and active principles. Crude hydroethanolic extract and solvent fractions were tested in vitro against Plasmodium falcifarum CQ sensitive (3D7) and resistant (K1) strains. All fractions exhibited potential activity (IC50s <10 µg/mL) against both strains. Bioactivity guided fractionation isolated bergenin as a major and active constituent (IC50 8.07 ± 2.05 µM) from the ethyl acetate fraction with inhibition of heme polymerization pathway of the malarial parasite as a possible chemotherapeutic target. (30)
• Simultaneous Quantification of Biomarkers Bergenin and Menisdaurin / Aerial Parts: Study reported on the simple, sensitive HPTLC method for simultaneous quantification of biomarkers bergenin and menisdaurin from aerial parts of Flueggea virosa. Percent recoveries for bergenin and menisdaurin were 98.7-99.4 and 99.5-99.9%, respectively and in FVME, percentage was 15.25 and 4.22% (w/w), respectively. The method suggests potential for standardization of herbal formulations as well as bulk drugs for bergenin and menisdaurin. (31)
• Flueggether and Virosinine / Anti-HIV Alkaloids: Study isolated two new alkaloids, flueggether A (1) and virosinine A (2) from Flueggea virosa. Both alkaloids showed mild in vitro anti-HIV activity. (32)
• Anthelmintic / Leaf and Bark: Study evaluated leaf and bark extracts of Flueggea virosa for anthelmintic activity against Heamonchous contortous. Extracts showed the presence of reducing sugars, terpenoids, cardiac glycosides, flavonoids, saponins, anthraquinones, and alkaloids. All extracts showed significant dose dependent anthelmintic potential. (see constituents above) (33)
• Antipsychotic / Root Bark: Study of residual aqueous fraction of methanol root bark extract using two experimental models (apomorphine induced stereotypic climbing behavior and swim induced grooming) in mice showed antipsychotic potential attributed to the presence of biologically active principle. (34)
• Flueggethers B-D / Anti-HIV / Twigs and Leaves: Study isolated three new Securinega alkaloids, flueggethers B and C (1 and 1) as dimers and flueggethers D (3) as trimer, from the twigs and leaves of F. virosa. An invitro anti-HIV bioassay revealed moderate activity for flueggether D (3). (35)