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Family Sterculiaceae
Guazuma
Guazuma tomentosa Kunth
BASTARD CEDAR

Scientific names Common names
Guazuma tomentosa Kunth Guazuma (Engl.)
Guazuma tomentosa HBK Bastard cedar (Engl.)
Guazuma guazuma (L.) Cockerell Musket tree (Engl.)
Guazuma ulmifolia Lam. Pigeon wood (Engl.)
Theobroma tomentosa (HBK) Gomez  

Other vernacular names
BENGALI: Nipaltunth.
FRENCH : Bois de hêtre, Bois d´orme, Bois d'homme, Hêtre gris, Hêtre orme (Eastern Caribbean), Hêtre vert, Mahot-baba (Eastern Caribbean), Mahot-hêtre (Eastern Caribbean), Mahot-hetre, Orme d'amérique.
GUJARATI: Bhadraksha, Khoto rudraksha.
HINDI: Rudraksha.
JAPANESE: Guazuma, Guazuma urumiforia, Nireba guazuma, Teoburaama guazuma.
KANNADA: Rudrakshi.
MALAYALAM: Rudraksham.
MARATHI: Rudrakshi.
PORTUGUESE: Araticum-bravo, Buxuma, Cabeça-de-negro, Camacan, Cambá-aça, Embira (Brazil), Embireira, Embiru, Enveira du campo, Fruta-de-macaco, Guaxima-macho, Guaxima-torcida, Mutamba, Mutamba, Mutamba-verdadeira, Mutambo, Mutambu, Pau-de-bicho, Pau-de-montanha, Pau-de-pomba, Periquiteira, Piriquiteira, Pojó.
SANSKRIT: Rudraksha.
SPANISH: Guacima, Ajilla, Ajya, Aquiche, Bacedar, Bolaina, Bolaina negra, Cabeza de Negro, Cablote, Caca de mico, Cambo-aca, Caulote, Chicharron, Coco, Contamal, Cualote, Guacima, Guácima, Guácimo blanco, Guácimo cimarrón, Guácimo de ternero, Guácimo dulce, Guazima, Guazuma, Majagua de toro, Nocuana-yana, Papayillo, Parandesicua, Tablote, Tapaculo, Vácima, Yaco granidillo, Yaco de venado..
TAMIL: Rudrasam, Tenbachai, Thenmaram, Tubakki, Tuppakki maram.
TELUGU: Bhadraksha, Rudraksha.

Botany
Guazuma is a tree growing to a height of 10 or more meters. Leaves are oblong to broadly ovate, 4 to 16 centimeters long, with pointed tip, rounded to heart-shaped base, and toothed margins. Flowers are small, yellowish-green or whitish, sweet-scented, and borne in axillary cymes. Fruit is a woody capsule, nearly spherical or oval, 2 to 4 centimeters long, covered with black tubercles resembling those of a mulberry, and imperfectly 5-valvate at the apex. Seeds are numerous in each cell.

Distribution
- Recently introduced into the Philippines.
- Garden cultivation.

Constituents
- Study yielded proanthocyanidins.
- Roots yielded a new dicoumarol, 3,3'-methylenebis(4,6-dihydroxycoumarin) along with known metabolites β-sitosteryl stearate, n-tetracosanoic acid, friedelin, friedel-1-en-3-one, β-sitosterol, 29-norcycloartanol, oleanolic acid, 3-O-acetyloleanolic acid, 6-methoxy-7,8-methylenedioxy coumarin, and methyl-3-acetyloleanolate.

Properties
- Bark is considered emollient, sudorific and astringent.
- Fruit is considered pectorant.


Parts used
Bark, fruit and other plant parts.

Uses

Edibility
- Seeds are edible, fresh or cooked.
- In some parts of India, capsules reportedly eaten as famine food.
Folkloric
- Bark and other plant parts used for malaria,
cutaneous and syphilitic affections, elephantiasis, afflictions of the chest and leprosy.
- In Martinique, infusion of the old bark is considered sudorific and used for chest and cutaneous diseases.
- In the West Indies, the inner bark is used for elephantiasis; also as a sudorific.
- In the Antilles, the bark is mucilaginous and used for astringent applications.
- Fruit is considered pectorant and used for bronchitis.
- Beverage of crushed seeds soaked in water used for diarrhea, dysentery, cold, coughs, contusions and venereal disease. Also, used as diuretic.
- Used as topical remedy for hair loss and baldness.
- Reported use by Latino healers in NYC for uterine fibroids.
Others
Fodder: In many countries, an important source of livestock fodder.
Wood: Used for posts, general carpentry, light construction and charcoal.
Rope:
Tough, fibrous bark and young stems used for making rope and twine.


Studies
Anti-Diabetes:
In a study in hyperglycemic rabbits of 28 medicinal plants, eight - including Guazuma ulmifolia - significantly decreased the hyperglycemic peak and/or the area under the glucose tolerance curve. (3)
Radical Scavenging / Anti-Inflammatory / Gastroprotective: Study evaluated the gastroprotective effects of an aqueous suspension of an ethanolic extract of leaves and flowers of G ulmifolia in a diclofenac-induced acute gastric ulcer model. Pretreatment with GU or omeprazole decreased the ulcerated area in a dose-dependent manner. Results conclude the aerial parts of GU protect gastric mucosa from the injurious effects of NSAIDS mainly by anti-inflammatory and radical-scavenging mechanisms
. (4)
Antibacterial: A study evaluated 21 extracts from 7 herbal drugs, including G ulmifolia bar, for their antibacterial properties against E coli, P aeruginosa, S aureus and E faecalis. Almost all the extracts were able to inhibit growth of one or more bacterial strains, except that of E faecalis. (5)
Proanthocyanidins: Proanthocyanidins from the bark has been shown to inhibit the activity of cholera toxin. (6)
Hypotensive / Vasorelaxant: Study investigated the in vivo and in vitro cardiovascular activity of a procyanidin fraction (PCF) from the acetone extract of G ulmifolia. Results conclude that G ulmifolia bark possesses long-lasting antihypertensive and vaso-relaxing properties linked to endothelium-related factors where nitric oxide is involved. (7)

Availability
Wild-crafted.
Seeds, powders, teas, tinctures in the cybermarket.

Last Update October 2013

IMAGE SOURCE: Theobroma tomentosa / Creative Commons / Botanicus
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Guazuma ulmifolia Lam. [as Guazuma tomentosa Kunth] / Wight, R., Illustrations of Indian botany, vol. 1: t. 31 (1840) [n.d.] / Plant Illustrations

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
Guazuma ulmifolia / FACT Sheet / FACT 97-02, January 1997
(2)
MEDICINAL PLANTS USED BY LATINO HEALERS FOR WOMEN’S HEALTH CONDITIONS IN NEW YORK CITY / M Balick, F Kronenberg et al / Economic Botany 54(3) pp. 344–357. 2000
(3)
Study of the anti-hyperglycemic effect of plants used as antidiabetics / F J Alarcon-Aguilara, R Roman-Ramos et al /
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol 61, Issue 2, 1 June 1998, Pages 101-109 / doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(98)00020-8
(4)
The aerial parts of Guazuma ulmifolia Lam. protect against NSAID-induced gastric lesions / Bereguer B, Trabadela C et al / J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Nov 1;114(2):153-60. Epub 2007 Jul 22.
(5)
Screening of anti-bacterial activity of medicinal plants from Belize (Central America) / A Camporese, M J Balick et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol 87, Issue 1, July 2003, Pages 103-107 / doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(03)00115-6
(6)
Proanthocyanidin polymers with antisecretory activity and proanthocyanidin oligomers from Guazuma ulmifolia bark / Hor, M., Heinrich, M., Rimpler, H / Phytochemistry 42, 109–119, 1996
(7)
Hypotensive and vasorelaxant effects of the procyanidin fraction from Guazuma ulmifolia bark in normotensive and hypertensive rats / Magos GA, Mateos JC ET AL / J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Apr 17;117(1):58-68. Epub 2008 Jan 20.
(8)
A new biscoumarin and other constituents from Guazuma tomentosa ROOTS / O. P. Agarwal, U. Saxena, S. C. Jain and R. Jain / CHEMISTRY OF NATURAL COMPOUNDS, Volume 46, Number 5, 713-715, DOI: 10.1007/s10600-010-9722-2

(9)
Sorting Guazuma names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.


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