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Family Rubiaceae
Mussaenda philippica A. Rich.

Scientific names Common names
Mussaenda grandiflora Rolfe               [Illegitimate] Agboi (P. Bis.)
Mussaenda philippica A. Rich.  Ati-ati (C. Bis.)
Mussaenda philippica f. aurorae (Sulit) Jayaw.  Ayaunakilat (Mag.)
Mussaenda philippica var. aurorae Sulit Balikarap (Tag.)
  Balailamok (Ilk.)
  Boyon (S. L. Bis.)
  Buyon (Tagb., C. Bis., S.L. Bis.)
  Darumabi (Mag.)
  Galas-virgen (Tag.)
  Gibuyan (Sub.)
  Hunbabuyan (Tag.)
  Kahoi-dalaga (Tag., Sbl.)
  Kahoy-dalaga (Tag.)
  Katudai-bantai (Ilk.)
  Langla (Sbl.)
  Muyon (Mbo.)
  Sigidago (Tagb.)
  Tabataba (Bik.)
  Talig-harap (Tag.)
  Taua-taua (Bik., Buk.)
  Talauataua (Mbo.)
  Tiñga-tiñga (Tag.)
  Bangkok rose (Engl.)
  Queen sirikit (Engl.)
  White mussaenda (Engl.)
Kahoi-dalaga is a local name shared by (1) Mussaenda philippica, galas-virgen, and (2) Anaxagorea luzonensis, dalairo.
Mussaenda philippica A.Rich. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
BENGALI: Magballi
HINDI: Bebina, Bedina.
KANNADA: Billoothi, Hastygida, Pathri.
MALAYALAM: Parathole, Vellila.
MARATHI: Bhutkes, Burthkasi, Lavasat.

Kahoi-dalaga is a shrub or small tree 3 to 5 meters high, more or less hairy or nearly smooth. Leaves are opposite, dark green and glossy, oblong-ovate to oblong-lanceolate, 6 to 14 centimeters long, pointed in both ends, and furnished with stipules about 4 millimeters long. Flowers are borne in small numbers in terminal, hairy cymes. Calyx is about 7 millimeters long, with four of the teeth as long as the tube, one very much enlarged into a white, leaflike, long petiole, elliptic-ovate appendage, the blade 4 to 8 centimeters long. Corolla is yellow, hairy, about 2 centimeters long, and enlarged upward. Fruit is about 1.5 centimeters long.

- In thickets and secondary forests at low and medium altitudes, in almost all islands and provinces.

- Flowers yielded saponins, flavonoids, tannins, carbohydrates and resins.

Parts used
Roots, leaves, sepals.

- Plant is used for dysentery and snake bites.
• Decoction of roots and leaves used for affections of the chest and lung.
• Root and the while, full-grown sepals are used in jaundice.
• Bark used for stomach ache.
• Externally, decoction of leaves used as emollient.
• For influenza, the tambalan healers of Samar use the scrapping of the bark of M. philippica and C. dichotoma. Mixed and pounded, the expressed juice strained and mixed with lemon extract; taken three times daily.

A methanol extract of leaves, flowers, stems and barks, hexane and ethyl acetate extracts of stems/bark showed mild inhibition of Bacillus subtilis growth. (2)
Study evaluated the anticonvulsant activity of hydroalcoholic extracts of leaves and sepals and its fractions against PTZ, MES, STR, Picrotoxin induced convulsions at different dose levels. Results showed dose-dependent effects which may have potential in the control of grandmal and petit mal epilepsy. (3)
Study evaluated the antitumor and antioxidant activity of Mussaenda philippica against MCF-7 and Caco2 cell lines induced breast and colon cancer in mice. (4)
Study evaluated the diuretic activity of flowers of Mussaenda philippica var. Donya Luz. Results showed the crude extract of possess potential diuretic activity which could be further explored in the treatment of hypertension. (5)
In a screening study of ten medicinal plants of Bangladesh for analgesic activity on Swiss albino mice, M. philippica effectively inhibited acetic acid-induced writhing. The reference drug was diclofenac. (6)
Antioxidant / Antibacterial:
Study evaluated the phytochemical, antioxidant and bacterial profile of flowers of selected ornamental plants from Nueva Viscaya, Philippines. Results showed M. philippica was bioactive against Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli. (7)
Antitumor / Sepals:
Study evaluated the antitumor and antioxidant activity of an EA extract of Mussaenda philippica sepals against Caco-2 cell line in male mice for colon cancer and MCF-7 cell line in female mice for breast cancer. Results showed antitumor and antioxidant effects by modulating lipid peroxidation and augmenting antioxidant defense system in Caco-2 and MCF-7 bearing mice. (10)
Hepatoprotective / Anti-Tubercular Drug Toxicity / Stems:
Study of a methanolic extract of M. philippica against isoniazid and rifampicin induced hepatotoxicity in an experimental rat model showed significant hepatoprotective activity. (11)


Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Update January 2016

Photo © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Public Domain / Mussaenda frondosa / File:Mussaenda grandiflora Blanc1.58-cropped.jpg / Flora de Filipinas / 1880 - 1883 / Francisco Manuel Blanco (O.S.A) / Modifications by C Spears / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Medicinal Herbs of Samar catalogued / Yolando R. de Guzmanand Krismas Sapao; UPVTC
Extraction and Evaluation of Antibacterial Activity from Selected Flowering Plants / Erlina Abdullah, Raha Ahmad Raus and Parveen Jamal / American Medical Journal 3 (1): 27-32, 2012
Evaluation of anticonvulsant activity of hydroalcoholic extract of Mussaenda philippica on animals
/ Kar DM*, Rout SK, Moharana L, Majumdar S / Journal of Acute Disease (2014)46-50
Antitumor activity of Mussaenda Philippica in colon and breast cancer / B.V.S. Lakshmi, Muvvala Sudhakar, E. Anubindu / LAP Lambert Academic Publishing ( 2014-04-02 )
DETERMINATION OF THE DIURETIC PROPERTY FROM MUSSAENDA 'DONYA LUZ' (Mussaenda philippica var. donya luz, Fam. Rubiaceae) FLOWERS EXTRACT / Marie Hazel Daguro, Michole Dela Cruz., Princess Airaden Gonzales, Michelle P. Mendoza, Geli N. Nieto, Carizza Janine Tabigo-on, Klaudette Chriselle D. Tallod
Screening of ten medicinal plants of Bangladesh for analgesic activity on Swiss-albino mice / M. A. A. Sikder, R. B. Rashid, F. Islam, A. K. M. N. Hossian, A. B. Siddique, S. Kabir, M. R. Haque, M. S. Rahman, M. A. Rashid / Orient Pharm Exp Med DOI 10.1007/s13596-013-0117-3
Determination of the Antioxidant, Phytochemical and Antibacterial Profiles of Flowers from Selected Ornamental Plants in Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines / From Knowledge to Wisdom / David Publishing
Mussaenda frondosa / Common names / ZipcodeZoo
Mussaenda philippica / Synonyms / The Plant List
Antioxidant And Anti-Tumor Activity Of Mussaenda Philippica Sepal Extract Against In Vivo Colon Cancer And Breast Cancer In Mice / Lakshmi BVS*, Sudhakar M, Anubindu E / INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVANCES IN PHARMACY MEDICINE AND BIOALLIED SCIENCES, Volume 2, Issue 2, Page 2-5, May-August 2014.
Hepatoprotective activity of methanolic extract of Mussaenda philippica (stems) against anti-tubercular drugs induced hepatotoxicity / D. Swarnalatha*, G. Sowjanya, Chakka Gopinath, T. S. M Saleem / IJPR, Volume 4, Issue 4 (2014) / DOI:10.7439/ijpr

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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