Kulasi is a tree reaching a height of 18 meters, flowering when 1 meter high or less. Air-roots are few in number. Leaves are fleshy, green, shining, narrowly obovate, 2.5 to 7 centimeters long, with rounded and notched tip and pointed base. Flowers are bright scarlet, about 8 millimeters long. Calyx is oblong-cylindric, green, 5 to 6 millimeters long, and short-toothed. Petals are white, oblong, about 4 millimeters long. Stamens are 10, as long as the petals. Fruit is green, woody, oblong, 1.5 to 2 centimeters long, and crowned by persistent calyx-rim, containing a single seed.
- In beach swamps and along tidal streams in Rizal, Bataan and Quezon Provinces; and in Mindoro, Panay, Negros, Cebu and Mindanao.
- Also occurs in India through Malaya to Australia and Polynesia.
- Bark contains 15-19 % tannin; the leaves and wood contain smaller quantities.
- Studies have yielded a long-chain rubber like polyisoprenoid alcohol from the leaves, flavonoids and long chain fatty acids and low molecular weight carbohydrates.
- Study reported friedeline, ß-amyrin, taraxerol, betulin, ß-sitosterol, and triacontanol.
- Crude methanolic extract and fractions yielded flavonoids, quercetin and myricetin as main active components, together with quercitrin, quercetin-3O-hexoside, kaempferol 4'-methyl ether, kaempferol-3,4'dimetheyl ether, and bi-isorhamnetic and myricetin-7O-methylether(3-8")quercetin-2O-rhamnoside. (see study below) (2)
- Study isolated a new aromatic ester, 3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-propyl-3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-propionate, together with known triterpenoids, friedelin, betulin, and betulinic acid. (5)
Phytochemical screening of EtOAc fraction of MeOH extract of leaves isolated 8 compounds: a new cyclic compound together with seven known compounds viz. 3,4-dihydroxy benzoic acid, 3, 3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid methyl ester, Loliolide, Quercetin-3-O-(2''-O-galloyl)-rhamnopyranoside, Myricetin 3-O-(2''-O-galloyl)-rhamnopyranoside, Sophoretin, Lyoniresinol. (see study below) (14)
- Studies have suggested antibacterial, antioxidant, cytotoxic, hepatoprotective, antihypertensive , antiplasmodial properties.
- Fluid substance made from incisions in the stem, mixed with coconut oil, used as anti-herpetic and as cure of itches.
- Elsewhere, used for treatment of diabetes.
- Wood: Used for piles, poles, house posts, ties, paving blocks, bridges, ship planks, decks, handles and cabinetry.
- Fuel: Wood used as fuel for its caloric value.
- Tanning: Bark used for tanning.
• Antihypertensive / Corilagin and Chebulinic Acids: Study investigated the antihypertensive activity of eleven hydrolyzable tannins from the leaves of LR. Corilagin and chebulinic acid were identified as the major active substances. (1)
• Antibacterial / Phenolics: Study investigated phenolics and antimicrobial activity of L racemosa against fungi, virus and pathogenic bacteria. The crude methanolic extract and n-butanol fraction exhibited significant bacterial activity against all the bacterial tested, without activity against fungi and virus. Myricetin showed the most potent activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa with marked activity against others. (see constituents above) (2)
• Punicalagin / Orthostatic Hypotension Reversal: Punicalagin, an active principle isolated from the leaves of L racemosa reversed the fall in arterial blood pressure in conscious Wistar rats with orthostatic hypotension induced by hexamethonium. It was found less effective in prazosin-induced orthostatic hypotension. The effect is probably from a direct release of NE (norepinephrine) from the noradrenergic nerve terminals by punicalagin. (3)
• Hepatoprotective / Antioxidant: Leaf extract of Lumnitzera racemosa was evaluated for hepatoprotective and in vitro antioxidant activity in CCl4-treated rats. Results showed a hepatoprotective effect attributed to the presence of phenolic groups, terpenoids and alkaloids and in vitro antioxidant properties. (4)
• Wastewater Treatment: Study evaluated three mangrove species, i.e., Lumnitzera racemosa, Avicennia marina and Rhizophora stylosa for use in wetland wastewater treatment systems. Lumnitzera was found to increase salinity. It also performed well on total nitrogen removal efficiency testing, and fair on phosphorus removal. (7)
• Antibacterial: Study investigated the antibacterial activity of crude aqueous and ethanol extracts of mature leaves, tender leaves, bark and shoot of various mangrove species against clinical isolates of Shigella sp., Pseudomonas sp., and antibiotic resistant bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus and Proteus sp. Luminitzera racemosa showed the most significant antibacterial activity. (8)
• Antioxidant / Leaves and Stems: Study investigated the antiradical and reducing power activities of methanol extract of leaves and stems of Lumnitzera racemosa. Results showed better antioxidant activity by DPPH and reducing power assay in leaves than stems. (10 )
• Cytotoxicity / Antioxidant / Leaves: A methanol extract, Ch2Cl2 and n-BuOH fractions exhibited potent antioxidant activity. Isolated compounds exerted potent cytotoxicity in HL-60 cells, with IC50 values of 0.15 ±0.29 and 0.60 ±0.16 µM. Study of cytotoxic mechanisms included measurement of time-dependent changes in apoptotic markers and downregulation of p-ERK1/2, p-AKT, and c-Myc levels. (11)
• Antimicrobial / Leaves: Study evaluated the antimicrobial activities of various leaf extracts of Lumnitzera littorea against six human pathogenic microbes. Results showed antimicrobial activity with increasing concentration. The n-hexane extract was the most effective. (12)
• Anticancer: Study evaluated the in vitro anticancer activity of crude methanol extracts of four selected mangrove plants viz. Brugiera gymnorrhea, Aegiceras corniculatum, Aegialitis rotundifolia, and Lumnitzera racemosa against HepG2 cell line using MTT assay. All four extracts showed anticancer activity. L. racemosa showed an IC50-195.1. (13)
• Hepatoprotective / Acetaminophen Induced Toxicity / Antioxidant / Leaves: Phytochemical screening of EtOAc fraction of MeOH extract of leaves isolated 8 compounds. Compound 8 showed high hepatoprotective activity against acetaminophen and compound 1 showed moderate activity compared to glycyrrhizin as positive control using HepG2 cell line. Compounds 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 showed highest DPPH radical scavenging activity. (see constituents above) (14)
• Antiplasmodial / Leaves: A study evaluated the ethanolic extracts of 10 mangrove plants for in vitro antiplasmodial activity against chloroquine-sensitive Plasmodium falcifarum. The bark extract of R. mucronata (62.18 µg/ml) and leaf extract of L. racemosa (110.93 µg/ml) showed minimum level of IC50 values at significant (p<0.05) levels. (15)
• Antioxidant / Cytotoxicity / Leaves: Study of methanolic extract of mangrove L. racemosa leaves yielded 36 compounds. The methanolic extract, CH2Cl2 and n-BuOH fractions exhibited potent antioxidant activity with Trolox equivalent values of 24.94±0.59, 28.34±0.20, and 27.09±3.37, respectively. The isolated compounds also exhibited dose dependent cytotoxic effects, with compounds 1 and 14 showing most potent cytotoxicity in HL-60 cells with IC50 of 0.15±0.29 and 0.60±0.16, respectively. (16)