Niyog-niyogan is an erect, glabrous, unbranched
shrub growing to a height of 5 meters. Leaves are crowded at the end
of the stems, spreading and short-petioled, oblanceolate with a cordate
base and an acute apex. Blade is coriaceous and dark-green, coarsely
toothed growing to more than 25 centimeters long. Fruit is ovoid, angular, up
to 4 centimeters long, on short peduncles and crowded at the axils of the leaves.
The leaves and fruits leave a pattern of scars on the trunk.
- Endemic to the Philippines
in thickets at low altitudes.
- Occasionally planted for its ornamental leaves.
- Sparingly cultivated in Hawaii.
- Phytochemical extracts yielded flavonoids, unsaturated sterol and triterpene, steroid glycoside, saponin,
tannin and phenol.
- Study isolated triterpenes: ursenone, ß-amyrin fatty acid ester, α-amyrin acetate, ß-amyrin acetate, oleanone, lupeol fatty acid ester, lupenone, squalene, and polyprenol. (see study below) (2)
- Nutrient analysis of powdered leaves yielded high values of dietary fiber (46.3%) and total carbohydrates (51.0%) and low total fat content (3.6g). Trace minerals were calcium (3.721g) and potassium (1.137g). (see study below) (15)
- Studies have suggest antioxidant, antibacterial, antiproliferative, hypoglycemic properties.
Edibility / Nutrition
- Young shoots are edible.
- In the Bicol area, leaves are cooked in gata (coconut milk). Cooked on top of steaming rice, then garnished with calamansi (Ini-ensalada). Cooked as side dish (bini-berdura) or as egg dish (tinorta). (15)
- Study has shown leaves lubi-lubi leaves as potential flavoring in the preparation of enriched lubi-lubi noodles. (see study below). (15)
- Leaf decoction used for the treatment of hypertension, diabetes, kidney stones, and high cholesterol.
• Hypoglycemic: Hydroalcohlic extract of dried leaves of Ficus pseudopalma, P. niruri, and Ipomoea batatas were tested on non-diabetic and diabetic Swiss mice. All five doses of F. pseudopalma exhibited hypoglycemic activity. It also showed slight toxicity orally and intraperitoneally. (1) α-Amyrin acetate may be one of the active constituents in the anti-diabetic property of F. pseudopalma.
• Terpenoids / Sterols / Dried Leaves: Study of dichlormethane extract of dried leaves isolated triterpenes: ursenone, ß-amyrin fatty acid ester, α-amyrin acetate, ß-amyrin acetate, oleanone, lupeol fatty acid ester, lupenone, squalene, and polyprenol. Previous studies have shown a wide range of biologic activities: α-amyrin, with hypoglycemic activity, and lupeol for treatment of kidney stones. (2)
• Lubi-lubi in Vegetable Noodles: Study conducted by the Sorsogon State College reports that vegetable noodles enriched with lubi-lubi leaves, used as puree, is highly nutritious, highly acceptable in taste, texture, and color. (3)
• Lupeol / Antioxidant / Leaves: Study demonstrated the free-radical scavenging activity of leaf extracts of F. pseudopalma. All fractions exhibited good nitric oxide radical scavenging activity. Chromatographic analysis identified lupeol as one of the possible active components. (4)
• Antibacterial / Leaves: Study investigated the antimicrobial properties of Ficus pseudopalma leaf extracts and its solvent fractions. Chloroform and ethyl acetate fractions exhibited active antibacterial activity against Bacillus subtilis and partial activity against Staph aureus and S. epidermidis. All extracts exhibited no antibacterial activity against Gram-negative bacteria. Antibacterial activity may be attributed to flavonoids and terpenoids in the crude ethanolic extract. (5)
• Cytotoxicity / Apoptotic Activity / Human Prostate Cancer Cell Line / Leaves: Study of Ficus pseudopalma leaf extracts showed cytotoxic and apoptotic activities against human prostate PRST2 cancer cell lines, which may be due to the presence of lupeol and quercetin. (6)
• Acute Oral Toxicity Study / Leaves: Study evaluated the acute oral toxicity of a crude ethanolic leaf extract. Toxicological and pharmacological observations, together with histological examination showed the leaf extract is not toxic and safe for consumption up to 2000 mg KBW, and therefore safe for nutraceutical and drug development. (7)
• Acute Toxicity Study / Leaves: Study showed a hot-water extract of leaves significantly suppressed the increase of blood glucose levels after glucose, maltose, and starch loading. However, it did not show any hypoglycemic effect in fasted or non-fasted mice. Results suggest a potential usefulness in the management of postprandial elevations of blood glucose. (8)
• Enriched Lubi-Lubi Noodles: Study investigated the development and acceptability of an enriched lubi-lubi noodle utilizing its puree as indigenous ingredients. A nutritional analysis on enriched lubi-lubi (F. pseudopalma) noodles, trial 2 with 250 g of leaves puree, 325 g APF, 10 g salt, 150 g eggs, and 2 g of vegetable oil, 187.5 water was found acceptable as to taste, color, texture, flavor, and odor. Study concluded that lubi-lubi leaves are potential flavoring in the preparation of enriched lubi-lubi noodles. (9)
• Free-Radical Scavenging Activity: In a study investigating the hypoglycemic and free-radical scavenging activities of Ficus pseudopalma, Musa paradisiaca and Syzygium cuminii, F. pseudopalma showed the greatest free radical scavenging activity. (10)
2): Study showed the crude extract of Ficus pseudopalma dose-dependently inhibited cell growth of HepG2, with observed aggregation of chromatin, cell shrinkage, and formation of apoptotic bodies in treated HepG2 cells. (12)
• Suppression of Post-Prandial Increase in Blood Glucose / Leaves: Study evaluated the blood-glucose lowering effect of F. pseudopalma on sugar/carbohydrate loaded and normoglycemic mice. Results showed a hot water extract significantly suppressed the increase of blood glucose after glucose, maltose, and starch loading, with not hypoglycemic effect in fasted or non-fasted mice. (13)
• Hepatoprotective / Acetaminophen Induced Liver Toxicity: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective activity of F. pseudopalma against acetaminophen induced liver toxicity in rats and compared with N-acetyl cysteine and lupeol. Although there was no remarkable reversal of histopathological damage, the effect of the plant on liver enzymes and antioxidant biomarkers support a probable hepatoprotective activity. (14)
• Nutritional Composition: Study of powdered leaves yielded high values of dietary fiber (46.3%) and total carbohydrates (51.0%), low total fat content (3.6g). Of trace minerals at highest level in powdered leaves are calcium (3.721g) and potassium (1.137g). Study suggests powdered dried leaves may be used as ingredient to high-fiber enriched recipes and menus, functional foods and energy drinks. (15)
• Antiproliferative / Apoptotic: Study assessed the genotoxic and apoptotic abilities of the plant extract of F. pseudopalma. Results showed a crude extract of FP dose-dependently inhibited cell growth of HepG2 at an inhibitory concentration of 353.342 µg/ml. All assays indicated apoptotic DNA fragmentation of HepG2 cells. Results suggest Ficus pseudopalma may be used as alternative, natural, inexpensive, readily available, and potent chemoprotective agent via inhibition of cell growth and promotion of cell death. (17)
• Hepatoprotective / Antioxidant / Leaves: Study assessed the antioxidative and hepatoprotective properties of defatted EA extract fractionated from crude methanolic leaf extract of Ficus pseudopalma. Results of in vitro antioxidant assessment of total phenolic fraction showed concentration dependent DPPH (IC50=2.73±0.04 µg/mL) and NO (IC50=4.96±0.05 µg/mL) scavenging activity as well as strong Fe+ reducing ability (RC50=11.74±0.19 µg/mL). In vivo hepatoprotective study using Sprague Dawley rats showed significant (p<0.05) hepatoprotective activity against paracetamol-induced oxidative damage. Lupeol and quercetin were likely responsible for the antioxidant and hepatoprotective activities. (18)
• Antiurolithiatic / Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated the antiurolithiatic and antioxidant potential of crude dichlormethane leaf extract of F. pseudopalma on ethylene glycol induced lithiasis in male Sprague Dawley rats. The EA fraction showed an IC50 of 0.2586 mg/mg against -OH radical and 5.289 mg/ml against H2O2. Results showed antioxidant and antiurolithiatic potential. The therapeutic dose of 1000 mg/kg was comparable to the effect of lupeol in significantly decreasing serum creatinine (p=0.998) and urine oxalate levels (p=0.158). (19)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Leaves: Study evaluated F. pseudopalma crude leaf extracts and fractions for phytochemicals and anti-inflammatory activity. The ethanolic leaf extract yielded a flavonoid-rich extract distributed between hexane, diethyl ether and ethyl acetate fractions. Anti-inflammatory activity was evaluated using a modified duck egg chorioallontoic membrane assay. Crude extract showed low inhibition of inflammation, while diethyl ether and aqueous extracts showed moderate inhibition of inflammation. (20)
• Antioxidant / Hepatoprotective / Leaves: Study evaluated the antioxidative and hepatoprotective properties of defatted ethyl acetate extract fractionated from crude methanollic extract of Ficus pseudopalma leaves. Extract yielded high total flavonoid (21.80 ± 0.16 mg QE/g) and total phenolic (12.93 ± 0.57 GAE/g) content, as well as strong DPPH scavenging activity (IC50 0.71 ± 0,01 µg/ml). In vivo hepatoprotective study using Sprague-Dawley rats showed significant (p<0.05) hepatoprotective activity against paracetamol-induced oxidative damage. Extract markedly attenuated increase in liver enzymes and liver MDA levels, and also ameliorated histopathological changes in the liver in a dose-dependent manner. HPLC yielded lupeol and quercetin that are likely responsible for the antioxidant and hepatoprotective activities. (21)
- Occasionally planted for ornamental use.