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Family Polygonaceae
Sea grape
Coccoloba uvifera Linn.


Scientific names Common names
Coccoloba uvifera Linn. Common sea grape (Engl.)
Coccolobis uvifera (L.) Crantz Platterleaf (Engl.)
Polygonum uvifera L. Sea grape (Engl.)
  Seaside grape (Engl.)
  Shore-grape (Engl.)
Coccoloba uvifera (L.) L. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
FRENCH: Cipo Branco De Pernambuco, Kino, Raisin Marine, Raisinier, Raisinier Bord De Mer.
GERMAN: Gemeine seestraube, Meertraubenbaum.
PORTUGUESE: Cocoloba, Uva-da-praia, Uva-do-mar
SPANISH: Uva caleta, Uva de playa, Uvero, Uvero de playa.
SURINAM: Droifi, Druif, Sistridroifi, Zeedruif.

Sea grape is a sprawling bush or small tree, growing to a maximum height of 8 meters. Bark is smooth and yellowish. Leaves are alternate, short-petioled, large, leathery, glossy, dark green, broadly bean-shaped, with wavy margins, up to 15 centimeters long, with a reddish-colored primary vein extending from the base. Flowers are in terminal racemes, small, white and slightly fragrant, with five petals and eight stamens. Fruits are pear-shaped, reddish purple and green-dotted, 1.5 centimeters long, with a single hard seed, clustered in pendulous branches.

- Salt tolerant, planted near beaches edges.
- Ornamental distribution in parks and gardens.
- Introduced to the Philippines in the 1940s.
- In Hawaii, planted as a seashore windbreaker.
- Native to the Florida, Bahamas, West Indies, South America and Mexico.

- Methanolic extract of seeds yielded flavonoids, saponins, polyphenols, and tannins.
- Bark of stem, branches, and roots are rich in tannins.

- Astringent, antidiarrheal, antidysentery.
- Studies suggest antibacterial, antifungal, photoprotective and glucose lowering properties.

Parts utilized
Leaves, bark, roots, fruit.

- Fruit is edible, eaten off the tree or made into jams, jellies and wine.
- Flowers yield abundant nectar, the honey of good quality, light amber in color, and spicy.

- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- In other countries, juice and decoction of wood, bark and roots are used to treat dysentery, hemorrhages, venereal disease.
- Applied externally for rashes and skin afflictions.
- Decoction of leaves used to treat asthma, hoarseness and to wash wounds.
- Astringent roots and bark used in traditional medicine of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.
- In the Dominican Republic, decoction of leaves used for menopausal symptoms, diarrhea, tumors, anemia, skin irritations, asthma. (7)
- In the Yucatan, alcohol added to tea made from bark of sea grape is taken for ulcers. (9)
- In French Guiana, astringent juice from whole plant, known as "Jamaica kino", used to treat diarrhea and dysentery. Decoction of stem used for intestinal disorders. (10)
- Dye: Cut bark yields an astringent red sap, once used for tanning and dyeing.
- Fuel: Wood is used for charcoal and firewood.

- Furniture: Used in turning, inlay work, and cabinetry.

Phytochemical: Studies show the chemical composition of Coccoloba uvifera as: α-Amyrin (antitumor, cytotoxic), chrysophanol (antiseptic, bactericidal, cathartic, hemostat, purgative), emodin (anti-aggregant, antiinflammatory, antitumor, antiulcer, immunosuppressive, viricide), physcion (antiseptic, cathartic, purgative), rhein (anticarcinomic, antitumor, fungicide), royleanone, beta-sitosterol (hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, hypocholesterolemic, hepatoprotective).
Glucose Lowering: Case studies have shown glucose lowering effect with daily ingestion of tea brewed from Coccoloba uvifera leaves. There is concern for lowering the blood sugar too much, especially with concurrent use of pharmaceutical hypoglycemics.
Preparation of Leaf Extract: Preparation of leaf extract is done by immersing coccoloba uvifera leaves in water, heating the water to boiling for about 4 hours. This brewing time must be just enough to dissolve the compound from the leaves. The active compounds are resistant to the low gastric pH and high temperatures.
• The preferred embodiment is a ratio of 4 green leaves to every 3.8 liters of water.
• Alternatively, leaf extract can be done by drying the c. uvifera leaves and dehydrating the pulp into a tea. In a preferred embodiment, 15 cc of the tea is dissolved in 3.8 liters of water before ingestion.
• Other forms of delivery may be through tablets, capsules, powders, seasoning.
• A distinct advantage of the leaf extract is its oral route and its resistance to the digestive processes of the stomach. (Patent Storm/Site no longer in operation)
Photoprotective / UV-Stimulated Melanocytes / Antioxidant: Study evaluated the potential photoprotective effects of Coccoloba uvifera extract in UV-stimulated melanocytes. Results showed antioxidant and anti-tyrosinase activities, and also inhibited the production of interleukin-1a and TNF-a and α--MSH in melanocytes subjected to UV radiation.
Antibacterial / Antifungal / Phytochemicals: Study yielded flavonoids, saponins, polyphenols and tannins. Ethanolic and methanol extracts inhibited the growth of E coli and P aeruginosa and showed antifungal activity against C albicans, Fusarium oxysporum and F. decencellulare.
Seed Constituents with Biologic Activity / Antimicrobial: A partition with EtOaAc of the methanolic extract yielded a brown precipitate that inhibited growth of E. coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and showed antifungal activity against C. albicans, Fusarium oxysporum and F. decencellulare. Further fractionated, the solid yielded a tannic compound (gallic acid), an organic acid (hexenedioic acid) and a benzopyran (1,3,4,6,7,8–hexahydro-4,6,6,8,8,8-hexamethylcyclopenta-2-benzopyran) from the bioactive fractions. (4)
Antioxidant / Fruit: Study of fruit of Coccoloba uvifera for in vitro antioxidant capacity showed free radical scavenging and antioxidant properties which may be due to the presence of phytochemicals in the fruit such as anthocyanins, ascorbic acid, phenolic compounds, and flavonoids. (8)

- Wildcrafted.

- Seeds in the cybermarket.

Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Updated October 2015

Photos ©Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Fruits / File:Uva de playa (Coccoloba uvifera).jpg / Wilfredo Rodriguez / 2008 / Public Domain / Wikipedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Seeds / Coccoloba uvifera (L.) L. - seagrape COUV /Steve Hurst @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Method of controlling blood sugar levels using Coccoloba uvifer / Patent Storm
Effects of Coccoloba uvifera L. on UV-stimulated melanocytes / Jessica Eleonora Pedroso Sanches Silveira et al / Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine. Volume 24 Issue 6, Pages 308 - 313 / 10.1111/j.1600-0781.2008.00382.x About DOI
Three constituents with biological activity from Coccoloba uvifera seeds / Shailili Moreno Morales*, Oscar Crescente Vallejo, William Henríquez Guzmán, Gustavo Liendo Polanco and Hernando Herrera Mata / Ciencia vol.16 no.1 Maracaibo Mar. 2008
Coccoloba uvifera (Sea Grape)
/ Common names / Zipcodezoo
Coccoloba uvifera / Sea grape, Uva de playa / John A. Parrotta . SO-ITF-SM-74, Sept 1994 / USDA Forest Service
Uve de playa / Coccoloba uvifera / Dominican Medicinal Plant Inventory
Coccoloba uvifera (L.) (Polygonaceae) Fruit: Phytochemical Screening and Potential Antioxidant Activity /
Maira Rubi Segura Campos, Jorge Ruiz Ruiz, Luis Chel-Guerrero, and David Betancur Ancona / Hindaw Journal of Chemistry
Maya Medicine: Traditional Healing in Yucatan / By Marianna Appel Kunow
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas (Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana)
Experiments on the Bark of the Coccoloba uvifera / by John Bostock, MD / Journal ListMed Chir Transv.3; 1812PMC2128913 / Medico-Chirurgical Transactions
Coccoloba uvifera / Synonyms / The Plant List

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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