Sumbak is a fern ally with many hollow fluted aerial stems growing from perennial jointed and branched rootstocks. Roots are in whorls from the nodes. Fertile stems are erect, simple, 60 to 70 centimeters long, regularly striated, and more or less smooth. Leaves are much reduced, simple, united into a sheath at the nodes, their tips thinner and prolonged into teeth, somewhat funnel-shaped, 5 to 7 millimeters long. Spikes are 8 to 10 millimeters long, obtuse. Spores are in terminal cones.
- Reported from Benguet Province in Luzon, in Bukidnon and Davao Provinces in Mindanao.
- Previous studies have isolated pinocembrin, chrysin, β-sitosterol, β-D- glycosylsitosterol, β-D-glucose, flavonoid glycosides and fatty acids12,13, flavonoid glycosides (kaempferol 3-O-sophoroside, kaempferol 3,7-O-β-D-diglucopyranoside, kaempferol 3-O-sophoroside-7-O-β-D-glucopyranoside, kaempferol 3-O-sophoroside and Caffeoyl-methylate-4-β-gluco-puranoside), megastigmane diglucoside (3S,5R,6S,7E,9S)- megastigman-7-ene-5,6-epoxy-3,9-diol 3,9-O-β-D-diglucopyranoside, (6R,9S)-3-oxo-a-ionol 9-O-β-D-glucopyranoside, (3S,5R,6R,7E,9S)-9-[(β-D-glucopyranosyl) oxy] megastigm-7- ene-3,5,6-triol), phenylethyl-O-β-D-glucopyranoside, (Z)-3-hexenyl-O-β-D-glucopyranoside, L-tryptophan14 and debilosides A-C; Blumenol A, corchoinoside C, sammangaoside A15.
- Considered cooling, astringent, diuretic.
All species thought to contain alkaloids toxic to livestock.
- In Malaysia, used for pains in the joints.
- In Africa, juice of E. debile taken orally to cure jaundice and hepatitis; also reported use as diuretic and treatment of kidney infections.
- In Nepal, paste from pounded plants applied to cure old ulcers.
- In India, used for the treatment of urinary tract and kidney stones.
- In Bangladesh, used as cooling medicine; given for gonorrhea and bone fractures. Decoction of plant used for nasal polyps, various cancers (breast, liver, intestine, stomach, kidneys, and tongue.)
- High silica content of shoots provide a rough abrasive texture useful for scouring of cooking pots.
- In New Guinea, used to polish ornaments and smooth handles.
• Hypolipidemic: Study showed E. debile Roxb alcohol extract decreased the triglyceride and total cholesterol of rat and triglyceride of rabbits. The concentration of b-apoprotein was not influenced.
• Debilosides: Study isolated three new megastigmane glucosides from the whole plant of E. debile, with four known constituents - blumenol A, corchoinoside C, sammangaoside A and (3S,5R,6R,7E,9S)-9-[(β-d-glucopyranosyl)oxy]megastigm-7-ene-3,5,6-triol.
• Cytotoxic / Antibacterial / Radical Scavenging Activity: Using brine shrimp lethality bioassay, n-hexane, ethyl acetate, and n-butanol extracts exhibited potent cytotoxic activity, suggesting antitumor or pesticidal activity. The EA extract showed significant free radical scavenging activity and an EA and n-butanol extract showed excellent antibacterial activity.