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Family Araceae
Tabatib
Raphidophora merrillii Engl.

DRAGON TAIL PLANT
Long wei cao

Scientific names Common names
Epipremnum merrillii Engl. & Krause Amiling (Is.)
Epipremnum pinnatum (L.) Engl. Amlong (Bik., Bis.)
Raphidophora merrillii Engl. Amolong (Ilk.)
Raphidophora pinnata (L.) Schott. Amuling (Is.)
Philodendron nechodomii Britton Bagak ( S. L. Bis.)
Pothos aurea Lindl. & Andre Bakag (Bik.)
Qi lin ye (Chin.) Balikupkup (Bis.)
  Balision (Is.)
  Bisako (Bis.)
  Daila (Bis.)
  Dibatib (Bis.)
  Dukup (Bon.)
  Garban (Bis.)
  Garusiba (Ibn.)
  Gatgati (Bon.)
  Gayaman (Sbl.)
  Horoa (Bis.)
  Kigau (Bon.)
  Kilat (Sbl.)
  Malapakpak-balauai (Tag.)
  Mamisi (Ig.)
  Maragayaman (Sbl.)
  Tabatib (Tag.)
  Takoling (C. Bis.)
  Takotin (Bis.)
  Tampinbanal (Tag.)
  Tibatib (Tag.)
  Centipede tongavine (Engl.)
  Devil's ivy (Engl.)
  Dragon tail plant (Engl.)
  Golden pothos vine (Engl.)
  Pothos vine (Engl.)
  Swiss-cheese plant (Engl.)
  Taro vine (Engl.)
Rhaphidophora merrillii Engl. is a synonym of Epipremnum pinnatum (L.) Engl. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Ling shu teng, Bai su jiao, Bai zu teng, Shang shu long, Long wei cao.
INDONESIAN: Lolo munding, Jalu mampang, Samblung.
MAORI: 'ara
SPANISH: Cortina, Enredadera.
THAI: Ngot, Ngot khao, Naang rong.
VIETNAMESE: R[as]y leo l[as] x[er], R[as]y ng[os]t.

Botany
Tabatib is a stout vine climbing on tree trunks, reaching a height of 5 to 6 meters. Leaves are oblong-ovate, up to 60 centimeters long, pinnately cleft almost to the midrib into 7 to 12 pairs of lanceolate, acuminate, falcate, 1-nerved lobes, 12 to 20 centimeters long, 2 to 5 centimeters wide. Spathes are several, terminal, white or greenish, in flower about 15 centimeters long and deciduous. Spadix is green, dense, cylindric, nearly or as long as the spathe, 2 to 2.5 centimeters thick in flower, thicker in fruit.

Distribution
- In thickets and forests at low and medium altitudes in Bontoc, Benguet, La Union, Nueva Viscaya, Zambales, Bataan, Rizal, Laguna, Quezon, and Sorsogon provinces in Luzon; Polilio, Palawan, Leyte, Negros and Mindanao.
- Urban ornamental cultivation.

Constituents
- Yields Benzenoid (11-phenyldecanoic acid, 15-phenylpen- tadecanoic acid, 13-phenyltridecanoic acid) and alkaloid (tongine).
(6)

Properties
- Emmenagogue, antidotal, anticancer.

Parts utilized
Sap, leaves.

Uses
Folkloric
• Sap used for snake bites.
• Stem used as toothbrush to improve the breath.
• Spadix of plant used as emmenagogue.
• Leaves used for chest pains.
• Root, stem and leaf sheath chewed to alleviate dental ailments, also used for its soothing, sedating effect.
• Used for treatment of diabetes, cancer, and immune system enhancement.
• In Fiji, bark used as treatment of rheumatism, neuralgic headache, back pain, and muscular spasm.
• In Taiwan, used as dental analgesic.
• Mixture of young leaves of E. pinnatum and Imperata cylindrica is crushed in water or coconut jice and solution drunk to treat gonorrhea. Young leaves boiled in water used to treat diabetes and malaria; also used for toothaches. Juice extracted from stem mixed with water and drunk for joint paints, dislocation, and fractures. (6)
• Decoction of leaves use as gargle and mouth wash for gum inflammations and tooth abscesses.

• In Malaysia and Singapore, Epipremnum pinnatum has a reputation as anticancer preparation and a remedy for skin diseases.
Others
Teeth-blackening: Vine Epipremnum pinnatum used by some Mindanao tribes, also in Bali, Java and Taiwan, used as a chewing agent for
teeth blackening. (3)
Basketry: Inner part or central cylinder of root used for basketry, lamp shades, etc.

Studies
Anticancer:
Study of chloroform extract showed growth inhibition against T-47D breast carcinoma cells. Analysis of cell death mechanisms showed the extract elicited both apoptotic and non-apoptotic programmed cell deaths, possibly contributed to by up-regulation of caspase-3 and c-myc mRNA expression, respectively. (2)

Availability
Wildcrafted.
Ornamental cultivation.


Last Update August 2014

Photo © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / File:Epipremnum pinnatum var.jpg / NathanBeach / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
Epipremnum pinnatum (L.) Engl. / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
(2)
ANTICANCER MEDICINAL PLANT, Epipremnum pinnatum (L.) Engl. CHLOROFORM EXTRACTS ELICITED BOTH APOPTOTIC AND NON-APOPTOTIC CELL DEATHS IN T- 47D MAMMARY CARCINOMA CELLS / Tan Mei Lan*, Shaida Fariza Sulaiman, Nazalan Najimudin, Tengku Sifzizul Tengku Muhammad / KMITL Sci. Tech. J. Vol. 7 No. 1 Jan. - Jun. 2007
(3)
To Strengthen the Teeth and Harden the Gums - Teeth blackening as medical practice in Asia, Micronesia and Melanesia / Thomas J. Zumbroich / Ethnobotany Research & Applications
(4)
Rhaphidophora merrillii Engl.
/ The Plant List
(5)
Epipremnum pinnatum / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED
(6)
Epipremnum pinnatum L. Araceae / Medicinal Plants in Papua New Guinea / WHO
(7)

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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