The scientific name derives from the Greek words dolichos meaning "long," and andron meaning "male" and referring to the long stamens of the flowers, and spathe meaning "broad leaf blade." (7)
Tiwi is a smooth tree, growing 5 to 15 meters high. Leaves are opposite, 30 to 40 centimeters long, pinnately compound with seven to nine leaflets. Leaflets are ovate to ovate-lanceolate or ovate-elliptic, 7 to 15 centimeters long, unequal at the base and pointed at the tip. Flowers are borne on short, terminal, few-flowered racemes. Calyx is 4 to 5 centimeters long, spathelike, and split down one side to the base. Corolla is white, with a rather slender, cylindrical tube 9 to 11 centimeters long, becoming funnel-shaped or bell-shaped above, 5 to 7 centimeters in diameter. Fruit is a capsule, somewhat cylindrical or slightly compressed, 30 to 40 centimeters long, 2 to 2.5 centimeters thick, with numerous, rectangular, winged seeds.
- Along the seashore and tidal streams from La Union to Palawan, Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago.
- Also occurs in India through Malaya to New Guinea.
- Phytochemical screening yielded triterpene and saponin compounds.
- Study of methanolic extract of leaves yielded five new compounds three iridoid glycosides (1-3) and two triterpenoid saponins (4,5), along with 32 known compounds. The new iridoids were esterified derivatives of 6-ajugol and 6-catalpol, and the new saponins were glucosides of two polyhydroxy triterpenes with ursan skeleton. (see study below) (6)
- Study of methanol extract of leaves yielded 16 iridoids, 3 saponins, 3 phenylethanoid glycosides, 4 flavonoid glycosides, 3 monoterpenic acids, 5 phenolic acids and 1 megastigman glucoside. (see study below) (8)
Bark, leaves, seeds.
• In the Philippines, poultice of fresh leaves and bark is applied against flatulence to women after childbirth.
• Seeds are powdered, and taken for nervous complaints.
• In Java, leaves are used for making mouthwash for thrush.
• Leaf decoction used for various infections of the mouth.
• Also, has a reputation as abortifacient.
• In Palau, for yaws (frambesia), bark is squeezed together with young stem and flower stalk of Croton sp., and the sap is poured in heated coconut oil; when cooled, applied to affected part of the body.
• Fish poison: The bark used as fish poison. Some reports that a decoction of bark in dogs have no ill effects.
• Betel substitute: Leaves and fruits can be used as betel leaf substitutes. (7)
• Wood: Used for making wooden shoes and fishing net floats. Also, as firewood. (7)
• Antibacterial / Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / Stems and Leaves: Study of methanol extracts of stems and leaf showed inhibitory activity against MRSA clinical isolates. Stem extracts showed better inhibitory activity which was attributed to triterpene and saponin compounds. (2)
• Antioxidant: In a study of 52 traditionally used Thai medicinal plants, Dolichandrone spathacea leaves was one of six plant species that showed effective DPPH radical scavenging activity. (4)
• Antibacterial / Leaves: Study of methanolic extract of leaves yielded five new compounds three iridoid glycosides (1-3) and two triterpenoid saponins (4,5), along with 32 known compounds. In this study, th major compounds, verbascoside and p-methoxycinnamic acid, showed strong antibacterial activity; the 6-O-esterified iridoids showed weaker antibacterial activity. (see constituents above) (6)
• Antimicrobial / Leaves: Study evaluated the antimicrobial activity of extracts and isolated compounds against 22 microorganisms. Results showed several new natural compounds with interesting level of antimicrobial activity with lowest MIC of 31.2 µg/ml, and mixtures of compounds showing synergy. (see constituents above) (8)
• Dolichandrone B / Cytotoxicity Against Cancer Cell Line / Leave and Bark: Study of leaves and bark yielded two new cycloartanes, dolichandrone A (1) and B (2), along with two new iridoids, [6-O-[(E)-4methoxycinnamoyl]-1ß-hydroxy-dihydrocatapolgenin (3) and 6-O-[(E)-4-methoxycinnamoyl]-1a-hydroxy-dihydrocatapogenin (4), together with four known iridooids (5-8). Compounds 1, 2, 5, and 7 were tested for in vivo cytotoxic activity against four human cancer cell lines. Compound 2, dolichandrone B, showed in vitro cytotoxic activity against KB cell line with IC50 of 18.77 µM. (9)