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Family Boraginaceae
Tsaang gubat
Ehretia microphilla Lam.
Ji ji shu

Scientific names  Common names 
Carmona heterophylla Cav.  Alangit (Bis.)  
Carmona microphylla (Lam.) G.Don  Alangitngit (Tag., Bis.) 
Carmona retusa (Vahl.) Masam.  Balingsaa (C. Bis.) 
Cordia coromandeliana Retz. ex A.DC. Buntatai (P. Bis.) 
Cordia retusa Vahl  Buyo-buyo (Sul.) 
Ehretia buxifolia Roxb.  Buyok-buyok (Sul.) 
Ehretia coromandeliana Retz. ex A.DC. Cha (Tag.) 
Ehretia heterophylla Spreng.  Chaang-bundok (Tag.) 
Ehretia microphylla Lam.   Chaang-gubat (Tag.) 
Ehretia monopyrena Gottschling & Hilger   Gari (Bag.) 
  Icha-nga-atap (Ilk.)
  Icha-ti-bakir (Ilk.) 
  Itsa (Ilk.)
  Kalamoga (Tag.) 
  Kalimomog (Tag.) 
  Kalimumog (Tag.) 
  Mangit (Tag., Bis.) 
  Mara-mara (Bis., S.L. Bis.) 
  Maratia (Ibn.) 
  Mura-mara (P. Bis.) 
  Palupo (Iv.) 
  Putputai (Bik.)
  Santing (Sul.) 
  Tsa (Tag.) 
  Forest tea (Engl.)
  Fukien tea tree (Engl.) 
  Philippine tea tree (Engl.) 
  Scorpion bush (Engl.) 
  Wild tea (Engl.) 
Tsa is a common name shared by two species: (1) Tsaang-gubat, tsa, Carmona retusa, Philippine wild tea, Theaceae, and (2) Tsa, Thea sinensis, tea tree, Boraginacea.
In Quisumbing's compilation, buyok-buyok is a local name shared by (1) Heterostemma cuspidatum, buyok-buyok (Tag.) (2) Ehretia microphylla, chaang-gubat, buyok-buyok (Sul.), and (3) Momordica cochinchinensis, buyok-buyok, patolang-uak (Tag.).
Carmona retusa is a synonym of Ehretia microphylla. The Plant List
Ehretia microphylla Lam. is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Ji ji shu.
HINDI: Pala.
INDIA: Kujipana.
INDONESIA: Kinangan, Serut lanang, Pinaan.
TAMIL: Kattu-vellilai, Kodikarai, Kuruvinchi, Kurangu vetthilal.
TELUGU: Bavanaburei, Bure.
THAILAND: Khoi cheen, Chaa yeepun, Chaa.
VIETNAM: Kim li[ee]n, C[uf]m r[uj]n, B[uf]m r[uj]n, Cay trui.


Tsaang gubat is an erect, very branched shrub growing up to 1 to 4 meters high. Leaves are in clusters on short branches, obovate to oblong-obovate, 3 to 6 centimeters long, entire or somewhat toothed or lobed near the apex and pointed at the base, short stalked and rough on the upper surface. Flowers are white, small, axillary, solitary, 2 or 4 on a common stalk, borne in inflorescences shorter than the leaves. Calyx lobes are green, somewhat hairy, and linear, about 5 to 6 millimeters long. Corolla is white, 5 millimeters long, and divided into oblong lobes. Fruit is a drupe, rounded, yellow when ripe, 4 to 5 millimeters in diameter, fleshy, with a 4-seeded stone, fleshy on the outer part, and stony inside.

- Easily found from the Batan Islands and northern Luzon to Palawan and Mindanao, in most or all islands and provinces, in thickets and secondary forests at low and medium altitudes.
- Also occurs in India to southern China, Taiwan, and Malaya.

- Phytochemical screening yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, tannins, terpenoids, and saponins.
- Major constituents of leaves yielded an intractable mixture of triterpenes, namely α-amyrin (43.7%), ß-amyrin (24.9%), and baurenol (31.4%). (see study below) ( 2)
- Qualitative phytochemical analysis of petroleum ether (PE), methanol (M), and chloroform (C) extract of leaves yielded alkaloids (M), flavonoids (PE, M), saponins (M,C), phenols (PE,M), tannins (M), cardiac glycosides (PE,M,C), terpenoids (PE,M,C) and cardenolides (M,C). (see study below) (23)
- GC-MS analysis of crude extract of C. retusa yielded 14 phytochemical compounds. Main constituents were α-amyrin, (1H) naphthalenone, 3,5,67,8,8a-hexahydro-4-8a-dimethyl-6-(1-methylethenyl)- and 9,19-cycloergost-23(28)-en-3-ol,4,14-dimethyl-acetate, (3a,4a,5a). (27)
- Chloroform fraction of crude ethanol extract of fresh leaves isolated triterpenoids viz. a -amyin (12-ursen-3-ß oI)ß, -amyin (12-oteanen-3ß-ol), and baurenot (7-bauren-3-01). (29)
- Wild fruit has a high sugar content (11.8%) and protein content (4.1%). Copper content was 4.1 mg/100 g, (31)

- Considered analgesic, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, antispasmodic and anti-mutagenic.
- Studies have shown anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antidiarrheal, antibacterial, antimutagenic, antitumor, antiproliferative, wound healing, antiangiogenic, antioxidant properties.

Parts utilized
Leaves, roots.

- Tea made from the leaves.
- Fruit is edible.
- Leaf decoction or infusion for abdominal colic, cough, diarrhea and dysentery.
- Root decoction used as an antidote for vegetable poisoning.
- For diarrhea: Boil 8 tbsp of chopped leaves in 2 glasses of water for 15 minutes; strain and cool. Use 1/4 of the decoction every 2 or 3 hours. Decoction has also been used as a dental mouthwash.
- Decoction of leaves used as disinfectant wash after childbirth.
- In Sri Lanka, used for diabetes: 50 gm of fresh leaves or roots are chopped; 100 cc of water is added, and 120 cc of juice is extracted by squeezing, and given once or twice daily.
- In Vietnam, dry roots and stems used for treatment of back pain and numbness of hands and feet.
- In Tamil, India, juice of leaves taken internally for three to four months to induce fertility. (25)
- In India and Sri Lanka, roots used for treatment snake bite wounds. (33)
- Grown as ornamental hedge.
New Application
• Being promoted by the Department of Health (DOH) as an antispasmodic for stomach/abdominal pains.
• One of a few herbs recently registered with the Bureau of Foods and Drugs as medicines

Antiallergic Activity:
Tsaang gubat, together with Lagundi and Sambong, were studied for possible anti-allergic substances to counter the histamine release from mast cells that cause type-1 reactions. From tsaang-gubat, rosmarinic acid and microphyllone were isolated. (1)
Triterpene Bioactivities / Antinociceptive / Anti-inflammatory: Study of Carmon retusa leaves yielded an intractable mixture of triterpenes, namely α-amyrin, ß-amyrin and baurenol. At a dose of 100 mg/kg mouse, the triterpene mixture exhibited 51% analgesic activity, but showed only 20% anti-inflammatory activity. (2)
Antidiarrheal / Antibacterial: On charcoal tracing test, the triterpene mixture (α-amyrin, ß-amyrin and baurenol) showed a 29% anti-diarrheal activity, which increased to 55% at dosage of 250 mg/kg mouse. The triterpene mixture showed moderate antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans, and Trichophyton mentagrophytes. (2)
Antimutagen / Leaves: An antimutagenic principle was extracted from the leaves of C retusa with ethyl alcohol. (3)
Anti-Tumor: Carmona retusa leaf extracts were tested for anticancer property and results showed it can be used as an anticancer agent. (5)
Antiallergic Dimeric Prenylbenzoquinones: Bioassay-guided separation of an ethyl acetate-soluble portion of a methanol extract of Ehretia microphylla yielded microphyllone, a unique dimeric prenyl-benzoquinone and its congeners. Study showed inhibitory activity on exocytosis in antigen-stimulated rat basophils. (10)
Antibacterial / Constituents: Methanol, chloroform, and petroleum ether extracts yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, phenols, tannins, cardiac glycosides, terpenoids, cardenolides and phlobatannins. All the extracts exhibited moderate to appreciable antibacterial activities against Bacillus subtilis, K. pneumonia, Shigella flexneri and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. (11)
Anti-Inflammatory: Study of an alcoholic extract of Carmona retusa by in vitro assays (human RBC membrane stabilization method, heat induced hemolysis, and proteinase inhibitory activity) showed anti-inflammatory activity comparable to standard diclofenac. (12)
Triterpene Mixture from Leaves / Analgesic, Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Diarrhea, Antimicrobial:The major constituent of Carmona retusa leaves is an intractable mixture of triterpenes viz. alpha-amyrin (43.7%), beta-amyrin (24.9%), and baurenol (31.4%). The mixture showed analgesic activity (51%) and anti-inflammatory activity (20%), antidiarrheal activity (29%) with the charcoal tracing test, and moderate activity against S. aureus, Candida albicans, and T. mentagrophytes. (13)
Antibacterial: In a study of crude ethanol extracts of 12 Philippine medicinal plants for antibacterial activity against multidrug resistant bacteria, favorable antagonistic activities were exhibited by Ehretia microphylla, together with P. guajava and P. niruri. Best activity was shown by P betle. (17) Petroleum ether, methanol and chloroform extracts showed moderate to appreciable antibacterial activities against B. subtilis, K. pneumonia, S. flexneri, and P. aeruginosa. (see constituents above) (23)
Antimicrobial / Roots: Study of chloroform and alcohol root extracts showed promising activity against Bacillus subtilis (26 mm), Bacillus cereus and Candida albicans ( 24 mm), Pseudomonas putida and Staphylococcus aureus (20 mm) and Escherichia coli (18 mm). The alcohol extract showed comparatively higher antimicrobial activity than the chloroform extract. (18)
Effect on Folliculogenesis / Roots: Study evaluated the effect of E. microphylla on folliculogenesis, relative ovarian and uterine weight, and the number of ovarian surface follicles in female Wistar albino rats. Results showed a significant stimulatory effect on female reproductive activity which can enhance fertility in female adult rats. (20)
Wound Healing / Roots, Stems, Leaves: Study evaluated the wound healing activity of various extracts of roots, stems and leaves of Carmona retusa with petroleum jelly as base in concentrations of 5% and 10%. Nitrofurazone (0.2%) ointment was used as standard drug. Results showed remarkable stimulation of wound closure at both 5% and 10% concentration, as evidenced by acceleration of the wound healing process and increased epithelization in the treatment groups. (21)
Anticancer / Quercetin / Human Hepatoma Cell Line (HepG2): Study isolated quercetin from an ethanol extract of Carmona retusa and was analyzed for anticancer activity on HepG2 cells lines by MTT assay. Results showed significant and concentration-dependent anticancer activity. Significant apoptosis was shown at 53 µg/ml concentration of extract yield of flavonoid quercetin. Results suggest promise for the flavonoid quercetin as an anticancer agent. (22)
Antimitotic / Antiproliferative: Study evaluated the in vitro cytotoxicity, antiproliferative, anti-mitotic and DNA fragmentation assays of fresh stems of Carmona retusa. The alcoholic extract showed significant antimitotic and antiproliferative activity. The antimitotic index was 12.5 and 12.7 mg/mL respectively, near the standard 12.2 for lapachol. (24)
• Antioxidant / Aerial Parts:
Study evaluated the antioxidant potential, total flavonoid and phenolic content in extracts of aerial parts of Cordia retusa (Vahl.) Masam. Results showed C. retusa possesses potent antioxidant activity, high flavonoid and phenol content. The antioxidant property may be due to polyphenols and flavonoids in the extract. (26)
• Carbon Nanoparticles As Anode in Lithium Batteries: Study reports on the synthesis of carbon nanoparticles from tea leaves of Ehretia microphylla for application in lithium battery. Efficiency of charging and discharging was found to be more than 96%. (28)
• Antiangiogenic: Persistent upregulated angiogenesis is one hall mark of cancer and feature in atherosclerosis, diabetic retinopathy, atherosclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. The study focused on the search for natural based anti-angiogenic compounds. In this study, Carmona retusa showed the highest inhibition of blood vessel formation. Phytochemical screening identified alkaloids, carbohydrates, phenols, tannins, and sterols. Phenolic compounds are antioxidants known to elicit anti-angiogenic activity by preventing ROS from initiating the angiogenesis cascade. (30)
• Cardiotonic / Aerial Parts: Study evaluated the cardiotonic activity of aerial parts of whole plant of Carmona retusa using isolated frog heart perfusion technique. Major constituents revealed a mix of alkaloids, triterpenes, flavanoids and cardiac glycosides. Results showed a significant increase in height of force of contraction along with a decrease in heart rate. (31)

- Wild crafted.
- Tablets and tea bags
in the cybermarket.

Updated March 2018 / May 2017 / October 2016

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Presented at the Joint 4th Anual Convention of the Natural Products Society of the Philippines, December 6-8, 1999, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City
Evaluation of the bioactivity of triterpene mixture isolated from Carmona retusa (Vahl.) Masam leaves / Irene Villasenor, Arlyn P Canlas, Karen Faustino, Katherine G Plana / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 92, Issue 1, May 2004, Pages 53-56 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2004.01.017

Antimutagen from leaves of Carmona retusa (Vahl) Masam. / Irene Villaseñor and Ddeborah Edu / Mutation Research/Genetic Toxicology, Volume 298, Issue 3, January 1993, Pages 215-218 / doi:10.1016/0165-1218(93)90043-D
In Vitro Anti-Tumour Activity Of Carmona Retusa / Govindappa Melappa et al / 2nd International Conference on Drug Discovery and Therapy / Feb 1-4, 2010 / Dubai, UAE
Carmona retusa (flower and fruit) / ERHSS Ediriweera, WD Ratnasooriya / Carmona retusa (flower and fruit)
Antibacterial activity of extracts of twelve common medicinal plants from the Philippines / Gerard Penecilla and Celia Magno / Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol. 5(16), pp. 3975-3981, 18 August, 2011
Antiallergic dimeric prenylbenzoquinones from Ehretia microphylla / Satoshi Yamamura, Lourdes R. Simpol, Koichiro Ozawa et al / Phytochemistry, Volume 39, Issue 1, May 1995, Pages 105–110
PHYTOCHEMICAL SCREENING AND ANTIBACTERIAL PROPERTY OF CARMONA RETUSA (VAHL.) MASAM / Chandrappa C P, Govindappa M* and N V Anil Kumar / Int. J. Pharm. Med. & Bio. Sc. 2012
IN VITRO ANTI-INFLAMMATORY ACTIVITY OF CARMONA RETUSA (VAHL.) / Chandrappa CP, Govindappa M*, Anil Kumar NV and Channabasava R / World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 5, 3991-3997.
Evaluation of the bioactivity of triterpene mixture isolated from Carmona retusa (Vahl.) Masam leaves. /
Villaseñor IM, Canlas AP, Faustino KM, Plana KG / J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 May;92(1):53-6
Carmona retusa / Vernacular names / GLOBinbMED
Ehretia microphylla / Synonyms / The Plant List
Fukien tea / Common names / Flowers of India
Antibacterial activities of ethanol extracts of Philippine medicinal plants against multidrug-resistant bacteria / Demetrio L. Valle Jr., Jeannie I. Andrade, Juliana Janet M. Puzon, Esperanza C. Cabrera, Windell L. Rivera / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, Volume 5, Issue 7, July 2015, Pages 532–540
EVALUATION OF ANTIMICROBIAL STUDIES ON ROOT OF CARMONA RETUSA (VAHL) MASAM / S Mageswari, S Karpagam / International Journal of Current Pharmaceutical Research, Vol 7, Issue 3 (2015)
Medicinal plants used by the Hre community in the Ba to district of central Vietnam / Vo Van Minh*, Nguyen Thi Kim Yen, Phạm Thi Kim Thoa / Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies (2014) Vol 2, Issue 3
Evaluation of wound healing activity of the plant Carmona retusa (Vahl) Masam. in mice / S Mageswari*, S Karpagam and G Aadinaath Reddy / Interantional Journal of Integrative Sciences, Innovation and Technology, Vol 4, Issue 5
In Vitro Anticancer Activity Of Quercetin Isolated From Carmona retusa (Vahl.) Masam on Human Hepatoma Cell Line (Hepg2) / Chandrappa C.P, Govindappa M, Anil Kumar N.V, Channabasava R, Sadananda T. S and Sharanappa P. / IOSR Journal of Pharmacy and Biological Sciences (IOSR-JPBS), Volume 9, Issue 6 Ver. III (Nov -Dec. 2014), PP 85-91
PHYTOCHEMICAL SCREENING AND ANTIBACTERIAL PROPERTY OF CARMONA RETUSA (VAHL.) MASAM / Chandrappa C P, Govindappa M* and N V Anil Kumar / Int. J. Pharm. Med. & Bio. Sc. 2012
In vitro antimitotic, antiproliferative and DNA fragmentation assay of ethanol extract of Carmona retusa (Vahl.) Masam / Chandrappa, C P and Govindappa, M and Kumar, Anil N V / Applied Cell Biology, 2 (2). pp. 52-57 (2013)
Ethnobotanical investigations among tribes in Madurai District of Tamil Nadu (India) / S Ignacimuthu, M Ayyanar and Sankara Sivaraman K / Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 2006, 2:25 /
DOI: 10.1186/1746-4269-2-25
Evaluation of In Vitro Antioxidant Potential of Cordia retusa / Murugesan Amudha* and Shanmugam Rani / Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences / DOI: 10.4103/0250-474X.180253
GC-MS Analysis of Bioactive components of Cordia retusa (Boraginaceae) / Murugesan Amudha*, Shanmugam Rani / Hygeia.J.D.Med.vol.6 12), April 2014 / D.O.I: 10.15254/H.J.D.Med.6.2014.117
Carbon Nanomaterial from Tea leaves as an Anode in Lithium Secondary Batteries / Sunil Bhardwaj, Sandesh V. Jaybhaye, Madhuri Sharon, D. Sathiyamoorthy, K. Dasgupta, Pravin Jagadale, Arvind Gupta, Bhushan Patil, Goldie Ozha, Sunil Pandey, T. Soga, Rakesh Afre, Golap Kalita, Maheshwar Sharon / Asian J. Exp. Sci., Vol. 22, No. 2, 2008; 89-93
TRTTERPENOIDS OF CARMONARETUSA (VAHL) MASAM / Irene M. Villaseñor, Deborah A. Edu and John B. Bremner / PHILIPPINE JOURNAL OF SCIENCE, Vol 121, No 4
Screening for the anti-aangiogenic activity of selected Philippine medicinal plants using chorioallantoic membrane assay / JE Camposano, GLT de la Torre, JG Laxamana, LLH Larcia II / Mahidol Univ J Pharm Sci 2016; 43(4): pp 173-182
Analysis of some nutritional properties in eight wild edible fruits of Odisha, India
/ Jyotimayee N / INT J CURR SCI 2015,14:E 55 - 62
Phytochemical Screening, Spectroscpic Characterisation and Cardiotonic Activity of Aqueous Extract from Arieal Parts of Carmona Retusa (Vahl) Masam on Isolated Frogs Heart / Venkata Pavan Kumar G.*, Prameela Rani A., Pooja B., Anil Kumar Y. / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, ISSN: 2249-734X (Online) / DOI: 10.7439/ijpc
Medicinal Plants for the Treatment of Local Tissue Damage Induced by Snake Venoms: An Overview from Traditional Use to Pharmacological Evidence / Juliana Félix-Silva, Arnóbio Antônio Silva-Junior, Silvana Maria Zucolotto, and Matheus de Freitas Fernandes-Pedrosa / Hindawi Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2017 / https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/5748256

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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