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Family Euphorbiaceae
Melanolepis multiglandulosa (Reinw. ex Blume) Reichb. & Zoll.

Mo lin

Scientific names  Common names
Adelia monoica Blanco  Aem (Ting.) 
Croton multiglandulosus Reinw. ex Blume Ahem (Iv.)
Mallotus angulatus (Miq.) Mull. Arg. Alam (Ilk.) 
Mallotus calcosus (Miq.) Muell.-Arg.  Alem (Ilk.) 
Mallotus hellwigianus K.Schum.   Alim (Tag., P. Bis.) 
Mallotus hollrungianus K.Schum.   Alom (Pang., Zamb.)
Mallotus moluccanus var. glabratus Müll.Arg.  Alum (Bik., Tagb., P. Bis., Sul., Mag.) 
Mallotus moluccanus var. pendulus Merr.  Arum (P. Bis.)
Mallotus multiglandulosus  (Reinw. ex Blume) Hurus. Aling (Bik.) 
Melanolepis angulata Miq.  Ayum-ayum (Sbl.) 
Melanolepis caloosa Miq.  Girangan (Tagb.) 
Melanolepis moluccana Pax & Hoffm.  Pakalkal (Tag.) 
Melanolepis moluccana var. pendula (Merr.) Pax & K.Hoffm.  Takip-asin (Tag.)
Melanolepis multiglandulosa (Reinw. ex Blume) Rchb. & Zoll. Tres-puntos (Span-Fil.)
Melanolepis multiglandulosa var. pendula (Merr.) Merr.  
Ricinus dioicus Wall. ex Roxb.  
Rottlera angulata (Miq.) Scheff.   
Rottlera caloosa (Miq.) Scheff.   
Rottlera mutiglandulosa Reinw. ex Blume   
Melanolepis multiglandulosa (Reinw. ex Blume) Rchb. & Zoll. is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
INDONESIAN: Daun kapur, Ngalu, Tutup.
MALAYSIAN: Chawan, Jarak kayu.
SPANISH: Tres puntos.
VIETNAMESE: C[as]nh di[eef]u, H[aws]c l[aa]n nhi[eef]u tuy[ees]n.

Gen info
- Melanolepis multiglandulosa is a plant species of the family Euphorbiaceae, first described in 1826.

- Alim is a shrub or small tree, 4 to 10 meters high, with stellate hairs giving a velvety appearance. Leaves are large, orbicular-ovate, 10 to 25 centimeters long, very broad, with a heart-shaped base, pointed at the tip, and often deeply three- to five-lobed, with coarsely toothed margins. Flowers are greenish yellow. Fruit is a capsule, about millimeters each way, smooth and consisting of 2 or 3 parts.

- Native to the Philippines.
- Common in thickets and secondary forests at low and medium altitudes throughout the Philippines.
- Also native to Bismarck Archipelago, Borneo, Cambodia, Caroline Is., Jawa, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Maluku, Marianas, Nansei-shoto, New Guinea, Solomon Is., Sulawesi, Sumatera, Taiwan, Thailand

- Study of roots yielded the known triterpenoids friedelin (6), alpha-amyrin-acetate (7), oleanic acid (8), olean-12-en-3-beta,28-diol (9), as well as campesterol (1a), stigmasterol (1b), beta-sitosterol (1c), 5-alpha-stigmastan-3,6-dione (2), stigmast-4-en-3-one (3a), stigmast-4,22-dien-3-one (3b), 6-beta-hydroxystigmast-4-en-3-one (4), campesterol-3-O-beta-D-glucoside (5a), stigmasterol-3-O-beta-D-glucoside (5b), beta-sitsterol-3-O-beta-D-glucoside (5c) and sucrose (10). (7)
- Roots have yielded triterpenes viz. friedelin, α-amyrin-acetate, oleanic acid, olean-12-en-3'-beta',28-diol, as well as steroids including campesterol, stigmasterol, ß-sitosterol, campesterol-3-O-beta-D-glucoside, stigmasterol-3-O-beta-D-glucoside, beta--sitosterol-3-O-beta-D-glucoside, 5-alpha-stigmastan-3,6-dione, stigmast-4-en-3-one, stigmast-4,22-dien-3-one and 6-beta-hydroxystigmast-4-en-3-one.

- Methanolic extract of roots yielded friedelin, oleanolic acid, olean-12-en-3β,28-diol, β-amyrin acetate, 6β- hydroxystigmast-4-en-3-one, stigmast-4-en-3-one & stigmast- 4,22-dien-3-one, 5α-stigmast-3,6-dione, phytosterols (campesterol, 11.44%; stigmasterol, 52.00﹪; β-sitosterol, 36.56%), phytosterol-3-O-β-D-glucosides (campesterol-3-O-β-D-glucoside , 14.91%; stigmasterol-3-O-β-D-glucoside, 47.54%; β-sitosterol- 3-O-β-D-glucoside,37.55% ) and D-sucrose. (10)
- Dichloromethane extracts yielded taraxeryl fatty acid esters (1), squalene (2), (E)-3-alkenoic acids (3), ß-carotene (4), a mixture of ß-sitosterol (5a) and stigmasterol (5b), long-chain fatty alcohols (6), and long-chain hydrocarbons (7) from leaves; and 7,triacylglycerols (8) and long-chain saturated fatty acid esters (9) from the twigs. (11)
- Phytochemical screening of leaves yielded alkaloids, saponins, tannins, terpenoids, steroid, and flavonoids. (see study below) (14)

- Sudorific, vermifuge, antiviral.
- Studies have suggested antiviral, antioxidant, antihyperglycemic properties.

Parts utilized
Bark, leaves, flowers.

- In Sumatra, leaves mixed with tape (fermented flour from cereals) to sweeten the taste.
- In the Philippines, bark leaves, and flowers, fresh or slightly heated, applied to the skin as sudorific for chest pains and fever. For pain, leaves are applied on painful body part and left over-night. (14)
- Bark scraped from the stem and wrapped around fractured bone. For asthma, piece of bark is stripped off the stem and tied around the neck like a necklace and left for 3 days. (14)
- Leaves applied to the forehead to relieve headaches. (16)
- Bark used for sore throat by the Subanens in Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur. (8)
- In Peninsular Malaysia and Indonesia, leaves, sometimes in a mixture with ginger, used as a poultice against different kinds of scurf.
- In Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra, decoction of leaves used as vermifuge.
- In Sulawesi, decoction of leaves used for cough; in Sabah, bark decoction used for the same.
- Decoction of leaves used as vermifuge.
- Bark used for chest pains; leaves or flowers on the wrist for fever.

- In Papua, New Guinea, one of the plants used to treat centipede and snake bites. Bark is chewed, juice swallowed or rubbed on affected area. (3) Glue-like sap applied to new cuts to stop bleeding. Bark used against lice. (9) Infusion of crushed dried leaves in cold water drunk to treat constipation, chest affections and tuberculosis.
- In Taiwan, roots used as anti-infection, diuretic, and insecticide. (4)
- In Cameroon, stem extract used for treatment of hepatitis. (15)
- In the Northern Mariana Islands, decoction of tips of young leaves used as urinary tract cleanser. (17)
- Dyeing: Ashes of old leaves used as additive to Bixa orellana in dyeing.
- Wood: Wood makes good firewood.

- Food wrapping: Leaves used to wrap cooked foods.

Anti-Viral / Hepatitis C Virus / Stem:
Study evaluated the ethanol extracts of 21 samples from 17 species of medicinal plants for anti-HCV activities using Huh7.5 cells and HCV strains of 9 different genotypes. Results showed four of 21 samples including M. multiglandulosa stems showed antiviral activities against HCV genotypes. MM stem showed dose-dependent anti-HCV activity with IC50 17.1 µg/ml. (6)
• Methyl Esters / Biodiesel / Seed Oil: Study reports on the preparation of methyl esters (biodiesel) from the seed oil of Melanolepis multiglandulosa under standard conditions. The methyl esters generally meet the biodiesel standards. (12)
• Antioxidant / Antihyperglycemic / Leaves: Study evaluated Melanolepis multiglandulosa leaf extract for antioxidant and antihyperglycemic activity using alpha-amylase assay. Using DPPH assay, a 100% leaf extract showed highest antioxidant potency, with ascorbic acid as control. The extract showed antihyperglycemic activity with inhibition of alpha-amylase, exhibiting highest percentage of inhibition with leaf extract concentration of 1%, with the antidiabetic drug Acarbose as control. (see constituents above) (13)


Updated Nov 2023 / Sept 2020 / Oct 2018 / June 2017 / Feb 2016

                                                     PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Euphorbiaceae: Melanolepis multiglandulosa / Leaf / Copyright © 2020 by P B Pelser & J F Barcelona Gregory (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL120019] / Non-Commercial Use / click on image or link to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Melanolepis angulata Miq. / Iskak Syamsudin / Prosea
Melanolepis multiglandulosa / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED
Taiwanese Native Medicinal Plants / Phytopharmacology and Therapeutic Values / Thomas S.C. Li, Ph.D. / CRC Press
Melanolepis multiglandulosa (Reinw. ex Blume) Rchb. & Zoll. / Synonyms / The Plant List
Antiviral activities of Indonesian medicinal plants in the East Java region against hepatitis C virus /
Tutik Sri Wahyuni, Lydia Tumewu, Adita Ayu Permanasari, Evhy Apriani, Myrna Adianti, Abdul Rahman, Aty Widyawaruyanti, Maria Inge Lusida, Achmad Fuad, Soetjipto, Nasronudin, Hiroyuki Fuchino, Nobuo Kawahara, Ikuo Shoji, Lin Deng, Chie Aoki, Hak Hotta / Virology Journal, August 2013, 10(1) /
DOI: 10.1186/1743-422X-10-259
Constituents of the roots of Melanolepis multiglandulosa / Lai, Jeng Shiow; Liou, Horng Shian; Huang, Keh Feng / Chinese Pharmaceutical Journal, 1996; 48(2): pp 177-183 / ISSN/ISBN: 1016-1015
Medicinal Plants of the Subanens in Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines
/ Lady Jane G. Morilla, Nanette Hope N. Sumaya, Henry I. Rivero and Ma. Reina Suzette B. Madamba / International Conference on Food, Biological and Medical Sciences (FBMS-2014) Jan. 28-29, 2014 Bangkok (Thailand)
Traditional Plant Use by the Didipa Clan, Baitabag, Papua New Guinea / Plant descriptions (draft) ­ Heino Hertel 1998
Studies on the Constituents of the Root of Melanolepis multiglandulosa (Reinw.) Reichb. f. et Zoll.
/ Horng-Shan Liou / Keh-Feng Huang / Thesis
Chemical Constituents of Melanolepis multiglandulosa (Reinw. ex Blume) / Phelan G Apostol, Mariquit M De Los Reyes, Ian A Van Altena, Consolacion Y Ragasa / International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, 2016; 8(12): pp 1663-1665
Methyl esters (biodiesel) from Melanolepis multiglandulosa (alim) seed oil and their properties / Gerhard Knothe, Luis F. Razon, and Elenita G. de Castro / Biofuels / http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17597269.2017.1309856
Phytochemical Evaluation, Antioxidant Activity, and In-Vitro Antihyperglycemia Activity of Alim (Melanolepis multiglandulosa) using Alpha-Amylase Assay / Cabenero, Youssef; Panis, Jay Venz Socobos, Kharl Louise; Belleta, Deborah Lael; Gomez, Jenny Ruby; Motoc, Meiji Hart; Tayong, Kissha Heart / Research Teacher: Carl Lawrence Leray / Talisay City Science High School / Submitted Sept 28, 2018 / Unpublished
Ethnobotanical knowledge of Philippine lowland farmers and its application in agroforestry / Gerhard Langenberger, Vanessa Prigge, Joachim Sauerborn et al / Agroforeestry Systems, 2009; 76: pp 173-194
Plant extracts from Cameroonian medicinal plants strongly inhibit hepatitis C virus infection in vitro / Borris R T Galani, Marie-Emmanuelle Sahuc, Frederic N Njasyou, Gaspard Deloison et al / Frontiers in Microbiology, 2015; Volume 6 / https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2015.00488
Ahem: Melanolepis multiglandulosa / Sample Batanes Plants
Medicinal plants and traditional knowledge in the Northern Mariana Islands / Dilip Nandwani, Julita A Calvo, Jack Tenorio, Felix Calvo, Lourdes Manglona / Journal of Applied Bioscience, 2008; 8(2): pp 323-330 / ISSN: 1997-5902

DOI: 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. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants
                                          New plant names needed
The compilation now numbers over 1,300 medicinal plants. While I believe there are hundreds more that can be added to the collection, they are becoming more difficult to find. If you have a plant to suggest for inclusion, native or introduced, please email the info: scientific name (most helpful), local plant name (if known), any known folkloric medicinal use, and, if possible, a photo. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

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