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Family Lamiaceae

Gmelina philippensis Cham.

Scientific names Common names
Gmelina asiatica var. philippensis (Cham.) Bakh. Alipung (Tag.)
Gmelina bracteata Burck Alipuñga (Tag.)
Gmelina finlaysoniana Wall. ex Kuntze Baga babui (Tag., Bis.)
Gmelina finlaysoniana f. colorata Kuntze Barsik (Abra)
Gmelina finlaysoniana var. silvestris Kuntze Betebet (Pang.)
Gmelina finlaysoniana f. viridibracteata Kuntze Bosel-bosel (Ilk.)
Gmelina hystrix Schult. ex Kurz Kalulut (Pamp.)
Gmelina inermis Blanco Paniktik (Sbl.)
Gmelina philippensis Cham. Sousou (Ig.)
Gmelina philippensis f. colorata (Kuntze) Moldenke Tuloñgan (P. Bis.)
Gmelina philippensis f. transitoria Moldenke Asian bushbeech (Engl.)
Gmelina philippensis f. viridibracteata (Kuntze) Moldenke Asiatic beechberry (Engl.)
Gmelina thothathriana A.Rajendran & P.Daniel Hedgehog (Engl.)
Gmelina szechwanensis K.Yao Parrot's beak (Engl.)
  Wild sage (Engl.)
Gmelina philippensis Cham. is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
BENGALI: Badhara, Korobi.
HINDI: Badhara.
MALAYSIA: Bulangan, Bulongan, Pekan, Bulungan duri.
THAILAND: Khaang maeo, Khaao che, So maea.
VIETNAM: Tu hu philippin, Tu hu la bac tim.

Gen info
- Gmelina philippensis is a plant species in the family Lamiaceae, previously placed on Verbenaceae.
- Etymology: The genus name Gmelina honors Johann Gottlieb Gmelin (1709-1755), a German naturalist and traveler in Siberia, professor of botany at the Tübingen University. The species epithet philippensis refers to the Philippines, a locality of natural distribution of the species.

Alipung is an e
rect, branched, nearly smooth shrub or small tree, 3 to 8 meters high, usually with a few stout spines on the trunk and branches. Leaves are elliptic, 4 to 8 centimeters long, entire, usually rounded or blunt at the apex and pointed at the base, and smooth beneath. Flowers are borne in short, terminal racemes, each subtended by a large, pale-green bract. The calyx is green, about 5 millimeters long. Corolla is yellow, about 4 centimeters long. Fruit is fleshy, smooth, yellow, pear-shaped, about 2 centimeters long.

- Native to the Philippines.
- Common in thickets and secondary forests at low and medium altitudes in Cagayan, Benguet, Pangasinan, Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Bulacan, Rizal, and Laguna Provinces in Luzon; and in Panay.
- Also native to Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam.

- Study yielded six new iridoids from aerial parts of G. philippensis viz., 6-O-alpha-L-(2"-O-, 3"-O-, 4"-O-tribenzoyl) rhamnopyranosylcatalpol, 6-O-alpha-L-(2"-O-, 3"-O-dibenzoyl, 4"-O-cis-p-coumaroyl) rhamnopyranosylcatalpol, 6-O-alpha-L-(2"-O-, 3"-O-dibenzoyl, 4"-O-trans-p-coumaroyl) rhamnopyranosylcatalpol, 6-O-alpha-L-(2"-O-benzoyl, 3"-O-trans-p-coumaroyl)rhamnopyranosylcatalpol, 6-O-alpha-L-(2"-O-, 3"-O-dibenzoyl)rhamnopyranosylcatalpol, and gmephiloside, together with five known monoacyl and diacyl rhamnopyranosylcatalpol derivatives. (7)
- Study of ethanolic extract of aerial parts isolated 11 compounds, namely: a mixture of ß-sitosterol and stigmasterol (1), gmelinol (2), apigenin (3), β-sitosterol-3-Oβ-D-glucopyranoside (4), 6- O- α-L-(2″,3″,4″-tri-O -benzoyl)rhamnopyranosylcatalpol (5), a new iridoid, 6-O-α-L-(2″-O-benzoyl-4″-O-trans-p-methoxycinnamoyl)rhamnopyranosyl-1α-β-D-glucopyranoside catalpolgenin (6), vicenin-II (7), tyrosol (8), rhoifolin (9), 6-O-α-L-(2″-O-trans-p-methoxycinnamoyl)rhamnopyranosylcatalpol (10), isorhoifolin (11). (see study below) (11)
- Phytochemical screening of leaf extract yielded carbohydrates, flavonoids, coumarins, tannins, terpenoids, saponins, steroids, alkaloids, and proteins in various organic solvents in order of increasing polarity. (see study below) (12)

- Studies suggest antipyretic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, thrombolytic, cytotoxic, antidiabetic properties.

Parts utilized
Fruit, roots.

• In the Philippines, juice of fruit applied to portions of the feet affected by alipuñga (athlete's foot) and various forms of eczema.
• Fruit of juice is also considered an "anti-limatik" (a species of leech of the genus Haemadipsa).
• Fruit poultice pounded with lime, applied to the throat, for coughs.
• Mixture of the fruit with lime and garlic vigorously applied to the body in cases of dropsy.
• Fruit pounded with lime, applied as poultice to the throat for coughs.
• In India, traditionally used for diabetes. Also, used for dandruff - fruit juice applied every three days in the morning externally on the scalp.
• Juice of roots used as purgative and for treatment of fatigue. Root extracts used internally as stimulant, resolvent, and for treatment of diseases of nerves and joints. (13)

Antipyretic: Study of eight Pakistani medicinal plants showed Gmelina asiatica roots exhibited prominent oral antipyretic activity. (1)
Antimicrobial: C. viscosa and G. asiatica were tested for antimicrobial activity. The ethanolic extracts of the roots of G asiatica exhibited a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity, esp against E coli, P vulgaris and P aeruginosa. (2) In a study of five medicinal plants for antimicrobial activity, a crude methanol extract of Gmelina philippensis exhibited 18.0 mm zone of inhibition against Bacillus cereus. (10)
Antimicrobial: Study showed the aqueous extract to be active against P. pseduoalcaligenes, while the methanol extract could inhibit B subtilis. (3) In a study of antimicrobial activity of five medicinal plants, a crude extract of G. philippensis showed 18.0 mm zone of inhibition against Bacillus cereus. (5)
• Antioxidant / Leaves and Flowers: Study evaluated crude methanol extract and partitionates of leaves and flowers of G. philippensis for antioxidant activity using various assays. Total phenolic content was 1.354 to 10.179 mg BAE/g with DPPH IC50 of 9.75 to 32.25 µg/ml. The variance depended on the solvent used to fractionate the crude extracts. The carbon tetrachloride soluble fraction of leaves extract exhibited the highest amount of phenolic acid. Toxicity on brine shrimp lethality bioassay showed an LC50 of 0.902 to 0.487 µg/ml. (8)
• Thrombolytic: Study evaluated methanol extracts and their pet-ether, carbon tetrachloride, chloroform and aqueous soluble partitionates of O. mungos, M. macrophylla, Gmelina philippensis and S. nodiflora for membrane stabilizing and thrombolytic activities. The carbon tetrachloride soluble fraction of G. philippensis showed 49.05% and 21.25% inhibition of hypotonic and heat induced hemolysis of RBC, respectively, with acetyl salycylic acid as reference standard. The carbon tetrachloride soluble fraction of G. philippensis showed thrombolytic activity with clot lysis value of 47.14%, with streptokinase and water as positive and negative controls with 65.00% and 3.84% lysis of clot, respectively. (9)
• Antidiabetic / Cytotoxic  / Gmelinol / Aerial Parts: Study evaluated the ethanolic extract of aerial parts of G. philippensis for cytotoxic and antidiabetic activities. Eleven compounds were isolated. Compound 2, Gmelinol, exhibited strong cytotoxic activity against HepG-2 cell lines with IC50 of 3.6 µg/ml, which is more potent than standard cisplatin with IC50 of 8.7. Molecular modeling of gmelinol against diverse targets of protein kinases suggested that CDK-2 and AKT-1 could be dual kinase targets for cytotoxic action. Gmelinol also showed α-amylase inhibition with IC50 of 60.9 µg/ml, while compound 5 showed strong α-glucosidase inhibition with IC50 of 41.7 µg/mL compared to acarbose 34.7 µg/ml. Results showed the ethanolic extract of aerial parts is effective against HepG-2 cell line, α-amylase and α-glucosidase activities. Activities were attributed to compounds 2 and 5. (see constituents above) (11)
• Antibacterial / Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated the bioactive compounds, antioxidant, and antibacterial activity of G. philippensis leaf extract. The aqueous extract showed highest antioxidant activity of 76.48%, 54.07% for ethanolic extract, 51.66% for ethyl acetate extract. On antimicrobial testing, the aqueous extract showed poor inhibition activity; the ethanolic extract against S. faecalis only, the petroleum ether against K. pneumonia, E. coli, and S. faecalis. (see constituents above) (12)


Updated April 2023 / January 2020 / May 2016 / April 2012

IMAGE SOURCE Photo / Gmelina philippensis (Parrot's Beak) / © 2014 Richard Lyons' Nursery / click on photo to go to source page / rarefloweringtrees.com
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE Photo / Gmelina asiatica / J.M.Garg / CC by SA 4.0 / click on photo to go to source page / Wikimedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE Photo /Gmelina philippensis / Dick Culbert / CC by 2.0 / click on photo to go to source page / Wikipedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE Photo / Gmelina asiatica / Vinayaraj / CC BY-SA 3.0 / click on photo to go to source page / Wikipedia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Antipyretic studies on some indigenous Pakistani medicinal plants: II / M Ikram et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol 19, Issue 2, March-April 1987, Pages 185-192 / doi:10.1016/0378-8741(87)90040-7
Evaluation of antimicrobial activity of Cleome viscosa and Gmelina asiatica / Sudhakar M et al / Fitoterapia. 2006 Jan;77(1):47-9. Epub 2005 Dec 1.
Efficacy of Aqueous and Methanol Extracts of Some Medicinal Plants for Potential Antibacterial Activity / Jigna Parekh et al / Turk J Biol, 29 (2005) 203-210
Antimicrobial Activity of five medicinal plants of Bangladesh / Sharmin Reza Chowdhury *, Shahana Akter, Tasnuva Sharmin, Farhana Islam Tasdique Mohammad Quadery / Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, 2013; Vol 2, No 1
Gmelina philippensis Cham. / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Iridoid glycosides from Gmelina philippensis. / Helfrich E , Rimpler H / Phytochemistry, 2000, 54(2): pp 191-199 / DOI: 10.1016/S0031-9422(00)00060-1
In vitro antioxidant, total phenolic content and preliminary toxicity studies of Gmelina philippensis chem / Sharmin Reza Chowdhury*, Farhana Islam,Tasdique Mohammad Quadery, Mahbubul Hoque Shihan and Mohammad A. Rashid / African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Vol 6, No 1, March 2012; Pp 855-859 / DOI: 10.5897/AJPP11.891 
In Vitro Membrane Stabilizing and Thrombolytic Activities of Ophirrhiza mungos, Mussaenda macrophylla, Gmelina philippensis and Synedrella nodiflora Growing in Bangladesh / Farhana Islam, Sharmin Reza Choudhury, Tasnuva Sharmin et al / DOI: 10.6000/1927-5951.2013.03.01.8
Antimicrobial Activity of five medicinal plants of Bangladesh / Sharmin Reza Chowdhury, Shahana Akter, Tasnuva Sharmin et al / Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemsitry, 2013; 2(1): pp 164-170
Phytochemical investigation, molecular docking studies and DFT calculations on the antidiabetic and cytotoxic activities of Gmelina philippensis CHAM / Hanaa M Sayed, Amany S Ahmed, Iman S A Khallaf, Wesam S Qayed, Ayman Asem et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2023; Vol 303: 115938 /
DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2022.115938
Qualitative phytochemical screening of leaf extract of Gmelina philippensis Cham and assessment of its antioxidant and antibacterial activity in different solvents / Nida S Shaikh, Rahimullah S Shaikh / Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, 2022; 11(5): pp 133-140 / DOI: 10.22271/phyto.2022.v11.i5b.14489
Gmelina philippensis Cham. / National Parks: FLORA & FAUNA WEB

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)

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