HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT

Family Moraceae
Ficus tinctoria   J.G.forst.
Liang liao rong

Scientific names Common names
Ficus tinctoria G.Forst. Baleting-bato (Tag.)
Accepted infraspecifics Biri (Bis.)
Ficus tinctoria subsp. gibbosa (Blume) Corner Kalanaway (Tag.)
Ficus tinctoria subsp tinctoria Laban (Bis.)
  Dye fig (Engl.)
  Humped fig tree (Engl.)
  Straggler fig (Engl.)
Ficus tinctoria G.Forst. is accepted. KEW: Plants of the World Online
Ficus tinctoria subsp. gibbosa (Blume) Corner has 49 synonyms. Plants of the World Online
Ficus tinctoria subsp.tinctoria has 15 synonyms. Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
CHINA: Liang liao rong.
INDIA: Tella barnika (Telugu), Kallithhi.
INDONESIA: Ara kuning, Kijajawo, Pereng, Panggang, Bunut, Karang.
LAOS: Hai.
MALAYSIA: Ara bereteh, Sinu.
MYANMAR: Mai-hai.
SAMOA: Mati.
THAILAND: Krang, Sai-dam, Hai.
VIETNAM: Sung bau, Sung bui.

Gen info
- Ficus tinctoria is a hemiepiphytic tree of the genus Ficus. It is one of the species known as straggler fig. Palms are favorite host species. While the root systems of the dye fig can come together to be self sustaining, the epiphyte usually falls if the host tree dies or rots away. (4)

Ficus tinctoria is a tree, small tree, or shrub, sometimes epiphytic. Bark slightly coarse. Branchlets brown. Stipules subulate-lanceolate, 5-10 mm, thick. Leaves distichous; petiole thick, 8-10 mm; leaf blade elliptic to ovate-elliptic, asymmetric, 3-13 × 2.5-6 cm, larger in juvenile plants, ± leathery to stiffly leathery, abaxially slightly rough, glabrous, base broadly cuneate to ± cordate, margin entire or toothed, apex obtuse to acute; venation abaxially conspicuous, not dark brown when dry; basal lateral veins short, secondary veins 5-8 on each side of midvein, and prominent on both surfaces. Figs axillary on normal leafy shoots, solitary or paired, globose to globose-pear-shaped, or ± pear-shaped, 8-10 mm in diam., with sparse small tubercles, slightly rough, base attenuate into stalk, apical pore navel-like; peduncle very short; involucral bracts ovate, margin revolute when dry. Male flowers: near apical pore; calyx lobes 4-6, white, linear; stamen 1; rudimentary ovary present. Gall flowers: calyx lobes 4-6, similar to male flowers; ovary obliquely ovoid; style lateral. Female flowers: calyx lobes 4, thin, transparent, linear; style persistent, lateral, short; stigma enlarged. Achenes ellipsoid, keeled, with tubercles. (Flora of China) (2)

Ficus tinctoria is a large tree, up to 45 m tall, epiphytic when young, developing many slender aerial roots from the trunk together with many host-strangling basketing roots. Leaf-blade narrowly elliptical, 8-21 cm × 2-9 cm, generally unequally sided and distinctly angled; petiole 0.5-1 cm long. Fruit a fig, subglobose, ca. 1 cm in diameter, orange. (3)

- Native to the Philippines.
- Common on rocky sea coasts, in primary and secondary forests, up to 1200 m altitude.

- No studies found

- Studies have suggest antioxidant, antidiabetic properties.

Parts used
Leaves, root, bark, stems.


- Fruit is edible. Used in puddings and making dried preserves.
- In the low-lying atolls of Micronesia and Polynesia, it is a major food source.

- Decoction of juice and leaves used as tonic for postpartum weakness.
- Leaves used as poultice for broken bones.
- Bark and root of F. tinctoria gibbosa is astringent, used for treatment of diarrhea, menorrhagia, constipation, fever. (5)
- In India, young leaves are inserted in the ears as antidote for snake bites. For leucorrhea, stem bark juice (20cc) drunk before breakfast for three days.
- In Yap, roots used as stimulant for the intense pains of childbirth: ten pieces of root about 30 cm long, with skin off, are ground with coconut oil and taken with coconut milk.
- In Keral, India, the Madayipara tribals use stem and leaf juice as internal remedy for convulsions and weakness.
- In Samoa, juice of inner bark instilled into eye for ma'i mata. (12)

- Dye: Rust-brown fruit is a source of red dye used in traditional fabric making in parts of Oceania and Indonesia.
- Fiber: Fiber from bark used for making cordage.
- Polish: Leaves used to polish ivory. (5)

Antioxidant / Stems:
Study evaluated the antioxidant activity of various extracts of stems of Ficus tinctoria using DPPH antioxidant assay, ABTS radical scavenging assay, and superoxide radical scavenging assay. A hydroalcoholic extract of stem showed an IC50 of 93,39 µg/ml with DPPH assay and good radical scavenging activity by ABTS assay with IC50 of 20.78 µg/ml, and IC50 70.42 µg/ml in superoxide radical scavenging assay. (6)
Antidiabetic / Leaves: Study evaluated the antidiabetic activity of Ficus tinctoria leaf extracts in both polar and non-polar solvents. Among all extracts, the hydroalcoholic and methanolic extracts showed efficient antidiabetic activity. The ME showed an IC50 of 460 µg/ml for alpha-amylase inhibitory activity, and IC50 of of 90.60 µg/ml for alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity. The hydroalcoholic extract showed IC50s of 90.60 µg/ml and 362 µg/ml for alpha-glucosidase and alpha-amylase inhibitory activities, respectively. (7)
Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated the antioxidant activity of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Ficus gibbosa Blume by DPPH assay, ABTS assay, hydroxyl radical scavenging activity, superoxide free radical scavenging activity, nitric oxide radical scavenging activity and total antioxidant methods. Among the extracts, the aqueous extract showed better antioxidant activity. A compound 3, 4ˈ , 5, 7-tetrahydroxy-6-methyl flavone was isolated from the ethanolic extract (fraction 98-103). (8)


February 2023

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph: Ficus tinctoria, in Vava'u, Tonga / Tau'olunga / CC BY-SA 3.0  / click on image to go to source page / Wikipedia

OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photo - Ficus tinctoria subsp. gibbosa / Vinayaraj / CC BY-SA 3.0 / click on image to go to source page / Wikidata

OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photo - Moraceae : Ficus tinctoria / Longitudinal section of fig / image modified / Copyright © 2017 by P.B. Pelser & J.F. Barcelona (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz)) [ref. DOLii8885] / Non-Commercial Use / click on image to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Ficus tinctoria / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Ficus tinctoria - Liang liao rong / Flora of China

Ficus tinctoria / PROSEA: Plant Resources of South-East Asia
Ficus tinctoria / Wikipedia
Ficus tinctoria gibbosa (Bl.) Corner  / India Biodiversity Portal
In vitro antidiabetic activity of leaf extracts of Ficus tinctoria / T Swetha, Suvarchala Reddy, S Ushasri, J Ranjith Kumar /
Determination of Anti-oxidant activity of Different Extracts of Ficus gibbosa Blume, Isolation and Characterization of Flavonoid from Ethanol Extract by Column Chromatography / Gini E J, Sivakumar T, Kuppuswami S / Research Journal of Pharmaceutical, Biological and Chemical Sciences, 2017; 8(4): pp 888-898 / ISSN: 0975-8585
Medicinal Plants Used By Ethnic People of Adilabad District, Andhra Pradesh, India / Dr N Ramakrishna, Ch Saidulu / IJPRAS: International Journal of Pharmaceutical Research & Applied Sciences, 2014; 3(2): pp 51-59 / ISSN: 2277-3657
The Palauan and Yap medicinal plant studies of Masayoshi Okabe, 1941-1943 / Robert A Defilipps, Shirley L Maina, Leslie A Pray / Issued by National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Wash DC, 1988
Herbal remedies of Madayipara hillock tribals in Kannur district, Kerala, India
/ Madhu.C.Divakar, Jeril John, Vyshnavidevi, Poornima, Anisha, Ansa Subash, Vijeesh Govindan / Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies, 2013; 1(6): pp 34-42 / ISSN: 2320-3862
Samoan Medicinal Plants and Their Usage / ADAP Project 93-1 / Agricultural Development in the American Pacific: Pacific Land Grant Programs

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

HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT