- Tradescantia is named after John Tradescant senior, gardener to Charles I. He collected the first tradescantia from Virginia in the USA. Spathacea refers to the spatula-like leaves. Its common names are Moses-in-the-cradle, Oyster Plant and Boat Lily.
Moses in a Cradle: The small white
three-petaled flowers (Moses) arise from within the boat-shaped purple
bracts (the cradle) nestled between the leaf axils.
Bangka-bangkaan is a stout perennial herbaceous, somewhat fleshy
plant, 0.5 meters in height or less, the stem thick and unbranched. Leaves are lanceolate, acuminate, 40 to 60 centimeters long, 4 to 6 centimeters
wide, fleshy, the upper surface dark green, the lower purple. Flowers are numerous in each inflorescence, fascicled, white,
about 1 centimeter in diameter. Inflorescence, axillary, short, peduncled, the
flowers surrounded by 2 large, imbricate, laterally compressed, distichous,
3 to 4 centimeters long purplish bracts.
- Ornamental cultivation.
• Phytochemical studies yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, steroids,
saponins, cardiac glycosides, terpenoids, tannin and phenolic compounds
• Decongestant, expectorant,
blood refrigerant, antidysenteric.
• Reported anti-inflammatory, anticancer, insecticidal, antimicrobial, antifertility properties.
Collect the whole year round. Sun-dry.
· Used for cough, colds, hemoptysis, whooping cough, nose bleed.
· Bacillary dysentery, blood in the stool.
· Used for lymphatic tuberculosis.
· Dosage: use 30 to 60 gms fresh material, 15 to 84 gms dried
material or 20 to 30 pieces dried material in decoction.
· In Singapore,
sold in markets as both ornamental and medicinal: Boiled in water, it
is believed to have cooling properties.
· In Thai medicine, used for fever, cough and bronchitis.
· In Cuba, frictions and cataplasms used to treat wounds.
In the Caribbean, poultice of leaves used for asthma.
The plant sap is considered poisonous.
Contact may cause stinging and itching of the skin and eyes. Ingestion
may cause irritation of the lips, mouth, throat and abdominal pain.
• Anti-tumor / Chemoprevention: Aqueous crude extract of Rhoeo
discolor decreases the formation of liver preneoplastic foci in rats – In Mexico, Rhoeo discolor has been used to treat cancer. A study was
done to validate its antitumoral property. It showed a reduction of
preneoplastic lesions and justifies continuing further studies for its
chemoprevention potential. (1)
• Antigenotoxic, antimutagenic and
ROS scavenging activities: (1) Extensively used in traditionally
medicine in Mexico for the treatment of superficial mycoses, a study
was done to evaluate its antimutagenic and antigenotoxic activities.
The extract was neither mutagenic nor genotoxic. It showed dome radical
scavenging, less than a-tocopherol and more than ascorbic acid. (2)
• Antimutagenic Mechanism: Study of antimutagenic mechanisms showed the extract might be used to avoid DNA damage by alkylation, corrected alkylguanine transferase protein encoded with ogt gene. (5)
• ·Antimicrobial / Phytochemical
Constituents : Phytochemical studies yielded alkaloids,
flavonoids, steroids, saponins, cardiac glycosides, terpenoids, tannin
and phenolic compounds and oil. Study showed good inhibitory activity
with dose-dependent increase in effect. K pneumonia was found to be
most susceptible. (4)