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Family Leguminosae
Erythrina variegata Linn. var. orientalis (Linn.)

Hai tong pi

Scientific names  Common names
Erythrina variegata Linn. Andorogat (Bik.) 
Erythrina variegata Linn. var. orientalis (Linn.) Merr. Bagbag (Ilk.)
Erythrina corralodendron Linn. Andorogat (Bik.) 
Erythrina indica Lam. Bagbok (Ibn.)
Erythrina carnea Blanco Dapdap (Tag., Pamp., Bik., Bis.)
Erythrina loureiri G. Don Dubdub (Ilk.)
  Kabrab (Bik.)
  Karapdap (Tag.)
  Kasindak (Tag.)
  Sabang (Bon.)
  Sulbang (Pamp.)
  Vuvak (Ibn.)
  Tiger's claw (Engl.)
  East Indian coral tree (Engl.)
  Indian coral tree (Engl.)
  Moochy wood tree (Engl.)
  Sunshine tree (Engl.)
  Thorny dapdap (Engl.)
  Tiger's claw (Engl.)
  Hai tong pi (Chin.)

Other vernacular names
ASSAMESE: Modar, Ranga.
BENGALI : Kanda mathar, Madar, Mandara, Palte madar, Tepalte madar.
BURMESE : Penglay kathit.
CHINESE: Ci tong, Hai tong, Kong tong shu.
FRENCH : Arbre corail, Arbre corail à feuilles panachées, Arbre corail de l'Inde, Bois immortel, Bois immortel vrai, Pignon d'Inde.
GERMAN : Indischer Korallenbaum.
HINDI : Chadap, Dadap, Mandara, Pangara, Panjira, Phārahaḍa, Raktamadar.
JAPANESE: Deigo, Deiko.
KANNADA : Bilee vaarjipe, Bilivarijapa, Kempuvarijapa, Mullumurunji, Paarijaathaka, Pongaara, Vaarjipe mara, Warjipe.
KHMER : Roluőhs ba:y.
LAOTIAN : Do:k kho, Th'o:ng ba:nz.
MALAY : Cengkering, Chengkering, Dadap ayam, Dadap belang, Dedap, Dedap batik, Kalayana murikku.
MALAYALAM : Mandaram, Mullumurikku, Mulmurukku, Paribhadram.
MARATHI : Pangara, Pangira, Paringa.
ORIYA : Salotonoya.
SANSKRIT : Kantakipalasa, Mandar, Mandara, Páribhadrah, Parijata, Raktapuspa.
SINHALESE : Era badu, Era mudu, Katu eramadu, Mandar, Murunga.
SUNDANESE : Dadap blendung.
SWEDISH : Indiskt korallträd.
RUSSIAN: Eritrina indijskaia, Eritrina pëstraya, Eritrina raznoobraznaia.
TAMIL : Kaliyana, Kaliyana murukku, Kaliyāṇa murukkuvakai, Kaliyana murunkai, Muṇmurukku, Savusayam.
TELUGU : Badchipa chettu, Badidapu chettu, Baridamu, Paribhadrakamu, Parijatamu, Wangiram.
THAI: Thong ban, Thong lang dang, Thong lang lai, Thong phueak.
TIBETAN : Man da ra ba.
VIETNAMESE : Cây lá vông, Vông nem.

Dapdap is a deciduous tree reaching a height of 15 meters, the branches and the branchlets stout and armed with short, few to many sharp prickles. Leaflets are broadly ovate and 8 to 18 centimeters long, with pointed tip and broad base. Racemes are terminal, hairy, dense, and up to 2.5 centimeters long. Flowers are papillonaceous, large and numerous. Calyx is about 4 centimeters long and minutely 5-toothed at the tip, the mouth being very oblique. Petals are bright red and shorter than the calyx, the standard being 7 to 9 centimeters long and the wings and keels subequal. Stamens are 10, upper filaments free nearly to the base or more or less connate with others. Ovary many-ovuled, style incurved. Racemes terminal, hairy, dense and up to 2.5 cm long. Fruits are pods, 10 to 25 centimeters long, 1.5 to 2 centimeters in diameter, and distinctly constricted between the seeds.

- Along the seashore and frequently planted inland throughout the Philippines.
- Occurs in India to Polynesia.

• Seeds yield an alkaloid, a fatty oil, and a saponaceous glucoside.
• The alkaloid has properties identical to hypaphorine.
• Leaves and bark yield an a poisonous alkaloid, erythrinine, which acts on the nervous system with effects similar to the alkaloid cytisine.
• Bark, leaves and seeds yield saponin
• Hydrocyanic acid is found in the leaves, stems, roots, and fruit.
• Phytochemical screening yielded eight spiromaine alkaloids and 3 carboxylated indole-3-alkylamines.
• Dried bark yields erythraline, hypaphorine, amino acids, organic acids, erythrinin, erybidin and saponins.

• Prepared drug tastes bitter, neutral in effect.
• The bark is bitter, acrid, thermogenic, anti-inflammatory, sedative, carminative, digestive, anthelminthic, rejuvenating, laxative, diuretic and expectorant.
• The leaves are bitter, diuretic, laxative, emmenagogue, stomachic and anthelmintic.

• Erythrina has a narcotic and depressant action on the central nervous system.

Part utilized
Bark and leaves.
Remove spines from bark after collection, rinse, sun-dry.

• In the Philippines, a sweetened decoction of bark and leaves used as expectorant. Bark also used to facilitate the maturation of boils.
• Leaves and roots used as febrifuge.
• Decoction of leaves used for coughs and asthma.
• Dried bark decoction or infusion in alcohol used for lumbar and leg pain.
• In the Malay Peninsular, bark used for curing toothaches, rounded and pushed into the cavity or hollow tooth.
• In the Moluccas, bark chewed for dysentery.
• Pulverized leaves in the form of snuff used for Infantile convulsion and ascariasis.
• Wood rasped in water used for hematuria.
• Bark considered as antibilious and febrifuge.
• In the Peninsula and Indo-China, leaves used for poulticing sores.
• Seeds used internally and externally for cancer; externally for abscesses.
• In China, bark used as febrifuge and expectorant.
• In India and China, the bark and leaves are used in many traditional medicinal concoctions. Paribhadra, an Indian preparation, destroys parasites and relieves joint pains. Honeyed leaf juice is used for tapeworm and roundworm diseases. The juice also helps stimulate lactation and menstruation. A poultice of leaves is used for rheumatic joints.

Antibacterial activity of isoflavonoids isolated from Erythrina variegata against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: 16 isoflavonoids isolated from Erythrina variegata was screened for antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant Staph aureus. Of the active compounds, erycristagallin and orientanol B showed the highest anti-MRSA activity. (3)
Antibacterial / Erycristagallin / Dental Caries Prevention: Study isolated compounds from EV with antibacterial property against cariogenic oral bacteria. Among them was erycristagallin, a potential phytochemical agent for the prevention of dental caries by inhibiting the growth of cariogenic bacteria.
Anti-osteoporotic Effect:
Study showed that E. variegata could suppress the high rate of bone turnover induced by estrogen deficiency and improve the biomechanical properties of bone in the lab rats. (4)
Alkaloids / Nervous System Effects
: The study isolated eight spiroamine alkaloids and three carboxylated indole-3-alkylamines and showed characteristic pharmacological effects: (1) neuromuscular blocking, (2) smooth muscle relaxant, (3) CNS depressant, (4) hypocholeretic, and (5) anticonvulsant effects supporting the indigenous use of the plants.

Trypsin / Proteinase Inhibitors:
Study indicate that E. variegata proteinase inhibitors possess different potency toward serine proteinases in blood coagulation and fibrinolytic systems.
Antimicrobial / Cytoxicity:
Study isolated five compounds from the methanol extract of stem bark of EV: epilupeol, 6-hydroxygenistein, 3ß, 28-dihydroxyolean-12-ene, epilupeol, stigmasterol. Different partitionates showed mild to moderate antimicrobial activity and varying degrees of cytotoxicity.
Antioxidant / Smooth Muscle Inhibitory Activity:
Three new and 14 known compounds were isolated from E variegata. The smooth muscle studies on crude extract and their fractions showed inhibitory response, possibly with involvement of both muscarinic and adrenergic receptors. Significant antioxidant activity and a CNS depressive effect were also noted.
Lectin / Cytoxicity:
Study isolated a human erythrocyte specific lectin from the seeds of E. variegata. The purified lectin was a glycoprotein which induced transformation of peripheral blood lymphocytes in cultures. (6)
Study of methanol extract of the root bark of EV in Swiss albino mice showed a protective effect against Dalton's Ascitic Lymphoma (DAL) with evidence of a significant increase in life span, decrease in cancer cell number and tumour weight and normalization of hematologic parameters. (11)
Antioxidant / Hypolipidemic:
Study showed the protective effect of seeds of EV on high fat induced hyperlipidemia with lowering of total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, and VLDL. The effect may be attributed to decrease cholesterol synthesis, increase cholesterol excretion and expression of LDL receptor and catabolism. The antioxidant effect may play a role in retarding or preventing cardiovascular complications secondary to hyperlipidemia. (12)
Hypoglycemic Effect:
Study concluded that E. variegata demonstrated promising hypoglycemic action in stretozotocin-induced diabetic rats. (13)
Antibacterial / Mupirocin Synergism:
Study isolated an isoflavone, bidwillon B which inhibited the growth of 12 MRSA strains at minimum inhibitory concentrations. Combined with mupirocin, synergistic effects were observed for 11 strains of MRSA. Both compounds act on MRSA via different mechanisms. Bidwillon B presents as a potent phytotherapeutic and/or combination agent with mupirocin in the elimination of nasal and skin carriage of MRSA. (14)
Bioactive Isoflavones / Antioxidant / ß-Glucosidase Inhibitory Activity:
Study of a methanol extract isolated secondary metabolites, viz., alpinum isoflavone, 6-hydroxygenistein, 3ß,28-dihydroxyolean-12-ene, and epilupeol. Some fractions showed moderate antioxidant activity and ß-glucosidase inhibitory activity. (18)
Anticancer / Antimalarial / Antifertility:
Study yielded bioactive compounds that showed in vitro anticancer activity against breast cancer cell T47D, antiplasmodial in vitro K1 and 3D7 strain parasites, and antifertility on spermatozoa R. norvegicus. (19)
Fodder Potential / Nutritive Value:
Study showed leaves to be high in crude protein (16-21%) making it a good protein feed for animals. Toxic alkaloid contents are found mostly in the bark and seeds of the plant; degraded in the rumen, some do not consider it harmful to ruminants. Results suggested E. variegata could be used to promote growth in goats during the dry season. More studies were suggested to further evaluate for organic matter intake, digestibility, and growth rate effects. (20)
Fodder Potential / Protein Substitution:
Study showed used of crude protein from Erythrina variegata foliage can replace up to 60% of crude protein from a mixed diet with soybean meal without negative effect on growth in goats. (21)
Anxiolytic / Anticonvulsant:
Study evaluated an alcoholic extract of stem bark for anxiolytic and anticonvulsant activities. Phytochemical screening yielded alkaloids, flavanoids, tannins, phenolic compounds, carbohydrates, proteins, saponins, and triterpenoids. The extract showed anxiolytic and anticonvulsant activity at doses of 400 and 800 mg/kbw, with more significant effect with high dose (800mg/kg) of ALEEV. (22)
Antiatherosclerotic Effects:
Study of leaf extract in rats showed a hypolipidemic effect in HFD-fed rats with evidence of coronary artery healing and reduction in the extent of aortic lipophilic lesion areas suggesting atheroprotective and anti-obesity influences. The anti-atherosclerotic effects was attributed to the hypolipidemic and anti-inflammatory effects of the isolated phytoconstituents. (23)
Study of methanol extract of bark showed significant anti-malarial activity toward Plasmodium falcifarum in vitro. (24)
Anti-Cancer / Xanthoxyletin / Apoptosis in Human Gastric Adenocarcinoma Cells:
Study isolated xanthoxyletin, previously reported to possess antibacterial, algicidal and fungicidal properties. Study evaluated xanthoxyletin against human gastric adenocarcinoma SGC-7901 cells. Results showed inhibitory effects associated with DNA damage, apoptosis through mitochondrial dysfunction and cell cycle arrest.  (25)
Study of methanolic extract of leaves and soft stems showed significant attenuation from all test doses on the writhing responses induced by intraperitoneal injection of acetic acid in mice. (26)
Antioxidant / Root Bark:
Study on antioxidant activity showed a root bark of E. variegata showed protection at 200 mg/kbw against chromium-induced oxidative stress. (27)


Last Update July 2013

Photo © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Plate from book / File:Erythrina variegata Blanco1.217-cropped.jpg / Flora de Filipinas / 1880 - 1883 / Francisco Manuel Blanco (O.S.A) / Public Domain / Modifications by Carol Spears / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Seeds / Erythrina variegata L. tiger's claw / Flora de Filipinas / 1880 - 1883 / Steve Hurst @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Erythrina variegata / NFTA / Winrock
Indian Medicinal Plants
Antibacterial activity of isoflavonoids isolated from Erythrina variegata against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
Anti-osteoporotic effect of Erythrina variegata L. in ovariectomized rats / Yan zhang, Xiao-Li Li, Wan-Ping Li et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology Vol 109, Issue 1, 3 January 2007, Pages 165-169 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2006.07.005
Erythrina - chemical and pharmacological evaluation II: Alkaloids of erythrina variegata L / S Ghosal, S K Dutta, S K Bhattacharya / Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 61, Issue 8, pages 1274–1277, August 1972 / DOI: 10.1002/jps.2600610821
Human erythrocyte specific lectin from the seeds of Indian coral tree, Erythrina variegata L.
/ T K Datta and P S Basu / J. Biosci., Vol. 5, Supplement 1, December 1983, pp. 25-30.
Antibacterial property of isoflavonoids isolated from Erythrina variegata against cariogenic oral bacteria
/ M Sato / Phytomedicine / 2003-; vol 10 (issue 5) : pp 427-33

Inhibitory potency of Erythrina variegata proteinase inhibitors toward serine proteinases in the blood coagulation and fibrinolytic systems / NAKAGAKI T et al / Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry / 1996, vol. 60, no8, pp. 1383-1385

Anti-Cancer Activity of Methanol Extract of Root Bark of Erythrina variegata linn. / N. Baskar, B. Parimala Devi and R. Mohan Kumar / International Journal of Toxicological and Pharmacological Research 2010
Effect of Erythrina variegata seed extract on hyperlipidemia elicited by high-fat diet in wistar rats / G Balamurugan and A Shantha / J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2010 Oct-Dec; 2(4): 350–355. / doi: 10.4103/0975-7406.72139
Hypoglycemic activity of Erythrina variegata leaf in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats / Kumar, Arvind; Lingadurai, Sutharson; Shrivastava, Tarani P et al / /DOI: 10.3109/13880209.2010.529615
Synergistic effects of mupirocin and an isoflavanone isolated from Erythrina variegata on growth and recovery of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus / Masaru Sato, Hitoshi Tanaka et al / Intern Journ of Antimicrobial Agents, Vol 24, No 3, Sept 2004, Pp 241-246 / doi:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2004.03.020
Chinese materia medica: combinations and applications / Xu Li / Google Books
Erythrina variegata L. (accepted name) / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
Sorting Erythrina names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.
BIOACTIVE ISOFLAVONES FROM ERYTHRINA VARIEGATA L. / Mohammed Z. RAHMAN, Mohammad S. RAHMAN Abul KAISAR, Aslam HOSSAIN, Mohammad A. RASHID / Turk J. Pharm. Sci. 7 (1), 21-28, 2010
POTENTIAL OF DADAP AYAM (Erythrina variegata) PLANT AS HERBAL MEDICINE / Tati Herlina, Euis Julaeha, Nurlelasari, Dikdik Kurnia, and Unang Supratman / Journal Medika Planta - Vol. 1 No. 4. Oktober 2011
Goat production in Laos and the potential of using Erythrina variegata as a Feedstuff / Helena Allard/ Uppsala 2010
Effect of feeding different levels of foliage from Erythrina variegata on the performance of growing goats
/ Daovy Kongmanila, Jan Bertilsson, Inger Ledin, Ewa Wredle / Tropical Animal Health and Production
October 2012, Volume 44, Issue 7, pp 1659-1665
Pharmacological eveluation of alcoholic of stem bark of erythrina variegata for anxiolytic and anticonvulsant activity in mice / Pitchaiah, Gummalla and Viswanatha, GL and Srinath, R and Nandakumar, K / Pharmacologyonline, 3. pp. 934-947, 2008
Effect of Erythrina variegata on experimental atherosclerosis in guinea pigs / Mangathayaru Kalachaveedu, Sarah Kuruvilla, K Balakrishna / J Pharmacol Pharmacother 2011;2:285-7 / DOI: 10.4103/0976-500X.85950
ANTI-MALARIAL COMPOUND FROM THE STEM BARK OF Erythrina variegata / Tati Herlina*, Unang Supratman, Ukun M.S. Soedjanaatmadja, Anas Subarnas, Supriyatna Sutardjo, Noor Rain Abdullah, and Hideo Hayashi / Indo. J. Chem., 2009, 9 (2), 308 - 311
Xanthoxyletin, a Coumarin Induces S Phase Arrest and Apoptosis in Human Gastric Adenocarcinoma SGC-7901 Cells / Azhar Rasul, Muhammad Khan, Bo Yu, Tonghui Ma*, Hong Yang* / Asian Pacific J Cancer Prev, 12, 1219-1223
Analgesic Effects of Erythrina variegata L. Leaves and Soft Stems in Mice / MJ Mahal, Z Khatun, T Hossain, AA Mamun, MS Hossain, AK Das, A Khatun, M Rahmatullah / Journal of Phytomedicine and Therapeutics
Evaluation of Antioxidant Activity of Ethanol Extract of Erythrina variegata and Impatiens balsamina on Chromium (VI) Induced Oxidative Stress in Albino Rats / N Baskar, B Parimala Devi, B Jayakar / Int Journ of Res in Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics, Vol 1(1), 2012

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