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.
• Leaf extracts yielded steroids, triterpenoids, flavonoids, furan, sugar, coumarin, alkaloid, tannin, phenol, and saponins. (28)
• Total alcohol extract yielded ß-sitosterol, oleanolic acid, and ß-sitosterol glycoside on column chromatographic processing. (see study below) (29)
• Study isolated the terpenoid pentacyclic glycoside (1) and 10,11-dioxoerythratidine (2) from the leaves of E. variegata. (19)
• Phytochemical study of bark yielded 21 pure compounds. Compounds 8,15,18 and 20 were new isoflavones established as: : 5, 4'-dihydroxy-2'-methoxy-8-(3, 3-dimethylally)-2", 2"-dimethylpyrano[5, 6: 6, 7] isoflavanone (8); 5,4'-dihydr-oxy-8-(3, 3-dimethylally)-2"-methoxyisopropyl-furano [4, 5: 6, 7]isoflavone (15); 5, 7,4'-trihydroxy-6-(3, 3-dimethyl-oxiranylmethyl)isoflavone (18); 5,4'-dihydr-oxy-8-(3, 3-dimethylally)-2"-hydroxymethyl-2"-methylpyrano[5, 6: 6, 7] isoflavone (20). The known compounds were 5, 4'-dihydroxy-8-(3, 3-dime-thylally)-2", 2"-dimethylpyrano[5, 6: 6, 7] isoflavone (1); stigmasterol (2); eryth-rinassinate B (3); 3-hydroxy-2', 2'-dimethylpyrano[5, 6: 9, 10] pterocarpan (4); 5, 7- dihydroxy-8-(3, 3-dimethylally)-flavanone (5); 5, 4'-dihydroxy-2", 2"-dimethyl. (see study below) (42)
• Prepared drug tastes bitter,
neutral in effect.
• The bark is bitter, acrid, thermogenic, anti-inflammatory, sedative,
carminative, digestive, anthelminthic, rejuvenating, laxative, diuretic
• The leaves are bitter, diuretic, laxative, emmenagogue, stomachic
• Erythrina has a narcotic and depressant action on the central nervous system.
• Considered nervine, sedative, febrifuge, anti-asthmatic, and antiepileptic.
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.
• Juice of leaves used for earache, toothache, constipation, and cough. Also used to stimulate lactation and menstruation.
• Leaf juice used to cure whooping cough in children. Roots used for ophthalmia and skin diseases.
• In Fiji, crushed leaves are mixed with coconut oil, heated in a banana leaf, and applied to fractures. Juice from young leaves used treat boils. Plant is used as a bandage. (40)
• Leaf juice used to cure whooping cough in children. Roots used for ophthalmia and skin diseases.
• The Chakma tribe of Bangladesh used a mixture of bark of E. variegata with leaves of Ananas comosus and roots of A. catechu for treatment of helminthiasis. (46)
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. (7)
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) Study investigated the potential mechanism involved in mediating the osteoprotective effects of EV. Results suggest the osteoprotective effects of EV on bone properties in ovariectomized rats are likely mediated by its inhibitory actions on the process of bone resorption via suppression of osteoclast differentiation and maturation. (32)
• 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.
/ Proteinase Inhibitors: Study
indicate that E. variegata proteinase inhibitors possess different potency
toward serine proteinases in blood coagulation and fibrinolytic systems.
/ Cytotoxicity: 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.
/ 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.
/ Cytotoxicity: 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)
• Anti-Cancer: 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 / Antiplasmodial / Antifertility / Leaves: Study evaluated E. variegata leaves for bioactive compounds. Study yielded the terpenoid pentacyclic glycoside (1) and 10,11-dioxoerythratidine (2). The extract and compounds showed anticancer in vitro against breast cancer cell T47D, antiplasmodial in vitro Ki and 3D7 strain parasites, and antifertility on spermatozoa R. norvegicus with middle and high activity. (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)
• Antimalarial / Stem Bark: 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)
• Analgesic / Leaves and Stems: 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)
• Anti-Atherosclerotic Activity: Study evaluated a total alcoholic leaf extract of E. variegata on experimental atherosclerosis in guinea pigs. Extract showed no toxicity on acute toxicity study up to 2 g/kbw. Results showed anti-atherosclerotic activity consequent to hypolipidemic and anti-inflammatory activities of isolated phytochemicals viz. ß-sitosterol, oleanolic acid and b-sitosterol glycoside with their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antihyperlipidemic and DNA protective properties. (29)
• Memory Enhancing Activity / Corticosterone Induced Dementia:Study evaluated the effects of EV on learning and memory in mice with corticosterone induced dementia. Results showed significant improvement in memory in a dose dependent manner. (30)
• Biosorption of Lead: Study reported on the biosorption of lead from aqueous solutions by Erythrina variegata orientalis leaf powder. Extent of biosorption was maximum at pH=5. Maximum monolayer coverage capacity for Pb ions is 18.075 mg/g. The biosorption is endothermic, irreversible, and feasible.
• Estrogenic Effect: Study of alcoholic extract of leaves of EV showed estrogenic activity in prepubertal female rats as evidenced by the presence of ciliated cells in the oviduct and signs of vascularization in the cortex of ovarian sections. The activity was attributed to the antioxidant activity of ß-sitosterol, daucosterol, and oleanolic content of the extract. (32)
• Antimicrobial / Stem: Study evaluated various extracts of stems against nine bacterial and five fungal pathogens. Serratia marcescens, R. coli, Pseudomonas putida, and Bacillus circulans were found to be the more susceptible strains. Among all solvents, methanol showed promising antimicrobial activity. (35)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Stem: Study of an ethanolic extract of E. variegata in albino rats showed anti-inflammatory activity using acute (carrageenan induce paw edema) and chronic (cotton pellet induced granuloma) inflammatory models. (36)
• Anti-Arthritic / Leaves: Study of ethanol and aqueous extracts of E. variegata showed potent anti-arthritic effect on Freunds Complete adjuvant (FCA) induced arthritis model. (37)
• Hypoglycemic / Hypolipidemic / Roots: Study evaluated the hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic activity of alcohol and aqueous root extracts of Erythrina variegata in alloxan induced diabetic rats. Results showed dose dependent reduction of blood glucose, together with significant recovery in the levels of parameters measured in the lipid profile. (38)
• Estrogenic Effect in Prepubertal Rats / Leaves: Study evaluated an alcoholic extract of leaves by uterotrophic assay in 17 day old prepubertal female rats. Results showed estrogenic activity evidenced by the presence of ciliated epithelial cells in the oviduct and vascularization in the cortex of ovarian sections. Findings were attributed to the antioxidant activity of ß-sitosterol, daucosterol, and oleanolic acid isolated from the extract. Results support previous study reports of hypolipidemic, anti-atherosclerotic activities, lending validity to its anti-obesity claims. (39)
• Anticonvulsant / Leaves and Bark: Study of bark and leaf of Erythrina variegata and Butea monosperma in PTZ and MES induced convulsions in Wistar rats showed anticonvulsant activity in both models, and suggests possible central nervous system depressant action. (41)
• Antiosteoporotic Constituents/ Leaves and Bark: Study evaluated 130 species of Chinese medicinal herbs for antiosteoporosis activities by bioassay using MTT method and osteoblast-like (OB-like) cells UMR106. Phytochemical analysis of bark of E. variegata isolated 21 pure compounds. Among them, compounds 8, 15. 18, and 20 were new isoflavones, named Eryvarins H, I, J, and K. (see constituents above) (42)
• Thrombolytic Activity / Bark: Study evaluated bark extracts of E. variegata for thrombolytic activity using human erythrocyte and compared with standard streptokinase (SK). The methanol extract showed 72.14 ± 3.77% clot lysis compared to 78.42 ± 1.6% produced by SK. (43)
• Cardiac Depressant / Leaves: Study evaluated the antidepressant activity of E. variegata water extract of leaves using frog isolated heart model. Results showed significant cardiac depressant activity via action on muscarinic receptors. (44)
• Erystagallin-A / Anticancer / Antimalarial / Stem Bark: A methanol extract of stem bark of Erythrina variegata showed significant anti-cancer activity against breast cancer T47D-cell lines in vitro and anti-malarial activity against Plasmodium falcifarum in vitro using the LDH assay. The active compound was identified as erystagallin-A. (45)