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Family Verbenaceae
Duranta
Duranta repens Linn.
GOLDEN DEW DROP
Jia lian qiao

Scientific names Common names
Duranta repens Linn. Duranta (Tag.)
Duranta plumieri Jacq.  Golden dew drop (Engl.)
Duranta erecta Linn. Golden eardrops (Engl.)
Pigeon berry (Engl.)
  Skyflower (Engl.)

Other vernacular names
CHIINESE: Jia lian qiao.
FRENCH: Durante dressée.
MARSHALLESE: Jab meloklok.
SPANISH: Cuentas de oro, San Jacinto.

Botany
Duranta is a smooth, unarmed shrub, growing to a height of 1-3 meters, with straggling and drooping branches. Leaves are small, obovate-elliptic, 3 to 6 centimeters long, with pointed or rounded tips and pointed base; the margins, entire or slightly toothed. Racemes are axillary with terminal panicles, spreading and slender, up to 12 centimeters long. Flowers are scentless, borne on one side of the rachis, white or lilac-blue with two violet stripes, about 1 centimeter long and 1 centimeter wide. Fruit is fleshy, ovoid, orange-yellow and 7 to 8 millimeters long.

Distribution
- Native of tropical America.
- A common hedge and fence screen in Baguio.

Constituents
• Fruit contains a saponin.
• The bark contains a glucosidal principal; the leaves yield a saponin substance.
• Phytochemical studies report new compounds: cleomisconsin A, hardwickiic acid, 3,13-clerodadien-16, oleic acid plus other known compounds.

Study isolated 6 compounds: 24-ethylcholest-5-en-3-â-ol (â-sitoserol), naringenin, 3,4-dihydroxy-bphenethyl-O-á- rhamnopyranosyl-(1T3)-4-O-caffeoyl-â-D-glucopyranosid (acteoside), lamiide, á-glucopyranosyl (1T2) â-fructopyranoside (sucrose), á-galactopyranosyl(1T6) á-glucopyranosyl-(1T2) fructopyranoside (raffinose) from Duranta repens Linn. var. variegate. (See study below) (4)
- Leaves extracts yielded two new iridoids, durantoside IV and durantoside V together with several known compounds, oleanolic acid, ursolic acid, (E)-cinnamic acid, beta-sitosteryl-3-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside, (E)-p-methoxycinnamic acid, KNO-3, KCl, kusaginin, glucose, durantoside I, and durantoside II. (15)

Properties
• Fruit is slightly poisonous with alkaloid type reactions. Deaths have been reported from ingestion.


Parts used
Leaves, fruits, juice.

Uses
Folkloric
- Fruit has been used as febrifuge.
- Fruits used for malaria and intestinal worms.
- Flowers are believed to be stimulant.
- Infusion of leaves and juice of fruit are diuretic.
- Leaves used for treatment of abscesses.
- In Bangladesh, tribal and mainstream use for malaria. Also used by mainstream Kavirajes as insect repellent, treatment of itches, infertility, fever, and pneumonia.
(13)

Toxicity
• Fruit is slightly poisonous with alkaloid type reactions. Deaths have been reported from ingestion.
• Study of the chloroform soluble fraction of the stem of D. repens showed toxicity with changes in biochemical parameters and abnormalities in liver and renal functions, with degenerative changes on histopath examination of the cellular destruction of the liver, heart and kidney. (8)
• Duranta erecta Poisoning in Nine Dogs and a Cat: Observed ingestion of fruits and leaves resulted in drowsiness, hyperaesthesia and tetanic seizures with GI manifestations of vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding. (9)

Studies
Thrombin Inhibitory: Study isolated flavonoids with some compounds showing significant enzyme-inhibitory activity against thrombin. (3)
Mosquitocidal Triterpenes: Study isolated two triterpenes, ß-amyrin and 12-oleanene 3ß,21ß-diol. The mixture of the two compounds was highly effective against the larvae of the mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus, as a mosquitocide. (10)
Phytochemical Investigation / Antiviral: The DR extract showed 76% reduction in the viral titer of Hepatitis A. The activity may be attributed to the aceteoside or lamiide content which showed high antioxidant activity. (4)
Cardiac Depressant: Estimation of Cardiac Depressant Activity of Ten Medicinal Plant Extracts from Pakistan: Cardiac depressant effect induced by D repens extract was not dose-dependent, with a 50% negative inotropic effect, 50% negative chronotropic effect and 80% reduction in coronary outflow. (5)
Saponins / Cytotoxicity: Study isolated two new triterpene saponins from the leaves of DRL durantanin IV and V, together with 10 known compounds. The methanol extract and the 2 new compounds 1,2 and E/Z acteoside showed significant cytotoxic activity against a HepG2 cell line.
Antioxidant: Study of the methanol extract of Duranta repens showed radical scavenging activity. Study yielded three compounds: an acteoside, an iridoid lamilid and a saponin. (6)
Radical Scavenging Activity: Phytochemical screening isolated four new coumarinolignoids, Repenins A-D (1-4) with known coumarinolignoids, cleomiscosin A and durantin A. The compounds showed potent radical scavenging activity. (7)
Iridoid Glycosides / Antioxidative: An ethanolic extract isolated six iridoid glycosides 1-6. Duranterectoside A (1) exhibited the strongest scavenging potential for DPPH radicals, -OH inhibitory activity, total ROS inhibitory activity, and OBNOO(-) scavenging activity tests. (12)
Antiplasmodial Flavanoid Glycosides / Antimalarial: A CHCl3-soluble fraction of the whole plant of Duranta repens yielded two new flavonoid glycosides, along with five known flavonoids. Compounds 1-7 showed potent anti-plasmodial activity against the chloroquine-sensitive (D6) and chloroquine-resistant (W2) strains of Plasmodium falciparum. (14)

Availability
Cultivated for ornamental purposes.

Last Update January 2014

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
New Triterpene Saponins from Duranta repens Linn. and Their Cytotoxic Activity /Molecules 2009, 14(5), 1952-1965 / doi:10.3390/molecules14051952
(2)
PHYTOCHEMICAL STUDIES ON DURANTA REPENS LINN AND EHRETIA OBTUSIFOLIA HOCHST / Kiran Iqbal / Pakistan Research Repository
(3)
Thrombin Inhibitory Constituents from Duranta repens / Itrat Anis et al / Helvetica Chimica Acta Vol 84 Issue 3, Pages 649 - 655 / DOI :10.1002/1522-2675(20010321)84:3<649::AID-HLCA649>3.0.CO;2-5
(4)
Phytochemical Investigation and Antiviral Activity of Duranta repens / Lobna M. Abou-Setta, Naglaa M. Nazif, Abdelaaty A. Shahat / Journal of Applied Sciences Research, 3(11): 1426-1433, 2007
(5)
Estimation of Cardiac Depressant Activity of Ten Medicinal Plant Extracts from Pakistan / Tasneem Mariam Sajid et al / Phytotherapy Research, Volume 10 Issue 2, Pages 178 - 180 / DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1573(199603)10:2<178::AID-PTR802>3.0.CO;2-T
(6)
Phytochemical investigation and antioxidant activity of Duranta repens / Abdelaaty A Shahat et al / Phytotherapy Research Vol 19 Issue 12, Pages 1071 - 1073 / 10.1002/ptr.1766
(7)
Repenins A–D, four new antioxidative coumarinolignoids from Duranta repens Linn.
/ Nisar Ahmad et al / Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters, Volume 19, Issue 13, 1 July 2009, Pages 3521-3524 / doi:10.1016/j.bmcl.2009.05.006
(8)
Biochemical, Hematological and Histopathological Effects of Duranta repens Stems on Rats / Nikkon F et al / Asian Journal of Biochemistry, 2008 | Volume: 3 | Issue: 6 | Page No.: 366-372 / DOI: 10.3923/ajb.2008.366.372
(9)
Duranta erecta poisoning in nine dogs and a cat / Australian veterinary journal / 2006-Oct; vol 84 (issue 10) : pp 367-70

(10)
Mosquitocidal triterpenes from the stem of Duranta repens / Farjana Nikkon et al / Summary
Pharmaceutical Biology, March 2010, Vol. 48, No. 3, Pages 264-268 , DOI 10.3109/13880200903096570
(11)
Duranta erecta / Common names / PIER
(12)
Antioxidative iridoid glycosides from the sky flower (Duranta repens Linn). / Ijaz F, Ul Haq A, Ahmad I, Ahmad N, Hussain J, Chen S. / J Enzyme Inhib Med Chem. 2011 Feb;26(1):88-92. doi: 10.3109/14756361003724778.
(13)
Folk Medicinal Uses of Verbenaceae Family Plants in Bangladesh / Mohammed Rahmatullah, Rownak Jahan. . . and Taufiq Rahman / African Journal of Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicines
(14)
Two new anti-plasmodial flavonoid glycosides from Duranta repens / Fozia Ijaz, Nisar Ahmad, Ijaz Ahmad, Azhar ul Haq, Fanghai Wang / Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry, December 2010, Vol. 25, No. 6 , Pages 773-778 / (doi:10.3109/14756360903433365)
(15)
Chemical components of the leaves of Duranta repens Linn
/ Kuo, Yueh Hsiung; Chen, Zong Shiow; Lin, Yun Lian / Chemical & Pharmaceutical Bulletin (tokyo), 1996, 44(2): 429-436


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