HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT

Family Annonaceae
Uvaria rufa Blume
Xiao hua zi yu pan

Scientific names  Common names 
Guatteria rufa Dunal Allagat (Ilk.)
Unona setigera Blanco Banawak (Ati negrito)
Uva rufa Kuntze Batag-kabalang (Bik.)
Uvaria astrosticta Miq. Hilagak (Tag.)
Unona bancana Scheff. Hinlalagak (Tag.)
Unona branderhorstii Burck Iniu (Sbl.)
Unona fauveliana (Finet & Gagnep.) Pierre ex Ast Pedped (Ilk.)
Unona hamiltonii var. fauveliana Finet & Gagnep. Susung-damulag (Pamp.)
Uvaria ridleyi King Susung-kabayo (Tag.)
Uvaria rufa Blume Susung-kalabau (Tag.)
Uvaria setigera (Blanco) Blanco Susung-kalabaw (Tag.)
Uvaria solanifolia C. Presl. Carabao's teats (Engl.)
Susung-kalabau is a local name shared by (1) Hilagak, Uvaria rufa, and (2) Susong-damulog, Artabotrys suaveolens.
Uvaria rufa Blume is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Xiao hua zi yu pan.
FRENCH: Uvaria rouge.
LAOTIAN: Phil phouan.
THAI: Nom kwai.
VIETNAMESE: Bu de hoa do, Bo qua hoe, Day du de.

Gen info
- Uvaria rufa is a species of vine or shrubs in the plant family Annonaceae. As of 2021, there are 168 listed accepted species.
- The genus name Uvaria is derived from Latin uva meaning grape, referring to the fruit's resemblance to grapes.

• Hilagak is a woody climbing shrub, 5 to 6 meters high. The younger and lower surfaces of the leaves are rather hairy, with stellately arranged, rusty short hairs. Leaves are borne on very short stalks, oblong-ovate to oblong-lanceolate, 8 to 16 centimeters long, with pointed tip and rounded or heart-shaped base. Flowers are extra-axillary, solitary, two or three in depauperate cymes, 1.5 to 2 centimeters in diameter. Fruit is fleshy and red when mature.

• Shrubs to 5 m tall, climbing. Branches stellate tomentose, hairs rust-colored when dry. Petiole 5-10 mm; leaf blade elliptic to ovate-oblong, 5-15 × 2.5-6 cm, thinly leathery, abaxially stellate tomentose, secondary veins ca. 12 on each side of midvein, base cordate, apex acuminate. Inflorescences leaf-opposed or extra-axillary, cymose, 1-4-flowered. Flowers ca. 1.5 cm in diam., stellate pubescent. Petals purple to dark red, ovate, 8-12 × 6-7 mm, apex rounded. Stamens oblong; connectives apically truncate, glabrous. Carpels oblong; stigmas apically 2-cleft. Monocarp stipes 1-2 cm; monocarps ovoid-ellipsoid to sometimes globose, ca. 2 × 1-1.5 cm, not constricted between seeds, apex rounded; epicarp not spiny. (Flora of China)

- Native to the Philippines.
- Also native to Andaman Is., Cambodia, China, Hainan, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, New Guinea, Nicobar Is., Queensland, Sumatera, Thailand, Vietnam. (22)
- In thickets in low and medium altitudes from northern Luzon to Palawan and Mindanao.
- Also occurs in the Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia, India, Cambodia and Thailand.

• The bark contains an alkaloid. The active principle is parasympathetic of the atropine group with activity similar to artabotrine of Marañon.
• Study yielded an oil rich in sesquiterpenes in which the principal component was alpha-humulene (50%). Also, benzyl benzoate (5%).

Preliminary screening of ethyl acetate extract of leaves yielded five flavonol glycosides: rutin (1), isoquercitrin (2), kaempferol 3-O-ß-galacto-pyranoside (3), astragalin (4), and isoquercitrin-6-acetate (5). (see study below) (3)
• Bioassay-guided purification of crude methanolic extract isolated a mixture of 1:1 of flavanols kaempferol (1) and quercetrin (2). (see study below) (9)
• Study of essential oils hydrodistilled from leaves yielded main constituents of δ-3-carene (12.8 %), n-hexadecanoic acid (9.1 %), β- caryophyllene (5.9 %), (Z)-β-ocimene (5.7 %) and γ-terpinene (5.4 %); the stem oil yielded germacrene D (38.4 %), benzyl benzoate (18.1 %) and n-eicosane (5.5 %). (11)
• Study of stem bark yielded seven compounds: benzyl benzoate (1), caryophyllene oxide (2), glutinol (3), 5-hydroxy-7- methoxyflavone (4), 5-hydroxy-6,7-dimethoxyflavone (5), 2,5-dihydroxy-7-methoxyflavanone (6) and 5,7-dihydroxyflavanone (7). (12)
- Study of CHCl and butanolic extract of roots yielded 15 known compounds. The CHCl crude extract yielded six flavonoids, 2,5-dihydroxy-7-methoxy flavanone (1), tectochrysin (2), 5-hydroxy-7-methoxy flavanone (3), 6,7-O,O-dimethylbaicalein (6), 7-O-methylwogonine (7) and 2,5-dihydroxy-6,7-dimethoxy flavanone (8), together with two aromatic compounds, benzoyl benzoate (4) and 2-methoxybenzyl benzoate (5). Butanolic crude extract yielded seven alkaloids, liriodenine (9), lanuginosine (10), oxoanolobine (11), roemerine (12), anonaine (13), xylopine (14) and roemeroline (15). (see study below) (14)
- Study of aerial parts yielded one new lignan glycoside, ufaside (1), along with six known compounds, oxoanolobine (2), ergosta-4,6,8(14),22-tetraen-3-one (3), catechin (4), epicatechin (5), daucosterol (6), and glutin-5-en-3-one. (see study below) (19)
- Study of twig and leaf extracts isolated a new C-benzylated flavone, uvariaruflavone (1) along with 13 known compounds (2-14). (see study below) (25)

- Studies have suggested anti-diabetic, anti-tubercular, antioxidant, anticancer, antibacterial, anti-prostatic hyperplasia, antispasmodic, relaxant, α-amylase and α-glucosidase inhibitory properties.

Parts utilized

- Fruits are edible, with a tart and sweet flavor.
- Alcoholic tincture of the roots used as an ecbolic (promoting labor by increasing uterine contractions.
- Ati Negritos use decoction of dried stems for post-partum hemorrhage. Also, decoction of dried stems used postpartum as wash or external application. (15)
- In Asian traditional medicine, leaves used for treatment of diabetes.
- In Thailand, Uvaria rufa is macerated and mixed with Corvus macrorhynchus, Xanthophyllum glaucum, and Oryza sativa with potable water, and taken orally for skin allergy (rash and redness). (8) Decoction of wood drunk for fever.   (16) Root decoction drunk during pregnancy. (17)
- Juice from the plant used by Amazonian indigenous peoples to cure "papa-din", a condition of "weakness" that may have an infectious bias. (Reis et al., 2016) (27)
- Handicraft: Wood used as substitute for rattan in making furniture and handicrafts.

Essential Oil / Sesquiterpene:
Uvaria rufa yielded an oil rich in sesquiterpene, in which the principle component as [alpha]-humulene (50%). Benzyl benzoate was also present at 5%. (1)
Flavonoid Glycosides / Advanced Glycation End-Products Inhibition / Anti-Diabetic / Leaves: Study yielded five flavonol glycosides: rutin, isoquercitrin, kaempferol 3-O-ß-galacto-pyranoside, astragalin, isoquercitrin-6-acetate. Prolonged hyperglycemia in diabetic patients leads to the formation of advanced glycation ed products (AGEs), which contribute to the development and progression of diabetic complications and aging. Isoquercitrin (2) and its 6-acetate derivative (6) showed an ability to inhibit the formation of AGEs in the bovine serum albumin-glucose assay. (3)
Polyoxygenated Cyclohexene Derivatives / Aerial Parts: Study yielded four new polyoxygenated cyclohexene derivatives, uvarirufone A, uvarirufols A-C, along with 10 known compounds from the aerial parts of Uvaria rufa. (4)
Antitubercular: Study evaluated various extracts, fractions, and secondary metabolites against Mycobacterium tuberculosis H(37)Rv. Results demonstrated a potential source of compounds with promising antitubercular activity. Also, polar pigments enhanced inhibition against M. tuberculosis H(37)Rv. (6)
Roots / Alkaloids: Study for alkaloidal compounds from the roots yielded compounds including oxoanolobine, lanuginosine, and roemeroline. (7)
• Flavanol Derivatives / Anti-tubercular: Study yielded a mixture of 1:1 flavonols kaempferol and quercetrin. Microplate Alamar Blue Assay showed moderately strong antitubercular activity from these flavonol derivatives. (9)
• Attenuation of Prostatic Hyperplasia: Study evaluated the therapeutic potential of Uvaria rufa on BPH using in vitro and in vivo models. UR-EtOAc exhibited highest potency of inhibition of 5aR and possessed potent antioxidants rich in phenolic and flavonoid contents. The active compound by HPLC analysis was ß-sitosterol. UR-EtOAc and finasteride treated groups showed increased prostatic and serum testosterone levels. At all treatment doses used, no toxic effects were observed on vital organs and serum biochemical parameters. (10)
• Antibacterial / Twigs: In a study of 31 samples of crude extracts from 24 species of mangrove and beach forest plants, Uvaria rufa (twigs) was one of the plants that showed potent antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus. (13)
• Antioxidant / Roots: In a study of of 40 Thai medicinal plants for antioxidant activity using DPPH as stable radical, CHCl and butanolic extracts of Uvaria rufa roots showed promising activity. Chromatographic separation of the two extracts isolated 15 known compounds. Compound 8 (2,5-dihydroxy-6,7-dimethoxy flavanone) showed the highest scavenging activity on DPPH and superoxide radicals with IC50 of 0.16 and 1.03 mg/mL, respectively. (see constituents above) (14)
• Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated ethyl acetate and hexane extract of leaves of Uvaria rufa for antioxidant activity. The EA extract showed strong antioxidant activity with IC50 57.87 µg/ml while the hexane extract showed weak antioxidant activity. DPPH radical scavenging of standard ascorbic acid was IC50 3.781 µg/ml. (18)
• Lignan Glycoside / Cytotoxicity / Roots: Study of aerial parts yielded one new lignan glycoside, ufaside (1), along with six known compounds, oxoanolobine (2), ergosta-4,6,8(14),22-tetraen-3-one (3), catechin (4), epicatechin (5), daucosterol (6), and glutin-5-en-3-one. In cytotoxic analysis using nine human cancer cell lines, compounds 2 and 3 exhibited moderate cytotoxicity against human lung adenocarcinoma cell line (LU-1) with IC50 of 9.22 ± 1.02 µg/mL 10.21 ± 1.16 µg/mL, respectively. (19)
• Antispasmodic / Stems: Study evaluated the antispasmodic activity of ethanolic extracts of stems of Uvaria rufa and Anomianthus dulcis on isolated rats' ilia, with atropine as standard drug. Both plants exhibited antispasmodic efficacy at all test concentrations on excised rats' ilia. Uvaria rufa produced highest relaxation of 98.53 ± 0.61%, compared to atropine standard of 112.84 ± 5.61% at concentration of 10.0 µg/ml. Results suggest potential for both plants as antispasmodic agents for IBS treatment. (20)
• Reprotoxicity / Effect on Male Reproductive Organs of Alopecia-Induced Rats / Stems: Study evaluated the effects of EA extract of stems of U. rufa on male reproductive organs of rats with androgenic alopecia induced by testosterone propionate. There was an increase in relative weight of epididymis and increased weight of seminal vesicles, with 4% and 2% UREtA concentrations, along with dead spermatozoa in the epididymis lumens. Results suggest 2% and 4% EREtA have adverse effects on male reproductive organs. (21)
• Relaxant Activity / Stems: Study evaluated the relaxant activity of various extracts of stems of Uvaria rufa and Caesalpinia sappan on rats' prostate strips in vitro. All extracts, as well as tamsulosin, exhibited relaxant effects (p<0.001) on prostate smooth muscles. The Uvaria rufa ethyl acetate extract exhibited most potency in relaxing prostate smooth muscle with maximal effect of 72.09%. The EC509 of UEA was 140.23 and UEOH 235.35 µg/mL, compared to tamsulosin at 86.83 µg/ml. Results suggest the UEA from stems showed greatest potency and may be useful in relieving urological symptoms caused by benign prostatic hypertrophy. (23)
• Antituberculosis / Free-Radical Scavenging / Leaves: Study evaluated the anti-TB and free radical scavenging activity of leaf extracts using MABA, TLC screening, and DPPH assays. The MABA showed the ChCl3 extract was most active against M. tuberculosis H37Rv with 94% inhibition at 128 mcg/mL. Polar sub-extracts contained more of the potential polyphenolic antioxidant compounds with free radical scavenging activity. The major free radical scavenging principles in the petroleum ether and chloroform extracts were attributed to tocopherol derivatives, while ethyl acetate and butanol extracts were due to polyphenolic compounds like glycosides of flavonoids and fallic acids. (24)

• α-Glucosidase and α-Amylase Inhibitory Activities / Uvariaruflavone / Twigs and Leaf: Study of twig and leaf extracts isolated a new C-benzylated flavone, uvariaruflavone (1) along with 13 known compounds (2-14). Compound 1, uvariaruflavone, showed highest α-glucosidase activity with IC50 of 44.3 µM, while ferrudion (2) showed highest α-amylase inhibitory activity with IC50 of 73,5 µM. (see study below) (25)
• Anti-Mitotic / Glutinol / Bark: Study of dichloromethane extract of air-dried bark of U. rufa afforded glutinol. Glutinol and ethanolic extract exhibited anti-mitotic activity (18.33% and 18.93%, respectively), comparable to methotrexate (19.07%), a well-known anti-cancer drug, which they surpassed by 0.74% and 0.14%.  Results suggest great potential as a novel therapeutic agent for cancer. (26)

- Wild-crafted. 
- Seeds in the cybermarket.

Updated November 2023 / June 2023 / November 2018 / December 2016

Photo / Leaves © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
IMAGE SOURCE: Annonaceae : Uvaria rufa Flower / © Copyright 2012 by Michael Castrence (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz [ref. DOL54655] / Non-commercial use / click on image or link to go to source page / PhytoImages.siu.edu
IMAGE SOURCE: / Photograph / Fruits / Uvaria rufa / click on image to go to source page / Polynesian Produce Stand
IMAGE SOURCE: / Photograph / Fruits / Uvaria rufa / click on image to go to source page / Polynesian Produce Stand
IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph / Leaves and flower / © Copyright Nguyen Hoang Nam / Non-commercial use / click on image to go to source page ePharmacognosy
IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph / Fruits / © Copyright Nguyen Hoang Nam / Non-commercial use / click on image to go to source page ePharmacognosy

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Essential Oils from the Leaves of Some Queensland Annonaceae / by Brophy, Joseph, Goldsack, Robert, Forster, Paul / Journal of Essential Oil Research • Mar/Apr 2004
Highly oxygenated cyclohexene metabolites from Uvaria rufa
/ Florie A. Tudla et al / Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, Volume 35, Issue 1, January 2007, Pages 45-47 / doi:10.1016/j.bse.2006.08.006
Flavonoid glycosides from the leaves of Uvaria rufa withadvanced glycation end-products inhibitory activity / Khanittha Deepra et al / Thai J. Pharm. Sci. 33,2009; pp 84-90

Polyoxygenated Cyclohexene Derivatives from Uvaria rufa / Chuan-Rui Zhang, Sheng-Ping Yang et al / Helvetica Chimica Acta, Vol 89, Issue 7, pages 1408–1416, July 2006 / DOI: 10.1002/hlca.200690140
Uvaria rufa Blume (accepted name) / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
Antitubercular activity of the semi-polar extractives of Uvaria rufa. / Macabeo AP, Tudla FA, Krohn K, Franzblau SG. / Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2012 Oct;5(10):777-80. doi: 10.1016/S1995-7645(12)60142-4.
Chemical constituents from the roots of Uvaria rufa / Tip-pyang, Santi; Payakarintarungkul, Kanogporn; Sichaem, Jirapast; Phuwapraisirisan, Preecha / Chemistry of Natural Compounds; July 2011; Vol 47, Issue 3: pp 474-476 / DOI: 10.1007/s10600-011-9970-9
The Therapeutic and Clinical Drug Review of Thai Traditional Herbal Remedies Extracted from Ancient Thai Medicinal Manuscript Volume No. 3 of Palm Leaf Scriptures / Buavaroon Srichaikul1, Supachai Samappito; Gordon Bakker; Sunthorn Dejchai; Kittiphong Boonsong; Alisa Thongkong; Sathaporn Japa / Advances in Natural Science, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2012, pp. 29-36 / DOI:10.3968/j.ans.1715787020120501.1037
Anti-Tubercular Flavonol Derivatives from Uvaria rufa / Erickson M Paragas, Dietmar Gehle, Karsten Krohn, Scott G Franzblau, and Allan Patrick G Macabeo / Research Journal of Pharmaceutical, Biological and Chemical Sciences, 5(6): 2014
Uvaria rufa Blume attenuates benign prostatic hyperplasia via inhibiting 5α-reductase and enhancing antioxidant status. / Buncharoen W, Saenphet K, Saenphet S, Titaram C / J Ethnopharmacol., 24 Dec 2016; 194: pp 484-494 / doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2016.10.036.
Constituents of Essential Oils from the Leaves and Stem Barks of Uvaria rufa and Uvaria cordata (Annonaceae) from Vietnam / Tran D. Thang, Hoang V. Luu, Nguyen N. Tuan, Nguyen H. Hung, Do N. Dai & Isiaka A. Ogunwande / Journal of Essential Oil Bearing Plants, Volume 17, Issue 3, 2014
ISOLATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF COMPOUNDS FROM THE STEM BARK OF UVARIA RUFA (ANNONACEAE) / Andi R. Rosandy, Laily B. Din, W .A. Yaacob*, Nik Idris Yusoff, I. Sahidin, Jalifah Latip, Syarul Nataqain, Normah Mohd Noor / The Malaysian Journal of Analytical Sciences, 2013; Vol 17, No 1: pp 50 - 58
Biological Activities of Medicinal Plants from Mangrove and Beach Forests / N. Soonthornchareonnon*, C. Wiwat, and W. Chuakul / Mahidol University Journal of Pharmaceutical Science 2012; 39 (1), 9-18
Antioxidants from Uvaria rufa Blume roots / Kanogporn Payakarintarungkul
Ati Negrito medicinal plants and phytotherapies for female reproductive healthcare / Herbal Therapies and Social-Health Policies / Hindawi ECam Journal
A survey of medicinal plants in mangrove and beach forests from sating Phra Peninsula, Songkhla Province, Thailand / Oratai Neamsuvan*, Patcharin Singdam, Kornkanok Yingcharoen and Narumon Sengnon / Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol. 6(12), pp. 2421-2437, 30 March, 2012 / DOI: 10.5897/JMPR11.1395
Medicinal Plants in Tropical Rain Forest from Hua Khao Subdistrict, Singha Nakhon District, Songkhla Province, Thailand / Oratai Neamsuvan, Narumon Sengnon, Umad Haddee, Wittawat Mard-E and Warunyu Sae-Tang / American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 8(5), April, Pages: 1-11
Antioxidant Activities of Ethyl acetate Extract and Hexane Extract of Lelak (Uvaria rufa Blume) Leaves
/ M. Hilaria, Elisma, M. Y. Dapa, M. Teti / Asian Journal of Applied Sciences, Aug 2016; 4(4)
A new lignan glycoside from the aerial parts and cytotoxic investigation of Uvaria rufa / Thi Hoai Nguyen, Viet Duc Ho, Thi Thao Do, Huu Tai Bui, Van Kiem Phan, Katrin Sak, Ain Raal / Natural Product Research. 2015; 29(3): pp 247-252
In vitro analysis of antispasmodic activity of ethanolic stem extracts of Uvaria rufa Blume and Anomianthus dulcis (Dunal) J. Sinclair on excised rat’s ileum / Chattida Wiya, Kanokporn Saenphet, Supap Saenphet, Wararut Buncharoen / Comparative Clinical Pathology, Ausgabe 2018
Effects of Uvaria rufa Blume on the Histology of Male Reproductive Organs of Testosterone Induced Alopecia Rats / Supaporn Pamok, Kanokporn Saenphet, Wararut Buncharoen / Microsc. Microanal. Res., 2018; 32(1): pp 9-17 / DOI: 10.14456/microsc-microanal-res.2018.2
Uvaria rufa / Synonyms / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Relaxant Activities of Extracts from Uvaria rufa Blume and Caesalpinia sappan L. on Excised Rat’s Prostate Strips / Wararut Buncharoen, Supap Saenphet, Kanokporn Saenphet / Journal of Pharmaceutical Research International / DOI: 10.9734/jpri/2019/v29i130228
Studies on the antituberculosis and free-radical scavenging activities of the phytomedicinals from the sub-extracts of the leaves of Uvaria rufa / Florie A Tudla, Erickson M Paragas / Thesis/Dissertations 2005 / HERDIN

α -Glucosidase inhibitory and α -amylase inhibitory activities of compounds isolated from Uvaria rufa Blume
/  Passakorn Teerapongpisan, Virayu Suthiphasilp, Tharakorn Maneerat, Rawiwan Charoensup / Natural Product Research, 2022; 36(1): pp 1-5 / DOI: 10.1080/14786419.2022.2041010
Anti-mitotic Activities of Ethanolic Extract and Glutinol from Uvaria rufa Blume / Agnes B Alimboyoguen, Kathlia A de Castro-Cruz, Chien-Chang Shen, Po-Wei Tsai / Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, 2023; 57(2): pp 526-530 / DOI: 10.5530/ijper.57.2.64
Potential of plant extracts against Mycobacterium tuberculosis: an integrative review / Tiago Antonio Heringer, Eduarda Gassan Boeira, Lia Goncalves Possuelo et al / PEER REVIEW, 2023; 5(11) /
ISSN: 1541-1389 / DOI: 10.53660/557.prw1608

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
                                          New plant names needed
The compilation now numbers over 1,400 medicinal plants. While I believe there are hundreds more that can be added to the collection, they are becoming more difficult to find. If you have a medicinal plant to suggest for inclusion, native or introduced, please email the info: scientific name (most helpful), local plant name (if known), any known folkloric medicinal use, and, if possible, a photo. Your help will be greatly appreciated. (G Stuart)

HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL