Small- to medium-sized evergreeb tree
growing up to 15 meters. Young plants have straight trunks and weeping
pendeulous branche, longest at the base and shorter at the end of the
trunk.. Leaves are long, narrow and oblanceolate, dark green, glossy
and wavy margins. Flowers are delicate pale green with wavy petals.
Fruits are ovoid, black when ripe.
Native to India and Sri Lanka, recently
introduced in the Philippines and widely cultivated in metro Manila,
planted in parks, gardens and roadsides.
• Leaf oil composed of sesquiterpene
derivatives: allo-aromadendrene, caryophyllene oxide, ß-caryophyllene,
ß-selinene, a-humulene and ar-curcumene.
• Phytochemical study on the hexane extract of the stem bark led
to characterization of clerodane and ent-halimane deiterpenes, two of
which have shown antibacterial and antifungal activities.
No reported folkloric medicinal use
in the Philippines.
In India's traditional system of medicine,
used for fever, skin diseases, hypertension and helminthiasis. Bark used as febrifuge.
In Nigeria, plant is used for skin disease, fever, diabetes and hypertension.
Bark is a good source of fiber.
• Amino Acids: Study
showed the seeds of Polyalthia longifolia to be a rich source of various
amino acids - proline, L-glutamic acid, and methionine among others.
• Phytochemical: Study
isolated a new clerodane diterpene from the bark of P. longilofia.
• Antimicrobial / Alkaloids: Study
showed the root extract of P. longifolia var. pendula to possess significant
antibacterial activity. Study also led to the isolation
of three new alkaloids: pendulamine A, pendulamine B and penduline along
with other known compounds.
• Hepatoprotective / Antiinflammatory:
Of various solvent extracts, study showed
the methanol extract as the most potent, showing significant antiinflammatory
(comparable to Diclofenac sodium) and hepatoprotective activity.
• Antifungal: Diterpenoids
isolated from the hexane extract of the seeds of P. longilfolia demonstrated
significant antifungal activity.
• Cytotoxic: Study
isolated a new halimane diterpene and a new oxoprotoberberine alkaloid
along with 20 known compounds, several of which were evaluated for cytotoxicity
toward a small panel of human cell lines.
• Anti-ulcer: Study
showed the ethanol extract of Polyalthia longifolia to have significant
antiulcer activity through reduction of gastric volume, free acidity
and ulcer index. It showed 89.71% ulcer inhibition in HCl-ethanol induced ulcer and 95.3% ulcer protection index in stress-induced ulcer.
• Antibacterial: Study
of ethanol extract showed promising antibacterial activity against thirteen
Gram-positive and nine Gram-negative organisms.
• Antibacterial / Phytochemicals: Study
revealed the presence of steroids, alkaloids, biterpenoids, carbohydrates, amino acids, essential oil, pheolics and flavonoids. Highest antibacterial activity was seen with the hot aqueous (HAE) and methanol extract (ME) against K pneumonia, followed by E coli (HAE) and B subtilis (ME).
• Hypotensive / Phytochemicals: Phytochemical studies yielded kolavenic acid, clerodane, liriodenine, lysicamine and bisclerodane and its isomer. Study
showed the defatted 50% methanol extract of P longifolia root bark with significant ability to reduce blood pressure.