|Scientific names||Common names|
|Acacia frondosa Willd.||Agho (P. Bis.)|
|Acacia glauca (L.) Willd.||Aghog (P. Bis.)|
|Acacia leucocephala (Lam.) Link||Ipel (Tag.)|
|Acacia leucophala Link||Ipil-ipil (Tag.)|
|Leucaena glabra Benth.||Kabahero (C. Bis.)|
|Leucaena glauca Benth.||Kariskis (Ilk.)|
|Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit||Komkompitis (Ilk.)|
|Mimosa glauca sensu Koenig ex Roxb.||Loyloi (S. L. Bis.)|
|Mimosa leucocephala Lam.||Santa Elena (Span.)|
|Mimosa leucophala Lam.||San Pedro (P. Bis.)|
|Jumpy bean (Engl.)|
|Lead tree (Engl.)|
|Wild tamarind (Engl.)|
|Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit is an accepted name The Plant List|
|Other vernacular names|
|AFRIKAANS: Reuse Wattel.|
|CHAMORRO: Tangan-Tangan, Tangantangan.|
|CHINESE: Bai he huan, Yin he huan.|
|FIJIAN: Balori, Vaivai, Vaivai Ni Vavalangi.|
|FRENCH: Faux mimosa, Faux-acacia, Graines de lin, Tamarin batard.|
|HAWAIIAN: Koa haole, False koa.|
|HINDI: Kadam, Toira, Subabul, Tgari, Koo babul, lamtoro.|
|INDIA: Kubabul, Subabul.|
|INDONESIAN: Lamtoro, Petai cina.|
|KOSRAEAN: Rohbohtin, Tuhngantuhngan.|
|SAMOAN: Fua Pepe, Lusina.|
|SPANISH: Guaje, Huaxin, Tamarindo Silvestre, Uaxim, Santa Elena.Acacia bella rosa.|
|TONGAN: Siale Mohemohe.|
|VIETNAMESE: Keo d[aaj]u, Keo dau, Bo chet, Bo ch[es]t.|
Name 'leucocephala' derives from 'leu' meaning white, and 'cephala' meaning head, referring to the flowers.
Ipil-ipil is a small tree growing up 8 meters high. Leaves are compound, 15 to 25 centimeters long, with hairy rachis. Pinnae are 8 to 16, and 5 to 8 centimeters long. Leaflets are 20 to 30, linear oblong, and 7 to 12 millimeters long. Heads are solitary, at the axils of the leaves, long-peduncled, globose, and 2 to 5 centimeters in diameter, with many flowers. Flowers are whitish, in dense globule heads, 2 to 3 centimeters in diameter. Fruit is an oblong or linear pod, strap-shaped, 12 to 18 centimeters long, 1.4 to 2 centimeters wide, papery, green turning to brown and splitting open along two edges when mature, and several fruits developing from each flower head. Each pod contains 15 to 25 elliptic, compressed, shining, brown seeds, each 5 to 8 millimeters long, 3 to 5 millimeters wide.
- In settled areas at low and medium altitudes throughout the Philippines.
- Locally gregarious and abundant.
- Ornamental or roadside landscaping.
- Probably introduced by the Spanish conquistadores who carried leucaena feed and seed on their galleons to the Philippines to feed their stock. (40)
- Now pantropic.
• Raw seeds yield fat, 8.68%; crude fiber, 22.59%; nitrogen-free material other than fiber, 9.78%; nitrogen, 6.42%; sucrose; water, 14.8%; ash, 4.2%.
• Seed contains the toxic amino acid mimosine.
• Study of whole plant yielded ficaprenol-11 (polyprenol) (1), squalene (2), lupeol (3), ß-sitostenone (4), trans-coumaric acid (5), cis-coumaric acid (6) pheophytin-a (7), pheophorbide a methyl ester (8), methyl-132-hydroxy-(132-S)- pheophorbide-b (9) and aristo- phyll-C (10). (25 )
• Leaves and seeds contain lipids, crude protein and carbohydrates. Seeds contain tannin and oxalic acid. Kernel contains oil, 17-20%. Leaves and seeds yield a toxic and non protein substance called mimosine. (29)
• Study for secondary metabolites yielded 14 compounds including four steroids, triterpenoid, and two benzenoids. (29)
• Whole plant yielded polyprenol, squalene, lupeol, ß-sitostenone, trans-coumaric acid, cis-coumaric acid, polyphytin-a, pheophorbide a methyl ester, methyl-13-S)-pheophorbide-b, and aristophyll -C.
• Study for chemical constituents of leaves (L) and seeds (S) yielded: crude protein 25.9% (L), 46% (S); carbohydrate 40% (L), 45% (S); tannin 4% (L), 1.2% (S); mimosin 7.19% (L), 10% (S); total ash 11% (L), 3.79% (S); total N 4.2% (L); crude protein 25.9% (L), 8.4% (S); calcium 2.36% (L), 4.4% (S); phosphorus 0.23% (L), 0.189% (S); ß-carotene 536.0 mg/kg; gross energy 20.1kJ/g; and tannin 10.15 mg/g. (29)
• Mineral and constituent analysis of seeds yielded: K 137.3, N 338.0, Mg 44.6, Ca 44.4, Na 12.6, Mn 52.6, Fe 642.4, Cu 55.0, Zn 125.1, fatty acid 15%, saponification value 108.74, iodine value 4.90, and acid value 1.08. (29)
• Mineral composition and mimosine content of the plant vary considerably among different species, and even within the same species and for various cultivars. Variations in composition have been observed in different parts of the plant and at different stages of growth. (37)
• Flavanoidal constituents isolated from various fractions of aqueous alcoholic extract of aerial parts of Leucaena leucocephala were identified as caffeic acid, isorhamnetin, chrysoeriol, isorhamnetin, 3-O-galactoside, kaempferol-3-O-rubinoside, quercetin-3-O-rhmanoside, and luteolin-7-glucoside. (see study below) (38)
• Composition study of Malawi-grown leucaena (NAS 1977) yielded amino acid contents of arginine 294 mg/gN, cysteine 88 mg/gN, histidine 125 mg/gN, isoleucine 563 mg/gN, leucine 469 mg/gN, lysine 313 mg/gN, methionine 100 mg/gN, methionine+cysteine 188 mg/gN, phenylalanine 294 mg/gN, threonine 231 mg/gN, tyrosine 263 mg/gN, and valine 338 mg/gN. (38)
• Study of leaves yielded five compounds viz., hentriacontanol (1),octadecylic acid (2),β-sitosterol (3), quercetin-3-O-α-L-rhamnose(4) and daucosterol (5). (48)
• One of the fastest growing leguminous trees.
• Acrid, sweet, bitter, mildly toxic.
• Extract of seed has been reported to possess chemopreventive, anti-proliferative, antihelmintic, antidiabetic, and antibacterial properties.
• Mimosine toxicity is not easily evident because Leucaena is just a small part of the diet. Also, if leucaena-containing soups and stews are cooked in iron pots, the mimosine is detoxified by complexing with the metal in the pot.
• Also read below: Mimosine-Iron Complexes / Alopecia: Study by Andre Gerard van Veen reports on the seed's amino acid mimosine and hair follicle toxicity that leads to alopecia. The outbreaks occur only when the plant is prepared in clay pots, and not in iron pots.
Dried seeds, root, bark.
- In some provinces, seeds occasionally used as a coffee substitute.
- Leaves and seeds used as human food in Central America, Indonesia and Thailand, and eaten in processed or unprocessed forms. In Java, seeds are fermented into tempe and eaten as sprouts or bean cake. (37)
- Tempe lamtoro, food prepared from fermented Leucaenal seeds, lacks mimosin, probably from the combined effects of washing, soaking, boiling, drying and fermenting. (37)
- In the Philippines, not much utilized as a medicinal plant.
- Roasted seeds used as emollient.
- Used for Intestinal parasitism: ascaris and trichinosis.
- Roots in decoction used as emmenagogue.
- In Latin America, decoction of bark and roots is a powerful emmenagogue.
- Decoction of root and bark used as contraceptive, depilatory, ecbolic.
- In the West Indies, used as abortifacient.
- Bark eaten for internal pain.
- Decoction of root and bark
- In China, seeds are eaten to rid of round worms.
- In Latin American, root and bark taken as contraceptive and depilatory. In Mexico, used for diabetes. In Indonesia, aqueous extract from boiled seeds used for diabetes. (26)
Leaves: Leaves are high in protein and can be used as feed supplement.
Wood: In the Philippines, popular use as firewood and reforestation work. Also, used for carving.
Cover crop: Also much used as a cover crop and exterminator of kogon.
Dye: Produces a brown dye.
Seeds: Used for decorating bags.
Forage: Highly nutritious forage tree. In the 1970s and early 80s, it was called the "miracle tree" because of its worldwide use as a long-lived and highly nutritious forage tree, along with various other uses. (40)
Seed Gum: Used as binder in tablet formulation.
Pulp: Used in paper and rayon industries.
• Leaves reported to be injurious to horses and young cattle who feed on it, causing falling hair from the manes and tails. Goats do not seem to be affected. The effect is attributed to the glucoside mimosine in leaves and seeds.
• Feeding the leaves to breeding animals may also affect reproduction. In poultry, it may cause decrease in production and delay in the birds reaching sexual maturity.
• Seed Gum / Tablet Binder: (1) R&D on seed gum for a pharmaceutical substitute for the imported guar gum used as a binder in tablet formulation. In 1996, ipil-ipil was found to be an excellent liquid excipient as a suspending and thickening agent. (2) The seed galactomannan of L leucocephala, with properties similar to guar gum was evaluated as a pharmaceutical binder and compared with standard pharmaceutical binders regarding properties of compressibility, micromeritic and mechanical properties.
• Inhibition of Growth of Hair by Mimosine: Loss of hair been reported in animals following ingesting of seeds and foliage and in women after consumption of LG seeds. The toxic principle is leucenol, an amino-acid (identical to the mimosine of Mimosa pudica) found primarily in the seeds of ipil-ipil, and in lesser amounts in foliage and stems. (1)
• Mimosine-Iron Complexes / Alopecia: Study by Andre Gerard van Veen studied the properties of the seed's amino acid mimosine, a pyridoxine derivative, associated with hair follicle toxicity in the anagen phase of growth. He noted that the outbreaks of alopecia occurred only when the plant consumed was prepared in clay pots. In iron pots, no alopecia occurred, explained by the formation of mimosine-iron complexes that reduced the absorption of mimosine.
• Mimosine Enhancement of sensitivity of hepatoma and lung cancer cells to chemotherapeutic drugs: Mimosine inhibited the proliferation of liver and lung cancer cells and blocked cell cycle progression from G1 to S phases. There was reduction of formation of colony of cancer cells. Mimosine may act via inhibition of cyclin D1 synthesis. Long-term treatment of mimosine induced apoptosis in liver and lung cancer cells. Results conclude mimosine is a potent anti-cancer agent and can enhance the cytocidal effect of chemotherapeutic drugs. (3)
• Anti-Cancer / Mimosine: Mimosine, a plant specific amino acid extracted from the seeds of Lg, inhibited the proliferation of human hepatoma and lung cancer cells by suppression of cyclin D1, activating cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor and inducing apoptosis of cancer cells.
• Anti-Cancer / Mimosine / Additive Cytocidal Effect: Mimosine showed an additive cytocidal effect in combination with chemotherapeutic drug cisplatin in vivo.
• Anti-Cancer / Antiproliferative: Study extract polysaccharides from the seeds of L leucocephala, sulfated to a sulfated glycosylated form. Results showed the sulfated glycosylated form possessed significant anti-proliferative activity against different cell lines. It induced HepG2 cell death by necrosis, but not apoptosis. Study concludes the chemical modification of leucaena gum induced its cancer chemopreventive and anti-proliferative activities.
• Bioactivity Study / Central Nervous System Depressant: Study of chloroform soluble and ethyl acetate soluble alkaloidal extracts from the seeds of Leucaena leucocephala showed central nervous system depressant activity evidenced by a decrease in respiratory rate and depth and a decrease in motor activity.
.• Disintegrant Action: L leucocephala seed gum was evaluated for disintegrant action in lactose-based tablets containing ibuprofen, a relatively insoluble drug. Study showed the seed gum swells rapidly when brought in contact with water, generating enough pressure to cause disintegration action. (8)
• Anthelmintic Effect: Study of seed extracts showed the most active fraction to contain polar polyphenols, providing scientific justification for the use of the aqueous extract in traditional practice and application in anthelmintic therapy in veterinary practice. (9)
• Polyprenols: Study isolated from the whole plant of L leucocephala: ficapreol-11 (polyprenol), squalene and lupeol, isolated fro the first time from the species, plus 9 other known compounds.
• Hypoglycemic: Study in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats showed the extract of LL seed acts as a hypoglycemic agent by selective regeneration of beta-cells of STZ-damaged pancreas while also protecting the beta-cells from the necrotic effect of STZ. (15)
• Seed Polysaccharide / Drug Delivery: Seed polysaccharide can be used for controlled release of both water-soluble and water-insoluble types of drugs. The extent of release can be varied by controlling degree of cross-linking. (16)
• Iron in Mimosine Toxicity: Growing rats consuming diets with 25% L. leucocephala suffered mild alopecia, cataracts, reversible paralysis, severe growth retardation and mortality. Addition of Ferrous sulphate (2%) protected the animals from toxic symptoms.
• Antidiabetic: Study of active fractions of L. leucocephala seeds on alloxan-induced diabetic rats showed antidiabetic activities, with bioactive compounds indicating glycoside compounds with galactose monosaccharide clusters and other saccharides. (18) Study evaluated the effect of ethyl acetate fraction from L. leucocephala extract prepared from macerated dried and powdered seeds in reducing blood sugar levels in alloxan monohydrate-induced hyperglycemic wistar rats. Results showed the EA fraction decreased glucose level (p<0.05) more than the negative control. (47)
• Seed Oil / Antimicrobial: L. leucocephala seed oil extract showed concentration-dependent activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The lotion formulation had good pharmaceutical properties. (19)
• Seed Composition and Activities: Study on two varieties of L. leucocephala whole seeds and seed fraction revealed that the seed kernel portion is primarily the potential source of protein. Seeds exhibited urease activity, amylase activity, saponins, and hemagglutinins; while trypsin inhibitors, amylase inhibitors, and cyanogenetic glycosides were absent. (21)
• Antioxidant / Cytotoxicity: A 20% aqueous methanol dried leaf extract was evaluated for antioxidant and cytotoxic activity. Fractionation isolated epicatechin-3-O-gallate (1) along with two quercetin glycosides: quercetin-3-O-arabinofuranoside (2) and quercetin-3-O-rhamnoside (3) together with apigenin (4). On DPPH assay, the isolated compounds showed strong antioxidant activity. Compound 1 showed slight toxicity against Vero cells. (22)
• Bark Gum Potential: Leucaena leucocephala bark gum showed a swelling ability that may provide potential for its use as a disintegrant in tablet formulation, as a hydro gel in modified release dosage forms, and because of its rheological flow properties, as a suspending and emulsifying agent. (23)
• Effect of Seeds on Hair Follicles of Mice / Leucaenine: Seeds of Leucaena glauca contain a biologically active agent which inhibits hair growth. Study favors the hypothesis of Farinas and Shostak that leucaenine inhibits mitosis in the hair follicles, especially in the matrix, with effects similar to those obtained with X-irradiation and chemical agents. Leucaenine seems to be a mitotic inhibitor, and may have damaging effects upon keratinization, but with not effect upon melanogenesis. (24)
• Stimulation of Adipogenesis, Lipolysis and Glucose Uptake / Fruit : Study evaluated the in vitro "insulin-like" activities of L. leucocephala aqueous fruit extract on lipid and glucose metabolisms using primary rat adipocytes. Results showed the aqueous fruit extract was able to activate adipogenesis and glucose uptake in rat primary adipocytes efficiently, also exerting a lipolytic effect on fully differentiated adipocytes. Results suggest use in the management of type 2 diabetes. (26)
• Nematicidal: Study showed leaf and root extracts of L. leucocephala and G. sepium could be useful in root knot nematode management in vegetable beds. (27)
• Phenolic Content / Free Radical Scavenging: Various extracts of different parts of Leucana leucocephala (leaf, stem, and seed) were assessed for total phenolic content and antioxidant activities. The aqueous extract of seed showed the highest total phenolic content. All different parts of L. leucocephala can act as radical scavenger, the highest scavenging effect was found in the aqueous extract of seed. (28)
• Biofuel Potential / Corrosion Inhibitor: Leucocephala seed oil is used as biofuel inn diesel engines. Kernel contains 15-20% fatty acid. Oil extracted from the kernel is used as biofuel, and can directly blend with fossil fuel at maximum of 20%. Fatty acid has potential for inhibiting bio-corrosion of mild steel and copper alloys. (29)
• Inhibition of Hair Growth: The inhibition of hair growth with L. glauca seeds and leaves is attributed to the amino acid "leucaenol" or leuca-inine. The ingestion of isolated leucaenine by rats and mice is said to have the same effect as whole seeds. Leucaenine seems to be a mitotic inhibitor, and may have damaging effects upon keratinization, while having no effects on melanogenesis. (31)
• Effect of Semen Quality and Fertility: Study evaluated the effects of feeding Leucaena leucocephala on semen quality and fertility on mature male goats. Semen quality on LL treatment significantly increased (P=0.004) between days 0 and 77, and probably explains the significant difference between fertility rates of bucks. (33)
• Phytoremediation / of Semen Quality and Fertility: Phytoremedial studies on coal mine wastes and coal by Leucaena leucocephala suggests the plantation of LL is one of the best options for phytoremediation of coal mine wastes. (34)
• Leaf Meal as Protein Source: Findings suggest the water soaking or treatment with FeS04 solution reduces the anti-nutritional factors (including mimosine) and improves the nutritional quality of LLM containing diets for pigs. (35)
• Flavanoidal Constituents / Antioxidant Activity: Study of various fractions of aqueous alcoholic extract of aerial parts of Leucaena leucocephala yielded flavanoidal constituents. The ethyl acetate fraction and isolated flavonoidal compounds showed high antioxidant activity compared to Trolox (standard antioxidant compound). (see constituents above) (38)
• Anti-Dengue / Anti-Yellow Fever / Galactomannan / Seeds: Galactomannans extract from the seeds of Leucaena leucocephala have demonstrated activity against yellow fever virus (YFV) and DENV-1 in vitro and in vivo. L. leucocephala show protection against death in 96.5% of YFV-infected mice. In vitro experiments with DENV-1 in C6/36 cell culture assay showed the the concentration producing a 100-fold decrease in virus titer of DENV-1 was 37 mgL. (39)
• Anthelmintic / Seeds and Leaves: Study evaluated the anthelmintic activity of Leucaena glauca (Ipil-ipil) seed and leaf extract in an Ascaridae model. The extracts were tested against Ascaris suum in vitro. Results showed dose-dependent anthelmintic activity. The most active fraction of the Leucaena seed are polyphenols, i.e., flavonoids and tannin, which in the absence of alkaloids means the most potent anthelmintic principles of the seed can be obtained without the risk of mimosine toxicity. (42)
• Condensed Tannins / Antioxidant / Antimicrobial / Cytotoxic: Condensed tannins (CTs) are promising for their potentially health-promoting qualities. CTs extracted from L. leucocephala were subjected to antioxidant (FRAP, DPPH, ABTS radical scavenging assays), antimicrobial and cytotoxic (human breast adenocarcinoma [MCF-7], human colon carcinoma [HT29], human cervical carcinoma [HeLa] and human liver carcinoma [HepG2]} evaluation. Results showed antioxidant activity with the CTs showing higher in vitro antioxidant activities. It demonstrated anti-microbial activity towards selected gram positive and gram negative bacteria. The CTs also demonstrated apoptotic cytotoxic activity toward human breast cancer cells (MCF-7). (43)
• Anti-Lipidemic Effect / Leaves: Study evaluated the hypolipidemic effect of various doses of Leucaena leucocephala leaf extracts in STZ-induced hyperlipidemia in rats. Results showed a significant decrease in the levels of serum cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, and VLDL, and a significant rise in HDL. (44)
• Toxic Effects of Mimosine on Thyroid Gland / Leaves: Study evaluated a male sheep model for toxicity effects of mimosine present in Leucaena leucocephala with diets containing 30% and 60% leaves of L. leucocephala. Histopathological studies were done on the thyroid gland which showed severe degeneration of follicles and follicular cells, together with shrinkage and morphological changes. Results suggest the toxic effects of mimosine present in L. leucocephala were more severe in animals fed with 60% than those fed with 30% LL in the diet. (45)
• Insect Repellent: In a survey of 54 species of plants (classified into 49 genera and 26 families) for insect repellent activity, L. leucocephala was 1 of 7 most important species based on use value (UV). Leucaena leucocephala has the highest UV value of 0.33 (range of 0.33 to 0.09). Burning of dried stems was the method of use. (46)
• Effect of Detoxificated L. leucocephala Leaf Meal on Prenatal Development: Study evaluated the effect of combining various concentrations of detoxificated L. leucocephala leaf meal (DLLLM) with pregnant rat diet to the prenatal development of their embryos. Results showed the addition of up to 22.5% DLLLM into pregnant rats diet does not inhibit the prenatal development of fetuses. (49)
Last Update July 2016
Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
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