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Family Apocynaceae
Kalachuchi
Plumeria acuminata W. T. Ait.
TEMPLE FLOWER, FRANGIPANI
Da ji hua

Scientific names Common names
Plumeria acuminata Air. Kachuchi (C. Bis.)
Plumeria alba Blanco Kalachuche (Tag., Bik.) 
Plumeria acutifolia Poir. Kalasusi (Tag.) 
Ji dan hua (Chin.) Kalatsutsi (Tag.) 
  Kalanuche (Ilk.) 
  Kalonoche (Ilk.) 
  Karachucha (Tag.) 
  Karatuche (Tag.)  
  Frangipani (Engl.) 
  Flor de Mayo (Mexico)
  Temple flower (Engl.) 
  Mian zhi zi (Chin.)

Other vernacular names
ARABIC: Yasmin hindi.
BENGALI: Gorur champa, Dalan phul
CHINESE: Dan ji hua, Ya jiao mu, Hong ji dan hua.
GUJARATI: Rhada champa.
HINDI: Golainchi.
INDIA: Pandhra chapha, Perungalli (Tamil).
MAYALALAM: Velachampakan.
MARATHI: Sonachampa.
ORIYA: Kat champa.
SANSKRIT: Kshira champa.

Botany
Kalachuche is a small, deciduous tree, 3 to 7 meters high, with a crooked trunk, smooth and shining stems, succulent, with abundant sticky, milky latex. Bark has a smooth, papery outer layer which is grey, shining, and constantly exfoliating in small flakes. Wood is yellowish-white and soft. Branches are thick, fleshy, swollen and leafy at the tips. Leaves are crowded at the terminal end of the branch, commonly oblong in shape, 20 to 40 centimeters long, 7 centimeters wide, spirally arranged at the ends of the branches. Flowers are numerous, fragrant and large, the upper portion whitish, while the inner lower portion yellow, 5 to 6 centimeters long. Fruits are linear-oblong or ellipsoid follicles, with a pointed tip, 15 to 20 centimeters long, 1.5 to 2 centimeters in diameters. Seeds are numerous and winged.

There are several species of cultivated Plumiera, very similar to P. rubra but for the color of the corolla.

Distribution
- Usually cultivated for ornamental purposes.
- Nowhere established.
- Introduced from Mexico by the Spaniards.
- Now pantropic.

Parts utilized
Bark, leaves and flowers.

Constituents
- Flowers suppose to be source of perfume known as "Frangipiani."
- Bark contains a bitter glucoside, plumierid (2%).
- Latex contains resins, caoutchouc and calcium salts of plumieric acid: cerotinic acid and lupeol.
- Leaves contain a volatile oil.
- Phytochemical screening of methanol extract yielded steroids, flavanoids, tannins, alkaloids, and glycosides.
- Powdered leaf yielded alkaloids, cyanogenic glycosides, phenolic compounds, flavonoids, terpenoids, tannins, and saponins.

Properties
- Sweet tasting and neither warming nor cooling in effect, aromatic.
- Seeds considered hemostatic.
- Considered antiinflammatory, antipyretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, purgative, rubefacient.


Uses
Folkloric
· Decoction of bark is used as purgative, emmenagogue, and febrifuge. Latex is similarly employed.
· Preventive for heat stroke: the material may be taken as a cooling tea.
· Root-bark taken internally as a strong purgative.
· Root-bark used as abortifacient.
· Root bark used as remedy for gonorrhea and venereal sores.
· Bark decoction used as antiherpetic.
· Used in treatment of ulcers, herpes, scabies.
· Bruised bark use as plaster over hard tumors.
· In India, bark used as purgative. Bark also used as application for abscesses.
· In Java and Madera, bark decoction used for gonorrhea, dropsy, and dysuria due to venereal disease.
· In Yucatan, latex is used for toothache.
· In Persia, bark is employed against blenorrhagia.
· For dysentery, diarrhea during summer season: use 12 to 24 gms of dried material in decoction.
· Arthritis, rheumatism, pruritic skin lesions: Mix the latex (sap) with coconut oil, warm, and apply to affected area.
· Decoction of the bark is used as a counterirritant on the gums for toothache.
· The latex mixed with coconut oil is used for itching.
· The juice is rubefacient in rheumatic pains, and with camphor, is also used for itching.
· A poultice of heated leaves is beneficial for swellings.
· Decoction of leaves for cracks and eruptions of the soles of the feet.
· Infusion or extract from leaves is used for asthma. Leaves also used as cigarettes to inhale in asthma.
· In Puerto Rico, in emulsion, the milk produces abundant, bilious, watery stools.
· In Mexico, decoction of flowers used in diabetes.



Studies
Cytotoxic / Antitumor:
In Indonesia, six cytotoxic constituents were isolated from the bark of P rubra. The substances demonstrated cytotoxic activity with panel of murine lymphocytic leukemia cell lines and a number of human cancer cell-types (breast, colon, fibrosarcoma, lung, melanoma, KB). (1)
Cytotoxic / Antibacterial / Molluscicidal: From the heartwood, study yielded plumericin and isoplumericin which molluscicidal, cytotoxic and antibacterial activity.
Antibacterial: P rubra was one 41 plants extracts from 18 species that showed antibacterial activity. (3)
Essential Oils : Comparative study of the essential oils of genus Plumiera Linn. from Malaysia showed the oil of P. acuminata (white flower) was predominantly of benzyl salicylate, benzyl benzoate, trans-nerolidol, neryl phenylacetate and linanlool. (4)
Phytochemical / Antimicrobial: Study yielded the presence of tannins, phlobatannins, saponins, flavonoids, steroids, terpenoids, cardiac glycosides and reducing sugar from the crude extract. The antibacterial assay showed the methanol extract to inhibit growth of 14 indicator bacteria. The extract of the flower was more active against B cereus. (5)
Antioxidant / Hypolipidemic: Study of a flavone glycoside isolated from P rubra
produced a significant reduction of serum triglycerides in alloxan-induced hyperglycemic rats. Antioxidant activity was confirmed through in vitro studies. (7)
Anti-Inflammatory / Leaves: A methanol extract of P. acuminata exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity on acute and chronic experimental animal models. The effect was comparable to that of indomethacin, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent. (17)
Antioxidant / Free Radical Scavenging Activity: A methanol extract showed dose-dependent antioxidant activity using a DPPH radical, superoxide anion radical and hydroxyl radical scavenging assays.
(16)
Antimutagenic: Study of ethanol extract of green leaves yielded 4 isolates; three were elucidated a stigmast-7-enol, lupeol carboxylic acid, and ursolic acid. A1 reduced the number of MPCE induced by mutagen, mitomycin C. (9)
Antimycotic: Study evaluated the antimycotic activity of four medicinal plant extracts: kalachuchi bark (P. acuminata), atsuete bark (Bixa orellana), akapulko leaves (C. alata), and neem leaves (A. indica) compared to standard clotrimazole treatment of otomycosis. Of the four, only kalachuchi bark extract exhibited antifungal activity against Aspergillus and Aspergillus niger. (13)
Antifungal / Otomycosis: Study evaluated a kalachuchi ointment made from a bark extract on patients diagnosed clinically and microbiologically to have otomycosis. Results showed Kalachuchi extract ointment may be a promising antifungal ointment. Cure rate was 75% compared to 87.5% for clotrimazole cream. (14)
Antipyretic / Antinociceptive: Study of a methanol extract of P. acuminata leaves in several experimental models showed the antipyretic and antinociceptive activity. Results were attributed to phytoconstituents isolated on preliminary screening: alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, terpenes, and steroids. (15)
Antitumor / Antioxidant: Study evaluated the antitumor and antioxidant properties of P. acuminata crude methanol extract of leaves against Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma (EAC) bearing Swiss albino mice. Results showed an antitumor effect through modulation of lipid peroxidation and augmentation of antioxidant defense system. (16)
Comparative Phytochemicals / Flowers of P. alba and P. rubra: Study of flower extracts yielded steroid, flavonoid, and alkaloid in P. alba and tannin, carbohydrate, glycosides, steroids and flavonoid in the flowers of P. rubra. (19)
Antimutagens / Leaves: Study of ethanol extract of green leaves yielded three antimutagens viz. stigmast-7-enol, ursolic acid and lupeol carboxylic acid. The mechanism of action was proposed as a reaction of the oxygen of the hydroxyl group with the C-10 of Mitomycin C to form mono-or difunctional adducts. In addition, changes in membrane permeability which could prevent Mitomycin C from entering into the cell and reacting with the DNA. (20)

Superstition
In some regions, it is not planted in the immediate vicinity of habitation, believed to cause difficulties with personal relationships and separations.

Availability
Wild-crafted.
Cultivated for ornamental use.
 

Last Update December 2013

Photos ©Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Flower Close up / File:Plumeria Acuminata.jpg / Venkatx5 / September 2012 / Creative Commons Attribution / Wikpedia / Click on image to see source image

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
Cytotoxic constituents of the bark of Plumeria rubra collected in Indonesia / Leonardus B. S. Kardono, Soefjan Tsauri, Kosasih Padmawinata, John M. Pezzuto, A. Douglas Kinghorn / J. Nat. Prod., 1990, 53 (6), pp 1447–1455 / DOI: 10.1021/np50072a008
(2)
Traditional medicinal plants of Thailand. XVII. Biologically active constituents of Plumeria rubra./ J Ethnopharmacol 1991 Jul;33(3):289-92
(3)
Plants possessing antibacterial activity / Myanmar Health Sciences Research Journal / Mar Mar Nyein, Nwe Yee Win, Win Myint, Aye Aye Thein, Mi Mi Htwe, Win Win Maw, Aye Than

(4)
A comparative study of the essential oils of the genus Plumeria Linn. from Malaysia / Norsita Tohar, Mustafa A. Mohd et al / Flavour and Fragrance Journal, Volume 21 Issue 6, Pages 859 - 863
(5)
Screening for Anti-Microbial Activity and Phytochemical Constituents of Some Nigerian Medicinal Plants / Advances in Biological Research 1 (5-6): 155-158, 2007.
(6)
Studies on Hypoglycemic Activity of Mexican Medicinal Plants / Proc. West. Pharmacol. Soc. 45: 118-124 (2002)

(7)
Antioxidant and Hypolipidemic Effect of Plumeria Rubra L. in Alloxan Induced Hyperglycemic Rats / A John Merina et al / E-Journal of Chemistry, 2010, 7(1), 1-5
(8)
Plumeria acuminata / Catalogue of Life, China 2010
(9)
Antimutagens from Plumeria acuminata Ait. / Guevara AP, Amor E, Russell G. / Mutat Res. 1996 Dec 12;361(2-3):67-72.
(11)
Plumeria acuminata / Common names / Zipcodezoo
(12)
REVIEW ON PLUMERIA ACUMINATA / Ashraf MD Farooque, Mazumder A, Shambhawee S and Mazumder R / INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN PHARMACY AND CHEMISTRY
(13)
In Vitro Antimycotic Activity of Four Medicinal Plants Versus Clotrimazole in the Treatment of Otomycosis: A Preliminary Study / Joebert M.Villanueva, MD Marida Arend V. Arugay, MD Rachel Zita H. Ramos, MD / Philippine Journal of otolaryngology-head and neck Surgery Vol. 23 no. 1 January – June 2008
(14)
A Preliminary Study on the Efficacy of Plumeria acuminata (Kalachuchi) Bark Extract Ointment Versus Clotrimazole Cream in the Treatment of Otomycosis / Rhoda Mae Boncalon MD, Marida Arugay MD, Rachel Ramos MD / PhiliPPine Journal of otolaryngology-head and neck Surgery Vol. 24 no. 1 January – June 2009
(15)
Evaluation of Antipyretic and Antinociceptive Activities of Plumeria acuminata Leaves / M. Gupta, U.K. Mazumder and P. Gomathi / Journal of Medical Sciences, 2007, Vol 7, No 5, pp 835-839 / DOI: 10.3923/jms.2007.835.839
(16)
Evaluation of Antioxidant and Free Radical Scavenging Activities of Plumeria acuminata Leaves
/
M. Gupta, U.K. Mazumder and P. Gomath / Journal of Biological Sciences, 2007, 7: 1361-1367. / DOI: 10.3923/jbs.2007.1361.1367
(17)
Antiinflammatory evaluation of leaves of Plumeria acuminata / M Gupta, UK Mazumder, P Gomathi and V Thamil Selvan / BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2006, 6:36 doi:10.1186/1472-6882-6-36
(18)
Antioxidant and Antitumor Activity of Plumeria acuminata in Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma Bearing Swiss Albino Mice / Gomathi Periyasamy*, Malaya Gupta, Upal Kanti Mazumder, Mebrahtom Gebrelibanos and Biruk Sintayehu / British Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, ISSN: 2231-2919,Vol.: 3, Issue.: 4 (October-December)
(19)
COMPARATIVE PHYTOCHEMICAL SCREENING OF FLOWERS OF PLUMERIA ALBA AND PLUMERIA RUBRA / *ZAHID ZAHEER, AJINKYA G KONALE, KHUMAN A PATEL, SUBUR KHAN, RANA. Z. AHMED / Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research Vol. 3, Issue 4, 2010
(20)
Mechanism of action of antimutagens from Plumeria acuminata Ait. / Guevarra, A.P., Cancio, E.O., Manatad, A.G. / AGRIS (International Information System for the Agricultural Science and Technology).



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