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Family Myrtaceae
Syzygium polycephaloides (C. B. Rob.) Merr.

Scientific names Common names
Eugenia polycephaloides C. B. Robinson Amhi (Bik.)
Syzygium polycephaloides (C. B. Rob.) Merr. Atu-ang (If.)
  Bahhag (If.)
  Baligang (Tag., Bik.)
  Bulinayo (If.)
  Igot (Bis.)
  Lipot (Tag.)
  Lipote (Tag.)
  Lipoti (Tag.)
  Maigang (Leyte)
  Malig-ang (Bik.)
Some compilations list Syzygium polycephaloides (C.B.Rob.) Merr. and S. curranii (C.B.Rob.) Merr. as synonyms. Plants of the World Online and  Co's Digital Flora of the Philippines list them as separate species.
Lipote as common name is shared by Syzygium curanii (Curran's lipote) and S. polycephaloides. Other common names are confusingly shared by both.
Syzygium polycephaloides (C.B.Rob.) Merr. is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Gen info
- Syzygium is a genus of flowering plants in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. The genus comprises about 1200 species, the native range extending from Africa and Madagascar through southern Asia east through the Pacific.

Lipote is a small to medium-sized tree growing up to 14 meters tall. Trunk is up to 75 centimeters in diameter. Outer bark is purplish gray. Twigs are angularly winged. Leaves are alternate, oblong-lanceolate or obovate, acuminate, 6 to 20 centimeters long, 4 to 7 centimeters wide, with 14 to 16 pairs of secondary veins. Flowers are white, numerous, and in panicles. Fruits are subglobose, fleshy, red to dark purple, sweet sour, and edible, 1 centimeter in diameter.

Syzygium polycephaloides is a small to medium-sized tree up to 25 m tall, bole up to 75(-90) cm in diameter, bark surface purplish-grey. Leaves elliptical, oblong to oblanceolate, 6-20 cm × 4-7.5 cm, with 14-18 pairs of distinct secondary veins, petiole up to 5 mm long or leaves subsessile. Flowers sessile in inflorescences from branches below the leaves, white, calyx c. 5 mm long, with 4 broad lobes. Fruit a subglobose berry, 1 cm in diameter, red to purple when ripe, on bare branches just below the leaves. (10)

- Native to the Philippines.
- In primary forests at low and medium altitudes.
- Occasionally
cultivated for its edible fruit.
- Considered vulnerable and potentially endangered.
- Also native to Lesser Sunda Is., Sulawesi.

- Fruits are rich in vitamin C.
- On screening for flavonols and flavanols, methanol extract yielded 58.85 µg catechin g-1 fresh sample. (see study below) (7)
- Ripe fruit per 100 g contains 83% edible potion, with 83.4 g water, 77 kcal energy, 0.7 g protein, 2.5 g fat, 12.9 g carbohydrate, 1.7 g crude fiber, 93 mg calcium, 22 mg phosphorus, 0.2 mg iron, 50 µg ß-carotene, 10 µg total vitamin A, 0.01 mg thiamine, 0.02 mg riboflavin, 0.3 mg niacin, and 16 mg ascorbic acid. (8)
- Study of fruits for total flavonoids and total phenolic contents yielded 2780 µg Gallic Acid Equivalent (GAE)/g fresh sample and 5141 µg Quercetin Equivalent (QE)/g fresh sample, respectively. (9)
- Phytochemical study of ethanolic extract of leaves yielded alkaloids +++. anthraquinones ++. flavonoids +++. glycosides ++, saponins ++. steroids +, tannins +++, and terpenoids ++.   (13)

Considered antioxidant, antihypertensive.
- Studies suggest antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-tumor properties.


- Fruits eaten, raw or cooked.
- Fruit used in making preserves, jellies, wine, pickles and beverages.
- Used for diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol.
- Ifugaos use the sour fruit for treating coughs. Leaf decoction used for hypertension.
- Wine: Source of tropical fruit wine.
- Wood: Used for construction.

Syzygiol / Skin Tumor Inhibitory Activity:
Study isolated syzygiol from Syzygium polycephaloides. It showed significant inhibitory activity of skin tumor promotion. (2)
Antibacterial / Anti-Inflammatory / Bark: Study of alcoholic extract of lipote bark yielded active constituents, inorganic salts, carbohydrates, and proteins. The extract showed antibacterial activity, specifically Staphylococcus aureus. The bark extract also showed slight anti-inflammatory activity at dose of 1,000 mg/kg showing 19.67% protection against edema formation in female rats. (3)
Antioxidant / Flavonols: Lipote fruit showed 77.7% inhibition of linoleic acid peroxidation. On screening for flavonols and flavanols, methanol extract yielded 58.85 µg catechin g-1 fresh sample. (7)
Acute Oral Toxicity / Fruit: An acute oral toxicity test was conducted using OECD 425 guidelines to evaluated the toxic effects of freeze-dried lipote fruit extract (LFE) in male and female ICR mice at doses of 55, 175, 550, 2000, and 5000 mg/kbw. After 14 days, no physical, behavioral changes, neurologic, cardiorespiratory signs of toxicity or mortality were recorded. Creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) remained within normal range. Results suggest the LFE is relatively non-toxic, with an LD50 above 5000 mg/kg. (12)
Effect of Maturity and Processing on Antioxidant Properties of Flesh and Seeds: Study evaluated the effect of maturity stage (unripe, half-ripe, and fully ripe) and processing (blanching at 90°C for 2 min and steaming at 105° for 5 min) on antioxidant content, TPC, and total anthocyanin content (TAC) and antioxidant activity by DPPH, ABTS, and FRAP assays. Results showed maturity and processing significantly affected antioxidant contents and activities of fresh lipote flesh and seeds. Blanched lipote flesh had higher TPC, TFC, and antioxidant activities than unprocessed and steamed counterparts.  Seeds, especially unripe ones, have appreciable antioxidant contents and antioxidant capacity, greater than lipote flesh. Study recommended blanching as preferred processing step to increase antioxidant content of lipote flesh. Seeds should be investigated for nutraceutical applications due to high antioxidant properties. (14)
Hypoglycemic: Study evaluated the hypoglycemic property of Syzygium polycephaloides in alloxan-induced mice. Extracts at doses of 250 and 500 mg/kg and metformin were able to considerably reduce blood glucose level (p<0.05). Histopathologically, reduced islet cells were restored to near-normal state in alloxan-induced mice. Study for secondary metabolites of leaf extract yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, triterpenes, tannins, phenols, and anthraquinones. (15)
Syzygiol / Skin-Tumor Promotion Inhibitor: Study isolated syzygiol from the myrtaceous plant Syzygium polycephaloides. The compound exists in solution as a mixture of many tautomers and  shows significant inhibitory activity of skin tumor promotion. (16)

- Wild-crafted.
- Cultivated.

Update May 2023 / May 2018 / January 2017
September 2013

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Antibacterial property of lyophilized crude extract of Syzygium polycephaloides (lipote) against Escherichia coli and mocrococcus luteum / Sara C. Abdolahi et al
Structure of syzygiol : a skin-tumor promotion inhibitor / NISHIZAWA M. ; YAMADA H. ; SANO J. ; ITO S. ; HAYASHI Y. ; IKEDA H. ; CHAIRUL ; SHIRO M. ; TOKUDA H / Tetrahedron letters, 1991, vol. 32, no2, pp. 211-212
Phytochemical, microbiological and pharmacological screening of the alcoholic extract from the bark of lipote (Syzygium polycephaloides) C.B. Rob (Family Myrtaceae) / Chacon, N.O. / Centro Escolar Univ., Manila, Mar 1995.
Syzygium polycephaloides (C.B.Rob.) Merr. is an accepted name
/ Synonoyms / The Plant List
Minor Products of Philippine Islands / Syzygium polycephaloides / Common names / Edited by William H. Brown, Ph.D., 1921
MACROFLORAL BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION IN IFUGAO / Napoleon K. Taguiling, PhD / European Scientific Journal December 2013 /SPECIAL/ edition vol.4
Antioxidant Activities, Flavonol and Flavanol Content of Selected Southeast Asian Indigenous Fruits / Dennis Marvin O. Santiago, Virgilio V. Garcia, Erlinda I. Dizon, Florinia E. Merca / Philippine Agricultural Scientist, June 2007 - Vol 90 No 2, pp. 123-130
Lipote: Syzygium polycephanoides / RISE: Research Information Series on Ecosystems: May-Aug 2017
Antioxidant Activities, Flavonol and Flavanol Content of Selected Southeast Asian Indigenous Fruits / Dennis Marvin O. Santiago*, Virgilio V. Garcia, Erlinda I. Dizon and Florinia E. Merca / The Philippine Agricultural Scientist, June 2007; Vol 90, No 2: pp 123-130
Syzygium polycephaloides (PROSEA) /   PCM Jansen, J Jukema, LPA Oyen, TG van Lingen / Pl@ntUse
Syzygium / Wikipedia
Acute Oral Toxicity Assessment of Freeze-Dried Lipote Fruit Extract (Syzygium polycephaloides (C. B. Rob.) Merr.) in ICR Mice /  Mark Joseph M Desamero, Liezl M Atienza, Maria Adrianna Isabella G Claravall, Roxanne P Gapasin, Maria Amelita C Estacio et al / Pharmacognosy Journal, 2022; 14(5): pp 490-503 / DOI: 10.5530/pj.2022.12.126
Phytochemical screening of indigenous plants utilized by the Agta community in Aurora, Philippines / Rocha PPV, BFL Gargabite, JKS Jacob, JB Abucay Jr  / International Journal of Agricultural Technology, 2022; 18(2): pp 771-778 / eISSN: 2630-0192
Antioxidant properties of lipote (Syzygium polycephaloides (C.B. Rob.) Merr.) flesh and seeds as affected by maturity and processing method / MCR Ilano, KJD Sartagoda, LEL Flandez, MCM Compendio, DB Morales, KAT Castillo-Israel / Food Research, 2021; 5(2): pp 475-484 / DOI: 10.26656/fr.2017.5(2).558
Hypoglycemic Activity of Syzygium polycephaloides in Alloxan-induced Mice / Keya Zia B Pitero / American Journal of Phytomedicine and Clinical Therapeutics, 2020; 8(2) / ISSN: 2321-2748
Structure of syzygiol: a skin-tumor promotion inhibitor / Mugio Nishizawa, Hidetoshi Yamada, Junko Sano, Sho Ito et al / Tetrahedron Letters, 1991; 32(2): pp 211-212


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)

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