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Family Pittosporaceae
Pittosporum pentandrum (Blanco) Merr.

Tai qiong hai tong

Scientific names  Common names
Aquilaria pentandra Blanco                             Antoan (C. Bis.) 
Pittosporum pentandrum (Blanco) Merr. Baling-kawayan (Tag.)
Accepted Infraspecifics Balinkauayan (P. Bis.) 
P. pentandrum var. Merr. formosanum (Hayata) Zhang & Turl. Basuit (Ilk.) 
Pittosporum pentandrum var. hainanense (Gagnep) N.L.Li Bolonkoyan (P. Bis.) 
Pittosporum pentandrum var. [entandrum Darayau (Tag.) 
  Dili (Gad.) 
  Lasuit (Ig.) 
  Mamali (Tag.) 
  Marabiñga (Tagb.) 
  Oplai (Ilk.)
  Pangantoan (C. Bis.) 
  Pangatoan (C. Bis.) 
  Pasgik (Ig.) 
  Pasik (Bon.) 
  Saboagon (P. Bis.) 
  Taliu (Sbl.) 
  Uplai (Ilk.) 
  Taiwanese cheesewood (Engl.)
  Willow-leaved pittosporum (Engl.)
Pittosporum pentandrum (Blanco) Merr. is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Tai qiong hai tong.

Gen info
- Pittosporaceae is a family made up of 9 genera and about 200 species. The genus Pittosporum comprises about 150 species.
- Etymology: The genus name Pittosporum is derived from the Greek word pittos, meaning "pitch", and sporos meaning "seeds", referring to the black seeds covered with viscid resin (Wagner et al, 1999).

Mamalis is a tree occasionally reaching heights of 20 meters, although it is usually much smaller. Whole tree is smooth except for its inflorescence. Leaves are narrowly elliptic, 6 to 15 centimeters long, and less than 2 centimeters wide, and gradually narrowed at both ends. Flowers are white, fragrant, about 6 millimeters long, crowded in panicles 5 to 8 centimeters in length. Fruit is small, globular, pale yellow to orange, somewhat rounded when fresh, 6 to 8 millimeters in diameter. Seeds are about 8, flattened, covered with a glossy red, oily and sticky mucus, with an odor reminiscent of petroleum.

- Native to the Philippines.
- In secondary forests at low and medium altitudes, ascending to 1,400 meters, from northern Luzon to Palawan and Mindanao.
- Also native to Borneo, China, Hainan, Sulawesi, Taiwan, Vietnam.

• Fruit yields a volatile oil, 1%; dihydroterpene.
• Leaves yield calcium oxalate and amygdalin.
• Stems yield amygdalin and fats.
• Study yielded two eudesmane-type sesquiterpene glycosides and the known triterpene betulin. (2)
• Fruits and oil: Fruits are quite small. One tree yields about 16 kilos of fruit which after grinding yields on distillation 21 cubic centimeters of pleasant smelling oil. The oil properties suggests the oil consists principally of the same hydroterpene found in the oil of the petroleum nut. (4)
• Crude extract of leaves yielded alkaloids, triterpenoids, flavonoids, and tannins. (see study below) (5)

- Antibacterial, antipyretic.
- Studies have suggested genotoxic, cytotoxic, mutagenic, quorum sensing, clastogenic properties.

Parts used
Leaves, bark, fruit juice.

- Aromatic decoction of leaves used by women for postpartum baths.
- The Ati tribe in Antique, Philippines use the plant for postpartum care and recovery: leaves and flowers are boiled with Canarium sp., J. gendarussa, C. citratus, Glochidion sp, and Bambusa sp. or C. maxima, a glass of the decoction is drunk and the rest used for bathing. (8)
- In the Negrito society, bark of P. pentandrum is tied around the neck r woven into a necklace and worn for treating cough and headache. (9)
- Decoction of bark used for fever and cough.
- Powdered bark in small doses used as antipyretic.
- Powdered bark also used as febrifuge; in large doses, a general antidote.
- Also used for bronchitis.
- Decoction of leaves used as aromatic bath after childbirth or prolonged illness.
- Fruit juice and decoction used for cleansing wounds.
- Wood: Used for jewelry beads; firewood.
- Mamalis oil: Steam distillation of fruits yield a pleasant smelling oil.

Of 138 Philippine medicinal plant preparations studied, only 12, including P. pentandrum, exhibited detectable genotoxicity in any system. (1)
Sesquiterpene Glycosides:
Study of chloroform extract yielded two novel eudesmane-type sesquiterpene glycosides and a known triterpene betulin. (2)
Cytotoxicity / Brine Shrimp Lethality Assay / Leaves:
Study evaluated a crude extract of P. pentandrum leaves for in vivo cytotoxic effects against brine shrimp nauplii. Using BSLA, the cytotoxic capability of Mamalis crude extract was evident at 0.01% to 0.09% with LC50 of 0.05%. Results suggest Mamalis crude extract can be further examined as an antimicrobial or antitumor agent. (see constituents above) (5)
Clastogenicity / Mutagenicity:
Leaf and bark decoctions of Pittosporum pentandrum induced frameshift mutagenesis in Salmonella typhimurium. Clastogenicity or chromosome breaking potential was exhibited by decoctions from leaves and bark. (6)
Quorum Sensing-Mediated α-Hemolysin Inhibition:
Study evaluated ten Philippine ethnobotanicals, including Pittosporum pentandrum, for quorum sensing inhibition activity against Staphylococcus aureus PNCM 1582 through α-hemolysin assay after bacterial testing. While quorum sensing inhibition neither kill nor inhibit bacterial growth, QSI drugs hinder signaling and decrease development of resistance, as occurs with antibiotics. All the ethnobotanicals showed inhibition of α-hemolysin indicating quorum sensing inhibition activity. (7)


Updated July 2023 / November 2020 / April 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: Pittosporaceae : Pittosporum pentandrum -- fruiting twig / Image at PhytoImages.siu.edu / Copyright © 2013 by P.B. Pelser & J.F. Barcelona (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL62259] / PhytoImages.siu.edu / Click on image to go to source page
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph : Pittosporum pentandrum -- Flowers / Click on image to go to source page / Copyright © Atlas of Florida Plants / Institute of Systematic Botany / Wunderlin, R. P., B. F. Hansen, A. R. Franck, and F. B. Essig. 2019. Atlas of Florida Plants (http://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/). [S. M. Landry and K. N. Campbell (application development), USF Water Institute.] Institute for Systematic Botany, University of South Florida, Tampa.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Mutagenic and Antimutagenic Activities in Philippine Medicinal and Food Plants / Clara Y. Lim-Sylianco‌ / Summary Toxin Reviews,1985; Vol 4, No 1: pp 71-105 / DOI 10.3109/15569548509014414
Sesquiterpene glycosides from Pittosporum pentandrum / Consolacion Ragasa et al / Phytochemistry, June 1997; Volume 45, Issue 3: pp 545-547 / doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(96)00852-7

Pittosporum pentandrum / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Pittosporum pentandrum / Useful Tropical Plants
Phytochemical Analysis and Cytotoxicity Potential of Pittosporum pentandrum (Mamalis) Crude Leaf Extract Using Brine Shrimp Lethality Assay / Stephanie Ocal, Ricky Boy Ferrer, Sharlene Cherry Suratos de Guzman / Asian Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies, 2018; 1(1)
Mutagenicity and Clastogenicity Potential of Decoctions and Infusions from Philippine Medicinal Plants / C.Y. Lim-Sylianco, J.A. Concha, J. San Agustin, I. Panizares and C. Pablo  / The Bulletin of Philippine Biochemical Society, 1980; Volume 3, Issue 1 & 2: pp  54-65
QUORUM SENSING-MEDIATED α- HEMOLYSIN INHIBITION OF PHILIPPINE ETHNOBOTANICALS IN Staphylococcus aureus / KRYSTEL GRACE V. PADILLA, WILSON R. JACINTO, KHRISTINA G. JUDAN CRUZ / International Journal of Biology, Pharmacy and Allied Sciences, 2018; 7(8): pp 1537-1550 / ISSN: 2277-4998
Medicinal plants used by the indigenous Ati tribe in Tobias Fornier, Antique, Philippines / Cecilia S Cordero, Grecebio Jonathan D Alejandro / BIODIVERSITAS, 2021; 22(2): pp 521-536 / ISSN: 1412-033X / eISSN: 2085-4722 / DOI: 10.13057/biodiv/d220203
Ethnomedical knowledge of plants and healthcare practices among the Kalanguya tribe in Tinoc, Ifugao, Luzon, Philippines / Teodora D Balangcod, Ashlyn Kim D Balangcod / Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 2011; 10(2): pp 227-238

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

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