HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT

Family Verbenaceae
Vitex parviflora Juss.

Scientific names Common names
Vitex altissima Blanco [Illegitimate] Adgauon (S. L. Bis.)
Vitex coffasus var. timorensis Hallier f. Alah (Bag.)
Vitex geniculata Blanco Amaraum (Bik., Bis.)
Vitex glaberrima Zipp. ex Span. [Invalid] Amuauan (Gad.)
Vitex glandulosa H.J.Lam. Amugauan (Ibn.)
Vitex latifolia Blanco [Illegitimate] Amulauon (Mbo.)
Vitex leucoxylon Span. ex Miq. [Invalid] Anla (Bag.)
Vitex littoralis Decne. Bulauen (Pang.)
Vitex parviflora A.Juss. Burikan (Bag.)
Vitex timoriensis Walp. [Illegitimate] Edieu (Bon.)
  Homolouen (P. Bis.)
  Hamoraon (Bik., S. L. Bis.)
  Hamulai (Sul.)
  Hamulauon (Sul.)
  Hamuraon (Bik.)
  Hamuyaon (C. Bis.)
  Hulah (Bag.)
  Kalipapa (Sub., Sul.)
  Kalipapa-bato (Sub., Mag.)
  Kulipapa (Mag.)
  Kulimpapa (Mag.)
  Malabalinaunau (Sbl.)
  Marauin (Bis., P. Bis.)
  Kulimpapa (Mag.)
  Maulauin-aso (Kuy.)
  Molauin (P. Bis., Chab., Tag.)
  Molave (Ilk., Tag., Pamp., Bik., Bis)
  Molave-batu (C. Bis., Sul.)
  Mulaon (P. Bis.)
  Murauin (Bis.)
  Sagad (Ilk.)
  Salingkapa (Bis.)
  Sagat (Ilk., Ting.)
  Sasalit (Mag.)
  Taga (Ibn.)
  Topas (Bag.)
  Tugas (P. Bis., C. Bis.)
  Tugas-abgauon (S. L. Bis.)
  Tugas-lanhan (C. Bis.)
  Peacock chaste tree (Engl.)
  Small-flower chaste tree (Engl.)
Vitex parviflora A.Juss. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
INDIA: Milla.
INDONESIA: Fuli kaa, Kayu kula, Gupasa.
MALAYA: Leban.
THAILAND: Teen-nok.

Molave is a tree that reaches a height of 8 to 15 meters, smooth or nearly so, with inflorescences that may be slightly hairy. Leaflets are three, stalked, ovate to lanceolate, 7 to 18 centimeters long, pointed at the tip, shining and quite smooth. Flowers are blue, numerous, 6 to 8 millimeters long, hairy outside the corolla, borne on terminal, paniculate and ample inflorescences, up to 20 centimeters in length. Fruit is rounded, 5 to 6 millimeters in diameter.

- Native to the Philippines.
- Common in secondary and open primary forests at low altitudes throughout the Philippines in most or all islands and provinces.
- Also native to Sulawe
si, Timor, and the Moluccas. Possibly native to Java.
- Listed as 'Vulnerable' in the IUCB Red List of Threatened Species.

- Phytochemical studies have yielded flavonoids, triterpenoids, lignans and iridoids.
- Bark, root, and fruit all contain hydrocyanic acid and saponin.
- Phytochemical screening of ethanolic extract of leaves yielded secondary metabolites, i.e., alkaloids, saponins, diterpenes, phenols, phytosterols, and flavonoids. (14)
- Proximate analysis of air-dried molave leaves yielded 16.95 ± 0.07% moisture, 9.37 ± 0.08 % ash, 1.80 ± 0.14 % crude fat, 33.18 ±0.49 % crude fiber, 16.94 ±2.69 % crude protein, and 21.76 ± 2.60 % carbohydrates. (14)

- Wood takes on a yellowish-green or greenish brown tint when boiled in water
- Antimicrobial and antifungal properties have been reported.
- Considered carminative, anthelmintic, digestive.

Parts used
Bark, leaves, stems, wood.


- Decoction or infusion of wood considered a remedy for poisons, as it induces vomiting.
- Decoction of bark used for diarrhea.
- Ayta people of Porac, Pampanga burn dried leaves and stems as repellent against hematophagous insects.
- In Southeast Asia, used for stomatitis, anorexia, blindness, leprosy, worm infestation, rheumatic swellings.
- In Kerala State of India, bark and wood decoction of Terminalia catappa and V altissima used for bathing women after childbirth.
- Bark and wood used as styptic, emetic, antitoxic, and to treat jaundice and dropsy.
- Wood: Known in the Philippines for its extremely hard wood. Resistant to fungal, termite, and Lyctus beetle attack, but not to marine borers. Used like teak for shipbuilding and construction in contact with the ground. Also a source of firewood.
- Fish poison:
Fruit and bark used as fish poison in the Philippines.
- Fodder:
Leaves used as fodder.
- Resin:
Exudes a yellow resin when the wood is treated with lime.
- Tannin / Dyestuff:
Shavings soaked in water yields a yellow extract.

Iridoid Glucosides / Antioxidant:
Study yielded six new iridoid glucosides together with two known iridoids, agnuside and negundoside, from the ethyl acetate extractive of the leaves of V altissima. Compounds 2 - 4 showed potent antioxidant activity by free radical scavenging and DPPH radical scavenging methods. (1)
Larvicidal: Study of methanol extracts of four vitex species - V. negundo, V trifolia, V peduncularis and V altissima, showed varying levels of larvicidal activity. The early fourth instar larvae of Culex quinquefasciatus was used for the larvicidal assay. (2)
Antibacterial: Study of leaf extract showed moderate activity against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. (3)
Wound Healing: Study was done on the wound healing property of ethanol leaf extracts of V. trifolia and V latissima. On comparison with control group. both leaf extracts were found to possess significant wound healing potency. (4)
Anti-Inflammatory / Antioxidant / Phytochemicals: Study of ethyl acetate extracts of leaves of VA yielded a new tetrahydrofuranoid lignan, altissinone and a new acylated flavone C-glucoside. The extract exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity in the rat paw edema model. The flavonoids and triterpene acids showed moderate antioxidant and 5-lipooxygenase inhibitory activities. (5)
Anti-Inflammatory: Study of different leaf extracts of V. altissima was done on male albino rats to evaluate acute and subacute anti-inflammatory activity. Results showed significant anti-inflammatory activity with aqueous and alcoholic extracts and supports the tribal use of the plant for ailments of short duration.
Antimutagenic / Terpenes and Sterols: Study of ethyl acetate extract of leaves indicated the presence of phytol 1a, with lupeol 1b and ß-amyrin 1c as impurities, and sitosterol and stigmasterol. Micronucleus tests indicated reductions in the number of micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes induced by Mitomycin C, indicating antimutagenic activity. (7)
Antiulcer Healing: Study evaluated the extracts of three plants (bataw, molave, and alugbati) on albino mice with ethanol-induced ulcer. Results showed molave and alugbati with greater anti-ulcer activities than bataw. (News: Phil Star) (8)
Antispasmodic / Bark: Study evaluated a crude bark extract for antidiarrheal effect of V. parviflora as alternative remedy for diarrhea in albino mice. (11)
Antioxidant Potential / Total Phenolic and Flavonoid Content / Leaves: Study of air-dried leaves yielded a total phenolic content of 356 ± 19.4 mg gallic acid equivalent (GAE) per 100g air-dried leaves and total flavonoid content of 321.16 ± 16.71 mg quercetin equivalent (QE) per 100g air-dried leaves. Results suggest high antioxidant potential of extractable components from the leaves of molave. (see constituents above) (14)


Last Update September 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: Vitex parviflora Juss. / /Image created by Forest Starr and Kim Starr / Plants of Hawaii / Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License, / alterVISTA
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / File:Vitex altissima Blanco1.227-original.png / Flora de Filipinas / 1880 - 1883 / Francisco Manuel Blanco (O.S.A) / Public Domain Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
New Acylated Iridoid Glucosides from Vitex altissima / Chenchugari Sridhar, Gottumurkkala V et al / J. Nat. Prod., 2004, 67 (12), pp 2012–2016 / DOI: 10.1021/np040117r
Differential larvicidal efficacy of four species of Vitex against Culex quinquefasciatus larvae / Krishnan Kannathasan, Annadurai Senthilkumar et al / Parasitology Research, Volume 101, Number 6 / November, 2007 / DOI 10.1007/s00436-007-0714-5
Ethnopharmacological and Biotechnological Significance of Vitex / K. Padmalatha, K Jayaram et al / Bioremediation, Biodiversity and Bioavailability 3(1),6-14, 2009
Comparative evaluation of wound healing potency of Vitex trifolia L. and Vitex altissima L. / B K Manjunatha, S M Vidya et al / Phytotherapy Research, Volume 21 Issue 5, Pages 457 - 461 / Published Online: 30 Jan 2007
Flavonoids, triterpenoids and a lignan from Vitex altissima / Chenchugari Sridhar et al /
Phytochemistry, Volume 66, Issue 14, July 2005, Pages 1707-1712 Structure Elucidation, Reports on Structure Elucidation / doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2005.05.008 |
Anti-inflammatory activity of leaf extracts of Vitex altissima / Anusha, Shareen Taj, Sudha Vani et al / Indian J Pharmacol. October 2008, Vol 40, Supplement 2
Antimutagenic Terpenes and Sterol from Vitex parviflora / Consolacion Y. Ragasa, Esther Samantha C. Javier and Irene G. Tan / Philippine Journal of Science, 132 (1): 21-25, June 2003
Anti-ulcer Activities and Gastro Protective Effects of Bauhinia Purprea, Dolichos lablab, and Vitex parviflora
/ Janel Khristine Marie Tarin / News
Lamiaceae Vitex / Plants for Use
Vitex parviflora / AgroForestryTree Database
The Antipasmodic Activity of Molave Tree (Vitex Parviflora) Bark Extract in Albino Mice
/ Georgette Mae P. Dineros, Jone Zelita C. Orlina, Anna Dominique G. Humbe IV- Analysts Andromeda / Research Paper / Ramon Teves Pastor Memorial Dumaguete Science High School, SY 2012-2013
Vitex parviflora / Synonyms / The Plant List
Vitex parviflora / IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Proximate analysis, phytochemical screening and total phenolic and flavonoid content of the ethanolic extract of molave Vitex parviflora Juss. Leaves / Arvin B. Panti , Remil M. Aguda , Ramon A. Razal , Ma. Desiree Belina-Aldemita and Jovale Vincent V. Tongco / Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, 2014, 6(3):1538-1542

A survey of plants used as repellents against hematophagous insects by the Ayta people of Porac, Pampanga province, Philippines / Jasper John A. Obico* and Elena M. Ragragio / Philippine Science Letters, Vol 7, No 1 (2014)

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.

HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT