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Family Verbenaceae
Vitex parviflora Juss.

Scientific names Common names
Vitex altissima Blanco Adgauon (S. L. Bis.)
Vitex coffasus var. timorensis Hallier f. Alah (Bag.)
Vitex geniculata Blanco Amaraum (Bik., Bis.)
Vitex glaberrima Zipp. ex Span. Amuauan (Gad.)
Vitex glandulosa H.J.Lam. Amugauan (Ibn.)
Vitex latifolia Blanco Amulauon (Mbo.)
Vitex leucoxylon Span. ex Miq. Anla (Bag.)
Vitex littoralis Decne. Bulauen (Pang.)
Vitex parviflora A.Juss. Burikan (Bag.)
Vitex timoriensis Walp. 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.)
  Mulawin (Tag.)
  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.)
  Small flowered vitex (Engl.)
  Tree vitex (Engl.)
Molave is a common name shared by Vitex parviflora and Vitex pinnata.
Vitex parviflora A.Juss. is an accepted name. KEW: Plants of the World Online

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

Gen info
- Vitex parviflora is a species of plant in the family Verbenaceae.
- The name "molave" is Spanish
, derived from 'mulawin', the Tagalog word for the tree.
- In the confusing landscape of commom names, "molave" is shared by Vitex parviflora (Mulawin, small-flower chaste tree) and Viitex pinnata (hairy-leafed molave). Both species are native to the Philippines.

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 Caroline Is., Lesser Sunda Is., Maluku, Sulawesi.

- Grows primarily in the wet tropical biome. (12)
- 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)
- Study of chloroform extract of dried leaves yielded a flavone, retusin. (see study below)  (17)

- 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.
- Studies have suggested antioxidant, larvicidal, antibacterial, wound healing, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, antispasmodic, wound healing properties.

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.
- Ayt
as of Dinalupihan, Bataan, use the peels, stems, and leaves for preparing baths during and after pregnancy. (18)
- 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 with a density of 940 kg/m3 at 15% moisture, 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.
- Shade/Shelter/Reclammation:
Molave has been suggested for shelterbelts in the Philippines.
Planted in reforestation projects. (10)
- 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 / Leaf and Stem: Study of leaf extract showed moderate activity against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. (3) Study investigated the antibacterial activities of crude methanolic extracts of Vitex parviflora leaves and stem and Cyanthillium cinereum against human pathogens. Leaf and stem extracts of V. parviflora exhibited high antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus. Increasing concentration of VP leaves showed increase anti-Staphylococcal activity as evidenced by increased diameters of zone of inhibition. (16)
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)
• Flavone / Retusin / Antimicrobial / Dried Leaves: Study of chloroform extract of dried leaves yielded retusin. Antimicrobial testing of retusin indicated moderate activity against fungi, A. niger and low activity against bacteria, P. aeruginosa. It was inactive against fungi C. albicans and T. mentagrophytes and bacteria E. coli, S. aureus, and B. subtilis.
• Antiproliferative / Human Prostate Cancer / Leaves: Prostate cancer is considered one of the most common non-skin cancer in the United States. In the Philippines, it is one of the top five cancers among men, occurring in 19.3 out of 100,000 male population. Study evaluated the effect of crude flavonoid extract from Molave against PC-3 cell line. MTT assay data showed the extract was able to elicit cytotoxic effect against PC-3 cells. Statistical analysis showed significant difference between untreated  cells and extract concentratons of 250 and 500 mcg/mL for 24 hr incubation, indicating effectiveness in lovering the number of cancer cells. Results suggest the flavonoid extract from V. parviflora leaves had cytotoxic activity against PC-3 cell line. (19)
• Antibacterial / Streptococcus mutans / Leaves: Study evaluated and compared the antibacterial efficacy of 50 mg/ml and 100 mg/ml concentration of fresh molave leaves methanolic extract with 0.12% chlorhexidine, distilled water and 95% methanol on growth inhibition of S. mutans. The 100 mg/mg and 50 mg/ml concentration of leaves extract and chlorhexidine produced inhibition zones of 12.78, 11.63, and 21.44 mm, respectively. Vitex parviflora leaves extract showed growth inhibitory effects on S. mutans, but weaker compared to chlorhexidine. (20)


Updated December 2022 / June 2019 / September 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: Photo / Vitex parviflora / Inflorescence / Copyright © 2015 by P.B. Pelser & J.F. Barcelona (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz)) [ref. DOL96714] / Non-Commercial Use  / click on image to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Vitex parviflora Juss. / 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
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photo / Vitex parviflora / Flowers / Copyright © 2014 by John Rey Callado (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz)) [ref. DOL85851] / Non-Commercial Use  / click on image to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu

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, 2009; 3(1): pp 6-14
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 Sterols from Vitex parviflora / Consolacion Y. Ragasa, Esther Samantha C. Javier and Irene G. Tan / Philippine Journal of Science, June 2003; 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 / KEW: Plants of the World Online
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): pp 1538-1542 / ISSN: 0975-7384
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, 2014; Vol 7, No 1
Antibacterial activity of Vitex parviflora A. Juss. and Cyanthillium cinereum (L.) H. Rob. against human pathogens / Ouriad Alzeus G Tantengco, Marion Lian C Condes, Hanna Hasmin T Estabilla, Elena M Ragragio / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease, Dec 2016; 6(12): pp 1004-1006 / https://doi.org/10.1016/S2222-1808(16)61173-8
A flavone from Vitex parviflora / Consolacion Ragasa, Elaine Morales, and John A Rideout / The Manila Journal of Science, July 2000, 3(2)
Ethnobotanical Survey of Medicinal Plants used by Ayta Communities in Dinalupihan, Bataan, Philippines / Ourlad Alzeus G. Tantengco, Marlon Lian C. Condes, Hanna Hasmini T. Estadilla, Elena M. Ragragio / Pharmacogn J., 2018; 10(5): pp 859-870 / DOI: 10.5530/pj.2018.5.145
RPPoo6-Anntiproliferative activity of crude flavonoid extract from Molave (Vitex parviflora) leaves against human prostate cancer (OC-3) cells in vitro / Paul Emmanuel L Yambao, Joed Ticse, Ricky Gutierrez, Roberto Yuseco and Ricardo Santos / Journal of Asian Medical Student Association, 2(S2)
Antibacterial efficacy of methanolic extract of molave (Vitex parviflora A.Juss.) leaves against Streptococcus mutans / Mary Rose A Hemedes, Aerol Sedrick A Mangaliag, Rainier S Ruedas, Jessiica K Rebueno Santos / PJHRD, 2022; 26(2)

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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