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Family Tiliaceae
Grewia asiatica Linn.


Scientific names  Common names
Grewia asiatica Linn. Bariu' an (Ilk.)
Grewia hainesiana Hole Bariuan-gulod (Ilk.)
Grewia obtecta Wall.                                [Invalid] Asiatic grewia (Engl.)
Grewia subinaequalis DC. Phalsa tree (Engl.)
  Phalsa berries (Engl.)
Grewia asiatica L. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
BENGALI: Phalsa, Shunkri.
FRENCH: Raisin de l'Inde, Raisin des Philippines, Raisin falsa.
HINDI: Phalsa, Phalsa chhaal.
KANNADA: Dagala, Dadasala, Phulsha.
KHMER: Pophlië.
MALAYALAM: Chadicha.
MARATHI: Palshi, Phalsa.
ORIYA: Pharosakoli.
PUNJABI: Faalsaa.
SANSKRIT: Alpasthi, Mriduphal , Parapara, Paroushak, Parushaka.
TAMIL: Palicamaram , Unnu.
TELUGU: Phutiki.
THAI: Dton mai laai, Lai khon, Ma laai, Po tao hai, Yap khee thao.
URDU: Phalsa.
VIETNAMESE: Cò ke á, Giam phủ, Cò ke pierre.

Phalsa is a small tree, with young stems and inflorescences densely covered with hairs. Leaves are obliquely ovate, sometimes obscurely 3-lobed, 7.5 centimeters to 20 centimeters long, 5 to 16 centimeters wide, with pointed tip and obliquely heart-shaped base. Leaves are sometimes obscurely 3-lobed. Flowers are yellow, about 2 centimeters in length, borne in densely crowded, rarely solitary, axillary cymes. Fruit is edible, small and round, purple to almost black when ripe, sweetish and somewhat acid; each drupe containing a large seed.

- Found in the Cagayan, Bataan and Ilocos Sur provinces of Luzon.
- In dry slopes at low altitudes.

- Also reported from India to Thailand and Indo-China.

- Fruits are a rich source of nutrients: proteins, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, and bioactive compounds, like anthocyanins, tannins, phenolics, and flavonoids. (21)
- Edible portion of the fruit is 81.13% water, 1.24 % ash, 1.77 % fat, 10.27% sugar, and about 724 calories per kilo.
- Phytochemical study shows the fruit to contain anthocyanin-type cyanidin 3-glucoside, vitamins A and C, minerals, carotenes and dietary fiber.
- Nutritional analysis of fruit yielded per 100 g: protein, 1.57 g; total lipid (fat), <0.1 g; carbohydrate 21.1 g; ash 1.1 g; fiber 5.53 g; calcium 136 mg; iron 1.08 mg; phosphorus 24.2 mg; potassium 372 mg; sodium 17.3 mg; vitamin B1 0.02 mg; vitamin B2 0.264 mg; vitamin B3 0.825 mg; vitamin C 4.825 mg; vitamin A 16.11 mg. (21)
- Mineral analysis of fruit yielded cobalt 0.99 mg/100 g (FW/fresh fruit), 33 µg/100 g (DW/dry weight); chromium 1.08 FW, 36 DW; copper 0.48 FW, 16 DW; nickel 2.61 FW, 87 DW; zinc 144 FW, 48 DW; iron 140.8 FW, 1695 DW. (21)
- Flowers yield a lactone, 3, 21, 24 trimethyl-5,7-dihydroxyhentriacontanoic acid δ-lactone.
- Study on secondary metabolites yielded pelargonidin 3,5-diglucoside (1), Naringenin-7-O-β-D-glucoside (2), Quercetin (3), Quercetin 3-O-β-D-glucoside (4), Catechins (5), Cyanidin-3-glucoside (6), Grewinol (7), Naringenin (8), 3,21,24-trimethyl- 5,7-dihydroxy-hentriacontanoic acid δ lactone (9), Betulin (10), Lupeol (11), lupenone (12), Friedelin (13), α-Amyrin (14), β-amyrin (15), β-sitosterol (16), Lanost-9(11)-en-12-one (17), Docosanol (18), Nonacosanol (19), Stigmast-7-en-3-ol (20), Citric acid trimethyl ester (21), α-methyl-l-sorboside (22), stigmasterol (23) Campesterol (24), 9,12-octadecadienoic acid methyl ester (25).
- Study of tall and dwarf types of Grewia asiatica showed (content %, tall and dwarf, respectively) edible portion 91.30, 90.79; seed 8.70, 9.21; juice yield 67.50, 65.90; pomace 32.50, 34.10; moisture 76.80, 74.83; total sugars 5.73, 7.95; reducing sugars 1.24, 0.99; non-reducing sugars 4.49, 6.96; titrable acidity 1.48, 1.12; fruit protein 3.13, 1.89; seed protein 8.75, 7.00; pulp protein 1.40, 7.00. (24)
- Nutritive analysis of fruit (values/100g) yielded protein 1.57/g, total lipid (fat) <0.1 g, carbohydrate 21.1 g, ash 1.1 g, fiber 5.53 g, calcium 136 mg, iron 1.08mg, phosphorus 24.2mg, potassium 372mg, sodium 17.3 mg, vitamin B1 0.02 mg, vitamin B3 0.825 mg, vitamin C 4.385 mg, vitamin B2 0.264 mg, vitamin A 16.11 g. (Yadav 1999) (24)
- Mineral content of fruit (mg/100 g fresh fruit-FF and µg/100g dry weight-DW respectively) yielded cobalt 0.99, 33; chromium 1.08, 36; copper 0.48, 16; nickel 2.61, 87; zinc 144, 48; iron 140.8, 1695. (24)
- Study yielded a total of seven anthocyanins, including non-acylated (delphinidin-3-O-glucoside, peonidin-3-O-glucoside, pelargonidin-3-O-malonyl glucoside), acylated (cyanidin-peonidin-and pelargonidin-3-O-6”-acetylglucoside) and pyranoanthocyanin (Malvidin-3-O-glucoside pyruvic acid).  The major ACN was cyanidin-3-O-(6"acetylglucoside) comprising 44-63% (695 µg/b) of total ACNs composition, followed by peonidin-3-O-glucoside consisting of 3-30% (163.6 µg/g) and pelargonidin-3-O-(6”-acetyl glucoside) 8-14% (140.4 µg/g). (see study below) (30)

- In folklore, fruit considered astringent, cooling, stomachic.
- Bark is demulcent, anti-rheumatic.
- Juice considered to have a low glycemic index.
- Studies have suggested antimicrobial, anti-platelet, antiemetic, anti-cancer properties for leaves; anticancer, antioxidant, radioprotective and antihyperglycemic properties for fruit; and analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties for the stem bark.

Parts used
Leaves, roots, bark.

• Fruit is edible; sherbet is made from it.
• Fruit used for making juice and squash.
• Spirit is distilled from the fruit.
• In Sind, Infusion of the bark used as demulcent.
Santals used the root-bark used for rheumatism.
• Leaves used as application for pustular eruptions.
• Used in treatment of diabetes and heart conditions.
• Ethnoveterinary: In Pakistan, decoction of stem bark given for prompt release of afterbirth in cattle. Pounded roots applied externally to hasten suppuration and as dressing for wounds and broken bones. (31)

Radioprotective / Free Radical Scavenging / Fruit:
Study evaluated the radioprotective effect of G. asiatica fruit extract in a model of irradiated Swiss albino mice. Treatment of mice before and after irradiation caused a significant depletion in TBARS followed by significant elevation in GSH and protein concentration in the intestine and testis of mice. The GAE showed strong radical scavenging activity in DPPH and O2- assays and invitro radioprotective activity in protein carbonyl assay in a dose dependent manner. (1)
Radioprotective: Study showed Grewia asiatica extract provides protection against radiation-induced alterations in blood of mice.
Anti-diabetic: Study of aqueous extract of G asiatica in diabetic cats and rabbits showed lowering of blood sugar levels to normal. (4)
Antiemetic: Study of fruits of G asiatica extracts showed an antiemetic effect in dogs and controlled emesis centrally induced by Apomorphine. The activity was comparable to commercial anti-emetic drugs - metoclopramide and chlorpromazine. (5)
Neuroprotective / Radioprotective: (1) Study showed that prior/post-supplementation of Grewia asiatica has radioprotective potential as well as neuroprotective properties against radiation. (2) Study showed GA fruit extract was able to protect the brain of Swiss albino mice against radiation induced biochemical alterations. (6)
Antifungal / Antiviral: Study of methanolic extract of leaves for antiviral and antifungal activity showed maximum activity against Candida albicans. Maximum antiviral activity was seen against Urdbean leaf crinkle virus. (7)
Brain / Radioprotective: Study in Swiss albino mice showed that Grewia asiatica fruit extract. (9)
Antibacterial / Radioprotective: Crude methanolic extracts of G asiatica, E jambolana and C carandas yield four major fractions viz. phenoic acids flavanols, flavonols and anthocyanins. Except for anthocyanins, all fractions showed significant antibacterial activity. GA substantially inhibited all tested fungal species. (10)
Hepatoprotective / Radioprotective / Fruit: Study evaluated the radioprotective effect of G. asiatic fruit extract against oxidative stress in Swiss albino mice. Biochemical and histopathological results showed the extract has potential against radiation. (8)
Effect on Glycemic Index / Fruit: Study evaluated the glycemic index of fruits of Grewia asiatica. Gi value was low (5.34) with modest hypoglycemic activity. The methanolic, aqueous, and butanolic extracts of fruits produced a stimulatory effect on reactive oxygen species (ROS) while the chloroform, hexane, and ethanol-acetate exerted a significant inhibitory effect. Results suggest a beneficial effect on blood glucose metabolism and modulation of ROS production. (13)
Antioxidant / Leaves: Study of successive extracts of leaves showed antioxidant activities comparable with standards such as ascorbic acid and quercetin. (14)
Antihyperglycemic / Fruit, Stem Bark and Leaves: Study of crude ethanolic extracts of fruit, stem bark and leaves and their fractions were tested for anti-hyperglycemic effects in alloxan-induced hyperglycemic rabbits. Results showed significant antihyperglycemic activity. (15)
Antidiabetic / Leaves: Study evaluated the antidiabetic activity of dried leaves of Grewia asiatica and Ipomoea carnea. Results showed significant reduction of blood glucose in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Glibenclamide was used as the reference drug. (16)
• Anti-Platelet Activity / Leaves: Study evaluated crude methanolic extracts of leaves of Grewia asiatica and Terminalia chebula for anti-platelet activity. Results showed potent dose-dependent inhibition of platelet aggregation. Results suggest a potential herbal treatment for patients with diseases associated with blood clotting. (17)
• Anti-Inflammatory Activity / Bark: Study evaluated aqueous and ethanolic extracts of bark of G. asiatica for anti-inflammatory activity in a brewer yeast-induced paw edema model. Results showed significant decrease in inflammation. (18)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic / Root Bark: Study of methanolic and aqueous extracts of bark showed analgesic effect using an acetic acid-induced writhing and hot plate analgesic in mice and anti-inflammatory effect using carrageenan-induced paw edema in rats. (19)
• Cerebrum Radioprotective / Fruit: Study evaluated the radioprotective effect of Grewia asiatica fruit pulp extract on Swiss albino mice against radiation induced biochemical alterations in mice cerebrum. Results showed a radioprotective effect with significant amelioration of radiation-induced augmentation in the levels of LPO. Also, radiation induced depletion in levels of GSH protein was significantly checked. (20)
• Immunomodulatory / Fruit: Study of Grewia asiatica extract showed immunomodulatory activity on cyclophosphamide induced myelosuppression, forced swimming test and carbon clearance test in Swiss albino mice. (22)
• Radioprotective / Testes / Fruit: Study showed G. asiatica extract possess potential to ameliorate the damaging effect of radiation to the testes. (23)
• Antihyperglycemic / Anti-Inflammatory / Antioxidant / Fruit: Study evaluated the effect of ethanolic fruit extract against STZ-induced hyperglycemia in rats. The fruit extract reduced blood glucose and pancreatic malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, increased liver glycogen, pancreatic GSH and SOD enzyme activity, and decreased serum IL-1ß and TNF-α. The improvement in pancreatic ß-cells and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of the fruit extract may explain the antihyperglycemic effect. (26)
• Lack of Brine Shrimp Lethality and Hemagglutination Activity: Study of crude ethanolic extracts and fractions of fruit, stem bark and leaves of G. asiatica showed insignificant brine shrimp lethality and no hemagglutination activity. (27)
• Antibacterial / Flowers: Study of various extracts of flowers showed the methanol extract to exhibit significant zone of inhibition against Pseudomonas aeruginosa (3.3 ± 0,04 cm), Vibrio cholera (3.0 ± 0.08 cm) and Salmonella abony (3.0 ± 0.05 cm) at concentration of 20 mg/ml and best MIC against Escherichia coli (0.5 ± 0.03 mg/ml). (28)
• Radioprotective in Hematologic and Biologic Alterations / Fruit: Study evaluated the radioprotective effect of Grewia asiatica fruit pulp extract on Swiss albino mice against radiation induced hematological and biochemical alterations. Results showed significant increase in radiation induced deficit blood constituents and decrease in radiation induced elevation of lipid peroxidation and cholesterol levels. (29)
• Anthocyanins / Fruit: Study of various solvent extracts yielded a total of seven ACNs. Results showed G. asiatica is a fruit rich in anthocyanins with potential use as food colorant and in nutraceuticals. (see constituents above) (30)
• Antiarthritic / Antimicrobial / Fruit: Study evaluated the invitro antiarthritic and antimicrobial activity of fruit extracts of Grewia subinaequalis. Using protein denaturation method, the fruit extract exhibited remarkable antiarthritic activity comparable to acetylsalicylic acid. The extract showed antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli and Lactobacillus acidophilus by agar well diffusion method. (32)
• Nutritional / Toxicological Study / Fruit: Nutritional analysis of dried powder showed nutritional contents of carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber, minerals and energy that was four times that of phalsa fruit. On oral acute toxicity testing on healthy laboratory animals, a dose of 0.45 g/kbw and 0.90 g/kbw, compared to standard Tang orange, showed no signs of toxicity, mortality, or histopathological changes within 72 hours. (33)

- Wild-crafted.
- Seeds in the cybermarket.

© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D. / StuartXchange

Updated August 2018 / December 2016

IMAGE SOURCES: Photo / File:Phalsa03 Asit.jpg / Asit K. Ghosh / Thaumaturgist / 26 May 2007 / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. / Click on image to go to source page / Wikipedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photo / File:Phalsa13 Asit.jpg / Asit K. Ghosh / Thaumaturgist / 4 November 2006 / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. / Click on image to go to source page / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Evaluation of the free radical scavenging activity and radioprotective efficacy of Grewia asiatica fruit / Krishna V Sharma et al / J. Radiol. Prot., 18 Aug 2009; 29(3): pp 429-443 / doi: 10.1088/0952-4746/29/3/007
A new δ-lactone from the flowers of Grewia asiatica / Vijai Lakshmi et al / Phytochemistry
Volume 15, Issue 9, 1976, Pages 1397-1399 / doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(00)97125-5
Protective Role of Grewia asiatica on Blood after Radiation Exposure in Mice / Smita Singh et al / Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine / Vol 5 • Issue 1
/ K A Wadkar et al / Journal of Herbal Medicine and Toxicology 2 (1) 45-50 (2008)
Evaluation of Antiemetic Activities of Alcoholic Extract ofGrewia asiatica in Experimental Model Dog / Zahra Yaqeen et al / Pak. J. Sci. Ind. Res. 2008 51(4) 212-215
Biochemical, behavioural and quantitative alterations in cerebellum of Swiss albino mice following irradiation and its modulation by Grewia asiatica / Rashmi Sisodia and Smita Singh / International Journal of Radiation Biology / 2009, Vol. 85, No. 9, Pages 787-795 / DOI 10.1080/09553000903009555
Studies of the antifungal and antiviral activity of methanolic extract of leaves of Grewia asiatica. / Kumari Sangitq, Mazumder Avjit et al /
Hepatoprotective efficacy of Grewia asiatica fruit against oxidative stress in swiss albino mice / K V Sharma and R Sisodia / Iran. J. Radiat. Res., 2010; 8 (2): 75-85 / Phcog J, October, 2009, Vol1, No. 3
Post treatment effect of Grewia asiatica against radiation induced biochemical changes in brain of Swiss albino mice / M.Ahaskar,K.V.Sharma,S.Singh,R.Sisodia / Iran. J. Radiat. Res., 2007; 5 (3): 105-112
Antimicrobial activity of the polyphenolic fractions derived from Grewia asiatica, Eugenia jambolana and Carissa carandas / Rahmanullah Siddiqi, Shahina Naz et al / nternational Journal of Food Science & Technology, Volume 46, Issue 2, pages 250–256, Feb 2011 /
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2621.2010.02480.x
Sorting Grewia names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.
Hepatoprotective efficacy of Grewia asiatica fruit against oxidative stress in swiss albino mice / K.V. Sharma* and R. Sisodia / Iran. J. Radiat. Res., 2010; 8 (2): 75-85
Effect of Grewia asiatica fruit on Glycemic index and phagocytosis tested in healthy human subjects / Muhammad Ahmed Mesaik, Asif Ahmed, Ahmed Shukralla Khalid, Saleem Jan, Afaq Ahmed Siddiqui, Shahida Perveen and Muhammad Kamran Azim* / Pak. J. Pharm. Sci., Vol.26, No.1, January 2013, pp.85-89
Antioxidant Activity of the Successive Extracts of Grewia asiatica Leaves
/ MAHESH KUMAR GUPTA*, REKHA LAGARKHA, DHIRENDRA K. SHARMA, P.K. SHARMA, RAMESH SINGH and H.S. ANSARI / Asian Journal of Chemistry Vol. 19, No. 5 (2007), 3417-3420
N / ABIDAH PARVEEN, MOHAMMAD IRFAN, FIDA MOHAMMAD / Int J Pharm Pharm Sci, Vol 4, Issue 1, 210-213
Anti-platelet activity of methanolic extract of Grewia asiatica L. leaves and Terminalla chebula Retz. fruits /
M. Zia-Ul-Haq*, Shakir Ahmad Shahid, Sagheer Ahmed, Shakeel Ahmad, Mughal Qayum and Inamullah Khan / Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol. 6(10), pp. 2029-2032, 16 March, 2012 / DOI: 10.5897/JMPR11.1764
Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Bark Extracts of Grewia asiatica
Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity of root bark of Grewia asiatica Linn. in rodents
/ Udaybhan Singh Paviaya, Parveen Kumar, [...], and B. R. Balakrishnan / Ancient Science of Life. 2013;32(3):150-155. doi:10.4103/0257-7941.122998.
Post treatment effect of Grewia asiatica against radiation induced biochemical changes in brain of Swiss albino mice / Ahaskar M., Sharma K.V., Singh S. , Dr. R. Sisodia * / International Journal of Radiation Research. 2007; 5 (3) :105-112
Grewia asiatica L., a Food Plant with Multiple Uses / Muhammad Zia-Ul-Haq, Milan S. Stanković, Komal Rizwan and Vincenzo De Feo* / Molecules 2013, 18, 2663-2682 / doi:10.3390/molecules18032663
Evaluation of immunomodulatory activity of Grewia asiatica in laboratory animals / Shraddha Singh* and Ashutosh Kumar Yadav / Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, 2014, 6(7):2820-2826
Radioprotective Potential of Grewia Asiatica Fruit Extract in Mice Testis / K. V. Sharma*, R. Sisodia / Pharmacologyonline 1: 487-495 (2010)
Nutritional and medicinal potential of Grewia subinaequalis DC. (syn. G. asiatica.) (Phalsa) / Jyoti Sinha*, Shalini Purwar, Satya Kumar Chuhan and Gyanendra Rai / Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 17 May 2015; Vol. 9(19): pp. 594-612 / DOI: 10.5897/JMPR2015.5724
Antioxidant, Antimicrobial Activity and Medicinal Properties of Grewia asiatica L.
/ Shukla R, Sharma DC, Baig MH, Bano S, Roy S, Provazník, Kamal MA / Med Chem. 2016;12(3):211-6.
Antihyperglycemic Potential of Grewia asiatica Fruit Extract against Streptozotocin-Induced Hyperglycemia in Rats: Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Mechanisms / Hala A H Khattab, Nagla A El-Shitany, Inas Z A Abdallah, Fatimah M Yousef, and Huda M Alkreathy / Oxid Med Cell Longev., 2015 / doi:  10.1155/2015/549743
Lack of brine shrimp lethality and hemagglutination activity in Grewia asiatica Linn / Abidah Parvenn, Moohammad Irfan, Muhammad Saleemm Jilani, Kashif Wasim, Mehwish Kiran, Fida Muhammad / Journal of Pharmaceutical Negative Results, 2013; Vol 4, Issue 1: pp 1-4
Comparative Evaluation of Various Flower Extracts of Grewia asiatica for Phyto-Compounds and Anti-Bacterial Efficacy / Ritu Shukla, Dinesh C. Sharma, Neelam Pathak and Preeti Bajpai / International Journal of Advanced Biotechnology and Research (IJBR), 2016; Vol 7, Issue 4: pp 1291-1299
Radioprotective Role of Grewia asiatica in Mice Blood / Smita Singh, K.V. Sharma, and Rashmi Sisodia / Pharmacologyonline, 2007; 2: pp 32-43
Analysis and Characterization of Anthocyanin from Phalsa (Grewia asiatica) / Marvi Kanwal Talpur, Farah Naz Talpur, Aamna Balouch, Shafi M Nizamani, Muhammad Ali Surhio, Muhammad Raza Shah, Muhammad Iqbal Bhanger and Hassan Imran Afridi / Food Processing & Technology, 2017; Vol 5, Issue 3 / DOI: 10.15406/mojfpt.2017.05.00127
Ethno Veterinary Medicinal Uses of Plants from Samahni Valley Dist. Bhimber, (Azad Kashmir) Pakistan / Muhammad Ishtiaq Ch, M A Khan and Wajahat Hanif / Asian Journal of PlantSciences, 2006; 5(2): pp 390-396
Anti-Arthritic and Anti-Microbial Effects of the Fruits of Grewia Subinaequalis D.C. / P L Rajagopal, Soumya K Vijayan, K R Sreejith, S Aneeshia, K Premaletha / Int J Pharma Res Health Sci., 2016; 4(5): pp 1389-1393 / DOI:10.21276/ijprhs.2016.05.09
Nutritional and toxicological evaluation of grewia asiatica (phalsa) powder used as a summer drink / Rehman A, Imran H, Saleem N, Rauf M, Yaqeen Z / Journal of the Chemical Society of Pakistan, 35(2); pp 321-324

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