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). (21)
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.
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)
/ 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. (3)
• 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)
- Seeds in the cybermarket.