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Family Polygonaceae
Sea grape
Coccoloba uvifera Linn.


Scientific names Common names
Coccoloba uvifera Linn. Common sea grape (Engl.)
Coccolobis uvifera (L.) Crantz Platterleaf (Engl.)
Polygonum uvifera L. Sea grape (Engl.)
  Seaside grape (Engl.)
  Shore-grape (Engl.)
Coccoloba uvifera (L.) L. is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
DUTCH: Stranddruif.
FRENCH: Cipo Branco De Pernambuco, Kino, Raisin Marine, Raisinier, Raisinier Bord De Mer.
GERMAN: Gemeine seestraube, Meertraubenbaum.
HAITIAN: Rezen bodme.
HUNGARIAN: Tengeriszolo.
POLISH: Kokkoloba gronowa.
PORTUGUESE: Cocoloba, Uva-da-praia, Uva-do-mar
SPANISH: Uva caleta, Uva de playa, Uvero, Uvero de playa.
SURINAM: Droifi, Druif, Sistridroifi, Zeedruif.

Sea grape is a sprawling bush or small tree, growing to a maximum height of 8 meters. Bark is smooth and yellowish. Leaves are alternate, short-petioled, large, leathery, glossy, dark green, broadly bean-shaped, with wavy margins, up to 15 centimeters long, with a reddish-colored primary vein extending from the base. Flowers are in terminal racemes, small, white and slightly fragrant, with five petals and eight stamens. Fruits are pear-shaped, reddish purple and green-dotted, 1.5 centimeters long, with a single hard seed, clustered in pendulous branches.

- Salt tolerant, planted near beaches edges.
- Ornamental distribution in parks and gardens.
- Introduced to the Philippines in the 1940s.
- In Hawaii, planted as a seashore windbreaker.
- Native to the Florida, Bahamas, West Indies, South America and Mexico.

- Methanolic extract of seeds yielded flavonoids, saponins, polyphenols, and tannins.
- Bark of stem, branches, and roots are rich in tannins.
- Nutrient composition of fruit (g/100g) showed a fat content of 1.82 ± 0.27 g, crude fiber 3.34 g ± 0.46 g/100g, carbohydrates 86.59 ± 0.59 g/100g. (see study below) (8)
- Shade-dried leaves of C. uvifera yielded emodin, chrysophanol, physcion, rhein, royleanone, α-amyrin and ß-sitosterol. (15)
- LCMS/MS analysis of methanolic extract of fruits yielded cyanidine, delphinidine, malvidin, and petunidin. (see study below) (16)

- Astringent, antidiarrheal, antidysentery.
- Studies suggest antibacterial, antifungal, photoprotective and glucose lowering properties.

- Phytochemical screening of hydroalcoholic extract of roots yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, and saponins. Leaves showed total phenols of 247.78±9.6 mg GA/g, tannins 231.80±13 mg GA/g, and flavonoids 58±4.1 mg R/g. (see study below) (14)

Parts utilized
Leaves, bark, roots, fruit.

- Fruit is edible, eaten off the tree or made into jams, jellies and wine.
- Flowers yield abundant nectar, the honey of good quality, light amber in color, and spicy.
- Leaves used for brewing tea.

- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- In other countries, juice and decoction of wood, bark and roots are used to treat dysentery, hemorrhages, venereal disease.
- Applied externally for rashes and skin afflictions.
- Leaf decoction drunk to lower blood sugar.
- Decoction of leaves used to treat asthma, hoarseness and to wash wounds.
- Astringent roots and bark used in traditional medicine of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.
- In the Dominican Republic, decoction of leaves used for menopausal symptoms, diarrhea, tumors, anemia, skin irritations, asthma. (7)
- In the Yucatan, alcohol added to tea made from bark of sea grape is taken for ulcers. (9)
- In French Guiana, astringent juice from whole plant, known as "Jamaica kino", used to treat diarrhea and dysentery. Decoction of stem used for intestinal disorders. Stems of Anacardium occidentale mixed with barks of Coccoloba uvifera, Mangifera indica, and Cocos nucifera for curing dysentery. (10)
- Dye: Cut bark yields an astringent red sap, once used for tanning and dyeing.
- Fuel: Wood is used for charcoal and firewood.

- Furniture: Used in turning, inlay work, and cabinetry.

Phytochemical: Studies show the chemical composition of Coccoloba uvifera as: α-Amyrin (antitumor, cytotoxic), chrysophanol (antiseptic, bactericidal, cathartic, hemostat, purgative), emodin (anti-aggregant, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antiulcer, immunosuppressive, viricide), physcion (antiseptic, cathartic, purgative), rhein (anticarcinomic, antitumor, fungicide), royleanone, beta-sitosterol (hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, hypocholesterolemic, hepatoprotective).
Glucose Lowering: Case studies have shown glucose lowering effect with daily ingestion of tea brewed from Coccoloba uvifera leaves. There is concern for lowering the blood sugar too much, especially with concurrent use of pharmaceutical hypoglycemics.
Preparation of Leaf Extract: Preparation of leaf extract is done by immersing coccoloba uvifera leaves in water, heating the water to boiling for about 4 hours. This brewing time must be just enough to dissolve the compound from the leaves. The active compounds are resistant to the low gastric pH and high temperatures.
• The preferred embodiment is a ratio of 4 green leaves to every 3.8 liters of water.
• Alternatively, leaf extract can be done by drying the c. uvifera leaves and dehydrating the pulp into a tea. In a preferred embodiment, 15 cc of the tea is dissolved in 3.8 liters of water before ingestion.
• Other forms of delivery may be through tablets, capsules, powders, seasoning.
• A distinct advantage of the leaf extract is its oral route and its resistance to the digestive processes of the stomach. (Patent Storm/Site no longer in operation) (2)
Photoprotective / UV-Stimulated Melanocytes / Antioxidant: Study evaluated the potential photoprotective effects of Coccoloba uvifera extract in UV-stimulated melanocytes. Results showed antioxidant and anti-tyrosinase activities, and also inhibited the production of interleukin-1a and TNF-α and α--MSH in melanocytes subjected to UV radiation.
Antibacterial / Antifungal / Phytochemicals: Study yielded flavonoids, saponins, polyphenols and tannins. Ethanolic and methanol extracts inhibited the growth of E coli and P aeruginosa and showed antifungal activity against C albicans, Fusarium oxysporum and F. decencellulare.
Seed Constituents with Biologic Activity / Antimicrobial: A partition with EtOAc of the methanolic extract yielded a brown precipitate that inhibited growth of E. coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and showed antifungal activity against C. albicans, Fusarium oxysporum and F. decencellulare. Further fractionated, the solid yielded a tannic compound (gallic acid), an organic acid (hexenedioic acid) and a benzopyran (1,3,4,6,7,8–hexahydro-4,6,6,8,8,8-hexamethylcyclopenta-2-benzopyran) from the bioactive fractions. (4)
Antioxidant / Fruit: Study evaluated the fruit of Coccoloba uvifera for in vitro antioxidant capacity using various assays (DPPH and TEAC). Results showed free radical scavenging and antioxidant properties which may be due to the presence of phytochemicals in the fruit such as anthocyanins, ascorbic acid, phenolic compounds, and flavonoids. Total flavonoid fruit content was comparable to apple (7.0 mg/100g), black currant (6.8 mg/100 g) and elderberry (10.5 mg GAE/100g). (8)
• Antioxidant / Leaves: In a study of 110 crude ethanol and water extracts from 52 plant species, Coccoloba uvifera leaves was one of five that showed effective DPPH radical scavenging activity with EC50 of 3.08 ± 1.01 µg/mL. (13)
• Antidiabetic / Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated hydroalcoholic extracts of Coccoloba uvifera leaves and Waltheria indica roots for antioxidant properties and hypoglycemic activity. Results showed both plant extracts induced significant reduction of hyperglycemia. The extracts also exhibited inhibition of erythrocyte hemolysis induced by AAPH in a dose dependent manner and antioxidant activity comparable to that of reference drug BTH (Butylated Hydroxy Toluene). (14)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Antioxidant / Berries: Crude sea grape berry extracts exhibited significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity in vitro at a concentration of 250 µg/ml. Crude methanolic extract showed COX-2 selectivity similar to standard Vioxx. Lipid peroxidation inhibition of the hexane, ethyl acetate and methanolic extracts were 80%, 45%, and 77%, respectively. The antioxidant activities of the three extracts were comparable to commercially available antioxidant, butylated hydroxytoluene, butylated hydroxyanisole, and tert-butylhydroquinone. (see constituents above) (16)

- Wildcrafted.

- Seeds in the cybermarket.

Updated July 2020 / October 2017 / October 2015

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
Photos ©Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Fruits / File:Uva de playa (Coccoloba uvifera).jpg / Wilfredo Rodriguez / 2008 / Public Domain / Wikipedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Seeds / Coccoloba uvifera (L.) L. - seagrape COUV /Steve Hurst @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Method of controlling blood sugar levels using Coccoloba uvifer / Patent Storm
Effects of Coccoloba uvifera L. on UV-stimulated melanocytes / Jessica Eleonora Pedroso Sanches Silveira et al / Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine. Volume 24 Issue 6: pp 308 - 313 / 10.1111/j.1600-0781.2008.00382.x About DOI
Three constituents with biological activity from Coccoloba uvifera seeds / Shailili Moreno Morales*, Oscar Crescente Vallejo, William Henríquez Guzmán, Gustavo Liendo Polanco and Hernando Herrera Mata / Ciencia vol.16 no.1 Maracaibo Mar. 2008
Coccoloba uvifera (Sea Grape)
/ Common names / Zipcodezoo
Coccoloba uvifera / Sea grape, Uva de playa / John A. Parrotta . SO-ITF-SM-74, Sept 1994 / USDA Forest Service
Uve de playa / Coccoloba uvifera / Dominican Medicinal Plant Inventory
Coccoloba uvifera (L.) (Polygonaceae) Fruit: Phytochemical Screening and Potential Antioxidant Activity /
Maira Rubi Segura Campos, Jorge Ruiz Ruiz, Luis Chel-Guerrero, and David Betancur Ancona / Hindaw Journal of Chemistry, Vol 2015, Article ID 534954 / https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/534954
Maya Medicine: Traditional Healing in Yucatan / Marianna Appel Kunow
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas (Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana) / botany.si.edu
Experiments on the Bark of the Coccoloba uvifera / by John Bostock, MD / Journal ListMed Chir Transv.3; 1812PMC2128913 / Medico-Chirurgical Transactions
Coccoloba uvifera / Synonyms / The Plant List
Studies of the in vitro cytotoxic, antioxidant, lipase inhibitory and antimicrobial activities of selected Thai medicinal plants / Chutima Kaewpiboon,  Kriengsak Lirdprapamongkol, Chantragan Srisomsap, Pakorn Winayanuwattikun, Tikamporn Yongvanich,  Preecha Puwaprisirisan, Jisnuson Svasti, and  Wanchai Assavalapsakul / BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012; 12: 217 / doi:  10.1186/1472-6882-12-217
Constituents of Coccoloba uvifera leaves. / Malathi, S., Masilamani, P., Balasubramanian, V., Rao, R. B., Brindha, P. / Fitoterapia, 1995; 66(3): pp 277
Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities of Coccoloba uvifera (Seagrapes) / Candace Bailey, Keisha R. Christian, Shreedu Pradhan, Muraleedharan G. Nair, and Omar E. Christian / Current Topics in Phytochemistry, 2011; Vol 10

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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