Alas doce is an herb with smooth and prickly stems. Lower leaves are entire and heart-shaped, the upper ones are deeply palmately-lobed. Sepals are bristly, lanceolate and connate below the middle, with a gland at the back of each. Corolla is large, spreading, yellow with a crimson center. Capsules are rounded and bristly. Seeds are nearly smooth.
- Planted for ornamental purposes but is scarcely naturalized.
- Found in the Bontoc and Pangasinan Provinces and in Manila.
- Old World native.
- Seeds yield 23.5% fixed oil.
- Whole plant has abundant polysaccharides, 9.7%; starch, dextrin, pectin, tannin, phosphatide, protein.
- Seeds considered purgative.
- Seed oil considered aphrodisiac.
Leaves and flowers.
- Leaves used as pot-herb.
- Leaves used as purgative.
- In Gambia, infusion of leaves used for coughs.
- Flowers used for biliousness and constipation.
- Seeds oil used externally for pains and bruises; and internally as an aphrodisiac.
- In India and Africa, used for blood and throat disorders, bilious conditions, fever and puerperium.
- Cultivated for its fiber.
• Haematinic Activity: Study on hemolytic anemic rats induced by phenylhydrazine showed the leaf extract of H cannabinus induced a significant increase in RBC count, Hb concentration and pack cell volume. Results suggest H cannabinus leaves may have hematinic properties.
• Phytochemicals / Fungitoxic Activity: Essential leaf oil characterized 58 components, among them: (E)-phytol, (Z)-phytol, n-nonanal, benzene acetaldehyde, (E)-2-hexenal and 5-methylfurfural as major constituents. Oil had antifungal activity against Colletrotrichum fragariae, C gloeosporioides and C accutatum.
• Antioxidant Activity: Study results suggest that the leaves of H cannabinus possess erythrocyte protective activity against drug induced (carbon-tetrachloride or paracetamol) oxidative stress.
• Immunomodulatory: Study showed crude extract of H cannabinus fresh leaves significant suppressed TNF-a production and mRNA expression of IL-3 and IL-12, with induction of expression of a potent cytoprotective molecule. Results suggest that H cannabinus may be able to modulate macrophage-mediated responses.
• Hepatoprotective: Aqueous leaf extract showed significant hepatoprotective activity against carbon tetrachloride and paracetamol induced damage evidenced by absence of necrosis in liver cells of pretreated rats. Inhibition of lipid peroxidation is suggested as a possible mechanism.
• Antidiabetic: Study of methanol extract of H. cannabinus in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats showed significant lowering of blood glucose. Phytochemicals yielded phytosterols, flavonoids, and glycosides.
• Antihyperlipidemic: Study of a 50% hydroalcoholic extract of HC leaves showed a strong dose-dependent antihyperglycemic effect with significant decreases in TC, TG, LDL-C, VLVL-C and TBARS. Also, the extract markedly prevented liver microvesicular steatosis in hyperlipidemic rats.
• Mucilage / Excipent: Mucilage from the seeds of the plant was shown to have good suspending action in 2% concentration. As a suspending agent, it was comparable to standard marketed formulation, 1.e., Calcimax. Results suggest a potential as pharmaceutical excipient.