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Family Lamiaceae
Hyptis capitata Jacq.


Scientific names Common names
Clinopodium capitatum (Jacq.) Sw. Arbaka (Maranao)
Hyptis capitata Jacq. Bababañga (Bon.)
Hyptis decurrens (Blanco) Epling Botonesan (Tag.)
Hyptis mariannarum Briq. Kambali (Tag.)
Hyptis rhomboidea M.Martens & Galeotti Kombar-kombaran (Tag.)
Hyptis rhomboidea M.Martens & Galeotti Leng-leñga (Bon.)
Mesosphaerum capitatum (Jacq.) Kuntze Liñga-liñgahan (Tag.)
Mesosphaerum rhombodeus (M.Martens & Galeotti) Kuntze Palapasagi (P. Bis.)
Pycnanthemum decurrens Blanco  Palopalot (Ilk.)
Thymus virginicus Blanco Pansi-pansi (Bik.)
  Tabaku-tabaku (Ilk.)
  Tarotabako (Bik.)
  Tetetei (Bon.)
  Tultulisan (Ilk.)
  Turukan (Tag.)
  Bachelor's button (Engl.)
  Buttonweed (Engl.)
  False ironwort (Engl.)
  Knobweed (Engl.)
Boto-botonesan or phonetic variations are shared by four plants of different species: (1) Mutha (Cyperus rotundus) Boto-botones (2) Gatas-gatas (Euphorbia hirta) botobotonis, botbotonis, botonis (3) Botoncillo (Gomphrena globosa) botbotonis, botones-botonesan, and (4) Botonesan (Hyptis capitata): bababañga, liñga-liñgahan.
Hyptis capitata Jacq. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHAMORRO: Batunes, Botones.
JAPANESE: Iganigakusa
POHNPEIAN: Pawehs, Pwetepwet.
SPANISH: Biojo, Cartagena amarilla, Chirrite, Cordon de fraile.
TAHITIAN: Maa uupo.
YAPESE: Pathpath.

Botonesan is a stout, erect, nonaromatic, hairy, annual herb, about 0.5 to 1.5 meters high, with green or purplish 4-angled stems. Leaves are lanceolate, 8 to 14 centimeters long, with toothed margins. Flowers are numerous, crowded in long-peduncles, growing up to 10 centimeters in length and the heads 1to 2 centimeters in diameter with basal involucres of hairy bracts. Calyx is green, 4 millimeters long, accrescent, 8 millimeters long in fruit. Corolla is white, 6 millimeters long.

- From northern Luzon (Cagayan) to Mindanao, In all or most islands and provinces, as a weed in settled areas, occurring in open, waste places, fallow rice paddies, etc.
- Introduced from Mexico.
- Now also established in the Marianne and Caroline Islands in Taiwan, in Java, and in Amboina.

• Contains alkaloids, camphor, cyanogenic glycosides and alkaloids.

• Study isolated two new compounds: a lignan and a pyrone; with no alkaloids.
• Yields ursolic acid (3β-hydroxyurs-12-en-28-oic) (UA) (4), a pentacyclic triterpene. (8)
• Alcoholic extract of air-dried leaves yielded a glavonol glucoside. On Hydrolysis, it yielded kaempferol, glucose, and rhamnose. (10)

- Tonic, stimulant, carminative, vulnerary.
- Studies have suggested cytotoxic, antioxidant, antinociceptive properties.

Parts utilized
Leaves, roots

- In the Philippines, decoction of leaves used to clean wounds.
- Decoction of roots used for amenorrhea.
- Used by the Maranaos for dry cough and tooth aches; gas pains in infants and convulsions in children.
- In Malaysia, used for stomach ache; the young leaves are pounded into a paste and applied to the affected areas.
- In Martinique, used as tonic and excitant.
- In Antilles, used as a stimulant.
- In Costa Rica, plant decoction held in mouth to alleviate toothaches. Also drunk for gastrointestinal distress. In Jamaica, plant decoction used as cold remedy. In El Salvador, plant used as tonic and stimulant. (7)
- In Bangladesh, leaf juice is taken orally for malaria. Root and leaf paste is applied to cuts and abrasions to prevent infection.

Cytotoxicity: Study isolated five triterpene acids including new hyptatic acids. Hyptatic acid A and 2a-hydroxyursolic acid demonstrated in vitro cytotoxicity in human colon HCT-8 tumor cells. (2)
Oleanolic Acid / Pomolic Acid / Anti-HIV Activity: Oleanolic acid was identified as anti-HIV principle from several plants, including Hyptis capitata. Study also isolated pomolic acid from H capitata, also identified as an anti-HIV agent. (4)
Antinociceptive / Antioxidant: An ethanolic extract of H. capitata showed antinociceptive activity with significant reduction of acetic acid induced writhing in mice and mild to moderate antioxidant activity in DPPH free radical scavenging assay. (11)


Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Update January 2016

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photo / Flowerhead / capitata Blanco2.294.jpg/ Lauren Gutierrez / ©© Creative Commons- Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0) Useful Tropical Plants
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: File:Hyptis capitata Blanco2.294.jpg / Flora de Filipinas / 1880 - 1883 / Francisco Manuel Blanco (O.S.A) / Public Doman / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
A lignan and pyrone and other constituents from Hyptis capitata / Almtorp, G.T. : Hazell, A.C. : Torssell, K.B.G.
Cytototoxic Principles of Hyptis capitata and the Structures of the New Triterpenes Hyptatic Acid-A and - B / Takashi Yamagishi et al / Phytochemistry - Vol 27 No 10, pp 3213-3216, 1988

Antimicrobial Screening of Maranao Medicinal Plants / Carmelita G. Hansel and Verna B. Lagare

Anti-AIDS Agents. 30. Anti-HIV Activity of Oleanolic Acid, Pomolic Acid, and Structurally Related Triterpenoids / Yoshiki Kashiwada et al / J. Nat. Prod., 1998, 61 (9), pp 1090–1095
DOI: 10.1021/np9800710
Inherited folk pharmaceutical knowledge of tribal people in the Chittagong Hill tracts, Bangladesh / Indian Journ of Traditional Knowledge, Vol 9, No 1, Jan 2010, Pp 77-89
Hyptis capitata / Common names / PIER
Lamiaceae—Hyptis capitata / Plants For Use
Ubiquitous Ursolic Acid: A Potential Pentacyclic Triterpene Natural Product. / Ibrahim T Babalola*, Francis O. Shode / Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, Vol 2, No 2, 2013
Hyptis capitata / Synonyms / The Plant List
Studies on the Componehts of the Leaves of Hyptls capilata Jacq. / Kensi Kobayasi* / Chemical Dept., Research lnstitute for Tropical Medicine, Universityof Taihoku, Formosa
Study of antinociceptive and antioxidant activities of Hyptis capitata, Litsea glutinosa and Vernonia patula:three medicinal plants of Bangladesh / Sadhu, S.K. et al / Hamdard Medicus, Vol 51, Issue 2, April-June 2008

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.

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