Buboi is an erect, deciduous tree,
growing to a height of 15 meters or less. Trunk is cylindric, usually bearing
scattered, large spines. Branches are in distant whorls, spreading horizontally.
Leaves are compound, with 5 to 8 leaflets, lanceolate, 6 to 15 centimeters long,
pointed at both ends. Flowers are numerous, whitish, about 3 centimeters long.
Capsules are pendulous, oblong, about 15 centimeters long, 5 centimeters thick, containing
numerous black seeds embedded in fine, silky hairs.
- Planted in settled areas throughout the Philippines.
- Possibly a native of tropical America.
- Now pantropic.
Bark, roots, leaves.
- Seeds contain oil, 24.2%; ash, 5.22%; crude fiber, 23.9 %; albuminoids,,
18.9%; carbohydrates and others, 15.9%.
- The oil is a mixture of fatty acid, 70% liquid, 30% solid palmitic acid.
- Kapok oil has a composition similar to American cotton-seed oil.
- Study yielded bioactive compounds: phenolics, alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, saponins, phytate, trypsin inhibitors, and hemagglutinin inhibitors.
- Roots are diuretic, aphrodisiac, antipyretic, tonic.
- Bark is acrid, bitter, thermogenic, diuretic, emetic, febrifuge, purgative
- Unripe fruit considered demulcent and astringent.
- Young leaf extremely high in fiber content.
Edibility / Nutrition
- In Malaya, Java and Celebes, young leaves eaten as
- Sprouts and young pods are also edible.
- In Nigeria, leaves are cooked into a slurry sauce, like okra.
- In West Africa, young leaves cooked and eaten as soup herb.
- Young leaves are very good sources of calcium and iron.
Sprouts and young pods are also edible.
- Bark is reported to be
vomitive and aphrodisiac.
- Decoction of bark used for catarrh.
- Tender fruit used as emollient.
- Decoction of bark regarded as a specific in febrile catarrh.
- Gum is astringent; used for bowel complaints. In children, gum with milk, given as cooling laxative. Also used for urine incontinence in children.
- Gum used as styptic, given in diarrhea, dysentery, and menorrhagia.
- In Liberia, Infusion of bark used as mouthwash.
- Infusion of leaves, onions, and a little tumeric, used for coughs.
- Young roots, shade-dried and powdered, is a chief ingredient in aphrodisiac medicines.
- Tap-root of young plant used for gonorrhea and dysentery.
- Bark in diuretic; in sufficient quantities, produces vomiting.
- In Cambodia, bark used for fevers and diarrhea. Also, as a cure for inebriation, used to bring about perspiration and vomiting.
- Malays used the bark for asthma and colds in children.
- In India, roots used for gonorrhea, dysuria,
fevers. Decoction of bark used for chronic dysentery, diarrhea, ascites, and anasarca. Tender leaves also used for gonorrhea.
- In Java, bark mixed with areca nuts, nutmegs, and sugar candy, used as diuretic and for treatment of bladder stones. Infusion of leaves used for cough, hoarseness, intestinal catarrh, and urethritis. Leaves also used for cleaning hair.
- In the Cameroons, bark, which has tannin, is pounded and macerated in cold water and applied to swollen fingers.
- In French Guiana, decoction of flowers used for constipation.
- In Mexico, bark decoction taken internally as emetic, diuretic and antispasmodic.
- Bark used for liver and spleen conditions, abdominal complaints, flatulence,
- Leaves used as emollient. Decoction of flowers is laxative.
- In Nigerian folk medicine, used for treatment
of diabetes and infections. Leaves used as alterative and laxative, and as infusion for colic in man and in livestock. Also, leaves used as curative dressings on sores and to maturate tumors.
- In India and Malaya, used for bowel complaints.
- In the Ivory Coast, mucilage obtained by boiling used to remove foreign bodies from the eye. Also, bark sap given to sterile women to promote conception.
- In West Africa, used for diarrhea and gonorrhea.
- Fibers: Pod fibers are used in
the stuffing of pillows, cushions, mattresses and the manufacture and
- Oil: Kapok oil, extracted from the seeds, used in the manufacture of soap;
also, a substitute for cotton-seed oil.
- Wood: Tree is used for fencing and telephone poles.
- Fresh cake valuable as stock feed.
- Ashes of the fruit used by dyers in Malaysia.
- Study showed the C. pentandra fiber may be useful in recovering
oil spilled in seawater.
(1) A study of aqueous bark extract of Ceiba pentandra
in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats caused a statistically
significant reduction of plasma glucose supporting the hypoglycemic
effects of C pentandra. (2) Hypoglycemic effect of methylene chloride/methanol
root extract of Ceiba pentandra in normal and diabetic rats. (3) Study showed CP possesses antidiabetic activity in STZ-induced diabetic rats, with an effect more prominent than glibenclamide.
• A New Isoflavone Glycoside from Ceiba
pentandra (L.): A bark extract study of C. pentandra isolated
a new isoflavone with other known isoflavones, vavain and vavain glucoside.
• Two New Isoflavones from Ceiba pentandra and Their Effect on
Cyclooxygenase-Catalyzed Prostaglandin Biosynthesis
• Toxicological Studies: Toxicological studies reveal that C pentandra has a very low toxicity profile in all tested animals and is relatively safe for herbal oral medication.
• Anti-Fungal: Alcohol and water extracts of C citratus, C pentandra and L bengwelensis were investigated for antifungal activities. Phytochemical studies yielded saponins, tannins, fats and oils, alkaloids and phenol. All the extracts inhibited the growth of test organisms: E flocosum, M canis, T rubrum and Candida albicans. The activity was attributed to the presence of saponins and phenols.
• Adsorbent: Study investigated the ability of low-cost activated carbon from C pentandra hulls, an agricultural waste material, for the removal of zinc and lead from aqueous solutions.
• Nutritional / Medicinal Potential: Study showed C. pentandra contain nutrients and mineral elements useful in nutrition, while bioactive compounds explained the medicinal action of plant leaves and provide scientific basis for its folkloric use.
• Hepatoprotective: Study showed the ethyl acetate fraction of a methanolic extract of C. pentandra possesses hepatoprotective potential against paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity in rats.
• Antihyperglycemic / Antilipidperoxidative: Study of an ethanolic bark extract of CP showed potent antihyperglycemic and antilipidperoxidative potential in STZ-induced diabetic rats.
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study of petroleum ether and ethanolic extract of seeds showed anti-inflammatory effects when assessed by carrageenan-induced rat paw edema.
Cultivated for ornamental use.