Iba is a small, smooth, deciduous
tree growing to a height of 4 to 9 meters. Branches are thickened with
nodules in the axils of the fallen leaves. Leaves are unequally pinnate,
crowded at the ends of the branches, 20 to 40 centimeters long. Leaflets are alternate,entire,
oblong-ovate, 2 to 7 centimeters long. Flowers are pink, small, and crowded in many-flowered fascicles
along the racemes. Male and female flowers are usually on separate plants. Fruit is fleshy, aicd, edible, greenish white, rounded,
1 to 1.5 centimeters diameter, angled, with a hard, bony, 6- to 8-grooved, 3-
or 4-celled stone, each cell with a single seed.
- Planted in most parts
of the Philippines for its acid, edible fruit, but nowhere abundant.
- Of prehistoric introduction.
- Also occurs in India to Malaya and Polynesia.
- Introduced in tropical America.
- Fruit contains dextrose 0.33 per cent, levulose 1 percent, and saccharose.
- 18 % tannin is reported in the root-bark, with saponin and gallic acid.
- Study isolated active constituents from the roots: phyllanthusols A
- Food value per 100 g of edible portion: Moisture, 91.9 g; protein, 0.155 g; fat, 0,52 g; fiber, 0.8 g;
ash, 0.51 g; calcium 5.4 mg; phosphorus, 17.9 mg; iron, 3.25 mg, carotene, 0.019 mg; thiamine, 0.025 mg; riboflavin, 0.013 mg, niacin, 0.292 mg; ascorbic acid, 4.6 mg.
- Studies have isolated phyllantusols A and B,and aglycon.
Fruit is acid and astringent.
Root is purgative.
Seed is cathartic.
Leaves are diaphoretic, mucilaginous and demulcent.
- Unripe fruit is cooked
and used as a sour flavoring.
- Can be pickled or made into jams and jellies.
- Young leaves are cooked as greens.
- Decoction of leaves is
used externally for urticaria, the fruit given at the same time to eat.
- Decoction of the bark used for bronchial catarrh.
- Some believe the roots to be poisonous, but the Malays boil it for steam
inhalation in use for coughs.
- In Java, root infuswion used for asthma.
- In Borneo, used with pepper
- Poultice of leaves for lumbago and sciatica.
- Root used for psoriasis.
- Decoction of leaves is diaphoretic.
- Leaves used for gonorrhea.
- In Bangladesh used for skin diseases - eczema, abscesses, acne, etc.
- In India, fruits are taken as liver
tonic. Leaves, with pepper, are poulticed for sciatica, lumbago or rheumatism.
Leaves taken as demulcent for gonorrhea.
- In Maharashtra, India, decoction
of seeds used twice daily for asthma and bronchitis.
- In Malaya, root infusion, in small
doses, taken for asthma. The root is used for foot psoriasis.
Cystic Fibrosis: An
extract from the medicinal plant Phyllanthus acidus and its isolated
compounds induce airway chloride secretion : A potential treatment for
cystic fibrosis: Previous studies have reported that flavonoids and
nutraceuticals correct electrolyte transport defects in cystic fibrosis.
Study showed no cytotoxic effects of P. acidus. The effects on epithelial
transport suggests a potential novel complementary nutraceutical treatment
for CF lung disease.
• Antibacterial: Antibacterial
properties of tropical plants from Puerto Rico:
In the study, Phyllanthus acidus was one of the plants that showed the
highest antibacterial activity against E coli and Staphylococcus aureus.
Methanolic extracts of 79 Malaysian plants were assessed
for antinematodal activity against Bursaphelenchus xylophilus. Cicca
acida showed strong antinematodal activity.
Juice of the root-bark
is used as poison to produce headache, sleepiness, abdominal pains,
and sometimes, death.