Ipil us a tree reaching a
height of 20 to 45 meters and a diameter of 150 to 180 meters. Bark
is 5 to 8 mm thick, gray in color with an orange tinge. The inner bark is light
brown and mottled with brown specks. Leaves are alternate and simply
compound with usually two pairs of leaflets, 8 to 12 centimeters long and 5 to
8.5 centimeters wide. Flowers are fragrant, white or reddish, borne in panicles
6 to 10 centimeters long. Pods are 10 to 25 centimeters long and 4 to 6.5 centimeters wide, with
3 to 6 orbicular seeds.
- Along the seashore,
and in some localities, in inland forests, from the Babuyan Islands and northern Luzon to Mindanao and Palawan.
- Also occurs in Madagascar, across Malaya to the Caroline and Fiji Islands.
- Bark yields tannin.
- Wood yields a khaki-colored dye.
Leaves, bark, fruit.
• Bark, which
contains tannin, used for diarrhea.
• Fruit used as laxative.
• In Fiji, decoction
of bark used for rheumatism, chills, diarrhea, muscle rigidity and rheumatoid
arthritis; mixed with the extracts of other plants, used for broken
• Decoction of leaves used when body is possessed by spirits;
mixed with other plant extracts, for toothache and sore tongue. Also
used for scabies and headaches.
• In the Solomon Islands,
used to treat very dark urine caused by sorcery; also used for rheumatism,
diarrhea and dysentery.
• In Vanuatu, the
inner bark of Intsia bijuga, squeezed in coconut water, is taken as
a remedy for asthma. The leaves or inner bark are squeezed in salt water
and the solution is ingested for diabetes.
• Wood: Known for its hard and durable wood: for
timber, furniture making or carving craftwood.
• Dye: Wood yields a khaki colored dye. Fresh sap makes indelible stains on paper or cloth.
• Repellent: An insect repellent is made from the seeds.
• Anti-trypanosomal: The
ethanol extract showed good and specific activity against Trypanosoma
cruzi. However, it also exhibited high cytotoxicity which might explain
its observed activity. Study has also suggested immuno-modulatory activity.
• Phytochemicals / Radical Scavenging Activity: In a study of four Philippine medicinal plants, phytochemical screening of Intsia bijuga revealed anthrones, flavonoids, glycosidic flavonoids, phenolic compounds, steroids, tannins and triterpenes. The tannins may justify its folkloric use for dysentery (leaves). Results showed radical scavenging activity, but with the highest EC50 value.