Malabago is a much branced tree, 4 to 12 meters high. Leaves are suborbicular, 10 to 15 centimeters long, green, smooth and shining on the upper surface, grayish and hairy on the under surface, with a pointed tip and heart-shaped base, and minutely toothed margins. Sepals are hairy, 5 in number, oblong and about 2 centimeters long. Petals are yellow, dark purple at the inside base, orbicular-obovate or rounded, about 5 centimeters in length and width. Capsules are hairy, ovoid, 1.5 centimeters long, surrounded by persistent sepals and, at the base, by the bracteolar cup, falsely 10-celled, and 5-valved.
- Found throughout the Philippines, along the seashore and tidal streams.
- Occasionally planted inland for ornamental purposes.
- Pantropic along the seashore.
- Study isolated 10 compounds: friedelin (1), pachysandiol (2), glutinol (3), lupeol (4), germanicol (5), stigmast-4-en-3-one (6), stigmast-4, 22-dien-3-one (7), ergosta-4, 6, 8 (14), 22-tetraen-3-one (8), β-sitosterol (9), and stigmasterol (10).
- Bark is mucilaginous.
- Considered aperitive, emollient, emetic, diuretic, febrifuge, sudorific, and laxative.
Flowers, bark and roots.
• In the Pacific Islands, the bark is sometimes used as famine food.
• Roots used as food Queensland aborigines.
• Macerated fresh bark in water is mucilaginouse and used for dysentery.
• Infusion of roots used for fevers.
• Flowers boiled in milk used for cure of earaches.
• In Amboina and Pahang, foot infusion used for fevers.
• In Java, decoction of roots used for fever.
• In Brazil, infusion of roots used as diuretic and febrifuge.
• Roots used in preparation of embrocation.
• In Mexico, roots and bark are used as aperitive, emollient, sudorific and laxative.
• Root preparation used externally for sprains and strains.
• In Indo-China, leaves used as laxative and resolutive.
• In Biduanda, leaves are rubbed over swellings.
• In Java, young leaves are boiled with sugar for bronchitis and coughs.
• Leaves and flowers used as emollient; used for ulcers.
• In China, flowers used for headache.
• In Brazil, infusion of seeds used as an emetic; infusion of roots used as diuretic and febrifuge.
• In the Antilles, decoction of flowers and root-bark used as laxative and emollient.
• Bast fibers make a strong rope; also for making string and hog traps.
• Roots used as aboriginal food.
• Bark used as famine food.
• Antioxidant: (1) Study on the stems and roots of Hibiscus syriacus showed the extract of heat-treated HS was more effective than those of non-treated HS in reducing the stable free radical DPPH. (2) Aqueous flower extract of H tiliaceus exhibited significant reducing power and free radical scavenging. The antioxidant activities were concentration dependent. The total phenolic content were gallic acid equivalents and the total flavonoids as catechin equivalents.
• Antiproliferative / Cytotoxicity: Study showed the acetone extract of HS exhibited better cytotoxic effect on lung cancer cells than the methanol and water extract. Results show HS-AE exerts significant dose-dependent anti-proliferative effect on cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.
• Naphthalenes / Cytotoxicity: Study isolated three naphthalenes from the root bark of Hibiscus syriacus – syriacusins A, B and C. The compounds exhibited lipid peroxidation and two showed cytotoxicity against some human cancer cell lines.
• Antitumor Activity: Study of antitumor activity of the roots of Hibiscus tiliaceus against Dalton's ascitic lymphoma in mice showed a significant enhancement of survival time with inhibition of tumor cell growth.
• Antioxidant / Antimutagenic: Study on the methanolic flower extract of HT showed the a clear antioxidant activity, attributed to vitamins and phytosterols. Extract also showed significant antimutagenic action against oxidative mutagens in S cerevisiae.
• Antinociceptive / Anti-Inflammatory: Study on the different leaf extracts of H tiliaceus showed significant anti-inflammatory activity and antinociceptive activity on two types of noxious stimuli.
• Antimutagenic / Antigenotoxic: Study showed the methanolic extract strongly inhibited the mutagenic action of hydrogen peroxide and tert-butyl-hydroperoxide. Results showed antioxidant activity and both antigenotoxic and antimutagenic effects against oxidative DNA damage.
• Antioxidant / Antityrosinase: The flowers and leaves of six Hibiscus species were studies for antioxidant, antityrosinase and antibacterial activities. The leaves and flowers of H. tiliaceus showed outstanding antioxidant property. Leaves of TH had the strongest antityrosinase activity. Results suggest HT have the potential for development into functional food and skin care products.