Malatabako is a tall, erect, more or less hairy herb, 0.8 to 1.2 meters in height, unbranched except for the inflorescence. Leaves are scattered along the stem, not basal, oblong to oblong-elliptic, 8 to 20 cm long, and pointed at both ends. Branches of the inflorescences are few, usually forked, and subtended by much-reduced leaves. Clusters of head terminating the branches are usually surrounded by three leaflike bracts which are ovate to oblong-ovate, 1 to 1.5 cm long, and heart-shaped at the base. Flowering heads are crowded in each cluster, each head usually 4-flowered. Involucral-bracts are 8 to 10 mm long. Corolla is purple, 8 to 9 mm long. Achenes are ribbed. Pappus is 4 to 6 mm long, with rigid bristles.
- Throughout the Philippines, in open, waste places and grasslands, from sea level to an altitude of 2,000 meters.
- Native of Mexico.
- Also found in the Marianne and Caroline Isaldns, Formosa and Borneo.
Study yielded phenolic compounds, ie., caffeic acid, 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid, 1,4-dicaffeoylquinic acid, and 3,4-dihydroxy-cinamic acid methyl exter as the main constituents.
Antiviral, antibacterial, febrifuge, diuretic, vulnerary.
Leaves, either fresh and crushed or dried and powdered, are freely applied to wounds as a vulnerary.
Decoction of whole plant or parts are used as diuretic and febrifuge.
• Melanogenesis Inhibition in Murine Melanoma: Study showed E. mollis extract reduced melanogenesis by downregulating Mitf expression. In addition, melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) expression was downregulated suggesting desensitization to a-melanocyte-stimulating hormone of the cells treated with the extract.
• Free Radical Scavenging: EM extract was found to possess significant free radical and superoxide radical scavenging activity, effectively protecting mouse brain lipid against oxidative stress.
• Phenolic Compounds / Chemopreventive Activity: Study yielded phenolic compounds as main constituents - caffeic acid, 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid, 1,4- dicaffeoylquinic acid, and 3,4-dihydroxy-cinnamic acid methyl ester, and suggested the compounds may play major roles in the chemo-preventive activity of EM.
• Anti-Leishmaniasis: In an Ecuadorean study of 140 extracts, Elephantopus mollis was one that showed anti-leishmaniasis activity.