Marabutan is a large tree, often epiphytic, with
slender aerial roots. Bark is brown and smooth. Leaves are elliptic,
ovate or obovate, 5 to 10 centimeters long, the apex rounded or with short and blunt tapering points, narrowing
into a petiole 6 to 12 millimeters long. Male flowers are numerous, scattered,
stalkless or short-pedicelled. Female flowers are stalkless
and much smaller. Fruit is stalkless, yellow or reddish, about
1 centimeter in diameter.
- In thickets and forests at low and
medium altitudes throughout the Philippines, ascending to 1,500 meters.
- Also occurs in India to southern China, in Taiwan, and through Malaya to Australia and New Caledonia.
Leaves, rootlets and bark.
- Study yielded a wide range of phytochemicals: sterols, terpenoids, glycoside, flavonoids, polyphenols, proteins and carbohydrates.
- Leaves and bark are antirheumatic.
- Plant considered pungent, bitter, and aphrodisiac.
- Leaves and bark used as poultice for
- In Concan, juice of leaves used for flatulent colic and the juice of bark used for liver diseases.
- Bark juice used for liver diseases.
- The rootlets are dried and powdered, mixed with salt and applied to
- In China, adventitious rootlets used
for toothaches, for which they are dried, powdered and applied to the
decaying or aching tooth.
- In Ayurveda, used to treat liver disorders, hepatomegaly, wounds and ulcers.
- In Kerala, India used for treatment of leucoderma, ulcers, leprosy, itching, and biliousness. Bark used for liver diseases. Powdered leaves and bark used for rheumatic headaches. Leaves and roots used for wounds and bruises.
• Phenolic Content / Radical Scavenging Activity: Study of the leaves of eleven Ficus species growing in Egypt were subjected to free radical scavenging activity. Six methanol extracts, including Ficus nitida showed high activity. (2)
• Anti-Diabetic: Study of water and methanolic extracts of Ficus retusa leaves showed significant lowering of blood glucose in a dose-dependent manner. No over sign of hepatotoxicity and renotoxicity were observed in chronic toxicity studies. Results conclude the extracts present a potential and safe alternative antidiabetic treatment. (3)
• Antioxidant / Antibacterial: Results showed the methanol extracts of bark, fruits and leaves of F. microcarpa exhibited excellent antioxidant activities and also possessed activity against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. The activities may be attributed to its high level of phenolic compounds. (4)
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study evaluated the anti-inflammatory effects of ethyl acetate and methanolic extract of leaves in albino wistar rats. Results showed significant anti-inflammatory effects in reducing rat paw edema induced by carrageenan. Diclofenac was the reference anti-inflammatory agent. (7)
• Hepatoprotective: Study evaluated ethyl acetate and methanolic extracts of leaves for hepatoprotective effects against carbon tetrachloride induced hepatotoxicity in rats. Both extracts showed significant hepatoprotective activity. (8)
• Anti-Secretory / Antiulcer: Study evaluated an ethanol extract of stem bark in albino rats. Phytochemical analysis yielded alkaloids, triterpenoids, and flavonoids. The ethanol extract showed dose-dependent inhibition in ethanol-induced gastric lesions. Results support it ethnomedical use in the treatment of gastric ulcer. (9)