Phalsa is a small tree, with young stems and inflorescences densely covered with hairs. Leaves are obliquely ovate, sometimes obscurely 3-lobed, 7.5 centimeters to 20 centimeters long, 5 to 16 centimeters wide, with pointed tip and obliquely heart-shaped base. Leaves are sometimes obscurely 3-lobed. Flowers are yellow, about 2 centimeters in length, borne in densely crowded, rarely solitary, axillary cymes. Fruit is edible, small and round, purple to almost black when ripe, sweetish and somewhat acid; each drupe containing a large seed.
- Found in the Cagayan, Bataan and Ilocos Sur provinces of Luzon.
- In dry slopes at low altitudes.
- Also reported from India to Thailand and Indo-China.
- Fruits are a rich source of nutrients: proteins, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, and bioactive compounds, like anthocyanins, tannins, phenolics, and flavonoids. (21)
Edible portion of the fruit is 81.13% water, 1.24 % ash, 1.77 % fat, 10.27% sugar, and about 724 calories per kilo.
- Phytochemical study shows the fruit to contain anthocyanin-type cyanidin 3-glucoside, vitamins A and C, minerals, carotenes and dietary fiber.
- Nutritional analysis of fruit yielded per 100 g: protein, 1.57 g; total lipid (fat), <0.1 g;
carbohydrate 21.1 g; ash 1.1 g; fiber 5.53 g; calcium 136 mg; iron 1.08 mg; phosphorus 24.2 mg; potassium 372 mg; sodium 17.3 mg; vitamin B1 0.02 mg; vitamin B2 0.264 mg; vitamin B3 0.825 mg; vitamin C 4.825 mg; vitamin A 16.11 mg. (21)
- Mineral analysis of fruit yielded cobalt 0.99 mg/100 g (FW/fresh fruit), 33 µg/100 g (DW/dry weight); chromium 1.08 FW, 36 DW; copper 0.48 FW, 16 DW; nickel 2.61 FW, 87 DW; zinc 144 FW, 48 DW; iron 140.8 FW, 1695 DW. (21)
- Flowers yield a lactone, 3, 21, 24 trimethyl-5,7-dihydroxyhentriacontanoic acid δ-lactone.
- Study on secondary metabolites yielded pelargonidin 3,5-diglucoside (1), Naringenin-7-O-β-D-glucoside (2), Quercetin (3), Quercetin 3-O-β-D-glucoside (4), Catechins (5), Cyanidin-3-glucoside (6), Grewinol (7), Naringenin (8), 3,21,24-trimethyl- 5,7-dihydroxy-hentriacontanoic acid δ lactone (9), Betulin (10), Lupeol (11), lupenone (12), Friedelin (13), α-Amyrin (14), β-amyrin (15), β-sitosterol (16), Lanost-9(11)-en-12-one (17), Docosanol (18), Nonacosanol (19), Stigmast-7-en-3-ol (20), Citric acid trimethyl ester (21), α-methyl-l-sorboside (22), stigmasterol (23) Campesterol (24), 9,12-octadecadienoic acid methyl ester (25). (21)
Study of tall and dwarf types of Grewia asiatica showed (content %, tall and dwarf, respectively) edible portion 91.30, 90.79; seed 8.70, 9.21; juice yield 67.50, 65.90; pomace 32.50, 34.10; moisture 76.80, 74.83; total sugars 5.73, 7.95; reducing sugars 1.24, 0.99; non-reducing sugars 4.49, 6.96; titrable acidity 1.48, 1.12; fruit protein 3.13, 1.89; seed protein 8.75, 7.00; pulp protein 1.40, 7.00. (24)
- Nutritive analysis
of fruit (values/100g) yielded protein 1.57/g, total lipid (fat) <0.1g, carbohydrate 21.1g, ash 1.1g, fibw 5.53g, calcium 136 mg, iron 1.08mg, phosphorus 24.2mg, potassium 372mg, sodium 17.3mg, vitamin B1 0.02mg, vitamin B3 0.825mg, vitamin C 4.385mg, vitamin B2 0.264mg, vitamin A 16.11g. (Yadav 1999) (24)
- Mineral content of fruit (mg/100 g fresh fruit-FF and µg/100g dry weight-DW respectively) yielded
cobalt 0.99, 33; chromium 1.08, 36; copper 0.48, 16; nickel 2.61, 87; zinc 144, 48; iron 140.8, 1695. (24)
In folklore, fruit considered astringent, cooling, stomachic.
- Bark is demulcent, anti-rheumatic.
- Juice considered to have a low glycemic index.
- Studies have suggested antimicrobial, anti-platelet, antiemetic, anti-cancer
properties for leaves; anticancer, antioxidant, radioprotective and antihyperglycemic properties for fruit; and analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties for the stem bark.
• Fruit is edible; sherbet is made from it.
• Fruit used for making juice and squash.
• Spirit is distilled from the fruit.
• In Sind, Infusion of the bark used as demulcent.
• Santals used the root-bark used for rheumatism.
• Leaves used as application for pustular eruptions.
• Used in treatment of diabetes and heart conditions.
• In Pakistan, used for release of after-birth.
/ Free Radical Scavenging: Study showed GA extract to have strong radical scavenging activity in the DPPH and O2 assays and showed in vitro dose-dependent radioprotective activity. (1)
• Radioprotective: Study showed Grewia asiatica extract provides protection against radiation-induced alterations in blood of mice. (3)
• Anti-diabetic: Study of aqueous extract of G asiatica in diabetic cats and rabbits showed lowering of blood sugar levels to normal. (4)
• Antiemetic: Study of fruits of G asiatica extracts showed an antiemetic effect in dogs and controlled emesis centrally induced by Apomorphine. The activity was comparable to commercial anti-emetic drugs - metoclopramide and chlorpromazine. (5)
• Neuroprotective / Radioprotective: (1) Study showed that prior/post-supplementation of Grewia asiatica has radioprotective potential as well as neuroprotective properties against radiation. (2) Study showed GA fruit extract was able to protect the brain of Swiss albino mice against radiation induced biochemical alterations. (6)
• Antifungal / Antiviral: Study of methanolic extract of leaves for antiviral and antifungal activity showed maximum activity against Candida albicans. Maximum antiviral activity was seen against Urdbean leaf crinkle virus. (7)
• Brain / Radioprotective: Study in Swiss albino mice showed that Grewia asiatica fruit extract. (9)
• Antibacterial / Radioprotective: Crude methanolic extracts of G asiatica, E jambolana and C carandas yield four major fractions viz. phenoic acids flavanols, flavonols and anthocyanins. Except for anthocyanins, all fractions showed significant antibacterial activity. GA substantially inhibited all tested fungal species. (10)
• Hepatoprotective / Radioprotective / Fruit: Study evaluated the radioprotective effect of G. asiatic fruit extract against oxidative stress in Swiss albino mice. Biochemical and histopathological results showed the extract has potential against radiation. (8)
• Effect on Glycemic Index / Fruit: Study evaluated the glycemic index of fruits of Grewia asiatica. Gi value was low (5.34) with modest hypoglycemic activity. The methanolic, aqueous, and butanolic extracts of fruits produced a stimulatory effect on reactive oxygen species (ROS) while the chloroform, hexane, and ethanol-acetate exerted a significant inhibitory effect. Results suggest a beneficial effect on blood glucose metabolism and modulation of ROS production. (13)
• Antioxidant / Leaves: Study of successive extracts of leaves showed antioxidant activities comparable with standards such as ascorbic acid and quercetin. (14)
• Antioxidant / Leaves: Study of crude ethanolic extracts of fruit, stem bark and leaves and their fractions were tested for anti-hyperglycemic effects in alloxan-induced hyperglycemic rabbits. Results showed significant antihyperglycemic activity. (15)
• Antidiabetic / Leaves: Study evaluated the antidiabetic activity of dried leaves of Grewia asiatica and Ipomoea carnea. Results showed significant reduction of blood glucose in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Glibenclamide was used as the reference drug. (16)
• Anti-Platelet Activity / Leaves: Study evaluated crude methanolic extrats of leaves of Grewia asiatica and Terminalia chebula for anti-platelet activity. Results showed potent dose-dependent inhibition of platelet aggregation. Results suggest a potential herbal treatment for patients with diseases associated with blood clotting. (17)
• Anti-Inflammatory Activity / Bark: Study evaluated aqueous and ethanolic extracts of bark of G. asiatica for anti-inflammatory activity in a brewer yeast-induced paw edema model. Results showed significant decrease in inflammation. (18)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic / Root Bark: Study of methanolic and aqueous extracts of bark showed analgesic effect using an acetic acid-induced writhing and hot plate analgesic in mice and anti-inflammatory effect using carrageenan-induced paw edema in rats. (19)
• Cerebrum Radioprotective / Fruit: Study evaluated the radioprotective effect of Grewia asiatica fruit pulp extract on Swiss albino mice against radiation induced biochemical alterations in mice cerebrum. Results showed a radioprotectiv e effect with significant amelioration of radiation-induced augmentation in the levels of LPO. Also, radiation induced depletion in levels of GSH protein was significantly checked.
• Immunomodulatory / Fruit: Study of Grewia asiatica extract showed immunomodulatory activity on cyclophosphamide induced myelosuppression, forced swimming test and carbon clearance test in Swiss albino mice. (22)
• Radioprotective / Testes / Fruit: Study showed G. asiatica extract possess potential to ameliorate the damaging effect of radiation to the testes. (23)