Sagai-uak is a smooth, prostrate herb. Branches are slender, straggling, 60 to 90 centimeters long, rooting at the lower nodes. Leaves are ovate, 3 to 6 centimeters long, 2 to 3 centimeters wide, pointed at both ends, and toothed at the margins. Flowers are crowded on short axillary and terminal racemes. Calyx in the flower is about 6 millimeters long, double that length in the fruit; its outer sepals are broadly ovate and heart-shaped. Corolla is dark reddish brown. Fruit is a capsules, ovate, flattened, 3 to 4 millimeters long, bivalved with several seeds. Spherical seeds are about 0.6 millimeter in diameter, with 8 oblong hollows.
- On forested slopes at low altitudes, ascending to 400 meters, rather rare and local.
- Found in Cagayan, Kalinga and Laguna Provinces in Luzon and in Zamboanga, Mindanao.
- Occurs in India to Indo-China and through Malaya to the Moluccas.
- Plant yields an amorphous bitter glucoside, curangin, which is either nonpoisonous or only very slightly poisonous.
- Plant, especially the leaves, is very bitter.
- Considered aperient, febrifuge, diuretic, emmenagogue, sudorific.
- Curangine, an alkaloid derived from the plant, reported to have a marked febrifuge property.
Whole plant, leaves.
In the Philippines, decoction of the plant is used as febrifuge, especially for malaria.
The plant, masticated, decocted or infused, is used as stomachic and for irregular menstruation.
Leaves are aperient; a stimulant to the intestines, sudorific, diuretic and emmenagogue.
Leaves are used in the early stages of dropsy, in intermittent fevers, amenorrhea, arrested lochia, colic and lumbar pains.
In the Moluccas, used as vermifuge, for tertian fever, as liver and bile stimulant. Also used for colic.
Malays used it for its bitterness to whet the appetite.
Juice given to provoke nausea.
Decoction of leaves used for stomachache.
Leaves applied to the head in cases of headache; cooling the head and allaying the pain.
• Flavonoid Glucoronides: Study of a n-butanol extract yielded three flavonoid glucoronides: apigenin 7-O-β-glucuronide, luteolin 7-O-β-glucuronide and a new compound, apigenin 7-O-β-(2″-O-α-rhamnosyl)glucuronide, the latter one being a new compound.
• New Cucurbitacin: Study yielded a new compound, 11, 24-dioxo-5, 21-diene-cucurbit-3alpha-O-beta-D-xylopyranosyl-16alpha-O-alpha-L-rhamnopyranoside (dehydrobryogenin glycoside). Hexanorcucurbitacin F, was obtained for the first time from Picria fel-terrae.
• New Phenylethanoid Glycosides: Study searching for bioactive compounds from the whole plant yielded three new phenylethanoid glycosides, picfeosides A-C, along with five known phenylethanoid glycosides: wiedemannioside, acteoside, acteoside isomer, cis-acteoside isomer, and cis-acteoside.
• Complement-Inhibiting Cucurbitacin Gluycosides: Study isolated four cucurbitacin glycosides: Picfeltarraenins 1A and 1B, picfeltarraenin IV, and a new compound picfeltarraenin VI. All showed activity as inhibitors of both the classical and alternative pathways of the complement system.