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Family Capparidaceae
Crateva religiosa Forst. f.

Yiu tu chih

Scientific names Common names
Crateva religiosa Forst. f. Balai-lamok (Ilk.)
Crateva axillaris Presl Balai-namok (Ilk.)
Crateva adansonii DC ssp. Banugan (Bis.)
  Duliñgaok (Pamp.)
  Kalaluñgau (Tag.)
  Mokalbot (Tag.)
  Salingbobog (Bis., Tag.)

Sacred garlic pear (Engl.)

  Spider plant (Engl.)
  Temple plant (Engl.)
  Three-leaved caper (Engl.)
  Yiu tu chih (Chin.)

Other vernacular names
CAMBODIA: Tonliem.
INDONESIA: Jaranan, Barunday, Sibaluak.
LAOS: Kumz.
SANSKRIT: Varuna, Ashmarighna, Ashmaghna.
TAMIL: Navala.
THAILAND: Kum-bok, Kum nam.
VIETNAM: B[us]n thi[ee]u, B[us]n l[owj].

Salingbobog is a moderate-sized, spreading, unarmed, deciduous tree growing to a height of 15 meters. Bark is grey, the wood yellowish-white, turning light brown when old. Leaves are clustered at the ends of the branchlets, with a common petiole 5 to 10 centimeters long, at the summit of which are three leaflets. Leaflets are ovate-lanceolate or ovate, 7.5 to 12 centimeters long, 4 to 6 centimeters wide, pointed at the base, a a rather slender point at the tip. Flowers occur in terminal corymbs, about 5 centimeters in diameter, greenish-yellow, and at length, purplish. Petals are ovate or oblong, with the claw half as long as the limb. Fruit is ovoid or rounded, 3 to 5 centimeters in diameter, with a hard and rough rind. Seeds are about 10 centimeters in length, numerous, kidney-shaped, and embedded in a yellow pulp.

- In waste places, along streams and in thickets near the sea from northern Luzon to Masbate and Palawan, probably also in Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago.
- Sometimes planted as an ornamental tree for its beautiful flowers.
- Native to Japan, Australia, and much of SE Asia.
- Occurs in India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia and China.

- Contains a principle similar to saponin.
- Bark yields tannin.

- Yields a triterpenoid, lupeol, an active principle.
- Study yielded epiafzelechin5-glucoside from the bark. (1)
- Phytochemical screening of extract of dried leaves yielded alklaloids, carbohydrates, tannins, flavonoids, resins, proteins, oils, steroids and terpenoids.

- Bark has a disagreeable smell, the taste slightly bitter, biting and pungent.
- Generally considered diuretic, antiinflammatory, laxative, antioxidant, antioxaluric, hepatoprotective, antilithic, antirheumatic, antiperiodic, antimycotic, contraceptive, anthelmintic, rubefacient.
- Leaves considered stomachic and tonic.
- Root and bark considered laxative, lithotriptic and alterative; promoting appetite and increasing biliary secretions.
- Leaves are rubefacient, tonic and febrifugal.

Parts used
Leaves, bark, roots.


- Berry like fruits are edible and used as astringent.
- Young shoots and fruits are eaten and used in curries.
- Fruits used as spice because of its garlic taste.
- In the Philippines, leaves used for irregular menstruation. Also, considered stomachic. Root employed as alterative.
- Bark sap used as a cure for tympanites and convulsions.
- Leave used to increase appetite and assist digestion.
- Root and bark used as laxative.
- Externally, fresh leaves are rubefacient; internally, used for fevers and as tonic.
- Poultice of crushed leaves used for swelling of the feet and burning sensations in the soles.
- Pounded bark and leaves applied as poultice in rheumatism.
- Fresh leaves, bruised with a little vinegar, applied to the skin as rubefacient and vesicant. Bark of fresh root used for the same purpose.
- Leaves used to stimulate appetite, increase bile secretion, and as laxative.
- Decoction of bark used for urinary calculi and various urinary disorders.
- Decoction of roots and bark used for calculus affections.
- In Bangladesh, used as an antidote to poison; used for respiratory tract disorders (bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, tonsillitis and sore throat), skin diseases (eczema, abscess, acne, scabies, scars, warts), gastrointestinal disorders (dysentery, constipation, stomachaches, lack of appetite), headaches and toothaches.
- In India, used for inflammatory conditions and kidney stones.

Study showed the ethanol extract of C religiosa significant inhibited the growth of selected fungal pathogens - C albicans, C tropicalis, C krusei, Cryptococcus marinus and Aspergilus niger. (2)
Antimutagenic Potential: Study established the antimutagenic activity of C ovatum, C religiosa, P campechiana and P odorata. Cytotoxic triterpenes were identified from the seeds of C religiosa. (4)
Wound Healing: Study of methanol extract from dried leaves of Crateva religiosa showed wound healing activity superior to that of penicillin. (5)
Anti-Inflammatory: A pentacyclic triterpene, lupeol, and an ester derivative lupeol linolate were tested for anti-inflammatory activity. Lupeol linolate found better compared to lupeol and indomethacin.
Lupeol / Antimalarial: Lupeol showed anti-malarial potential against chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falcifarum.
Antiarthritic: Lupeol isolated from C religiosa has been shown to possess antiarthritic activity through suppression of the immune system.
Antibacterial: A methanol extract of CR was studied for activity against different pathogenic bacterial species (B subtilis, S aureus, E coli, P aeruginosa, K pneumoniae, S typhi, P mirabilis and Micrococcus sp). The apical bark was more effective than the middle bark and mature bark in inhibiting the growth of all bacteria. (7)
T-Lymphocyte Sup pres ion / Lupeol: Study showed lupeol suppressed various immune factors such as phagocytic activity of macrophages, T-lymphocyte activity including CD4+T cell mediated cytokine generation. (8)
Anti-Inflammatory: Study evaluated the anti-inflammatory potential of Cretava religiosa. Extracts showed dose-dependent decrease in paw edema in the carrageenan model. The alcoholic extract showed more profound effect that aqueous extracts correlating with flavonoid and triterpenoid content. (9)
Wound Healing / Ointment Preparation: Results showed topical application of three prepared herbal ointments on excised wound surfaces accelerated wound healing by dose-dependently decreasing wound areas. (10)
Antimicrobial: Study evaluated the antimicrobial activity of various extracts of C. religiosa against bacteria isolated from Thryonomys swinderianus (Escherichia coli, Shigella sonei, Staphylococcus aureus, Pasturella pestis and Yersinia enterocolitis). All extracts were effective against the tested organisms. The EAE showed more potency against some of the tested bacteria. (11)


Last Update July 2013

IMAGE SOURCE: Public Domain / File:Crateva religiosa.jpg / Eric Guinther (Marshman at en.wikipedia) / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Public Domain / File:Crateva religiosa Blanco1.176-cropped.jpg / Francisco Manuel Blanco / Flora de Filipinas / 1880-1883 / Modifications by Carol Spears / Wikipedia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(−)-Epiafzelechin 5-O-βD-glucoside from crataeva religiosa / V K Sethi et al / Phytochemistry
Volume 23, Issue 10, 1984, Pages 2402-2403
ANTIMYCOTIC POTENTIAL OF CRATAEVA RELIGIOSA HOOK AND FORST AGAINST SOME SELECTED FUNGAL PATHOGENS / Sabuj Sahoo, Sagar Mishra et al / Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica ñ Drug Research, Vol. 65 No. 2 pp. 245ñ247, 2008
A Comparative Analysis of Medicinal Plants Used by Folk Medicinal Healers in Three Districts of Bangladesh and Inquiry as to Mode of Selection of Medicinal Plants / Ariful Haque Mollik, Shahadat Hossan et al / www.ethnobotanyjournal.org/vol8/i1547-3465-08-195.pdf
Antimutagenic potential and phytochemical analysis of selected Philippine plants / Christine Chichioco-Hernandez and Noemi Paguigan / Pharmacognosy Magazine, : 2009 | Volume : 5 | Issue : 20 | Page : 388-393
Studies on wound healing properties of Crateva religiosa leaf extract / U Ajali, KM Ezealisiji, EO Onuoha / Journal of Pharmaceutical and Allied Sciences > Vol 7, No 4 (2010)
* Medicinal Profile of a Scared Drug in Ayurveda: Crataeva religiosa A Review / Patil, Udaysing Hari / Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research
Suppression of T lymphocyte activity by lupeol isolated from Crataeva religiosa / Bani S, Kaul A, Khan B, Ahmad SF, Suri KA, Gupta BD, Satti NK, Qazi GN. / Phytother Res. 2006 Apr;20(4):279-87.
Acute and Chronic Anti-Inflammatory Evaluation of Crateva regliosa in Rats
/ S Tripathy, M Asha, D Pradham / International Journal of Pharmacy & Technology
Evaluation of the Wound Healing Effect of Herbal Ointment Formulated with Crateva religiosa Leaf Extract / Research Paper / Google Books
Antimicrobial activity of Crataeva religiosa Forst against bacteria isolated from Thryonomys swinderianus Temminck / Latifou Lagnika*, Eugenie Anago, Menonvè Atindehou, Brice Adjahoutonon, Karim Dramane and Ambaliou Sanni / African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 10(49), pp. 10034-10039, 31 August, 2011 / DOI: 10.5897/AJB10.2435
Crateva religiosa / Vernacular names / GLOinMED

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