There are about 500 species in the genus Ixora. A few are in cultivation. There are numerous cultivars differing in flower color (yellow, pink, orange) and plant size. Several cultivars are dwarfs, under 3 feet. Other noteworthy ornamental
santans: santan puti (Ixora finlaysoniana Wall), a shrub 2-4 m high,
with white fragrant flowers; and Philippine santan (Ixora philippinensis
Merr), a shrub or small tree, with white to pink flowers.
Santan is an
erect and smooth ornamental shrub, growing to a height of 2 to 3 meters. Leaves
are stalkless or on very short stalks, oblong, 5 to 9 centimeters long, heart-shaped
or rounded at the base and blunt-tipped. Flowers are many, pink or
red, and borne in terminal, stalkless or shortly stalked, hairy cymes. Calyx teeth are short and pointed.
Corolla-tube is slender, 2.5 centimeters long; lobes are spreading and oblong,
about half the length of the tube. Fruit is reddish, almost round, about
5 millimeters in diameter.
- Cultivated for ornamental purposes.
- Nowhere established in the Philippines.
- Native of India.
- Now pantropic.
- Root contains an aromatic
acrid oil, tannin, fatty acids, and a white crystalline substance.
- Leaves yield flavonols kaemferol and quercetin, proanthocyanidins and
phenolic acids and ferulic acids.
- Flowers contain cyanidin and flavonoids, and a coloring material related
- Flowers yielded tannins, lupeol, fatty acids, ß-sitosterols, cycloartenol esters and flavonoids.
- Considered internally sedative, stomachic, tonic, antiseptic, cholagogue; externally, astringent and antiseptic.
- Hepatoprotective, chemoprotective, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory.
- Stimulates gastric secretions.
- Flowers considered cytotoxic, hepatoprotective, antimicrobial.
Leaves, roots, stems and
- In the Philippines, root decoction used as sedative in the treatment of nausea, hiccups, and loss of appetite.
- Used for dysenteric diarrhea and associated colic pains.
- Flowers used for dysentery and leucorrhea.
- Poulticed fresh leaves and stems for sprains, eczema, boils and contusions.
- Diluted tincture of roots for mouthwash and gargles for sore throat.
- Flower decoction used for hypertension, amenorrhea and irregular menstruation, hemoptysis, catarrhal bronchitis.
- Decoction of leaves for wounds and skin ulcers.
- In Bengal, roots are used
- In Bombay, flowers used for dysentery.
- Flowers and bark used for blood-shot eyes.
- Root, ground into pulp, mixed with water and pepper, or as tincture,
used for diarrhea and dysentery.
- Externally, powdered roots moistened with a little water on a piece of lint is applied to sores and chronic ulcers.
- In Indo-China, root decoction
used to clarify the urine.
- In India and Sri Lanka, the fruits are eaten and the flowers used as flavoring.
Alcoholic extract of IC showed increase in granuloma tissue weight,
tensile strength and glycosaminoglycan content. The prohealing activity
was attributed to increased collagen deposition, alignment and maturation.
Extract studies of EC for antimicrobial activity showed the ethyl fraction
to be more active than the methanol fraction.
• Antioxidant: Phytochemical
screening showed the flower extract to possess flavonoids, steroids,
tannin. IC showed strong reducing power and total antioxidant capacity.
• Pharmacologic evaluation / Electroconvulsive Protective:
Evaluation showed that IC has protective property against electroconvulsions,
antiinflammatory and hemostatic properties.
Extract of IC flowers showed significant hepatoprotective effect against
paracetamol overdose-induced hepatotoxicity in rats.
(1) IC flower fraction showed chemoprotective effects on cyclophosphamide-induced
toxicity in mice. (2) Active fraction from Ixora coccinea flowers prevented a decrease in body weight, hemoglobin levels and WBC counts of mice treated with cisplastin with significant prolongation of life span of cisplatin-treated mice.
• Antinociceptive :
Study showed the aqueous leaf extract of IC possesses considerable antinociceptive
activity mediated centrally via a dopaminergic mechanism. In addition, the antioxidant activity may play a role in inducing antinociception. The dopaminergic and antioxidative activities may arise from alkaloid and flavonoid constituents, respectively.
• Anti-Inflammatory / Anti-mitotic:
Lupeol, isolated from the leaves of IC, was shown to have anti-inflammatory
activity in carrageenan induced paw edema in rats. Anti-mitotic activity
was also noted in a preliminary cytotoxic study.
• Cytotoxic / Antitumor: Study of the active fraction of Ixora coccinea flowers showed greater activity on ascitic tumors than solid tumors. It had no toxicity to normal lymphocytes but was toxic to lymphocytes from leukemic patients.
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study of the aqueous leaf extract of Ixora coccinea showed strong antihistamine and antioxidant activity that can account for its anti-inflammatory potential. In addition, the inhibition of prostaglandins and bradykinins may play a role in its antiinflammatory effect.
• Anti-Ulcer: Study of the fresh leaf extract of Ixora coccinea was found to possess potent anti-ulcerogenic property and could be a potential therapeutic agent against ulcer disease.
• Antidiarrheal / Leaves: Study of aqueous extract of leaves of Ixora coccinea showed significant inhibitory activity against castor-oil induced enteropooling in rats. There was significant reduction in gastrointestinal motility by the charcoal meal test.
• Bioactive Peptides / Anticancer / Platelet-Aggregation Inhibition: Study of methanol extract of Ixora coccinea yielded ixorapeptide I and ixorapeptide II, in addition to 28 other known compounds. Compound 1 exhibited selective potency against Hep3B liver cancer cell line. Compound 2 showed superoxide anion generation and elastase release. Kaempferol and luteolin from the plant showed inhibition of collagen-induced platelet aggregation.
• Anthelmintic: Study evaluated the anthelmintic activity of different extracts of Ixora coccinea roots on earthworm Pheretima posthuma. Results showed good anthelmintic activity with the chloroform extract showing better activity than petroleum ether, ethyl acetate and methanol extracts. Albendazole was used as standard.
• Anti-asthmatic: Study of an hydroalcoholic leaf extract in ovalalbumin-induced asthmatic rat model showed anti-asthmatic activity suppressing airway inflammation and airway hyperactivity. It also showed inhibitory effect on immediate allergic reactions probably mediated by reducing the release of mediators such as histamine from mast cells.
• Cardioprotective / Doxorubicin-Induced Toxicity: Study of a methanolic extract of leaves showed dose-dependent cardioprotection against doxorubicin-induced toxicity. The cardioprotection was attributed to to antioxidant properties.
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study of a methanolic leaf extract showed dose-dependent anti-inflammatory activity probably mediated via inhibition of NO production, phagocytic cell infiltration, anti-histamine effect, scavenging of free radicals, membrane stabilizing activity and lipid peroxidation.
• Wound Healing / Antibacterial: Study of an root extracts showed pronounced wound healing and antibacterial activity. It is proposed the external application of the extract prevented microbes from invading the wound. An aqueous extract showed moderate inhibition against all bacterial strains tested.
Common garden cultivation.