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Family Apocynaceae
Sarasara
Strophanthus caudatus (L.) Kurz

Scientific names Common names
Apocynum floristratum Noronha Sarasara (Ilk.)
Echites caudatus L.  
Nerium caudatum (L.) Lam.  
Nerium scandens Lour.  
Strophanthus caudatus (L.) Kurz  
Strophanthus cumingii A.DC.  
Strophanthus dichotomus DC. [Illegitimate]  
Strophanthus erectus Merr.  
Strophanthus giganteus Pierre [Illegitimate]  
Strophanthus griffithii Wight  
Strophanthus horsfieldianus (L.) Miq.  
Strophanthus letei Merr.  
Strophanthus longicaudatus Wight  
Strophanthus macrophyllus (Franch.) Pierre  
Strophanthus pierrei F.Heim  
Strophanthus scandens Reinw. & Schult.  
Strophanthus terminalis Blume  
Strophanthus letei Merr. is a synonym of Strophanthus caudatus (L.) Kurz. The Plant List
Strophanthus caudatus (L.) Kurz is an accepted name. The Plant List
Quisumbing's compilation lists Strophanthus letei Merr. (Sarasara) as a separate species from Strophanthus cumingii A. DC. The Plant List lists both S. letei and S. cumingii as synonyms of Strophanthus caudatus (L.) Kurz.
Quisumbing's compilation lists Strophanthus letei Merr. (Sarasara) as scientific name for Sarasara, which he further describes as endemic to the Philippines. Stophanthus caudatus, the accepted name, is reported in E. Asia- Philippines, southern China, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea.
Also see: Abuhab-baging

Other vernacular names
VIETNAMESE: Sung chau.


Gen info
• Strophantus is a genus of 35-40 species of flowering plants in the Apocynaceae family
Strophos anthos, "twisted cord flower," derives from the long twisted threadlike segments of the corolla. (4)

Botany
Sarasara is an erect, somewhat climbing shrub about 3 meters high. Leaves are oblong-elliptic, 8 to 13 centimeters long, 3 to 5 centimeters broad, and pointed at both ends. Flowers are white. Sepals are lanceolate, about 4 millimeters long. Corolla tube is 10 to 12 millimeters long; the corolla lobes are continued into a slender, tail-like projection, about 10 millimeters long. Fruit consists of a double follicle, each about 15 to 17 centimeters long and 4 centimeters wide, with a pointed tip. Follicle is somewhat woody and contains numerous seeds, each of which terminate in a long, slender projection with numerous, long hairs.

Quisumbing's compilation publishes S. letei as closely allied to S. cumingii, differing only in its smaller flowers and smooth filaments. The Plant List lists both S. letei and S. cumingii as synonyms of S. caudatus. (see: Abuhad-baging / Strophanthus cumingii)

Distribution
- Found in La Union Province, growing in thickets at low altitude.

- S. caudatus is reported in E. Asia- Philippines, southern China, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea.

Constituents
- Bark of roots and stems yield saponin, 2.1% in roots, 0.9% in bark. It is somewhat similar to pseudostrophanthin . In animal studies, the saponin, in the form of an amorphous powder, increases the tone and augment heart contraction and increases blood pressure. By mouth, the drug produces emesis.
- In biological assay, the powder was found to possess one-twentieth the strength of ouabain.

Properties
- Bark of roots.

Parts used
Bark.s

Uses

Folkloric
In the Philippines, bark is employed as an effective arrow-poison.

Studies
Glycosides:
The glycosides of Strophanthus cumingii A. DC. were compared with cardiogenic glycosides (digitoxin, ouabain, and strophanthin) by paper chromatography. (2)
• Cardioactivity / Bark: Study evaluated the cardioactivity of bark extract of S. cumingii and its sub-fractions on isolated frog hearts. The hexane fraction was the most cardioactive with maximum 30.58% increase in force of contraction and 38.24% increase in frequency of contraction. The non-polar fraction of the crude extract from bark elicited a positive inotropic and negative chronotropic effect. (3)

Availability
Wild-crafted.

Last Update January 2017
February 2012


IMAGE SOURCE: Flowering stem / Strophanthus caudatus / Photograph by Yee Alex Thiam Koon / Creative Commons • CC by NC.SA 2.0 / click on image to go to source page / Useful Tropical Plants
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Illustration / Apocynaceae-Strophanthus caudatus - S. dichotomus / From I'horticulteur universal. journal general des jardiniers et amateurs by Charles Lemaire (editor), Paris, H. Cousin, 1841, Vol 2. Hand-coloured engraving / Click on image to go to source page / Meemelink

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
Strophanthus caudatus / Synonyms / The Plant List

(2)
Studies on Philippine medicinal plants. I. Paper chormatography and spectrophotometric determination. / Manalo GD, Lleander GC / Philippine Journal of Science, 1961
(3)
THE CARDIOACTIVE SCREENING OF THE EXTRACT FROM THE BARK OF STROPHANTHUS CUMINGII A.DC. (APOCYNACEAE) USING ISOLATED FROG HEART / Maribeth R. Laurente*, Mafel C. Ysrael / Int J Pharm 2015; 5(4): 1048-1050
(4)
Strophanthus / The Full Wiki

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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