References

Chang CW, etal. (1995) Antiviral Res 27(4): 367-374.

Chu KT, et al. (2003) Biochem Biophys Res Commun 301(2): 364-370.

Horgen FD, et al. (2001) Phytomedicine 8(1): 71-81.

Warning: Caution must be taken as the toxic effects of this plant are unknown. Lithocarpus elegans (Bl.) Hatus. ex Soepadmo

[From Greek, Lithos = stone, karpos = fruit and from French, elegant = handsome]

Synonymy: Lithocarpus spicata Rehd.&Wils.

Common names: Mempening bangkas (Malay).

Fig. 54. Lithocarpus elegans (Bl.) Hatus. ex Soepadmo. From: KLU Herbarium 006267. Flora of Malaya. Field collector: MED Poore, 5 Oct 1963. Geographical localization: Hill forest, edge of the road just west of the Gap, Mile 56. Botanical Identification: E Soepadmo IV. 1968.

Physical description: It is a timber which grows to a height of 20 m. The plant grows in the secondary or degraded rainforest in the geographical areas spanning India, Vietnam and Indonesia. The bark is greenish-white and the inner bark light yellowish-brown. The sapwood is white. The wood is very hard and heavy. The stems are brown, lenti-celled and smooth. Leaves: simple, spiral, and stipulate. The stipules are triangular to linear and deciduous. The petiole is 8 mm-1 cm long and somewhat swollen at the base. The blade is 9.8 cm x 4.7cm-12cm x 4.5 cm, and leathery. Both the apex and the base of the blade are acute. The margin is entire and wavy. The blade shows 10-12 pairs of secondary nerves. The inflorescences are stout, woody, and 16.5cm-11 cm x 5mm terminal spikes. The fruits are leathery, glossy and smooth 1.3cm x 1.1 cm acorns. The cupules are rugose (Fig. 54).

Fig. 54. Lithocarpus elegans (Bl.) Hatus. ex Soepadmo. From: KLU Herbarium 006267. Flora of Malaya. Field collector: MED Poore, 5 Oct 1963. Geographical localization: Hill forest, edge of the road just west of the Gap, Mile 56. Botanical Identification: E Soepadmo IV. 1968.

Pharmaceutical interest: The pharmacological potential of this plant remains unexplored. However, note that the medicinal property mentioned above is most probably attributed to tannins which are astringent, precipitate proteins and therefore styptic. These tannins are probably responsible for the toxicity of the root and stem bark of Lithocarpus sp. 1 against Plasmodium falciparum cultured in vitro at a dose of 10 ^g/mL (Hor-gen FD et al., 2001). A methanol extract of the leaves, stem and root barks of Lithocarpus celebicus inhibits the growth of a broad spectrum of bacteria (Khan MR et al., 2001). Are tannins involved here again?. It will be interesting to learn whether more intensive future research on Lithocarpus elegans (Bl.) Hatus. ex Soepadmo will disclose any molecules of therapeutic interest.

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