References

Madinke JM, etal. (1989) Planta Medica 54(2): 122-125. Niyonzima G, etal. (1999) Phytomed 6(1): 45-49.

Warning: Caution must be taken as the toxic effects of this plant are unknown. Stereospermum fimbriatum (Wall.) DC.

[From Greek, stereo = hard, sperma = seeds and from Latin, fimbriatus = fringed]

Common names: Lumpoyang, chacha, chichah (Malay).

Physical description: It is a medium-sized deciduous rainforest tree which grows in a geographical zone, ranging from Burma to South of Malaysia. The inner bark shows white and yellow spots. The sap is yellowish. Leaves: imparipin-nate, and 30cm-60cm long. The rachis is covered with yellowish and sticky hairs. The blade consists of 7-9 pairs of folioles which are 7.5cm-15cm x 3cm-5cm. The apex of each foliole is acuminate, while the base is asymmetric. The inflorescences are 30 cm long clusters of pinkish flowers. The calyx is tubular campanulate, on the pubescent Fig. 334. Stereospermum fimbriatum (Wall.) on the outside, 1.2 cm long and devel- DC. ops short pointed lobes. The corolla is pale lilac, 3 cm x 7 cm, and funnel-shaped. The andrecium comprises of 4 stamens. The fruits are curved, 30cm-60cm x 1.2 cm, cylindrical and dehiscent capsules filled with several trigonous, winged seeds that are 2.5 cm x 6 mm (Fig. 334).

Pharmaceutical interest: It would be interesting to learn whether a more intensive study on this plant would disclose any naphthoquinones of chemotherapeutic interest. Naphthoquinones are known in general to have antibacterial, fungicidal, cytotoxic, antiprotozoal and antiviral properties.

Lapachol, characterized from Ster-eospermum kunthianum,gavefalse hopes as a chemotherapeutic candidate (Block JB et al., 1974; Consolacao DM et al., 1975) because of heavy side effects during clinical trials. Currently, no natural naphthoquinones are marketed for therapy and only a limited number of galenicals (Drosera species) are used. A number of naphtho-quinones, including lapachol, characterized from Tabebuia barbata or palo de arco used medicinally in South America, inhibit the proliferation of A549 human lung adenocarcinoma, MCF7 human breast carcinoma and HT29 human

Uses: In Malaysia, a decoction of the roots of Stereospermum fimbriatum (Wall.) DC. is used to promote recovery from childbirth. The juice expressed from the leaves or a paste of young leaves are used to assuage earache and to soothe irritated skin and inflamed parts. In Vietnam and Burma, the roots and leaves of Stereospermum chenoloides DC. are used to combat fever. The root bark and flowers of Stereospermum chenoloides DC. or paral, kashta-patali, are used by Asians living in Britain to cool, to promote urination, to invigorate health, and to assuage chest, brain and liver discomfort. In India, the flowers of Stereospermum suaveolens are used to cool, to promote urination and to produce venereal desire.

colon cancer cell-lines cultured in vitro. Naphthoquinones inhibit the transport of electrons in rat liver mitochondria (Colman DST et a/., 1997), suggesting a possible cytotoxic mitochondrial mechanism. Other naphthoquinones incubated in vitro with blood forms of P/asmodium fa/ciparum (72 hours) completely inhibit the proliferation at low concentration (20 ^M) and destroy drug resistant strains of P/asmodium more efficiently than chloroquine, nivaquineand quinine (Carvalho LH eta/., 1988).

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