Salacia grandiflora Kurz

[From Latin, grandis = large and flores = flowers]

Physical description: It is a climbing shrub which grows in the rainforests of Malaysia. The stems are lenticelled and glabrous. Leaves: simple, subopposite and without stipules. The petiole is channeled above and 6mm-8mm x 1.75 mm-2 mm long. The blade is rigid, elliptic-obovate, 18.5 cm-20.5 cmx6.7 cm-9.2 cm.The apex of the blade is apiculate and the base acute. The margin is recurved and somewhat wavy. The midrib is raised above and below. The blade shows 7-10 pairs of secondary nerves raised on both surfaces. The flowers are 2.5 mm long, pink and cauliflorous. The fruits are globose, 3.5 cm diameter berries containing several 3-lobed seeds of 2 cm length (Fig. 189).

Pharmaceutical interest: To date, the pharmacological properties of Salacia grandiflora Kurz. are unknown.

Malaya Botanical
Fig. 189. Salacia grandiflora Kurz. From: KLU Herbarium 19209. Flora of Malaya. Field collector & botanical identification: SC Chin. Geographical Localization: Perak, Ipoh, Gunong Rapat, Limestone 100 m.

Uses: In Malaysia, a decoction of the roots of Salacia grandiflora Kurz. is used to promote menses.

Antidiabetes properties: Note that the Salacia species are interesting because they produce various sorts of a-glucosidase, «-amylase, sucrase, isomaltase and aldose reductase inhibitors of possible therapeutic value for the treatment of diabetes. Examples of a-glucosidase inhibitors are sulphonium salacinol and kotalanol both characterized from Salacia reticulata and Salacia oblonga, which also strongly inhibit a-amylase and sucrase respectively (Yoshikawa M etal., 1998; Matsuda H etal., 1999;Ghavami A etal., 2001). Mangiferin characterized from Salacia reticulata inhibits sucrase, isomaltase and aldose reductase with IC50 values of 87,216, and 1.4 ^g/mL (Yoshikawa M etal., 2001). The friedelane-type triterpene kotalagenin 16-acetate characterized from Salacia oblonga inhibits aldose reductase (Matsuda H etal., 1999).

Other properties: Quinone methides from Salacia kraussii display in vitro antimalarial activity (Figueiredo JN et a/., 1998). The root bark powder of Salacia oblonga assuages the paw edema induced by carrageenan in male albino rats (Ismail TS et a/., 1997). Isoiguesterin, an antileukemic bisnortriterpene, was characterized from Salacia madagascariensis, a plant also known to have strong antimalarial properties in vitro (Gessler MC etal., 1994).

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