Hancea integrifolia (PROTA)

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Hancea integrifolia (Willd.) Kulju & Welzen


Protologue: Adansonia 1: 255 (1861).
Family: Euphorbiaceae

Synonyms

  • Cordemoya integrifolia (Willd.) Baill.

Vernacular names

  • Bois de perroquet, Jacques marron, bois pigeon (Fr).

Origin and geographic distribution

Hancea integrifolia is endemic to Réunion and Mauritius.

Usages

In Réunion a stem bark infusion is taken to treat high blood pressure and to improve blood circulation. The stem bark macerated in rum is taken as a tonic, often prior to strenuous physical efforts.

Propriétés

Preliminary phytochemical screening of the leaves yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, coumarins, saponins and terpenes. The stem bark contains alkaloids, tannins and terpenes. The acetone, ethanol and water extracts of the stem bark showed moderate antihypertensive activity in vitro. A methanol extract of the aerial parts did show low activity against several pathogenic human viruses in vitro.

Description

  • Monoecious shrub or small tree up to 15 m tall; bark reddish brown; young branches with deep grooves and groups of stellate hairs, older branches rounded and glabrous.
  • Leaves arranged spirally at the end of branches, simple and entire; stipules tiny, soon falling; petiole 2–20 cm long, reddish, thickened at base; blade ovate, 5–18(–38) cm × 3.5–8(–16) cm, base rounded, apex acute.
  • Female inflorescence an axillary, few-flowered raceme, male one a 15– 30-flowered panicle 5–10 cm long.
  • Flowers unisexual; petals and disk absent; pedicel 1–3(–5) mm long; male flowers with 3 ovate sepals 3–4 mm long, concave, stamens numerous, c. 2 mm long; female flowers with 4 lanceolate-triangular sepals c. 3 mm long, ovary superior, 3-lobed, 3-celled, styles 3, 8–14 mm long, fused at base.
  • Fruit a 3-lobed capsule 12–14 mm in diameter, each lobe with 2 curved horns 3–6 mm long, 3-seeded.
  • Seeds rounded, 7–9 mm long, dark brown, shiny.

Autres données botaniques

Hancea comprises a single species, and is close to Mallotus.

Ecologie

Hancea integrifolia occurs in rainforest, at 800–1000 m altitude.

Ressources génétiques

Hancea integrifolia is possibly threatened by genetic erosion, although the remaining rainforests on Réunion and Mauritius are protected.

Perspectives

Hancea integrifolia has several interesting medicinal applications, which are partly confirmed by pharmaceutical tests. It would be worthwhile investigating the active compounds.

Major references

  • Adsersen, A. & Adsersen, H., 1997. Plants from Réunion Island with alleged antihypertensive and diuretic effects - an experimental and ethnobotanical evaluation. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 58: 189–206.
  • Coode, M.J.E., 1982. Euphorbiacées. In: Bosser, J., Cadet, T., Guého, J. & Marais, W. (Editors). Flore des Mascareignes. Familles 153–160. The Sugar Industry Research Institute, Mauritius, l’Office de la Recherche Scientifique Outre-Mer, Paris, France & Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 117 pp.
  • Gurib-Fakim, A. & Brendler, T., 2004. Medicinal and aromatic plants of Indian Ocean Islands: Madagascar, Comoros, Seychelles and Mascarenes. Medpharm, Stuttgart, Germany. 568 pp.
  • Lavergne, R., 2001. Le grand livre des tisaneurs et plantes médicinales indigènes de la Réunion. Editions Orphie, Chevagny sur Guye, France. 522 pp.

Other references

  • Forgacs, P., Buffard, G., Desconclois, J.F., Jehanno, A., Provost, J., Tiberghien, R. & Touché, A., 1981. Etudes phytochimiques et activités biologiques des plantes endémiques de l’Ile de la Reunion et de l’Ile Maurice (composition chimique, Senecio, Stoebe, Philippia, Claoxylon, Cordemoya, Geniostoma, Nuxia, Turraea, Monimia, Tambourissa, Maillardia, Olax, Antirrhoea, Bertiera, Coffea mauritiana, Gaertnera, Psathura, Psychotria). Plantes Médicinales et Phytothérapie 15(2): 80–91.
  • Fortin, H., Vigor, C., Lohézic-Le Dévéhat, F., Robin, V., Le Bossé, B., Boustie, J. & Amoros, M., 2002. In vitro antiviral activity of thirty-six plants from La Réunion Island. Fitoterapia 73: 346–350.
  • Govaerts, R., Frodin, D.G. & Radcliffe-Smith, A., 2000. World checklist and bibliography of Euphorbiaceae (with Pandaceae). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 1620 pp.

Author(s)

  • G.H. Schmelzer, PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands

Correct citation of this article

Schmelzer, G.H., 2007. Cordemoya integrifolia (Willd.) Baill. In: Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (Editors). Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands. Accessed 23 July 2021.