Swietenia macrophylla

 

Swietenia macrophylla 

Synonyms

No documentation

Vernacular Name

Mahogany, Honduras mahogany, big-leafed mahogany, sky fruit, tunjuk langit.

Description

The wood from the Swietenia macrophylla is commonly used in veneers and for making quality furniture due to its reddish color.  However, recently, due to over harvesting use of S.  macrophylla it is becoming rarer to be used in furniture. The seeds are infused and then traditionally used for pain and circulation and as a tonic.  The seeds possess certain actives that are not found in any other plants across the world.  These active include certain flavonoids, saponins as well as vitamins, minerals and proteins.

S.  macrophylla is a large, hardwood tree of the Meliaceae family.  Ranging in height from 30-40m, S. macrophylla can also grow to 4m in diameter.  In some circumstances, the tree can reach 60m in height and 9m in diameter.  S. macrophylla has a cylindrical trunk, a buttressed trunk and rough, pleasant smelling bark which flakes off the trunk easily.  The leaves are large and broad, paripinnate, glabrous leaves which can grow to 45cm in length.  When young, the leaves of S. macrophylla are a light green or even red.  Upon maturing, they become dark green and thick.  Blooming in the spring, S. macrophylla produces small, white or green flowers which grow to no more than 1cm in width.  The inflorescence blooms directly from the stem.  S. macrophylla produces large fruit, roughly 40cm in diameter and ranging in color from light grey to dark brown.  Inside each of the fruits are up to 70 winged seeds, each roughly 7cm in length.

Origin / Habitat

S.  macrophylla originated in Central and South America, specifically Honduras, El Salvador, or Panama.  S.  macrophylla needs tropic weather to survive, needing softer, dryer soils.  I cannot grow in coarse soils such as limestone or granite soils. This plant needs a lot of sun; it will not do well in partial shade.

Chemical Constituents

Tetranortriterpenoids (limonoids) including swietenolide, swietenine, and augustineolide; Bark contains phenylpropanoid-substituted epicatechins, including swietemacrophyllanin.[1],[2],[3]

Plant Part Used

Seed

Medicinal Uses

General

Blood sugar regulation

Antioxidant

Sexual health

Antibacterial/antiprotozoal/antifungal

Cardiovascular health

 

Most Frequently Reported Uses

Blood sugar regulation

Antioxidant

Dosage

Dosage Range

Seed: 400-800mg, 1-3 times daily.

Most Common Dosage

The dosage is specific to the individual and application and therefore, there is no standard common dosage.

Standardization Dosage

No standardization known.

Pharmacology

Pre-clinical

S.  macrophylla seed is traditionally used in improving blood sugar balance. To support these claims, laboratory studies have found that extracts of the seed of mahogany (S.  macrophylla) have positive effects on glucose utilization, helping to improve blood sugar balance. In a laboratory study, a compound found in swietenine was found to improve glucose utilization comparable to that of human insulin. [4] Another laboratory study found that swietenine give to diabetic rats had significant hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic activity. [5]

Although not used currently as a supplement, S.  macrophylla bark is reported in a laboratory study to contain flavonoids including catechins and epicatechins (namely swietemacrophyllanin).[3] Catechins are also found in green tea and are the reported reasoning behind the antioxidant and health benefits of this popular herb.

Clinical

At this time, there is no clinical information regarding S.  macrophylla.

Interaction and Depletions

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation

Interaction with Drugs

Based on pharmacology, use with caution in those taking hypoglycemic medications, including insulin.

Precautions and Contraindications

Side effects

Although there is a scientific research exists for the safe use of mahogany, mahogany seed has been used traditionally for centuries and is reported safe in recommended doses. 

Pregnancy

No documentation

Age limitation

No documentation

Adverse reaction

No documentation

Read More

  1)  Botanical Info

  2)  Safety

References

  1. Connolly JD, et al. Swietenolde. Tetrahedron lett. 1965:6:2937-2940
  2. Solomon KA, et al. Sweietenine. Acta Cryst. 2003:59:1519-1521.
  3. Falah S, Suzuki T, Katayama T. Chemical constituents from Swietenia macrophylla bark and their antioxidant activity. Pak J Biol Sci. 15 Aug 2008;11(16):2007-2012.
  4.  Maiti A, Dewanjee S, Sahu R. Isolation of hypoglycemic phytoconstituent from Swietenia macrophylla seeds. Phytother Res. 15Apr2009. [Epub ahead of print]
  5.  Dewanjee S, Maiti A, Das AK, Mandal SC, Dey SP. Swietenine: A potential oral hypoglycemic from Swietenia macrophylla seed.Fitoterapia. Jun2009;80(4):249-251