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Casuarina equisetifolia

Synonyms

Casuarina africana, Casuarina litoralis, Casuarina indicaCasuarina truncata, Casuarina muricata, Casuarina sparsa, Casuarina mertensiana [3]

Vernacular Names:

Malaysia

Ru

English Beach She-oak, Beefwood, Horsetale Casuarina, Ironwood, She-oak, Queensland Swampoak, Whistling Pine, Redwood Tree
Indonesia

Chemara (Java); Haro (Sumatera)

Philippines

Agoboo, Agoho, Agoo, Agoso, Aguho, Ayo, Caro, Mahahog, Malabohog [4]

Vietnam

Filao

India

Jau, Jangli sarn

French

Arbe de Fer, Bois de Fer, Bois de Filao, Pin d’Australie

German 

Eisenholz, Keulenbaum

Spanish     

Arbol del hierro, Pino maritimo; Casuarina

South Pacific

Aito (Societies, Australs); Burukam (Kiribati); Gogo (Guam); Laash, Lach, Nach (Yap); Mejinoki (Marshall Islands); Ngas (Palau); Nokonoko (Fiji); Paina (Hawaii); Toa (Tonga, Samoa, Niur, ‘Uvea, Futuna, Cooks, Marquesas); Weeku (Chuuk) [2] [3]

General Information

Description

Casuarina equisetifolia is a member of the Casuarinaceae family. It is a dioecious, moderate to large sized tree attaining a height of about 40m under favourable conditons. It has a straight bole with rough woody branches bearing long, needle-like shoots with almost invisible whorls of scales givien it the appearance of a graceful pine. The leaves are reduced to lanceolate scales measuring 0.5-1mm long, united at the base with sheath-like world of about seven around the nodes. The flowers are inflorescence of unisexual flowers in pistillate heads and staminate spikes. The female heads are ovoid to subglobose, measure up to 1cm long, many-flowered borne laterally at the nodes of the branches, each flower subtended by one bract and two bracteoles, perianth absent. The ovary is superior with a bifid style bearing two elongated, red, linear stigmas; male flowers are sometimes present on the peduncle. The staminate spikes elongate 8-70mm long, borne mostly at the ends of the branches, with each flower subtended by two awl-shaped bracteoles and two tepals; one stamen, exseted. The fruit is a woody, ovoid to subglobose, cone-like head measuring 1.2-2.2cm long, formed from the persistent, valve-like bracteoles pubescent on the outside, there saperating at maturity to release the nut. The seeds are enclosed within a nut borne in the cone. It measure 4-5mm long, most of it is a membranous wing called samara. [1] [2]

Plant Part Used

Stem Bark, Leaves [2] [5]

Chemical Constituents

Caffeic acid; chlorogenic acid; d-gallocatechin; ellagic acid; epicatechin; ferulic acid; gallic acid; kaempferol; procyanidin; prodelphinidin; propelargonidin; quercetin; rutin. [6] [7]

Traditional Used:

Gastro-intestinal Diseases

The leaves is used to treat abominal colic in the form of a decoction. In Yap (an island in the South Pacific) the inner bark is used ot treat diarrhoea and other digestive problems. The Indian considered the bark astringent and appropriately used it to treat diarrhoea and dysentery. In Cook Island and Fiji the extract of the bark is considered an emetic and used to induce vomiting in a much stronger concentration.[2] [5]

Other uses

In Tonga the infusion of the bark is used to treat oral thrush in infants. It is also used as an expectorant for productive cough. The grated inner bark is made into a solution to treat urinary tract problems. The same is used to treat rheumatism. [2]

Pre-Clinical Data

Pharmacology

Antioxidant activity

The bark of C. equisetifolia was amongst the plant material studied for their antioxidant activity by Prakash et al. [6] They found the extracts of the bark of C. equisetifolia to have goot anti-radical power (16.2) and reducing power (0.7 ASE/ml) despite the low total phenolic content (TPC = 72.1mg/g). The condensed tannin content of stem bark and fine roots of C. equisetifolia was found to have very good antioxidant activities as proven by DPPH radical scavenging activity and ferric reducing/antioxidant power (FRAP). [7]

Aeroallergens activity

An allergic provocation tests study was done to determine the allergenicity of Australian pine (C. equisetifolia) pollen extract (APE). The results showed that 71% of subject with allergic rhinitis had positive nasal response and positive APE skin test and 50% of cases of extrinsic asthmatics had positive bronchial challenge with positive APE skin test. The Australian pine pollen specific IgE was demonstrated in 42% of subject with positive nasal challenge and 80% of subjects with positive bronchial challenge. [8]

Toxicities

No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

C. equisetifolia pollen extract has been found to be aeroallergen and can provoke allergic reaction especially respiratory, in sensitive individuals. [8]

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

No documentation

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

No documentation

Geriatrics

No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation

Interactions

Interactions with drugs

No documentation

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation

Contraindications

Contraindications

No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation

References

    1. Lalit kumar Jha, P.K. Sen-Sarma Forest Entomology A.P.H. Publishing Corporation New Delhi 2008 pg. 187
    2. Craig R. Elevitch, Isabella Aiona Abbot, Roger R.B. Leakey Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands: Their culture, Environment and uses Permanent Agriculture Resources Hawaii 20056pg. 228 – 237
    3. Peter Hanelt, R. Büttner, Rudolf Mansfeld, Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung Gatersleben, Mansfeld's encyclopedia of agricultural and horticultural crops Volume 2  Springer-Verlag Berlin 2001 pg.343
    4. Elmer Drew Merrill A Dictionary of the Plant Names of the Philippine Islands BibliaLife LLC, 2009 pgs. 12, 13, 21, 48 & 78
    5. R. Vardhana Direct Uses of Medicinal Plants and Their Identification Sarup & Sons New Delhi 2008 pg. 76
    6. Prakash D, Suri S, Upadhyay G, Singh BN. Total phenol, antioxidant and free radical scavenging activities of some medicinal plants. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2007 Feb;58(1):18-28.
    7. Zhang SJ, Lin YM, Zhou HC, Wei SD, Lin GH, Ye GF. Antioxidant tannins from stem bark and fine root of Casuarina equisetifolia. Molecules. 2010 Aug 16;15(8):5658-70.
    8. Bucholtz GA, Hensel AE 3rd, Lockey RF, Serbousek D, Wunderlin RP. Australian pine (Casuarina equisetifolia) pollen as an aeroallergen. Ann Allergy. 1987 Jul;59(1):52-6.
    9. ROUX DG. d-Gallocatechin from the bark of Casuarina equisetifolia Linn. Nature. 1957 Jan 19;179(4551):158-9.

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