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Hibiscus tiliaceus


Hibiscus tiliaefolius, Hibiscus circinnatus, Hibiscus guineensis, Partium tiliaceum, Hibiscus tiliaceus, Hibiscus elatus, Hibiscus tiliaceus [5]

Vernacular Names:


Baru, Baru-baru, Bebaru, Mebaru, Embaru, Baru Laut, Akar Seregang, Dedap Laut (Malay); Kelaut, Selaut (Sakai)

English Linden Hibiscus, Sea Hibiscus, Mahoe
China Huang-Jin, Huang Chun, Huang-mu-jin, Huang-mu-chin, Tong-ma, T′ung-ma, Gang-ma, Kang-ma, Hai-ma



Paw Tale, Paw Nanh


Malabago, Malabayo


Bolia, Chelwa (Hindi)




Uacima da Praia


Varo, Aviavy



South Pacific

Vau, Vauleka. Vau ndamu, Vau ndamundamu, Vau ndina, Vaundra (Fiji); Vo, Vole (New Caledonia)

South Africa

Kuskatoenboom, Wildekatoenboom (Afrikaans); unLolwa (Xhosa); uLola (Zulu)

General Information


Hibiscus tiliaceus is a member of the Malvaceae family. It is an evergreeen coastal tree that can reach up to 10m tall. The leaves are cordate measuring 10-15cm long and wide, coriaceous and olive green above and velvety white underneath. The flowers are large and showy, yellow with maroon center. The capsule is subglobose to ovoid, measuring about 2-3cm surrounded by the calyx. The seeds are reniform, smooth and glabrous. [1]

Plant Part Used


Chemical Constituents

3,4-seco-olean-11,13-dien-4,15alpha, 22beta,24-tetraol-3-oic  acid (1), 3,4-seco-olean-11,13-dien-4,7beta,22beta,24-tetraol-3-oic acid (2), 3,4-seco- olean-13-en-4,7,15,22,24-pentaol-3-oic acid (3), and 3,4-seco-olean-13-en-4,15,22,24-tetraol-3-oic acid (4) hibiscones 1 – d, hibiscusin, hibiscusamide, friedelin, epifriedelanol, pachysandiol A, named 27-oic-3-oxo-28-friedelanoic acid, vanillic acid, P-hydroxybenzoic acid, syringic acid, P-hydroxybenzaldehyde, scopoletin, N- trans-feruloyltyramine, N-cis-feruloyltyramine, a mixture of beta-sitosterol and stigmasterol, a mixture of beta-sitostenone and stigmasta-4,22-dien-3-one. [1-3]

Traditional Used:

Gastrointestinal Diseases

In the Philippines the bark of H. tiliaceuas is used to treat diarrhea by drinking the water where the fresh bark had been soaked. [1] The slimy substance expressed from the bark or flower bases are laxatives for the Hawaians. [4] Infusion of the bark is taken as a potion for treating stomachache. [8]

Respiratory Diseases

The Malays of costal Peninsular Malaysia used the leaves as an aid to remove phlegm from the respiratory passages. [1] Bark together with other plants crushed and water is added, strained and the resulting liquid taken for congested chest. [4]

Obstetrics and Gynaecology

The flowers are used as contraceptives while the slimy substances from the inner bark mixed with water is given to ease childbirth both in Hawaii [4] and the Pacific Islands. [7]

Other Uses

Leaves are used medicinally to treat broken bones, torn ligaments and sprains. [6] In the Tonga Islands mucilage from the bark is dripped into the eye to treat eye infection and injuries. [8]

Pre-Clinical Data


Cytotoxic activity

Chen et el. [2] isolated a new amide from the stem wood of H. tiliaceuas which proved to have cytotoxic activities against P-388 and HT-29 cell lines in vitro.

Tyrosinase inhibitor activity

Masuda et al. [10] found that extracts of H. tiliaceuas had potent activity against tyrosinase.

Antioxidant and Antimutagenic activities

Rosa et al. [11][12] studied the antioxidant and antimutagenic activity of H. tiliaceuas using methanolic extracts of the flowers had shown that these extracts strongly inhibit the mutagenic action of H2O2 or tert-butyl-hydroperoxide (t-BHP). They also demonstrated the this extract had cytoprotective effects by preventing GSH depletion and lipid peroxidation by H2O2 and t-BHP.


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

No documentation

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

No documentation

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

No documentation


No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation


Interactions with drugs

No documentation

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation

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  1)  Botanical Info


  1. Hwee Ling Koh, Chua Tung Kian, Chay Hoon Tan A Guide to Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated, Scientific and Medicinal Approach World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd. Singapore 2009 pg. 71
  2. Chen JJ, Huang SY, Duh CY, Chen IS, Wang TC, Fang HY. A new cytotoxic amide from the stem wood of Hibiscus tiliaceus. Planta Med. 2006 Aug;72(10):935-8. Epub 2006 May 29.
  3. Li L, Sattler I, Deng Z, Groth I, Walther G, Klaus-Dieter Menzel, Peschel G, Grabley S, Lin W. A-seco-oleane-type triterpenes from Phomopsis sp. (strain HKI0458) isolated from the mangrove plant Hibiscus tiliaceus. Phytochemistry. 2008 Jan;69(2):511-7. Epub 2007 Sep 21.
  4. Daniel E. Moerman Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press Inc. Portland 2004 pg 265
  5. Peter Hanelt Mandfeld’s Encyclopedia of Agricultural and Horticultural crops Volume 5 Springer_Verlag Berlin 2001 pg. 1592
  6. Craig R. Elevitch, Kim M. Wilkinson Agroforestry Guides for Pacific Islands Permanent Agriculture Resources, Halualoa 2000 pg. 32
  7. Paul A. Geraghty, Linda Crowl Science of Pacific Island People: Fauna, Flora, Food and Medicine Institute of Pacific Studies Suva Fiji 1994 pg. 21
  8. W. Arthur Whistler Tongan Herbal Medicine Isle Botanica , Honolulu 1992 pg 64
  9. Shui-ying Hu Food Plants of China The Chinese University of Hongkong, Hongkong 2005 pg. 541
  10. Masuda T, Yamashita D, Takeda Y, Yonemori S. Screening for tyrosinase inhibitors among extracts of seashore plants and identification of potent inhibitors from Garcinia subelliptica. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2005 Jan;69(1):197-201.
  11. Rosa RM, Melecchi MI, da Costa Halmenschlager R, Abad FC, Simoni CR, Caramão EB, Henriques JA, Saffi J, de Paula Ramos AL. Antioxidant and antimutagenic properties of Hibiscus tiliaceus L. methanolic extract. J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Sep 20;54(19):7324-30.
  12. Rosa RM, Moura DJ, Melecchi MI, dos Santos RS, Richter MF, Camarão EB, Henriques JA, de Paula Ramos AL, Saffi J. Protective effects of Hibiscus tiliaceus L. methanolic extract to V79 cells against cytotoxicity and genotoxicity induced by hydrogen peroxide and tert-butyl-hydroperoxide. Toxicol In Vitro. 2007 Dec;21(8):1442-52. Epub 2007 Jun 27.

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