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Ficus pumila

Synonyms

Ficus scandens, Ficus hanceana, Ficus minima, Ficus stipulata, Plagiostigma pumila, Plagiostigma stipulate, Urostigma scandens [2] [8]

Vernacular Names:

Malaysia Ara Jalar
English Creeping Fig, Fig Vine, Creeping Rubber Plant, Figvinel Tropical Ivy
China Bi Li, Man Tu Lua, Mu-lien, Mu-man-t'ou, Kuei-mau-t'ou
Indonesia Dolar, Pacar Tembok
Myanmar
Jyauk Kat Nyaung Nwe
Vietnam
Cay Trau Co
Japan
Oo itabi, O-itabi, Itabi Kadsoura, Ki Fatsisou, Fime Itabi, Pi Li
German
Kletter-Feige
French
Figuier Rampant
Danish
Haengefigen
Italian
Fico Rampicante
Spanish Higuera Trepadora, Paja de Colchon, Paz y Justice, Una
Portuguese Falsa-hera, Hera de China, Hera-miuda, Mama de Pared
Serbian
Penjuci Fikus, Puzajuci Fikus [1] [2]

General Information

Description

Ficus pumila is a member of the Moraceae family. It is a robust, true-climbing evergreen vine attaching to rocks, walls, tree trunks by means of exudations from the aerial roots. The branches are downy. The leaves are polymorphic, those on the vegetative creeping stems are ovate-subcordate in shape, measuring 1-3cm long and 0.8-2cm wide, apex obtuse or acute, base oblique cordate, thinly papery, glabrous except on major veins beneath. The leaves on erect branches bearing flowers are oblong, ovate-oblong or obovate in shape measuring 3-9cm long and 1.5-4cm wide, obtuse, rounded or rarely emarginated at apex, faveolate and pilose beneath. It has fleshy receptacles that are ellipsoid-subspherical in shape, measuring 1.5cm long and across the middle, apex obtuse, densely covered by yellow hairs, pedunculated, bracts 3, apical to the stalk. The mature syncarp is turbinate, measures 4-8 cm long and 3-4cm in diameter across the truncate end.[3] [5]

Plant Part Used

Fruit, leaf, latex, plant sap [2]

Chemical Constituents

(24S)-stigmast-5-ene-3β,24-diol; (24S)-24-hydroxystigmast-4-en-3-one; (24RS)-3β-acetoxyeycloart-25-en-24-ol; (23Z)-3β-acetoxycycloart-23-en-25-O; (23Z)-3β-acetoxyeupha-7,23-dien-25-ol; 3b-acetoxy-22,23,24,25,26,27-hexanordammaran-20-one; 3b-acetoxy-20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27-octanordammaran-17b –ol; 3b -acetoxy-(20R,22E,24RS)-20,24-dimethoxydammaran-22-en-25-ol; 3b -acetoxy-(20S,22E,24RS)-20,24-dimethoxydammaran-22-en-25-ol;  apigenin 6-neohesperidose; benzyl-beta-D-glucopyranoside; bergapten; (E)-2-methyl-2-butenyl beta-D-glucopyranoside;  kaempferol 3-robinobioside;   kaempferol 3-rutinoside;  oxypeucedanin hydrate; neohopane; pumilaside A; pumilaside B; pumilaside C; rutin [9-14]

Traditional Used:

In Traditional Chinese Medicine F. pumila is considered cold and bitter and has the ability to clear fever and detoxifies.

Gastro Intestinal Diseases

F. pumila is used to treat gastrointestinal diseases especially diarrhoea and dysentery.[2] Usually the decoction of the leaves is used to treat these two conditions. It is a remedy for haemorrhoids. In Malaysia, a decoction of the leaves is used to cleanse the haemorrhoids while the paste of the twigs or the latex is applied over the lesion to promote reduction and healing of the piles. For hernia, a decoction of the roots is given to the patient.[7]

Respiratory Diseases

To relieve asthma, a poultice of the leaves is applied over the chest.[7]

Gynaecological Diseases

The shape of the fruit is similar to that of the uterus and this forms the basis of its use in the treatment of uterine problems including amenorrhoea and oligomenorrhoea. In these cases a decoction of the dried fruit is given. The whole plant is thought to have lactagogue activity.[2][4][6][7] For promoting lactation the mother is given a meat or bone soup where the dried fruit had been added to or she is given to drink rice wine with the dried fig.[7]

Genito-urinary Diseases

The diuretic propertyof the plant qualifies its use in the treatment of various urinary tract problems including dysuria, strangury, haematuria and bladder infection. It is also recommended for use in the treatment of gonorrhoea. Dried fruit is used in the treatment of impotency, spermatorrhoea by making a decoction of it.[2] [4][6][7]

Other Uses

The plant is believed to have anti-inflammatory activity and is used in the treatment of skin infections, tuberculosis of the testicles, injuries and rheumatic arthritis.[2][4][6][7]

Pre-Clinical Data

Pharmacology

Antimicrobial activity

From the chloroform extracts of F. pumila two bioactive furanocoumarin derived compounds (bergapten and oxypeucedanin hydrate) were isolated. Bergapten had antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Salmonela typhi while oxypeucedanin hydrate was only active against Salmonella typhi. Both compound were found to have antimutagenic activity with oxypeucedanin hydrate being stronger. Another compound isolated from the leaves (neohopane) showed a wider spectrum of activity. The micro-organism affected by neohopane include Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Baccilus subtilis and Candida albicans.[12][14]

Antioxidant activity

The leaves of F. pumila contained flavonoids of which four (rutin, apigenin 6-neohesperidose, kaempferol 3-robinobioside and kaempferol 3-rutinoside) had been identified by Cheng Ning et al. in both aqueous and ethanol extracts. Of the four they found that rutin had the highest antioxidant activity.[13]

Toxicities

No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

Paulsen E et al. [15] reported cases of immediate skin and mucosal symptoms developing in gardeners and greenhouse workers. Amongst the plants implicated in this reaction is F. pumila .

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. Walter Erhardt, Erich GZotz, Allen J. Coombes, Nils Bodeker, Seigmund Seybols The Timber Press Dictionary of Plant Names Timber Press Inc. Portland 2009 pg. 348
    2. Ephraim Philip Lansky, Helena Maaria Paavilainen Figs CRC Press Inc. Boca Raton 2009 pg. 59
    3. Micheal Dirr Dirr’s Tree and Shrubs for Warm Climates: An Illustrated Encyclopedia Timber Press Inc. Portland 2002 pg. 120
    4. Shizhen Li, Porter Smith, George Arthur Stuart Chinese Medicinal Herbs: A Modern Edition of a Classic Sixteenth-Century Manual Dover Publications Inc. New York 1973 pg. 175
    5. Shui-ying Hu Food Plants of China The Chinese University Press Hong Kong 2005 pg. 360
    6. Running Press A Barefoot Doctor’s Manual: A Concise Edition of the Classic Work of Eastern Herbal Medicine Running Press Book Publishers Philadelphia 2003 pg. 508
    7. Hean Chool Ong Tanaman Hiasan: Khasiat Makanan & Ubatan Utusan Publishing & Distributors Sdn. Bhd. Kuala Lumpur 2008 pg. 62 – 63
    8. R. Fritsch, Peter Hanelt, Ruth Kilian, Wofgang Kilian Mansfeld’s Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Horticulture Crops Volume 2 Springer-Verlag Berlin 2001 pg 373
    9. Junichi KITAJIMA,* Kaoru KIMIZUKA, and Yasuko TANAKA Three New Sesquiterpenoid Glucosides of Ficus pumila Fruit Chem. Pharm. Bull. 48(1) 77—80 (2000) 77
    10. Junichi KITAJIMA,* Kaoru KIMIZUKA, and Yasuko TANAKA New Dammarane-Type Acetylated Triterpenoids and Their Related Compounds of Ficus pumila FruitChem. Pharm. Bull. 47(8) 1138—1140 (1999)
    11. Kitajima J, Kimizuka K., Tanaka Y New Sterols and triterpinoids of Ficus Pimula fruit Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 1998 vol 46(9): 1408 – 1411
    12. Juan, EA; Rideout JA; Ragasa CY Bioactive furanocoumarin derivatives from Ficus pumila (Moraceae) Philippine Journal of Science (April-June 1997) vol. 126(2):143-153
    13. Cheng Ning Abraham Leong, Masakuni Tako, Isao Hanashiro, Hajime Tamaki Antioxidant Flavonoid glycosides form the leaves of Ficus pumila L. Food Chemistry July 2008 vol. 109(2):415 – 420
    14. Ragasa CY, Juan E, Rideout JA  A triterpene from Ficus pumila. J Asian Nat Prod Res. 1999;1(4):269-75.
    15. E. Paulsen, P. Stahl Skov, K. E. Andersen Immediate skin and mucosal symptoms from pot plants and vegetables in gardeners and greenhouse workers Contact Dermatitis Volume 39(4):166–170, October 1998

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