Family • Celastraceae - Lophopetalum toxicum Loher

Scientific names

Lophopetalum celebicus Koord.
Lophopetalum toxicum Loher
Lophopetalum fimbriatum F.-Vill.
Lophopetalum fuscescens Kurz.
Lophopetalum javanicum (Zoll.) Turcz.
Lophopetalum oblongum King
Lophopetalum paucinervium Merr..
Hippocratea maingayi Vidal

Common names

Abuab (Tag.)
Abutab (Tag.)
Butiñgi (Tag.)
Buyum (Sul.)
Dayandang (Tag.)
Dita (Neg.)
Kalibambañgan (Man.)
Puti-i-babe (Lan.)
Puti-i-lalaki (Lan.)
Sudkad (P. Bis.)

Abuab is a tree growing to a height of 25 to 50 meters. Leaves are opposite or occasionally alternate, smooth, oblong, often 15 to 18 centimeters long but sometimes reaching a length of 25 centimeters, about 7 centimeters wide, and usually pointed at both ends. Flowers are greenish white, about 1 centimeter in diameter, with five petals, and borne in terminal or axillary panicles. Fruit is leathery and smooth, reaching a 12 centimeters long and 2.5 centimeters wide, with three, broad, longitudinal wings.


– In primary forests at low and medium altitudes up to 1000 meters, in Rizal, Quezon, Laguna, and Camarines Provinces in Luzon; in Mindoro, Masbate, Leyte Mindanao, and the Sulu Archipelago.
– Also reported in Thailand, Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Celebes, Moluccas and New Guinea.

– Plant yields a physiologically active substance, a saponin which in poisonous in small quantities.
– Study isolated a glucoside, lophopetalin.
– Study yielded lophopetalin, 0.2%; saponin; phytosterine, 5%; luperol; betulin; and a new stearin.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Lophopetalum javanicum (Zoll.) Turcz. / AsianPlantNet

(2) Phyto chemical investigation on Lophopetalum toxicum Loher (Fam celastraceae) [in the Philippines] /
Castillo, A.V.; Enriquez, O.E. (University of the Philippines, Quezon City. Coll. of Pharmacy) / NRCP [National Research Council of the Philippines] Bulletin (1980)

(3) Identifizierung von 6-Desoxyhexosen im Mikromassstab. / Wagner, H.; Habermeier, H.; Wegener, G.
Journal / Planta Medica 1980 Vol. 39 No. 2 pp. 135-139

(4) Preliminary Biological Investigations of Lophopetalum fimbriatum and Calophyllum inophyllum / Razib Saha, Md. Rokibuzzaman, Tasnuva Sharmin, Md. Al Amin Sikder, Md. Zashim Uddin and Mohammad A. Rashid / Bangladesh Pharmaceutical Journal 16(2): 215-219, 2013

(5) Die Herzglykoside des Pfeilgiftes von Lophopetalum toxicum LOHER. 13. Mitteilung über Celastraceen-Inhaltsstoffe / Wagner, H., Habermeier, H. and Schulten, H.-R. (1984) / HCA, 67: 54–64. / doi: 10.1002/hlca.19840670108

Parts used
Bark sap.

– In the Philippines, thickened sap of the bark used by the Negritos and other hillmen to poison the tips of their arrows or darts

– Wood: Timber used for plywood and panelling.
– Poison: Bark used as constituent of dart poison.

Study Findings
• Cardiac glycosides / Arrow Poison: A combined analytic method is described for the identification of eight 6-deoxyhexoses of cardiac glycosides found in the arrow poison of LT.
• Phytochemical screening / Bark: Study isolated a crystalline substance from the bark of LT. Preliminary tests yielded saponin, terpenoids, and steroids. Petroleum ether and ether extract isolated a triterpenoid compound.
• Free Radical Scavenging / Membrane Stabilizing Potential: Study evaluated a crude methanolic extract of leaf of Lophopetalum fimbriatum and C. inophyllum as well as their fractions for biological activities. isolated a crystalline subs compound. A methanolic crude extract showed the highest free radical scavenging activity which could be correlated with total phenolic contents. L. fimbriatum showed lysis in the assay thrombolytic activity, inhibition of human erythrocyte hemolysis. Results showed radical scavenging activity and significant cytotoxic and membrane stabilizing potentials.
• Cardiac Glycosides / Bark: Study of the cytotoxic and positive inotropic acting bark extract yielded eight cardiac glycosides. Besides the known k-strophanthidin, antiarigenin and β-Antiarin, the following mono- and diglycosides were identified.