Family • Urticaceae - Leucosyke capitellata (Poir.) Wedd. - TOOTH SCRUBBER

Scientific names

Leucosyke capitellata (Poir.) Wedd.
Urtica capitellata Poir.
Leucosyke alba Zoll. & Mor.
Missiessya fagifolia Gaudich.

Other vernacular names

INDONESIA: Ki beunteur, Jurang gunung, Kayu te pa’ei.
MALAYSIA: Mandahasi, Tahpoi, Teh kampung, Kuliat-mato


Alagasi is an erect shrub or small tree, reaching a height of 2 to 4 meters. Leaves are papery, oblong or ovate, 10 to 15 centimeters long, 3 to 5 centimeters wide, felty and harsh to touch, gray or chalky white beneath and green on the other side; pointed at the apex, abruptly and broadly rounded, and 3-nerved at the base. Flowers are capitate, on 8-millimeter-long peduncles, either single or few-clustered, 1 centimeter in diameter. Male flowers are white, upon short pedicles. Fruiting heads are dark green, nearly spherical, with compressed achenes.

Common names

Alagasi (Bis., Tag.) Damakadios (P. Bis.) Laglag (P. Bis.)
Alangasi (Bis.) Gasigasi (Sul.) Lalasi (Ig.)
Amagasi (Bik., tag.) Ginagasi (Tag.) Langasi (Bis.)
Anagau (Bik.) Gugutu (Ig.) Lapsik (Ig.)
Anugas (Bik.) Haganasi (Bik.) Layasin (Tag.)
Alalasi (Bon., Ilk.) Halagasi (Tag.) Liasin (Tag.)
Aragasi (Bik., S. L., Bis.) Hilagasi (Tag.) Manombila (Buk.)
Ararasi (Bon.) Hinagasi (Tag.) Opli (Tag.)
Arasi (Bon.) Hinlagasi (P. Bis.) Sagombibilan (Mbo.)
Asis (Tag.) Isis (Tag.) Salagiso (Bik.)
Bahibahi (P. Bis.) Isis ngipin (Tag.) Salasi (Bon.)
Bauaua (S. L. Bis.) Karikasin (Neg.) Tinagasi (Bik.)
Bilan-bilan (Sub.) Lagasi (Tag., C. Bis.) Upli (Tag.)
Bunkilan (Yak.)

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Evaluation of anti-hyperglycaemic effect of Leucosyke capitellata leaf in normal and streptozotocin – induced diabetic rats / Ling, Lina / (2008) / Institutional Repository, Universiti Malaysia Sabah. (Unpublished)

(2) MEDICINAL PLANTS OF KALIMANTAN FOREST : A REVIEW / Wawan Kustiawan / Natural Life, Vol. 2. No.1, 2007, 24-34

(3) Leucosyke capitellata (Poir.) Wedd. / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED

(4) Medicinal Plants of the Subanens in Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines / Lady Jane G. Morilla, Nanette Hope N. Sumaya, Henry I. Rivero and Ma. Reina Suzette B. Madamba / International Conference on Food, Biological and Medical Sciences (FBMS-2014) Jan. 28-29, 2014 Bangkok (Thailand)

Fasihuddin B. Ahmad and Ghazally Ismail / ASEAN Review of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation (ARBEC) January-March 2003

– In thickets and second-growth forests at low and medium altitudes throughout the Philippines.
– Also occurs from Taiwan to Java and New Guinea.

– Leaves are high in magnesium.

Parts used
Roots, leaves.


• High Magnesium Content: The Kampung (Leucosyke capitellata) leaves are particularly high in magnesium (626 mg/100 g).

– Decoction of roots used for phthisis, coughs, headache and gastralgia.
– Subanens in Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur, apply the bark on the throat for treatment of cough.
– In Malaysia, decoction of leaves used for diabetes, high blood pressure and lumbago.
– In Kalimantan, Indonesia, plant used for treating stomachaches.
– In Sabah, Malaysia, plant sap used as eye drops and for pain in the ears. Used by Kadazandusun tribe to treat diabetes.
– In Borneo, decoction of leaves used to treat hypertension and diabetes.

• Fiber: Bark used for its strong bast fibers in making ropes.
• Scouring: Leaves, with its one-sided roughness, used for scouring pots and pans.

Study Findings
• Antihyperglycemic / Antioxidant: Study evaluated L. capitellata leaves for its effect on blood glucose in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Results suggest the leaves extract has the ability to reduce oxidative stress and possess antihyperglycemic effect in diabetic rats probably through its antioxidant property.