Family - Malvaceae - Malvastrum coromandelinum (Linn.) Garcke - FALSE MALLOW

Scientific names

Malva coromandelina Linn.
Malva tricuspidata R, Br.
Malva luzonica Blanco
Malvastrum tricuspidatum A. Gray.
Malvastrum coromandelinum (Linn.) Garcke

Common names

Babara (Ilk.)
Gagabuten (Ilk.)
Kinaylumpang (Tag.)
Salsaluyut (Ilk.)
Sinaguri-babai (Sul.)
Takkimbaka (Ilk.)
Tachin-kabayo (Iv.)
False mallow (Engl.)


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Antibacterial Activity of Malvastrum coromandelianum Garcke Against Methicillin-Sensitive and Methicillin-Resistant Strains of Staphylococcus aureus / Chaiyasit Sittiwet et al / Current Res. Bacteriol., 1: 42-45. / DOI: 10.3923/crb.2008.42.45

Babara is an erect, somewhat hairy, branched, half-woody perennial, about 1 meter high. Leaves are oblong to ovate-lanceolate, 2 to 5 centimeters long, with blunt tip, rounded base and irregularly toothed margins. Flowers are axillary and terminal. Calyx is green, about 7 millimeters long, with lanceolate and pointed lobes. Petals are yellow, about 8 millimeters long. Fruit has 8 to 12 reniform, compressed, hirsute carpels, 2 to 3 millimeters long, each carpel having 3 short, straight projections.

– A common weed in and about towns throughout the Philippines.
– Probably of American origin.
– Now pantropic.

Parts utilized

– Seed oil of MC contained palmitic acid (22.7%), palmitoleic acid (2.4%), stearic acid (2.7%), oleic acid (14.6%), linoleic acid (37%), malvalic acid (10.5%) and sterculic acid (10.1%).

Leaves used for carbuncles.
In Mexico, decoction of leaves used to clean wounds; also used for dysentery.
In Tanzania, used for wounds and sores; as diaphoretic.

Plant is used in making brooms.

Study Findings
– Antinociceptive: Aerial parts of Malvastrum coramandelinum showed antinociceptive activity in acid-induced writhing test in mice. Effects are comparable with acetylsalicylic acid.
– Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic: Study showed M coromandelinum water extract inhibited hind-paw edema induced by carrageenin and exhibited analgesic activity in the formalin test.
– Anti-Staphylococcal: Study showed the water extract of MC had good inhibitory activity against both methicilin-resistant and methicillin-sensitive staphyloccocus aureus and also showed a low killing effect.
– Antioxidant: Various extracts of the leaf of three plants, M. coromandelinum, T. purpures, and Clitorea ternatea, were tested for antioxidant potential. Screening suggested flavonoids. Leaves of all three plants exhibited antioxidant properties and can serve as free radical inhibitors or scavengers. M. coromandelinum was not as potent as the other two plants.