Baho baho

Family - Caesalpinaceae - Bauhinia tomentosa Linn. - YELLOW BAUHINIA

Scientific names

Bauhinia tomentosa Linn.
Bauhinia binata Naves
Huang hua yang ti jia (Chin.)

Common names

Baho-baho (Tag.)
Bell bauhinia (Engl.)
St. Tomas tree (Engl.)
Yellow bauhinia (Engl.)
Yellow orchid tree (Engl.)
Yellow bell orchid tree (Engl.)
Yellow butterfly tree (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Huang hua yang zi jing (Taiwan)
GERMAN: Filzige Bauhinie.
SPANISH : Flor de Azufre (Argentina), Guacamaya americana.

Baho-baho is an erect, branched shrub attaining a height of 2 to 4 meters. Branchlets, lower surfaces of the leaves and pods are somewhat hairy. Leaves are 4 to 7 centimeters long, about as wide, and split about one-third to the base into two, with oval, rounded lobes. Flowers are pale lemon-yellow, usually in pairs, on axillary peduncles. Pods are 9 to 11 centimeters long, about 1.5 centimeters wide, flattened and containing 6 to 10 small seeds.

baho baho

– Cultivated in Manila and other towns.
– A vigorous shrub used as border plants.
– Introduced from tropical Asia.
– Found in India, West Bengal, Sri Lanka and tropical Africa.

– Flower contains flavonoids, isoquerlitrin 6%, rutin 4.6%, and a small amount of quercetrin.
– Flower extract yielded lignins, saponins, sterols, alkaloids, and phenols.
– Seed yields a fatty oil, called ebony oil, protein, pentosan, water soluble mucilage and saponins.
– Bark yields a fiber.
– Phytochemical screening of crude extract of flowers yielded carbohydrates, glycosides, alkaloids, phytosteroids, flavonoids, saponins, tannins, phenolic compounds, and fixed oils.
– Roots yielded glycosides, proteins, flavonoids, carbohydrates, tannins and phenolic compounds, and steroids.

– Leaves smell like burned rubber when rubbed, probably giving the plant its local name of ‘baho-baho.’
– Considered astringent, vermifuge.
– Seeds considered tonic and aphrodisiac.
– Fruit considered diuretic.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Antimicrobial activity of Bauhinia tomentosa and Bauhinia vahlii roots / Swarnalatha Dugasani et al / Pharmacognosy Magazine, 2010 | Volume : 6 | Issue : 23 | Page : 204-207

(2) Bauhinia tomentosa stimulates the immune system and scavenges free radical generation in vitro / Kannan N, Renitta RE, Guruvayoorappan C. / J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2010;21(2):157-68.

(3) Antidiabetic activity of Bauhinia Tomentosa Linn. roots extract in alloxan induced diabetic rats / Ajit Kiran Kaur*, S. K. Jain, A. Gupta, Shiv K. Gupta, M. Bansal and P. K. Sharma / Der Pharmacia Lettre, 2011, 3(2): 456-459

(4) Phytochemical evaluation of the ethanolic extracts of Bauhinia tomentosa Linn. (Root) / Girendra Kumar Gautam*, Susri Sangita Mishra, Abhay Kumar, Soumya Kiran Mishra and Sonali Das Gupta / INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHARMACY & LIFE SCIENCES, 3(5), May, 2012


(6) Green Synthesis of Gold Nanoparticles using Leaves Extract of Bauhinia tomentosa Linn and invitro Anticancer Activity / D. Mukundan*, R. Mohankumar, R. Vasanthakumari / (IJIRSE) International Journal of Innovative Research in Science & Engineering, ISSN (Online) 2347-3207

(7) Evaluation of Analgesic activity of Bauhinia tomentosa leaf on Albino Wistar Rats / R. R. Manjula / International Journal of Advances in Pharmaceutical Research, Vol 4, Issue 10, Oct 2013

(8) Protective effect of Bauhinia tomentosa on acetic acid induced ulcerative colitis by regulating antioxidant and inflammatory mediators. / Kannan N, Guruvayoorappan C / International immunopharmacology 16:1 2013 May pg 57-66

(9) Antidiarrhoeal evaluation of Bauhinia tomentosa Linn. leaf extract / Mythreyi R*, Sasikala.E, Muthusamy P / INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHARMACOLOGY AND THERAPEUTICS, Volume 2 Issue 1, 2012

(10) Quantitative, qualitative phytochemical analysis and in vitro antibacterial activity of Bauhinia tomentosa L. /
Sathya V, *Bharathidasan R, Tamil Selvi S, Sophia Rebeccal N, Ilakkiya R and Prabakaran M J. / Nat. Prod. Plant Resour., 2013, 3 (2):31-36

Parts used
Seeds, bark, flowers, roots.

– Not known medicinally in the Philippines.
– In India, bruised bark is applied externally to wounds and tumors.
– In the Malabar Coast, a decoction of root-bark is administered for inflammation of the liver.
– Decoction of root-bark also used as vermifuge.
– Infusion of bark used as an astringent gargle for sore throats.
– In southern India, the small, dried buds and young flowers are prescribed in dysenteric affections.
– Fruit is diuretic.
– Seeds have been eaten for their tonic and aphrodisiac action.

Study Findings
– Antimicrobial / Roots: The extracts of B tomentosa and B vahlii roots were tested for their antimicrobial activity against bacterial and fungal strains. The activities of the extracts were attributed t the presence of flavonoids and tannins.
– Antimicrobial / Flowers: Antimicrobial activity was observed on the ethanolic extract of flowers. Good activity was observed against S. aureus, Strep faecalis, Bacillus linchiniformis, Shigella soneii, Kleb pneumonia, E coli, with good activity against fungi – Aspergillus niger, Candida albicans.
– Anti-Lipidemic / Anti-Hyperglycemic:Study on the ethanolic extract of BT flowers on streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats showed significant reduction of plasma glucose, total cholesterol, LDL, VLDL, triglycerides with in increase in HDL.
– Cytotoxicity / Antioxidant: Study isolated four flavonol glycosides: kaempferol-7-O-rhamnoside, kaempferol-3-O-glucoside, quercetin-3-O-glucoside and quercetin-3-O-rutinoside. Compound 3 had higher antioxidant activity than L-ascorbic acid.Compound 4 displayed slight cytotoxicity to bovine dermal cells.
– Safety Studies: Study to evaluate the toxicological effects of an aqueous leaf extract of B. tomentosa in Wistar albino rats showed the extract to be safe on bone marrow function and no hepatotoxic or nephrotoxic effects on all markers and parameters.
– Antioxidant / Immunomodulatory / Anti-Inflammatory: Study of methanolic extract in mice showed immumodulatory effects and nitric-oxide radical scavenging activity. Also, an anti-inflammatory effect was evidenced by significant reduction in acute inflammation of paw edema induced by carrageenan and formalin.
– Anti-Ulcer Activity: Study evaluated the anti-ulcer activity of B. tomentosa using alcohol-induced and aspirin-induced ulcer models in rats. Results showed an aqueous extract of leaves showed significant dose-dependent anti-ulcer activity. Omeprazole was used as standard in both models.
– Anti-Diabetic Activity: Study evaluated the antidiabetic activity of an ethanolic extract of roots in normal and alloxan induced diabetic rat. Results showed significant antidiabetic activity compared to glibenclamide.
– Antibacterial / Leaves: Study evaluated the antibacterial activity of leaves of B. tomentosa against some human pathogenic bacteria. An ethanolic extract showed significantly higher inhibitory effect compared to an aqueous extract on tested organisms.
– Roots / Phytochemicals: Study of ethanolic extract of roots yielded the presence of carbohydrates, reducing sugars, saponins, tannins, phenolics, and flavonoids.
– Gold Nanoparticles / Anticancer / Leaves: Study evaluated the green synthesis of gold nanoparticles (AuNP) using leaves extract of B. tomentosa and its in vitro anticancer activity. Green synthesized AuNP’s were found to be stable. In-vitro anticancer activity was confirmed on cell lines of laryngeal HEp-2 carcinoma cells.
– Analgesic / Leaves: Study of an ethanolic leaf extract of B. tomentosa on albino wistar rats using hot plate & tail immersion methods showed significant analgesic activity.
– Protective in Acute Experimental Ulcerative Colitis: Study evaluated the ameliorative effect of B. tomentosa during ulcerative colitis. Results showed marked protective effects in acute experimental colitis, possibly by regulating antioxidant and inflammatory responses.
– Antidiarrheal / Leaves: Study of crude aqueous extract of B. tomentosa for anti-diarrheal effect in Swiss albino mice and Wistar rats showed inhibition of castor oil induced diarrhea, inhibition of prostaglandin induced enteropooling and significant reduction in gastrointestinal motility in charcoal meal test.
– Antibacterial / Flowers: Study of various flower extracts yielded the presence of constituents such as flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins, lignins, phenols, sterols. n-Butanol extract showed highest activity against Salmonella typhi and Enterobacter aerogenes.