Family • Salicaceae - Libas - Salix tetrasperma Roxb. - INDIAN WILLOW

Scientific names

Salix tetrasperma Roxb.
Salix azaolana Blanco
Pleieina tetrasperma (Roxb.) N. Chao & G T Gong

Common names

Libas (Tag.)
Maksa (C. Bis.)
Malatiki (Tag.)
Tiaun (Tag.)
Indian willow (Engl.)

Malatiki is a small deciduous tree, flowering after leafing. Bark is rough, with deep, vertical fissures. Young shoots and young leaves are silky. Leaves are lanceolate, 8 to 15 centimeters long, with minutely and regularly toothed margins. Male sweet-scented catkins are 5 to 10 centimeters long, and are borne on leafy branchlets. Female catkins are 8 to 12 centimeters long. Capsules are long, stipulate, in groups of 3 to 4. Seeds are 4 to 6, in a capsule.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Indian willow / Flowers of India

(2) Studies on the traditional uses of plants of Malam Jabba valley, District Swat, Pakistan / Ilyas Iqbal and Muhammad Hamayun / EthnoLeaflets

(3) Salix tetrasperma Roxb. / The Plant List

(4) EVALUATION OF CATARACT PREVENTIVE ACTION OF SALIX TETRASPERMA / Prima Freeda D’souza, Ankita Kotak, Ashok Shenoy, A.Ramakrishna.Shabraya /‎

– In forests and swamps and near streams at low and medium altitudes.
– Found in Cagayan, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan Provinces in Luzon; in Bohol; and in Mindanao.
– Also occurs in India to China, in Taiwan, and southward to Sumatra and Java.

– Phytochemical screenings yield various types of sapogenins: quinovic acid, salicortin, saligenin, phenolic glycosides and pyrocatechol from the bark and leaves.
– Bark yields salicin.
– Plant yields tannins, triterpenes, viz., ß0amyrin, lupeol and chalcinasterol, steroids viz., ß-sitosterol and stigmasterol, with very low concentrations of free salicylaldehyde.
– Study of stem bark isolated 7 compounds: friedelin, 3 β-friedelinol acetate, β- sitosterol, β-sitosteryl-3-O-D-glucopyranoside, β-sitostenone, cis-1,2- cyclohexanediol, and long chain ester.

Bark considered febrifuge and analgesic.
Dried leaves reported to be cardiotonic and neurotonic.

Parts used
Bark, leaves.

– In India, the new flowers are lightly boiled and mixed with mashed potatoes.

– Bark used to treat fever.
– Used in Egyptian folk medicine as antirheumatic sedative and analgesic. Leaves and bark used as remedy for aches and fever.
– Decoction of leaf and root used for whooping cough in children.
– Paste of both leaf and root used externally for scorpion stings, bug bites, sores and warts.
– Decoction of dried root taken internally for treatment of hepatitis.
– Sap of stem taken orally for dysmenorrhea.
– Hot water extract of entire plant instilled in vaginal cavity as abortifacient; rectally to treat local rectal sores.

– Fuel wood.
– Planted along water courses to prevent erosion.
– Used for making cricket bats and light furniture.

Study Findings
• Anti-Inflammatory: A study of extracts of five plants abundantly growing in Egypt, including Salix tetrasperma, revealed anti-inflammatory activity of the extracts under investigation. Activity was attributed to flavonoids.
• Cardiotonic: Aqueous extract of dried leaf reported to possess cardiotonic activity.
• Reverse Transcriptase Inhibition: Methanol extract of dried leaf exhibit reverse transcriptase inhibition effect.
• Diuretic / Laxative: Study of aqueous extract of Salix tetrasperma in albino rats showed significant diuretic activity as well as laxative activity in a dose-dependent manner.
• Antibacterial / Insecticidal / Cytotoxicity: Extracts of leaves, bark, and roots were evaluated for antibacterial, insecticidal, and in vivo cytotoxic activities. Bark extract was active against all tested Gr+ and Gr- organisms. Root and leaf extracts showed insecticidal activity against Tribolium castaneum. In invivo cytotoxicity study, the root and bark extract showed moderate cell growth inhibition.
• Cataract Prevention: Study showed Salix tetrasperma leaves extract prevents cataract progression in naphthalene- and galactose-induced cataract in animals. Vitamin E was used as reference drug.