Family • Euphorbiaceae - Jatropha multifida Blanco. - CORAL BUSH - Xi lie shan hu you tong

Scientific names

Jatropha multifida Linn.
Jatropha janipha Blanco.
Adenoropium multifidum (L.) Pohl

Common names

Mana (Span., Tag.)
Tubang-americano (Bik.)
Coral bush (Engl.)
Coral nut (Engl.)
Coral tree (Engl.)
Physic nut (Engl.)
Xi lie shan hu you tong (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

FRENCH: Médicinier, Médicinier espagnol, Pignon d’Inde, Plante bouteille.
JAPANESE: Yatorofa muruchifida.
RUSSIAN: Iatrofa mul’tifida, Iatrofa rassechennaia, Korallovoe derevo.
SPANISH : Árvore coral, Árvore de bálsamo, Árvore de coral, Árvore dos corais, Árnica, Avellano purgante, Cabalonga, Cabalongo, Ceibilla, Chicaquil, Dontomás, Emético vegetal, Flor de sangre, Palo de fraile, Piñón extranjero, Piñón vómico, Tártago chicaquil, Tártago emético, Tártara.
THAI : Fin ton, Ma hung daeng, Malako farang.

Mana is a smooth shrub 2 to 3 meters high, with the petioles as long as the leaves. Leaves are glaucous beneath, 15 to 30 centimeters in diameter, and cleft nearly to the base into about 10 lanceolate, entire or pinnately incised lobes, the lobes about 1 to 4 centimeters wide. Flowers are red, borne on long peduncled cymes, 3 to 6 centimeters broad. Capsules are obovoid, about 2 centimeters long, somewhat three-angled, with the angles rounded.


– Ornamental cultivation. The inflorescences often in great demand by florists for making red corsages.
– Planted as a hedge.
– Introduced from tropical America.


– Seeds contain 6% glucose, 1% bitter principle, 30% fixed oil. The latter turns vermillon with sulfuric acid.
– Seed oil is similar to Jatropha curcas.
– Leaves contain saponin.
– Phytochemical analysis of root bark extract yielded alkaloids, tannins, glycosides, saponins, and flavonoids.
– An immunologically active novel cyclic decapeptide, Labaditin, consisting of 1 Ala, 2 Gly, 1 Ile, 2 Thr, 2 Trp, and 2 Val, was isolated from the the latex.
– Sap yielded alkaloids, saponin, carbohydrate, phenol and tannins, with the absence of glycosides, flavonoids, and steroid.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) The Efficacy Of Jatropha Multifida In The Management Of Oral Candidiasis: A Preliminary Study / Aladekomo Theophilus Adesola and Oyedeji Olusola Adetunji / The Internet Journal of Alternative Medicine. 2007 Volume 4 Number 1

(2) Inhibitory activity of Jatropha multifida latex on classical complement pathway activity in human serum mediated by a calcium-binding proanthocyanidin / S Kosasi, L A ‘t Hart, H van Dijk and R P Labadle / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 27, Issues 1-2, November 1989, Pages 81-89 / doi:10.1016/0378-8741(89)90080-9

(3) Rare jatropha multifida intoxication in two children / Yotam Levin MD, Yaniv Sherer MDet al /Journal of Emergency Medicine, Volume 19, Issue 2, Pages 173-175 (August 2000)

(4) Sorting Jatropha names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 – 2000 The University of Melbourne.

(5) Effects of Methanolic Jatropha multifida L. Extract in Wound Healing Assessed by the Total Number of PMN Leukocytes and Fibroblasts / Juniarti, Aryenti, Yuhernita, Ernie Hernawati Poerwaningsih, Ahmad Aulia Jusuf, Hans- Joachim Freisleben, and Mohamad Sadikin / Makara Journal of Science 16/3 (2012) 178-182

(6) In vitro Hemostatic Activity Screening of Sap of Jatropha Multifida L. (Euphorbiaceae) used in
Traditional Medicine at Cotonou (Benin)
 / Dougnon T. V. et al / J. Phys. Pharm. Adv., 2012, 2(6): 227-234

(7) Hemostatic activity screening and skin toxicity of sap of Jatropha multifida L. (Euphorbiaceae) used in traditional medicine (Benin/ Dougnon Tamègnon Victorien et al / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease (2012)S927-S932

(8) Chemical Characterization, Anti inflammatory and Analgesic Properties of Jatropha Multifida Root Bark / ABIODUN FALODUN; IGHODARO IGBE; OSAYEMWENRE ERHARUYI; ONYINYE JACINTA AGBANYIM / J. Appl. Sci. Environ. Manage. Sept 2013 Vol. 17 (3) 357-362

(9) Labaditin, a novel cyclic decapeptide from the latex of Jatropha multifida L. (Euphorbiaceae): Isolation and sequence determination by means of two-dimensional NMR / S. Kosasia, W.G. van der Sluisa, R. Boelensb, L.A.’t Harta, R.P. Labadiea

(10) Antibacterial and Antifungal Activities of Jatropha multifida (Ogege) Sap against Some Pathogens / Michael Niyi Aransiola, Charles Ehikhase, Joy C. Mmegwa, Idris Olayinka Wahab / IOSR Journal of Pharmacy and Biological Sciences (IOSR-JPBS) e-ISSN: 2278-3008, p-ISSN:2319-7676. Volume 9, Issue 4 Ver. I (Jul -Aug. 2014), PP 53-57

(11) Isolation of antileishmanial, antimalarial and antimicrobial metabolites from Jatropha multifida / Abiodun Falodun, Vincent Imieje, […], and Mark Hamann / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, 2014;4(5): Pp 374-378. / doi:10.12980/APJTB.4.2014C1312.

(12) The Use Of Jatropha Multifida In Treating Wounds / VERGIL JOHN ASCABANO JONAS GONZALES

(13) CHEMICAL AND ANTI-TUBERCULAR SCREENING ON THE LEAVES OF JATROPHA MULTIFIDA LINN/ Erwin C. Mina, * Marjorie R. Ibarra Scott G. Franzblaud and Dr. Alicia M. Aguinaldo / Pure Appl. Bio., 2(1): 32-36, March- 2013

(14) Antimicrobial, phytochemical and larvicidal properties of Jatropha multifida Linn. / Sillma Rampadarath, Daneshwar Puchooa, Vijayanti Mala Ranghoo-Sanmukhiya / Asian Pac J Trop Med 2014 Sep;7S1:S380-3

(15) Biological examination and novel biflavone di-C-glycosides from Jatropha multifida L. leaves / FA Moharram, MS Marzouk, EG Haggag, S El-Batran 3, RR Ibrahim / Planta Med 2007; 73 – P_048 / DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-986830

– Seeds are poisonous, cathartic, emetic.
– Oil is also reported as emetic and purgative.

Parts used
Leaves, roots, seeds, oil.

– In French Guiana, seeds are used fresh as purgative and emetic.
– In Indo-China, decoction of dried roots used for indigestion and colic. Also, prescribed as tonic, for orchitis, and for edema. Leaves are used for scabies; the latex applied to wounds and ulcers.
– Oil used internally and externally as abortifacient.
– Oil is also emetic and purgative.
– A single seed acts as emeto-cathartic.
– Lime juice and stimulants are suggested antidotes for seed poisoning.
– In Nigeria, leaf juice extract used for treatment of thrush. Leaves and leaf sap used as purgative. Leaves and fruits are boiled, used internally or externally in a bath for fever. Poultice of root bark and roots used as wound dressing. Roots, taken internally, for worms and gonorrhea. Latex used for wounds and skin infections.
– In Benin, sap used to stop external bleeding.
– In African folk medicine, used for the treatment of pain, infection, inflammatory conditions, tumors.


– Decorative: Red flowers in demand by florists for making beautiful red corsages.
– Poison: Plant used as fish poison.
– Illuminant: In Java, oil used more for illuminating purposes that as purgative.

Toxicity / Poisoning
– Seeds are poisonous. Once they were considered an energetic and dangerous cathartic. A single seed is effective as emeto-cathartic. Its use has been abandoned in many native medical systems. Lime juice and stimulants are reported best antidotes to seed poisoning.
– Seeds, fruit and sap contain a chemical called curcin which causes symptoms when ingested. A single seed can cause symptoms in children. Jatropha species contain the toxalbumin ricin which can cause cardiotoxic, hemolytic effects and even death.
– Case report of Jatropha multifida intoxication in two children: Two children were admitted after ingestion of a large amount of Jatropha multifida fruits, presenting with mental obtundation, vomiting and dehydration. Treatment consisted of intravenous fluid replacement and electrolyte replacement and urine alkalinization.
– Case report: Four siblings presented with vomiting, diarrhea and miosis following ingestion of J multifida. The clinical presentation warranted the consideration of organophosphate ingestion in the differential diagnosis.

Study Findings
• Oral Candidiasis: Study compared the efficacy of Jatropha multifida in the management of oral candidiasis compared to oral Nystatin. The juice extracts from J multifida leaves were applied to the tongue and oral mucosa of affected children as a single application. Results showed JM to be efficacious in the treatment of oral candidiasis, with the advantages of acting faster (clearing of lesions noted within 24 hours compared to Nystatin at 48 hours) and and in its efficacy as a single dose. It presents as an alternative in third world countries where it is easily cultivated and accessible.
• Anti-Complement / Latex: Study to evaluate the anti-complement constituent in the latex of J multifida to explain the use of latex in the treatment of infected wounds isolated a polymer characterized as a proanthocyanidin. The polymer inhibited the classical pathway activation of the complement cascade.
• Antimicrobial: Extracts and fractions exhibited antimicrobial activity against different microorganisms especially those responsible for sexually transmitted diseases endemic in Africa.
• Wound Healing: Study evaluated a methanol extract of leaves for wound healing activity in male Sprague Dawley rats. Results showed wound healing activity based on reduced numbers of PMN (polymorphonuclears) leucocytes and increase number of fibroblasts.
• Hemostatic: Study evaluated the hemostatic potential of J. multifida. Results showed the sap of J. multifida did not act on the classical cascade reaction of coagulation, neither the intrinsic nor the extrinsic pathway. The action was independent of the individual clotting factors. There was an immediate fall of fibrinogen levels, together with precipitation of all plasmatic macroproteins, and a dose-dependent effect on coagulation. The mechanism of coagulation by the sap was attributed to the formation of protein network, independent of coagulation factors.
• Skin Toxicity of Sap / Hemostatic: Study proved the sap had some effects on hemostasis. Also, the study showed no skin toxicity so its use as local hemostatic is recommended.
• Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic / Root Bark: Study evaluated a methanol root bark extract showed significant antiinflammatory and dose-dependent analgesic activities in Wistar albino rats.
• Antibacterial / Antifungal / Sap: Study screened the sap of J. multifida for antibacterial and antifungal activities against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, K. pneumonia, S. aureus, E. coli, Bacillus subtilis, S. typhi and Candida spp. Results showed all the organisms were susceptible to the sap; Gram positive bacteria, B. subtilis and S. aureus were most susceptible.
• Antileishmanial / Antifungal / Sap: Study of methanolic stem bark extract yielded three known metabolities, microcyclic lathyrane diterpenoids (1-3). The three compounds exhibited antileishmanial, antimalarial, and antimicrobial activities against tested organisms, with compounds 2 and 3 showing activity against Cryptococcus neoformans.
• Wound Healing/ / Sap: Study evaluated the effectiveness of J. multifida latex for wound healing. Results showed J. multifida latex is as effective as Betadine in treating wounds. Also, latex was shown to hasten the healing of wounds.
• Anti-Tubercular / Leaves: Study evaluate various extracts of leaves for anti-tubercular activity. Phytochemical screening yielded alkaloids, tannins, flavonoids, saponins, cardiac glycosides and cyanogenic glycosides. Results showed inhibition of M tb H37Rv 128 µg/mL, with the hexane extract showing the highest anti-tubercular activity.
• Larvicidal / Antimicrobial: Study evaluated the antimicrobial and insecticidal properties of various extracts of J. multifida. Results showed activity against Bacillus algicola and Staphylococcus epidermis and good larvicidal activity against Bactrocera zonata.
• Novel Biflavone di-C-glycosides / Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory / Hypotensive / Toxicity Study:Study of leaves yielded three novel biflavone di-C-glycosides, Jatrophenol I-III, together with seven phenolic compounds. No toxicity was seen up to maximum soluble dose (LD50 4 g/kbw). Findings showed dose dependent significant analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, together with significant hypotensive effect.