Sagilala

Family • Euphorbiaceae - Codiaeum variegatum - SAN FRANCISCO / CROTON

Scientific names

Ixia chinensis Linn.
Pardanthus chinensis Ker
Codiaeum variegatum (L.) Rumph. ex. A. Jussieu

Common names

Sagilala (Tag.)
Croton (Engl.)
Joseph’s coat (Engl.)
San Francisco (Span.)
Bian ye mu (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

FIJI: Sacasaca.
GERMAN: Indischer lorbeer, Indischer wunderstrauch.
INDONESIA: Tarimas, Silastom, Nasalou, Pudieng, Katomas, Daun garida, Uhung, Dahengora, Abam.
JAPAN: Henyo-boku.
MALAYSIA: Pokok puding, Puding mas.
SAMOA: Ave’ave.
SPANISH: San Francisco, Buenavista.
THAILAND: Kohson.
VIETNAM: Ku kieng.

Botany
Sagilala is a low branching shrub with attractive and variedly shaped and colored foliage. Leaves are thick and leathery, ovate, oblong to linear, the margins entire, lobed or spirally twisted. Young leaves are usually green, yellow or red, later changing to single color or variegation of gold cream, white, red, maroon, purple, black or brown. Flowers are small, long, axillary, usually unisexual racemes.

Sagilala

Distribution
– A very popular cultivated ornamental in the Philippines.
– Probably native to the Moluccas.
– Cultivated in most tropical countries.

Sagilala2

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) IN VITRO PROPAGATION OF CROTON (CODIAEUM VARIEGATUM) / Pak. J. Bot., 40(1): 99-104, 2008.

(2) IN VITRO AMOEBICIDAL ACTIVITY OF SOME MEDICINAL PLANTS OF THE BAMUN REGION (CAMEROON) / Paul F Moundipa et al / Afr. J. Trad. CAM (2005) 2 (2): 113 – 121

(3) In vitro anti-influenza screening of several Euphorbiaceae species: Structure of a bioactive Cyanoglucoside from Codiaeum variegatum / Phytochemistry Volume 69, Issue 16, November 2008, Pages 2815-2819 / doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2008.09.003

(4) A study of the effect of extracts of Codiaeum variegatum (L.) A. Juss on Picrotoxin-induced convulsions in mice / Tanzania Medical Journal Vol. 19 (1) 2004

(5) Effect of experimental feeding of Codiaeum variegatum leaves on growth, hematology, gonadal, and extra-gonadal sperm reserves of adult albino rats / Shoyinka S V Olumuyiwa et al / Comparative Clinical Pathology • DOI 10.1007/s00580-009-0894-8

(6) EFFECT OF SUB-LETHAL CONCENTRATIONS OF CODIAEUM VARIEGATUM LATEX ON FRESHWATER TARGET SNAIL LYMNAEA ACUMINATA AND NON-TARGET FISH CHANNA PUNCTATUS / Ram P Yadav and Ajay Singh / Nigerian Journal of Natural Products and Medicine Vol.7 2003: 20-24

(7) Codiaeum variegatum / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED

(8) Occupational contact dermatitis due to croton (Codiaeum variegatum (L.) A. Juss var. pictum (Lodd.) Muell. Arg.). Sensitization by plants of the Euphorbiaceae. / Hausen BM, Schulz KH. / Contact Dermatitis. 1977 Dec;3(6):289-92.

(9) Notes on poisoning: Codiaeum variegatum / Canada

(10) ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY OF LEAF EXTRACTS OF CODIAEUM VARIEGATUM (L.) BLUME / Bhot, M; Saha, M; Phatak, A; Chandra, N / Health and Environmental Research, 2010, Vol 4, Issue 1, Apr 2010.

Sagilala3Constituents
• Studies have yielded alkaloids, terpenes, flavonoids.
• Study of six clone cultivars of Codiaeum variegatum showed the shoots to be rich in alkaloids (most abundant), cardiac glycosides, saponins, tannins, cardenolides, steroids and phyllates.

Properties
• Leaves are considered purgative, sedative, antifungal, antiamoebic, antioxidant, and anticancerous.
• Considered emmenagogue and abortifacient.

Parts utilized
Leaves.

Uses
Edibility
– Caution: Young leaves are reportedly used in the East Indies as vegetable, but cases of irritation have been reported. (See toxicity below)

Folkloric 
– Freeze-dried leaf decoction taken as tea in the Philippines (Gertrudes, 2006).
– Decoction of crushed leaves for diarrhea.
– Young leaves, with Pandanus macroieacceretia, coconut milk, and root sap of areca catechu used for gonorrhea.
– Sap of leaves mixed with coconut milk used for syphilitic lesions.
– In Nigeria, root decoction used for gastric ulcers. Leaves, for antibacterial and antiamoebic uses.
– In the Kagera and Coast regions, used for the treatment of epilepsy.
– In Vanuatu, leaves used for amenorrhea. Chewing of 3 leaves and swallowing the juice used as emmenagogue, to induce abortion or facilitate parturition. source

Study Findings
• Phytochemicals: Phytochemical screening of six clone cultivars of Codiaeum variegatum showed bioactive constituents that included alkaloids, anthraquinones, flavanoids, terpenes, steroid, phenol, saponins, tannins, phlobatannin and cardenolide which suggests their use as antibacterial, antiamoebic and antifungal.
• Antiamoebic: In a study of 55 traditional medicinal plants in Cameroon, only the leaves extract of Codiaeum variegatum exhibited clear antiamoebic activity, more pronounced than metronidazole.
• Anti-influenza: A screening of seven Euphorbiaceae species showed C variegatum to be one of three with relevant anti-FLUAV activity from an isolated cyanoglucoside.
• Anti-convulsant: Study showed methanol extract protected mice against picrotoxin-induced convulsions.
• Immunostimulating / Spermatotoxic: Study on 24 male albino rats with feeds supplemented by pulverized dry leaves of C variegatum showed immunostimulating and spermatotoxic effects.
• Molluscicidal Activity: Study showed the latex of Codiaeum variegatum had high molluscicidal activity against freshwater snail.
• Wound Healing / Root: Study evaluated the wound healing activity of a root incorporated in a simple ointment in excision, incision, and burn wound models in rats. Results showed remarkable wound healing activity in measures of wound contracting ability, wound closure time, and tensile strength.
• Antimicrobial Activity: Study evaluated the antibacterial activity of three varieties of Codiaeum variegatum against six different bacterial strains. Zones of inhibition varied with the plant varieties. The largest zone of inhibition was seen with a leaf callus extract of var. Punctatum aureum against Arthrobacter.

Toxicity! 
• Chewing on the bark and roots can cause burning around and in the mouth. Some leaves are reported irritant. Latex have been reported to cause eczema.
• There has been a report of occupational contact dermatitis

Availability
Cultivated.