Catalpa longissima

scientific name: 
Catalpa longissima (Jacq.) Dum. Cours.
synonym: 
Bignonia longissima Jacq.
Botanical family: 

Botanical description

Tree up to 25 m tall. Leaves simple, opposite in whorls, ovate-lanceolate 5-14 cm x 2-5.5 cm; inflorescence a panicle, flowers 2.5-3cm long x 3-3.4cm wide, white with pink lobes, yellow inside, with purple lines and yellow bands; fruit a capsule 35-77 cm x 4 mm; seeds feathery at both ends.

Voucher(s)

Rouzier,31,SOE Jiménez,126,JBSD

amenorrhoea:

  bark, decoction with salt, orally1

stomach pain:

  bark, decoction, orally1

fever:

  leaf, decoction with salt, orally2

For period delay (amenorrhea) and stomach pain:

Prepare a decoction with 20 grams of bark pieces in 1 liter (4 cups) of water, with or without a pinch of salt, depending on use, boil for a minimum of 10 minutes in a covered pot.  Sift, leave to cool down, and drink 1 cup every 6 hours14.

For fever:

Prepare a decoction with 10 grams of fresh leaves in 1 liter (4 cups) of water with a pinch of salt; boil for at least 10 minutes in a covered pot. Strain, leave to cool down, and drink 1 cup every 6 hours14.

According to published and other information:

Use for stomach pain and delayed menstruation (amenorrhea) is classified as REC, based on the significant traditional practice documented in the TRAMIL surveys, toxicity studies, validation and published scientific information available.

Should there be a notable worsening of the patient’s condition, or should stomach pain last more than 3 days, medical attention should be sought for.

The use for fever is also classified as REC, based on the significant traditional use documented in the TRAMIL surveys, toxicity studies and published scientific information available.

Should there be a notable worsening of the patient’s condition, or should fever last more than 2 days, medical attention should be sought for.

Not for use by women during pregnancy as it may lead to abortion, during lactation, or by children under 3 years old.

Not for use for more than seven consecutive days in any class of patient.

TRAMIL Research9

The aqueous extract from the bark (decoction, 10 minutes) neutralized to pH 7, administered orally to mice (25 g/kg) did not cause evident signs of toxicity.  By intraperitoneal administration, an LD50 = 17.26 ± 4.28 g/kg was found.

Daily oral administration of the extract (6.25, 12.5 and 18.75 g/kg) for 30 days caused no mortality during study.

TRAMIL Research13

The aqueous and organic fractions of the crude bark extract administered orally to rat at concentrations up to 5 g/kg did not induce evident signs of toxicity.

There is no available information documenting the safety of medicinal use in children or in pregnant women or during breast-feeding.

TRAMIL Research3

The preliminary phytochemical screening of the leaf showed the presence of steroids, terpenoids, quinones, polyphenols and tannins.

TRAMIL Research4

A further phytochemical study of the leaf confirmed the presence of sterols, among them b-sitosterol, quinones and gallo- and catechin-tannins, in addition to the presence of p-hydroxybenzoic acid.

The bark contains tannins5.

The leaf has catechic and gallic tannins, quinones, polyphenols and r-hydroxibenzoic acid6.

The stem contains triterpenes: b-amyrin; steroids: b-sitosterol; alkanols: N-triacontanol and quinones: the anthraquinone, emodin, and the naphthoquinones, lapachol and b-lapachone7.

TRAMIL Research8

The hydro-alcoholic extract from the trunk bark by hypodermic administration to Swiss mice (1 g/kg) did not show antimalarial activity against Plasmodium berghei (NK65).

TRAMIL Research9

The aqueous decoction (10 minutes) of the bark (100 g) neutralized to pH 7 showed oxytocic activity in isolated rat uterus on estrus, in 12-124 mg/mL doses.  The preparation significantly increased the amplitude of contractions, while contraction tone and frequency were only slightly modified.

TRAMIL Research10

The aqueous and organic fractions of the bark derived from the crude aqueous-alcoholic extract (70%) administered orally to rat (1 g/kg) have proved to inhibit, in a statistically significant way, the formation of injuries in the indomethacin-induced gastric ulcer model.  In the ethanol-induced gastric ulcer model, the fractions showed a 40% inhibition of lesions.

None of the fractions (1 g/kg) showed analgesic activity in the acetic acid-induced contortion model in mice.

The aqueous extract from the leaf in vitro (33 mL/L) showed relaxing activity in the isolated rat uterus model11.

Amyrin is claimed to have analgesic and antipyretic activity; b-sitosterol is used to treat prostate diseases12.  The r-hydroxybenzoic acid have antibacterial, fungistatic (ED50 = 507 µg/mL), antimutagenic and antioxidant activities6.

Polyphenols, known for their antioxidant, antibacterial and antidiarrheal properties6 are believed also to contribute to the following effects: cyclooxygenase inhibition, antiulcerative, antimutagenic, antihelmintic, and antiviral properties6.

References:  

1 GERMOSEN-ROBINEAU L, GERONIMO M, AMPARO C, 1984 Encuesta TRAMIL. enda-caribe, Santo Domingo, Rep. Dominicana.

2 WENIGER B, ROUZIER M, 1986 Enquête TRAMIL. Service Oecuménique d'Entraide SOE, Port au Prince, Haïti.

3 WENIGER B, SAVARY H, DAGUIHL R, 1984 Tri phytochimique de plantes de la liste TRAMIL. Faculté de Médicine, Université d'Haïti, Port au Prince, Haïti.

4 BOURGEOIS P, 1988 Etude chimique de Catalpa longissima. Rapport TRAMIL. Laboratoire de phytochimie, Faculté des Sciences, UAG, Basse Terre, Guadeloupe.

5 CHAUHAN AK, DOBHAL MP, UNIYAL PN, 1988 Phytochemical investigation of Catalpa longissima L. Part I. Herba Pol 34(1/2):3-5.

6 HEGNAUER R, 1973 Chemotaxonomy der Pflanzen. Basel & Stuttgart, Schweiz und Deutchland: Birkhauser Verlag. 6:882.

7 DUKE J, 1999 Chemicals and their biological activities in:Catalpa longissima (Jacq.) Dum.Cours. Dr. Duke’s Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases.USDA-ARS-NGRL, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, USA, Nov.20,2000. URL: http://www.ars-grin.gov/duke/

8 SAUVAIN M, MORETTI C, MUÑOZ V, 1990 Pruebas in vivo para paludismo realizadas en Bolivia sobre varias plantas TRAMIL. ORSTOM/IRD/IBBA, La Paz, Bolivia.

9 HERRERA J, 1988 Determinación de actividades biológicas de vegetales utilizados en medicina tradicional. Trabajo TRAMIL. Dep. de Farmacología, Facultad de Salud, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia.

10 SOUZA BRITO A, 1995 Actividad farmacológica de Catalpa longissima. Trabajo TRAMIL. Dep. de Fisiología y Biofísica, Universidad de Campinas, Campinas, Brasil.

11 FENG PC, HAYNES LJ, MAGNUS KE, PLIMMER JR, 1964 Further pharmacological screening of some West Indian medicinal plants. J Pharm Pharmacol 16:115.

12 NEGWER M, 1987 Organic-chemical drugs and their synonyms (an international survey), 6th ed. Berlin, Germany: Akademie-Verlag.

13 SOUZA BRITO A, 1995 Toxicidad aguda de Catalpa longissima. Trabajo TRAMIL. Dep. de Fisiología y Biofísica, Universidad de Campinas, Campinas, Brasil.

14 MINISTERE DE L’EMPLOI ET DE LA SOLIDARITE, 1998 Les médicaments à base de plantes. Paris, France: Agence du Médicament.

DISCLAIMER

The information provided is for educational purposes only for the benefit of the general public and health professionals. It is not intended to take the place of either the written law or regulations. Since some parts of plants could be toxic, might induce side effects, or might have interactions with certain drugs, anyone intending to use them or their products must first consult with a physician or another qualified health care professional. TRAMIL has no responsibility whatsoever towards the user for any decision, action or omission made in relation to the information contained in this Pharmacopoeia.