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Family Polygonaceae
Muehlenbeckia platyclada (F.Muell.) Meisn.

Scientific names Common names
Calacinum platycladum  (F.Muell.) J.F.Macbr.         Alupihan (Tagalog)
Coccoloba platyclada (F.Muell.) F.Muell.    Centipede plant (Engl.)
Exocarpos ceramicus Naves     Ribbon bush (Engl.)
Homalocladium platycladum  (F.Muell.) L.H.Bailey         Ribbon plant (Engl.)
Polygonum platycladum F.Muell.     Tape plant (Engl.)
Sarcogonum platycladum (F.Muell.) Voss         Tapeworm plant (Engl.)
Muehlenbeckia platyclada (F.Muell.) Meisn. is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
FIJIAN: Vovo ni vavalangi.
FINNISH: Nauhapensas.
FRENCH: Muehlenbeckie á rameaux aplatis.
SPANISH: Solitaria, Tenia.

Gen info
- Muehlenbeckia platyclada (centipede plant, tapeworm, or ribbonbush) is a species of plant in the knotweed family from New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. It is naturalized in other tropical regions.  
There are about 19 species of Muehlenbeckia, all from the southern hemisphere. (2)
- Etymology: The genus name Muehlenbeckia honors Henri Muehlenbeck, an early 19th century French physician. The specific epithet platyclada derives from Greek words platus for broad and klados for branch or twig.

• Muehlenbeckia platyclada is a herbaceous plant with a shrubby growth form up to 1 m tall. Foliage: Foliage occurs on new growth, but later falls off, leaving the mature stem bare. Leaves are sometimes lobed at the base and have smooth edges (1.5-6.5 cm long). Stems: Long, flattened stems are known as phylloclades. They are smooth, segmented at the nodes and about 1.3 cm wide. Flowers: Several greenish white flowers are arranged in small clusters at the stem nodes (point of leaf attachment to the stem). Fruits: Fleshy, red or purplish, berry-like structures enclose the true fruits which are nuts (one-seeded, indehiscent, dry fruits). (3)

- Introduced.
- Cultivated, not naturalized.
- Native to New Guinea, Solomon Is. (1)

- Phytochemical screening of ethanol extract of leaves yielded flavonoids, terpenoids, sterols, coumarins, tannins, saponins, and volatile oils. (see study below) (4)
- Study of methanol extract isolated a new flavonol, morin-3-O-α-rhamnopyranoside (1), along with four known flavonols, kaempferol 3-O-α-rhamnopyranoside (2), kaempferol 3-O-ß-glucopyranoside (3), quercetin 3-O-α-rhamnopyranoside (4) and (+)-catechin (5). (see study below) (7)
- Methanol extract of root yielded carbohydrates, proteins, alkaloids, phytosteroids, flavonoids, saponins, terpenoids, and glycosides, with absence of tannins and polyphenolics. (see study below) (8)

- Studies suggest anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antinociceptive, antibacterial, anticonvulsant, antiprotease, antiulcerogenic, anxiolytic properties.

Parts used
Leaves, roots.


- Fruits are reportedly edible, but not tasty.
- In South America, plants in the genus, such as Muehlenbeckia platyclada, have been traditionally used as diuretic, hypotensive, antihemorrhagic, sedative, antirheumatic, abortive, cicatrizant, antiulcerogenic, anti-inflammatory, and anthelmintic. (12)
- In Taiwan and China, used for alleviating fever and for detoxification. In Thailand, alcoholic extract of aerial parts applied to skin swellings, sores, and insect bites. (4)
- Veterinary: Used for treatment of animal poisoning.

Antinociceptive / Anti-Inflammatory / Leaves:
Study evaluated the antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities of ethanol extract of Muehlenbeckia platyclada leaves using animal models. At 400 mg/kg the extract (p.o.) reduced the number of abdominal contortions induced by acetic acid by 21.57%. After intraplantar injection of formalin, the extract reduced the time spent paw licking. Paw edema was reduced 29.50 and 37.33% after 3 to 4 hours of carrageenan injection, and with 400 mg/kg reduced exudate volume and leukocyte migration by45.13% and 29.70%. Results suggest a potential target for study of new molecules with antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities. (see constituents above) (4)
Anti-Convulsant / Antioxidant / Aerial Parts: Study evaluated the anticonvulsant activity of ethanolic extract of M. platyclada (MBEE) aerial parts using PTZ (phenyltetrazol)-induced, MES (maximum electro shock) induced, and 6Hz induced convulsions. Doses of 50, 100, 200, and 400 mg/kg of MBEE exhibited anticonvulsant activity. ED50 was 174.28 mg/kg. Extract showed decrease in duration of extensor phase, with dose dependent increase in percentage protection. Results suggest the anticonvulsant effects of MBEE occur through elevation of brain GABA content. MBEE also increased endogenous antioxidant GSH and SOD level. (6)
Anti-Inflammatory / Flavonol Glycosides: Study of methanol extract isolated a new flavonol, morin-3-O-α-rhamnopyranoside (1), along with four known flavonols. Compound 2 (kaempferol 3-O-α-rhamnopyranoside) showed moderate inhibition of superoxide anion generation with IC50 of 6.11 µg/ml; 1, 3, and 5 inhibited neutrophil elastase release with IC50s of 3.82, 8.61, and 4.37 µg/ml, respectively, and were 15-fold more potent that positive control, phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride (PMSF). (see constituent above) (7)
Anti-Protease / Antioxidant / Roots: Study evaluated the in vitro antioxidant and antiprotease activities of various solvent extracts of M. platyclada roots. Proteases are involved in inflammation and tissue injury. Serine proteases from meutrophils are associated with inflammatory infections like pulmonary emphysema. A methanolic extract of roots exhibited inhibition of proteases at suitable concentration. Antioxidant activity as measured by DPPH, ABTS, and Phosphomolybdenum assay were high. A methanolic extract showed highest activity with IC50 of 367 µg/ml on scavenging of ABTS radicals. Results suggest MB root extract has potential for a major role in reducing oxidative-stress related disorders. (8)
Anti-Ulcer / Antioxidant / Roots: A methanol extract, which showed higher levels of secondary metabolites, was evaluated for antiulcer potential. Results showed significant inhibition for alpha chymotrypsin (88.84%), urease (68.52%), and H+K+ATPase (91.75%).  A significant correlation (p<0.05) was found between phenol and ACE, between phenol and HKA, and phenol and UE. Results suggest the methanol extract of M. platyclade possesses potential antiulcer activities due to higher levels of secondary metabolites and in-vitro antioxidant activities. (9)
Anxiolytic: Study evaluated the anxiolytic effect of M. platyclada ethanolic extract (MBEE) in Swiss albino mice. Anxiolytic effect was evaluated using elevated plus maze (EPM) in mice. Diazepam was used as standard drug. The MBEE at 100 and 200 mg/kg significantly (p<0.001) increase in the number of entries in open arms compared to control. Results demonstrate statistically significant dose-dependent antianxiety activity of MBEE. (10)
Antioxidant: Study evaluated the antioxidant properties of different extracts of quilo herb using three different model systems viz., DPPH, FRAP, and TRAP. Differences in antioxidant activity among different parts of quilo may be partially explained by levels of phenolic compounds in the EtOAc root extract (0.023 mg GAE/g dry extract), flavonoids in the leaves of EtOAc extract (99.12 mg QE/g dry extract), hydrolyzed sugar in the ethanol extract (21.87, 14.85, and 14.32 mg GES/g dry extract of leaf, stem, and roots, respectively) and anthraquinones in the EtOAc extracts (2.50, 1.43, and 0.84 mg EE/g dry extract of leaf, stem, and roots, respectively). (11)
Antibacterial / Leaves: Study of leaf extracts of M. platyclada showed in vitro antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923 and Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 and resulted in isolation of a flavanol glycoside. The aglycone was identifed as quercitin (Susidarti et al, 2011). (12)

- Cultivated.

October 2023

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Centipede plant / Raffi Kojian (Gardenology) / CC BY-SA  3.0 / image modified / click on image or link to go to the source page / Wikipedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Centipede plant / Peter Halasz / CC BY SA  2.5 Generic / click on image or link to go to the source page / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Homalocladium platycladum / Peter Halasz / CC BY SA / click on image or link to go to the source page / Wikipedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Polygonaceae : Muehlenbeckia platyclada / Internodes and leaves / Copyright © 2020  by Edmund Capuz (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL45399] / Non-Commercial Use / image modified / click on image or link to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Centipede plant / Peter Halasz / CC BY SA  2.5 Generic / click on image or link to go to the source page / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Muehlenbeckia platyclada (F.Muell.) Meisn / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Muehlenbeckia platyclada / Wikipedia
Muehlenbeckia platyclada / National Park: FLORA& FAUNA WEB
Pharmacological Proprieties of the Ethanol Extract of Muehlenbeckia platyclada (F. Muell.) Meisn. Leaves / Leopoldina Leonor Fagundes, Glauciemar Del-Vechio Vieira, Orlando Vieira de Sousa et al / nInt J Mol Sci., 2010; 11(10): pp 3942-3953 / DOI: 10.3390/ijms11103942 / PMID: 21152311
Anti-convulsant action and amelioration of oxidative stress by ethanolic extract of aerial parts of Muehlenbeckia platyclada / Priyakumar Ancy, Padmaja V, Nithinmanohar R, Rajkumar R, Shijikumar P S / Medicinal & Aromatic Plants, 2023; 12(1) / ISSN: 2167-0412
Flavonol glycosides from Muehlenbeckia platyclada and their anti-inflammatory activity / Yen Chiao Ting, Hsieh PeiWen, Hwang TsongLong, Wu Yang Chang et al / Chemical & Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 2009; 57(3): pp 280-282
Phytochemical screening, in-vitro antioxidant and anti protease activities of various solvent extracts of Muehlenbeckia platyclada root (F. Muell.) Meisn / Jenson Jacob, Meenu John, Rohitha P, Arsha Krishna, Adithya Babu / International Journal of Herbal Medicine, 2002; 10(5): pp 23-28 / eISSN: 2321-2187 / pISSN: 2394-0514
DOI: 10.13030/IJPSR.0975-8232.14(8).3868-82
EVALUATION OF ANXIOLYTIC ACTIVITY OF ETHANOLIC EXTRACT OF MUEHLENBECKIA PLATYCLADA IN MICE: A PRELIMINARY EXPERIMENTAL STUDY / P Ancy, V Padmaja, R Rajukumar, Shiji Kumar P S, R Nithin Manohar / European Journal of Pharmaceutical and Medical Research, 2020; 7(9): pp 571-575
ANTIOXIDANT EFFECTS OF MUEHLENBECKIA HASTULATA J. (POLYGONACEAE) EXTRACTS / Marco Mellado, Alejandro Madrid, Carlos Jara, Luis Espinoza / Journal of the Chilean Chemical Society, 2012; 57(3): pp 1301-1304 / DOI: 10.4067/S0717-97072012000300022
MUEHLENBECKIA PLATYCLADA (POLYGONACEAE) AN OVERVIEW  / P Ancy, Dr V Padmaja, Dr M A Kuriachan, Dr P S Shijikumar, R Nithin Manohar / World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, 6(11): pp 195-199 / ISSN: 2277-7105 / DOI: 10.20959/wjpr201711-9493

DOI: It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants
                                          New plant names needed
The compilation now numbers over 1,300 medicinal plants. While I believe there are hundreds more that can be added to the collection, they are becoming increasingly difficult to find. If you know of a plant to suggest for inclusion, please email the info: local plant name (if known), any known folkloric medicinal use, scientific name (most helpful), and, if available, a photo. Suggestions are greatly appreciated. (G.Stuart)

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