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Family Malvaceae
Urena sinuata L.

Scientific names Common names
Urena aculeata Mill. Anonongkot (Tag.)
Urena lobata subsp. sinuata (L.) Borss. Waalk Kulutan (Tag.)
Urena lobata subsp. var. sinuata (L.) Miq. Burr malloow (Engl.)
Urena morifolia DC. Dog wart (Engl.)
Urena paradoxa Kunth Marsh mallow (Engl.)
Urena sinuata L. Sleepy morning (Engl.)
Urena swartzii DC.  
Urena sinuata L. is the preferred scientific name. (CABI)

Other vernacular names
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Malva, Yerba blanca.
FRENCH: Cousin petit, Grand cousin.
HAITI: Balai blanc, Malaguette.
JAMAICA: Raichie.
LESSER ANTILLES: Materebe, Petit mahot-cousin, Pikan kouzen, Piquant cousi,
SPANISH Cadillo de perro, Carapicho, Malva blanca, Malvabisco.
PUERTO RICO: Basora prieta, Cadillo pata de perro, Malvavisco.
SRI LANKA: Heen epala.

Gen info
- Malvaceae is a large family of flowering plants with about 243 genera and 4225 species of herbs, shrubs, and trees (Stevens, 2012). The genus Urea is morphologically very close to the genus Pavonia, and some have proposed merging the two genera (Ong, 2001), The genera Urea, Malvaviscus, and Pavonia have been placed in the tribe Malvaviscae based on genetic,, pollen and morphological studies, (2)

Urea sinuata is an erect, woody perennial herb or small shrub growing up to 2 m tall. Stems are minutely stellate, pubescent or glabrate. Leaves are simple, alternate, and broadly ovate, up to 6 cm long, palmately lobed or deeply pinnatifid; l0bes are rounded or obtuse, margin serrate, the upper surface rough and the under-surface grayish. Flowers are small, showy, hibiscus-like, solitary on short stalks in leaf axils, with 5 petals, rose or pink and darker at the base, rounded, up to 1.5 cm long, stamens fused into a pink column beneath a 5-lobed style. Fruits are small, barbed, spiny capsules, 6 to 8 mm in diameter, containing one dark brown seed (Liogier, 1988; Rondon 2009). (2)

- In Asia, found in Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Philippines,. Sri Lanka, and Thailand. (2)
- Also found in North and South America.
- Considered an invasive environmental weed in Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Trinidad, Mexico and Southeast Asia.

- Phytochemical study of fresh leaves for flavonoids yielded major components viz., quercetagetin-6,7-O--dimethyleyher-3'-ß-D-gluco-pyranoside (I), quercetagetin-6-7-O-dimethylether-4'-ß-D-glucopyranoside (II), and quercetagetin-6,7-O-dimethylether-3-ß-D-glucopyranoside (III). (see study below) (4)
- Phytochemical screening of air-dried leaves yielded carbohydrates and gum, reducing sugar, alkaloid, steroid, glycoside, and flavonoids. (see study below) (5)
- Phytochemical screening of plant yielded carbohydrates,

Studies have suggest antioxidant, thrombolytic, insecticidal, repellent, sedative, anxiolytic, anti-diarrheal, analgesic properties.

Parts used
Leaves, roots, stems.


- In Venezuela, infusion of foliage is used as anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and used as treatment for kidney pain and gallstone. (4)
- Fiber: Bark yields a strong fiber, easily extractable for the manufacture of sacking and twine. (1)

Insecticidal / Repellent / Leaf, Root, and Stem:
Study evaluated the insecticidal and repellent activities of chloroform extracts of fruit, leaf, root and stem of Urea sinuata against the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum L. adults. The leaf, root and stem extracts showed high toxicity with mortality of the beetles within 30 min of exposure. Insecticidal activity was in the order of fruit > root > leaf > stems stem extracts. The root and stem showed repellent activity at p<0.01 and p<0.05 levels of significance, while the fruit and leaf extracts showed no repellency at all. (3)
Flavonoids / Cytotoxicity / Leaves: Study of fresh leaves yielded three quercetagetin flavonoids. Compounds I and III showed similar DL50 values 1000 ppm, which point out low cytotoxicity for the three compounds to Artemia salina. (see constituents above) (4)
Thrombolytic / Leaves: Study evaluated the thrombolytic properties of chloroform extract of air-dried leaves of Urea sinuata. The percent lytic activity was compared with water (positive control) and standard enzyme streptokinase (negative control). The mean percent lytic activity was 47.89%, which is significant thrombolytic activity. (see constituents above) (5)
Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated the antioxidant potential of chloroform extract of Urea sinuata using DPPH radical scavenging assay. Results showed significant scavenging activity which increased with concentration with IC50 of 10.64 µg/ml , compared to ascorbic IC50 of 1.61 µg/ml. (6)
Sedative / Anxiolytic / Analgesic / Leaves: Study evaluated the CNS depressant potential of U. sinuata leaves in rodent animal models. Methanol extract displayed a suppressive effect on motor activity, exploratory behavior in hole cross and open field tests and prolongation of thiopental sleeping time in mice. The extract significantly (p<0.5) increase the time spent in elevated plus maze test (EPM). The extract showed centrally acting analgesic potential in formalin induced licking response model and per peripheral analgesic activity using acetic acid-induced writhing test and tail immersion test. (7)
Antidiarrheal / Leaves: Study evaluated the antidiarrheal activity of crude methanol extract and fractions of Urena sinuata by castor oil-induced diarrhea, castor oil-induced enteropooling and gastrointestinal motility test. The ethyl acetate fraction significantly (p<0.01) reduced diarrheal severity by 37.01%, compared to 44.78% inhibition by standard drug loperamide. The hydromethanol and ethyl acetate fractions and crude ME also significantly (p<0.01) reduced intestinal volume in castor oil-induced enteropooling. (8)


November 2020

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Photo / Burr mallow: Urena sinuata / Forestowlet / CC by SA 4.0 / click on image to go to source page / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Photo / Urena sinuata leaves / Vinaraya / CC by SA 4.0 / click on image to go to source page / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: /Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Kunth ex Walp. - quickstick GLSE2 / Steve Hurst @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Urena sinuata / Ken Fern: Tropical Plant Database / Useful Tropical Plants

Urena sinuata / Invasive Species Compendium / CABI
Insecticidal and repellent activities of the chloroform extracts of Urena sinuata L. against Tribolium cazstaneum (Herbst) adults / M Abdullah, A Kumar Pk, DKMA Saleh, R Islam, and N Islam / Univ. J. Zool. Rajshahi Univ., 2011, Vol 30: pp 25-28 / ISSN: 1023-6104
Flavonoids from Urena sinuata L. / Adakarleny Sosa, Carmel Rosquete / Avances en Quinica, 2010; 5(2): pp 95-98
Phytochemical Screening and Thrombolytic Activity of Chloroform Extract of Urena sinuata (L.) / S Dibyajyoti, P Swati / Journal of Fundamental and Applied Sciences, Aug 2015; 6(2) / DOI: 10.4314/jfas.v6i2.7
Phytochemical Screening and In Vitro Antioxidant Activity of Chloroform Extract of Urena sinuata (L.) / Dibyajyoti Saha, Swati Paul / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Research and Innovation, 2013; Vol 6: pp 19-24
Sedative, anxiolytic and analgesic effects of Urena sinuata L. leaf extracts in animal models / Emran T B and Rahman M A / International Food Research, 2014; 21(5): pp 2069-2075
Evaluation of the anti-diarrheal activity of methanol extract and fractions of Urena sinuata L. (Borss( leaves / Mir Muhammad Nasir Uddin, Sumyya Zahan, Talha Bin Emran et al / Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dec 2016; 6(12): pp 56-60 / DOI: 10.7324/JAPS.2016.601208 / ISSN: 2231-3354


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)

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