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Family Pandanaceae
Pandanus simplex Merr.

Scientific names Common names
Pandanus simplex Merr.            Kalagimai (Tagalog)
Pandanus utilissimus Elmer            Kalagimay (Tag.)
Pandanus simplex Merr. is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Gen info
- The genus Pandanus comprises approximately 700 species prevalent in tropical and sub-tropical regions.
- Pandanus simplex was first described by the American botanist Elmer Drew Merrill in 1905. It is classified used the subgenus Kurzia, section Utilissima.

• Karagumoy typically grows to 4 to 8 m (13 to 26 ft) tall. It has a round trunk around 12 to 15 cm (4.7 to 5.9 in) in diameter that is either unbranched or have a few branches. Prop roots emerge from the trunk near the base. Leaves are dark green elongated and very thick, around 3 to 6 m (9.8 to 19.7 ft) long and 6 to 10 cm (2.4 to 3.9 in) wide, with small sharp spines at the edges. Leaves are spirally-arranged leaves at the end of branches. The plant is dioecious with separate male and female plants. The fruits resemble jackfruit, an elongated capsule shape covered with small spines, typically 60 cm (24 in) or longer in length, and 20 cm (7.9 in) in width or wider.   (2)

- Native to the Philippines.
- Endemic.
- In forests at low to medium altitudes.
- Cultivated in farms, harvested every three months.

- Study of MeOH extract afforded two γ-butyrolactones, algin (1) and pantolactone (2), a lignan, (+)-pinoresinol (3), and three sesquiterpenes, loliolide (4), (+)-dehydrovomifoliol (5), and vomifoliol (6). It is the first isolation of pantolactone (2), a degradation product of pantothenic acid in the liver, from a plant source. (3)

- Studies have suggested α-glucosidase, antidiabetic, anti-Alzheimer properties.

Parts used


- Fruits and shoots are edible.
- No reported folkloric medicinal use.
- Crafts: Leaves and fibers are widely utilized in the Philippines for weaving mats, baskets, hats. Also used for making ropes or thatching.
(•) Pandanus simplex is the key figure of the "Pandan Festival" in Luisiana, Laguna, that showcases woven products and costumes. (5)

Fungal Endophyte with α-Glucosidase Inhibitory Activity / Leaves:
Study identified a fungal endophyte Annulohypoxylon stygium (Xylariales, Ascomycota) for the first time from the leaves of endemic tropical plant, Pandanus simplex. A crude extrac exhibited good inhibition of α-glucosidase enzyme with IC50 of 31.88 µg/mL. Results highlight the potential of A. stygium to produce metabolites that may be useful as antidiabetic drugs. (4)
Potential Against Alzheimer's Disease: Study evaluated a total of 25 Philippine plant extracts for cytotoxicity using ATP cytotoxicity assay utilizing SH-SY5Y and HEK-293 cell lines. ELISA was used to to establish the down-regulation and aggregation of amyloid-beta in mutant cells against a positive control (phenol red) and negative control (untreated cells), in comparison with normal HEK-293 cells. Six plant extracts, including Pandanus simplex, prevented the oligomer aggregation of amyloid-beta in the mutant cells. The extracts were non-toxic to SH-SY5Y and HEK-293 cells. Results suggest potential as nutraceuticals to minimized the effects of AD. (6)
Karagumoy Fiber-Reinforced Composite: Study evaluated the effects of enzyme treatment on the mechanical properties of natural fib er-reinforced composite using Pandanus simplex (karagumoy) fibers. Enzyme treatment improved the mechanical properties of karagumoy fibers with highest tensile strength value of 470,6590 MPa obtained at 4% xylanase concentration and one hour treatment. Enzyme treatment increased bonding between cellulose molecules and decreased affinity of karagumoy fibers to water, evidenced by low moisture uptake of enzyme-treated KFRCs. (7)

Seeds in the cybermarket.

November 2023

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Karagumoy in the forest / Alma Gamil / CC BY-SA 2.0 / image modified / click on image or link t go to source page / Wikiwand
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Pandanaceae : Pandanus simplex - Fruit and leaf / Copyright © 2016 by John Rey Callado (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL106576] / Non-Commercial Use / image modified / click on image or link to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Pandanus simplex / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Pandanus simplex / Wikipedia

Secondary metabolites from Pandanus simplex / Mario A Tan, Maribel G Nonato, Noriyuki Kogure, Mariko Kitajima, Hiromitsu Takayama /  Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, 2012; 40: pp 4-5
Annulohypoxylon stygium, a Pandanus simplex-associated fungal endophyte with α-glucosidase inhibitory activity / Robert Riggs L Rondilla, E Thomas Edison E de la Cruz, Fang-Rong Chang, Maribel G Nonato /  Studies in Fungi, 2022; 7: Article No 4 /DOI: 10.48130/SIF-2022-0004
Ethnobotanical Uses of Pandanaceae Species in Selected Rural Communities in the Philippines / Jorge Anton D Ordas, Maribel G Nonato, Cecilia B Moran /  Economic Botany, 2021; 20(10): pp 1-18
Potential therapeutic agents from Philippine medicinal plants against Alzheimer's disease
/ Mario A Tan, Seong Soo An / Alzheimer's & Dementia , 2020; 16(S9)): e 038909 / DOI: 10.1002/alz.038909
Characterization of Xylanase-Treated Karagumoy Fiber Reinforced Composite (KFRC) / Mina M T M, Tumolva T P / 16th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology, 2019:

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 more difficult to find. If you have a plant to suggest for inclusion, native or introduced, please email the info: scientific name (most helpful), local plant name (if known), any known folkloric medicinal use, and, if possible, a photo. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

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