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Family Fabaceae

Flemingia macrophylla
(Willd.) Kuntze ex Merr.
Da ye qian jin ba

Scientific names Common names
Crotalaria cavaleriei H.Lév.            Gewanini (Ifugao)
Crotalaria macrophylla Willd. Laclay-guinan (Tagalog)
Flemingia brevipes Craib. Malabalatong (Pampanga)
Flemingia congesta Roxb. ex W.T.Aiton Large leaf flemingia (Engl.)
Flemingia congesta var. tomentosa Miq. Waras tree (Engl.)
Flemingia congesta var. viridis Prain  
Flemingia latifolia var. hainanensis Y.T.Wei & S.K.Lee  
Flemingia latifolia var. siamensis Craib.  
Flemingia macrophylla (Willd.) Kuntze ex Merr.  
Flemingia macrophylla var. congesta (Roxb. ex. W.T.Aiton) M.R.Alm.  
Flemingia macrophylla var. viridis (Prain) H/B.Naithani  
Flemingia sericans Kurz  
Flemingia trinervia Desf.  
Hedysarium trinervium Roxb. ex Wall.  
Maughania brevipes (Craib) H.L.Li  
Maughania macrophylla (Willd.) Kuntze  
Maughania macrophylla f. poecilantha Kuntze  
Maughania macrophylla f. viridula Kuntze  
Maughania sericans (Kurz) Mukerjee  
Maughania tomentosa (Miq.) H.L.Li  
Rhynchosia crotalarioides DC.  
Rhynchosia seericea S.Vidal  
Flemingia macrophylla (Willd.) Kuntze ex Merr is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
AYURVEDA: Barasalpan.
CHINA: Da ye qian jin ba, Da'yeqianjinba, Jia'yanpiguo, Niudexun, Qianjinhong.
INDIA: Basa-salpan, Bhalia, Bisbut, Samnaskahat.
INDONESIAN: Apa-apa, Hahapaan, Pok kepokan.
JAPAN: Enoki-mame.
LAOS: Thwax h'ee h'üad, Hom sam muang, Thoua huat, ko dok kam.
MALAYSIA: Serengan jantan, beringan.
NEPAL: Batwasi, Kamatteri.
PAKISTAN: Wal-undu.
THAILAND: Mahae-nok, Khamin naang, Khamin ling.
VIETNAM: Top mo' lato, Cay dau ma, Cai duoi chon.

Gen info
- Flemingia macrophylla is a tropical woody leguminous shrub in the family Fabaceae. It is a multipurpose plant used for medicinal purposes, agriculture, crop improvement, fodder, and as source of dye. It is considered the most versatile of the Flemingia species in terms of adaptation, medicinal, and agricultural applications. (3)
- Etymology: The specific epithet macrophylla derives from Greek makros, “large” and phyllon, “leaf”, referring to the leaves that are disproportionately large.

Flemingia macrophylla is a woody, deep-rooting, tussock-forming shrub, 1-4 m tall. Young branches greenish, ribbed, triangular in section, silky. Old stems brown, almost round in section. Leaves digitately trifoliolate; stipules lanceolate, 1-1.5 cm long, covered with silky hairs, early caducous; petiole up to 10 cm long, narrowly channeled, slightly winged; leaflets elliptical-lanceolate, 6-16 cm × 4-7 cm, papery, dark green, base rounded, veins covered with silky hairs, apex rounded to acuminate. Inflorescence a dense axillary raceme, subspiciform, sessile, 2.5-10 cm long, silky; bracts ovate, 3-6 mm long. Calyx 6-13 mm long, pale velutinous, green, with 5 lanceolate lobes; corolla with greenish elliptical standard and distinct parallel red veins, wings narrow and much shorter than the keel, light purple at the apex. Pod oblong, inflated, 8-15 mm × 5 mm, covered with fine glandular hairs, dehiscent, dark brown, 2-seeded. Seed globular, 2-3 mm in diameter, shiny black. (2)

- Native to the Philippines.
- Also native to
Andaman Is., Assam, Bangladesh, Borneo, Cambodia, China South-Central, China Southeast, East Himalaya, Hainan, Himalaya, India, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Myanmar, Nepal, New Guinea, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam. (1)
- From sea level up to 2000 m altitude.

- Estrogenic activity-guided fractionation of methanolic extract of roots yielded one new compound, fleminigin, together with 23 known compounds.
- HPLC analysis for phenolic compounds revealed daidzin, daidzein, genistin, and genistein. (see study below) (11)

- Studies have suggested neuroprotective, amyloid Aß-protein attenuating, anti-osteoporosis, anti-estrogenic, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, antioxidant, tyrosinase inhibitory, thrombolytic, cytotoxicity, anxiolytic, anti-epileptic, analgesic, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory properties.

Parts used
Leaves, roots.


- Leaves and pods are edible.
- Seeds used for flavoring.
- In Peninsular Malaysia, entire plant given to relive stomachache. In India, roots applied externally to ulcers and swellings. In China, decoction used to bathe swellings and sores. (2)
In Taiwan, used as antipyretic for postpartum fevers and to treat paralysis and painful joints. (2) Used as anti-inflammatory, for promotion of circulation, and as antidiabetic agent.
- In Malaysia, decoction of young leaves used for treatment of fever and small pox. Local people also rub fresh young leaves to face for a whitening effect. (10)
- Used for treatment of cholera, dysentery, blindness. Roots used for treatment of fractures, arthritis, rheumatism, and influenza.
- Agroforestry: In Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, West Africa and Madagascar, used as a cover crop and shade crop in young plantations of cacao, coffee, banana and rubber. Used to control erosion and provides dry season forage in the savanna zone of Nigeria. In the Ivory Coast, used to reduce nematodes in pineapple plantations and as green manure and mulch. (2)
- Dye: A source of the Arab dye 'warrus' or 'waras'. Waras is a purple or orange-brown coarse powder, consisting of glandular hairs rubbed from dry Flemingia fruits, capable of dying silk (flemingin).
- Mulch: Leaves decompose slowly and are useful as mulch material.
- Cosmetic: In Arabia, the powder is used as cosmetic.
- Forage / Feed supplement: Study suggests potential of leaves to replace Tifton 85 grass as a supplement in low quality diets of dairy goats. (see study below) (13)

Neuroprotective against Alzheimer's Disease / Attenuation of Amyloid ß-Protein:
A study suggested neuroprotective activity against Alzheimer's disease. Study evaluated the effects of F. macrophylla on Aß production and degradation. Three fractions of F. macrophylla and three flavonoids Aß accumulation by inhibiting ß-secretase and activating IDE. Flavonoid 94-18-13 also modified Aß accumulation by enhancing IDE expression. Results suggest comonents of F. macrophylla possess the potential for development of new therapeutic drugs for Alzheimer's disease. (4)
Anti-Osteoporosis: An in vitro study of a 75% ethanolic extract of FM inhibited osteoclast differentiation of cultured rat bone marrow cells, and the active component, lespedezaflavanone A (LDF-A), was isolated. Administration of FME suppressed bone loss in ovariectomize rats, an experimental model of osteoporosis. Study suggests FME has potential for treatment of bone resorption diseases, such as osteoporosis. (5)
Anti-Estrogenic Activity / SERMs / Roots: A methanolic extract of roots of F. macrophylla exhibited significant estrogenic activity in the transgenic plant assay system. Fractionation yielded one new compound, fleminigin, together with 23 known compounds. Isolated isoflavonoids may act as partial estrogen agonists, as well as antagonists. Results suggest the extract and isolated compounds have potential as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). (6)
Hypoglycemic / anti-Diabetic / Leaves: Study evaluated crude methanolic (1:4) extract administered to normal and alloxan-induced diabetic mice. At 250 mg/kbw, there was 37% to 39% reduction of blood glucose level in normal and diabetic Swiss albino mice. No sign of toxicity was observed. However, dosages of 350 mg/kbw and higher were toxic to mice. Glibenclamide, metformin, and insulin were used as reference drugs. (7)
Hepatoprotectivev/ Carbon Tetrachloride Toxicity: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective effect of aqueous extract of F. macrophylla (AFM) against hepatic injury induced by CCl4. ALT and AST were dectected biomarkers to indicate hepatic injury. Oral administration of extract (0.5 and 1.0 g/kg doses) significantly decreased ALT and AST, attenuated the histopathology of hepatic injury, ameliorated oxidative stress in hepatic tissue, and increased activities of CAT, SOD, and GSH-Px. The hepatoprotective effect of the extract against CCl4 toxicity was related to antioxidant properties. (8)
Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory / Roots: Study evaluated aqueous extracts of Flemingia macrophylla (FM), F. lineata (FL) and F. prostata (FP) for analgesic effect using acetic acid-induced writhing response and formalin test, and anti-inflammatory effect using carrageenan-induced paw edema in mice. FM and FL significantly inhibited acetic acid-induced writhing response and formalin-induced licking time during the late phase (p<0.001).  FM and FL also significantly decreased carrageenan-induced paw edema (p<0.001). Results showed analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, which might be related to decrease in level of malondialdehyde (MDA) in paw edema via increased activities of GPx and GRx in the liver and decreasing the NO level in paw edema. (9)
Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated the antioxidant potential of ethanol and glycerol extracts of F. macrophylla leaves using DPPH scavenging assay, total phenolic content (TPC), and total flavonoid content (TFC). The extract showed significant activities (p≤0.05) in DPPH and TPC. The extract also showed strong reducing power. The glycerol solvent showed better antioxidant activity and is good enough to substitute the ethanol solvent, and a safer solvent extract at that. (10)
Tyrosinase Inhibitory / Antioxidant / Roots: Study evaluated the antioxidant and antityrosinase activities of water extract of F. macrophylla roots (WEFM). Results showed radical scavenging and reducing activities, as well as ferrous ion chelating property. WEFM also protected phospholipids against oxidation, indicating ability to protect biomolecules from oxidative damage. In range of 50-100 µg/ml, the WEFM showed tyrosinase inhibitory activity that increased with sample concentration. HPLC analysis for phenolic compounds revealed daidzin, daidzein, genistin, and genistein.  Results suggest WEFM has potential as a natural antioxidant and tyrosinase inhibitor. (11)
Thrombolytic / Cytotoxicity / Leaves: Study evaluated the in vitro cytotoxic and thrombolytic activity of methanolic extract of leaves of F. macrophylla. The ME showed percent thrombolysis of 43.067%,  compared to streptokinase with 68.58%. Cytotoxicity study by Brine shrimp lethality bioassay showed LC50 of 1.981 µg/mL. Results showed the leaves have potential as thrombolyic and cytotoxic agent.   (12)
Feed Supplement / Leaves: Study evaluated the milk yield, digestibility of nutrients and intake of crossbred dairy goats fed Tifton 85 (Cynodon spp. hybrid) grass replaced by leguminous shrub (Flemingia macrophylla) with or without polyethylene glycol (PEG) to neutralize condensed tannins (CT) that may not benefit production. Adding flemingia increased (p≤0.05) dietary concentrations of CT, lignin, protein, and rapidly degradable polysaccharides (A+B1). Study concludes flemingia leaves can replace Tifton 85 grass as supplement in low quality diets of dairy goats. (13)
Analgesic / Antipyretic / Anti-Inflammatory / Leaves: Study evaluated an ethanolic extract of FM leaves for analgesic, antipyretic, and anti-inflammatory activities. In analgesic testing using formaldehyde induced writhing in mice, extract at dose of 200 and 400 mg/kg showed significant (p<0.0001) analgesic activity, compared to diclofenac at 25 mg/kg. At 500 mg/kg, the extract showed significant (p<0.05) reduction of pyrexia. In in vitro anti-inflammatory test, doses of 12.5 µg/ml to 200 µg/ml showed significant (p<0.0o1) mean inhibition of protein denaturation. (14)
Anxiolytic / Antiepileptic / Aerial Parts: Study evaluated the anxiolytic and anti-epileptic activity of ethanolic extract of F. macrophylla in rodents. Anxiolytic activity was estimated using Elevated Plus Maze test and light-dark model in mice. Anticonvulsant activity was estimated in rats using MES (maximal electroshock) and PTZ (pentylenetetrazole). Results showed significant decrease in anxiety and onset of convulsions compared with diazepam treated animals. The activity may be due to the presence of flavonoids and glycosides. (15)


October 2023

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Fabaceae : Flemingia macrophylla / Habit / Copyright © 2011 by Leonardo L. Co [ref. DOL28917] / Non-Commercial Use / image modified / click on image or link to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Flemingia macrophylla / SVinayaraj / CC BY-SA 4.0 / click on image or link to go to source page / Species.Wikimedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Flemingia macrophylla flowers / SVinayaraj / CC BY-SA 4.0 / click on image or link to go to source page / Species.Wikimedia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Flemingia macrophylla (Willd.) Kuntze ex Merr / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Flemingia macrophylla (PROSEA) / A Budelman, M NE Siregar, LJG van der Maesen / Pl@ntUse

Flemingia macrophylla / Wikipdeia
The Components of Flemingia macrophylla Attenuate Amyloid β-Protein Accumulation by Regulating Amyloid β-Protein Metabolic Pathway / Yun-Lian Lin, Huey-Jen Tsay, Yung-Feng Liao et al / Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2012; 2012:  795843 / PMID: 22719789 / DOI: 10.1155/2012/795843
Flemingia macrophylla Extract Ameliorates Experimental Osteoporosis in Ovariectomized Rats / Hui-Ya Ho, Jin-Bin Wu, Wen-Chuan Lin / Evid-Based Complement Alternat Med, 2011; 2011: 752302 /
DOI: 10.1093/ecam/nep179
Phyto-SERM Constitutes from Flemingia macrophylla
/ Wan-Chun Lai, Ya-Ting Tsui, Abdel Nasser B Singab, Ying-Chi Du. Mohamed El-shazly, Fang-Rong Chang et al / IJMS: Int J Mol Sci, 2013; 14(8): pp 15578-15594 / DOI: 10.3390/ijms140815578
Hepatoprotective effect of the aqueous extract of Flemingia macrophylla on carbon tetrachloride-induced acute hepatotoxicity in rats through anti-oxidative activities / Po-Chow Hsieh, Yu-Ling Ho, Guan-Jhong Huang, Ming-Hsing Huang, Yuan-Shiun Chang et al / Am J Chin Med., 2011; 39(2): pp 349-365 /
PMID: 21476211 / DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X11008877
Analgesic and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of the Aqueous Extracts from Three Flemingia Species / Yu-Jen Ko, Tsung-Chun Lu, Susumu Kitanaka, Wen Huang Peng et al / The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 2010; 38(3): pp 625-638 / DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X1000810X
Antioxidant Potential and Chemical Analysis of Fresh and Dried Young Leaves of Flemingia Macrophylla (Willd.) Merrill (Leguminosae) / Shahirah Binti Ahamad / Thesis: 2019 - Bachelor of Applied Science, Universiti Malaysai Kelantan
Antioxidant and Antityrosinase Activity of Flemingia macrophylla and Glycine tomentella Roots /  Bor-Sen Wang, Lih-Jeng Juang, Jeng-Jer Yang, Li-Ying Chen, Huo-Mu Tai, Ming-Hsing Huang / Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2012: 2012: 431081 / DOI: 10.1155/2012/431081 / PMID: 22997529
IN-VITRO THROMBOLYTIC AND CYTOTOXIC ACTIVITY OF METHANOLIC EXTRACT OF FLEMINGIA MACROPHYLLA LEAVES / Mohammed Abdullah Jainul,  Md Sahab Uddin, Zahin Amin-Chowdhury, Rukhon Uddin Mubarak, Kazi Omar Faruq / Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, 2013
Intake, digestibility and milk yield in goats fed Flemingia macrophylla with or without polyethylene glycol / G M Fagundes, E C Modesto, C E M Fonseca, H R P Lima, J P Muir / Small Ruminant Research, 2014; 116(2-3): pp 88-93 / DOI: 10.1016/j.smallrumres.2013.10.018
In-vivo analgesic, antipyretic potential in swiss albino mice and in-vitro anti-inflammatory evaluation of Flemingia macrophylla (Willd.) / Sarrin Shahadat, Syed Mohammed Tareq, M Mohi Uddin Chowdhury, Md Qamrul Ahsan / International Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry / ISSN: 2051-7858

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 1,400 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 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 possible, a photo. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

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