Mallotus philippensis Medicinal uses and pharmacology


Mallotus philippensis is a herb mentioned in Ayurveda for the treatment of skin diseases, wound and intestinal worm. 

Latin name- Mallotus philippensis Muell Arg.
Family- Euphorbiaceae


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Morphology of Mallotus philippensis:
Mallotus philippensis is a medium size tree growing to a height of 20-25meter and found all over India up to an altitude of 5000 feet. The bark of the tree is brown outside and reddish inside. The leaves are 3-5 inch long, little round to long in shape with hair like structures on the lower surface, whereas the upper surface is smooth. The flowers are unisexual, pale yellow and are found in the month of August- September. The fruits are round, 0.5 inch in diameter and covered with red hair like structures. These hair like structures are collected and used as medicine. Fruits are seen in the month of March- May. The seeds are round, black and slimy in nature.

Test for purity of Mallotus philippensis :
Brick powder is used as adulterant for Mallotus philippensis . Hence to check the quality, the following test can be done-

  • The hair of the fruit is put in a bowl of water. The hairs float in water whereas the brick powder sink in the water.
  • If the hair of the fruit is rubbed over a white paper, it gives a yellow line.
  • If the hair of the fruit is sprinkled over fire, it gives a crackling appearance.



Part used- Glands and hair of fruit
Hair of fruit- 1-2 g

Mallotus philippensis 9purification):

Kampillak, being the fruit skin powder is very light in nature. It is put into water. All the impurities will settle down while the Mallotus philippensis floats. The floating particles are collected, dried and preserved.

Chemical composition:
The most important active constituent is a brownish red or reddish yellow color called Rottlerin. Capsule hair and glands gave phloroglucinol derivatives; rottlerin, isorottlerin, isoallorottlerin (the “red compound”) and methylene-bis-methyl- phloroacetophenone (the“yellow compound”). Two more compounds designated as kamalins 1 and 2 have been isolated. The stem bark contains kamaladiol- 3-acetate and friedelin.

Uses of Mallotus philippensis :

  • The hair of the fruit of Mallotus philippensis is mixed with sesame oil and applied over the skin affected with eczema and wound as part of treatment.
  • Mallotus philippinensis fruit gland is used for the treatment of intestinal worms by mixing it with hot water and consuming.
  • Decoction of the fruit hair is giving in a dose of 30-40 ml to retain the fetus in pregnancy condition.
  • Cold infusion of the bark is given in a dose of 40- 50 ml to treat renal calculi and in retention of urine.
  • Decoction of the bark of Mallotus philippinensis is given in a dose of 30 ml to treat skin diseases like eczema and acts like a blood purifier.


Traditional indications (Indian) of Mallotus philippensis :

 Ulcers, wounds

Tumors of the abdomen
ascites, enlargement of the abdomen
 bloating, gaseous distension of abdomen
parasites of Kapha origin
 cough of Kapha origin
Ulcers, wounds
 A product of indigestion and altered metabolism
abdominal colic pain

Adverse effects: Increased dose of Mallotus philippensis can cause purgation and excessive salivation. Hence the herb should be used with caution.


Research articles related to Mallotus philippensis:
Anti- oxidant activity: Phenolic compounds were extracted from Mallotus philippinensis bark using methanol. The content of total phenolics in the fractions ranged from 54 mg/g (fraction I) to 927 mg/g (fraction VI). Condensed tannins were detected in fractions II–VI. Total antioxidant activity (TAA) of phenolic fractions of Mallotus philipinensis bark extract ranged from 0.58 mmol Trolox/g (fraction I) to 6.82 mmol Trolox/g (fraction IV). Fraction IV also showed the strongest antiradical activity against DPPH and reducing power.

Anti- fungal action: From the red coloured extract (Kamala) prepared through acetone extraction of the fresh whole uncrushed fruits of Mallotus philippinensis, one new dimeric chalcone (1) along with three known compounds 1-(5,7-dihydroxy-2,2,6-trimethyl-2H-1-benzopyran-8-yl)-3-phenyl-2-propen-1-one (2), rottlerin (3) and 4′-hydroxyrottlerin (4) were isolated. Compounds 14 were evaluated for antifungal activity against different human pathogenic yeasts and filamentous fungi. The antiproliferative activity of the compounds was evaluated against Thp-1 cell lines. Compounds 1 and 2 both exhibited IC50 of 8, 4 and 16 μg/mL against Cryptococcus neoformans PRL518, C. neoformans ATCC32045 and Aspergillus fumigatus, respectively.

Anti- diabetic action: In the present work the antidiabetic activity of the Mallotus philippinensis was evaluated. The hydro ethanolic bark extract showed significant increase in the levels of body weight, insulin and significant decrease in blood glucose, and glycosylated haemoglobin when administered orally for 30 days to STZ induced diabetic rats at a dose of 200 and 400 mg/kg body weight.




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Action Gland and hair of fruit— purgative, anthelmintic, styptic. Used for the treatment of tapeworm infestation; in scabies, ringworm, herpes. Fruit—hypoglycaemic, spasmolytic, antibacterial.


Capsule hair and glands gave phlo roglucinol derivatives; rottlerin, isorottlerin, iso-ailorottlerin (the “red com pound”) and methylene-bis-methyl phloroacetophenone (the “yellow com pound”). The red powder, obtained from capsules, containing largely resinous matter, had lithotropic effect in rats, comparable to drugs used com monly against urinary calculi. Two more compounds designated as kama lins 1 and 2 have been isolated.

The stem bark contains kamaladiol 3-acetate and friedelin.

Dosage Glands and hairs of the fruit—0.5—1.0 g powder.



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