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Health Benefits of Sappan Wood

Posted by: Erineus on: August 14, 2009

In: Alternative Medicine | Healing

12 Comments

Folkloric
Decoction of wood and bark used for tuberculosis, diarrhea, dysentery, postpartum tonic, skin infections.
and anemia.
Seeds used for stomach aches and nervous disorders.
Decoction of wood used postpartum as tonic.
Others
Chiefly used as a dyewood, popular for coloring native fabrics.
In some parts of the Quezon province, a popular colorant for the coconut liquer, lambanog.
Studies

Antimicrobial: Aqueous extract study showed antimicrobial activity against methicillin-sensitive S


aureus (MSSA) as well MRSA and suggests a potential to restore the effectiveness of B-lactam antibiotics
against
MRSA..
Immunosuppressive compenent: Brazilein, an important immunosuppressive component of CS
showed inhibition of T cell proliferation and suppress mice humoral immune response.
Antioxidant:Study results showed significant antioxidant activities of Caesalpinia sappan heartwood
extracts.
Anticonvulsant:Study of aqueous MeOH extracts isolated pure compounds sappanchalcone and
brazilin
which
showed
remarkable
anticonvulsant
activity.
Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitors:Study of MeOH extract of Vietnamese CS isolated neoprotosappanin and
protosappanin A dimethyl acetal which showed xanthine oxidase inhibitory activity comparable to
allopurinol.
Anti-allergic:Study of extracts of CS showed potent inhibitory activity against B-hexosaminidase
release as marker of degranulation in rat basophilic leukemic cells. Among the compounds tested,
sappanchalcone
showed
the
most
potent
anti-allergic
effect.
Cardioactive effects of Brazilein:Brazilein obtained from CS ethanol extracts showed a positive
inotropic action with little effect on heart rate and coronary perfusion, an effect achieved through inhibition
of Na-K-ATPase system.
Heres a couple gems culled from the inbox chaff:
Caesalpinia sappan, known as Sibukaw Tree, treats hepatitis problems. It also includes
diabetes.
Excerpt from reply or comment re sibukaw:
with regards to sibukaw tree, it grow near our city and is sold by local streetside herbalist as a remedy to
build blood. a decoction of the wood pieces are used. my friend told me that it cured a filipino doctor who
came home from the u.s. because he was dying of cancer.
Main source: http://stuartxchange.com

Additional info
Caesalpinia sappan shares similarities with C. echinata, a species of Brazilian
timber in the pea (Fabaceae) family. Portuguese explorers initially referred to
the trees as pau-brasil - pau as Portuguese for "stick," metonymy for wood,
and brasa for brasil, Portuguese for "ember" - for the deep red hue
characteristic of the wood. Pau-brasil was also used to described the Asian
sappanwood. And besides sharing in the common name brazilwood, C.
echinata and C. sappan also share in some botanical features, chemical
constituents, and functional uses of dye and wood.
Botany
Sapang is a small tree, 3 to 5 meters high, with scattered spines. Leaves are
compound, up to 50 centimeters long. Pinnae are about 20, opposite, and 10
to 20 centimeters long. Leaflets are 20 to 30, obliquely oblong to oblongrhomboid. Flowers are yellow, on terminal panicles, 2 to 2.5 centimeters in
diameter with densely wooly filaments. Fruit is a hard, indehiscent, shiny pod,
about 7 centimeters long, and 3.5 to 4 centimeters wide, with a hard recurved
beak at the upper angle.

Distribution
- Locally abundant throughout the Philippines at low and medium altitudes in
dry thickets, parang, etc.
- Introduced, and probably of prehistoric introduction.
- Also occurs in India through Burma, Thailand, Indo-China, southern China to
Malaysia.
Constituents
- Coloring matter of sappan wood appears to be identical to the brazilin
obtained from brazilwood.
- Study yield a principle resembling haematein.
- Resinous extract yields a crystalline principle, which when fused with potash,

yields resorcin.
- Besides brazilin, additional constituents include gallic and tannic acids.
- The coloring matter of sappan wood has been attributed to brazilin.
- Tannin is found in the leaves,19%, bark and fruit walls, 44%.
- Leaves yield volatile oil, 0.16 to 0.25%; d-a-phellandrene, terpene, and
methyl alcohol.
- Pods contain 40% tannin.
- Seed on extraction with petroleum ether yield an orange colored fixed oil.
- Sapwood is white. Heartwood, 90% of the total volume, is yellow or deep
orange when fresh, turning to dark red.
- Stem yields a gum.
- Bark, pods and roots yield dyes. Pods contain about 40% tannin. Roots yield
a yellow dye.
- Study yielded isoflavonoids from the dried heartwood.
- Study isolated 21 compounds: Neocaesalpin A(1), Neocaesalpin B(2); three
brazilin derivatives:Brazilein (3), Brazilin (4), brazilide A (5); two
dibenzoxocins: Protosappanin A (6),Protosappanin C (7); two lignans: ()Lyoniresinol (8), (-)-Syringaresinol (9); twochalcones: 3-deoxysappanchalcone
(10), Sappanchalcone (11); one homoisoflavonoid:3-deoxysappanone B (12);
two flavonoids: Rhamnetin (13), 3,8-dihydroxy-4,10-dimethoxy-7-oxo[2]benzopyrano[4,3-b]benzopyran(14); one stilbene: (E)-3,Y-dime-thoxy-4,4'dihydroxystilbene (15); one chroman: 3,7-dihydroxy-chroman-4-one (16);three
sterols: Stigrnasterol (17),-sitosterol (18), Daucosterin (19); two fatty
acid:Dimethyl adipate (20), Stearic
(21).
Properties
Considered emmenagogue,
astringent, sedative, stomachic, tonic,
vulnerary.
Parts utilized
Bark, wood, heartwoood, and seeds.
Uses
Folkloric
- Decoction of wood and bark used for tuberculosis, atonic diarrhea,
dysentery, postpartum tonic, skin infections, wounds, ulcers, and anemia.
- Seeds used for stomach aches and nervous disorders.
- Decoction of wood used by women as tonic after confinement; also used as
emmenagogue and and for vomiting of blood.
- Dried heartwood used against inflammation.
- Decoction is used as diuretic.
- Roots, stems and seeds used as sedative and vulnerary.
- In Indo-China, seeds used as stomachic.
- In Thailand, used for arthritis, cancer, and inflammatory complaints.
- In Ayurveda, useful in vitiated conditions of Pitta, burning sensations,
wounds, ulcers, leprosy, skin diseases, diarrhea, dysentery, and diabetes.
- In Keral, decoction of heartwood used for blood purifying, antithirst, and antidiabetic properties.
Others
- Dye: Heartwood yields a valuable red crystalline dye, brazilin. Chiefly used
as a dyewood, popular for coloring cotton, silk, and wool fabrics. Elsewhere,
used for coloring leather, silk, batik, calico printing, furniture and handicrafts.

- Lambanog: In some parts of the Quezon province, a popular colorant for the
coconut liquer,lambanog. Also, strip of sappan wood used to test for purity of
lambanog, imparting a yellow coloration.
- Wood: (1) Firewood: has an energy value of 25,000 kj/kg. (2) Source of
commercial redwood or Brazilwood. (3) Carpentry. Used for inlaying work,
cabinetry, and with its straight grains, of great value in making violin bows and
walking sticks.
The Sapan Wood Test

In the Quezon area, rather than medicinal, sapang finds greater use as a test for the purity of lambanog.
Sappan wood is known to produce a red dye. Studies have identified brazilin as the wood constituent
responsible for the color.

The Traditional Rural Lithmus Test: In rural Quezon, the sapan wood has long been used for testing the
purity of lambanog. A strip of sappan wood swirled in unadulterated lambanog will impart a yellow color. Above:
(1) Gin, bright pink. (2) Vodka, reddish-brown. (3) Bating, the initial distillate in the lambanog process gives a
reddish-orange color. (4) Coconut lambanog with the typical "true" unadulterated yellow coloration (5)
Nipa or sasa lambanog with a lighter yellow, probably due to a lower "proof."

Studies
Antimicrobial: Aqueous extract study showed antimicrobial activity against methicillinsensitive S aureus (MSSA) as well MRSA and suggests a potential to restore the
effectiveness of B-lactam antibiotics against MRSA..
Immunosuppressive component: Brazilein, an important immunosuppressive
component of CS showed inhibition of T cell proliferation and suppress mice humoral
immune response.
Antioxidant: (1) Study results showed significant antioxidant activities of Caesalpinia
sappan heartwood extracts. (2) Ethanol extract showed strong superoxide anion radical
and nitric oxide scavenging activity. Phenolic compounds were the major constituents
for the antioxidant activity. Results suggest CS extract may be proposed as a dietary
supplement for the prevention of oxidative damage or DNA damage by hydroxyl
radicals. (3) Ethanol extract of the heartwood yielded protosappanin A, protosappanin B
and brazelein. All showed antioxidant activity.
Anticonvulsant:Study of aqueous MeOH extracts isolated pure compounds
sappanchalcone and brazilin which showed remarkable anticonvulsant activity.
Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitors / Protosappanins: (1) Study of MeOH extract of
Vietnamese CS isolated neoprotosappanin and protosappanin A dimethyl acetal which
showed xanthine oxidase inhibitory activity comparable to allopurinol. (2) Protosappanin
A isolated from the heartwood shown to have a mild sedative effect.
Anti-allergic:Study of extracts of CS showed potent inhibitory activity against Bhexosaminidase release as marker of degranulation in rat basophilic leukemic cells.

Among the compounds tested, sappanchalcone showed the most potent anti-allergic
effect.
Hypolipidemic: A methanolic extract showed significant anti-hypercholesterolemic
activity.
Cardioactive effects of Brazilein: Brazilein, a molecule with a non-steroidal skeleton,
obtained from CS ethanol extracts showed a positive inotropic action with little effect on
heart rate and coronary perfusion, an effect achieved through inhibition of Na-K-ATPase
system.
Hypoglycemic / Brazilin: Brazilin (7,11b-dihydrobenz[b]indeno-[1,2-d]pyran3,6a,9,10(6H)-tetrol), the principle component of C. sappan, has been found to exhibit
hypoglycemic properties and to increase glucose metabolism in diabetic rats.
Nephroprotective: Study of an ethanolic extract of CS in male albino rats showed
nephroprotective and antioxidant activities by histopathological and biochemical
observations against acetaminophen-induced renal damage in rats.
Ovarian Cancer Growth Inhibition: Study showed C. sappan aqueous extract
inhibited growth of human ovarian cancer cell line and induce apoptosis by increasing
expression of Caspase-3, Caspase-9, and decrease expression of surviving.
Constituents / Anti-Tumor Activities: Study isolated 21 compounds (see
constituents). Neocaesalpin A, brazilein, brazilin, and sappanchalcone exhibited
moderate cytotoxicity against seven tumor cell. lines. A stilbene, (E)-3,Y-dime-thoxy4,4'-dihydroxystilbene, exhibited hepatoprotective activity against D-GaIN-induced
toxicity in WB-F344 cells.
Hepatoprotective: Study of methanol and aqueous extracts of the heartwood of CS in
CCl4-induced hepatotoxicty showed potent hepatoprotective activity comparable to
standard silymarin.
Neuraminidase Inhibitory Activity / Anti-Influenza Virus: Study of yielded six
constituents with neuraminidase inhibitory activity: Brazilein, brazilin, protosappanin A,
3-deoxysappanchalcone,
sappanchalcone and rhamnetin. Of these, 3-deoxysappanchalcone and
sappanchalcone showed the highest activity against influenza virus (H3N2).
Anti-Arthritic: Study showed CS significantly attenuates CIA in rats by decreasing the
levels of IL-1b, IL-6, TNF-a and PGE2 in serum and the expression of COX-2 and
transcription factor NF-kB in paw cartilage.
Antihelmintic: Study evaluating the ethanol and aqueous extracts of CS bark against
Pheritima posthuma showed anthelmintic activity with paralysis and death of worms
compared to standard reference Albendazole.
Brasilin / Antibacterial: Study isolated an active antibacterial principle from CS,
brasilin, which showed potent activity against antibiotic-resistance bacteria, notably
methicillin-resistant Staph aureus and vancomycin-resistant enterococci, multi-drug
resistant Burkholderia capacia. Results showed brasilin is bactericidal against MRSA.
Anti-Inflammatory: Study evaluated the effects of an ethanolic extract on human
chondrocytes and macrophages. Results demonstrated an anti-inflammatory effect in
an in vitro cell model of joint inflammation. Blockade of IL-1-induced NF-kB signaling
and downstream pro-inflammatory targets may be beneficial for reducing cartilage
breakdown in arthritis.
Antibacterial: Study evaluated the antimicrobial activity of C. sappan and Mimosa
pudica against S. aureus, B. subtilis, P. aeruginosa, E. coli, K. pneumonia, P. vulgaris,
C. albicans and A. niger. Extracts of C. sappan showed broad spectrum activity against
both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and fungi attributed to the identified
alkaloids and tannin