Before it was called Santa Barbara (a place in Iloilo), historical accounts say it was named catmon, as this variety of trees were landmarks in the route up Central Panay. Katmon (Family: Dilleniaceae, Synonyms: Dilenia speciosa, other names: Bihis, kulammbug, palali) has thick foliage and distinctly big white flowers that eventually becomes round fruits.
The fruit is sour but refreshing – my tastebuds likened the taste to kamias with hints of green apple and like the pomelo it becomes sweet at some certain points. A perfect candidate for being juiced up if they can be easily extracted and if supplies are plentiful, they can be turned into jams and jellies and be part of local cooking like sinigang and pinamlahan just like kamias and the local batwan.
Results of the study showed that the air-dried leaves of katmon yielded betulinic acid. Betulinic acid is known for its antiretroviral, antimalarial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
The hypoglycemic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory potential and antimicrobial properties of betulinic acid extracted from katmon leaves were also evaluated in the study.
Preliminary tests for the hypoglycemic effect of the compound in mice showed a decrease in the mice blood glucose level one hour after the compound administration.
Betulinic acid also effectively inhibited carrageenan-induced pleurisy in mice and was also found to significantly antagonize tail flick and acetic acid-induced writhing reponses in mice.
• Fruit contains a soft, fleshy, green and edible pulp, with the flavor of a green, sour apple.
• Used for making sauces and jams; also used for flavoring fish.
• Fruit when cooked, used as vegetable.
• The acid juice of the fruit, mixed with sugar, is used for coughs.
• Fruit decoction used for cough.
• Also employed for cleansing the hair.
• In Sabah, young leaves or stem bark pounded and applied as paste on swellings and wounds.
• Elsewhere, sugared fruit juice used as cooling beverage for fevers; also, as cardiotonic.
• Leaves and bark used as laxative and astringent.
• Red dye: A red dye is obtained from the tree bark.
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