Tahitian Miro

EthnoExtraits® EthnoOils® EthnoExfoliants®

Botanic name: Thespesia populnea
Family: Malvaceae
Usual name: Oceanian rosewood
Polynesian names: AMAE, MIRO(Tahiti, Iles Cook) MI'O (MARQUISES), 
MILO ( Hawai, Samoa, Tonga, Futuna) 
MULOMULO, WIRIWIRI (Fiji)

Distribution :

From the East of Africa to th East of Polynesia

Description / habitat :

 An indigenous tree, quite frequent at the seaside, with yellow flowers.

The fruit is a meaty green capsule, the pericarp of which exudes a yellow sap

Background:

Played an important role in ancient Polynesian civilizations:
In the Marquesas Islands, during a number of religious ceremonies, the priest would hit one stick
of Mi'o with another…
In Tahiti, some stems that were considered to be "sacred" were planted on the marae.
A wood highly rated by cabinetmakers (along with Tou and Tamanu), used in times past to make
bowls (umete), paddles, harpoons and the cross members of outrigger canoes.
In the Marquesas Islands, the sap of the husk was used to dye tapa cloth that would be used to
wrap newborn children. The juice extracted from its roots was also used to color and perfume Monoï.

Chemical composition (2-4) :

Thespesin, populnin, populetin, populneol, herbactin, populnetin,glycosides de quercetin, gossypetin, epoxyoleic acid, isoquercitrin, rutin, beta-carotene, ceryl alcohol, cyanidin glycoside, lupenone, mansonones, myricyl alcohol, lipids, beta-sitosterol, thespesone, thespone.

Biological activity (5,6): 

Anti-bacterial, antifungal, anti-rejection

Traditional uses  (2-9):

In the Philippines, scabies could be cured by applying the yellow sap of the fruit, also used in
the South of India to treat psoriasis and to fight against insect bites, moths and other skin diseases.
In Fiji, "Tokelau" (dermatophytosis) is treated by rubbing the damaged areas with oil in which
crushed green fruit had been macerated.
In Tahiti, the yellow sap is a popular remedy against centipede bites.

Bibliographie:

1) Pétard,P.,Plantes utiles de Polynésie, Raau Tahiti,(1986),Haere Po no Tahiti, 218-220.

2) Cambie,R.C.,and Ash,J.,Fijian Medicinal Plants,(1994),CSIRO,Australia,198-199.

3) Cass,Q.B.,et al.Phytochemistry,(655-2657.

4) Goyal,M.M.,and Rami,K.K.,Bangladesh J.Sci. Ind. Res..,(1987),22(1/4),8-11

5) George,M.,and Pandalai,K.M.,Indian J.Med.Res.,(1949),37,169-181.

6) Kamboj,V.P.,Indian J.Med.Res.,(1988),4,336-355.

7) Uhe, G., Econ.Bot.,(1974),38(1),1-30.

8) Weiner,M.A.,Econ.Bot.,(1971),25,423-450.

9) Whistler,W.A.,Polynesian Herbal Medecine,(1992),Everbest,Hong Kong,208-209.


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Ph. MAUNIER Pharmacien-Chimiste, Dr., Lauréat de l'Académie de Pharmacie.

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BP330006  98711 PAEA TAHITI
Tél/Fax: (+689) 40 42 31 31
E-mail: tahitiansoap@mail.pf 
Tous droits réservés-2006
Ph. MAUNIER Pharmacien-Chimiste, Dr., Lauréat de l'Académie de Pharmacie.
 
 

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