Excoecaria agallocha is commonly found at the landward side of mangroves. Belonging to the family Euphorbiaceae, trees are deciduous with leaves turning orange or red before shedding. The species produces white latex that is toxic, causing skin blistering and temporary blindness. The toxic E. agallocha latex which causes skin irritation and blistering has been attributed to three groups of diterpene esters of the daphnane and tigliane types. Classes of compounds of E. agallocha include diterpenoids, flavonoids, phenolic acids, sterols, tannins and triterpenoids. The most common chemical constituents are diterpenoids which are of the labdane, artisane, beyerane, daphnane, tigliane, isopimarane and kaurane types. Commonly isolated diterpenoids include agallochaexcoerins, agallochaols, agallochins, excoeagallochaols and excoecarins. Pharmacological properties of E. agallocha include antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, larvicidal, hedgehog signalling inhibition, anticancer, anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities. Other bioactivities include anti-ulcer, anti-diabetic, sedative and anti-allergic effects. A case report of a 15-year-old boy from Sri Lanka, splashed with toxic latex of E. agallocha and admitted to the General Hospital in Matara, is presented.
Excoecaria agallocha;Phytochemistry;Pharmacology;Diterpenoids;Case Report