SLEEPY MORNING

Also Known As
ENGLISH:
Boaterbush [7]
Buff-coat [7]
Leather-coat [7]
Monkeybush [7]
Velvetleaf [7]
GUADELOUPE:
Guimauve [1]
HAWAII:
Hi'aloa [1]
Uhaloa [1]
Uhuloa [1]
MARTINIQUE:
Guimauve [1]
MEXICO:
Manurubio o Tapacola [1]
PANAMA:
Friega Plato [1]
Hierba de Soldago [1,6]
VIRGIN ISLANDS:
Buff Coat [1]
OTHER NAMES
Asora Prietah [6] 
Uimauve [6] 
Mauve-gris [6]  
Moto-branco [6]  
Fulutafu [6] 
Kafaki [6] 


Order:   Malvales
Family:   Malvaceae
Genus:    Waltheria
Species: indica

Florida c s

Edible Parts
Caution
Animal Interaction
Butterfly
Other Uses
Mug Medicinal Fragrant Cordage
This small native shrub is found in the southern half of Florida. It boasts pretty clusters of small bright yellow fragrant flowers and much of the plant is tomentose [hairy]. It is a somewhat well known medicine in Hawaii, where it is known as Uhaloa. It is of interest to note that, in Hawaii, the flowers and buds are given to children, "the leaves and stems" to young people, and the whole plant or roots to adults. There, they consider it one of their "best native plant medicines for sore throats and a good primary herb for bronchial or bacterial infections." "The bitter roots are used much like aspirin is today." This plant has a number of other medicinal uses which I highlight in the complete profile on this website. It seems so sad to me to see that in Brazil, it is commonly advertised as an herbal ingredient in skin whitening creams and is, many times, marketed towards dark skinned people. That is plain nuts. "Durawhite, an extract of Sleepy Morning, is used in a commercial cosmetic for its ability to inhibit melanin synthesis and whiten the skin." [Janssen Cosmeceutical Care 2001]. It is also a source of fiber that is said to be similar to jute. "Leaves were pounded and used for filling in cracks on canoes instead of pitch." The flowers attract butterflies, especially Gulf Fritillaries. The trails near the eastern end of the parking lot at Blind Pass Beach in Englewood are home to hundreds and hundreds of these beautiful plants. 

CAUTION: Extracts of this plant contain melanin-inhibiting ["bleaching"] properties. "Durawhite, an extract of Sleepy Morning, is used in a commercial cosmetics for its ability to inhibit melanin synthesis and whiten the skin (Janssen Cosmeceutical Care 2001). The plant contains steroid derivatives and alkaloids of the adouetine group that perhaps make it physiologically active." [10] ANDY'S NOTE: Melanin is a dark pigment found in not only the skin and hair, but also the iris of your eyes. "In dogs it produces hypertension." [5] 
MEDICINAL USES: "A decoction of the leafy stems is taken to relieve fevers, coughs, colds, bladder ailments, vaginal infections, hypertension, ulcers and as a remedy for haemoptysis." [3,5] "Adouétine Z (in the form of its amidosulphonate) acts as a sedative of the central nervous system and as a stimulant of the medulla. In dogs it produces hypertension, slows down the heartbeat, and has a relaxing action on the smooth muscle fibres of the intestine." [5] "Two antifungal flavonoids have been isolated from the chloroform extract of the plant. The first showed high antifungal activity against Candida albicans and low activity against Trichophyton mentagrophytes, while the second showed moderate antifungal activity against Aspergillus niger and Trichophyton mentagrophytes." [3] "A total aqueous extract of the plant showed in vitro antibacterial activity against 3 entero-bacteria: Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi and Shigella dysenteriae at a minimum inhibitory concentration of 5, 2.5 and 2.5 mg/ml, respectively." [3] "A decoction of various plant parts is taken as a treatment for fever and syphilis." [3] "It is applied externally on skin eruptions and wounds." [3] "A decoction of the root is given as an antidiarrhoeal and general tonic to children." [3] "It is also used as a cough medicine and for healing wounds." [3] "Waltheria indica L. (syn. Waltheria americana) is commonly used in traditional medicine in Africa, South America and Hawaii, mainly against pain, inflammation, conditions of inflammation, diarrhea, dysentery, conjunctivitis, wounds, abscess, epilepsy, convulsions, anemia, erectile dysfunctions, bladder ailments and asthma. Aim of the review to provide an up-to-date overview of the botany, phytochemistry, traditional uses, pharmacological activities and toxicity data of Waltheria indica. Additionally, studies providing an evidence for local and traditional uses of Waltheria indica are discussed. Further phytochemical and pharmacological potential of this species are suggested for future investigations." "RESULTS: Crude extracts and isolated compounds from Waltheria indica were investigated and showed analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antimalarial, anti-anemic, anti-oxidant, sedative and anticonvulsant activities. The phytochemical investigations showed the presence of cyclopeptid alkaloids, flavonoids (e.g., (-)-epicatechin, quercetin, kaempferol, kaempferol-3-O-β-d-(6″-E-p-coumaryl)-glucopyranoside), tannins, sterols, terpenes, saponins, anthraquinones. Studies of acute toxicity in animal indicated that Waltheria indica can be toxic." [8] "CONCLUSION: Waltheria indica possess therapeutic potential in the treatment of inflammation, malaria, infectious diseases (e.g., lungs infection due to Klebsiella pneumoniae, diarrhea due to Candida albicans or Escherichia coli) and prevention of oxidative stress. Further studies are necessary to explore pure compounds responsible for the pharmacological effects and the mechanisms of action. Further investigations are also needed to provide an evidence base for traditional uses of this species against pain, anemia, convulsions and epilepsy. In addition, there is a pressing need to investigate the other traditional uses such as dysentery, syphilis, erectile dysfunctions and asthma." [8] 
- HAWAII: "Whole plant or roots decocted." [1] "Whole plant juiced fresh for asthma, or as a bitter tonic." [1] There, they consider it one of their "best native plant medicines for sore throats and a good primary herb for bronchial or bacterial infections." [1] "The bitter roots are used much like aspirin is today." [13 via 11]
- MEDICINAL PROPERTIES: "Bitter, cool and cold, astringent." [1] The Earth Medicine Institute writes, "Abortifacient [Ghana, Gold Coast]; anti-diarrhea; depurative [Mexico]; emollient [Haiti]; purgative [South Africa]; sudorific [Venezuela]; prevents fever [Ghana]." [1] Antisiphylitic and febrifuge. [3, via 2]
- TRADITIONAL CHINESE ENERGETIC FUNCTIONS: "Clear damp heat, clears heat and poison, and cools the blood." [1]
- MEDICINAL ROOTS: HAWAII: "Root bark chewed for sore throat." [1]
- CHILDREN: HAWAII: The "buds are chewed and given to children." [1]
- MEDICINAL STUDIES: It "inhibits HIV protease [branch, water extracted] [Miyashorio, 1994] [1]
CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS: "A general screening of the plant revealed the presence of some general flavonoids and caffeic acid." [3] "Three peptide alkaloids have been isolated: adouétine X, Y and Z." [3]
NO KNOWN HAZARDS [2]
CORDAGE: "The bark yields a fiber similar to jute (Corchorus spp.), but is of no commercial interest." [3, via 2]
PITCH REPLACEMENT: "Leaves were pounded and used for filling in cracks on canoes instead of pitch." [12 via 11]
LIVESTOCK FORAGE: "The plant is browsed by all types of livestock, especially when young (Burkill 2000)." [10] "Sleepy Morning forage in a Mozambique valley during the rainy season contained 6.4 percent crude protein, 0.12 percent phosphorus, and 0.51 percent calcium (Faftine and others 2001). =" [10]
WILDLIFE: The flowers attract butterflies, especially Gulf Fritillaries.
HOST FOR INSECT PESTS: "It is host for a number of insects harmful to agricultural crops (Centro de Desarrollo de Agronegocios 2000, Lastres 2000, Sánchez and Uranga 1993)." [10]
A PDF ARTICLE PUBLISHED BY THE US FOREST SERVICE WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO [10]: "In the Turks and Caicos Islands, sleepy morning is used to make an herb tea (Wood 2001). The plant produces a fiber that was formerly used for making cords, sacking, padding, and sandals (Guzmán 1975). Durawhite, an extract of Sleepy Morning, is used in a commercial cosmetics for its ability to inhibit melanin synthesis and whiten the skin (Janssen Cosmeceutical Care 2001). [ANDY'S NOTE: Melanin is a dark pigment found in not only the skin and hair, but also the iris of your eyes]. The plant contains steroid derivatives and alkaloids of the adouetine group that perhaps make it physiologically active. Various extracts are used as standard febrifugal, purgative, emollient, tonic, analgesic, and astringent herbal medicines in Africa (Burkill 2000). In Hawaii, the root is chewed to relieve sore throat (Neal 1965). Stems are used as a chew stick, and extracts of the plant are used as an eye bath and a remedy for hemoptysis in Panama (Agricultural Research Service 2001)." [10] 

Recipes

The Earth Medicine Institute writes, ""It is somewhat astringent, so it needs to be properly combined to effectively deal with sticky phlegm in the lungs." [1] 

CLASSIFICATION: It is interesting to note both wildflower.org and leonlevy.org place it in the Cacao Family, Sterculiaceae. [7,8] I will look into the reason why.
DECSRIPTION: A short-lived perennial. [2] "The entire plant surface is covered with stellate tomentose hairs giving the leaves a grayish-green appearance." [8]
- HEIGHT: 2-6' tall. [1,7]
- LEAVES: Alternate. [8] To 3" long. [8] "Ovate to oblong, with a serrate leaf margin and obtuse leaf apex." [8]
- FLOWERS: Yellow, appearing all year. [7] Fragrant. [4]
- FRUIT: A follicle. [8]
CULTURE:
- PROPAGATION: Seeds. [4] 

More Details


Flowering Calendar
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D


Flower Color
Yellow

Habitat
Scrub Disturbed
Native?
Native


Plant Form
Herbaceous Evergreen Perennial Shrub
Height
4 feet



References

[1] Earth Medicine Institute 
[2] Useful Tropical Plants 
[3] Plant Resources of Southeast Asia 
[4] Hawaiian Native Plant Propagation Database 
[5] Medicinal Plants of the Guianas 
[6] Wikipedia 
[7] wildflower.org 
[8] Botany, Traditional Uses, Phytochemistry and Pharmacology of Waltheria indica: A Review, by Zongo, Rubuot, etc.  
[9] Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve [levypreserve.org] 
[10] http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download;jsessionid=89DF5F83B33E9F22CF78A376816FAD12?doi=10.1.1.214.1265&rep=rep1&type=pdf
[11] Native Plants Hawaii 
[12] Revised List of Hawaiian Names of Plants Native and Introduced, by Joseph F. Rock. 
[13] In Gardens of Hawaii, by Marie C. Neal 
Last Updated: January 7, 2018

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