Ehretia microphylla Tablet Formulation for Biliary and Gastrointestinal Colic: A Review of its Phytochemical Constituents, Pharmacologic Activities and Clinical Researches

  • Charisse Leanne B. Legaspi
  • Daisy-Mae A. Bagaoisan
Keywords: Ehretia microphylla, tsaang gubat, gastrointestinal colic, biliary colic


The persistence of human diseases challenges the current state of the discovery and production of synthetic drugs. Plants are recognized as a great resource to discover chemical compounds that can be used for drug development. In the Philippines, Ehretia microphylla (tsaang gubat) is recognized by the Department of Health as one of the ten recommended medicinal plants. This article aims to provide a comprehensive review of the traditional use, phytochemical constituents, pharmacologic activities as well as the non-clinical and clinical studies leading to the NIRPROMP formulation of the tsaang gubat tablet indicated for biliary and gastrointestinal pain. Among the phytochemical constituents observed were flavonoids, phenolics, triterpenes, and alkaloids. Evidence for other pharmacologic properties such as antibacterial, anti-angiogenesis, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, folliculogenesis, wound healing and anti-cancer activities are presented. Currently, tsaang gubat tablet has been granted a full patent for its invention as a tablet for relieving symptoms of biliary and gastrointestinal colic and is registered with the Philippine Food and Drug Administration for these indications. The tsaang gubat tablet is listed in the Philippine National Formulary after the conduct of in vitro, in vivo and Phase I-III clinical trials. Future platforms for research include the reformulation of the existing tsaang gubat drug for other indications, determination of the molecular mechanism of action and plans for plant conservation.