Tuba – Scientific name: Croton tiglium Linn.

English: Croton Oil Plant
Tagalog: Tuba

An erect or more or less spreading shrub or very small tree.

  • Leaves: alternate, ovate 7 to 12 cm in length, usually somewhat rounded at the base, pointed at the tip and toothed at the margins.
  • Flowers: very small and borne on terminal inflorescence, with the female flowers situated toward the base of each inflorescence.
  • Fruits: capsules, ellipsoid, or obscurely 3-angled, 1.5 to 2 cm long and contains a single seed. Seed: ovoid or oblong, 12 to 15 mm in length and 3-angled, the testa dark-brown or blackish, thin and brittle and of faint odor; the albumen and the embryo are yellowish. Seeds are at first mild in taste and subsequent acrid and pungent.

Usually planted, in and about towns, throughout the Philippines; naturalized in some places.

Parts utilized

  • Roots and fresh leaves.
  • Roots collected year round
  • Rinse, cut into sections, and sun-dry.

Characteristics and Pharmacological Effects:
Pungent taste, warming, antipyretic, aids in gastrointestinal disorders, and antiinflammatory.
Toxic in excessive internal use.

Medicinal uses

  • For rheumatic pains of the legs and waist: use 3 to 6 gms of dried material in the form of decoction.
  • Pounded fresh leaves may be applied as poultice for snakebites or may be used as insecticide.

12 thoughts on “Tuba – Scientific name: Croton tiglium Linn.

  1. mayette

    Is it true that applying heated tuba tuba leaves to affected area can help cure swelling due to sprains or similar conditions?

  2. Pinoy Herbs Post author

    @ mayette
    Yes it helps to relieve sprain and sometimes swollen muscles. But you have to apply oil on the leaves before heating it then put it immediately on the affected area.

  3. kyra

    it must not been proven and not so been famous of all medicinal plants in philippines but it can relieve pain on sprain..

  4. Judy Marish

    Can i use the tuba tuba fruit as an insecticides? pls.. tnx. i need a reference for that. for my investigatory project here in the philippines

  5. Raymund Mateo

    Thank you for this post. I tried to use this as recommended by a local “hilot”.

    I had back pain for 6 years but was bearable. I tries a lot to ease the pain including massage, hot compress etc. and had to live with it, so I thought.

    A few months ago I had stiff shoulder with excrutiating pain. It was so painful that I had to do something. I ask friends and they led me to a local hilot.

    The hilot told me that they cannot do it as I would not bear the pain of treatment and they suggest I get some leaves called tuba tuba growing along a public street near our place.

    I tried to do the hilot’s instructions. Cleaning the leaves, wiping coconut oil, then heating it atop the stove fire. I crumpled the heated leaves and applied the leaves while it was still warm to my shoulder and back.

    It was around 10am when I got the leaves and applied it on my shoulders which i cant move. It was so painful I thought it best to sleep the pain over. I woke up at around 5 pm and to my wonder the pain was almost gone.

    I applied the leaves again till the next day and the pain was all gone. Even my back pain for 6 years was gone as well.

    Truly amazing. Hopefully people will know more about this plant and know that we have the best cure instead of painkillers or hospital rehab as I had also before.

    I recommended the leaves to all my relatives with the same pain and they too got well. I also know people use the leaves which helped heal sprains and even fractures as alternative to surgery and got well.

    I hope we all share this plant as it has helped me and most of my relatives and friends suffering from back, knee and other pains.

    To God be the glory though Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

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