HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT

Family Aracaceae / Palmae
Licuala spinosa Wurmb.

Ci shan ye zong

Scientific names Common names
Corypha pilearia Lour. Balabat (P. Bis.)
Licuala acutifida var. peninsularis Becc. Balatbat (Bis., Tag.)
Licuala horrida Blume Balatbit (Tag.)
Licuala pilearia (Lour.) Blume Likuala (Tag..)
Licuala ramosa Blume Silad (Pal.)
Licuala spinosa Wurmb Ugsang (Sul.)
Licuala spinosa var. cochinchinensis Becc. Licuala palm (Engl.)
Licuala spinosa var. eriantha Becc. Mangrove fan palm (Engl.)
  Spiny licuala (Engl.)
  Spiny licuala palm(Engl.)
Licuala spinosa Wurmb is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Ci zhou lu, Ci shan ye zong.
INDIA: Jungli selai (Andaman Islands).
KHMER: Pə'ao (Protial), Phaao.
MALAYSIA: Palma, Palas tikus.
PORTUGUESE: Palmeira-leque-de-espinho (Brazil).

Gen info
- Licuala is a genus of palms, in the tribe Tracycarpeae and farmily Arecaceae.
- Plants of the World Online currently lis(2021) ts 167 species.
- Licuala spinosa is a species of palm in the genus Licuala.

Licuala is a small clustering palm. Stems are stout, roughened with fallen leaf scars, clustered, 2 to 3 meters high, 5 to 10 centimeters in diameter. Leaves are about 1 meter across, glossy and fan-shaped, deeply divided 9- to 13-partite and horizontally spreading, with toothed edges. Spadix is axillary, elongated, with the branches adnate to the rachis up to the orifice of the spathes, ultimately with many fine pubescent, densely flowered spikes. Flowers are sessile, in 2 or 3 rows, small and nearly oval in shape. Corolla is a little longer than the calyx, divided below the middle in three, broad, lanceolate segments. Fruit is obovoid, 5 to 8 millimeters long, pedicelled by the calyx tube, red when mature, and one seeded. Seed is ovoid, with horny albumen, and horseshoe-shaped.

- Native to the Philippines.
- In seashores, back of mangroves in brackish mud. Grows wild in thickets at low altitudes.
- Cultivated for ornamental purposes.

- Also native to Andaman Is., Bangladesh, Borneo, Cambodia, Jawa, Malaya, Myanmar, Nicobar Is., Sumatera, Thailand, Vietnam. (4)

- Study of leaves yielded vitexin and methyl (25S)-proto-dioscin.
- Study evaluated crude extract of leaves extracted successively with organic solvents (hexane, chloroform, and ethyl acetate) for antioxidant activity, total phenolic and flavonoid content. A chloroform crude extract showed the highest total phenolic content (9.42 ± 0.06 mg GAE/g), followed by EA crude extract (8.91 ± 0.06 mg GAE/g) and hexane crude extact (6,78 ± 0.26 mg GAE/g). The chloroform crude extract showed highest total flavonoid content (8.96 ± 0.21 mg EQ/g). By DPPH assay, among the extracts, the chloroform extracts exhibited higher radical scavenging activity with IC50 of 0.032 mg/ml, compared to BHT as positive control with IC50 of 0.089 mg/mL. (11)

Parts used
Bark, stems, leaves.

- Young shoots reportedly edible, raw or cooked. Eaten with Thai shrimp paste and chili sauce. (4)
- In Cambodia, bark used in combination with other plants for treatment of tuberculosis. Roots for treatment of fever and for preparation of health of the foetus.
- In Malaysia, leaves used for tuberculosis (5), meristem infusion is taken orally as antidote to poisoning. Also used for dehydration. (2)
- In Thailand, used to treat centipede bites.
- In Khmer, root decoction with pdao used for malaria. Pounded young leaves with tiger balm applied to centipede bite. Poultice of bulb applied to wounds. Roots used for treating fever. Roots and wood chips used for postpartum care. (8)
- In Nagaland, India, seeds used for the treatment of cough, asthma, and fever. (10)
- Poison Preparation: In Borneo, the leaf's fireproof durability is of critical utility in preparing blowpipe dart poison – the latex of Antiaris toxicaria tree is held on a folded boat-shaped young leaf of L. spinosa, and held over a small flame for about a week. The use of the young leaf is considered critical to the poison processing.
- Roofing: Leaves used for roofing.
- Food wrapping: Used as wrapping for glutinoid rice desserts.

- Tools: Stems used to make tool handles. (7)
- Clothing: In Cambodia, leaves used to make hats. (•) In the Andaman Islands, leaves used for clothing. (7)
- Ritual object: Ritual object, dung-dung, made from leaves of silad (L. spinosa), frayed and tightened together. (9)

Study of leaves yielded vitexin and methyl (25S)-proto-dioscin. (3)
• Antioxidant / Phenolic and Flavonoid Content / Leaves:
Study evaluated crude extract of leaves extracted successively swith organic solvents for antioxidant activity, total phenolic and flavonoid content. A chloroform crude extract showed the highest total phenolic content (9.42 ± 0.06 mg GAE/g) and highest total flavonoid content (8.96 ± 0.21 mg EQ/g). By DPPH assay, among the extracts, the chloroform extracts exhibited higher radical scavenging activity with IC50 of 0.032 mg/ml, compared to BHT as positive control with IC50 of 0.089 mg/mL. (11)

Toxicity Study  by Brine Shrimp Lethality Assay / Stems:
Study evaluated methanol extract of L. spinosa dried powdered stems for antibacterial activity against four bacterial strains: E. coli, P. aeruginosa, B. subtilis, and Micrococcus luteus using disc diffusion method. The methanol extract of stems did not demonstrate any significant antibacterial activity against bacterial test strains. By brine shrimp lethality assay, the methanol extract showed significant toxicity to brine shrimp with LC50 of 38.9 µg/ml. (12)

- Wildcrafted.
- Ornamental cultivation.

- Seeds in the cybermarket.

Updated July 2023 / April 2019 / September 2017 / January 2017

Photos ©Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE:   Photgraphs (2): Licuala spinoa (Mangrove fan palm) / © Kwan Han / Non-commercial use / click on image or link to go to source page / NatureLoveYou

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Blowpipe dart poison in Borneo and the secret of its production / Free Library by Farlex

Medicinal Plants Used By the Jah Hut Orang Asli at Kampung Pos Penderas, Pahang, Malaysia / H.C. Ong, A.W. Faezah and P. Milow / Ethno Med, 2012; 6(1): pp 11-15 / eISSN: 2456-6802 / pISSN: 0972-0073 / DOI: 10.31901/24566772.2012/06.01.02
Studies on the Constituents of Palmae Plants. VI. Steroid Saponins and Flavonoids of Leaves of Phoenix canariensis hort. ex CHABAUD, P. humilis ROYLE var. hanceana BECC., P. dactylifera L., and Licuala spinosa WURMB. / Asami Akitoshi, Hirai Yasuaki, Shoji Junzo /Chemical & pharmaceutical bulletin 39(8), 2053-2056, 1991-08-25
Licuala spinosa Wurmb / Synonyms / Plants of the World Online
Antituberculosis potential of some ethnobotanically selected Malaysian plants
/ Suriyati Mohamada, Nabihah Mohd Zin, Habibah A. Wahab, Pazilah Ibrahim, Shaida Fariza Sulaiman, Anis Safirah Mohd Zahariluddin, Siti Suraiya Md. Noor / Journal of Ethnopharmacology 133 (2011) 1021–1026
Common Medicinal Plants Species Found at Burned and Unburned Areas of Klias Peat Swamp Forest, Beaufort, Sabah Malaysia / Andy Russel Mojiol / Journal of Sustainable Development, Vol 3, No 1, March 2010
Tropical Palms / FAO Corporate Document Repository
An examination of medicinal ethnobotany and biomedicine use in two villages on the Phnom Kulen plateau / Taylor Walker / Hollins Digital Commons
Palawan Attitudes Towards Illness / Dario Novellino / Philippine Studies: Ateneo de Manila
Indigenous Knowledge on Utilization of plant Biodiversity for Treatment and Cure of diseases of Human beings in Nagaland, India: A case study / Zhasa N.N., Hazarika P and Tripathi Y.C. / International Research Journal of Biological Sciences, April 2015; 4(4): pp 89-106
Determination of Total Phenolic Content, Total Flavonoid Content and Antioxidant Activity of Various Organic Crude Extracts of Licuala Spinosa Leaves from Sabah, Malaysia / Mohammad Shaheen Khan, Samina Khan Yusufzai, Mohd Rafaatullah / ASM Science Journal, Dec2018; 11(Special Issue 3): pp 53-58
EVALUATION OF ANTIBACTERIAL ACTIVITY AND TOXICITY OF Licuala spinosa STEMS / Nurul Ariffah Binti Othman / 2014: Thesis - Bachelor of Science


DOI: It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants

HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL