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Family Boraginaceae
Cordia fragrantissima Kurz.

Scientific names Common names
Cordia fragrantissima Kurz. Balu (Tag.)
Cordia rotundifolia B.Heyne ex C.B.Clarke  
Gerascanthus fragrantissimus (Kurz) Borhidi  
Lithocardium fragrantissimum Kuntze       
Cordia fragrantissima Kurz. is an accepted name. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
BURMESE: Taung kalamet, Sandawa.
FRENCH: Salimuli.
HINDI: Kowathutii.
MYANMAR: Sandawa.

Gen info
- Cordia is a genus of flowering plants in the borage family, Boraginaceae, comprising more than 300 species of shrubs and trees.
- The genus name Cordia honors the German botanist and pharmacist Valerius Cordus (1515-1544).

The botanical characteristics of the genus Cordia include alternate petiolate leaves with entire or dentate margin. Flowers are white, yellow, or orange in color with cyme,, spike, or head inflorescences. Calyx is generally tubular or campanulate with three or five short teeth. Corolla is infundibuliform, hypocrateriform or campanulate with four to eight lobes. Stamens are included or exserted with pubescent or glabrous filaments at the base. Generally, four locules are present in the ovary with one erect ovule in each locule. Fruits are ovoid, globose, or ellipsoid i shape with body endocarp and viscid pulp.

- Introduced.
- Native to is Assam, Bangladesh, Myanmar.

- Methanol extract of wood of Cordia fragrantissima exhibited significant activity against Leishmania major. Bioassay-guided fractionation of the extract yielded three new compounds (1-3) and five known compounds (4-8). The compounds despite the presence of asymmetric carbons, were found to be racemates. (see study below) (4)
- Wood yielded hydroquinones alliodorin, cordiachrome A, B, and C, cordiaquinol C, I, J, and K. (3)
- Alliodorin, a precursor of cordiachromes, and cordiaquinol C were isolated from the timber of C. fragrantissima.
Bioactivity-guided fractionation of wood have yielded corodiachrome A, cordiachrome B, cordiachrome C, cordiaquinol I, cordiaquinol J and cordiaquinol K, (3)

- Study has suggested anti-leshmanial property.

Parts used
Wood, bark, leaves.


- Fruit is edible, raw or cooked.
- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- In Myanmar, bark used to treat fever, diarrhea and skin diseases, and as anthelmintic. Fruit used as diuretic, expectorant, anthelmintic, and to treat lung and splenic diseases. (3)
- In India, the tribals of Meghalaya, northeast India, use the bark for the treatment of diarrhea and dysentery. (5)
- the Ralte communities of north eastern Mizoram north east India, apply the juice from crushed leaves to areas of melasma (common disorder of skin pigmentation). (6)

Antileishmanial / Wood:
A methanol extract of wood of Cordia fragrantissima exhibited significant activity against Leishmania major. Bioassay-guided fractionation of the extract yielded three new compounds (1-3) and five known compounds (4-8). The isolates were evaluated against the promastigote forms of Leishmania major, L. panamensis, and L. guyanensis. (4)
Cardioquinol / Wood: Cardioquinol, isolated from the wood of Cordia fragrantissima, has been shown to contain very effective leishmanicidal activity at low concentrations (IC50 81.2 µg/ml). (8)


Updated September 2022
July 2020

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph / Cordia fragrantissima / Leaves and flowers / click on image to go to source pag / © earth.com

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Sorting Cordia names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 - 2020 / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The Univers ity of Melbourne. Australia.

Cordia fragrantissima / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology of the medicinal species of the genus Cordia (Boraginaceae)  / Manisha J Oza, Yogesh A Kulkarni / Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 2017; 69(7): pp 755-789 / DOI: 10.1111/jphp.12715
Antileishmanial Compounds from Cordia fragrantissima Collected in Burma (Myanmar) / Kanami Mori, Marii Kawano, Hiroyuki Fuchino Takashi Ooi, Motoyoshi Satake, Yutaka Agatsuma, Takenori Kusumi, and Setsuko Sekita / Journal of Natural Products, 2008; 71(1): pp 18-21 / https://doi.org/10.1021/np070211i
Ethnomedicinal plants used for diarrhea by tribals of Meghalaya, Northeast India / Damiki Laloo, Siva Hemalatha / Pharmacognosy Reviews, July-December 2011, Vol 5, Issue 10
An Ethno Botanical Study of Ralte Communities in the North Eastern Part of Mizoram, North East India / Zorinpuii Khiangte, H Lalramnghinglova / Journal of Natural Product and Plant Resources, 2017; 7(4)
Cordia fragrantissima / earth.com
Leishmanicidal activity of saponins isolated from the leaves of Eclipta prostata and Gymnema sylvestre
/ Khanna Venkatesan Gopiesh et al / Indian Journal of Pharmacology, 2009; 41(1): pp 32-35 / pISSN: 0253-7613 / eISSN: 1998-3751

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

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