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Family Rubiaceae
Hymenodictyon orixense (Roxb.) Mabb.

Jia huang mu

Scientific names Common names
Benteca rheedei Roem. & Schult. Abar (Ilk.)
Cinchona excelsa Roxb. Aligañgo (Tag.)
Cinchona orixensis Roxb. Alipagi (Sul.)
Cinchona thyrsiflora Roxb. [Invalid] Balangkori (Tag.)
Exostema philippicum Schult, Hibau (Tag.)
Hymenodictyon excelsum (Roxb.) Wall. Haligañga (Tag.)
Hymenodictyon excelsum (Roxb.) DC. Huligañga (Tag.)
Hymenodictyon orixense (Roxb.) Mabb. Kamatolong (Yak.)
Hymenodictyon rheedei (Roxb. & Schult.) MR Almeida & SM Almeida. Kukun-banuk (P. Bis.)
Hymenodictyon thyrsiflorum Wall. Magtalisai (P. Bis.)
Hymenodictyon utile Wight Tubo-bato (Tagb.)
  Bridal couch plant (Engl.)
  Kuthan (Engl.)
  Mountain sage (Engl.)
Hymenodictyon orixense (Roxb.) Mabb. is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
ASSAMESE: Kodam, Paroli, Bhur-kundi, Pani-kadam, Baja-phuti.
BANGLADESH: Bhui-kadam, Kali-kadam, Phuti-kadam, Bhaman, Dhauli; Bhutum
BENGAL: Latikarum
CHINESE: Zhu du shu.
GUJARATI: Luniyo, Bhammar Chaal, Madhamahudo.
HINDI: Kala bachnag, Bhurkur.
INDIA: Dendra, Bandaru, Dot, Bhorsal
KANNADA: Doddi mara, Diddi mara, Coli mara.
MALAYALAM: Ittiyila, Perantholi, Malamkall, Nicham kadambu, Malam kali, Vellakadamba.
SANSKRIT: Ugragandha, Bhringah-vriksha, Bhramarchalli.
TAMIL: Vellai-kadambu, Kadappu, Nirkadambam

Hibau is a deciduous tree 10 to 12 meters in height. Bark is mostly furrowed and rough, except for the branches which is smooth), 10 to 20 centimeters thick, grey, exfoliating in irregularly shaped, softish scales. Leaves are ovate-elliptic or almost rounded, 10 to 24 centimeters long, 7 to 12.5 centimeters wide, pointed at both ends, and hairy on both surfaces. Flowers are stalked, white, fragrant, about 0.5 centimeter long, and borne in terminal, drooping panicles. Corolla-tube is slender and 5-lobed. Fruit, a capsule, is ellipsoid, 2 to 2.5 centimeters long, growing on recurved, thick pedicels 5 to 12 millimeters long. Seeds are many, flat, winged all around the margin, about 1 centimeter long, including the wing.

- Abra, Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pampanga, Bulacan, and Rizal Provinces in Luzon; and in Palawan, Guimaras, Mindanao and Basilan, chiefly In secondary forests at low altitudes, often about cliffs near the sea.
- Also occurs in India to Burma and Java.

- Studies have reported conflicting results on the bark constituents: One attributes the bitter taste of the fresh bark to aesculin; another reports an alkaloid, hymenodictyon excelsum; while another reports ß-methyl-aesculetin.
- Studies have reported coumarins and anthraquinones.
- Study of stem bark yielded tannin, toxic alkaloid, hymenodictine, a bitter substance, aesculin, an apioglucoside of scopoletin, hymexelsin.
- Roots yielded anthraquinones, rubiadin and its methyl ether, lucidin, nordamnacanthal, damnacanthal, 2-benzylzanthopurpurin, anthragallol, soranjidol and morindone.
- Study yielded two new acetylenic fatty acids, a new triglyceride, and 11 known compounds, among them: ursolic acid, ursonic acid, oleaqnolic acid, uncarinic acid E, ß-sitosterol.
- Study of leaves isolated two new acetylenic fatty acids, a new triglyceride, along with eleven known compounds including 3-oxo-11α,12α-epoxyurs-13β,28-olide, previously reported as a synthetic compound. (8)
- Study yielded scopoletin as the major constituent of stem bark of H. orixense. (see study below) (11)
- Study of methanolic extract of H. orixense bark yielded five compounds: an iridoid glycoside, loganin (1), four coumarins, scopoletin (2), scopolin (3), hymexelsin (4), and scopoletin 7-LO-ß-D-xylopyranosyl-(1-->6)-ß-D-glucopyranoside (5). (see study below) (13)

- Antiperiodic, astringent, bitter, febrifuge.
- Inner bark is bitter; outer layer of the bark is tasteless.
- Bark is astringent, febrifuge, and antiperiodic.

Parts used
Bark, leaves.


- As antiperiodic, bark used as substitute for cinchona bark.
- Bark used as astringent and febrifuge; leaves used to treat ulcers, sialitis, sore throat, tonsillitis,
- In India, the bitter bark is used as astringent and febrifuge; root, wood and stem-bark used as for fevers and to relieve thirst.
- In West Bengal, India, the stem bark is used to treat enlarged spleen in babies. Whole plant decoction used in babies for diarrhea and dysentery.
- In Bangladesh, bark used to increase appetite and cure tumors. Powdered wood used for herpes. Root juice mixed with the juice of bark of Callicarpa tomentosa used for fever. Leaves boiled in water used as bath in the treatment of jaundice
- In Andhra Pradesh, India, stem bark used for leucorrhea and menorrhea. (15) .
- Lumber: Used as planks in building houses and boats; for making boxes, toys and matches. In India, used as a cheaper grade of wood for making furniture, warper bobbins and wool boards.

Acetylenic Acids:
Study yielded two new acetylenic fatty acids, a new triglyceride, and 11 known compounds, among them: ursolic acid, ursonic acid, oleaqnolic acid, uncarinic acid E, ß-sitosterol. (2)
Antibacterial: In a study of traditional Cambodian medicinal plants Harrisonia perforata roots and Hymenodictyon excelsum bark exhibited bactericidal effect against S. aureus at a concentration of 500 ug/mL. (3)
Antioxidant / Anti-Inflammatory: Methanolic extract of bark showed concentration dependent free radical scavenging properties in various in vitro antioxidant assays. Total phenolic content was 97.03 ug/mg of extract. Results showed HE bark extract had remarkable antioxidant and in vitro anti-inflammatory activities. (7)
Anti-Inflammatory / Toxicity Study / Leaves: Study evaluated the leaves of Hymenodictyon excelsum for anti-inflammatory activity by carrageenan induced edema method in rats. A hydroalcoholic extract of leaves did not induce any toxic reactions at dose of 2000 mg/kbw . Results showed highly significant anti-inflammatory activity. (9)
• Scopoletin / Stem Bark: Study yielded scopoletin as major constituent of stem bark of H. orixense. Scopoletins belonging to the coumarin group have been used as analgesic, hypotensive, and anti-inflammatory. (11)
• Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitory Activity / Bark: Study of methanolic extractof H. orixense bark yielded five compounds: an iridoid glycoside, loganin (1), four coumarins, scopoletin (2), scopolin (3), hymexelsin (4), and scopoletin 7-LO-ß-D-xylopyranosyl-(1-->6)-ß-D-glucopyranoside (5). Compunds 1-5 showed acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory activity in range of 13.92-34-18% at concentration of 100 µg/mL. (13)
• Silver Nanoparticles / Mosquitocides: Study reports on the green synthesis of silver nanoparticles for control of larval populations of the malaria vector Anopheles subpictus, the chikungunya vector Aedes albopictus, and the Japanese encephalitis vector Culex tritaeniorhynchus. AgNPs were toxic towards all the mosquito vectors, with LC50 values ranging from 17.10 µg/ml ro 20.08 µg/ml. Results suggest H. orixense fabricated AgNPs has potential for development of novel and safer control tools against mosquito vectors of medical and veterinary importance. (14)
• Apoptosis Induction / Cytotoxic Activity / Dalton's Lymphoma Ascites and Lung Fibroblast Mouse L929 Cell Lines / Bark: Study evaluated a methanolic bark extract of H. excelsum for apoptosis and cytotoxic activities against lung fibroblast (L-0020) cell line and DLA cells. Morphological changes and DNA fragmentation were noted upon incubation with the extract. Extract was cytotoxic towards L-929 cells in 72h MTT assay, with 50% cell death at 3.85 µg/ml concentration. Extract exhibited apoptosis induced and cytotoxic activities. (15)


Updated October 2019 / April 2014

IMAGE SOURCE: Hymemodictyon orixense / H. excelsum / File:Hymenodictyon orixense W IMG 2869.jpg / Creative Commons Attribution / J M Garg / 11.10.09 / Wikipedia
IMAGE SOURCE: Public Domain / File:Hymenodictyon sp Blanco1.106.png / Flora de Filipinas / 1880 - 1883 / Francisco Manuel Blanco (O.S.A) / Modifications by C Spears / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Hymenodictyon orixense / AgroForestryTree Database
Acetylenic Fatty Acids, Triglyceride and Triterpenes from the Leaves of Hymenodictyon excelsum / Parichat Nareeboon, Wichan Komkhunthot et al / Chem. Pharm. Bull. 57(8) 860—862 (2009)
In vitro antimicrobial activity of plants used in Cambodian traditional medicine / Aun Chea, Marie Jonville, Sok-siya Bun et al / American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 35(5), pp 867-873, 2007
Traditional use of medicinal plants in pediatric and maternal care practiced by the ethnic groups of Purulia district, West Bengal, India / Abhijit Dey, Jitendra Nath DE / Int. J. Med. Arom. Plants, Vol 1, No 3, pp 189-194, December 2011
HYMENODICTYON ORIXENSIS (Roxb.) Mabberly / Medicinal Plants of Bangladesh
Hymenodictyon orixense (Roxb.) Mabb. / Catalogue of Life, China, 2011
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties Hymenodictyon excelsum bark / Biswakanth Kar, Abimanyu Nepal, R. B. Suresh Kumar, Narayan Dolai, Sanijb Bhattacharya, Upal K. Mazumder and Pallab K. Haldar / ORIENTAL PHARMACY AND EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE 2012 / DOI: 10.1007/s13596-012-0077-z
Acetylenic Fatty Acids, Triglyceride and Triterpenes from the Leaves of Hymenodictyon excelsum /
Parichat Nareeboon, Wichan Komkhunthot, Decha Lekcharoen, Nuanchawee Wetprasit, Chudaporn Piriyapolsart and Somyote Sutthivaiyakit / pdf / Natural Products Chemistry Express
Evaluation of the anti-inflammatory activity of the leaves of Hymenodictyon excelsum, wall. / Uma Chandur / Pharmacognosy, Phytochemistry & Natural Products
Hymenodictyon orixense (Roxb.) Mabb. / Synonyms / The Plant List
Scopoletin from Hymenodictyon orixense (Roxb.) Mabb. / Nu Nu Swe / Jour. Myan. Acad. Arts & Sc., 2008/ 4(4): pp 193-203
Hymenodictyon orixense / Indian Biodiversity Portal
Phytochemical investigation and acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity of bark of Hymenodictyon orixense / Nattawut Suchaichit, Somdej Kanokmedhakul et al / Natural Product Research, 2018; 32(24) / https://doi.org/10.1080/14786419.2017.1389930
One-pot green synthesis of silver nanocrystals using Hymenodictyon orixense: a cheap and effective tool against malaria, chikungunya and Japanese encephalitis mosquito vectors? /
Marimuthu Govindarajan and Giovanni Benelli / RSC Advances. 2016; Issue 64
Evaluation of in-vitro apoptosis induction, cytotoxic activity of Hymenodictyon excelsum (Roxb.) Wall in Dalton’s lymphoma ascites (DLA) and Lung fibroblast - Mouse L929 cell lines / Kalathil Khairunnisa, Dhananjayan Karthik / J App Pharm Sci., 2014; 4(8): pp 11-17
Phytomedicinal Flora and their Folk claim of Visakha Patnam District Agency, Andhra Pradesh, India. / S. B. Padal and K. Satya Vathi / Journal of Environmental Science, Toxicology, and Food Technology, Mar-AApr 2013; 3(5): pp 9-16

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)

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