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Family Dipterocarpaceae
Anthoshorea javanica (Koord. & Valeton) P.S.Ashton & J.Heck.

Scientific names Common names
Anthoshorea javanica (Koord. & Valeton) P.S.Ashton & J.Hevk.            Manggasinoro (Filipino)
Shorea javanica Koord. & Valeton     Damar (Engl.)
Shorea vandekoppeli Parijs  Glass damar (Engl.)
Shorea vandekoppeli var. grandifolia Parijs  White meranti (Engl.)
Salacca zalacca (Gaertn.) Voss is an accepted name. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
INDONESIAN: Damar kaca, Damar sibolga, Damar mata kucing, Mesegar lanang.
KHMER: Lum' bao.
MALAY: Temak, Meranti pa'ang.
THAI: Phayom, Saya-khao, Kiam-khanong.
VIETNAMESE: S[ees]n, V[ee].

Gen info
- In tropical Southeast Asia, Shorea is the most economically important tree and the largest genus in the Dipterocarpaceae family. Shorea comprises about 150-200 species, with the majority distributed in Malaysia.
- Although White meranti is applied as an English name, "white meranti" refers to a few Shorea species: S. assamica, S. bracteolate, S. agami, S. hypochra, S. polita, S. javanica, S. dealbat, S. gratissima, S. henryana, S. lamellate and S. roxburghii. (5)
- Resin: The tree is a major source of the resin dammar, which is traded internationally.
(6) The harvest of resins begins when tree is 15-50 years old and continues for 30 years. At 50, the tree is physiologically old. The resin is harvested from cuts made on the trunk. An approximate density of 100 trees/ha will yield an average resin production of 48 t/ha per year. (2) The resin is known in the trade as "cat's eye resin", alluding to the form of crystals clear like a cat's eye.

Shorea javania is a medium-sized to fairly large tree up to 40 m tall. Bole is straight, cylindrical, branchless up to 20 (max 30) m with a diameter of up to 150 cm; buttresses prominent, up to 1.5 m high; bark surface with irregular section fissures, rarely scaly, gray or light brown; outer bark usually thick, chocolate brown; inner bark laminated with bands of orange-yellow (rarely pink) and whitish tissue, exuding a clear, yellow resin; mature crown hemispherical or dome-shaped, sympodial. Leaves elliptical-oblong to ovate, thin, leathery, 10 to 15 by 4.8 cm, with 19-25 pairs of secondary veins; underside evenly tomentose on the veins; petiole 16-22 mm long; stipules and bracts often large and more or less persistent. Inflorescence terminal or axillary, paniculate; flowers secund or distichous, bisexual, pentamerous, actinomorphic, scented; calyx lobes free, hirsute; petals broadly elliptical to ovate lanceolate, loosely connate at base, white, often tinged with pink, the outer surface hirsute. Fruit usually shortly stalked; the outer 3 calyx lobes much elongated, up to 18 x 1.5 cm, more or less thickened and saccate at base; nut 1 seeded, free from calyx, subglobose to ovate, sharply pointed. (2)

- Introduced.
- Native to Jawa, Sumatera. (1)

- A total of 113 different compounds, including 83 stilbenes and their resveratrol oligomers, 18 triterpenes/terpenoids, 7 coumarins, 3 flavonoids, and 2 steroids have been isolated and elucidated from 26 different species of the genus. (5)
- Gum damar structure: 40% alpha resin (resin that dissolves in alcohol), 22% beta-resin, 23% dammarol acid, and 2.5% water. (6) (see study below: 7)

Study has suggest food-additive and delayed drug-release potential.

Parts used


- Resin from the tree is used as a food additive in soft drinks.    (3) (4)
- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- Not specific for S. javanica, the resin of Shorea has long been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of various illnesses, including gonorrhea, dysentery, and diarrhea. (5)
- Wood:  A lightweight hardwood. Heartwood is yellowish-white when freshly cut. Wood is not very durable, and should avoid contact with the ground if untreated. Used for making door and window frames, posts, beams, joists, rafters, light flooring, furniture, wood containers, etc. It is a highly preferred timber for plywood production. (2)
- Fiber:
Wood is a satisfactory source of pulp for the production of paper. (2)

- Gum or resin: Bark yields a clear, pale yellow damar (resin), used for torches, caulking boats and handicrafts. (2) Used in paints and varnishes and cosmetic products.

Gum Damar as Release Retardant:
Study evaluated and reported on the formulation of a sustained release matrix tablet using natural polymer damar and drug metoprolol succinate. Matrix tablets were prepared using different strengths of gum damar (10% to 30% w/w). In vivo oral toxicity testing using OECD guideline 425 in albino mice showed the gum is nontoxic. The mechanism of drug release was found to be diffusion. (7)

- Wild-crafted.
- Cultivated.

February 2024

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Damar mata kucing trees / © MONGABAY - Situs berita lingkugan / Non-commervial use / Click on image of link to go to source page / / MONGABAY
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Shorea javanica:  Arahkan untuk memperbesar / © Alibaba / Non-commervial use / Click onn image of link to go to source page / IndonesianAlibaba
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Shorea javanica:  Tree / Resin / © SpringerLink / Non-commervial use / Click onn image of link to go to source page from book / SpringerLink--Ethnobotany of the Mountain Regions of Southeast Asia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Shorea javanica / © Indonusaap / Non-commervial use / Click onn image of link to go to source page from book / Indonusaap

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Anthoshorea javanica / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Shorea javanica / Agroforestree Database

Shorea javanica / Plants For A Future
Shorea javanica / Plant Resources of South-East Asia
Phytochemical and pharmacological profile of genus shorea: A review of the recent literature
/ Abdullahi Musa, Nanik Siti Aminah, Alfinda Novi Kristanti, Imam fathoni et al /  Heliyon, 2024; 10(2): e23649 /
DOI: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e23649
Plant-Based Gums and Mucilages Applications in Pharmacology and Nanomedicine: A Review / Mohammad Sadegh Amiri, Vahideh Mohammadzadeh, Mohammad Ehsan Taghavizadeh Yazdi et al / Molecules, 2021; 26(6): 1770 / DOI: 10.3390/molecules26061770
Formulation Development and Evaluation of Gum Damar Based Sustained Release Matrix Tablet of Metoprolol Succinate / Nilima Thombre, Archana Aher, Pranali Shimpi / Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical Reserarch and Development, 2020; 8(3) / ISSN: 2320-4850 / DOI: 10.22270/ajprd.v8i3.752

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
                                          New plant names needed
The compilation now numbers over 1,300 medicinal plants. While I believe there are hundreds more that can be added to the collection, they are becoming more difficult to find. If you have a plant to suggest for inclusion, native or introduced, please email the info: scientific name (most helpful), local plant name (if known), any known folkloric medicinal use, and, if possible, a photo. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

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