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Family Malvaceae
Brownlowia tersa (L.) Kosterm.

Scientific names Common names
Brownlowia beccarii (Mast.) Pierre Maragomon (Tag.)
Brownlowia lanceolata Benth.  
Brownlowia tersa (L.) Kosterm.  
Dialycarpa beccarii Mast.  
Glabraria tersa L.  
Heritiera attenuata Wall.  
Litsea tersa (L.) M.R.Almeida  
Litsea tersa Merr.  
Malapoenna tersa (L.) Kuntze  
Niota polyandra tersa Wight & Arn..  
Tetranthera tersa (L.) Spreng.  
Vitmannia polyandra (Wight & Arn.) Steud.  
Brownowia tersa (L.) Kosterm. is an accepted name. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
BANGLADESH: Sundari lata.
INDONESIA: Dungun air.
MALAY: Durian laut, Dungun.
MYANMAR: Ye tha man.
THAI: Nam nong.

Gen info
- Brownlowia is a genus of flowering trees in the Malvaceae family with approximately 30 species worldwide. Two species, Brownlowia tersa and Brownlowia argentata, are known from mangrove communities and are classified as true mangrove species (Duke 1992; Polidoro et al., 2010). (7)
- The Malay name "Durian laut" probably refers to the green-above-silvery-below leaves that resemble thos of the Durian tree. (5)

Brownowia tersa is a shrub to small tree growing 2-10 m high. Leaves are lanceolate, 10-21 by 2.5-6 cm; apex acute; base obtuse;margin smooth; secondary nerves 6-8 pairs, curved and anastomosing before margin; reticulate veins hardly distinct; petiole 5-10 mm long, glabrescent. Inflorescence axillary, 3-7 cm long; flower buds globose, ± 1.5 mm diam. Sepals triangular. Petals oblong, ± 4 by 1.5 mm. Stamens glabrous. Ovary globose, hairy. Fruit distinctly two-lobed, 1.5-2 by 1-1.5 cm. (2)

- Native to the Philippines.
- Also native to Andaman Is., Bangladesh, Borneo, India, Malaya, Maluku, Myanmar, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Thailand.

- In swamp forest; altitude 0-20 m.
- Found in mangrove swamps, along creeks where mud is accreting; on sandy shores or firm mud.
- IUCN status: Near Threatened.

- Phytochemical screening of ethanolic leaf extract yielded carbohydrate (reducing sugars), glycosides, saponins, tannins, and flavonoids. (see study below) (3)
- Crude ethanol extract of stems yielded tannins, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, alkaloids, glycosides, saponins, terpenoids, and steroids. (see study below) (8)

- Studies have suggested antinociceptive, antidiarrheal, antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, antihyperglycemic, laxative,
anti-allergic properties.

Parts used
Stems, leaves, bark.


- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- Long used as a traditional folk remedy for diarrhea, dysentery, wounds and boils..
- Wood: Timber used for fencing or as fuelwood.

- Bark: Used for making tying material.

Antinociceptive / Antidiarrheal / Leaves:
Study evaluated the antinociceptive and antidiarrheal activities of ethanolic extract of leaves of B. tersa. At doses of 250 and 500 mg/kbw, the extract showed significant antinociceptive activity in acetic acid induced writhing model in mice with 45.61% and 63.85% writhing inhibition (p<0.001) respectively, while standard drug diclofenac showed 76.69% inhibition at dose of 25 mg/kbw.  In antidiarrheal testing in measures of reduction of rate of defecation and consistency of feces in castor oil-induced diarrhea, at dose of 500 mg/kbw the extract showed moderately significant antidiarrheal activity with 50% reduction in diarrhea (p<0.01) comparable to standard loperamide (68.53%). (see constituents above) (3)
Antioxidant / Antibacterial / Cytotoxicity / Leaves and Bark: Study evaluated leaf and bark extracts for antioxidant, antibacterial, and cytotoxicity by brine shrimp lethality bioassay. In DPPH free radical scavenging assay, the petroleum ether, chloroform, and methanol extracts of bark and leaf showed IC50s values of 102.09, 236.28, 27.90 and 183.764, 45.78, and 35.12 µg/mL, respectively. Total phenolic content was higher in the methanolic bark and leaf extracts. Total flavonoid content was highest in the methanolic leaf extract, lowest in the chloroform extract. Petroleum ether and methanol extracts of bark and leaf showed antibacterial activity against E. coli ATCC 28739 and Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 27833. (4)
Anti-Inflammatory / Antioxidant / Leaves: Study  evaluated the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities of ethanol leaf extract of Brownlowia tersa.   At dose of 400 mg/kg, the extract showed significant anti-inflammatory activity (p<0.01) both in carrageenan and histamine-induced edema test models with 54.76% and 56..96% reduction in paw volume comparable to standard indomethacin. In DPPH free radical scavenging test, the ethanol extract showed a fairly significant IC50 of 39.33 µg/ml  compared to reference standards ascorbic acid and BHA at 3.16 and 5.81 µg/ml, respectively. Total phenolic content was 211.82 mg/g GAE. Acute toxicity testing showed the plant may be safe for pharmacological uses up to 3,200 mg/kbw in rats. Results provide scientific basis for traditional uses of the plant as remedy for pain and inflammation. (6)
Antihyperglycemic / Antiallergic / Stems: Study  evaluated an ethanolic extract of stems for anti-hyperglycemic anc anti-allergic activity. Results showed considerable lowering of blood glucose level in mice by AGTT at both doses of 250 and 500 mng/kbw. Extrac t also significantly decreased allergy-type symptoms like sneezing, scratching, and nasal score induced by TDI in mice model. Acute toxicity testing showed LD50 of the extract is above 3000 mg/kbw. (see constituents above) (8)
Diuretic / Laxative / Aerial Parts: Study  evaluated the diuretic and laxative activities of different fractionated extracts of Brownlowia tersa and Kandelia candel. The chloroform extracts of aerial parts of B. tersa demonstrated better diuretic activity in measures of urine volume, pH, density, electrolyte contents. Both active fractions suggest loop diuretic effect. In laxative testing, with biscodyl as standard, B. tersa EA and water fractions demonstrated significant laxative effect. (9)
Antihyperglycemic / Antiallergic / Leaves: Study  evaluated the antidiabetic and antiallergic activities of ethanol extract of leaves. In STZ-induced diabetic mice, the extract showed significant antihyperglycemic activity at 300 and 500 mg/kg doses with significant declines in blood and urine glucose levels, along with decreases  in SGPT, SGOT, creatinine, bilirubin, urea, and triglycerides. Extract also significantly reduced TDI induced allergic symptoms like sneezing (p<0.05), scratching (p<0.05) and nasal score (p<0.05). (10)


September 2022

IMAGE SOURCE: / Photo  / Brownlowiaceae -  Brownlowia tersa : Fruit / Copyright © 2012 by P.B. Pelser & J.F. Barcelona (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL48421] / Non-Commercial Use / click on image to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Photo  / Dungun air--Leaves and fruits / © Ria Tan / some rights reserved / CC by NC SA / click on image to go to source page / EOL
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Photo  / Dungun air--Flower, leaves, and fruits / © Ria Tan /  some rights reserved / CC by NC SA / click on image to go to source page / flickr

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

Brownlowia tersa / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Brownlowia tersa / WFO: The World Flora Online
Antinociceptive and antidiarrhoeal properties of the ethanolic extract of Brownlowia tersa leaves / Sariful Islam Howlader, Md Jamil Ahmed Shilpi, Md Hemayet Hossain et al / International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Phytopharmacological Research, 2012; 1(5): pp 292-296 / eISSN: 2249-6084 / pISSN: 2250-1029
Assessment of Antioxidant, Antibacterial, and Preliminary Cytotoxic Properties of Brownlowia tersa / Raihana Pervin, Tauhidur Rahman Nurrunabi, Rana Biswas et al / Journal of Herbs, Spices & Medicinal Plants, 2022; 28(4) / DOI: 10.10180/10496475.2022.2077878
Dungun air - Brownlowia tersa / WILD FACT sheets
Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities of ethanol leaf extract of Brownlowia tersa (L.) Kosterm / Hemayet Hossain, EIsmet Ara Jahan, Arif Ahmed / Oriental Pharmacy and Experimental Medicine, 2013; 13: pp 181-189 /  DOI: 10.1007/s13596-013-0109-3
Brownlowia tersa (Linn.) Kosterm: A review of traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology / Md Abdul Mannan, Md Faidur Rahman, Md Farhad Hossen Khan / Journal of Medicinal Plant Studies, 2019; 7(6): pp 34-37
Investigation of Anti-hyperglycemmic, Anti-allergic activities of ethanolic extract from Brownlowia tersa (L.) stem / Brototi Chakrabarty, Neloy Kundu, Asish Kumar Das et al / Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies,m 2022; 10(1): pp 43-46 / eISSN: 2320-3862 / pISSN: 2394-0530
Diuretic and laxative activities of Kandelia candel and Brownlowia tersa in experimental mice
/ Mohua Sarker, Towkir Ahmed, Nipendra Nath Biswas et al / Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies, 2021; 9(2): pp 59-65 / DOI: 10.22271/plants.2021.v9i2a.1267
Evaluation of Anti-Diabetic and Anti-Allergic Activities of Brownlowia tersa (L.) Kosterm Leaves Extract and Determination of its Phenolic Compounds by HPLC-DAD / Brototi Chakrabarty, Rabindra N Acharyya, Asish K Das et al / Tropical Journal of Natural Product Research, Aug 2020; 4(8): pp 326-333 / pISSN: 2616-0684 / eISSN: 2616-0692

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

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