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Family Rubiaceae
Gynochthodes umbellata (L.) Razafim. & B.Bremer

Ji yan teng

Scientific names Common names
Cuviera asiatica Spreng. Halon (Tag.)
Guttenbergia umbellata (L.) Zoll. & Moritzi Nino (Tag.)
Gynochthodes umbellata (L.) Razafim. & B.Bremer Climbing noni (Engl.)
Morinda padavara Juss. Common indian mulberry (Engl.)
Morinda scandens Roxb.  
Morinda tetrandra Jack  
Morinda umbellata Linn.  
Morinda umbellata var. acuminatissima Valeton  
Morinda umbellata var. archboldiana Fosberg  
Morinda umbellata subsp. obovata Y.Z.Ruan  
Morinda umbellata var. papuana Valeton  
Morinda umbellata var. tonkinensis Pit.  
Stigmanthus cymosus Lour.  
Halon is a common name shared by Amaranthus paniculatus Linn. and Morinda umbellata Linn.
Morinda umbellata L. is a synonym of Gynochthodes umbellata.
Gynochthodes umbellata is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Ji yan teng, Yang jiao teng.
KANNADA: Maddibanne, Maddihambu, Maradarasina, Poppili.
INDIAN: Neyvalli, Kudalchurukki.
LAOTIAN: Khua mak mah pa.
MALAY: Mengkudu akar, Mengkudu hutan, Mengkudu kecil, Akar perut ayam.
SANSKRIT: Daruharidra, Klibapushpa, Pitadaru.
TAMIL: Mancanaari, Manjanattikkodi, Mattikoddi, Noona kai,
THAI:  Yo yaan.
VIETNAMESE: Nhàu tán, Nhau do, Don mat qui.

Gen info
- Gynochthodes is a genus of flowering plants in the family Rubiaceae. The genus is found from Madagascar to tropical and subtropical Asia and the Pacific region.
- Etymology: The specific epithet umbellata derives from Latin, referring to the branches of flower clusters arising from the same point.

Nino is a large, diffused shrub, climbing by long, hairy, slender branches. Leaves are elliptic, 8.5 to 13 centimeters long, 3.5 to 5 centimeters wide, smooth on the upper surface, hairy beneath,and pointed at both ends. Inflorescences occur in stalkless terminal umbels about 1.5 centimeter in diameter. Corolla is almost notched, with a bearded throat; the corolla-tube is short, being less than 5 millimeters long. Fruit is compound, 2 to 2.5 centimeters in diameter, and irregularly lobed.

- Native to the Philippines.
- In Cagayan, Zambales, and Sorsogon Provinces in Luzon; and in Mindoro and Culion, In thickets and forests at low altitudes
- Also native to Andaman Is., Assam, Bangladesh, Bismarck Archipelago, Borneo, Cambodia, China, Hainan, India, Japan, Jawa, Laos, Malaya, Marianas, Nansei-shoto, New Guinea, Queensland, Solomon Is., Sri Lanka, Sumatera, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam
. (3)
- A climbing shrub growing primarily in the wet tropical biome. (3)

- Roots yield a yellow dye.
- Root-bark contains a glucoside, morindine, and the coloring matter, morindone.
- Various leaf extracts yielded flavonoids, phenolic compounds, alkaloids, steroids, tannins, and carbohydrates. (see study below) (4)
- Nutrient analysis of fruits yielded carbohydrates (6.98 g/100g fw), protein (2.68 g/100 g fw), crude fat (0.13 mg/g dw), and crude fiber (32.58%). Vitamin C content was 25 mg/100 g fw. (6)
- GC-MS analysis of leaf extract yielded 32 compounds, with stereols, stanols, and terpenoids as the most prominent compounds. Major compounds detected were 9,19-cyclolanost-24-en-3-ol (16.09%), 2,5,5-triphenyl-4-methoxyimidazole (10.87%), β-Sitosterol (8.81%), stigmast-4-en-3-one (7.26%), phytol (5.62%). (7)
- Study of aerial parts isolated 16 undescribed quinones -- 10 anthraquinones (umbellatas A-J), one naphthohydroquinone (umbellata K), one naphthohydroquinone dimer (umbellata L), and four dinaphthofuran quinones (umbellatas M-P). (see study below) (9)
- GC-MS analysis of antioxidant rich ethanolic leaf extract yielded 19 phytocompounds -- 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, diethyl ester with a percent area of 94.98%, Guanosine (0.79%), Hexadecanic acid (0.72%), phytol (0.47%) were found to be predominant. Elemental mineral analysis yielded essential elements such as Fe (5.65±0.58 ppm), Zn (0.74±0.05 ppm), Mn (0.46±0.04 ppm), and trace amounts of following non-essential elements (heavy metals) Cu (0.87±0.05 ppm), As (0.002±0.00 ppm), Cd (0.08±0.01 ppm), Pb (0.03±0.00 ppm), Hg (BDL). (see study below) (10)

- Roots considered purgative.
- Studies have shown antibacterial, mast-cell stabilizing, anti-anaphylactic, anticancer, antioxidant properties.

Parts used
Roots, leaves.


- Ripe fruits are edible; eaten raw.
- In India, unripe green fruits are used in curries.
- Boiled roots applied for dropsy.
- In America, roots used as violent purgative.
- Leaves, in conjunction with certain aromatics, used as decoction for diarrhea and dysentery.
- Decoction of leaves and roots used as vermifuge for children.
- In Western Ghats region of Kerala used for treatment of diabetes, high blood pressure, muscle aches, and pains. (4)
- In traditional Indian medicine, decoction of roots and leaves used for treating intestinal pains, diarrhea, dysentery, indigestion, syphilis, and gonorrhea. (4)
- In Vietnamese folk medicine, used for furuncles, dysentery and skin diseases. Aerial parts used for fever, cough, stomachaches, rheumatism, and acute hepatitis. (4)
- Rope: Stems used for making rough ropes.

- Dye: Roots yield a yellow dye.

Antibacterial / Leaves:
Study investigated the antibacterial activity of various leaf extracts of Morinda umbellata against ten different bacterial species, viz., Bacillus megaterium, B. subtilis, E. coli, K. pneumonia, M. luteus, P. aeruginosa, S. typhi, S. flexneri, S. aureus and S. epidermis. Solvents of ethanol and methanol extracts showed antibacterial activity against maximum number of bacterial species tested. (2)
• Mast Cell Stabilizing / Anti-Anaphylactic Effect / Leaves:
Study evaluated different solvent extracts of M. umbellata leaves for mast cell stabilizing and anti-anaphylactic effect. Leaf methanolic, n-hexane and chloroform extracts exhibited significant protection against egg albumin induced peritoneal and mesenteric mast cell degranulation. In active paw anaphylaxis, animals treated with ethanolic and n-hexane extracts exhibited significant reduction in ovalbumin induced paw edema. Phenolic compounds and flavonoids in leaves may have contributed to the inhibitory effect on antigen induced mast cell degranulation and active paw anaphylaxis in Wistar rats. (see constituents above) (4)

Production of Anthraquinone by Callus Culture: Study evaluated the secondary metabolite (anthraquinone) production in callus culture of G. umbellata using invitro leaves. Results showed callus culture is an effective method for the production of anthraquinone invitro in G. umbellata. Anthraquinone production through invitro leaf segment derived callus culture is a viable system for the production of pharmacologically and industrially important natural plant pigment. (8)
Cytotoxic Quinones Against Human Cancer Cell Lines / Aerial Parts: Study of aerial parts isolated 16 undescribed quinones -- 10 anthraquinones (umbellata A-J), one naphthohydroquinone (umbellata K), one naphthohydroquinone dimer (umbellata L), and four dinaphthofuran quinones (umbellatas M-P). Four of the unknown quinones, umbellata A, H, K and M, showed potent cytotoxic effects against A431, A2780, NCI-H460, HCT116, HepG2, and MCF-7 human cancer cell lines wit IC50s ranging from 1.3-7.1 µM. (9)
Antioxidant / Chemo-Profiling / Elemental Analysis / Leaves: Study evaluated various extracts of Morinda umbellata for antioxidant potentiality, phytochemical profiling, and elemental analysis. On antioxidant evaluation, maximum 50% inhibitory concentration was seen with ethanolic and methanol extracts at 17.92 and 19.35 µg/ml, respectively, which was four time higher than standard ascorbic acid. (see constituents above) (10)
Anti-Inflammatory: Study evaluated the effect of active fraction (MUAF) on various inflammatory mediators using lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced invivo model in Wistar rats. Study demonstrated significant inhibition of proinflammatory cytokines. The MUAF suppressed overexpression of TNF-α, IL-1ß, IL-6, iNOS, COX-2 possibly via downregulating NF-xB activation. Oral acute toxicity testing suggested non toxic nature of MUAF. (11)


Updated  September 2023 / May 2018 / May 2015

IMAGE SOURCE: Rubiaceae : Gynochthodes umbellata / Infructescence / Copyright © 2018 by  P B Pelser & J F Barcelona (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. 134862] / Non-Commercial Use / click on image or link to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Morinda umbellata L. / Reuben C J Lim / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 / click on image or link to go to source page / flickr
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Morinda umbellata / Flowers   / Non commercial use / image modified / The Total Vascular Flora of Singapore

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Sorting Morinda names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher, / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE
Antibacterial activity of Morinda umbellata L. (Rubiaceae) Leaves by Resazurin Redox Method / R. Nagaraj, M. Prakash, and N. Karmegam / Int. J. Curr. Res. Biosci. Plant Biol., 2014, 1(5): 53-57
Morinda umbellata / Synonyms / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Effect of Morinda umbellata Linn. (Rubiaceae) Leaf Extracts on Antigen Induced Mast Cell Degranulation and Active Paw Anaphylaxis in Wistar rats / N M Krishnakumar, P G Latha, S R Suja / Journal of Pharmacy Research, 2017; 11(3): pp 228-234
Gynochthodes / Wikipedia
Nutritional Evaluation of Fruits of Gynochthodes umbellata (L.) Razafim. & B. Bremer – An Underutilized Edible Fruit Plant / Anjusha Sudhakaran, Gangaprasad Appukuttan Nair / Pharmacognosy Journal, 2016; 8(1): pp 71-76 / DOI: 10.5530/pj.2016.1.16
GC-MS ANALYSIS OF LEAF EXTRACT OF GYNOCHTHODES UMBELLATA (L.) RAZAFIM. AND B. BREMER (RUBIACEAE) / S Anjusha, A Gangaprasad, P M Radhamany / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, 2015 / DOI: 10.13040/IJPSR.0975-8232.6(11).4826-29 / ISSN: 2320-5148 / Record No: 20153397620
Callus culture and in vitroproduction of anthraquinone in Gynochthodes umbellata (L.) Razafim. & B. Bremer (Rubiaceae) / Anjusha S, Gangaprasad A / Industrial Crops and Products, 2017; Volume 95: pp 608-614 / DOI: 10.1016/j.indcrop.2016.11.021
Cytotoxic quinones from the aerial parts of Morinda umbellata L / Changlkang Li, Xianming Su, Fenghua Li, Jia Fu, Hongqing Wang, Baoming Li, Ruoyun Chen, Jie Kang / Phytochemistry, 2019; 167: 112096 /
DOI: 10.1016/jj.phytochem.2019.112096
In vitro Evaluation of Antioxidant Property, Chemo-profiling, Elemental Analysis of Morinda umbellata L. / Anushya Sankar, Shanthi Periyasamy, Sownthariya Chandrabalan / Int J Pharm Investigation, 2022; 12(4): pp 423-429 / DOI: 10.5530/ijpi.2022.4.73
Morinda umbellata active fraction inhibits lipopolysaccharide induced proinflammatory cytokines by downregulating NF-κB activation / Neenthamadathil Mohandas Krishnakumar, Kuttapetty Manikantan, Somasekharan Nair Rajam Suja, Panickamparambil Gopalakrishnan Latha, Stanislaus Antony Ceasar / Toxicology Research, 2022; 11(5) pp 841-851 / DOI: 10.1093/toxres/tfac063

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)

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