Balaniog is a somewhat hairy shrub, 1 to 3 meters high. Leaves are alternate, compound-pinnate, about 30 centimeters or more in length. Leaflets are 5 to 11, 4 to 10 centimeters in length, 2 to 4 centimeters wide, pointed at the apex and rounded or pointed at the base, with prominently toothed margins. Flowers are small, reddish, occurring in axillary inflorescences. Fruit is oval, black when ripe, smooth, reticulated, about 0.5 centimeter long. Seeds are dark brown, compressed and rugose.
- In thickets at low altitudes in Pangasinan Province in Luzon; in Leyte; Palawan: Negros; and Surigao, Bukidnon, Cotobato, Misamis Provinces in Mindanao, and in Basilan.
- Also reported in India to southern China through Malaya to Australia.
- Studies yielded tannin 1.5%, and a small amount of hydrolytic enzymes.
- Bark yielded an amorphous bitter principle, volatile acids and protein.
- Phytochemical screening yielded flavonoids, tannins, triterpenes, steroids, anthraquinones, anthrones, flavonoids glycosides, coumarins.
- Contains quassinoid triterpenes, including bruceatin, bruceantinol, bruceantinoside a, bruceins A-G and Q, bruceolide, bruceosides, dihydrobrucein A.
- Study of seeds isolated a new quassinoid, yadanziolide S, along with 10 known compounds, flazin, bruceine D, yadanziolide B, bruceoside A, yadanziolide S, yadanzigan, glycerol 1,3-bisoleate, azelaic acid, (±)-8-hydroxyhexadecanoic acid, and vanillin.
- Seeds yielded quassinoid glucosides, javanicosides I, J, K and L, along with two known quassinoids, bruceins D and E, and seven known quassinoid glucosides, yadanziosides B, C, E, I and K, bruceoside B and yadanzigan. (14)
- Leaves yielded a new secoiridoid glucoside, 6'-O-trans p-coumaroyloleuropein, together with two known ones, ligustroside and oleuropein. (17)
- Fruit yielded an alkaloid (4-ethoxycarbonyl-2-quinolone) and a quassinoid (bruceine I) along with three well known compounds viz., vanillic acid, quercetin-3-O-beta-D-galactoside, and luteolin-7-O-beta-D-glucoside. (19)
- GC-MS study of a petroleum ether extract of dried ripe fruits yielded a mixture of esters fatty acids, sterides, pregnanones, terpenes, alkaloids, alkenes, alcohols, ketones, aldehydes and other compounds. (see study below)
- Seeds are may be toxic in single full doses, especially the powdered form, and can produce nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and purging.
- No toxic signs or symptoms were observed when the seeds were administered in divided doses.
- Toxic components are no in oil of the seed, but in the bitter portion of the nonoleated fraction of the seed.
- On examination of a small amount of stool with living dysentery amoeba mixed with 2% cold infusion of powdered seed (free oil), the amoeba became round and died instantly.
- Expressed oil has no amebicidal action although the ethereal extract has.
- In some parts of Asia, considered anti-malarial, antipyretic, and homeostatic.
- Studies have shown antitumor, antimalarial, anti-inflammatory properties.
Seed, fruit, all plant parts.
- Fresh fruit used for stomachache.
- In the East Indies, all parts of the plant are used as stomachic tonic; also used for diarrhea, intermittent fever and worms.
- Seed has been reportedly used as remedy for most types of pernicious dysentery.
- Seeds used for malaria, with effects comparable to quinine.
- In China, used to treat malaria, amebic dysentery, chronic dysentery, hemorrhoids; also, used as insecticide. Seeds used for dysentery, malaria and cancer. Fruit used to treat cancer, malaria and amoebic dysentery; also used as insecticide.
- In Chinese herbal medicine, used in the treatment of lung and gastrointestinal cancers. (24)
- In Indonesia, fruit used for fever and as anti-malarial.
- Elsewhere, poultice used on boils, ringworm, scurf, centipede bites, hemorrhoids, enlarged spleens. Seed and seed oil used on warts and corns.
- Seeds used for diabetes.
• Indole Alkaloid / Cytotoxicity: Study has yielded an indole alkaloid canthin-6-one. The compound and its hydroxylated and methoxylated derivatives have demonstrated marked cytotoxic activities against malaria, leukemia, carcinoma, keratinocytes of guinea-pig ear, and bacteria (Anderson et al, 1983.) (2)
• Antioxidant: In a study of the crude methanol extracts of four Philippine medicinal plants for their antioxidant activity, B amarissima showed to be the most potent. Phytochemical screening yielded flavonoids, tannins, triterpenes, steroids, anthraquinones, anthrones, flavanoid glycosides and coumarins.
• Quassinoid: Study isolated javanacin, a novel quassinoid from the seeds of B. javanica. (4)
• Hypoglycemic / Bruceines: Study of B. javanica seeds isolated bruceines E and D which were administered to STZ-induced diabetic rats. Results showed reduction of blood glucose concentration by both bruceines comparable to glibenclamide probably by acting as an insulin secretagogue. (5)
• Anti-Malarial / Fruit: Study showed of extracts of B. javanica fruit showed anti-malarial activity that was attributed to its quassinoid constituents. Nine of the quassinoids showed activity against chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum. (6)
• Bioactive Seed Constituents: Study isolated a new quassinoid, yadanziolide S, from the seeds of B. javanica, along with 10 known compounds, flazin, bruceine D, yadanziolide B, bruceoside A, yadanziolide S, yadanzigan, glycerol 1,3-bisoleate, azelaic acid, (±)-8-hydroxyhexadecanoic acid, and vanillin. The isolates were evaluated for potential to induce human promyelocytic leukemia (HL-60) cell differentiation and to inhibit COX-1, COX-2, and DMBA-induced lesions in a mouse mammary culture model. (7)
• NF-kB Inhibitors: Study identified nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kB) inhibitors exhibiting reactive oxygen species (ROS) intracellular amplification. Bruceajavanone B, bruceantin, bruceine A, (-)-hydnocarpin, and chrysoeriol exhibited cytotoxic potential and NF-kB p65 inhibition. Chrysoeriol exhibited selective cytotoxicity against leukemia cells and potentiates the amplification of ROS levels, and can serve as a potential chemotherapeutic modifier for leukemia chemotherapy. (8)
• Oral Candida Inhibition: Study evaluated the growth inhibitory effect of a crude aqueous leaf extract of B. amarissima. At higher concentration (6mg/mL), the extract exhibited significant growth reduction and also reduced the µ-values of all Candida strains by more than 90%. Results showed fungistatic (<6mg/mL) and fungicidal (>6mg/mL) activities, presenting as a promising candidate as a natural antifungal. (11)
• Acute Toxicity Study / Leaves: Study evaluated the oral acute toxicity of leaves extract on male and female DDY-mice. Single oral doses of leaves extract up to 4500 mg/kbw did not induce acute toxic effects. However, there were 26 deaths during the experimental period. Data suggests mild toxicity. Considering the dose, the body effects/damage were minor and not permanent. (12)
• Hyphal Wall Protein (HPW1) Suppression / Non-Candida albicans Species: Study evaluated expression of HWP1 following treatment with Piper betle and Brucea javanica aqueous extracts. The expression levels were reduced with higher concentration of B. javanica extract. B. javanica and P. betle have potential to be developed as oral health products. (13)
• Antiprotozoal / Cytotoxic / Seeds: Study evaluated the in vitro antiprotozoal and cytotoxic activity of extracts and fractions of B. sumatrana seeds against twos Trypanosoma species (T. cruzi and T. brucei brucei), Leishmania infantum and P. falcifarum and MRC-5 cell lines. Results showed the 80% methanolic extract with cytotoxic effect against MRC-5 cell lines. Extracts showed moderate to pronounced antiprotozoal activities. (15)
• Hypoglycemic Bioactives / Seeds: Study evaluated seed extracts for diabetes treatment. Fractionation of extracts yielded bruceines D and E which exhibited hypoglycemic activity in STZ-induced diabetic rats. (16)
• Antiproliferative and Apoptosis-Inducing Activity / Human Carcinoma Cells: Study reports on the potential anticancer activity of water extract of B. javanica against four cancer cell lines, including A549 non-small cell lung cancer, Hep3B hepatocellular carcinoma, MDA-MB231 breast cancer, and SLMT-1 esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Results suggest BJE-induced cancer cell death proceeds through a mitochondrial dependent pathway associated with caspase 3 activation. (20)
• Induction of Apoptotic Death of Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cells / Seed Oil: Study investigated the antileukemic potential of BJO in human myeloid leukemia cell lines (AML) U937 and HL-60 in vitro in mouse U937 tumor model. Results showed BJO induced AML cell apoptosis through activation of caspase-8 and modulation of apoptosis-related proteins. (21)
• Antidiabetic / Antioxidant / Seeds: Study evaluated an ethanol extract of BJ seed for antioxidant and antidiabetic activities. An ethyl acetate fraction (EAF), rich in tannin, showed the strongest antioxidant activities to DPPH, FRAP, and NORSA. Along with GPα inhibitory activity, EAF effectively improved glucose tolerance. Rats treated with EAF showed a 39.91% decrease (p<0.05) in blood glucose at 30 minutes with a continuous fall at 60 and 90 minutes. (22)
• Anticoccidial / Antioxidant / Seeds: Study investigated the prophylactic and therapeutic effects of ethanol extract of B. javanica on coccidiosis induced by Eimeria tenella in broiler chickens. Results showed considerable anticoccidial effects and a promising potential in controlling avian coccidiosis. (23)
• Nanoparticulate Delivery Systems: Pharmacologic research has identified main antitumor components which are tetracyclic triterpene quassinoids. However, they have poor water solubility and low bioavailability, which limit their clinical applications. The study discusses the need of nanoparticulate delivery systems to improve the bioavailability of B. javanica. Report focuses on the chemical components, pharmacological properties and nanoparticulate formulations and drug delivery systems to expand its clinical applications. (24)
• Suppression of Growth of Human Liver Cancer and Derived Stem-Like Cells / Apoptosis: Study evaluated the effect of low concentration of BJ aqueous extract on the growth of liver cancer cells. B. javanica reduced the expression of stem cell markers and eliminated tumor spheroids by apoptotic death. Results suggest a potential supplement therapy in the suppression of growth of stem cells in liver cancer. (25)
• Thoracic Perfusion for Malignant Pleural Effusions / Oil Emulsion: Study evaluated the effects and safety of intrapleural injection of B. javanica oil emulsion in treating malignant pleural effusion (MPE). The efficacy and safety of traditional chemotherapy drugs plus BJOE was superior to traditional chemotherapy alone via intrapleural injection in controlling MPE. The combination improved the quality of life of patients with PPE (p<0.001). (26)
• Review / Combination of Chemotherapy and Oil Emulsion in Treatment of Gastric Cancer: Meta-analysis assessed the efficacy and safety of B. javanica oil-emulsion injection (BJOEI) combined with chemotherapy for the treatment of gastric cancer. Pooled analysis showed BJOEI on the basis of chemotherapy showed remarkable therapeutic effect in patients with gastric cancer (27)
• Antidiabetic / Antibacterial / Antioxidant / Seeds: Study evaluated methanol and ethyl acetate extracts of seeds for antidiabetic, antibacterial, and antioxidant activities. ME showed strong a-glucosidase inhibition activity (IC50 271.97 µg/ml). Both ME and EAE showed strong antibacterial activities against gram negative and gram positive bacteria, with strongest inhibition against C. violaceum and S. mutans. Both extracts showed weaker antioxidant activities than standards. The ME was rich in phenolics (277.54 mg GAE/100g DW). (28)
• Treatment of Suprasellar and Sellar Cholesterol Granuloma / Fruit: Study reports on a patient with cholesterol granuloma in the suprasellar and sellar regions treated with Java brucea and Chinese herbal medicines. Results suggest the novel combination of a Java brucea fruit soft capsule and Chinese herbal decoction may have an antineoplastic effect with an excellent safety profile. (29)
• Anticancer / Quassinoid / Fruit: Study isolated a new minor quassinoid, Bruceine M (1), along with 12 known quassinoids (2-13) from the fruits o B. javanica. In in-vitro cytotoxicity study, compounds 4, 6, and 9 exhibited significant growth inhibitory activity against three cancer cell lines viz. Bel-7404, MCF-7, and A549. (30)
• Anticancer Efficacy Assessment / Imaging-Based Platform / Oil Emulsion: BJOE has already been commercialized for the treatment of various malignancies. This study sought to verify its treatment effect on rhabdomyosarcoma (R1) in rats using MRI, microangiography, and histopathology. Results showed BJOE treatment slowed down tumor growth as evidenced by increased intratumoral necrosis (p<0.05) and reduced tumoral blood flow (p<0.05). Microangiography and histopathology supported the MRI findings. (31)
• Canthin-6-one / Blocks Cancer Cells in G2/M Phase / Synergism with Cisplatin / Roots: The root extract of B. javanica yielded bioactive compounds. Bioassay-guided purification yielded 2 alkaloids viz. canthin-6-ne (1) and bruceolline J (2). The compounds were investigated for bioactivity in human cancer cell lines. Compound 1 induced a G2/M phase arrest coinciding with decreased cell proliferation. It also synergized the cytotoxic effect of cisplatin. Results suggest a potential for combination therapy in lesions less responsive to standard chemotherapy. (32)
• Bruceine A / Neurotoxic Biolarvicide Against Aedes aegypti / Seeds: Bruceine A isolated from the seeds of B. javanica showed biolarvicidal activity against larvae of A. aegypti through its neurotoxic properties mediated through inhibition of enzyme acetylcholinesterase and VGSC (Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel) gene. (33)
• Antibabesial Activity / New Quassinoids / Fruit: In an Indonesian study of 28 medicinal plants screening for antibabesial activity against Babesia gibsoni in vitro, the fruit extract of B. javanica was most active in inhibiting parasite growth at concentration of 10 µg/mL. Fractionation of the fruit extract isolated two new quassinoids, bruceantinol B and bruceine J, along with known quassinoids A-D, bruceantinol, and yadanziolide A. Bruceine A and bruceantinol showed more potent activity than diminazene aceturate, a drug used clinically against B. gibsoni. (34)
• Cytotoxic Activity / Fruit: GC-MS study of a petroleum ether extract of dried ripe fruits yielded a mixture of esters fatty acids, sterides, pregnanones, terpenes, alkaloids, alkenes, alcohols, ketones, aldehydes and other compounds. MTT assay showed significant antitumor activity with IC50s of 9.14, 12.45, 15.15, 16.13, 22.26, and 27.97 µg/mL against A549, CNE, MCF-7, NCI-H460, HepG2, and KB-3-1 cell lines, respectively. (35)
• Bruceine A / Anticancer Against Hela Cell Line / Seeds: Study evaluated the anticancer activity of Bruceine A from B. javanica seeds. Cytotoxicity study of Bruceine A showed an IC50 of 76.4 µg/mL against Hela cells. Bruceine A also increased expression of p53 protein Hela cells by 44.3%. The mechanisms of anticancer activity may be through inhibition of Hela cell proliferation via activation of tumor suppressor gene such as p53. (36)
• Acute and Subchronic Toxicity Studies / Hypoglycemic Activity / Seeds: Study evaluated the acute and sub-chronic toxicity of seed extracts. Methanolic and butanolic extracts reduced blood glucose of mice at 32 mg/kg with no mortality. LD50 of ME and BE were 281.71 and 438.43 mg/kg, respectively, with the butanolic extract showing a lower level of acute toxicity. The butanolic extract contained the blood glucose lowering quassinoids bruceine D (10.3%) and E (0.4%) and is deemed safe for treatment of diabetes mellitus in extract form. (37)
• Antiplasmodial / Combination with Chloroquine and Quinine: Study evaluated various extracts of fruits of B. javanica and roots of Eurycoma longifolia against mutidrug resistant Plasmodium falcifarum strain. Ethanol and methanol ethanol extracts, together with methanol residue, from fruits of B. javanica showed highest antiplasmodial activities. In drug combination, there was no antagonism to the antiplasmodial activity of chloroquine and quinine. Results suggest potential for use of the drug combination to delay onset of parasite drug resistance. (38)
• Apoptosis in Human Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma / Leaves: B. javanica extract has been reported to have antiproliferative and cell death induction activities. Study evaluated the effect of B. javanica leaf extract in oral cancer cells. Results showed reduction of percentage of viable HSC-2 cells in a concentration dependent manner. BJ leaf extract induced apoptosis in HSC-2 cells by attenuation of mitochondrial membrane permeability (MMP). (39)
• Anti-Obesity / Lipolytic Activity: Study investigated the potential anti-obesogenic agents from Indonesian medicinal plants. Two plants, B. javanica and Eurycoma longifolia were investigated for lipolytic activity, a bioactivity to break down triglyceride into glycerol in adipocytes. Bioassay guided fractionation from B. javanica isolated several lipolytic compounds, including brucein A, brusatol, brucenatinol, brucein B, 3'-hydroxybrucein A, and bruceine C. Some isolated compounds demonstrated much stronger lipolytic activity compared to two isolated compounds from E. longifolia. (40)
• Suppression of Tumor Growth in Human Cervical Cancer Cells / Apoptosis and Inhibition of E6 Oncogene / Oil Emulsion: Study investigated the effects of BJ oil emulsion on human papillomavirus (HPV)-16- expressing human cervical cancer cell line.. The BJ emulsion oil exerted strong tumor suppressive effect in SiHA cells in vitro and in vivo, likely caused by E6 inhibition and apoptosis induction achieved through the ERK/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and NF-kB signaling pathways. Results suggest potential use of BJOE in cervical cancer treatment. (41)
• Antimicrobial / Treatment of Pointed Condyloma / Oil: Study reports on the bacteriostatic and anti-trichomonad effects of ingredients extracted from B. javanica oil. Oil ingredients showed stronger antimicrobial effects on S. aureus, E. coli, P. aeruginosa, C. abicans, and T. vaginalis, among others. The oil also exhibited analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-pruritic effects. The oil also yielded active ingredients for the treatment of pointed condyloma. (42)
• Antitumor / Hepatoma H22 / Oil: Study evaluated the antitumor effect and possible mechanisms in H22-bearing mice. The oil extracted from B. javanica seed showed H22 tumor inhibition ratio of 0.5, 1, and 1.5 g/kbw were 15.64%, 23.87%, and 38.27%. Disturbing energy metabolism and neoplastic hyperplasia controlled by Akt and immunoregulation activity were probable antitumor mechanisms in hepatoma H22 bearing mice. (43)
• Enhanced Radiosensitivity of Esophageal Cancer / Seed Oil: Study evaluated the effects of B. javanica oil emulsion on the radiosensitivity of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) in vitro snf in vivo. BJOE significantly inhibited ECA109 cell proliferation in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Pretreatment with BJOE increased ECA109 radiosensitivity. The combination of BJOE and radiation significantly increased the apoptotic rate of ECA109 cells. Study demonstrated BJOE enhanced the radiosensitivity of human ESCC, along with inhibition of HIF-1a expression. BJOE has potential as radiotherapy sensitization drug due to its anti-hypoxic activity. (44)
• Autophagy Inhibition / Induced Colon Cancer Cell Death / Oil Emulsion: Study investigated whether BJOE modulates autophagy in HCT116 human colon cancer cells. Results showed autophagy inhibition is involved in BJOE-induced cancer cell death and the inhibition may be a potential anticancer mechanism of BJOE. (45)
• Improvement of Spinal Muscular Atrophy / Correction of SMN2 Splicing Defect / Bruceine D: Spinal muscular atrophy is a rare neuromuscular disease, a leading cause of infant mortality, caused primarily by deletion of survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. Study showed B. javanica and Bruceine D corrected the SMN2 splicing defect and improved the symptoms of SMA in mice. Both B. javanica and Bruceine D noticeable improved the phenotypic defects, specially muscle function, in SMA mice. Results suggest a possibility for the development of a plant-derived SMA drug candidate. (46)
• Insecticidal Against Spodoptera exigua: Study evaluated plant extracts of 30 species from 20 different botanical families for contact toxicity and antifeedant activities against Spodoptera exigua. Extracts from eight Chinese medicinal plants showed strong activity. The most effective plant extracts were from Litsea cubeba, Brucea javanica, and Artemisia argyl. Brucea javanica contact toxicity was 20%, 26.67^ and 30% in 24h, 48h and 72h, respectively. Feeding-deterrency index (FDI%) was 86.86 ± 3.78 ab. (47)
• Quassinoid Derivatives / Antitumor Promoters: Study of B. javanica extract isolated three new quassinoid derivatives viz. desmethyl-brusatol (1), desmethyl-bruceantinoside A (2), and butyl ester (3) of bruceoside D (6). The three new quassinoid derivatives and related compounds showed inhibitory effects against TPA-induced Epstein-Barr virus early antigen (EBV-EA) activation. (48)
Extracts and tinctures in the cybermarket.