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Family Euphorbiaceae
Aleurites moluccana (Linn.) Willd.
He shi li

Scientific names Common names
Aleurites ambinux Pers. Baiu (C. Bis., Bag.)
Aleurites angustifolius Viell. ex Guillaumin Kalumban (Tag.)
Aleurites angustifolius Viell. Kapili (Tag.)
Aleurites commutatus Geiseler Kami (Sul.)
Aleurites cordifolius (Gaertn.) Steud. Lumbang (Tag.)
Aleurites integrifolius Viell. ex Guillaumin Lumbang-bato (Tag.)
Aleurites integrifolius Viell. Rumbang (Bis.)
Aleurites javanicus Gand. Bankul nut tree (Engl.)
Aleurites lanceolatus Blanco Candleberry (Engl.)
Aleurites lobatus Blanco. Candle nut oil tree (Engl.)
Aleurites moluccana (Linn.) Willd. Candle nut tree (Engl.)
Aleurites remyi Sherff Indian walnut (Engl.)
Aleurites trilobus J.R.Forst. & G.Forst. Lumbang tree (Engl.)
Camerium mollucanum (L.) Kuntze Varnish tree (Engl.)
Caminium cordifolium Gaertn.  
Caminium oleosum Reinw. ex Blume  
Caminium oleosum Reinw. ex Müll. Arg.  
Dryandra oleifera Lam.  
Jatropha moluccana L.  
Juglans caminium Lour.  
Mallotus moluccanus (L.) Müll. Arg.  
Manihot moluccana (L.) Crantzz  
Ricinus dicoccus Roxb.  
Rottlera moluccana (L.) Scheff  
Telopea perspicua Sol. ex Seem.  
Aleurites moluccanus (L.) Willd. is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Shi li, He shi li.
CREOLE: Alérit, Nwazét, Nwa.
DANISH: Bankultrae.
DUTCH: Bankoelnoot, Kemirinoot.
FRENCH: Bancoulier des Moluques, Noix de bancoul, Noyer de bancoul, Noyer des Moluques.
GERMAN: Candlenuß, Bankulnußbaum, Lichtnußbaum.
ITALIAN: Aleurite delle Molucche, Noce delle Molucche, Noce di bankul.
JAPANESE: Kukui nattsu, Kukui noki.
MALAY: Buah keras, Kemiri.
PORTUGUESE: Nogueira de Iguape (Brazil), Noz da India, Noz-molucana.
SPANISH: Avellano criollo, Calumbán, Camirio, Lumbán, Nuez de bancul, Nuez de candelas.
SUNDANESE: Moentjang.
SWEDISH: Lumbangträ.
THAI: Ma yao, Phothisat, Pu rat.

Gen info
Aleurites is derived from a Greek word aleuron, meaning "floury," because of the appearance of the under
surface of the leaf. The most widespread species is the Candlenut.

Lumbang is a large tree reaching a diameter of 80 to 150 centimeters. Younger parts and the inflorescences are hairy. Leaves have long petioles. Blades are ovate to lanceolate, 10 to 20 centimeters long, entire or lobed. Flowers are white, numerous, 6 to 8 millimeters long, borne on panicles 10 to 15 centimeters long. Fruit is fleshy, ovoid, smooth, 5 to 6 centimeters long, containing 1 or 2 hard-shelled, oily seeds. Shell of the seed is very hard, rough, ridged, about 2.5 millimeters thick. Within the seed is a white, oily, fleshy kernel consisting of a very thin embryo surrounded by a large endosperm.

- Throughout the Philippines, at low and medium altitudes, in second-growth forests, thickets, etc.
- Occurs in tropical Asia to Polynesia.
- Now planted in most tropical countries.

- Seed yields 57-80% inedible, semi-drying oil. (28)
- Oil contains an acrid resin, a purgative principle
- Oil yields essential fatty acids (linoleic and linolenic acids).

- Studies have yielded sterols, flavonoids and triterpenes from the leaves.

- Various extracts and fractions of leaves yielded phenolic compounds, n-hentriacontane, α-amyrin, β-amyrin, stigmasterol, β-sitosterol and campesterol. (See study below) (11)
- Dichlormethane extract of bark yielded 12-hydroxy-13-methoxy-8,11,13- podocarpatrien-3-one (1), spruceanol (2), 3-acetylaleuritolic acid (3), polyprenols, triglycerides and a mixture of β-sitosterol and stigmasterol in a 4:1 ratio. (14)

- Study yielded a new phorbol diester, 13-O-myristyl-20-O-acetyl-12-deoxyphorbol (1), from the benzene extract of the heartwood of Aleurites moluccana, together with, hentriacontane, 6,7-dimethoxycoumarin, 5,6,7-trimethoxycoumarin and beta-sitostenone.
- Study of fresh leaves and stems for essential oil by GC-MS analysis yielded 0.12% v/w and 0.09 %v/w percentage yields of oil, respectively. Major constituents of leaves were α-caryophyllene (10.29%), ß-cubebene (13.77%) and α-farnesene (13.27%). Dominant constituents of stem oil were thymol (43.93%), α-caryophyllene (15.16%), and 4-cyclohexybutyramide (20.94%). (26)

- Considered a drying oil, resembling linseed oil and the Chinese wood oil (tung oil).
- Shells are very hard and difficult to crack; likewise, difficult to separate the kernel from the shell.
- Oil has a light yellow color
- Kernels considered aphrodisiac.
- Like castor oil, it has a mild aperient action.
- Studies have shown anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-pyretic, hypolipidemic, anti-termite, cytotoxic, wound healing, anti-hypersensitivity properties.

Parts used
Kernels, leaves.

- Raw seeds are toxic, but cooked seeds can be eaten sparingly, especially as condiment. A variety found in Vanuatu has not apparent toxic effect.
- Hawaiians have used the roasted, pounded kukui seed kernel mixed with salt and seaweed or chili peppers as a condiment called 'inamona.'
- In the Philippines, the seeds are used as a mild purgative.
- In Madagascar and La Reunion, the leaves, heated with a flatiron, are applied in succession to articulations in cases of acute rheumatism.
- Used for stomach and bowel disorders in children, asthma, bad breath, skin sores and ulcers, for swollen womb, and for rejuvenation after poisoning.
- Kukui nut oil is considered a strong laxative; sometimes used like castor oil.
- Oil has been long used by the Polynesians as a skin moisturizer.
- Kernels used as aphrodisiac.
- Juice of nuts used as a remedy for piles, worms.
- Nuts, soaked in oil, are placed in the anus to relieve piles.
- In India, oil is used as a dressing for ulcers.
- In Indonesia, oil is applied to hair to promote hair growth.
- In Punjab folk medicine, used for headaches, ulcers, fevers, diarrhea and hypocholesterolemia.
- In Brazilian folk medicine, used to treat fever, headaches, tumors, diarrhea and asthma.
- In Japan, bark used for tumors. In Java, bark used for bloody diarrhea. In Sumatra, pounded seeds, burnt with charcoal, applied around navel for costiveness. In Malaysia, pulped kernel or boiled leaves used in poultices for headache, fever, ulcers, swollen joints. In Hawaii, flowers and husk sap used to treat candidiasis in children. (15)
- Oil is purgative, sometimes used lik
e castor oil. Irritant oil rubbed on the scalp as hair stimulant. In Malaya, pulped kernel used as poultice for headaches, fevers, ulcers, and swollen joints. In Java, bark used for bloody diarrhea or dysentery. Bark juice with coconut milk used for sprue. In Malaya, boiled leaves applied for headaches and gonorrhea. (28)
- Oil: Commercial production of oil yields 12-18% of weight of the dry, unhulled fruits. Oil yields as high as 300 kg/ha have been reported. (28)
- Industrial uses
: Used for the preparation of paints, varnishes, and linoleum. Oil extracted from the seed can be used for illumination and soap manufacture.
- Wood preservation: Oil from the nut reported to protect canoes against marine borer damage.
- Kukui oil reported to protect cotton bolls from the boll weevil and prevent feeding by the striped cucumber beetle.
- Cosmetics:
Kukui seed oil is used in the manufacture of various cosmetic products – moisturizers, anti-aging creams, body oils, conditioners, lip gloss, shampoos, etc.
- Fodder:
After removal of the oil, the remaining seed cake can be used as cattle fodder. Alternatively, the seed cake can be used as fertilizer.
- Ornamental:
In Hawaii, empty shells strung to make a popular lei.
- Dye:
In Hawaii, seed husk used to make a black dye for tattooing; the root bark used to make a dye for painting canoes.
- Fuel:
With modification, seed is suitable as substitute for diesel. In Uganda, planted as a backyard tree for firewood. (28)
Toxicity concerns
Candle nuts are toxic when eaten raw.
- This blogspot (Candlenut Poison Antidote) offers alternative folkloric antidotes: coconut cream or water, turmeric, grape skin extract pill, almonds, fish oil, among others. Besides sharing these folkloric remedies, the author also shares his experience with candle nut toxicity. (22)

Chitin chromatographic separation yielded two flavonoids from AM extract: swertisin and 2"-O-rhamnosylswertisin. (2)
Anti-Inflammatory / Antipyretic: Study on the methanolic extract of dried leaves of AM significantly prevented an increase in volume of paw edema in a dose-dependent manner. It also caused an antipyretic effect. Results justifies the ethnic uses of the plant. (3)
Hypolipidemic Activity: Study of the methanol extract of leaves showed a lipid lowering effect mediated through inhibition of hepatic cholesterol biosynthesis and reduction of lipid absorption in the intestine. (4)
Anti-Termite Activity: Study on the Formosan termite (Coptotermes formosanus) showed that oil-treated wood was resistant to termite damage when the wood contained >27% kukui oil by weight. Results indicate that the oil acted primarily as a feeding deterrent and not as a toxic agent. (5)
Antinociceptive: Study on a spray dried extract (SDE) of leaves isolated flavonoids swertisin and 2′′-O-rhamnosylswertisin which were effective in inhibiting the hypernociceptive response induced by carrageenan. (7)
Termite Study: Study on kukul plant oil for termite control properties showed the oil acted primarily as a feeding deterrent and not as a toxic agent.
Antinociceptive / Phytochemicals: Study evaluated various extracts prepared from A. moluccana leaves for analgesic activity using the writhing test in mice. Compounds inhibited acetic-induced abdominal constrictions, more efficaciously than aspirin and paracetamol. Results showed potent antinociceptive action. (see constituents above) (11)
Flavonoid 2"-O-rhamnosylswertisin / Antinociceptive: Study evaluated a dried extract of A. moluccana and the isolated flavonoid 2"-O-rhamnosylswertsin on different models of long-lasting inflammation and neuropathic pain in mice. Oral treatment with the extract and isolated compound attenuated neutrophil migration and IL-1ß levels following carrageenan injection. (12)
Podocarpane Trinorditerpenoids / Cytotoxicity: Study of twigs and leaves of Aleurites moluccana yielded three novel 3,4-seco-podocarpane-type trinorditerpenoids, moluccanic acid (1), moluccanic acid methyl ester (2), and 6,7-dehydromoluccanic acid (3). In cytotoxicity studies, 1-3 showed weak activity against Burkitt's lymphoma cell line, while compound 2 showed moderate cytotoxic activity against HepG2 (hepatocellular carcinoma) human cell line. (13)
Wound Healing / Bark: Study evaluated the wound healing activity of the bark of Aleurites moluccana in three types of rat models viz. excision, incision, and burn wound model. Results showed remarkable wound healing activity, comparable to standard drug nitrofurazone in terms of wound contracting ability, wound closure time, and tensile strength. (16)
Antibacterial: Aleurites moluccana extracts have shown inhibitory activity against S. aureus and P. aeruginosa. Study further investigated the antibacterial activity of acetonitrile, extracts of husk, leaf and stem bark against 8 clinical isolates. The antibacterial action was bactericidal for all bacteria except S. pyogenes where it was bacteriostatic. The highest polyphenol content was found in the methanol extract of stem bark. (18)
Biodiesel: Study investigated the production of methyl ester for use as biodiesel. The biodiesel produced had properties similar to diesel oil except for a higher viscosity. (19) Study concluded that biodiesel production by ethanolysis of candlenut oil can be done under ambient conditions. The biodiesel product has comparable fuel properties with diesel oil and is a suitable alternative to diesel oil. (20)
Antinociceptive / Anti-Inflammatory / Wound Healing: Study of a semisolid formulation containing 0.5 to 1.0% of saturated dried extract was found effective for topical use in treatment of pain, inflammation, and wound healing. (23)
α,β-Amyrenone / Anti-Inflammatory / Antihypersensitivity: A mixture of α,β-amyrenone was isolated from a dichlormethane fraction of A. moluccana and evaluated using a carrageenan-induced paw edema or pleurisy and CFA-induced arthritis models in mice. Results showed α,β-amyrenone interferes with both acute and chronic inflammatory processes, in part, through a reduction of neutrophil migration. It suggests α,β-amyrenone could be a new therapeutic tool for use in painful and inflammatory diseases. (24)
• Effect on Metabolic Profile / Atherogenic / Seeds: Study evaluated the effect of seeds in biochemical and anthropometric profile, and visceral fat of Wistar rats. Results showed no interference in body weight, visceral fat, glycemia, total cholesterol, LDL-c, HDL-c and triglycerides. However, there was an increase in atherogenic indices. Study suggests seeds do not bring health benefits compared to the use of extract of leaves and suggests study of its use to avoid undesirable effects. (27)


Updated April 2017 / June 2015

© Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
IMAGE SOURCES Minor Products of Philippine Forests / Vol 2 / William Brown and Arthur Fisher / FIGURE 44 / Aleurites moluccana (Lumbang), The Source of Lumbang Oil, Dried Fruits and Seeds / 1920
OTHER IMAGE SOURCES / File:Aleurites moluccana-cropped.png / Shahibbul / 2008.12.10 / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCES / English: Aleurites moluccana (leaves and fruit). Location: Maui, Wahinepee / File:Starr 020803-0119 Aleurites moluccana.jpg / 3 August 2002 / Forest & Kim Starr / Click on image to go to source page / Creative Commons/ Wikipedia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Aleurites / Wikipedia
Separation of C-glycoside Flavonoids from Aleurites moluccana Using Chitin and Full N-acetylated Chitin / Michele Morsch et al /
Anti-inflammatory and antipyretic activity of Aleuritis moluccana leaves / Junaid Niazi, Vikas Gupta et al / Asian Journ of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, Vol.3 Issue 1, January-March 2010
Hypolipidaemic activity of methanol extract of Aleurites moluccana / R C Pedrosa, C Meyre-Silva et al / Phytotherapy Research, Volume 16 Issue 8, Pages 765 - 768
Evaluation of kukui oil (Aleurites moluccana) for controlling termites / F.S. Nakayama, and W.L. Osbrink /
Industrial Crops and Products, Vol 31, Issue 2, March 2010, Pages 312-315 / doi:10.1016/j.indcrop.2009.11.009
(6)Sorting Aleurites names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.
Aleurites moluccana (L.) Willd. Leaves: Mechanical Antinociceptive Properties of a Standardized Dried Extract and Its Chemical Markers / Nara L M Quintao, Christiane Meyre-Silva et al / Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011; 2011 / doi: 10.1155/2011/179890
Termites: Chemical and Biological Control for Integrated Pest Management of Invasive Species / Nakayama Francis, Osbrink Weste / Industrial Crops and Products. 31 (2): 312-315.
Aleurites moluccana (kukui) / Craig R Elevitch and Harley I Manner / Species Profiles for Pacific Island Agroforestry, April 2006

Aleurites moluccanus (L.) Willd. (accepted name) / Chinese name / Catalogue of Life, China
Preliminary phytochemical and pharmacological studies of Aleurites moluccana leaves [L.] Willd
. / Meyre-Silva C, Mora TC, Biavatti MW, Santos AR, Dal-Magro J, Yunes RA, Cechinel-Filho V. / Phytomedicine. 1998 Apr;5(2):109-13. doi: 10.1016/S0944-7113(98)80006-8.
Aleurites moluccana and its main ingredient, the flavonoid 2"-O-rhamnosylswertisin, have proming antinociceptive effects in experimental models of hypersensitivity in mice / Nara L M Quintao et al / Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior 102 (2012) 302-311
Three novel 3,4-seco-podocarpane trinorditerpenoids from Aleurites moluccana / Haiyang Liu, Yingtong Di, Junyun Yang, Fei Teng, Yi Lu, Wei Ni, Changxiang Chen *, Xiaojiang Hao * / Tetrahedron Letters 49 (2008) 5150–5151
Chemical constituents of the bark of Aleurites moluccana L. Willd./ Agnes B. Alimboyoguen, Kathlia A. De Castro-Cruz, Chien-Chang Shen, Wen-Tai Li and Consolacion Y. Ragasa* / Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, 2014, 6(5):1318-1320
Aleurites moluccana (L.) Willd. Ecology, silviculture and productivity / Haruni Krisnawati Maarit Kallio Markku Kanninen / 2011 Center for International Forestry Research
/ B. Durga Prasad, B. Chandra Kanth, B. Ram Babu, K. Praveen Kumar and V. Girija Sastry / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Research & Analysis, Vol 1 / Issue 1 / 2011/ 21-25.
Antibacterial activity of aleurites moluccana against some clinical isolates. / Abd. Samah, Othman and Mohamad Razar, Rasyidah / Research Journal of Biotechnology, 5 (3). pp. 25-30, 2010.
Biodiesel Production from High Iodine Number Candlenut Oil / Hary Sulistyo, Suprihastuti S. Rahayu, Gatot Winoto, I M. Suardjaja / World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, Vol:2 2008-12-23
Crude Candlenut Oil Ethanolysis to Produce Renewable Energy at Ambient Condition
/ Hary Sulistyo, Suprihastuti S. Rahayu, I M. Suardjaja and Umar H. Setiadi / Proceedings of the World Congress on Engineering and Computer Science 2009 Vol I WCECS 2009, October 20-22, 2009, San Francisco, USA
A new phorbol diester from Aleurites moluccana. / Satyanarayana P1, Kumar KA, Singh SK, Rao GN. / Fitoterapia. 2001 Mar;72(3):304-6.
Candlenut (Aleurites moluccana) Poison Antidote
Antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory and wound healing features in animal models treated with a semisolid herbal medicine based on Aleurites moluccana L. Willd. Euforbiaceae standardized leaf extract: semisolid herbal. / Cesca TG, Faqueti LG, Rocha LW, Meira NA, Meyre-Silva C, de Souza MM, Quintão NL, Silva RM, Filho VC, Bresolin TM. / J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Aug 30;143(1):355-62. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.06.051
Contribution of α,β-Amyrenone to the Anti-Inflammatory and Antihypersensitivity Effects of Aleurites moluccana (L.) Willd. / Nara Lins Meira Quintão, Lilian W. Rocha, Gislaine Franciele Silva, Simone Reichert, Vanessa D. Claudino, Ruth Meri Lucinda-Silva, Angela Malheiros, Márcia Maria De Souza, Valdir Cechinel Filho, Tania M. Bellé Bresolin, Marina da Silva Machado, Theodoro Marcel Wagner, and Christiane Meyre-Silva / BioMed Research International, Volume 2014 (2014) / http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/636839
Aleurites moluccanus / Synonyms / The Plant List
Analysis of the Essential Oils of Leaves and Stems of Crassocephalum crepidioides Growing in South Western Nigeria /
Owokotomo, I. A., Ekundayo, O., Oladosu, I. A., Aboaba, S. A. / International Journal of Chemistry Vol. 4, No. 2; April 2012 / doi:10.5539/ijc.v4n2p34
Effects of the seeds of Aleurites moluccana on the metabolic profile of Wistar rats / Lara Cristina Casadei Ubeda, Adriano Cressoni Araújo, Sandra Maria Barbalho, Patrícia Cincotto dos Santos Bueno, Élen Landgraf Guiguer, Maricelma da Silva Soares de Sousa, Felipe de Assis Dias, Ana Luiza Modesto, Renan Aguera Pinheiro, Vanessa Hatanaka Marutani and Marcela Prando / The Pharma Innovation Journal 2017; 6(1): 98-103
Aleurites moluccana / World Agro Forestry

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.

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