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Family Elaeocarpaceae
Elaeocarpus grandiflorus Sm.

Scientific names Common names
Cerea radicans Thouars Mala (Tag.)
Elaeocarpus grandiflorus Sm. Blue olive berry (Engl.)
Elaeocarpus lanceolatus Blume Ceylon olive (Engl.)
Elaeocarpus radicans (Thouars) Hiern Fairy petticoats (Engl.)
Monocera grandiflora (Sm.) Hook.             Fringe bells (Engl.)
Monocera lanceolata (Blume) Hassk.              Lily of the valley tree (Engl.)
Perink grandiflora (Sm.) Raf.               
Elaeocarpus grandiflorus Sm. is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
BURMA: Ye saga.
INDONESIA: Anyang-anyang, Anjang-anjang, Ki ambito, Kemaitan.
LAO:  Pherng', Kok mark, Som pheung.
MALAYSIA: Ando, Andor.
MYANMAR: Ye-saga.
THAILAND: Khrai yoi, Mun nam, Phi nai.
VIETNAM: C[oo]m hoa l[ows]n, C[oo]m n[uw][ows]c, Com la thon.

Gen info
- Elaeocarpus is a genus of nearly 500 species of flowering plants in the family Elaeocarpaceae. The plants are trees or shrubs, a few epiphytes or lianes, with simple leaves, flowers with four or five petals, and usually blue fruits. (12)
- The genus was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 in Species Plantarum.
- Etymology: The genus name Elaeocarpus derives from Greek words elaia (olive) and carpos (fruit), meaning olive-fruited. The species epithet is a combination of Latin words grandis (big) and flor, oris (flower), with obvious reference.

Mala is a rather large and smooth tree growing to a height of 24 meters. Leaves are elliptic-lanceolate, 9 to 14 centimeters long, 2.5 to 4 centimeters wide, pointed at both ends. Flowers are white, about 2 centimeters long, growing on short sprays at the top of branchlets. Sepals are lanceolate, 15 millimeters long, 3 to 4 millimeters wide. Petals are white, oblong-obovate, about 2 centimeters long, and deeply fringed at the tip. Fruit is a drupe, pale green, ellipsoid, with a thin layer of flesh.

Elaeocarpus grandiflorus Sm. (1809) is an evergreen tree up to 25 m tall with grey-brown bark and leaves, on a 0,5-4 cm long petiole, grouped at the apex of the branches, alternate, simple, elliptic to lanceolate with sinuate or serrate margin, 5-20 cm long and 2-5 cm broad, of reddish colour when young, then intense green. The inflorescences are axillar hanging racemes, up to 10 cm long, carrying drooping hermaphroditic flowers with 5 lanceolate sepals of pink or bright red colour, 1,5 cm long and 0,4 cm broad, campanulate corolla with 5 white obovate petals with fringed upper margin, of 2-2,5 cm of length and 1 cm of breadth, and 30-40 stamina. The fruits are ellipsoid capsules with pointed apex, 2-4 cm long and about 2 cm of diameter, of pale green colour; the endocarp is covered by thin curved spines. (11)

- Native to the Philippines.
- Also native to Borneo, Cambodia, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Myanmar, Sumatera, Thailand, Vietnam.
- Grows primarily in wet tropical biome.

- Leaves yield tannin, geraniin and 3, 4, 5-trimethoxy geraniin.
- Tannin, geraniin, and 3,4,5-trimethoxy geraniin have been isolated from E. grandiflorus leaves (Rahman et al, 1998). (7)

- Bark is very bitter.
- Considered antibacterial, antiviral, antidiuretic.
- Studies suggest antibacterial,
HIV1 protease inhibitory, antidiabetic, antiobesity, antioxidant properties.

Parts used
Bark, leaves, fruits, seeds.


- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.MalaPD3.jpg
- Leaf decoction drunk as tonic and used for treatment of bilious afflictions.
- Crushed bark used for poulticing ulcers.
- Leaves and seeds are bitter; used as tonic.
- Leaves used for treatment of syphilis.
- Used for diseases of women.
- In Indonesia, fruit used for dysentery and bladder pain; bark, for kidney inflammation, and topically for ulcers.
- In Malaysia, used after childbirth as general tonic.
Ground bark used in hot water mixture with other plant materials to improve blood circulation, encourage contraction of the uterus, expel wind, and as laxative. (6)
- Water extract of leaves, fruit, and twigs has been used traditionally tor treatment of diabetes. (7)

Anti-Diabetic / Concern on Long-Term Effects:
Study evaluated the hypoglycemic effect of a water extract of Elaecarpus grandiflorus in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. The water extract exhibited dose-dependent hypoglycemic effect. However, results suggest the extract should not be used for longer than two consecutive weeks. However, the extract was not able to restore plasma glucose to baseline level. Close follow up for toxicity should be done during chronic use of E. grandiflorus.
HIV1 Protease Inhibitory Activity: Aqueous extracts of 75 different traditional medicines in China, Japan, and Indonesia were screened for possible inhibitory activity against HIV-1 protease. Forty extracts showed inhibitory activity at concentration of 250 µg/mL. E. grandiflorus (fruit) showed inhibition of 53.9% at 250 µg/mL and 23% at 25 µg/mL.
• PTP1B (Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase) Inhibition / Antidiabetic and Anti-Obesity: Study evaluated water extracts of 18 plants--traditional components in Jamu antidiabetic and antiobesity formulations--for inhibitory effect on protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B). About 44% of the examined samples, including Elaeocarpus grandiflorus, showed more than 80% inhibition against PTP1B, with IC50s ranging from 2.05 to 6.90 µg/mL. A disaccharide from E. grandiflorus could be an active inhibitor towards PTP1B. (8)
Antioxidant / Flavonoid Content: Cell suspension cultures of E. grandiflorus produce flavonoids and secondary metabolites. Study evaluated the antioxidant activity and flavonoid profile of cell csuspension culture extract of EG from leaf stalk callus. Results showed 32 types of flavonoids, of which 11 compounds had concentration of more than 1% of total bioactive compounds and had potential for antioxidant activity. There was not correlation between flavonoid concentration and antioxidant activity. Flavonoid type, composition, and antioxidant activity were not significantly different between ages of EG cell suspension cultures. (9)
Decrease Blood Glucose through Insulin Receptor Pathway: Study evaluated the antidiabetic effect of E. grandiflorus on alloxan induced Wistar rats. Results showed an antidiabetic activity attributed to flavanoid action on insulin receptor pathway and involvement of HK2, PTPN1, AKT1, PI3KR1, HRAS, and GSK3B protein. (10)


Updated June 2023 / October 2019 / October 2013

IMAGE SOURCE: Photo / Elaeocarpus grandiflorus / © WELLGROW Horti Trading / Non-Commercial Use / CLICK ON IMAGE TO GO TO SOURCE PAGE / WELLGROW Horti Trading
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photo / Elaeocarpus grandiflorus / Dinesh Valke / image modified / CC BY-SA 2.0 / click on image or link to go to source page / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photo -- Elaeocarpus grandiflorus fruits / Copyright © Shoang / image modified / Non-commercial use / click on image or link to go to source page / Thuc Vat Viet Nam - Botanyvn
Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Antidiabetic and Long-term Effects of Elaeocarpus grandiflorus / Chunlada Bualee, Anan Ounaroon and Rattima Jeenapongsa / Naresuan University Journal, 2007; 15(1): pp 17-28
SCIENTIFIC BASIS FOR THE CHEMICAL CONSTITUENT AND THERAPEUTIC USE OF ELAEOCARPUS SPECIES: A REVIEW / Gagan Shah, Prabh Simran Singh, S.Mann, R.Shri / International Journal of Institutional Pharmacy and Life Sciences 1(1): July-August 2011
Screening of Traditional Medicines for their Inhibitory Activity Against HIV-1 Protease / Hong-Xi Xu, Min Wan, Boon-Nee Loh, Oi-Lian Kon, Peng-Wai, Sim Keng Yeow / Phytotherapy Research,1996; 10(3): pp 207-210 / ISSN: 0951-418X / DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1573(199605)10:3<207::AID-PTR812>3.0.CO;2-U / Record Number: 19960305490
Elaeocarpus grandiflorus J. E. Smith / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED
Elaeocarpus grandiflorus / Synonyms / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Medicinal Plants used for Postnatal Care in Malay Traditional Medicine in the Peninsular Malaysia / Jamia Azdina Jamal, Zakiah Abd. Ghafar & Khairana Husain / Pharmacognosy Journal, Aug 2011; 3(24): pp 15-24 / DOI: 10.5530/pj.2011.24.4
SCIENTIFIC BASIS FOR THE CHEMICAL CONSTITUENT AND THERAPEUTIC USE OF ELAEOCARPUS SPECIES: A REVIEW / Gagan Shah, Prabh Simran Singh, A.S.Mann, R.Shri / International Journal of Institutional Pharmacy and Life Sciences, July-August 2011; 1(1)
Potent water extracts of Indonesian medicinal plants against PTP1B / Azis Saifudin. Tepy Usia, Subehan AbLallo, Hiroyuki Morita, Ken Tanaka, Yasuhiro Tezuka / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, Jan 2016; 6(1): pp 38-43  / DOI: 10.1016/j.apjtb.2015.09.021
Profile of Flavonoid and Antioxidant Activity in Cell Suspension Culture of Elaeocarpus grandiflorus / Noor Aini Habibah, Nugrahaningsih Nugrahaningsih et al /  Biosaintifika: Journal of Biology and Biology Education, 2021; 13(3) / DOI: 10.15294/biosaintifika.v13i3.32715

Extract of cell culture Rejasa (Elaeocarpus grandiflorus) Decrease Blood Glucose Through Insulin Receptor Pathway / W H Nugrahaningsih, Noor Aini Habibah, Ika Fitria Ariyani /  Biosaintifika, 2022; 14(3) / DOI: 10.15294/biosaintifika.v14i3.40221
Elaeocarpus grandiflorus / Pietro Puccio, Mario Beltramini / Monaco Nature Encyclopedia
Elaeocarpus / Wikipedia

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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