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Family Myrtaceae
Syzygium antisepticum (Blume) Merr. & L.M.Perry

Scientific names Common names
Acmena grata (Wight) Walp. Mariig (Filipino)
Calyptranthes aromatica Blume Shore eugenia (Engl.)
Caryophyllus antisepticus Blume  
Eugenia antiseptica (Blume) Kuntze  
Eugenia collinsiae Craib  
Eugenia cuprea Koord. & Valeton  
Eugenia glaucicalyx Merr.  
Eugenia grata Wight  
Eugenia grata var. nervosa  
Jambosa aromatica Miq.  
Myrtus quadrangularis Buch.-Ham. ex Duthie  
Syzygium antisepticum (Blume) Merr. & L.M.Perry  
Syzygium glaucicalyx (Merr.) Merr.  
Syzygium gratum (Wight) S.N.Mitra  
Syzygium gratum var. confertum Chantar. & J.Parn.  
Syzygium ovatifolium Merr. & L.M.Perry  
Syzygium antisepticum (Blume) Merr. & L.M.Perry is an accepted name. KEW: Plants of the World Online
Needs: Common names for the plant.

Other vernacular names
BORNEO: Aeba, Jambu hutan, Obah.
INDONESIA: Gelam buut, Ki tambaga, Pancal kidang.
MALAY: Gelam tikus, Kelat gelam.

Gen info
- Syzygium is a large genus of about 1000 species occurring in the African and Asian tropics. About 70 species are found in Indo-China, 80 in Thailand, 190 in Peninsular Malaysia, 50 in Java, 165 in Borneo, 1809 in the Philippines, and 140 in New Guinea. In the Philippines and New Guinea about 80% of the species are endemic. (8)

Syzygium antisepticum is a tree that grows up to 34 m tall. Bark is copper-red, papery and flaky. Leaves are arranged in opposite pairs, lanceolate to elliptic, 2.5-8 cm long by 1.5-4 cm wide. Leaves dark green in the upper surface (adaxial), paler on the underside (abaxial). Flowers are borne in clusters; the individual blossom small with numerous, prominent, white stamens. Fruits are oblong-spherical, about 0.6 cm in diameter, white when ripe. (6)

- Native to the Philippiines.
- Found in Bataan, Laguna, Palawan, in primary forests at low elevation, ascending to 600 m.
- Also native to Andaman Is., Assam, Bangladesh, Borneo, Cambodia, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Myanmar, Nicobar Is., Sumatera, Thailand, Vietnam. (
- Ornamental cultivation.

- Bioassay-guided separation of young leaves extract isolated four triterpenoids (betulinic acid, ursolic acid, jacoumaric acid, corosolic acid) and one sterol glucoside (daucosterol) from the ethyl acetate extract, and three polyphenols (gallic acid, myricitrin, and quercitrin) from the methanol extract. (see study below) (3)

Studies have suggest antimicrobial, antioxidant, anticholinesterase, antimutagenic activities.

Parts used


- Young shoots cooked and eaten as vegetable. Also added to curries.
- In Thailand, young reddish leaves, somewhat astringent and sour, are consumed as vegetable. (
- Used for treatment of dyspepsia, indigestion, peptic ulcer, diarrhea, bacterial infections, asthma, and cardiovascular diseases. (4)
- Used for puerperal fever..
- In Thai medicine, leaves sued as anti-flatulence.

- Bark: Yields tannin, which is used for toughening fishing nets and coloring clothes with reddish-brown or black. (5)

- Wood: Heavy, moderately hard, somewhat durable; moderately resistant to fungi and termites. Used for construction of houses, furniture, implements, musical instruments, tool handles joinery, flooring. (5)

Antimicrobial / Leaves:
Study evaluated S. antisepticum extracts for its novel anti-staphylococcal  potential, its activity in a food model, and its composition and antimicrobial mechanism. A leaf extract showed strongest antimicrobial activity (MIC 0.125 mg/mL). The extract showed relatively high total phenolic content (276.3 mg GAE/g extract) and antioxidant activities (90.2-138.0 mg TE/g extract). Food validation study showed higher concentration inhibited or reduced staphylococcal growth in cooked chicken, but caused color change on the meat surface. GC-MS identified ß-caryophyllene (12.76%) as the dominant volatile compound in the extract.  Both crude extract and pure ß-caryophyllene induced membrane changes in S. aureus. Results suggest good anti-staphylococcal properties with membrane-damaging antimicrobial mechanism. (2)
Antioxidant / Anticholinesterase / Leaves: Bioassay-guided separation of young leaves extracts isolated four triterpenoids and one sterol glucoside from an EA extract, and three polyphenols from the MeOH extract. The MeOH extract and isolated compounds strongly elicited DPPH radical scavenging activity. In HEK-293 cells, it exhibited  cellular antioxidant effects by attenuating H2O2-induced ROS production and increasing catalase, GPx-1, and GRe. Myricitrin and quercitrin also suppressed ROS production induced by H2O2 and induced GPx-1 and catalase production in HEK-293 cells. Results suggest young leaves of S. antisepticum are potential sources of antioxidant and anticholinesterase agents. (see constituents above) (3)
Antioxidant / Antimutagenic / Leaves: Study evaluated the antioxidant and antimutagenic activities of leaf extracts of S. antisepticum. The ethyl acetate fraction, crude extract, and water extract exhibited strong DPPH scavenging activities with IC50s ranging from 17.28 to 15.96 µg/mL. All extracts at concentration of 200 µg/plate exhibited strong mutagenic activity both Ames test in Salmonella typhimurium TA 98 and TA 100 strains. Study suggests potential as a functional food for prevention of diseases caused by free radicals and mutation. (9)

- Wild-crafted.
- Ornamental cultivation.

September 2022

IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph:  Syzygium antisepticum fruiting twig / Copyright © 2011 by Leonardo L. Co [ref. DOL32975] / Non-Commercial Use / click on image to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph: Syzygium gratum flowers / Psumuseum / CC by SA 4.0 / click on image to go to source page / Wikipedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph: Syzygium gratum -- Distinctive red trunk with flaky bark / Psumuseum / CC by SA 4.0 click on image to go to source page / Wikipedia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Syzygium antisepticum / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Antimicrobial efficacy of Syzygium antisepticum plant extract against Staphylococcus aureus and Methicillin-resistant S. aureus and its application potential with cooked chicken / Wenqian Yuan, Hyun-Gyun Yuk / Food Microbiology, 2017; 72 / DOI: 10.1016/j.fm.2017.12.002
Antioxidant and Anticholinesterase Activities of Extracts and Phytochemicals of Syzygium antisepticum leaves / Supachoke Mangmool, Issaree Kunpukpong, Worawan Kitphati, Natthinee Anantachoke / Molecules, 26(11): 3295 / DOI: 10.3390/molecules26113295
Traditional uses, pharmacological activities, and phytochemical constituents of the genus Syzygium: A review / ABM Neshar Uddin, Farhad Hossain, AHM Khurshid Alam et al / Food Sci Nutr., 2022; 10(6): pp 1789-1819 / DOI(: 10.1002/fns3.2797 / PMID: 35702283
Syzygium antisepticum / Ken Fern: Tropical Plants Database / Useful Tropical Plants
Syzygium antisepticum / National Parks: FLORA & FAUNA WEB
Roles of Syzygium in Anti-Cholinesterase, Anti-Diabetic, Anti-Inflammatory, and Antioxidant: From Alzheimer's Perspective / Mira Syahfriena Amir Rawa et al / Plants, 2022; 11, 1476 /
DOI: 10.3390/plants11111476
Syzygium / PROSEA
Antioxidant and Antimutagenic Activities of Syzygium antisepticum (Blume) Merr. & L.M. Perry Leaf Extracts / Methin Phadungkit, Surapong Suksiripattanapong, Kreepol Manwiwattanakun / Journal of Science and Technology Mahasarakham, 40(5): 2564
SR: Antioxidant and Vascular Protective Activities of Cratoxylum formosum, Syzygium gratum, and Limnophila aromatica / Upa Kukongviriyapan et al / Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 2007; 30(4) / pISSN: 0918-6158 / eISSN: 1347-5215

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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