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Family Meliaceae
Melia azedarach L.

Ku Lian

Scientific names Common names
Azedara speciosa Raf. Paraiso (Tsg., Span.)
Azedarach commelinii Medik. Bakayan tree (Engl.)
Azedarach deleteria Medik. Bead tree (Engl.)
Azedarach fraxinifolia Moench Cape syringa  (Engl.)
Azedarach odoratum Noronha China berry (Engl.)
Azedarach sempervirens (L.) Kuntze China umbrella tree (Engl.)
Melia aethiopica Welw. Indian lilac (Engl.)
Melia angustifolia Schumach. & Thonn. Philippine neem tree (Engl.)
Melia argentea Buch.-Ham. ex Wall. Pride of India (Engl.)
Melia arguta DC.  
Melia australasica A.Juss.  
Melia australis Sweet  
Melia azedarach L.  
Melia bogoriensis Koord. & Valeton.  
Melia bombolo Welw.  
Melia bukayun Royle  
Melia candollei A.Juss.  
Melia chinensis Siebold ex Miq.  
Melia cochinchinensis M. Roem.  
Melia commelini Medik. ex Steud.  
Melia flaccida Zipp. ex Span.  
Melia floribunda Carriere  
Melia florida Salisb.  
Melia guineensis G.Don  
Melia japonica G.Don  
Melia javanica M.Roem.  
Melia orientalis M.Roem.  
Melia robusta Roxb. ex G.Don  
Melia sambucina Blume  
Melia sempervirens (L.) Sw.  
Melia superba Roxb.  
Melia toosenda Siebold & Zucc.  
Quisumbing's compilation lists Melia azedarach Linn.(Paraiso, China berry tree, Pride of India) as a separate species from Melia dubia (M. azedarach Blanco, M candollei, malunggaian). Some compilations list M. azedarach Linn as synonym of M dubia, M candollei, M sempervirens. There is a confusing crossover and sharing of synonyms and common names.
Quisumbing's compilation lists Melia azedarach Linn. (Paraiso) as a ornamental shrub or small tree with the fruits attributed with toxicity. Melia Dubia Cav. (Malunggaian) is decribed as a deciduous tree growingt 8 to 15 meters, with no mention of the fruit's toxicity.
Some compilations, publications and studies list  them as synonyms.
StuartXchange previously published Melia azedarach and Melia dubia as synonyms under the local name "Paraiso". I have revised the page and separated the two plants as separate species:: Paraiso (Melia azedarach) and Bagalunga (Melia dubia).  / Dr. G. Stuart
Melia azedarach L. is an accepted name.. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
AFRIKAANS: Bessieboom, Bessieboom syringa, Maksering.
ASSAMESE: Ghora nim, Khammaga.
BENGALI: Bakarjam, Ghoranim, Mahanim, Gora-nim.
CHINESE: Lian, Ku lian, Lian shu, Zi hua shu, Sen shu, Chuan lian zi, Jin ling zi.
CROATIAN: Melija, Očenašica.
CZECH: Zederach hladký.
DANISH: Paternostertræ.
DUTCH: Kralenboom.
FRENCH: Adrézarach, Lilas de antilles, Lilas des indes, Fleurs lilas, Mélie Pater-noster, Piment d'eau.
GERMAN: Chinesischer Holunder, Indianischer Lilak, Indischer Zederachbaum, Indischer, Paternosterßaum, Persischer Flieder, Zedarachßaum.
GREEK: Agriopaschaliá, Louloudiá, Moschokarfia, Paschaliá, Pseudomelia, Solomós.
GUJARATI: Bakan limado, Bakai nimbu.
HINDI: Bakain, Bakānā nīmba, Drek, Deikna, Bakarja.
ITALIAN: Albero dei rosari, Albero dei paternostri, Perlaro.
INDONESIAN: Marambung, Mindi, Gringging.
JAVANESE: Gingging.
KHMER: Dâk'hiën, Sadau khmaôch.
KOREAN: Meol gu seul na mu.
LAOTIAN: H'ienx, Kadau s'a:ngz.
MALAY : Gringging, Marambung, Mindi, Mindi kecil .
MARATHI: Bakan nimb, Bakenu, Khaibasi.
NEPALI: Bakena, Bakaina, Bakaino.
PERSIAN: Zanzalakht
POLISH: Miotla.
PORTUGUESE : Amargoseira, Amargoseira-do-Himalaio, Árvore-santa, Cinamomo, Conteira, Lilás-da-Índia, Lilás-das-Índias, Margoseira-do-Himalaio, Mélia, Paraíso, Sabonete-de-soldado.
PUNJABI: Drek, Dhek, Chein, Jek, Kachen, Bakain.
SANSKRIT: Dreka, Maha nimba, Ramyaka.
SPANISH : Agriaz, Agrión, Árbol de los rosarios, Arbol del para, Árbol del Paraíso, Árbol santo, Azedaraque, Cinamomo, Flor del paraiso, Melia, Paraíso, Paraíso sombrilla, Piocha, Rosariera.
THAI: Hian, Lian, Lian bai yai, Khian, Krian.
TURKISH: Tespih aǧacı.
URDU: Maghz-e-gakain, Bakaayan, Bakain, Dharek, Dhrek.
VIETNAMESE : Cây xoan, Sâ dông.

Gen info
- Melia is a genus of flowering trees in the family Meliaceae.
- Etymology: The genus name Melia derives from Greek word 'melia' used by Theophrastus (c. 371-c.287 BC) for Fraxinus
ornus, which has similar leaves. The species epithet is from French 'azedarac', which is from the Persian 'azad dirakht' meaning 'free or noble tree.' (4)

Paraiso is a shrub and small tree, usually not more than 3 or 4 meters in height.  The leaves are bipinnate, ocassionally tripinnate, 20 to 40 cm long.  The leaflets are numerous, oblong-ovate, toothed, and 4 to 7 cm long.  The flowers are fragrant, 5-parted, and borne on panicles 10 to 20 cm long.  The petals are about 1 cn long, oblong-spatulate, and pale lilac, while the staminal-tube is usually dark purple and about 7 mm long.  The fruit is ovoid or subglobose, and about 1 cm in length.  (Quisumbing)

- Native to the Philippines.
- Mention is made it was introduced in earlier times from China.
- Cultivated as ornamental for its fragrant flowers.
- Along the seashore, and in thickets and secondary forests , etc., and inland, at low and medium altitudes.

- In Ilocos Norte, Quezon, Bulacan, Bataan, Rizal, and Camarines Provinces in Luzon; and in Mindoro, Negros, Cebu, Siquijor, Bohol, and Mindanao.
- Also native to Assam, Bangladesdh, Cambodis,  China, Himalay, Hainan, India, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is.,  Nepal, New Guinea, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, Sri Lanka, Sumatra, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia. (1)
- Also reported from India to tropical Africa, southern China and Taiwan, and through Malaya to tropical Australia.

Leaf extract yielded alkaloids, tannins, saponins, phenols, steroids, terpenoids, glycosides, and flavonoids. (27)
- Bark yields a bitter substance, named margosin by Cornish, and azadarin by Piddington.
- Study isolated paraisine, an alkaloid from the bark of the roots, which was soluble in petrol ether, benzene and chloroform.
- Neem oil, Veepa oil or Margosa oil is a yellow fixed oil extracted from the seeds, its bitter disagreeable taste and alliaceous odor being due to the sulphur content.
- Study isolated an oil from the kernels, consisting of butyric and valeric acids 2.31%, stearic acid 21.38%, palmitic acid 12.62%, oleic acid 52.08%, linoleic acid 2.12%. arachidic and liquoceric acids 0.74%, and unsaturated resinous acids 2.76%. (Roy & Dott)
- Aqueous and ethanolic extracts of leaves yielded alkaloids, carbohydrates, reducing sugars, flavanoids, glycoside, tannins, saponins, proteins and amino acids. (66)
- Aqueous and ethanolic extracts of leaves yielded alkaloids, carbohydrates, reducing sugars, flavanoids, glycoside, tannins, saponins, proteins and amino acids. (31)
- Methanol extract of leaves yielded 48 bioactive compounds by GC-MS method. The major constituents were phytol (11.04%-diterpene), quercetin (16.47%-flavanoids), palmitic acid (15.49%-saturated fatty acid), 9,12,15-octadecatrienoic acid (3.43% - n-alkanoic acids). (37)
- Study of ethanolic extract of dried leaves yielded alkaloids, glycosides, tannins, saponins, and flavonoids. (see study below) (47)

- Fruit has a bitter, nauseous taste.
- Fruit considered purgative, emollient, vermifuge.
- Fruit has reported toxicity.

- Bark is bitter, tonic, astringent, and antiperiodic.
- Leaves are stringent and stomachic.
- Seeds are emetic, laxative, anthelmintic.
- In Unani medicine in Arab countries and Ayurvedic medicine in India, used as antioxidative, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, insecticidal, rodenticidal, antidiarrheal, deobstruent, diuretic, antidiabetic, cathartic, emetic, antirheumatic, and antihypertensive. (25)
- Studies have suggested antidiabetic, antimicrobial, antiviral, fungistatic, antioxidant, quorum sensing, anticancer, antiurolithiatic, mosquito larvicidal properties.

Toxicity concerns
- Reports on information regarding the toxic nature of the fruit of this plant is conflicting.  However, several cases have been reported in South Africa, where the death of children is ascribed to poisoning by syringa fruit. Hogs, sheep, goats, rabbits, and guinea pigs are susceptible to the syringa poison, pigs being the most susceptible animals, and goats less so than sheep.  Muscovy ducks were not killed even by relatively high doses of the plant material.  Dogs vomited immediately after being drenched, and although they showed symptoms of poisoning, they recovered after several hours.  The symptoms produced in the fatal cases are paralysis and narcosis.  Death usually occurs through suffocation.  Irritation of the gastro intestinal tract is also evident, even when the administration is subcutaneous.  The toxic substance is thermostable. The pulp of the seeds is fatal to dogs.(Quisumbing)
- Fruit
is highly toxic to warm blooded animals. Ripe fruits are more toxic than green unripe ones. As few as six fruits can cause nausea, spasm, even fatalities in children. (Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas / Diggs, Lipscomb & O'Kennon / 1999) (21)
All plant parts can cause gastric irritation and liver and kidney deterioration. (21)
- Despite reported medicinal use, many advise against eating of seeds and caution on use of other plant parts. The bark and young flowers are reportedly less toxic than the berries. Some report the fresh leaves to be harmless.
- Report on Human Poisoning: Review of Chinese medical literature reports that human M. azedarach poisoning occur when 6 to 9 fruits, 30 to 40 seeds, or 400 g of bark are consumed. Symptoms occur within 4-6 hrs, or as short as 1/2 hour, consisting of weakness, myalgia, numbness and ptosis. M azedarach poisoning may result in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, respiratory or neurological effects, and death in severe cases.
- Case Report on a Fatality: There have been scattered reports of human fatalities and non-fatal toxicities: (1) A woman who died after a bark decoction of M azedarach was taken for dysmenorrhea. (2) A fatality from a bark decoction enema. (3) Illnesses from decoctions and infusions causing stomatitis, hematemesis, oliguria.
- Animals: Pulp of seeds reportedly fatal to dogs.

Parts used
Fruit, leaves, stems, seeds.



- Leaves are cooked; imparts a bitter flavor; used as pot-herb, in curries and soup.
(Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World / Hedrick UP / 1972) (see toxicity concerns above) (21)
- In India, the fruit, with its bitter and nauseous taste, is used for colic.
- Decoction of root bark used as cathartic and emetic.
- In India, before quinine, root bark used for malaria.
- Fruit and stem bark are anthelmintic.
- Seeds externally used as anti-rheumatic.
- In Indo-China,, seeds used to treat typhoid fever and urinary retention.
- Infusion of bark used as febrifuge especially for periodic fevers; also used for thirst and nausea.
- Bark used as antidiarrheal, deobstruent, diuretic. Used for treatment of nausea, vomiting, stomachache, loss of appetite, and debility . Stems used for asthma. Roots are vulnerary, astringent, antiseptic, and antiperiodic. Leaves are antidiarrheal and insecticidal. Fruits are tonic. (76)
- Poultice of bark used in leprosy and scrofulous ulcers.

- Leaves used in a variety of forms, such as poultice, wash, ointment or liniment for external applications to ulcers and skin diseases.
- Internally, infusion of fresh leaves used as a bitter vegetable tonic and alterative. (The stools become a brilliant yellow after use.) Infusion also used for chronic malarial fevers; and as a powerful alterative for chronic syphilitic infections.
- Oil applied to erysipelas, scrofula, and various skkin diseases.
- Decoction of leaves used for treatment of hernia and hysteria.
- Crushed leaves used as stimulant and antiseptic poultice for boils and sores.
- In Sindh, poultice of leaves used for treatment of sprains.
-  Paste of flowers used for treatment of lice and scalp eruptions.
- Flower poultice used to relieve nervous headaches.
- In
Concan, juice of green fruit mixed with sulfur and curds, heated in a copper pot, used as application for scabies and sores infested by maggots.
- In the Tamil, Nadu area, paste of berries applied in leprosy.
Herbal combo of papaya leaf juice, malai vembu, and hill neem or common neem has been given to dengue patients, the decoction taken twice daily for a week.
- Malai vembu juice also used for diabetes and chicken pox.
- In the Tamil, Nadu, paste of leaves and seeds applied locally to treat small pox, rheumatism, and skin diseases. Young twigs used as toothbrush.
- In Ayurveda: Grahi-inspissant, stomachic, digestive; Kasahara-removes cough; Pittahara-pacifies pitta dosha; Raktadoshahr-blood purifying. Bark used for asthma, hallucinations, malaria, nausea, piles, tumor, urinary diseases, vomiting, rat poisoning. (23)
- In Ayurveda, used for leprosy, inflammation, cardiac disorders and scrofula; as antihelmintic, antilithic, diuretic.
- Seeds are emetic, laxative and anthelmintic; in Indo-China, used for typhoid fever and urinary retention.
- Oil used for syphilitic sores and indolent ulcers; also, for leprosy, suppurating scrofulous glands and rheumatism.
- Oil used as application for erysipelas, scrofula, and various skin diseases; also, as parasiticide in various cutaneous affects as ringworm and scabies.

- Fruit used as purgative and emollient; useful for intestinal worms, urinary affections and piles.
- Paste of flowers used to destroy headlice and associated scalp eruptions. Also, used for prickly heat.
- In Sidh, poultice of leaves used for sprains.
- In Mauritius, the root bark is used as anthelmintic; in Algeria, as tonic and antipyretic; elsewhere, the heartwood is used to relieve asthma, as emetic or as emmenagogue.
- In India, seeds used for pile s; bark used as gargle for mouth ulcers; leaves used as mouth wash for gingivitis; seed powder used for leucorrhea, menorrhagia, and intestinal parasites; bark decoction used as blood purifier; dried leaves, bark and seeds used for goiter; leaf decoction used as vaginal wash; boiled leaves applied topically for arthritic and gout pains. (72)
- Wood: Timber is useful, durable but light and not resistant to white ants. in Java, used for outriggers of boats; In Java and Sumatra, for interiors of houses; in Tonkin, as uprights of houses. Resembles mahogany; used to manufacture agricultural implements, furniture, boxes, tool handles, cabinetry. Known resistance to termites. (57)
- Fodder:
Leaves lopped for fodder and are highly nutritious.
- Fuel / Illuminant:
Used as fuelwood. Oil used as illuminant.
Poison / Insecticidal: Contains toxic components; aqueous and alcoholic extracts of leaves and seed use for insect, mites and nematode pest control.
- Insecticidal: Leaf extract has insecticidal property; repels insects in clothing. Powdered dust of fruit, crude extract of wood and bark are also insecticidal.
- Dye:
Bark yields a red dye.

- Crafts / Ornamental: Fruit stones used as beads in making necklaces and rosaries. (57)

Silver Nanoparticles / Enhanced Antibacterial Activity / Wound Healing /Antioxidant / Leaves: Study reports on the eco-friendly biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles  using an aqueous leaf extract of M. azedarach. Phytoconstituents  like polyphenols, flavonoids and terpenoids may have acted as reducing and capping agents. The NPs showed enhanced antibacterial activity against E. coli and B. subtilis, potential wound healing activity on cell scratch assay, high antidiabetic activity by a-amylase and a-glucosidase inhibition assays and antioxidant activity by DPPH and ABTS radical scavenging assays, (5)
Antiulcer / Fruits: Study evaluated the antiulcer effect of some active ingredients  present in the lipid part of the fruits of M. azedarach  in male rats with acute ulcers induced by gipsing. Gastric juice analysis showed a significant decrease in free HCl (p<0.001) induced by total lipids; total HCl and total acidity were reduced only at 5 g/kg. The antiulcer effect was attributed  to the lipid components in the phytosterol fraction. (6)
Antiurolithiatic / Leaves: Study evaluated the anti-urolithiatic activity of aqueous and alcoholic extracts of M. azedarach leaves in calcium oxalate urolithiasis in male albino rats. Results showed increased oxalate and calcium excretion in urine (p<0.01) to  3.68 and 4.5 mg/24h, respectively. Extracts at doses of 250 mg/kg p..o. significantly (p<0.01) reduced elevated levels of calcium,  oxalate and phosphate excretion in the urine. Results showed the aqueous and ethanol extracts of leaves have potent antiurolithiatic activity against ethylene glycol induced calcium oxalate urolithiasis in male albino rats. (7)
Antibacterial / Bark / Leaves / Flowers / Fruits:
Study of crude leaf extract of M. azedarach are effective against both gram positive and gram negative strains of bacteria. (27) Methanol extract of MA flowers showed potent antibacterial action in rabbits with Staphylococcus aureus skin infection. Effects were comparable to neomycin. (29) Study evaluated the antibacterial effects of methanolic and aqueous extracts of M. azedarach fruit against various bacterial strains. P. aeruginosa, S. aureus, Proteus and Klebsiella sp. showed sensitivity to the aqueous extract. Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Proteus showed significant sensitivity to the alcohol extract. (53)
• Pesticidal, Insecticidal, Acaricidal Properties / Review: Extracts of fruits, seeds and leaves of M. azedarach have shown pesticidal activities against several pathogenic pest organisms. Extracts of M. azedarach has shown efficacy against the tick Boophilus micoplus, the malarial vector Anopheles stephensi, the dengue vector, Aedes aegypti and the human lice Pediculus humanus capitis. Plant parts have also been shown to have potential as insecticidal, acaricidal, fungicidal and rodenticidal. (22)
• Cytotoxicity / Anticancer: Study evaluated the cytotoxic activity of crude extracts and fractions of M. azedarch and A. indica leaves, pulp, and seeds against HT-29, A-549, and HepG2 and MDBK cell lines. The seed kernel extract of M. azedarach exhibited highest cytotoxicity and selectivity to cancer cell lines with IC50 range of 8.18 to 60.10 g/mL). Phytochemical analysis isolated four flavonol 3-O-glycosides including rutin, kaempferaol-3-O-robinobioside, kaempferol-3-O-rutinoside and isoquercetin along with purin nucleoside, I2-adenosine. The methanol leaf fraction of M. azedarach seemed safer in terms of cytotoxicity. (24)
• Antifungal / Bark / Seed: Study investigated the antifungal potential of hexane and methanolic extracts of Melia azedarach bark against yeast-like fungi (Candida albicans, C. krusei, C. tropicalis, Cryptococcus marinus) as well as fungi (Aspergillus niger and Rhizopus oryzae). The n-hexane and methanolic extracts showed high inhibition against Candida krusei and better zones of inhibition against Rhizopus oryzae and Aspergillus niger. Candida tropicalis and C. albicans showed no response. (26) Extracts from different parts of MA exhibited fungistatic activity against A flavus, D phaseolum, F oxysporum, F solani, among others. The ethanolic seed extract showed to be the most active. (32)
Hepatoprotective / Leaf Extract / Simvastatin Hepatotoxicity: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective activity of leaves extract against simvastatin induced hepatotoxicity. Results showed significant changes in biochemical parameters, restored towards normalization in M. azedarach treated animals. (28)
• Contraceptive / Antiimplantion: Ethanolic extract of MA roots prevented pregnancy in 60-75% of female rats with decreased rate of implantation. (30)
Antioxidant / Leaves: Study showed the leaves of MA to possess an erythrocyte protective activity against drug-induced oxidative stress. (31)
Anthelmintic / Drupe: Drupe extracts of MA in Argentina showed better activity against tapeworm than standard piperazine phosphate used for Cestodal infections. (33)
Antiviral / H. simplex / Limonoid / Leaves: Extract of leaves of MA isolated a limonoid which showed antiviral activity against vesicular stomatitis and herpes simples virus. (34)
Anti-lithiasis: Study of aqueous extract of MA showed to be effective against ethylene glycol-induced nephrolithiasis in albino rats. (35)
Inhibition of Folliculogenesis / Seeds: Study evaluated the quantitative aspects of follicular development in cyclic female albino rats using seed extracts of M. azedarach and M. indica. Results suggest the polar and non-polar fractions of A indica and M azedarach seed extracts significant reduced the number of follicles in rats, with maximum reduction occurring with the Azedarach extract. (36)
Immunomodulatory / Leaves: Leaf extract from M azedarach L. inhibited phagocytosis of opsonized sheep erythrocytes and the respiratory burst triggered by post-receptor stimuli in human monocytes.   (37) Leaf extract from M azedarach L. inhibited phagocytosis of opsonized sheep erythrocytes and the respiratory burst triggered by post-receptor stimuli in human monocytes. (39)
Hepatoprotective / Antioxidant / CCl4-Induced Toxicity: Study of the antioxidant and antihepatotoxic activities of the biherbal ethanolic extracts of M azedarach and Piper longum showed potent antihepatotoxic activity against carbon tetrachloride-induced acute toxicity in rat liver. The effect was probably related to its marked antioxidant activity. (40)

Mosquito Larvicidal: Ethanolic extract of Melia azedarach showed effective larvicidal activity against Anopheles stephensi, Culex quinquefasciatus and Aedes aegypti. Results suggest a potential use as larvicidal agent to control mosquito populations. (41)
Hepatoprotective / Paracetamol / Carbon Tetrachloride: Study of a methanolic leaf extract of Melia azedarach against paracetamol-induced hepatic damage in rats showed significant hepatoprotective activity. (42) Study of leaf extract of M. azedarach showed significant hepatoprotective activity against carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) induced hepatotoxicity. (43)
Anti-Ulcer: Study of aqueous extract of leaves of Melia azedarach on anti-ulcer activity in aspirin-induced and pylorus-ligated rate showed antiulcer effects comparable to the standard drug Omeprazole. (
Anti-Fertility / Potential for Rodent Control: Study of Melia azedarach seed extract in adult cyclic Wistar rats showed a reduction in fertility index and average number of embryos in mated rats with associated histological changes. Results suggest the plant extract has a potential use in a rodent control program. (45)
Antiproliferative Potential / Anticancer: Study investigated the anti-cancer activity of Melia azedarach in comparison to A. indica on cancer lines HT-29, A-549, MCF-7 and HepG-2 and MDBK cell lines. Results showed the seed kernel extract of M azedarach had the highest cytotoxic activity and selectivity to cancer cell lines. The methanol leaf fraction of M. azedarach seems to be safer in terms of cytotoxicity. Study showed an abundance of flavonols in the leaves. (46)
Antimicrobial / Leaves: Study evaluated various leaf extracts of Melia azedarach for antimicrobial efficacy against eight human pathogens. The alcoholic extract showed maximum zone of inhibition and minimum inhibitory concentration against all the microorganisms. (47)
• Antidiabetic / Gastric Emptying Inhibitory Effect / Leaves: Study evaluated the antidiabetic effect of leaf extracts inT2 diabetic experimental animals. Results showed the leaf extract elicits diabetic activity through a multitargeted effect, primarily an increased insulin-sensitizing effect resulting in blood glucose reduction and improved peripheral disposal, together with reduced gastric emptying and decreased insulin demand. (48)
• Inhibition of α-Glucosidase Activity / Antidiabetic / Leaves: Study evaluated the α-glucosidase activity of an ethanolic leaf extract of M. azedarach. The crude ethanolic leaf extract showed α-glucosidase inhibitory activity. Although it showed less inhibitory activity than acarbose, results suggest a potential candidate for development of anti-hyperglycemic formulation. (49)
• Insecticidal / Fruit: Study evaluated M. azaderach extracts and limonoid fraction for insecticidal activity against beet armyworm Spodoptera exigua. Results showed the extract disturbed development of S. exigua. (50)
• Anticancer / Combination of M. azedarach, Doxorubicin and Cyclophosphamide / Breast Cancer: Previous studies have shown M. azedarach has potent cytotoxicity effect on MCF-7 via induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. Study evaluated the anticancer activity of MA, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphaide combination. The combination can decrease the volume of adenocarcinoma mammary tumors in CH3 mice via increase in BAX expression and decrease AgNOR expression. (51)
• Analgesic / Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated the potential analgesic and antioxidant activity of ethanolic extract of M. azedarach dried leaves. Results showed analgesic activity with significant (p<0.001) inhibition of writhing reflex in mice. The ethanolic extract showed free radical scavenging activity in DPPH assay with IC50 of 95µg/mL, comparable to ascorbic acid. (see constituents above)   (52)
Antibacterial / Fruit: Study evaluated the antibacterial effects of methanolic and aqueous extracts of M. azedarach fruit against various bacterial strains. P. aeruginosa, S. aureus, Proteus and Klebsiella sp. showed sensitivity to the aqueous extract. Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Proteus showed significant sensitivity to the alcohol extract. (53)
Hematological Changes / Fruits: Study evaluated the clinical and hematological changes in rabbits exposed to M. azedarach fruits under experimental conditions. Results showed increase in body temperature and heart rate, decrease in body weight, prolongation of bleeding time and clotting time. Hematologic changes included decrease in erythrocyte count, Hb and MCV values, increase in heterophils and monocyte percentages, and decrease in lymphocytic and eosinophil percentage. (54)
Anti-Viral Against Human Cytomegalovirus: The aqueous extracts of three medicinal plants, Carissa edulis, Prunus africana, and Melia azedarach showed significant reduction in the replication of human CMV in human embryonic lung (HEL) fibroblasts cells in vitro. Using the plaque inhibition assay, results showed potential anti-viral activities of the three plant extracts. (55)
Toxicological Studies / Mild CNS Sedative Effect: Toxicological evaluation of M. azedarach in rats and mice showed the aqueous and alcoholic extracts to be non-toxic until a dose of 1500 mg/kg orally. Intravenously, the aqueous extract had an LD50 of 395,580 mg/kg (flowers) and 700,925 mg/kg (berries) respectively in mice and rats. Aqueous and ethanolic extracts also showed mild CNS sedative effect.   (56)
Antileishmanial / Larvicidal / Antioxidant / Cytotoxic / Fruit: Study compared the potential of aqueous extracts of green and ripened fruits for antileishmanial, larvicidal, antioxidant and brine shrimp cytotoxicity assay. Green fruit showed significant activity against L. tropica and excellent larvicidal activity against Cx. quinquefasciatus. On cytotoxicity assay, green and ripe fruits showed LD50 of 18.07 µg/mL and 530.2 µg/mL, respectively. Green fruit showed antioxidant potential (IC50 232.23 µg/mL) with total phenolic contents of 10.54 mg/g DW. The green fruit yielded more active compounds than ripe fruits. (58)
Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles: Study reports on the inexpensive, single-step, and eco-friendly bioproduction of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) from aqueous extracts of leaves, stems, roots, flowers, and fruits of M. azedarach. (59)
Larvicidal / Culex quinquefasciatus: Various concentrations of aqueous extracts of leaves, fruits, and bark were tested for larvicidal activity against C. quinquefasciatus. The aqueous extract of bark showed to be more toxic and efficient. Results suggest a good source of preparations for pest control, especially mosquito control. (60) Acetone extract of both Melia azedarach and Carica papaya showed highest mortality rate and larvicidal activity against Culex quinquefasciatus. (61) Study evaluated the larvicidal activity of aqueous extracts of different parts of M. azedarach against Culex quinquefasciatus. Among the aqueous extracts of fruits, leaves, and bark, the bark extract showed to be more toxic and efficient against Cx. quinquefasciatus, with 17.60 ± 7.3% mortality and LC50 of 368.3 ppm. Results suggests the bark as a potential good source of preparations for mosquito control. (64)
Antipyretic / Leaves: Study of a hydroalcoholic extract of M. azedarach leaves showed significant (p<0.05) reduction of yeast induced temperature in rabbits at 500 mg/kg as compared to standard drug paracetamol. (62)
Antihyperglycemic / Leaves: Study of an ethanolic extract of leaves in alloxan induced diabetic rats showed marked decrease in blood glucose level and significant reduction of blood glucose in the glucose tolerance test. (63)
Effects of Various Fractions on Biochemical Parameters / Fruits: Study evaluated various fractions of a methanolic extract of M. azedarach fruits on various biochemical parameters. All extracts significantly decreased serum glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL concentrations with elevation of HDL levels. However, only the aqueous extract was considered safe, as the other extracts showed significant alterations in serum levels of GTP, ALP, and creatinine. (65)
Radical Scavenging / DNA Protective in Cultured Lymphocytes: Study of an ethanol leaf extract showed significant dose-dependent inhibition on in vitro radical scavenging assays and protection against H2O2-induced DNA damage in cultured lymphocytes. Results suggest a potential for an effective antioxidant during oxidative stress. (67)
Antiparasitic: Antiparasitic activity of drupe extracts of M. azedarach growing in Argentina was tested against a tapeworm and earthworm. Results showed better activity against tapeworms than the standard piperazine phosphate, which is used for Cestoda infections. (69)
Antibacterial / Cream Formulation / Flowers: A formulated cream contain Melia azedarach flowers showed a strong potential to cure bacterial infections in young children, comparable to neomycin skin ointment. (70)
Antioxidant / Leaves: Study showed the extract of Melia azedarach, which contains the highest amount of phenolic compounds, exhibited the greatest anti-oxidant activity compared to A. indica. (71)
Silver Nanoparticles / Antioxidant / Antidiabetic / Wound Healing / Leaves: Study reports on the biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles using aqueous leaf extract of Melia azederach. Constituents like polyphenols, flavonoids, and terpenoids may have acted as reducing and capping agents. The AgNPs showed larger zone of inhibition than the MA extract in disc diffusion assay for human pathogenic gram positive bacteria Bacillus cereus and gram negative E. coli. Cell scratch assay on human dermal fibroblast revealed potential wound healing ativity. The AbNPs also demonstrated high antidiabetic efficacy byh a-amylase and a-glucosidase inhibition assays. Antioxidant activity was demonstrated using DPPH and ABTS radical scavenging assays. (73)
Antidiabetic / Leaves: Study evaluated the antidiabetic effect of Himalayan medicinal plants viz. Melia azedarach,Zanthoxylum alatum and Tanacetum nubigenum using in vivo and in vitro methods. All prepared extracts contained polyphenolics, flavonoids, terpenoids, anthraquinones and saponins. In STZ-induced Sprague-Dawley rats, M. azedarach ethanol extract showed significant 14.8% (p<-.01). decrease in blood glucose level. (74)
Inhibition of Oral Cavity Biofilm-Forming Bacteria: Biofilms are complex, multi-species bacterial communities that colonize the oral cavity in the form of plaque that are known to cause dental caries and periodontal disease. Study demonstrated the potential of three selected medicinal plants against isolated dental biofilm forming strains. Antimicrobial activity of three medicinal plant extracts viz. Acacia arabica, Tamarix aphylla, and Melia azedarach was tested against the highest biofilm forming bacteria. The selected plants demonstrated significant inhibition of their growth. Results suggest the medicinal plants could be used for protection against pathogenic dental biofilm causing bacteria with potntial i the pharmaceutical industry as dental care products. (75)


Revised July 2022
Updated June 2022 / April 2018 / May 2015

IMAGE SOURCE / Photo: Melia azedarach / leaves, flowers and fruits / Anna Anichkova / 2014 / click on image to go to source page / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE / Public Domain / File:Melia candollei Blanco2.420.png / Flora de Filipinas / 1880 - 1883 / Francisco Manuel Blanco (O.S.A) / Modifications by Carol Spears / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Line Drawing / Chinaberry Tree (Melia azedarach L.), U.S.D.A. Forest Service Collection, Courtesy of the Hunt Institute / DesertTropicals

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Melia azedarach / Plants of the World
Sorting Melia Names / MMPND: Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database
Melia Azedarach L / Plants of the World Online
Melia azedarach / Wikipedia
Biosynthesis of Silver Nanoparticles from Melia azedarach: Enhancement od Antibacterial, Wound Healing, Antidiabetic and Antioxidant Activities / Ganshimathi Chinnasamy, Smitha Chandrasekharan and SomikA Bhatnagar /  International Journal of Nanomedicine, 2019;  14: 9823-9836 /
DOI: 10.2147/IJN.S231340
Effect of Melia azedarach Fruits on Gipsing-Restraint Stress Induced Ulcers in Rats / S A Hanifa Moursi et al / The Japanese Journal of Pharmacology, 1984; 36(4): pp 527-533
nti-Urolithiatic Activity of Melia azedarach Linn. Leaf Extract in Ethylene Glycol-Induced Urolithiasis iin Male Albino Rats / /senthil Rajan Dharmalingam et al / Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research,  2014;  13(3)
Medicinal Plants of Sacred Groves in Kanyakumari distric Southern Western Ghats / S Sukumaran and A D S Raj / Indian Journ of Traditional Knowledge, Vol 9 (2), April 2010, pp 294-299.
Melia azedarach / Useful Tropical Plants
The Potential Uses of Melia Azedarach L. as Pesticidal and Medicinal Plant, Review / Adnan Y Al-Rubae / American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 3(2):185-194, Jan 2009
Bakayan Tree (Melia azedarach) / Bimbina
Cytotoxic evaluation of Melia azedarach in comparison with, Azadirachta indica and its phytochemical investigation / Samineh Jafari, Soodabeh Saeidnia, Homa Hajimehdipoor, Mohammad Reza Shama Ardekani, Mohammad Ali Farmarzi, Abbas Hadiiakhoondi, and Mahnaz Khanav / Daru, 2013; 21(1): 37. / doi:  10.1186/2008-2231-21-37
Preliminary and Pharmacological Profile of Melia azedarach L.: An Overview / Deepika Sharma and Yash Paul / Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science Vol. 3 (12), pp. 133-138, December 2013 /
DOI: 10.7324/JAPS.2013.31224
In Vitro Antibacterial Prospective of Crude Leaf Extracts of Melia azedarach Linn. against Selected Bacterial Strains / S Ramya, P J Jepachanderamoha et al / Ethnobotanical Leaflets 13: 254-58. 2009.
Hepatoprotective activity of Melia azedarach leaf extract against simvastatin induced Hepatotoxicity in rats / A. Srinivasa Rao, Mohammed Fazil Ahmed and Mohammed Ibrahim / Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science 02 (07); 2012: 144-148
Antibacterial effect of Melia azedarach flowers on rabbits / Saleem R, Ahmed S, Shamim SM, Faizi S, Siddiqui BS / Phytother Res. 2002 Dec;16(8):762-4. /
DOI: 10.1002/ptr.1044
Pregnancy interceptive activity of Melia azedarach Linn. in adult female Sprague-Dawley rats Contraception ISSN 0010-7824 CODEN CCPTAY / 2003, vol. 68, no4, pp. 303-306
Antioxidative Activity of Melia azedarach Linn Leaf Extract / IRANIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACOLOGY & THERAPEUTICS / IJPT 7:31-34, 2008

Antifungal Effects of Different Organic Extracts from Melia azedarach L. on Phytopathogenic Fungi and Their Isolated Active Components / Maria Carpinella, Laura Giorda et al / J. Agric. Food Chem., 2003, 51 (9), pp 2506–2511 / DOI: 10.1021/jf026083f
Antiparasitic activity of Melia azedarach growing in Argentina / Victor Szewczuk, Elena Mongelli and Alicia Pomilio / Molecular Medicinal Chemistry / vol 1 July-September 2003, 54-57
An Antiviral Meliacarpin from Leaves of Melia azedarach L. / Laura E. Alche, Guillermo Assad Ferek, et al / Z. Naturforsch. 58c, 215<ETH>219 (2003)

Antilithiatic effect of Melia azedarach on ethylene glycol-induced nephrolithiasis in rats / Pharmaceutical biology ISSN 1388-0209 / 2006, vol. 44, No. 6, pp. 480-488
Extracts of Azadirachta indica and Melia azedarach seeds inhibit folliculogenesis in albino rats / J K Roop, P K Dhaliwal and S S Guraya / Braz J Med Biol Res, June 2005, Volume 38(06) 943-947 (Short Communication) / doi: 10.1590/S0100-879X2005000600017
Immunomodulatory Activities of Melia azedarach L. Leaf Extracts on Human Monocytes / Fabian Benencia, Maria Courreges et al / Journal of Herbs, Spices and Medicinal Plants, Vol 5, Issue 3, March 1998, pp 7-13 / DOI: 10.1300/J044v05n03_02

In vitro antioxidative acitivity of Azadirachta indica and Melia azedarach Leaves by DPPH scavenging assay / Gayatri Nahak and R K Sahu / Journal of American Science, 2010;6(6)

Immunomodulatory Activities of Melia azedarach L. Leaf Extracts on Human Monocytes / Fabian Benencia, Maria Courreges et al / Journal of Herbs, Spices and Medicinal Plants, Vol 5, Issue 3, March 1998, pp 7-13 / DOI: 10.1300/J044v05n03_02

Antioxidant and antihepatotoxic activities of ethanolic crude extract of Melia azedarach and Piper longum / P Samudram, R Vasuki, H Rajeshwari et al / Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol. 3(12), pp. 1078-1083, December, 2009

Efficacy of Melia azedarach on the larvae of three mosquito species Anopheles stephensi, Culex quinquefasciatus and Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) / Murugesan Selvaraj and Muthusamy Mosses / European Mosquito Bulletin 29 (2011), 116-121

Role of Melia azedarach leaf extract in Paracetamol Induced Hepatic damage in rats / Mohammed Fazil Ahmed, A. Srinivasa Rao, Hameed Thayyil, Shaik Rasheed Ahemad and Mohammed Ibrahim / Pharmacognosy Journal / DOI: 10.5530/pj.2011.21.10

Phytochemical Studies and Hepatoprotective activity of Melia azedarach Linn, against CCl4 induced Hepatotoxicity in rats / Mohammed Fazil Ahmed*, A. Srinivasa Rao, Shaik Rasheed Ahemad and Mohammed Ibrahim / Journal of Pharmacy Research 2012,5(5),2664-2667
Antiulcer activity of Melia azedarach linn in aspirin induced and pylorus ligated rats / Yogendr Bahuguna / Journal of Pharmacy Research, Vol 2, No 9 (2009)
Antifertility effect of Melia azedarach Linn. seed extract in female albino rats / Reshu Mandal & Patwant Kaur Dhaliwal / Indian Journ of Experimental Biology, Vol 45, Oct 2007, pp 853-860.
Cytotoxic evaluation of Melia azedarach in comparison with, Azadirachta indica and its phytochemical investigation. / Jafari S, Saeidnia S, Hajimehdipoor H, Ardekani MR, Faramarzi MA, Hadjiakhoondi A, Khanavi M. / Daru. 2013 May 16;21(1):37. doi: 10.1186/2008-2231-21-37.

Antidiabetic and gastric emptying inhibitory effect of herbal Melia azedarach leaf extract in rodent models of diabetes type 2 mellitus / Daniel Seifu, Lars E Gustafsson, Rajinder Chawla, Solomon Genet, Asfaw Debella, Mikael Holst,  Per M Hellström / Journal of Experimental Pharmacology, Vol 2017:9, pp 23-29. / DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JEP.S126146
Inhibition of α-glucosidase activity by ethanolic extract of Melia azedarach L. leaves /  and 
Biological activity of Melia azedarach extracts against Spodoptera exigua / Nikoletta Ntalli, Agnieszka  Kopiczko, Katarzyna Radtke, Pawel Marciniak, Zbigniew Adamski / Biologia, November 2014, Volume 69, Issue 11, pp 1606–1614
Anticancer Mechanism of Melia azedarach, Doxorubicin and Cyclosphamide Combination against Breast Cancer in Mice / Titik Sumarawati, Israhnanto, Dina Fatmawati / Bangladesh Journal of Medical Science, Vol 16, No 3 (2017)
Assessment of Phytochemical, Analgesic and Antioxidant Profile of Melia azedarach L. Leaves / MD. Shafayat Hossein, Abu Saeed, Utpal Kumar Karmakar, MD Anwr Hossain / The Pharma Innovation; New New Delhi, Vol 2, Issue 7; Sep 2013: Part A, pp 64-69
Evaluation of Antibacterial Effects of Melia Azedarach Fruit Extracts Against Some Isolated Pathogenic Bacteria / Nazar Jabbar Al-Khafaji, Raad Mahmood Al-Zubaed, Shaimaah Jabbar Al-Azawi / Veterinary Science Development, Vol 6, No 1 (2016)
The Clinical and Hematological changes in Rabbits exposed to Melia azedarach fruits under experimental conditions
/ AL- Zubaedi Raad Mahmood / International Journal of Advances in Scientific Research, Vol 1, No 1 (2015).
In vitro anti-viral activity of aqueous extracts of Kenyan Carissa edulis Prunus africana and Melia azedarach against human cytomegalovirus. / Festus M. Tolo*, Geoffrey M.Rukunga, Faith W. Muli, John Ochora, Yoshito Eizuru, Charles N. Muthaura, Cecilia W. Kimani, Geoffrey M Mungai and Mawuli W.Kofi-Tsekpo / African Journal of Health Sciences, Volume 14, Number 3-4, July- December 2007
Toxicological studies of Melia azedarach L. (flowers and berries) / Zakir-ur-Rahman, S Ahmad, S Qureshi, Y Badar / Pakistan journal of pharmaceutical sciences 4(2):153-8 · August 1991
Melia azedarach / WorldAgroForestry
Comparative Study of Green Fruit Extract of Melia azedarach Linn. With its Ripe Fruit Extract for Antileishmanial, Larvicidal, Antioxidant and Cytotoxic Activity / Imran Khan*, Muhammad Masoom Yasinzai, Zaffar Mehmood, Ikram Ilahi, Jangrez Khan, Ali Talha Khalil, Muhammad Shahab Saqib and Waheed Ur Rahman / American Journal of Phytomedicine and Clinical Therapeutics, 2(3): 2014, pp 442-454
Biosynthesis of Zinc oxide Nanoparticles using Melia azedarach L. extracts and their Characterization / Manokari M, Ravindran C.P, Mahipal S Shekhawat / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Research, Vol 1, Issue 1, January 2016; Page No. 31-36
Larvicidal Activities of Different Parts of Melia azedarach Linn. against Culex quinquefasciatus Say. (Diptera: Culicidae) / Ikram Ilahi*, Imran Khan, Mohammad Tariq and Izhar Ahmad / Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences, 2012, 8: pp 23-28
Antimosquito Acitvity Of Leaf Extract Of Neem (Melia azedarach) and Papaya (Carica papaya) detected against the larvae Culex quinquefasciatus / Ramanibai Ravichandran, Deepika Thangaraj and Madhavarani Alwarsamy / International Journal of Innovative Research in Science, Engineering and Technology, Vol. 3 , Issue 4 , April 2014
Phytochemical screening and antipyretic effects of hydro-methanol extract of Melia azedarach leaves in rabbits / Sabira Sultana, Naveed Akhtar, Hafiz Muhammad Asif / Bangladesh Journal of Pharmacology, Vol 8, No 2 (2013)
ANTIHYPERGLYCEMIC EFFECT OF THE LEAVES OF MELIA AZEDARACH ON ALLOXAN INDUCED DIABETIC RATS / Prashant Kumar*, Raghuveer Irchhiaya, Rubina Lawrence, Amita Verma, Kusum Singh,Vinita Ahirwar / International Journal Of Pharma Professional’s Research, Volume-5, Issue-4, Oct-2014
Larvicidal Activities of Different Parts of Melia azedarach Linn. against Culex quinquefasciatus Say. (Diptera: Culicidae) / Ikram Ilahi*, Imran Khan, Mohammad Tariq and Izhar Ahmad / Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences, 2012, 8, 23-28 23
Phytochemical Studies and GC-MS Analysis of the Leaf Extracts of Melia azedarach Linn / G.M. Krishnaiah, Prashanth G.K / International Journal of Advancement in Engineering Technology, Management and Applied Science, Vol 1, Issue 6, Nov 2014
Phytochemical investigation and radical scavenging activities of Melia azedarach and its DNA protective effect in cultured lymphocytes / Srinivasan Marimuthu, Padmaja Balakrishnan, and Sudarsan Nair / Pharmaceutical Biology / doi:10.3109/13880209.2013.791323
Antiparasitic activity of Melia azedarach growing in Argentina / Víctor D. Szewczuk, Elena R. Mongelli and Alicia B. Pomilio* / Molecular Medicinal Chemistry, Vol 1 July-September 2003, 54-57
Effect of cream containing Melia azedarach flowers on skin diseases in children *
/ The Free Library. 2008 Urban & Fischer Verlag 05 Apr. 2018
In vitro antioxidative acitivity of Azadirachta indica and Melia azedarach Leaves by DPPH scavenging assay / Gayatri Nahak and R K Sahu / Journal of American Science, 2010;6(6)
Medicinal Use of Bakayan Tree or Chinaberry / Anupama / Bimbina
Biosynthesis of Silver Nanoparticles from Melia azedarach: Enhancement of Antibacterial, Wound Healing, Antidiabetic and Antioxidnt Activities
/ Gandhimathi Chinnasamt, Smitha Chandrasekharan, Somika Bhatnagar / International J of Nanomedicine, 2019; 14: pp 9823-9836 /
DOI: 10.2147/IJN.S 231340 / PMID; 31849471
In vitro and in vivo antidiabetic effect of extracts of Melia azedarach, Zanthoxylum alatum, and Tanacetum nubigenum / Mohammad Faheem Khan, Devendra Singh Negi / Integrative Medicine Research, 2018, 7(2): pp 176-183 / DOI: 10.1016/j.imr.2018.03.004
Identification of oral cavity biofilm forming bacteria and determination of their growth inhibition by Acacia arabica Tamarix aphylla L, and Melia azedarach L. medicinal plants
/ Mohammad Khalid, Anwar Hussain / Archives of Oral Biologu,2017; Vol 81: pp 175-185 / DOI: 10.1016/j.archoralbio.2017.05.011
A Review on Different Pharmacological & Biological Activities of Azadirachta indica A. Jus and Melia azedarach L. / Jou Pl Sc Res., 2020; 36(1-2): pp 53-59


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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