Anthocephalus chinensis (Lamk) A. Rich. ex Walp


Anthocephalus chinensis (Lam.) Hassk. [Illegitimate], Anthocephalus indicus A.Rich., Breonia citrifolia (Poir.) Ridsdale, Breonia coriacea Havil., Breonia mauritiana Havil., Breonia richardiana (Baill.) Havil., Cephalidium citrifolium (Poir.) A.Rich., Nauclea citrifolia Poir., Sarcocephalus richardianus Baill., Sarcocephalus richardii Drake [4]

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Kelempayan (Peninsular); laran (Peninsular, Sabah); selimpoh (Sarawak) [5]; Kelapayan, kelempai, kelepayan, kelumpang, kelumpung, kempoyan, kepayang kayu, lempayang, lempoyan [6]
English Kadam, cadamba, common 1 bur-flower tree [5][7]
China Huang liang mu [7]
India Apaathyada mara, arisina thaega, attuhekku, bale, banphar, beegada, dhaaruja kaare, dieng  soalhngpaathi, ethakkaada, kada pode, kadvala, kaduve [6]
Indonesia Jabon (Java); laran (Kalimantan); emajang (Sumatra) [5]
Thailand Krathum, krathum bok, takoo [5]
Laos Koo-somz, sako [5]
Myanmar Mau-Iettan-she, maukadon, yemau [5]
Brunei Bangkal, kaatoan bangkal [5]
Philippines Kaatoan bangkal (General) [5]
Cambodia Thkoow [5]
Vietnam C[aa]y g[as]o, c[af] tom, g[as]o tr[aws]ng [5]
Nepal Kadam [6]
Papua New Guinea Labula [5]
France Kadam [5].


General Information


Breonia chinensisgrows in the sub-Himalayan tract at latitudes from 9°S to 27°N. The plant is found from Nepal eastward to Bangladesh, India (Assam Province and Chotanagapur district at Bihar Province), Myanmar, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea [1]. This plant occurs mainly in secondary vegetation and along rivers on fertile, often periodically flooded locations up to 1000 m altitude [5]. It is a fast growing species with spreading branches. In the dry season, the tree sheds its leaves. The tree flowers in May through July [1].

A. chinensis comes from the family of Rubiaceae. It is a medium-sized to large tree that can reach up to 45 m tall. The bole is straight and cylindrical, branchless for more than 25 m, measures up to 100(-160) cm in diametre but generally less, sometimes with small buttresses up to 2 m high and extending up to 60 cm from the trunk. The leaves are measure 13-32 cm x 7-15 cm, with acute to acuminate apex and distinctly petiolate with a petiole 2.5-6 cm long. The flower heads are 3-5 cm wide where the upper part of the ovary is distinctly 4-loculed with 4 hollow cartilagineous structures. [5]

Plant Part Used

Fruits, leaves, bark.

Chemical Constituents

B. chinensis has been reported to contain indole alkaloids (e.g. cadambine) from leaves part and other indole alkaloids (e.g. 3α-dihydrocadambine, isodihydrocadambine, cadamine and isocadamine) from various parts [1]. Methanol extract of  B. chinensis bark extract has been reported to contain  two phenolic  apioglucosides (e.g. kelampayoside A and kelampayoside B), a secoiridoid glucoside (e.g. 3'-O-caffeoylsweroside), iridoids glucosides (e.g. loganin, 8-epikingside, loganic acid, and sweroside), indole alkaloid glucosides (e.g. cadambine, strictosidine lactam, desoxycorlifoline, and 5α-carboxystrictosidine),and non-glycosidic indole alkaloids (vallesiachotamine and isovallesiachotamine) [2].

Traditional Uses

The bitter and pungent bark is used in Ayurvedic medicine for uterine complaints, blood diseases, leprosy, and dysentery . A decoction of  the leaves is recommended in cases of stomatitis [1].

Preclinical Data


Antimalarial activity  

Cadambine, a major indole  alkaloid constituent isolated from the methanol extract of the of A. chinensis  bark (100 µM) showed moderate growth-inhibitory activity against the cultured malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum (a chloroquine-resistant K1 strain) in human erythrocytes with IC50 6.77 µM and IC90 9.85 µM. [2]


Genotoxicities and Mutagenicity Studies  

No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

No documentation

Used in Certain Conditions:

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

No documentation

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents  

No information


No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation


Interactions with drugs

No documentation

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation


  1. Handa SS, Borris RP, Cordell GA. NMR spectral analysis of cadambine from Anthocephalus chinensis. Journal of Natural Products.1984; 46 (3):325-330.
  2.  Kitagawa I, Wei H, Nagao S, Mahmud T, Hori K, Kobayashi M, Uji T, Shibuya H. Indonesian Medicinal Plants. XIV. Characterization of 3'-O-caffeoylsweroside, a new secoiridoid glucoside, and kelampayosides A and B, two new phenolic apioglucosides, from the bark of Anthocephalus chinensis (Rubiaceae). Chem. Pharm. Bull.1996; 44(6):1162-1167.
  3. Anthocephalus chinensis (Lam.) Rich. ex Walp. In: Part II: Species descriptions. In Tropical Tree Seed Manual. 2003, ed. Vozzo JA. United States Department of Agriculture
  4. The Plant List. Breonia chinensis (Lam.) Capuron [Internet]. Ver1.1, 2013. [cited 2014 Sept 10]. Available from
  5. Sosef MSM. Anthocephalus chinensis (Lamk) A. Rich. ex Walp. In: Soerianegara I, Lemmens RHMJ, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 5(1): Timber trees; Major commercial timbers. Wageningen, Netherlands: Pudoc Scientific Publishers, 1993; p. 107-108.
  6. Umberto Q. CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology (5 Volume Set). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2012. p. 2622.
  7. Philippine Medicinal Plants. Kaatoan-bangkal. Anthocephalus chinensis (Lamk) A. Rich. ex Walp. [homepage on the Internet] c2014. [updated 2012 August; cited 2015 Apr 28] Available from: