Ardisia elliptica


Ardisia litoralis Andr.; Ardisia solanacea Roxb., Ardisia squamulosa Presl.[1] [2] 

Vernacular Names:

Malaysia: Buah Letus, Cempenai, Lempenai, Mempenai, Penai, Penah, Periah, Rempenai, Daun Bias Hati, Kayu Lampilan, Mata Pelandok. [3]  
India: Bisi (Hindi) ; Kadna, Katapenga, Bugadi, Dikna, nilbedsi (Marathi) ; Manipudbam, Kozhikkottai, Narikandam (Tamil) ; kaka-njara (Malayalam) ; bodhina gida, shuli, bode, sore (Kannada) ; Banjam (Bengali) ; kuti (Oriya) ; Damaai Phal (Nepali) [1]
China:  Dong fa zi jin niu [2]
Nepal:  Damai phul [2]

General Information


Ardisia elliptica is a shrub or a small tree with smooth stem. It is found in the landward areas of mangrove swamps. The leaves are alternate, simple, entire, ovate or elliptical. The upper surface is dark green while the lover surface is lighter and dotted with glands. They are thick and coriaceous. The leaves measures 10-15cm long while the perioles measure 4-8mm. The flowers are white in colour, appearing in clusters in the leaf axils. The fruits are single seeded drupes that are initially green and turning red then deep purple upon maturity. They measure about 5mm in diameter.

Plant Part Used

The leaves and sometimes the fruits. [4][5]

Chemical Constituents

Syringic acid, isorhamnetin and quercetin. [4]

Traditional Used:

The young leaves of A. elliptica is used by the Malay communities living along river banks and mangrove swamps as “úlam”. 

The leaves of A. elliptica is sometimes used to treat diarrhoea and dysentery by the Thais and Malays of the Malay Peninsula. They pound the leaves and squeezed out the juice which is then taken to relieve this ailment. [5] The leaves is also used to treat chest pains or heartburns. [6] 

The leaves had been used to treat gonorrhoea, venereal diseases by various communities of South East Asia. [7] 

Pre-Clinical Data


Antisalmonela activity 

From the dried fruit extract of A. elliptica syringic acid, isorhamnetin and quercetin were isolated. These compounds were found to be active against Salmonella infection with the MIC ranging between 15.6 and 125.0µgmL-1. [4] 

Antiplatelet activating factor activity 

The methanol extracts of the leaves of A. elliptica, produced an Alkenylresorcinol which showed a very strong Platelet Activating Factor (PAF) antagonist. This compound is 5-(Z-heptadec-4′-enyl)resorcinol and by itself showed very potent activity with the IC50 of 7.1µM [8] 


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 documentation


No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation


Interactions with drugs

Those people on Anticoagulant Therapy should not eat the young leaves of A. elliptica because they contain a very potent anti-PAF. [8]

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation

Read More

  1) Malaysian Herbal Plants


  1. Flowers by Botanical Names. Available from: [Accessed on 26/10/09].
  2. Umberto Quattrocchi. CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: A-C. Boca Rotan: CRC Press; 2000. pp.188 – 189.
  3. Hean Chooi Ong. Tumbuhan liar: khasiat ubatan & kegunaan lain. Kuala Lumpur: Utusan Publications; 2004. p. 130.
  4. Phadungkit, Methin; Luanratana, Omboon. Anti- Salmonella activity of constituents of Ardisia elliptica Thunb. Natural Product Research June 2006. 20(7):693-696.
  5. Kamarudin Mat-Salleh, A. Latif. Tumbuhan Ubatan Malaysia. Bangi: Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia; 2002. p. 270.
  6. Christophe Wiart. Medicinal plants of Asia and the Pacific. Boca Rotan: CRC Press; 2006. p. 56.
  7. Primchanien Moongkarndia,*, Nuttavut Kosema, Omboon Luanratanab, Suna Jongsomboonkusola, Narongchai Pongpanb. Antiproliferative activity of Thai medicinal plant extracts on human breast adenocarcinoma cell line. Fitoterapia 2004. 75.375–377.
  8. Juriyati Jalil ‌, Ibrahim Jantan ‌, Khozirah Shaari ‌and Iftikhar Ahmad Abdul Rafi ‌. Bioassay-Guided Isolation of a Potent Platelet-Activating Factor Antagonist Alkenylresorcinol from Ardisia elliptica. Pharmaceutical Biology 2004.42(6): 457-461.