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Arenga pinnata


Arenga saccharifera Labill., Borassus gomutus Lour., Caryota onusta Blanco., Gomutus saccharifer Spr., Sagu gomutus Perr., Saguerus australasicus Drude & Wendl., Saguerus pinnatus Wurmb., Saguerus pinnatus saccharifer Wurmnb., Saguerus rumphii Roxb., Saguerus saccharifer Blume [1][2]

Vernacular Names:

Malaysia Berkat, Bakeh (Semang); Enau, Habong, Henau, Inau, Kabong, Nau
English Areng Palm, Arenga Palm, Black-fiber Palm, Black Sugar Palm, Gomuti Palm, Sagwire-Palme, Sugar Palm, Toddi Palm.
Indonesia Inau, Anau, Enau, Nau, Hanau, Peluluk, Biluluk, Kabung, Kabung Enau, Juk, Ijuk, Bergat, Mergat (Sumatra), Aren, Lirang, Nanggung (Java); Kawung, Taren (Sundanese); Akol, Akel, Akere, Inru, Indu (Sulawesi), Moka, Moke, Tuwa, Tuwak (Nusa Tenggara); Ejow, Gomuti, Kaong
Thailand Aren, Chok, Kaong Tao, Luk chid
Vietnam Bung, Bang, Doac Dot
Khmer Chuek, Chrae
Burma Taung, Taung-Ong
Philippines Hidiok (Bikol); Bagatbat, Bagobat, Bat-bat, Iliok, Idiog, Idiok, Onay, Unau (Cebu Bisaya); Rapitan (Iloko) Hiliok (Manabo); Hidiok, Igok (Panay Bisaya); Irok (Sambali); Kabo-Negro, Kaong, Kauing (Tagalog)
India Thangtung, THanglung (Mizoram), Alam Panai (Tamil)
Chinese Guang Lang, Suo Mu, Sha Tang Ye Zi, Tang Shu
Arabic Nakhlet es Sukkar
French Palmier A Sucre, Palmier Aren, Palmier Areng, Palmier Condiar
Dutch Arengpalm, Arenpalm, Gomoetoepalm, Sagoeweerpalm, Suikerpalm
German Zuckerpalme, Echte Zuckerpalme, Gomuti-Palme
Portuguese Gomuteira
Russian Sakharnia Pal’ma
Spainsh Baru, Bary, Palma De Azucar, Palmera Del Azucar [2]

General Information


Arenga pinnata is a member of the Palmae family in the Caryoteae tribe and subfamily of Arecoideae. It is a tree that can reach 15m high with a solitary stem up to 0.5m diameter of measurement. The remains of the old leaf sheaths cover the stem with a dense coat of dark brown fibres and spines. The induplicate, pinnate leaves are erect, measuring nearly 10m long and dark-green leaflets measuring 100cm or more with a white waxy coating on their underside. The stout petioles measure 1.5–2.0m long and covered with fibre. The leaflets are about 1m long, 5-8cm wide, and usually with jagged fishtail tips. The large pendent inflorescence emerge from the leaf axils sequentially from bottom to top, consisiting of many long, slender rachillae drooping from a short peduncle. Typically, the flowers are arranged in a triad of two stamina flowers flanking a central pistillate flower, but unisexual inflorescence are sometime produced, especially those developing in the upper axils. The flowers are stalkless and purple, sometime scented. The ovoid fruit is 5–6cm in diameter, yellow to yellowish brown with a fleshy white mesocarp that is irritation to the skin. Each contains two to three grey-brown seeds, 2.5–3.5cm long and 2.0–2.5cm wide.[1]

Plant Part Used

Roots, seeds, stems, petioles [1] [2]

Chemical Constituents

No documentation

Traditional Used:

The half-ripe fruit of A. pinnata is considered poisonous and it is usually avoided by natives of the rainforest. There is a high level of calcium oxalate crystals in the seed-coat. However, the seeds itself is much revered by the Malay population especially during the month of ramadhan (biji kabong). To avoid poisoning the fruit wall is removed and the seeds repeatedly washed. The endosperm is then soaked in lime water for a few days and then boiled in sugar solution.[1]

In Malaysia, the young roots in the form of a decoction are used in the treatment of kidney stones while the old roots are chewed on to help relieve toothache. A number of reports mentioned that the use of the decoction of the roots as a remedy for bronchitis, an aid to digestion and improvement of appetite.[2] [3]

The fibres from the stem and petiole are considered styptic, and are used as a haemostatic and cicatrizant to wound. The Filipinos considered it is as diuretic and antithermic treatments.[2]

The juice of the ripe fruit is used as a fish poison and can’t be consumed.[1]

Pre-Clinical Data


No documentation


Young fruits are considered toxic due to the high content of calcium oxalate in the fruit wall. [2]

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

No documentation

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation


  1. Jules J, Robert EP. The Encyclopedia of Fruit and Nuts. CAB International Oxfordshire; 2008. p. 87–88.
  2. Lim TK. Edible Medicinal and Non-Medicinal Plants. 1st ed. Fruits Springer Science & Business Media London; 2012. p. 280–284.
  3. Lalfakzuala R, Lalramnghinglove H, Kayang H. Ethnobotanical usages of plants in western Mizoram Indian. Journal of Traditional Knowledge. 2007; 6(3): 486–493.

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