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Aglaia odorata


Opilia odorata Spreng., Camunium sinense Rumph. [2]

Vernacular Names:

Malaysia Culan, Telur Belangkas
Indonesia Chulan, Pacar Chulan, Pacar Cina
Thailand Kayong, Kayom, Prayong
Philippines Sinamomong sonsong
China Lan-hwa, Yu-chu-lan, San-yeh-lan
Vietnam Cay ngau [1]

General Information


Aglaia odorata is a much branched evergreen shrub of the Meliaceae family. It can grow up measuring to 7m high. The young branchlets are pilose, the hairs being brown and stellate. The leaves are pinnate, ovate in outline 5-12cm long. The leaflets are 3-5 in numbers, obovate-oblong 2-7cm long and 1-3cm wide, acute. The rachis is winged. The flowers are small unisexual or polygamous, golden yellow in colour and extremely fragrant. The staminal inflorescences are large, in axial panicles and never fully open, bud-like, 2mm in diameter. The calyx discoid, 4 lobed, petals fleshy, obovate-orbicular, imbricate, slightly concave, stamina tube similar to the petals in colour and texture, campanulat-funnelform, basal half is 4-ridged furrowed, spongy, distal half collar-like, petaloid, anthers 4, sessile, inserted on the inside of the collar, pistillate, inflorescence spike-like, axillary, 2-3cm long. The flowers are sessile or subsessile, ovary superior, glandular. The fruits are oblong, 1.2cm long, 1cm wide, berry-like, punctuate, rostrate, apical portion stellate hairy. The seeds are hemispherical 6mm across and fleshy. [5]

Plant Part Used

Leaves, roots and flowers [1] [3] [4]

Chemical Constituents

(1R,3E,7E,10S,11S,12R)-dolabella-3,7-dien-10,18-diol; (1R,3S,7E,11S,12R)-dolabella-4(16),7-dien-3,18-diol; (1R,7E,11S,12R)-18-hydroxydolabella-4(16),7-dien-3-one; (1R,3S,4S,7E,11S,12R)-3,4-epoxydolabella-7-en-18-ol; (1R,3R,7E,11S,12R)-dolabella-4(16),7,18-trien-3-ol; 5'-epi-odorine; 21,25-cyclodammar-20(22)-ene-3beta,24alpha-diol;   aglaiastatin; alpha-humulene;  aminopyrrolidine-diamides; beta-elemene;  beta-humulene-7-ol; caryophyllene; copaene; ethyl linolenate; ethyl palmitate; germacrene D; methyl jasmonate; odorine; odorino;   pyrimidinone; rocaglaol [6] [7] [11-15]

Traditional Used:

In Indonesia the flowers are used to relieve flatulence and dysphagia. The flowers are also used to treat cough, vertigo and ease childbirth. The dried flowers and buds are used to scent tea.

Decoction of the leaves is a remedy for diarrhoea and also to treat excessive menstruation. It is believed to be a tonic in such cases. The Indonesian made use of a decoction of the leaves while the Filipinos suggest an infusion suffice to treat cases of hypermenorrhoea. The tender leaves are used as vegetable in China. [1] [3] [4] [16]

Pre-Clinical Data


Antiprotozoal activity
Crithidia shares a variety of biochemical mechanisms with the genera Leishmania and Trypasoma and has been used to assess anti-protozoal activity. It was found that extracts of the leaves of A. odorata  was able to inhibit Crithidia providing evidence that it may have similar activity against Leishmania and Trypasoma.[8] In the screening of seven extracts of plants including  A. odorata for anti-amoebic activity, Tasanor et al. found that all seven extracts has significant anti-amoebic activity.[9]

Antiviral activity
A. odorata extracts were found to have the following effects of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1):
  1. inhibition of plaque formation of HSV-1;
  2. effective against thymidine kinase-deficient HSV-1 and phosphonoacetate-resistant HSV-1 strains;
  3. limit development of skin lesion. [10]

Antifungal activity
A number of bifurans isolated from A. odorata were found to be active against three plant pathogens i.e. Pyricularia grisea, Fusarium avenaceum and Alternaria citri. Of these the most active was found to be rocaglaol.[11]

Cytotoxic activity
A. odorata  contains a number of compounds with cytotoxic activity. The following has been found to show this activity:
  1. odorine and 5’-epi-odorine were found to inhibit the growth of vinblastine-resistant KB cells by enhancing the anticancer activity of vinblastine.[12]
  2. rocaglaol, pyrimidinone and aglaiastatin inhibits protein synthesis and cell growth. [13]
  3. odorine and odorinol exhibited potent anti-cancer effects in two-stage carcinogenesis i.e. inhibits both the initiation and promotion stages of two-stage skin carcinogenesis in mice.[14]
  4. (1R,3E,7E,10S,11S,12R)-dolabella-3,7-dien-10,18-diol and (1R,3R,7E,11S,12R)-dolabella-4(16),7,18-trien-3-ol showed weak cytotoxicity against the human myeloid leukemia HL-60, hepatocellular carcinoma SMMC-7721, and lung cancer A-549 cells.[15]


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

No documentation

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation

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  1) Botanical Info


  1. Setiawan Dalimartha. Tanaman Obat di Lingkungan Sekitar Niaga Swadaya. Jakarta. p. 21.
  2. Merrill. Loureiro’s Flora Cochinchinensis Transactions, American Philosophical Society.  Philadelphia. Vol. 24, Part 2; 1935. p.228.
  3. Batugal PA, Kanniah J, Sy L, Oliver JT. Medicinal Plants Research in Asia – Volume I: The Framework and Project Workplans IPGRI-APO Serdang; 2004. p. 158.
  4. Shizen LI, Porter S, George AS. Chinese Medicinal Herbs: A Modern Ediction of a Classic Sixteenth-century Manual Beatrice Bliss New York; 1973. p. 20.
  5. Shui-ying Hu. Food Plants of China Chinese University of Hong Kong. Hong Kong; 2005. p. 507.
  6. Cai XH, Luo XD, Zhou J, Hao XJ. Compound representatives of a new type of triterpenoid from Aglaia odorata. Org Lett. 2005 Jul 7; 7(14):2877-9.
  7. Zhang J, Yao E, Wang J, Xu R. Extraction and identification of volatile constituents in the flowers of Aglaia odorata Lour. Se Pu. 2007 May; 25(3):422-4.
  8. Tasanor O, Engelmeier D, Brem B, Wiedermann-Schmidt U, Greger H, Wernsdorfer WH. Development of a pharmacodynamic screening model with Crithidia fasciculata. Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2006; 118(19-20 Suppl 3): 42-9.
  9. Tasanor O, Brem B, Leitsch D, Binder M, Duchene M, Greger H, Wernsdorfer WH. Development of a pharmacodynamic screening model with Entamoeba histolytica. Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2007;119(19-20 Suppl 3):88-95
  10. Lipipun V, Kurokawa M, Suttisri R, Taweechotipatr P, Pramyothin P, Hattori M, Shiraki K. Efficacy of Thai medicinal plant extracts against herpes simplex virus type 1 infection in vitro and in vivo. Antiviral Res. 2003 Nov; 60(3): 175-80.
  11. Engelmeier D, Hadacek F, Pacher T, Vajrodaya S, Greger H. Cyclopenta[b]benzofurans from Aglaia species with pronounced antifungal activity against rice blast fungus (Pyricularia grisea). J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Apr; 48(4):1 400-4.
  12. Saifah E, Puripattanavong J, Likhitwitayawuid K, Cordell GA, Chai H, Pezzuto JM. Bisamides from Aglaia species: structure analysis and potential to reverse drug resistance with cultured cells. J Nat Prod. 1993 Apr; 56(4): 473-7.
  13. Ohse T, Ohba S, Yamamoto T, Koyano T, Umezawa K. Cyclopentabenzofuran lignan protein synthesis inhibitors from Aglaia odorata. J Nat Prod. 1996 Jul; 59(7): 650-2.
  14. Inad A, Nishino H, Kuchide M, Takayasu J, Mukainaka T, Nobukuni Y, Okuda M, Tokuda H. Cancer chemopreventive activity of odorine and odorinol from Aglaia odorata. Biol Pharm Bull. 2001 Nov; 24(11): 1282-5.
  15. Cai XH, Wang YY, Zhao PJ, Li Y, Luo XD. Dolabellane diterpenoids from Aglaia odorata. Phytochemistry. 2010 Jun; 71(8-9): 1020-4. Epub 2010 Mar 24.
  16. Burkill IH. A Dictionary of Economic Products of the Malay Peninsula Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative Kuala Lumpur; 1966 p. 75.

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