Compilation of herbal plants (description, geographical distribution, taxonomy, line drawings), biodiversity and herbarium.

Read More
Research & Publication

Description of herbal and T&CM research, searchable publication and process from medicinal plant discovery to clinical trial in producing a high-quality registered herbal drug.

Read More
Traditional & Complementary Medicine (T&CM)


Definition and description of therapies, policy, training and education, research in the practise of (T&CM) and integrated medicine system.           

Read More


News Update

Announcement & Advertisement

Forthcoming Events

Annual Congress on Traditional Medicine

From Wed, 12. May 2021 Until Thu, 13. May 2021

5th International Conference on Medical and Health Informatics (ICMHI 2021

From Fri, 14. May 2021 Until Sun, 16. May 2021

International Conference on Traditional Medicine and Phytochemistry 2021

From Mon, 12. July 2021 Until Wed, 14. July 2021

Asian Symposium on Medicinal Plants and Spices XVII (2020)

From Tue, 17. August 2021 Until Thu, 19. August 2021

Typhonium flagelliforme (Lodd.) Blume


Arum angulatum Griff., Arum cuspidatum Blume, Arum divaricatum L., Arum flagelliferum Griff., Arum ptychiurum Zipp. ex Kunth, Heterostalis flagelliformis (Lodd.) Schott, Typhonium cuspidatum (Blume) Decne., Typhonium flagelliferum Griff., Typhonium hastiferum Miq., Typhonium incurvatum Blatt. & McCann, Typhonium reinwardtianum de Vriese & Miq., Typhonium sylvaticum Voigt [1]

Vernacular Names

Malaysia  Keladi tikus [2]
English  Rodent tuber, false shui banxia [3]
China  Laoshu yu, swi pan sia (Tionghoa) [4]; bian yan li tou jian [3][5]
India   Nalenschena major [3]
Indonesia  Bira kecil (Malay); ki babi, ileus (Sundanese); trenggiling mentik (Javanese); gofu sepa (Ternate) [5]; daun panta susu  [15]
Singapore  Birah taecchil [16]
Pacific  Pantake [3]

General Information


Typhonium flagilleforme is a member of the Araceae family. It is a tuberous, erect, small, and stemless herb that can grow up to 40 cm tall. It is with depressed-spherical tuber which is up to 2 cm in diametre and with subterranean stolons. [3] [17]

Underground part a short, tuberous rhizome, depressed, 1-2 cm. [5]

The leaves are measure 5-25 × 0.5-18 cm, extremely variable, linear, lanceolate, elliptic, or hastate. The petiole is green and measures 15-30 cm. [5]

The inflorescence is appearing alongside leaves, with 5-20 cm thin peduncle. The spathe is convolute at base, green, ovoid, globose, or depressed, and measures 1.5-3.5 × 1.2-2 cm. The spadix is shorter than, as long as, or slightly longer than spathe where the female zone is subcylindric, slightly fusiform, measures 1.5-1.8 cm × 8-10 mm; ovary is pale green, elongate, angulate; sterile zone 1-2 cm, entirely covered with staminodes while the male zone ca. 5 mm; appendix subsessile, 16-17 cm, base swollen and often deeply grooved, apically filiform, erect, horizontal, or downcurved. [5]

The berries are pale greenish, two or three-seeded. [5]

Plant Part Used

Whole plant, tuber [4]

Chemical Constituents

T. flagelliforme has been reported to contain 1-O-β-glucopyranosyl-2-[(2-hydroxyloctadecanoyl) amido]-4,8-octadecadiene-1,3-diol; 9-hexadecanoic acid; 9-octadecenoic acid; 9,12-octadecadienoic acid; beta-daucosterol; beta-sitosterol; coniferin; dodecane; eicosane; heptadecane; hexadecane; hexadecanoic acid; linoleic acid; methyl pyropheophorbide-a; nonadecane; octadecane; octadecanoic acid; pentadecane; pheophorbide-a; pheophorbide-a'; pyropheophorbide-a; tetradecane; tridecane [7] [8] [11] [14]

Traditional Uses

T. flagelliforme is believed can be a cure for tumour, swelling, asthma, and as a detoxicant. The Southeast Asian, Indian and Sri Lankan are reported to eat T. flagelliforme leaves wrapped in longan flesh and drink the fresh juice of T. flagelliforme whole plant mixed with honey as a remedy for these health problems. T. flagelliforme is especially popular in Malaysia to treat leukaemia, breast, and cervical cancer. Moreover, they have been used the plant to treat respiratory disorders, particularly cough and asthma. [18] Additionally it has been used to treat breast abscess, hemangioma, spleen lymph tumour, and cuts. [19]

Preclinical Data


Antihepatotoxic activity

A cerebroside isolated from the ethanol extract of the tuber of T. flagelliforme showed antihepatotoxic activity. [8]

Antitussive and expectorant activity

Aqueous, alcohol and ester extracts of tuber of T. flagelliforme was found to significantly decrease the duration of coughing, eliminates expectorants and delayed the incidence of asthma. They also possess anti-inflammatory, analgesic and sedative activities. [9]

Cytotoxic activity

In recent time the tubers of T. flagelliforme had been promoted commercially as a treatment for various forms of cancer by practitioners of alternative medicine. Studies had shown that there are evidences of cytotoxic activities in various extracts of the tubers. Preliminary studies showed poor cytotoxic activity in the chloroform and hexane extracts of the roots and tubers. However, several fractions of the hexane and dichloromethane extracts were found to significantly inhibit the growth of NCI-H23 non-small cell lung carcinoma cell line. They also significantly inhibit the growth of non-tumorigenic BALB/c 3T3 mouse fibroblast cell line. Four pheophorbide related compounds (pheophorbide-a, pheophorbide-a', pyropheophorbide-a and methyl pyropheophorbide-a) were identified and they showed antiproliferative activities against cancer cells and their activity increased following photoactivation. The general mechanism of actions of these extracts and compounds were apoptosis. There were evidence of DNA fragmentation and arrest of CEMss cells at G0/G1 phase (p<0.05) seen with DCM/F7 (Dichloromethane Fraction 7). Some of the cytological observations include chromatin condensation, cell shrinkage, abnormalities of cristae, membrane blebbing, cytoplasmic extrusions and formation of apoptotic bodies. DCM/F7 fraction increased the cellular levels of caspase-3 and -9 on treated cells and cytochrome c from mitochondria into the cytosol increased gradually as the DCM/F7 concentration increases, which later lead to the subsequent cleavage of PARP in to 85kDa fragments. Amongst the malignancies tested were human lung cancer and leukaemia. [9-14]


No documentation

Teratogenic effects

No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human

The tuber of T. flagelliforme contains calcium oxalate crystals which can cause irritation to the oral cavity and throat. This can be severe enough to cause obstruction to the respiratory tract. [6] 

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. The  Plant List. Ver 1.1. Typhonium flagelliforme (Lodd.) Blume. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2015 Jun 19]. Available from:
  2. Mansor M, Boyce PC, Othman AS, Sulaiman B.The Araceae of Peninsular Malaysia. Penang: Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia; 2012
  3. Quattrocchi UFLS. CRC World Dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology (5 Volume Set). Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p. 3829.
  4. Wijayakusuma H. Atasi kanker dengan tanaman obat. Jakarta: Niaga Swadaya; 2008. p. 43-44
  5. Flora of China. Typhonium flagelliforme (Loddiges) Blume [homepage on the Internet]. no date [cited: 2015 Jun 18]. Available from:
  6. Wu H, Zhong LY. Study on irritation of calcium oxalate crystal in Araceae plants. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2008 Feb;33(4):380-4.
  7. Choo CY, Chan KL, Sam TW, Hitotsuyanagi Y, Takeya K. The cytotoxicity and chemical constituents of the hexane fraction of Typhonium flagelliforme (Araceace). J Ethnopharmacol. 2001 Sep;77(1):129-31.
  8. Huang P, Karagianis G, Waterman PG. Chemical constituents from Typhonium flagelliforme. Zhong Yao Cai. 2004 Mar;27(3):173-5.
  9. Choo CY, Chan KL, Takeya K, Itokawa H. Cytotoxic activity of Typhonium flagelliforme (Araceae). Phytother Res. 2001 May;15(3):260-2.
  10. Lai CS, Mas RH, Nair NK, Majid MI, Mansor SM, Navaratnam V. Typhonium flagelliforme inhibits cancer cell growth in vitro and induces apoptosis: an evaluation by the bioactivity guided approach. J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Jun 19;118(1):14-20.
  11. Lai CS, Mas RH, Nair NK, Mansor SM, Navaratnam V. Chemical constituents and in vitro anticancer activity of Typhonium flagelliforme (Araceae). J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Feb 3;127(2):486-94.
  12. Mohan S, Abdul AB, Abdelwahab SI, Al-Zubairi AS, Aspollah Sukari M, Abdullah R, Taha MM, Beng NK, Isa NM. Typhonium flagelliforme inhibits the proliferation of murine leukemia WEHI-3 cells in vitro and induces apoptosis in vivo. Leuk Res. 2010 Nov;34(11):1483-92.
  13. Mohan S, Abdul AB, Abdelwahab SI, Al-Zubairi AS, Sukari MA, Abdullah R, Elhassan Taha MM, Ibrahim MY, Syam S. Typhonium flagelliforme induces apoptosis in CEMss cells via activation of caspase-9, PARP cleavage and cytochrome c release: its activation coupled with G0/G1 phase cell cycle arrest. J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Oct 5;131(3):592-600.
  14. Mohan S, Bustamam A, Ibrahim S, Al-Zubairi AS, Aspollah M, Abdullah R, Elhassan In Vitro Ultramorphological Assessment of Apoptosis on CEMss Induced by Linoleic Acid-Rich Fraction from Typhonium flagelliforme Tuber. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:421894.
  15. Suryo J. Herbal penyembuh kanker pada perempuan.Yogyakarta:  B First; 2009. p. 114-115
  16. Keng H, Chin HC, Tan HTW. The concise flora of Singapore: Monocotyledons. Volume 2. Singapore: Singapore University Press; 1998. p. 45
  17. Typhonium flagelliforme (Lodd.) Blume. In: Lemmens RHMJ, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia 12 (3): Medicinal and Poisonous Plants 3. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publication; 2003
  18. Williams C. Medicinal plants in Australia, Volume 3, Plants, potions and poisons, Australia: Rosenberg Publishing; 2012. p174-175.
  19. Permadi A . Membuat kebun tanaman obat. Jakarta: Niaga Swadaya; 2008. p. 31-32.

Explore Further

Consumer Data

Consumer data including medicinal herbs, dietary supplement monographs, health condition monographs and interactions and depletions.                                    

Read More
Professional Data

Professional data organized into medicinal herbs, dietary supplement monographs, health condition monographs, T&CM herbs, formulas, health conditions, interactions and depletions.

Read More
International Data

We offer International linkages to provide extensive content pertaining to many facets of T&CM as well as Integrated Medicine. Please register for access.    

Read More