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Ixora coccinea L.


Ixora arborea Lodd. [Invalid], Ixora bandhuca Roxb., Ixora eekhautii Gentil, Ixora fraseri Gentil, Ixora grandiflora Ker Gawl., Ixora incarnata (Blume) DC. [Illegitimate], Ixora lutea Hutch., Ixora montana Lour., Ixora morsei Gentil, Ixora obovata B.Heyne ex Roth, Ixora propinqua R.Br. ex G.Don, Ixora purpurea Fisch. ex Loudon, Ixora shawii J.Neumann [Invalid], Ixora thomeana (K.Schum.) G.Taylor, Pavetta bandhuca Miq., Pavetta coccinea (L.) Blume, Pavetta incarnata Blume, Pavetta rubra Noronha [26]

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Siantan, Bunga Jarum, Kembang Jarum-jarum, Pecah Periok, Kaum Kopi
English Scarlet Ixora, Jungle Flame, Flame of the Wood, Indian Ixora, Ixora
Indonesia Siantan, Kembang Jarum-jarum, Bunga Jarum-jarum, Djarong-djarong, Bunga Soka
Thailand Khem, Khem farang
Philippines Dwarf Santon, Santon, Santan-pula, Santan (Tagalog); Tangpupo (Bisaya)
Vietnam Boung Tlang Nui
India Paranti, Bandhuka, Vatchi, Thechii, Rukmini, Rangan
Germany Dschungelbrand, Scharlachrote Ixorie [1][2][3][5][6][7].

General Information


Ixora coccinea is a member of the Rubiaceae family. It is a shrub that could reach up to 2m high. The stem is herbaceous with lower portion being woody, erect, cylindrical, branched, solid, smooth and green. The leaves are obovate, opposite with cordate base, interpetiolar cuspidated stipules. The flowers are bright scarlet, sometimes yellow or pink and often fragrant. They appear in terminal corymbose cyme. The fruits are globose, red with 2 ventrally concave seeds. [1][4]

Plant Part Used

Roots, leaves, flowers, stems and whole plants. [1][2][7][8][12][19][22]

Chemical Constituents

5-O-caffeoylquinic acid; anthocyanins; cinnamtannin B-1; cycloartenol esters 1a and 1 b; D-mannitol; epicatechin; ferulic acid; gentisic acid; glycosides of kaempferol and quercetin; ixorapeptide I; ixorapeptide II; kaempferol; ixoratannin A-2; kaempferol; kaempferol-7-O- a-L-rhamnoside; kaempferol-3-O- a-L-rhamnoside; quercetin-3-O- a-L-rhamnopyranoside; kaempferol-3,7-O- a-L-dirhamnoside leucocyanidin glycoside; leucocyanadin; lupeol;lupeol fatty ester; luteolin; melilotic acid; oleanolic acid; proanthocyanidins; procyanidin A2; protocatechuic acid; p-cuomaric acid; quercetin; rutin; sitosterol; stigmast-5-en-3-O-beta-D-glucoside; syringic acid; ursolic acid; vanillic acid. [1][2][9-12]

Traditional Uses

I. coccinea plant as a whole is considered an astringent, antiseptic, blood-purifier, sedative, antidiarrhoeal, anti catarrhal and antileucorrhoeic. The roots are astringent and antiseptic while the flowers have antidiarrhoeal and antispasmodic properties. [1][2]

Gastrointestinal disease

I. coccinea generally is used as a remedy for diarrhoea and dysentery. The roots and the flowers are commonly used in the form of a decoction. The decoction of the roots helps improve appetite. [1][2][7][8]

Inflammatory diseases

The leaves and roots are used as antiseptic for skin conditions like scabies, abscess and ulcers. The flowers are effective against leucorrhoea, gonorrhoea, catarrhal bronchitis and sore-throats. [1][2][7][8]

Other diseases

The sedative property of the roots of I. coccinea is taken advantage of and used in the treatment of nausea, hiccups and dysmenorrhoea. The flowers form a component of hair oil. [1][2][7][8]

Pre-Clinical Data


Antitumour activity

In a preliminary study, the oil made from the flowers of I. coccinea and Crocus sativum proved to retard the development of tumour and arrest further development of already formed tumour. Further investigation showed that the active fraction of the extract of flower increased the life span of mice transplanted with Dalton’s lymphoma ascetic tumour by 112%, Dalton’s lymphoma solid tumour by 59% and Ehrlich ascites carcinoma by 68%. It was found to be active against Sarcoma-180 (S-180) cell lines, transformed lymphocytes from leukaemia patients, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and chronic myelogenous leukaemia and K-562 cell suspension. The active fraction could also inhibit growth of papilloma induced by 1,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene and croton oil, and soft tissue fibrosarcoma induced by 3-methylcholanthrene. [14-16]

Chemoprotective activity

The active fraction of the flowers of I. coccinea exhibited chemoprotective activity on cyclophosphamide (CYP)-induced toxicity in mice. This fraction made up of ursolic acid was shown to increase the life span by 57% of the CYP treated mice and tend to prevent weight loss and maintain near normal leucocyte and haemoglobin levels. It also has hepatoprotective activity as proved by the decrease in serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase (SGPT) and serum alkaline phosphatase (SAKP) levels. Similar effects were also seen in cisplatin treated mice. [17][18]

Antimicrobial activity

Various extracts of I. coccinea from the whole plant, leaves and roots exhibit significant antibacterial. The ethanol extract of the roots seems to have effective antibacterial and wound healing activities. The external application of the extract was shown to provide protection against microbes invasion to the wound by evidence from the wound contraction, increased tensile strength and increased biochemical parameters.The ethyl acetate fraction of the methanol extract of the leaves contains compounds that were active against Bacillus subtilis while epicatechin and quercetin-3-O-a-L-rhamnopyroside inhibited the growth of E. coli. [10][19-21]

Antioxidant activity

In a screening done to investigate the antioxidant activity of methanol extracts of a flower, leaf and stem of I. coccinea, it was found that the flower possess the most potent anti-oxidant activity. It also contains the highest phenolic content (210.55 ± 6.31µg GAE/mg extract). The leaf contains two compounds with high anti-oxidant activity i.e. ixoratannin A-2 and cinnamtannin B-1. [10][22]

Xanthine oxidase inhibitory activity

The methanol extract of leaves, flowers and stems of I. coccinea was found to have significant inhibitory activity against xanthine oxidase. The leaves part was found to give highest inhibition after the standard allopurinol followed by flowers and stems with 39.7% to 77.3% inhibition percentage. The IC50 values of the leaves, flowers and stems extracts were 26.5, 31.3, and 36.7μg/mL, respectively. [22]

Hepatoprotective activity

The ethanol extract of root of I. coccinea showed significant protections against toxin-induced liver damage. It was determined after 72 hours challenged of Wistar rats with aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) (1.5 mg/kg, intraperitoneally). The result showed a significant anti-lipid peroxidase activity along with significant lowering of serum hepatic enzymes and enhanced hepatic reduced glutathione status. The hepatoprotective activity is probably related to the potent antioxidative properties of the extract. [23]

Cardioprotective activity

The methanol extract of leaves of I. coccinea exhibited dose dependent cardioprotection. Pretreatment with the extract was able to protect the heart against the assault of doxorubicin. The extract was found to have the ability to reduce elevated ST segment and maintain the blood pressure close to normal. It also reduced the elevated biomarkers like creatine kinase - MB (CK-MB), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), serum glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase (SGOT), serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase (SGPT) and increase tissue antioxidant markers – catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and reduce levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) in cardiac tissues. This was confirmed by histopathological studies. The cardioprotection is probably due to the strong antioxidant activity. [24]

Antidiarrhoeal activity

The aqueous extract of flowers of I. coccinea showed significant inhibitory activity against diarrhoea and enteropooling induced by castor oil in rats.The defecation inhibition occurred about 52.99% over 4 hours of test period in the dose of 400 mg/kg. It also significantly reduced gastrointestinal motility in the charcoal meal test. [25]


No documentation

Teratogenic effects

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

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No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation


  1. Daniel M. Medicinal Plants: Chemistry and Properties, Science Publishers, Enfield. 2006; 161
  2. Khare CP. Indian Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated Dictionary, Springer-Verlag, Berlin. 2008; 338
  3. Merrill EM. Loureiro’s “Flora Cochinchinensis” Transactions, American Philosophical Society. 1935;24(2): 371
  4. Hsuan K. The Concise Flora of Singapore: Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons, Volume 1 Singapore University Press, Singapore. 1990; 156
  5. Mahdi W. Malay Words and Malay Things: Lexical Souvenirs from an Exotic Archipelago in German Publications before 1700. Otto Harrassowithz GmbH & Co. Wiesbaden. 2007; 105
  6. Seidemann J. World Spice Plants: Economic Usage, Botany, Taxonomy Springer-Verlag, Berlin. 2005; 186
  7. Batugal PA., Kanniah J, Sy L, Oliver JT. Medicinal Plant Research in Asia – Volume 1: The Framework and Project Workplans IPGRI-APO Serdang. 2004;164
  8. Nadkami KM, Dr. KM. Nadkarni’s Indian Materia Medica Volume 2 Popular Prakashan Pvt. Ltd. Mumbai. 2007;  293
  9. Ragasa CY, Tiu F, Rideout JA. New cycloartenol esters from Ixora coccinea. Nat Prod Res. 2004;18(4):319-23.
  10. Idowu TO, Ogundaini AO, Salau AO, Obuotor EM, Bezabih M, Abegaz BM. Doubly linked, A-type proanthocyanidin trimer and other constituents of Ixora coccinea leaves and their antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Phytochemistry. 2010;71(17-18):2092-8.
  11. Lee CL, Liao YC, Hwang TL, Wu CC, Chang FR, Wu YC. Ixorapeptide I and ixorapeptide II, bioactive peptides isolated from Ixora coccinea. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2010; 20(24):7354-7.
  12. Baliga MS, Kurian PJ. Ixora coccinea Linn.: traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology. Chin J Integr Med. 2012 ; 18(1):72-9.
  13. Versiani MA, Ikram A, Khalid S, Faizi S, Tahiri IA. Ixoroid: a new triterpenoid from the flowers of Ixora coccinea. Nat Prod Commun. 2012; 7(7):831-4.
  14. Panikar KR, Bhanumathy P, Raghunath PN. Antitumour activity of an ayurvedic oil preparation. Anc Sci Life. 1986; 6(2):107-8.
  15. Latha PG, Panikkar KR. Cytotoxic and antitumour principles from Ixora coccinea flowers. Cancer Lett. 1998; 130(1-2):197-202.
  16. Latha PG, Panikkar KR. Inhibition of chemical carcinogenesis in mice by Ixora coccinea flowers. Pharm Biol. 2000; 38(2):152-6.
  17. Latha PG, Panikkar KR. Modulatory effects of Ixora coccinea flower on cyclophosphamide-induced toxicity in mice. Phytother Res. 1999;13(6):517-20.
  18. Latha PG, Panikkar KR. Chemoprotective effect of Ixora coccinea L. flowers on cisplatin induced toxicity in mice. Phytother Res. 2001;15(4):364-6.
  19. Latha PG, Abraham TK, Panikkar KR. Antimicrobial properties of Ixora coccinea L. (Rubiaceae). Anc Sci Life. 1995;14(4):286-91.
  20. Annapurna J, Amarnath PV, Amar Kumar D, Ramakrishna SV, Raghavan KV. Antimicrobial activity of Ixora coccinea leaves. Fitoterapia. 2003; 74(3):291-3.
  21. Selvaraj N, Lakshmanan B, Mazumder PM, Karuppasamy M, Jena SS, Pattnaik AK. Evaluation of wound healing and antimicrobial potentials of Ixora coccinea root extract. Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2011;4(12):959-63.
  22. Torey A, Sasidharan S, Latha LY, Sudhakaran S, Ramanathan S. Antioxidant activity and total phenolic content of methanol extracts of Ixora coccinea. Pharm Biol. 2010; 48(10):1119-23.
  23. Shyamal S, Latha PG, Suja SR, Shine VJ, Anuja GI, Sini S, Pradeep S, Shikha P, Rajasekharan S. Hepatoprotective effect of three herbal extracts on aflatoxin B1-intoxicatedliver. Singapore Med J. 2010; 51(4):326-31.
  24. Momin FN, Kalai BR, Shikalgar TS, Naikwade NS. Cardioprotective effect of methanolic extract of Ixora coccinea Linn. leaves on doxorubicin-induced cardiac toxicity in rats. Indian J Pharmacol. 2012; 44(2):178-83.
  25. Maniyar Y, Bhixavatimath P, Agashikar NV. Antidiarrheal activity of flowers of Ixora Coccinea Linn. in rats. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2010; 1(4):287-91.
  26. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Ixora coccinea L. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2015 Jun 15] Available from:

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