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Garcinia atroviridis


No documentation

Vernacular Names:

Malaysia: Asam Gelugur, Asam Gelugo, Asam Keping, Nayo, Boh No (Semang) [1] [2]
Thailand:  Asa Keluko (Malay), Cha Muang, Cha Muang Chang, Ma Kham Khaek, Rong Thong, Som Kaek, Som Khwai, Som Phangun [3] 

General Information


Garcinia atroviridis is a tree that can grow up to a height of about 20m. The trunk is long with smooth grey bark and branches drooping. Leaves are oblong or lanceolate, thick and glossy with dark green upper surface and lighter greenish undersurface. The young leaves are light red in colour. The leaves are 15-22.5cm long. The petiole is typically red. The male flowers are small (1.5cm across) and deep red in colour. The female flowers are larger (3.5cm across) with a deep red stigma. The fruits are large yellowish green to yellow in colour, globular in shape, fluted and about 7.5cm across. [4]

The plant part most commonly used is the bark. Other parts used in traditional medicine include the roots and sometimes the leaves. 

Plant Part Used

Fruit [1]

Chemical Constituents

Organic Acids: Citirc Acid, Tartaric Acid, Malic Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Hydrocitric Acid, Garcinia acid, 14-cis-docosenoic acid, succinic acid, pentadecanoic acid, octadecanoic acid, nonadecanoic acid and dodecanoic acid, 1,1-dibutyl methyl hydroxycitrate [5]

Lactones: Atrovirinone, Atrovirisidone, 4-methylhydroatrovirinone, atrovirinone, 2-(butoxycarbonylmethyl)-3-butoxycarbonyl-2-hydroxy-3-propanolide

Flavones: Morelloflavone, fukugiside

Others: Cambogin, garcinol, camboginal and isogarcinol

Xanthone: Atroviridin

Others: Cambogin, garcinol, camboginal and isogarcinol 

Traditional Used:


The anti-inflammatory properties of the plant has been taken advantaged of in the treatment of acne. It is also being used to treat cracked or fissured heels by immersing the feet into a decoction of slices of dried fruit. 

Obstetric & Gynaecological

In the postnatal period a lotion of the juice of the fruit with vinegar is applied over the abdomen to make the skin taut. Juice of the leaves is given to women after delivery. 


A decoction of the leaves together with the roots is used in the treatment of earache. [14]  

Analgesic and Antirheumatic

Slices of ripened fruit is applied on the head to ally headache. 


In Thailand the acidic fruit has been given to help reduce weight and excess of fats. [1]  

Pre-Clinical Data


Antimicrobial activity: 


Two compounds isolated from the fruits of G. atroviridis showed selective inhibitory effect on the fungus Cladosporium herbarum. These two compounds are derivatives of garcinia acid - 2-(butoxycarbonylmethyl)-3-butoxycarbonyl-2-hydroxy-3-propanolide and 1,1-dibutyl methyl hydroxycitrate. [5]


Two compounds isolated from the roots of G. atroviridis showed mild inhibition of Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus aureus. These compounds are atrovirinone and atrovirisidone. [6] In a screening study of vegetable plants for their antimicrobial activities the ethanol extract of G. atroviridis showed inhibitory activities against two Gram-positive bacteria (Bacillus cereus and Bacillus megaterium), two Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) [7]

Antiobesity and Lipid Metabolism activity

The availability of Hydroxycitric acid in the rind of the fruit of G. atroviridis has rendered it useful in the treatment of obesity and lipidaemic control. Hydroxycitric acid has been found to be a potent inhibitor of ATP citrate lyase which catalyses the extramitochondrial cleavage of citric acid to oxaloacetic acid and acetyl-CoA. The inhibition of this reaction reduces the availability of acetyl-CoA limiting fatty acid synthesis and lipogenesis during a lipogenic diet i.e. high carbohydrate diet. This shifts the conversion of calories from fat to glycogen. The increase glycogen production will stimulate glucoreceptors in the liver to send signals to the satiety center to suppress appetite and food cravings. It also signals beta oxidation burning stored body fat. [8][9]

The hydroxycitric acid and flavonoids contents of fruit of G. atroviridis have been reported to have hypolipidaemic property. A study of this effect in guinea pigs has shown that dietary addition of G. atroviridis  reduces serum lipid level while at the same time reduces the fat deposition in the aorta of high cholesterol diet animals. [10]

Cytotoxic activity

Atrovirisidone B, a prenylated depsidone was isolated from the roots of G. atroviridis. This compound showed cytotoxic activity against human breast (MCF-7), human prostate (DU-145) and human lung (H-460) cancer cells. [11]

Anti-inflammatory activity

Atrovirinone, a benzoquinone was isolated from G. atroviridis was subjected to two cellular systems that could analyze its anti-inflammatory activities i.e. RAW 264.7 macrophage cells and whole blood. Atrovirinone inhibited the production of both nitric oxide and prostaglandin E2 from LPS-induced and IFN-gamma-induced RAW 264.7 cells and whole blood. Analysis of thromboxane B2 (TXB2) secretion from whole blood stimulated by either the cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 or the COX-2 pathway showed that atrovirinone inhibits the generation of TXB2 by both pathways and it was demonstrated that atrovirinone was more COX-2 selective in its inhibition of TXB2. Atrovirinone also inhibited the generation of intracellular reactive oxygen species and the secretion of TNF-alpha from RAW 264.7 cells. Lipoxygenase activity was also moderately inhibited by atrovirinone. This clearly shows that atrovirinone acts on important pro-inflammatory mediators by the inhibition of the nuclear factor-kappaB pathway and also by the inhibition of the COX/lipoxygenase enzyme activity. [12]


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

Reduction of adipose tissue and body weight: effect of water soluble calcium hydroxycitrate in G. atroviridis on the short term treatment of obese women in Thailand. In this trial 50 obese women with BMI >25kg/m2 were randomly divided into two groups of 25. Group 1 was given water soluble calcium hydroxycitrate (HCA) as G. atroviridis while group 2 received a placebo. All were then given similar diet of 1000Kcal/day. At the end of a two month period it was found that Group 1 loss more weight and at a faster rate than Group 2. This decrease in body weight was attributes to loss of fat storage as evidenced by decrease in triceps skin fold thickness. [13]

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)  Cultivation


  1. Wikipedia. Available from: [Accessed on 12th October 2009].
  2. I.H. Burkill. A Dictionary of Economic Products of the Malay Peninsula Vol. 1: Kuala Lumpur Governments of Malaysia and Singapore by the Ministry of Agriculture and cooperatives; 1966. p. 1064.
  3. Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database. Available from: [Accessed on 12th October 2009].
  4. Pramod Tandon, Y. P. Abrol, Suman Kumaria. Biodiversity and its significance. New Delhi: I.K. International; 2007. p. 280.
  5. Mukram M. Mackeena,‡, Abdul Manaf Alia, Nordin Hj. Lajisb,*, Kazuyoshi Kawazuc, Hiroe Kikuzakid, and Nobuji Nakatanid Antifungal Garcinia Acid Esters from the Fruits of Garcinia atroviridis 2002 Verlag der Zeitschrift fur Naturforschung, Tubingen . Available from: [Accessed on 18th October 2009].
  6. Dharma Permana, Nordin Hj. Lajis, Mukram M. Mackeen, Abdul M. Ali, Norio Aimi, Mariko Kitajima, and Hiromitsu Takayama. Isolation and Bioactivities of Constitutents of the Roots of Garcinia atroviridis. J. Nat. Prod 2001; 64 (7): pp. 976–979.
  7. M.M. Mackeen, A.M. Ali, S.H. El-Sharkawy, M.Y. Manap, K.M. Salleh, N.H. Lajis and K. Kawazu. Antimicrobial and Cytotoxic Properties of Some Malaysian Traditional Vegetables (Ulam). Pharmaceutical Biology 1997; 35(3). pp.174-178.
  8. Jena BS, Jayaprakasha GK, Singh RP, Sakariah KK. Chemistry and biochemistry of (-)-hydroxycitric acid from Garcinia. J Agric Food Chem 2 Jan 2002; 50(1): pp. 10-22.
  9. K.V. Peter. Handbook of Herbs and Spices. Woodhead Publishing Ltd; 2001 p. 213.
  10. Amran AA, Zaiton Z, Faizah O, Morat P. Effects of Garcinia atroviridis on serum profiles and atherosclerotic lesions in the aorta of guinea pigs fed a high cholesterol diet. Singapore Med J. Mar 2009;50(3): pp. 295-299.
  11. Permanaa D, Abas F, Maulidiani, Shaari K, Stanslas J, Ali AM, Lajis NH. Atrovirisidone B, a new prenylated depsidone with cytotoxic property from the roots of Garcinia atroviridis. Z Naturforsch C. Jul-Aug2005; 60(7-8): pp. 523-526.
  12. Syahida A, Israf DA, Permana D, Lajis NH, Khozirah S, Afiza AW, Khaizurin TA, Somchit MN, Sulaiman MR, Nasaruddin AA. Atrovirinone inhibits pro-inflammatory mediator release from murine macrophages and human whole blood. Immunol Cell Biol. Jun2006; 84(3): pp. 250-258.
  13. Roongpisuthipong C, Kantawan R, Roongpisuthipong W. Reduction of adipose tissue and body weight: effect of water soluble calcium hydroxycitrate in Garcinia atroviridis on the short term treatment of obese women in Thailand. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2007;16(1):25.
  14.  Neighbourhood Park with Mangosteen Relatives. Available from: [Accessed on 12th October 2009]  

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