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Fibraurea chloroleuca


Fibraurea tinctoria Lour, Fl. Cochinch.; Coculus fibraurea DC. ; Menispermum tinctorum Spreng.; Fribraurea recisa Pierre Fl. Forest. Cochinch. [1] [2] 

Vernacular Names:


Bararan Kuning [3], Akar Kuning, Akar Kencing Kerbau [1], Mengkunyit, Tapa Bohuang (Sabah) [4], Akar Kunyit, Merkunyit, Kekunyit

Chinese: Tien Sien Lan [2]
Indonesia:  Akar Kunyit, Akar Kuning [5], Peron (Java); Aroi Gember, Aroi Ki Koneng (Sunda); Akar mangkedon (Bangka) [6] 
Vietnam: Kay Vang Dang [2]

General Information


Fibraurea chloroleuca is a big liana. The leaves are ovate to oblong with rounded base and acuminate apex. There are three prominent nerves arising from the base. The leaves are deep green and coriaceous measuring 17 cm long and 10 cm wide with petiole measuring 5.5 cm. Male flowers are white in colour in a lax panicle from the old wood, measures about 5-15 cm long. The bracts are narrow, linear and acute. The sepals are rounded-obovate in shape. The inner petals are elliptic and are narrower than the outer ones. There are 6 stamens that are bluish in colour. The female flowers are green. There are 3 carpels that are obovoid and bluish green in colour. Drupe orange in colour, elliptic, smooth, pulp bitter 3 cm long. The seeds are oblong which measures 2.5 cm long, deeply grooved on the lower surface and ends rounded. [7]

Plant Part Used

Roots, stem [7]

Chemical Constituents


Furanoditerpenes: Fibraurin, chasmanthin, and palmarin [8] 

Alkaloids: magnoflorine, pseudocolumbamine, dehydrocorydalmine and palmatrubine [9], berberine chloride, berberrubine chloride and thalifendine chloride [10], Dehydrodiscretine, pseudojatrorrhizine [11] 

Phytosteroids: 20-hydroxyecdysone [11] 

Fibleucin [12] 

Traditional Used:

Roots are boiled and decoction given in cases of hepatitis. [13] A decoction of the stem is used to treat dysentery in Java. [7] The juice from the stem is used to treat gastritis by getting the patient to drink the juice mixed with egg yolk. [3] 

It is used in postnatal bath together with other ingredients in the form of a decoction. [7] 

One of the popular uses of this plant is in the treatment of Syphilitic ulcers of the nose (“resdong”) and wounds as antiseptic. [14] In this case the stem is made into a cigar and is smoked thus, the smoke being inhaled to produce a cure for the ailment. A decodtion of the stem is given to treat fever and cases of abscesses. [15] 

The decoction of the dried stem is given to relieve fainting spells and also to treat hypertension. For headache 400 g of the stem is juiced and this is given three times per day. [15] Used to treat chest pain. [5] 

It has been considered to be one of the best medicines to treat a condition known amongst the Malays as “resdong” which is understood as being persistent nasal discharge which could lead to dissolution of the nasal septum. This was translated as Syphilitic ulcer of the nose by the western medical practitioners of the past. Today’s traditional Malay medicine practitioners consider even simple sinusitis as “resdong”. 

For the treatment of various forms of ophthalmia thin slices dried stem of F. chloroleuca, is immersed in water together with some alum and turmeric and the resultant yellowish infusion is used as eyewash. For the treatment of nyctalopia, 12.75g of the stem is recommended to be pounded with 20 leaves of Piper betel, the resultant paste is sieved and to it is added hot water. This solution is then drunk in a dose of 1 glass daily. [15] 

It is included in potherb decoction for rheumatic pains and joint aches. It has been advocated too in the treatment of diabetes and asthma. Other uses of this plant includes antidote to vegetable poisons, antidote to venomous bites of snake, scorpions and centipede, and paralysis. [15] 

Pre-Clinical Data


Cytotoxicity activity 

Three protoberberine alkaloids were isolated from the roots of F. chloroleuca. Cytotoxicity studies showed significant cytotoxic activity with one or more human cancer cell-lines and cultured P-388 cells. [11] 


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

No documentation

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

It is not recommended to be given to pregnant women nor to those breastfeeding since the safety of F. chloroleuca has not been fully determined. Animal studies has shown that F. chloroleuca has uterine stimulatory properties which could induce abortion. [15]

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

F. chloroleuca has a possibility of causing the development of kernicterus in neonates if given to treat neonatal jaundice. It is believed that it could increase the level of free bilirubin in blood. Precaution has to be taken when giving it to children. [15]


No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

Caution has to be taken when taking it for the following conditions: [15]

Diabetes as studies has shown that it does have hypoglycaemic activities

People with low blood pressure (hypotension) as it has hypotensive properties

People with cardiovascular diseases as there have been reports of people with congestive cardiac failure developing ventricular arrhythmias.

People with renal problems as there had been reported association of development of nephritis with berberine. 


Interactions with drugs

Beberine has possible interactions with various drugs. Some other more noted interactions are with antibiotic whence given with tetracycline it may reduce the effectiveness of this antibiotics. Its antiheparin action can reduce the effectiveness of anticoagulants. Diabetics should be cautious when taking berberine together with their antidiabetic drug as its antihyperglycaemic action may cause hypoglycaemia. The hypotensive properties may render it unsuitable to be given with antihypertensive therapy. [15]

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation


  1. Hsuan Keng, Ro-Siu Ling Keng Keng. The concise flora of Singapore: gymnosperms and dicotyledons. Singapore: NUS Press; 1990. 21.
  2. E.D. Merriel A commentary on Loureito’s “Flora Cochinchinensis” Transactions, American Philosophical Society. American Philosophical Society. June 1935; 24( 2):157.
  3. Jay H. Bernstein. Spirits captured in stone: shamanism and traditional medicine among the Taman of Borneo Boulder. Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers; 1997.179.
  4. A. Jacob, N. Christina, R.H.F. Thomas, G. Januarius, M. Ole and G. Quentin. Local Use of Forest Products in Kuyongon, Sabah, Malaysia. Available from: [Accessed 01th November 2009].
  5. M.S. Alan. Kamus Lengkap Indonesia Inggris. Bandung: PT Mizan Publika; 2004. 537.
  6. I.H. Burkill A Dictionary of Economic Products of the Malay Peninsula Kuala Lumpur Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative. 1966; Vol 1: 1016 – 1017.
  7. H.N. Ridley Flora of the Malay Peninsula. London: L. Reeve & Co.; 1922: Vol 1.105.
  8. M.B. Zakaria, I. Saito, X.K. Yao, R.J. Wang, T. Matsuura. Furanoditerpenes of Fibraurea chloroleuca. Planta Med. Oct 1989.55(5):477-478.
  9. J. Siwon, R. Verpoorte, A.B. Svendsen. Studies on Indonesian Medicinal Plants VI* Further Alkaloids from Fibraurea chloroleuca. Planta Med. Jan1981;41(1):65-68.
  10. D. Jin-Rui, C. Heebyung, M.P. John, A. D. Kinghorn, T. Soefjan, P. Kosasih. Cytotoxic constituents of the roots of the Indonesian medicinal plant Fibraurea chloroleuca. Phytotherapy Research.7(4): 290 – 294.
  11. D. C. Ayres. Dictionary of Natural Products. London: Chapman and Hall; 1994; Vol 7.1320.
  12. N. A. Bakhari, S. T. Wah, K. Chinnakali, H.-K. Fun and I. A. Razak. Fibleucin from Fibraurea chloroleuca. Miers Acta Crystallographica. Section C, Crystal Structure Communications. Nov 1998;54(11).
  13. Jay H. Bernstein. Spirits captured in stone: shamanism and traditional medicine among the Taman of Borneo Boulder. Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers;1997.179.
  14. Batugal, P.A., Kanniah, J., Sy, L., Oliver, J.T. (eds.) Medicinal Plants Research in Asia. Vol I Serdang Bioversity International.122.
  15. Drug Notebook on Berberine. Berberine: Information on Uses, Dosage & Side Effects. Available from: [Accessed on 2nd November 2009]. 

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