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Quassia indica


Karin-Njoti Rheede, Locandia glandulifera (Presl.) Pierre, Locandia indica (Gaertn.) O.K., Locandia madagascariensis (Juss.) O.K., Locandia mekongensis (Pierre) Pierre, Locandia merguensis Pierre, Locandia pendula (Blanco) Pierre, Manungala pendula Blanco, Mauduita penduliflora Comm. ex DC, Niota commersonii Pers., Niota lamarckiana Blume, Niota lucida Wall., Niota pentapetala Poir., Niota tetrapetala Poir., Samadera brevipetala Scheff., Samadera glandulifera Presl., Samadera indica Gaertn., Samadera indica var. brevipetala (Scheff.) Back, Samadera indica var. papuana Laut., Samadera madagascariensis Juss., Samadera mekongensis (Pierre) Engl., Samadera pentapetala (Poir.) G.Don., Samadera tetrapetala (Poir.) G.Don., Samandura indica (Gaertn.) Baill., Samandura madagascariensis (Juss.) Perrier de la Bathie, Samandura mekongensis Pierre, Vitmannia elliptica Vahl, Vitmannia lucida Steud.  [1]

Vernacular Names:

Malaysia: Gatip Pahit (Malays); Kalapahit (Sarawak) [1]
English:  Niepa Bark tree

Gatep pahit, rapus, kelepis (Bangka); Lani (Ambon), One-one (Ternate)


Mauing Datu, Daraput, Linatoganac, Palagarium, Palagium, Ponoan (Visaya); Manyual (Tagalog)

India:  a Lokhanti(Hindi); Nipa, Samdera (Kannada); Karinnotta, karinnotta (Malayalam); Gucchakaranjah (Sanskrit); Nibam, Kanncottai (Tamil); Lokanti (Telagu)

General Information


Quassia indica is a small tree of the Simaroubaceae family. It grows in the evergreen forests and along backwaters of the tropical belt. The tree can grow up to 11 m high with stout branches and pale yellow bark. The leaves are large, elliptic-olong or elliptic-lanceolate, shortly acuminate, entire, shining, with rounded base. It measures up to 25 cm long and 9 cm wide. The flowers are pinkish yellow in few or many flowered axillary umbels. Penicles are longer than the leaves. The pedicels are red. Fruits are large, flat, pear-shaped, much compressed, smooth, reticulate. They contain brown curved seeds. [1]

Plant Part Used

Bark, wood chips, leaves and seeds [5]

Chemical Constituents

2-O-glucosylsamaderine C; brucein D; canthin-2, 6-dione; cedronin; dihydrosamaderine B; indaquassin A, D, E F and X; samaderines B, C, D, E, X, Y and Z; simarinolide; soulameolide. [5]

Traditional Used:

Most traditional medical systems of the tropical belt made use of various parts of this plant to treat fever of different origins but most of all of malaria. The Burmese, Indonesian, Malays and the Filipinos made use of decoction of the bark of Q. indica to treat fever. In India the bark immerse in coconut oil is the preferred remedy for fever while the Solomon Islanders made used of the decoction of the seeds and so does some Ayurvedic practitioners. [1][2]

The seeds and the seed oil are the remedy for rheumatism. [3] They are applied externally by Burmese and Indonesian traditional practitioners. [1] 

In India the infusion of the wood and bark is considered as an emmenagogue and is used to treat dysmenorrhoea. [3]

Juice of the bark is applied to the skin to treat various infective processes of the skin like abscesses, erysipelas. The leaves are also used to treat erysipelas and pruritus of the skin. The seed oil which is considered as an astringent is used to treat leprosy and scabies. The leaves could be used to treat worms. Pounded leaves of Q. indica is rubbed into the scalp to treat dandruff. [1][3][4]

The wood in coconut oil is considered a purgative and is being advocated in the treatment of constipation. The Indians believe the oil of the seeds is purgative. In Borneo the seeds is used to induce vomiting, a belief shared with the people of India.  Indonesian advocate the use of a decoction of the seeds to stimulate the production of bile and the same is used in the treatment of cholera. Decoction of the wood chip is given to stimulate appetite amongst the in Indonesia. [1][3][4] 

Pre-Clinical Data


Anti-inflammatory activity 

Samaderines X and B from the bark of Q. indica exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity. [5] 

Antimicrobial activity 

In the process of characterization of the stem of Q. indica , reports had shown that the quassianoids samaderines X, Z, E and B were able to inhibit the growth of cultured malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum (a chloroquuine-resistant K1 strain). [5] 

Cytotoxic activity  

Quassianoids isolated from the barks of Q. indica was found to have cytotoxic activities against KB cells (a cell line derived from a human carcinoma of the nasopharynx) in vitro. These quassianoids had been identified as the following samaderines B, C, E X, Y and Z, indaquassin C and X. [5] 


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

No documentation

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

Q. indica is considered an emmenagogue and its use during pregnancy should be discouraged. [3]

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. W. Christophe. Medicinal plants of Asia and the Pacific. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 2006.188.
  2. P. K. Warrier, V. P. K. Nambiar, C. Ramankutty, R. Vasudevan Nair. Indian medicinal plants: a compendium of 500 species Vol 5. Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan; 1996.55.
  3. C. P. Khare. Indian Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated Dictionary New Delhi: Springer; 2007.531.
  4. H. Arief Hariana. Tumbuhan Obat dan Khasiatnya. Jakarta: Niaga Swadaya; 2005.122.
  5. I. Kitagawa, T. Mahmud, K. Yokota, S. Nakagawa, T. Mayumi, M. Kobayashi, H. Shibuya. Indonesian Medicinal Plants. XVII. Characterization of Quassinoids from the Stems of Quassia indica. Chemical & pharmaceutical bulletin. 1996: 44(11);   2009-2014.

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