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Pandanus odorus


Pandanus laevis Ridl. In Agric Bull. Straits and FMS. 1, 1902 p. 336 (noty of Kunth); Pandanus latifolius Hasskarl; Pandanus amaryllifolius Roxburgh Fl. Ind. III p. 743. Kunth l.c. p. 100. Miq. Anal Ind. III p. 17

Vernacular Names:

Malaysia: Pandan Wangi, Pandan rampai

Screwpine, fragrant screwpine, Indonesian screwpine, pandan, fragrant pandan, scented pandan.

Indonesia:  Seuke Bangu, Pandan Bebau, Pandan Rempai, Pandan Musang (Sumatra); Pandan Rampe, Pandan Seungit (Java); Pandan arrum (Bali); Bonak (Nusa Tenggara); Daun Pandan
Thailand:  Bai Toey, Paanae wo-nging, Toey Hom
Philippines:  Pandan, Pandan-mabango
Vietnam:  Dua Thom, La Dua
India:  Kewra, keora (Hindi)
Singhalese:  Pandai or Rampe
Khmer:  Taey
Laos:  Tey Ban, Tey Hom
French:  Pandanus
German:  Schraubenbaum, Amarillisblattriger

General Information


Pandanus odorus is a member of the Pandanaceae family. It is commonly grown throughout the Nusantara for use both in cooking and as medicine. The stems are stout and if left to grow would reach up to 3 – 6 m tall. The leaves can reach up to 75 cm long and 5 cm wide. They are linear acute, glaucous beneath, thornless except for a few minute thorns at the tip. It has never seen to flower and thus far no record of its flowers had been documented. [1]

Plant Part Used

Roots and leaves [3][4]

Chemical Constituents

2,3-Dihydro-1H-pyrrole,9Cl; pandamarilactone 1; pandamarilactone 31; pandamarilactone 32; pandamarilactonine A; pandamarine; norpandamarilactonine A; pandamarilactonine B, C, and D, pandanamine

Traditional Used:

P. odorus is one of the essential elements in the cooking of South-east Asian cuisine. It is used as a colorant (green colour), frangrant imparter and an appetite stimulant. It is made used of in cooking of rice like nasi lemak, meats and sweets. [1]

The leaves of P. odorus is used in the treatment of chicken pox and small pox in the form of a lotion made from pounded leaves. [1] The ashes of the leaves mixed in vinegar is applied on the rashes of measles. [2] 

In the treatment of gonorrhoea, syphilis and denggue a draught of the leaves is being given to the patient. Another way of using it for these condition is to extract the juice by pounding a few leaves and squeeing out the juice. [1]

Rheumatic pains and body aches is treated by making an embrocation of the leaves in coconut oil. This medicated oils is massaged on to the effected region. It is also used in the treatment of neurasthesia by giving the patient a decoction of the leaves to drink. To relieve restlessness it was advocated that the leaves after being finely chopped is steeped into hot water and the infusion given 2 – 3 times a day. [3]

Thai Traditional practitioners used the roots of P. odorus to treat their diabetic patients. [4] The aerial roots are harvested, dried and made into a drinkable tea using a handful of the roots in 1 litre of water. [5]

Pre-Clinical Data


Antidiabetic activity

In Thai traditional medicine roots of P. odorus was used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus, this had lead some Thai researches to do a series of studies to determine the rationale of this treatment. In 1996, Peungvicha proved the presence of hypoglyceamic activity in water extract of the roots of P. odorus. [6] In August 1998 they published their success in isolating a compound 4-hydroxybenzoic acid from the roots of P. odorus which has hypoglycaemic effects in normal rats after administration of 5mg/kg of the compound orally. They also found that the compound also increased serum insulin levels and liver glycogen content in normal rats. [7] When tested against streptozotocin-diabetic rats it was found that there were no increase in serum insulin level and liver glycogen content. They concluded that the mechanism of hypoglycaemic effect was mediated by an increase in the periperal glucose consumption. [8] 

Antiviral activity

Ooi LS isolated a lectin, Pandanin from the saline extract of leaves of Pandanus amaryllifolius Roxb. This unglycosylated protein was found to exhibit haemagglutinating activity towards rabbit erythrocytes and this is reversed by mannose and mannan. Pandanin also possesses antiviral activities against human viruses, herpes simples virus type-1 (HSV-1) and Influenza virus (H1N1) with 3 days EC50 of 2.94 and 15.63 microM, respectively. [9]


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

The roots of P. odorus contained 4-hydroxybenzoic acid which has the ability of increasing peripheral utilization of glucose. While this could be beneficial to diabetics in controlling hyperglycaemia, however, it should be used with caution when taking in combination with oral hypoglycaemic agents or insulin. [8]

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation

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  1)  Cultivation


  1. Available from: Koleksi Herba MARDI [Accessed on 26/1/2010]
  2. I.H. Burkill A Dictionary of Economic Products of the Malay Peninsula Vol. 2 Ministry of Agriculature and Cooperatives of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur 1966 pg. 1678
  3. Syamsul Hidayat, Sri Wahyuni, Sofia Andalusia, Seri Tumbuhan Obat Berpotensi Hias, Elex Media Komputindo, Jakarta, 2008. pg 71-72
  4. Chami Jotisalikorn, Luca Invernizzi Tettoni, Thai Spa Book: The Natural Asian Way to Health and Beauty, Periplus Editions (HK) Ltd, 2002. pg 35
  5. Personal Communication with a Thai Herbalis – Pak Berahan (deceased) of Kampong Padang Lalang, Pulau Langkawi, 2000
  6. Peungvicha P, Thirawarapan SS, Watanabe H. Hypoglycemic effect of water extract of the root of Pandanus odorus RIDL. Biol Pharm Bull. 1996 Mar;19(3):364-6
  7. Peungvicha P, Temsiririrkkul R, Prasain JK, Tezuka Y, Kadota S, Thirawarapan SS, Watanabe H. 4-hydroxybenzoic acid: a hypoglycemic constituent of aqueous extract of Pandanus odorus root. J Ethnopharmacol. 1998 Aug;62(1):79-84
  8. Peungvicha P, Thirawarapan SS, Watanabe H. Possible mechanism of hypoglycemic effect of 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, a constituent of Pandanus odorus root. Jpn J Pharmacol. 1998 Nov;78(3):395-8
  9. Ooi LS, Sun SS, Ooi VE. Purification and characterization of a new antiviral protein from the leaves of Pandanus amaryllifolius (Pandanaceae). Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2004 Aug;36(8):1440-6

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