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Colubrina asiatica


Ceanothus asiaticus, Tralliana scandens [1]

Vernacular Names:


Peria Pantai

English Asian Snakewood, Asian Nakedwood, Hoop with Latherleaf, Soapbush, Wild Coffee [5]

Kabatiti, Uatitik, Palialaut (Tagalog); Kayaskas (Ilacano); Paria (Bag.)




Poro, Tartarmoana, Vere, Verevere, Vuso Levu



Society Islands

Ami, Tutu

General Information


Colubrina asiatica is a member of the Rhamnaceae family. It is a shrub with long climbing or drooping branches that can attain a height of 6m. The leaves are ovate or broadly ovate with membranous, glossy, green upper surface, crenated edges and arranged alternately. The apex is acuminate and slightly notched, and base round or subcordate. They measures 4-8cm long and 2-5cm wide. Inflorescence form clusters of small, greenish-white flowers appearing in the axils. The calyx is five-lobed; each sepal is ovatelt-triangular. The petals are obovate-rounded, hooded, and equal in length to the stamen. The fruits are small capsule-like drupes, measuring about 7-9mm across, appearing green at first then becoming brown with age. Each fruit contains three tiny greyish seeds. [2] [3]

Plant Part Used

Leaves, stem, fruit [4] [5]

Chemical Constituents

3'-O-acetylcolubrin; 3' ',2' "-O-diacetylcolubrin;  3' '-O-acetyl-6' '-O-trans-crotonylcolubrin; colubrine; colubrinoside;  kaempferol 3-O-rutinoside; rutin [7] [10]

Traditional Used:

Gastrointestinal Diseases

A decoction of the stem is given to alleviate stomach disorders. [4] The slight bitterness of the leaves can act as an appetite stimulant when eaten as vegetable.

Dermatological Diseases

Application of the decoction of the leaves over the skin can alleviate skin irritation and itchiness. It is also used in the treatment of some skin diseases. [5] Leaves are also used to relieve inflammatory conditions of the skin like abscess. [4] In Polynesia its is used as a wound cicatrizant. [5] 

Other uses

Fruits of C. asiatica are considered an abortifacient. [5] Oil extracted from the seeds is udes to treat rheumatism and numbness in adults and in children it is used to treat delayed walking. [4] Leaves of Colubrina asiatica is used in the treatment of headache and bodyaches, fever and pain reliever [6]

Pre-Clinical Data


Sedative activity

The saponins colubrine and colubrinoside were found to decrease spontaneous motility in mice and prolonged barbiturate narcosis while at the same time showed antagonistic effects on amphetamine and exerted a synergistic activity on chlordiazepoxide. These findings indicate that these two saponins have sedative actions. [7]

Antibacterial activity

A. Kar et al. [8] found that the essential oil extracted from leaves of C. asiatica in combinations with oil from Litsea chinensis and Piper cubeba showed maximum antibacterial activity against 15 pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteriae.

Extracts (petroleum ether, chloroform and methanol) of the leaves of C. asiatica was found to have inhibitory activities against Helicobacter pylori. [9]


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

C. asiatica or better known as Peria Pantai is a frequent vegetable consumed especially by people of the northern states of Peninsular Malaysia. Due to the presence of sedating saponins colubrin and colubrinoside it is advisable not to over consume this vegetable. Handling of heavy vehicles after consumption of this vegetable should be avoided. [7]

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

As cited above the fruit is an abortifacient. There is also the fear that the leaves may carry the active principle, thus pregnant women should avoid eating the leaves as vegetable. [5]

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


  1. Merrill: Loureiro’s “Flora Cochinchinensis” Transactions, American Philosophical Society (ZVol. 24, Pt. 2) Philadelphia 1935 pg. 253
  2. Asiatic Colubrina. ( [Accessed on 6th November 2010]
  3. Colubrina asiatica. ( [Accessed on 6th November 2010]
  4. Wld Fact Sheets. ( Accessed 6th November 2010
  5. Phillipine Medicinal Plants. ( [Accessed on 6th November 2010]
  6. N. Dilip, A. C. Julita, T. Jack, C. Felix and M. Lourdes. Medicinal plants and traditional knowledge in the Northern Mariana Islands ( [Accessed on 6th November 2010]
  7. Wagner H, Ott S, Jurcic K, Morton J, Neszmelyi A. Chemistry, 13C-NMR Study and Pharmacology of Two Saponins from Colubrina asiatica. Planta Med. 1983 Jul;48(7):136-41.
  8. A. Kar and S. R. Jain Antibacterial evaluation of some indigenous medicinal volatile oils Plant Foods for Human Nutrition (Formerly Qualitas Plantarum) Volume 20(3):231-237
  9. Abdul M. Uyub, Ikenna N. Nwachukwu, Ahmad, A. Azlan and Shaida S. Fariza In-vitro antibacterial activity and cytotoxicity of selected medicinal plant extracts from Penang Island Malaysia on metronidazole-resistant-Helicobacter pylori and some pathogenic bacteria. Ethnobotany Research & Applications 8:095-106 (2010) ( [Accessed on 6th November 2010]
  10. Lee SS, Chen WC, Chen CH. New jujubogenin glycosides from Colubrina asiatica. J Nat Prod. 2000 Nov;63(11):1580-3.

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