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Phyllanthus pulcher


Diasperus pulcher, Epistylium pulchrum, Phyllanthus asteranthos

Vernacular Names:

Malaysia Naga Buana, Saga Buana, Naga Jumat, Kelurut Tanjung, Nohok Penuduk, Kayu Putih, Semilit Patung

General Information


Phyllanthus pulcher is a member of the Euphorbiaceae family. It is a shrub which can reach up to 1.5 m high. The leaves are distichous with 15-30 pairs along each branchlets. The stipules are triangular-lanceolate measuring 3-4 x 1.5-2 mm, reddish brown in colour, entire or obscurely serrulate. The petiole measures 0.8-1.5 mm. The leaf blade obliquely oblong to ovate-oblong in shape, measuring 1,.8-2 x 0.8-1.3 cm, membranous, abaxillary grey-green, adaxially green, margins slightly revolute. The lateral veins have 4 -6 pairs, obscure. Inflorescence a bisexual axillary fascicle, usually with several male and one female flower. The flowers has ciliate bracts at the base. The male flowers has delicate pedicels, measure 5-10 mm. The sepals 4, ovate-triangular, measuring 2-3 x 1-2 mm, dark red in colour and margins lacerate. The disk glands 4, square or reniform in shape, measure 0.5-0.7 mm wide, flat and membranous. The stamens 2 while the filaments are short and cornnate. The anthers longitudinally dehiscent. The female flowers had filamentous pedicels measuring 15-23 mm. The sepals 6, ovate-triangular in shape, measuring 3.5-4 x 1.5 mm, margins lacerate, midrib thicker abaxially; disk disk-shaped, fleshy, surrounding ovary at base, apex 6-lobed; ovary subglobose, smooth and 3-celled. The styles 3, spreading, bifid at apex. The fruiting pedicels measure 2.5 cm while the sepals are persistent. The capsules subglobose in shape measure 3mm in diameter, brownish in colour and smooth.[1]

Plant Part Used

Leaves and roots [3]

Chemical Constituents

bis(6-methylheptyl)phthalate, phyllanthal-A and 3,4- dihydroxy-5-methoxy-3’,4’,5’-trihydroxyoxepino-chromene-2-one stigmast-5-en-3-ol-oleate, diisobutyl adipate, β- sitosterol, 7-tridecanone and β-sitosteryl-β-D-glucopyranoside 12(13)-dehydro-3α-acetoxyolean-28-oic acid and lupanol acetate 3α-acetoxy-25- hydroxyolean-12-en-28-oic acid, glochidone and glochidonol [2]

Traditional Used:

Decoction of the plant has multiple medicinal values. It can be used as an eye wash, fomentations for nasal ulcers, abscesses, pruritus, fever and renal problems in children. Decoction of the whole plant can relieve stomachache. Paste of the leaves or sap is applied on aching tooth for relieve. The decoction of the roots is a remedy for hypertension. [3]

Pre-Clinical Data


Cytotoxic activity

Studies on the cytotoxicity of P. pulcher and found a number of compounds isolated have acitivity against a number of cancer cell lines(  MCF-7 (breast), DU-145 (prostate) and H460 (lung)). In the dichloromethane extracts of the aerial parts he identified the four compounds stigmast-5-en-3-ol-oleate, bis(6-methylheptyl)phthalate, phyllanthal-A, and β-sitosteryl-β-D-glucopyranoside to be active against MCF-7 Cells;  phyllanthal-A is also active against DU-145; 3α- acetoxy-25-hydroxyolean-12-en-28-oic acid (197) which was isolated for the first time in this genus showed cytotoxic activity against MCF-7 and DU-145 cell lines and glochidonol  exhibited potent antitumour activity against all the tested cell lines.[4]
Anti-HIV-1 reverse transcriptase activity

A screening exercise for the activity of Phyllanthus sp. found extract of P. pulcher to have the strongest inhibitiong of HIV-RT at IC50 of 5.9 μg/mL.[5]
Antiangiogenic activity

P. pulcher was one of the plants subjected to an anti-angiogenic activity studies. At a dose of 100 μg/ml it recorded an inhibition of 78.8% against rat aortic vascular growth. However when tested on human umbilical vein endotheliad cells it only decrease the proliferation by 15.5%.[6]


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

No documentation

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation


    1. Flora of China: Phyllanthus pulcher ( [Accessed 11th November 2010]
    2. Bagalkotkar, Gururaj Isloation and Characetrisation of Compounds from Naga Buana (Phyllanthus pulcher) and Similit Matinggi (Casearia capitellata) and their Cytotoxic effects on Cancer cell lines Masters Thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia ( Accessed 11th November 2010
    3. Kamaruddin Mat-Salleh, A. Latiff Tumbuhan Ubatan Malaysia Pusat Perkembangan Penyelidikan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Bangi 2001 pg. 347
    4. Bagalkotkar, Gururaj Isolation and Characterisation of Compounds from ‘Naga Buana’ (Phyllanthus Pulcher) and ‘Similit Matinggi’ (Casearia Capitellata) and Their Cytotoxic Effects on Cancer Cell Lines Masters thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia. (UNSPECIFIED)
    5. I.M.S. Eldeena, E-M. Seowa, R. Abdullaha and S.F. Sulaimana In vitro antibacterial, antioxidant, total phenolic contents and anti-HIV-1 reverse transcriptase activities of extracts of seven Phyllanthus sp South African Journal of Botany 2010
    6. Ng KW, Salhimi SM, Majid AM, Chan KL Anti-angiogenic and cytotoxicity studies of some medicinal plants. Planta Med. 2010 Jun;76(9):935-40
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      Malaysia – Naga Buana, Saga Buana, Naga Jumat, Kelurut Tanjung, Nohok Penuduk, Kayu Putih, Semilit Patung.

      Thailand – Waan-thoranee-saan

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