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Calophyllum inophyllum


Balsamaria inophyllum [2]

Vernacular Names:


Penaga Laut, Bintangor

English Indian Laurel, Bornean Mahagony, Alexandiran laurel, Beauty Leaf, Bintangor



Bibog, Bintanhol, Bitaog, Bitaoi, Bitoc, Bitoo, Dancalan, Dincalin, Dinocalin, Palomaria, Palomaria de Playa, Pamitaoguen, Pamitlain, Pamitlaten, Vitam


Punnaaga (Sanskrit); Tunga, Sultaan Champas (Hindi); Naagchampa, Raajchampa; Poona (Malayalam); Sarpunka, Surfan, Oondee (Dukkan); Pinnay, Punai, Punai-maram, Punnagam (Tamil); Poonagamu, Ponna-chettu (Telagu); Teldomba (Singhalese)


Vintanina, Bintangor


Loureiro de Alexandria

South Pacific

Ati, Tamanu (Tahiti); Fetau (Samoa); Damanu (Fiji); Te Itai (Kiribati Islands); Puna (Lakshadweep Islands)


Kamani, Kamanu, Tamanu




Motondoo, Mtondoo, Mkanja [1] [2] [3]

General Information


Calophyllum inophyllum is a member of the Guttiferae family. It is a large tree which can reach up to 20m high. The trunk is covered by light gray bark with a pink inner bark. The leaves are broad, glossy, leathery and elliptic-oblong and measures 8-16cm x 4-8cm. The veins are numerous and run parallel to the sides. The flowers are white in erect racemes and sweetly fragrant. The fruits are globose in shape measuring 2cm across and are green in colour and become yellowish-brown at maturity. It contains one large seed with a bony shell. The plant has a cream coloured resinous latex.[1] [4]

Plant Part Used

Bark, fruit, juice and leaves [1] [7]

Chemical Constituents

1, 3, 5-trihydroxy-2-methoxyxanthone; 1,3,5,6-tetrahydroxy-2-isoprenylxanthone; 1,5-dihydroxyxanthone; 1, 7-dihydroxyxanthone; 2-hydroxyxanthone; 3,4-secofriedelan-3,28-dioic acid; 3beta, 23-epoxy-friedelan-28-oic acid; 3-oxo-27-hydroxyacetate friedelan-28-oic acid; 3-oxo-friedelan-28-oic acid; 4-hydroxyxanthone; 6-oxyjacareubin; 27-hydroxyacetate canophyllic acid; (+)-calanolide A; a-tocopherol; b-sitosterol; d-tocopherol; amentoflavone; brasiliensic acid; calaustralin; calophinone; calophyllolide; calophyllumin C; caloxanthones A and B; caloxanthone E; caloxanthone N; caloxanthone O; caloxanthone P; canophyllal; canophyllic  acid; canophyllol; canophyllic acid; calophynic acid; epifriedelanol; friedelin; friedelan-3-one; gerontoxanthone B; gerontoxanthone C; guanandin; inocalophyllins A and B; inophyllin A; inophyllolide; inophylloidic acid; inophyllum B,C, E and P; Inophyone; inophyxanthone  A; jacareubin; kaempferol-3-O-alpha-L-rhamnoside; macluraxanthone; oleanolic acid; oleic acid; palmitic acid; pancixanthone A; patulone; pyranojacareubin; quercetin-3-O-alpha-L-rhamnoside; stearic acid; stigmasterol; tamanolide; tamanolide D; tamanolide P. [1] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18]

Traditional Used:

Properties include antibacterial, anticancer/antineoplastic, anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet, antipsychotic, antiviral, photoprotective and piscicidal.[1]

The bark has astringent activities and a decoction is used to treat diarrhea and dysentery. However, when pounded, the juice expressed is a purgative. The fruit is also a purgative. The gum is also an emetic. [1] [7] [9]


The plant is used in treatment of rheumatism. Some advocate the use of the whole plant while others the seed oil applied topically over the affected areas. The juice extracted from pounded bark is applied over swollen testicles to help relieved pain and inflammation. [1] [7]

The seed oil of C. inophyllum had been used to treat skin diseases like scabies, ringworms and dermatosis. The leaves are used for chicken pox, skin inflammation and sunburn. A decoction of the bark is used to dress ulcers. In Indochina the powdered resin is applied over ulcers and infected wounds. [1] [6] [7] [9]

The gum is emetic and purgative. Migraine and Vertigo is treated using the leaf. The seed oil is used in the treatment of genitourinary and venereal diseases. [1] [7]

Pre-Clinical Data


Antiviral activity

One of the interesting feature of C. inophyllum is the recent discovery of its anti-HIV activity. Inophyllum B and P10 were the first of the many compounds isolated from C. inophyllum to show active inhibition of HIV reverse transcriptase with IC50 of 38 and 130nM respectively. Studies [11] reported that the inophyllums are non-nucleotide inhibitors, slow on-rate and that template-primer must bind to reverse transcriptase prior to inhibitor binding. The inhibition of reverse transcriptase by inophyllums was shown to be reversible. Study [12] isolated another coumarin costatolide, which also has anti-HIV activity.

Cancer chemopreventive activity

The 4-phenylcoumarins isolated from C. inophyllum showed inhibitory effects on Epstein-Barr virus early antigen activation induced by 12-O-tetradecanolyphorbol-13-acetate in Raji cells. The most potent is Calocoumarin-A which also exhibited mnarked inhibitory effect on mouse skin tumour promotion in an in vivo two stage carcinogenesis test.[13] Caloxanthone N and O, and gerontoxanthones were isolated from the ethanolic extract of the twigs of C. inophyllum and proven to have cytotoxic activity against chronic myeloid leukemia cell cine (K562) with IC50 values of 7.2 and 6.3microg/ml, respectively.[14][16]

Healing of ocular burns activity

Said et al. [19] found that the controlled ionization marine solution with 10% C. inophyllum oil and 90% Aleurites moluccana oil induced regeneration of the corneal epithelium and decrease in inflammatory cells. They concluded that irrigation with marine solution followed by treatment with a mixture of C. inophyllum and Aleurites moluccana oils is a promising treatment of ocular burns.

Cytoprotective effects against UV-induced damage activity

Studies [20] on the cytoprotective effects of C. inophyllum oil against UV-induced DNA damage and oxidative stress. They found that at a low concentration (1/10,000 v/v) the oil exhibited significant UV absorption properties (max. 300nm) and was associated with and important sun protection factor. At a concentration of 1% there were no cytotoxic activity against human conjunctival epithelial cells; at the same time it was observed to protect cells against oxidative stress and DNA damage and did not induce in vivo ocular irritation.


The seed kernel is poisonous. It contains innophyllum A – E, calophyllolide,and  calophynic acid. Upon ingestion it can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, diarrhea and dehydration. The latex is non toxic but has been known to cause keratoconjunctivitis when in contact with the cornea.[4]

The unrefined oil is toxic. Mild, focal to severe and widespread lesions were noticed in kidneys, hearts and livers of rats fed with C. inophyllum seed oil.[1]

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

Tamanu oil (Calophyllum inophyllum), extracted from the fruits or seeds of C. inophyllum has been reported to cause allergic dermatitis, with photo worsening of patch tests.[8]

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

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  1) Botanical Info


    1. Hwee Ling Koh, Chua Tung Kian, Chay Hoon Tan A Guide to Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated, Scientific and Medical Approach. World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd. Singapore 2009 pg. 32 – 33
    2. D. Louppe, A.A. Oteng-Amoako, M. Brink Timber 1 pg. 120-124
    3. Elmer Drew Merril A Dictionary of the Plant Names of the Philippine Island Bureau of Public Printing Manila 1903 pgs. 28, 34, 56, 59, 92, 116
    4. Lewis nelson, Richard D. Shih, Micheal J. Balick, Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants New York Botanical Garden Springer-Verlag Berlin 2007 pg. 100 – 101
    5. Bep Oliver-Bever  Medicinal Plants in tropical West Africa Cambridge University Press Cambridge 1986 pg. 207
    6. Jean H. Langenheim Plant Resins: Chemistry, Ecolution, Ecology and Ethnobotany Timber Press Inc. Portland 2003 pg. 382
    7. C.P. Khare Indian Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated Dictionary Springer-Verlag Berlin 2007 pg. 113
    8. Peter J. Frosch, Torkii Menne, Jean-Pierre Lepoittevin Contact Dermatitis pg. 786
    9. C.P. Khare Indian Herbal Remedies: Rational Western Therapy, Ayurvedic, and Other Springer-Verlag Berlin 2004 pg.118
    10. Patil AD, Freyer AJ, Eggleston DS, Haltiwanger RC, Bean MF, Taylor PB, Caranfa MJ, Breen AL, Bartus HR, Johnson RK, et al. The inophyllums, novel inhibitors of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase isolated from the Malaysian tree, Calophyllum inophyllum Linn. J Med Chem. 1993 Dec 24;36(26):4131-8.
    11. Taylor PB, Culp JS, Debouck C, Johnson RK, Patil AD, Woolf DJ, Brooks I, Hertzberg RP. Kinetic and mutational analysis of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 reverse transcriptase inhibition by inophyllums, a novel class of non-nucleoside inhibitors. J Biol Chem. 1994 Mar 4;269(9):6325-31.
    12. Spino C, Dodier M, Sotheeswaran S. Anti-HIV coumarins from Calophyllum seed oil. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 1998 Dec 15;8(24):3475-8.
    13. Itoigawa M, Ito C, Tan HT, Kuchide M, Tokuda H, Nishino H, Furukawa H. Cancer chemopreventive agents, 4-phenylcoumarins from Calophyllum inophyllum. Cancer Lett. 2001 Aug 10;169(1):15-9.
    14. Xiao Q, Zeng YB, Mei WL, Zhao YX, Deng YY, Dai HF. Cytotoxic prenylated xanthones from Calophyllum inophyllum. J Asian Nat Prod Res. 2008 Sep-Oct;10(9-10):993-7.
    15. Li YZ, Li ZL, Yin SL, Shi G, Liu MS, Jing YK, Hua HM. Triterpenoids from Calophyllum inophyllum and their growth inhibitory effects on human leukemia HL-60 cells. Fitoterapia. 2010 Sep;81(6):586-9. Epub 2010 Feb 24.
    16. Dai HF, Zeng YB, Xiao Q, Han Z, Zhao YX, Mei WL. Caloxanthones O and P: two new prenylated xanthones from Calophyllum inophyllum. Molecules. 2010 Jan 27;15(2):606-12.
    17. Leu T, Raharivelomanana P, Soulet S, Bianchini JP, Herbette G, Faure R. New tricyclic and tetracyclic pyranocoumarins with an unprecedented C-4 substituent. Structure elucidation of tamanolide, tamanolide D and tamanolide P from Calophyllum inophyllum of French Polynesia. Magn Reson Chem. 2009 Nov;47(11):989-93.
    18. Li Y, Li ZL, Liu MS, Li DY, Zhang H, Hua HM. [Xanthones from leaves of Calophyllum inophyllum Linn.] Yao Xue Xue Bao. 2009 Feb;44(2):154-7.
    19. Said T, Dutot M, Labbé A, Warnet JM, Rat P. Ocular burn: rinsing and healing with ionic marine solutions and vegetable oils. Ophthalmologica. 2009;223(1):52-9. Epub 2008 Nov 20.
    20. Said T, Dutot M, Martin C, Beaudeux JL, Boucher C, Enee E, Baudouin C, Warnet JM, Rat P. Cytoprotective effect against UV-induced DNA damage and oxidative stress: role of new biological UV filter. Eur J Pharm Sci. 2007 Mar;30(3-4):203-10. Epub 2006 Nov 9.

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