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Family Euphorbiaceae
Reutealis trisperma (Blanco) Airy Shaw

San zi tong

Scientific names Common names
Aleurites saponaria Blanco Bagilumbang (Tag.)
Aleurites trisperma Blanco Balukanag (Ilk., Bis., Tag.)
Camerium trispermum (Blanco) Kuntze Banukalad (Tag.)
Reutealis trisperma (Blanco) Airy Shaw Banunkalag (Tag.)
  Balokanad (Tag.)
  Calumban (Tag.)
  Kalumbang (Tag.)
  Lumbang (Bik.)
  Lumbang-banukalad (Tag.)
  Kalumban (Tag.)
  Lumbang-gubat (Tag.)
  Lumbang-banukalad (Tag.)
  Lumbang tree (Engl.)
  Otaheite walnut (Engl.)
  Philippine tung tree (Engl.)
  Soft lumbang tree (Engl.)
  Sunan candlenut (Engl.)
Lumbang is a common names shared by both Aleurites moluccana and A. trisperma.
Reutealis trisperma is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: San sejin, San zi tong.
INDONESIAN: Kemiri sunan, Kemiri cina, Muncang cina, Minyak pakal.
SPANISH: Arbol de tung; Javillio.

Gen info
- Reutealis is a monotypic plant genus in the family Euphorbiaceae. The single species, Reutealis trisperma is also known as Philippine tung.

• Bagilumbang is an evergreen tree growing to a height of 10 to 15 meters or more, It does not have hairs, except for the inflorescences. Leaves are suborbicular to broadly ovate,10 to 20 centimeters long, entire, with a broadly cordate base. Flowers are 10 to 12 millimeters in diameter, the petals obovate, densely hairy without, borne on panicles about 15 centimeters long. Fruit is somewhat rounded and angled, 5 to 6 centimeters in diameter, opening later along the angles, usually 3-celled and each containing a single seed. Seed is somewhat circular, flattened, rather smooth, with numerous small ridges, with a hard brittle shell about 0.5 millimeter thick. Within the shell is a white, oily, fleshy kernel with a very think embryo surrounded by a large endosperm. Kernel is covered by a thin, white, paperlike seed coat.

Trees to 15 m tall; trunk to 35 cm d.b.h. Petiole 14-15 cm; leaf blade ovate or ovate-cordate, 12-14 × 12-13 cm, abaxial surface with hair-tufts in many vein-axils, base usually deeply cordate with rounded lobes, sometimes rounded or obtuse on old trees, apex gland-tipped. Plants dioecious, sometimes monoecious. Male inflorescences flat-topped, with many cymelets. Male flowers: calyx cylindric, ca. 13 mm, 2- or 3-lobed, glabrous; petals 5, yellowish white, obovate, obovate-spatulate, or obovate-lanceolate, 8-16 × 3-5 mm; stamens 10-13, in 2 series; outer filaments free, inner ones connate at base. Female inflorescences flat-topped, racemose, or thyrsoid. Female flowers: ovary 3-celled, ovoid-globose-trigonous, densely appressed hairy; styles bifid. Capsule depressed globose to obtusely trigonous; pericarp 4-5 × 5-6.5 cm, longitudinally 3-angular, rugose, densely velutinous-pubescent. (Flora of China)

- Native to the Philippines. (7)
- Widely scattered in forests at low and medium altitudes in La Union, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Quezon, Rizal, and Camarines Provinces in Luzon; in Negros; and in Mindanao.
- Introduced into China Southeast, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jawa, Marianas. (7)

- In India, commercially cultivated for its tung oil.
- Elsewhere, cultivated for its timber.
- Planted in tropical and subtropical areas.
- In Taiwan, planted as a garden or shade tree.
- IUCN Red Listed: Vulnerable.

- The seeds, like other Aleurites species, yield a high percentage of oil.
- Constants are similar to tung oil.

- Kernel yields as high as 56 % of oil.
- In the genus Aleurites, plant is a significant source of conjugated fatty acid, eleostearic acid (38%).
- Bioassay-guided fractionation of n-butanol extract from branches and leaves of R. trisperma isolated  six undescribed crotignoids (L-Q), along with two known tigliane diterpenoids, 12-deoxyphorbol-13-hexadecanoate and 12-deoxyphorbol-13-myristate. (see study below) (17)

- More suitable for varnish making than tung oil; although with very poor keeping qualities.
- Fruit reported to be poisonous. (see below)
- Seed is purgative.
- Fresh kernels have a nutty flavor but causes a burning sensation in the mouth, throat, esophagus and stomach. Even a small part of the nut can cause violent vomiting within half an hour, or a terrible diarrhea, a few hours after eating and lasting 12 to 24 hours.
- Studies have suggested radical scavenging, allergenic, insecticidal, antiviral properties.

Parts used
Seed, bark sap.


- Fruit with reported toxicity. (see below)

- Seed is a strong purgative.
- Oil used for treatment of burns, scalds, wounds, and parasitic skin diseases
- Bark sap is used as a cure for scurf (dandruff); also used as hair tonic.
- Oil: Seed yields a high-quality, quick-drying oil. It yields 56% bagilumbang oil used in the manufacture of paints, varnishes, soaps; used as fuel and a=for coating boats.(8) Oil used for illumination and as wood preservative. (13)
- Insecticide: Oil for the seeds is an effective insecticide. (see study below)
- Soap: Oil from seed is a natural soap with weak cleaning function.
() It was once made into a weak soap, popular with sailors as it lathered with sea water. (13)
- Fertilizer: Seed cake residue, after oil extraction, used as fertilizer. (8)

Toxicity concerns
Fruit is reported to be poisonous.
Fresh kernels have a pleasant nutty flavor, but cause a burning sensation in the mouth, throat, esophagus, and stomach. A part of one nut can cause violent vomiting within an hour or severe diarrhea, a few hours after ingesting and lasting 12 to 24 hours. (
Minor Products of Philippine Forests / Brown. W. H. / Bureau of Forestry, Manila, 1920) (8)
Toxicity study / Seed:
Study e
valuated the acute toxicity and toxic symptoms of Sunan candlenut seed extracts. Acute toxicity assay was done on female Swiss Webster mice using seed extracts dose of 70, 700, 1400, 3500, and 7000 mg/kbw with 14-day observation. The LD 50 of the seed extract was 4954 mg/kg BW. Extract showed significant CNS effect by reducing motoric activity. Study suggests the Sunan candlenut extract was 6th category i.e., relatively harmless, based on the Hodge and Sterner toxicity scale. (16)
Signs and symptoms: Seed extract has significant effect on the autonomic nervous system causing ptosis and disrupting breathing, and affecting the central nervous system by reducing motor activity. Humans may present with gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting after ingestion of R. trisperma seeds.
Seed Intoxication / Gastrointestinal Discomfort and Hypotension / Case Report: A 51year old man misidentified seeds of R. trisperma as chestnuts, and soup was prepared by boiling 3 or 4 seeds. Consumption resulted in abdominal pain, vomiting, watery diarrhea and hypotension. Patient recovered after 2 to 3 days of treatment, which included intravenous fluids infusion. (18)

Radical Scavenging:
Study evaluated methanolic extracts of 35 plants for radical scavenging activity using DPPH and ABTS assays. Aleurites trisperma was one of four that showed very strong radical scavenging activity in both assays.
Oil Yield / Biodiesel Potential:
Study evaluated the suitability of various non-edible oil seeds (jatropha, neem, moringa, trisperma, castor beans and candlenut) for integral utilization of fractions for production of biodiesel and other products. The highest oil content (62% w/w) was found in trisperma seeds. However, use of the oil for biodiesel production was restricted by its high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Seeds / Allergenic Properties:
Contact dermatitis has been reported from the foliage of all species of Aleurites. Ingestion can cause a whole range of gastrointestinal symptoms: burning in the throat and mouth, nausea, vomiting, cramps, diarrhea, dehydration. Ingestion of seeds has been reported to cause poisoning and death in livestock.
Potential of Seed as Source for Biodiesel Production: Study evaluated the potential of non-edible R. trisperma oil as a new carbon source for biodiesel synthesis. (10) Yields about 25-30 kg seeds per tree/year during July-August. Seeds yielded 38-40% oil, rich in nervonic acid. Seed is highly viscous with a high content of free fatty acids (7.14%). Biodiesel production has been carried out adopting a two-stage process, involving acid esterification and alkali catalyzed transesterification. Study has shown the oil to be a potential non-edible source for biodiesel production. (13)
Optimization of Biodiesel Production from Reutealis trisperma Oil: R. trisperma oil is an attractive material for production of biodiesel. Study investigated the optimization of biodiesel production from R. trisperma oil using NaOH as catalyst. (11)
Production of Protein and Oil-Rich Biomass: Study evaluated the use of Philippine tung (Reutealis trisperma) seed as substrate for the cultivation of black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia ilucens). The seed had relatively high oil (37.6-39.2% dw) and protein content (14.9-28.2% dw), feeding rate (50100 mg/larvae/d), dark light condition, and substrate depth of 4.10 cm. The prepupal biomass showed a relatively high amount of protein (45% dw) and oil content (26.6% dw) and was found suitable for cattle feed application. (14)
Anti-HIV Tigliane Diterpenoids / Branches and Leaves: Bioassay-guided fractionation of n-butanol extract from branches and leaves of R. trisperma isolated  six undescribed crotignoids (L-Q), along with two known tigliane diterpenoids, 12-deoxyphorbol-13-hexadecanoate and 12-deoxyphorbol-13-myristate. All isolates were tested for anti-HIV activity against HL4-3 virus in MT4 cells. Except for crotignoid Q, the rest of the seven tigliane diterpenoids exhibited potent anti-HIV activity with IC50s ranging from 0.0023 to 4.03 µM. (17)
Insecticidal / Seed Oil Nanoemulsion: Study evaluated the kemiri sunan seed oil nanoemulsion as insecticide against Planoccocus minor. Results showed increase in insecticidal effect against the insect species when formulated as nanoemulsion, with mortality of as much as 90% after five days of treatment with LC50 of 0.09% and LT50 of 3.7 days. Study suggests the seed oil based nanoemulsion can be developed into botanical pesticides with the benefits of low chemical residues, safety for natural enemies, and potential as component in integrated pest management. (20)

- Wild-crafted.
- Cultivated in southeast Asia for its seed oil.
- Seeds in the cybermarket.

Updated April 2024 / March 2020 / April 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: Minor Products of Philippine Forests / Vol 2 / William Brown and Arthur Fisher / Figure 46 / Aleurites trisperma (Bagilumbang), The Source of Bagilumbang Oil / 1920 / Modifications by G. Stuart / Public Domain
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Reutealis trisperma fruit bunch (1) and leaf close up (2) / Forestowlet / 2014 / CC by SA: 4.0 / click on image to go to source page / Wikipedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Illustration: Reutealis trisperma / Flora de Filipinas / Franciso Manuel Blanco (OSA), 1880-1883 / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Reutealis trisperma leaf / Forestowlet / 2014 / CC0 / Image modified / Click on image or link to go to source page Wikimedia Commons
Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Bagilumbang or soft lumbang (Aleurites trisperma) oil / G. S. Jamieson and R. S. McKinney / JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN OIL CHEMISTS' SOCIETY, Volume 12, Number 7, 146-148, DOI: 10.1007/BF02636731 / A Paper Presented at the 26th Annual Meeting of the American Oil Chemists' Society, at Memphis, Tenn., May 23–24, 1935.
Tung Flower Study: Doctor of tung flower leads you to the secrets of tung flower / 2010 Hakka Tung Blossom Festival
PRODUCTION OF UNUSUAL FATTY ACIDS IN PLANTS / David Hildebrand / Plant Lipid Biochemistry
Evaluation of radical scavenging activity of certain plant extracts using cell free assays / R.M. Samarth* and Vivek Krishna / Pharmacologyonline 1: 125-137 (2007)
Studies conducted at University of Matanzas on oil and gas recently published / Ol and Gas /
Energy Business Journal
Lumbang Nut / Aleurites trisperma / Common Allergy Triggers in Georgia / Data from Betrock Information Systems
Reutealis trisperma / Synonyms / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Reutealis trisperma / Useful Tropical Plants
Reutealis Airy Shaw Euphobiaceae / CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants: Common Names / Umberto Quattrocchi
The potential of Reutealis trisperma seed as a new non-edible source for biodiesel production / Holilah, Holilah; Didik, Prasetyoko; Titie, Oetami; Eka, Santosa; Yusuf, Zein; Hasliza, Bahruji; Hamzah, Fansuri; Ratna, Ediati; Juwari, Juwari / Biomass Conv. Bioref. (2015) 5:347-353
Biodiesel production and characterization from non-edible oil tree species Aleurites trisperma Blanco / K Rajesh Kumar, C Channarayapp, K Chandrika, Balakrishna Gowda et al / DOI: 10.1007/s13399-014-0152-4
Reutealis trisperma / N.O. Aguilar & L.P.A. Oyen / Pl@ntUse
Factors affecting the bioconversion of Philippine tung seed by black soldier fly larvae for the production of protein and oil-rich biomass / Muhammad Yusuf Abduha,b,⁎, Mochamad Hirza Nadiaa, Syaripudina, Robert Manurunga, Ramadhani Eka Putraa / Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology, 2018; 21: pp 836-842 / https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aspen.2018.06.007
Biodiesel Production from Reutealis trisperma Oil Using Conventional and Ultrasonication through Esterification and Transesterification / Teuku Meurah Indra Riayatsyah, Razali Thaib, Arridina Susan Silitonga et al / Sustainability, 2021; 13(6): 3350  / DOI: 10.3390/su13063350
Acute Toxicity of Extract of Sunan candlenut (Reutealis trisperma (Blanco) Airy Shaw) Seeds. / Nyi Mekar Saptarini, Resmi Mustarichie /  Drug Invention Today, 2020; 14(5) / ISSN: 0975-7619
Anti-HIV tigliane diterpenoids from Reutealis trisperma / Yan Lu, Ya-Si Huang, Chin-Ho Chen, Toshiyuki Akiyama, Dao-Feng Chen, Kuo-Hsiung Lee et al / Phytochemistry, 2020; Vol 174: 112360 /
DOI: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2020.112360
Gastrointestinal discomfort and hypotension in a patient with Reutealis trisperma seeds intoxication: A case report / Po-Min Chang MD, Yen-Yi Lee MD, Yen-Hung Wu MD / Medicine, 2021; 100(51): e28348 /
DOI: 10.1097/MD.0000000000028348
Suggested reading: Biofuels: growing renewables and restoring degraded land?
Evaluation of Kemiri Sunan (Reutealis trisperma Blanco) Seed oil nanoemulsion as insecticide against Planococcus minor (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) / Prabowo Heri, Damaiyani Janis / 1st Worksho on Environmental Science, Society, and Technology, 2018; Medan

DOI: It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants
                                          New plant names needed
The compilation now numbers over 1,300 medicinal plants. While I believe there are hundreds more that can be added to the collection, they are becoming more difficult to find. If you have a plant to suggest for inclusion, native or introduced, please email the info: scientific name (most helpful), local plant name (if known), any known folkloric medicinal use, and, if possible, a photo. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

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