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Family Anacardiaceae
Buchanania arborescens (Blume) Blume
Shan xian zi

Scientific names Common names
Buchanania angustifolia Benth. Balinghasay (Tag.)
Buchanania arborescens (Blume) Blume Balinghasai (Tag.)
Buchanania arborescens F.Muell. Green plum (Engl.)
Buchanania arborescens var. obovata Blume Jam Jam (Engl._
Buchanania attopeunensis (Pierre) Tardieu Little gooseberry tree (Engl.)
Buchanania bancana Miq. Satinwood tree (Engl.)
Buchanania decandra Blanco Sparrow's mango (Engl.)
Buchanania florida A.Gray  
Buchanania florida var. arborescens Engl.  
Buchanania florida var. attopeunensis Pierre  
Buchanania florida var. cumingii Engl.  
Buchanania florida var. dongnaiensis Pierre  
Buchanania florida var. lucida (Blume) Engl.  
Buchanania florida var. petiolaris (Miq.) Engl.  
Buchanania glaberrima Ridl.  
Buchanania intermedia Wight  
Buchanania longifolia Blume  
Buchanania longifolia Span.  
Buchanania lucida Blume  
Buchanania lucida var. laxiflora Ridl.  
Buchanania lucida var. palembanica (Blume) Miq.  
Buchanania monticola Kaneh. & Hatus.  
Buchanania muelleri Engl.  
Buchanania nabirensis Kaneh. & Hatus.  
Buchanania novohibernica Lauterb.  
Buchanania palembanica Blume  
Buchanania papuana C.T.White  
Buchanania petiolaris Miq.  
Buchanania platyphylla Merr.  
Buchanania polybotrya Miq.  
Buchanania pseudoflorida G.Perkins  
Buchanania scandens Lauterb.  
Buchanania solomonensis Merr. & L.M.Perry  
Buchanania subobovata Griff.  
Buchanania versteeghii Merr. & L.M.Perry  
Coniogeton arborescens Blume  
Lauro-cerasus laurifolia (Decne.) M.Roem.  
Prunus laurifolia Decne.  
Buchanania arborescens is an accepted species. It has 37 synonyms. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
BRUNEI: Kepala tundang, Rengas ayam.
CHINA: Shan xian zi.
INDONESIA: Popohan, Getasan, Rawa-rawa pipit.
MALAYSIA: Otak udang tumpul, Rengas laut, Beluno-beluno.
THAILAND: Chaa muang, Luaet khwai, Mamuang khee kratai.
VIETNAM: Cay mung ri.

Gen info
- The species was formally described in 1826 by botanist Carl Ludwig Blume, initially naming it Coniogeton arborescens, and transfered to the genus Buchanania in 1850.
- Etymology: The genus name Buchanania is named after Francis Buchanan-Hamilton (1762-1829), Scottish physician recognized as geographer, zoologist, botanist, and historian.

Scadoxus m is an evergreen tree; branchlets minutely yellowish pubescent to subglabrous. Petiole 2-2.5 cm; leaf blade obovate-oblong to obovate-elliptic, 8-18 × 4-6 cm, leathery, glabrous, base cuneate, margin entire, apex rounded, lateral veins 10-15 pairs, prominent on both sides. Panicle terminal or axillary, 8-10 cm, minutely ferruginous pubescent. Flowers white. Calyx glabrous, lobes suborbicular, ca. 1 mm with ciliate margins. Petals elliptic to suborbicular, 3-4 mm, fleshy. Stamens equal to petals in length; filaments linear to subulate, longer than anthers; anthers sagittate. Disk large and thick. Carpels 5, minutely pubescent. Drupe lens-shaped, ca. 8 mm, glabrous. (Flora of China)

- Native to the Philippines.
- Also native to Andaman Is., Bismark Archipelago, Borneo, Cambodia, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Maluku, Myanmar, New Guinea, Northern Territory, Queensland, Solomons Is., Sulawesi, Sumatera, Taiwan, Thailand, Vanuatu, Vietnam. (1)

- Grows primarily in the wet tropical biome. (1)
- In lowland forests up by river banks, up to 500 m altitude

- Study of EtOAc-soluble extract of stems of Buchanania lucida stems isolated one new lignan, (+)-(8S,8′S)-5′-methoxy-4,4′-di-O-methylseco-isolariciresinol (1), along with five known compounds (2-6). (see study below) (6)

- Sawdust may cause dermatitis.
- Studies have suggested antiproliferative, wound healing, CNS depressant properties.

Parts used
Fruits, bark, roots.


- Fruits are edible, eaten raw, sweet and pulpy.

- Australian aborigines use the plant for treatment of toothache: Inner bark and sapwood pounded between two stones, soaked in water, and the infusion used as mouthwash, but not swallowed. Infusion of roots used likewise. (4)
- Used fro abdominal pains, tumor, boils, cough, eye infection, gingivitis, inflammation. (8)

Antiproliferative against MCF-7 Human Breast Cancer Cell Line / Leaves:
Study evaluated 42 species of dried leaf extracts of plants consumed by primates for their antiproliferative activity against human breast adenocarcinoma cell line (MCF-7). Buchanania arborescens exhibited moderate cytotoxicity with IC50 of 116 µg/ml. The lower the IC50 the higher the cytotoxicity. IC50s  <100 µg/ml is considered strong, 100-200 moderate, and >200, weak. (5)
Tyrosinase Inhibitory Activity / Stems: Study of EtOAc-soluble extract of stems of Buchanania lucida stems isolated one new lignan, (+)-(8S,8′S)-5′-methoxy-4,4′-di-O-methylseco-isolariciresinol (1), along with five known compounds (2-6). In the tyrosinase inhibitory activity test, compound 6, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, showed strong effect with IC50 of 9.35 µM. (6)
Wound Healing / CNS Depressant / Acute Toxicity Study / Leaves: Study evaluated methanol extract of leaves for wound healing activity using excision wound model and dead space wound model and CNS depressant activity using phenobarbitone sodium induced sleeping and Rotarod method in albino Wistar rats. Acute Toxicity study showed safety in animals up to dose of 2000 mg/kbw. Simple ointment 5% and 10% w/w from alcoholic extract showed significant wound healing comparable to standard sofromycin (p<0.001). Histopathological studies showed significant increase and well organized bends of collagen, fibroblast, macropahges, tissue edema inflammatory cells. The ME 400 mg,kg dose showed more prominent depressant activity than 200 mg/kbw, which was attributed to its sedative property. Results suggest the B. arborescens ointment promoted wound healing mainly via collagen formation and enhancement of tissue integrity. The CNS depressant activity may be due to increase concentration of GABA in the brain. (7)


May 2023

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Buchanania arborescens flowering twig / Copyright © 2011 by Leonardo L Co (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL80809] / Non-Commercial Use / click on image to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photo: Balinghasay flowers / © Fruitipedia / Non-commercial use / click on image to go to source page / Fruitipedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photo: Ripe fruits of balinghasay / © Fruitipedia / Non-commercial use / click on image to go to source page / Fruitipedia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Buchanania arborescens (Blume) Blume / Synonyms / KEW: Plants of the World Online

Buchanania arborescens (PROSEA) / Plant Resources of South-East Asia
Buchanania arborescens / Wikipedia
The Use of Plant Medicines and Poisons by Australian Aborigines
/ L.J.Webb /  Mankind, 1959: 7(2): pp 137-146
Antiproliferative activity of primates-consumed plants against MCF-7 human breast cancer cell lines
/ Anas Subarnas, Ajeng Diantini, Rizky Abdullah, Ade Zuhrotun, Chiho Yamazaki, Mintao Nakazawa, Hiroshi Koyama / E3 Journal of Medical Research, 2012; 1(4): pp 28-43
A new lignan from the stems of Buchanania lucida Blume (Anacardiaceae) / Nhan Trung Nguyen, Phu Hoang Dang, Mai Thanh Thi Nguyen et al / Natural Product Research, 2022; 36(14: pp 3737-3740 /
DOI: 10.1080/14786419.2020.1871341
PHYTO-PHARMACOLOGICAL POTENTIAL OF BUCHANANIA ARBORESCENS (ANACARDIACEAE), ON WOUND HEALING AND CNS DEPRESSENT ACTIVITIES IN ALBINO WISTAR RATS / Syed Nafeeza, Dr B Pushpakumari, Dr V Jaya Sankar Reddy / World Journal of Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences, 2022; 8(2): pp 94-102  / ISSN: 2454-2229
Buchanania angustifolia / OSADHI: Online Structural and Analytics based Database for Herbs of India

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)

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