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Family Loganiaceae / Strychnaceae
Strychnos multiflora Benth.

Scientific names Common names
Strychnos multiflora Benth. Abukobuko (Ibn.)
Strychnos potatorum Linn. var multiflora Batul (Tag.)
Strychnos ignatii Vidal Bugahin (Bis.)
  Bukuan (Ibn., Neg.)
  Fantandok (Ilk.)
  Pamulaklakin (Tag.)
  Tibanglan (Tag.)
  Black bitterberry (Eng.)
  Clearing nut tree (Eng.)
  Water purifying fruit (Eng.)
Strychnos multiflora Benth is an unresolved name. The record derives from WCSP (in review) which does not establish this name either as an accepted name or as a synonym with original publication details: J. Proc. Linn. Soc., Bot. 1: 102 1856. Full publication details for this name can be found in IPNI: urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:547352-1.The Plant List
The synonyms and studies are attributed to Strychnos potatorum L. (syn: Strychnos heterodoxa Gilg., Strychnos stuhlmannii Gilg.)

Other vernacular names Strychnos potatorum L.

BENGALI: Nirmali.
FRENCH: Noix floculante, Noix tamoule.
HINDI: Nirmali.
KANNADA: Chilladabeeja, Chilu.
MALAYALAM: Tetranparal, Tetraparel.
ORIYA: Kotaku.
SANSKRIT: Katak, Kataka, Kataka ambuprasada.
TAMIL: Tetamkotai, Tetankotai, Tetta, Tettamaram, Tettran.
TELUGU: Chillachetu, Indupachettu.

Bukuan is a woody climber. Leaves are opposite, elliptic or ovate, 10 to 18 centimeters long, 6 to 7.5 centimeters wide, pointed at the tip and rounded at the base. Flowers are white, small, borne on compound inflorescences in the axils of the upper leaves. Fruit is rounded, bright orange red, purple-black when ripe, and 3 to 4 centimeters in diameter, containing one flat seed.

- In primary forests at low and medium altitudes in Ilocos Norte, La Union, Bulacan, Bataan, Laguna, Rizal, Quezon, and Sorsogon Provinces in Luzon; and in Mindoro.
- Also found in India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Zaire, Madagascar.

- Extracts of roots, stem bark and seeds yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, lignins, glycosides, phenols, saponins, sterols and tannins.

- In Ayurveda, considered lithotriptic, emetic, diaphoretic.
- Considered emmenagogue.
- Seeds used to treat eye diseases, calculi, and diabetes.
- In Unani, seeds considered astringent, aphrodisiac, tonic, diuretic.

Parts used
Bark, seeds, roots, fruit.


- In the Philippines, decoction of bark taken internally as an emmenagogue.
- Also used for throat troubles.
- In India, seeds used to purify water for drinking.
- In Ayurveda, used as lithotriptic, used for strangury, urinary discharges. Roots used for leucoderma; fruits used for eye diseases, poisoning and hallucinations. In traditional medical systems, seeds used for treatment of hepatopathy, gastropathy, nephropathy, gonorrhea, leucorrhea, gastropathy, diarrhea, renal and vesical stones, diabetes.
- In Unani, seeds used as astringent for bowels, as aphrodisiac, diuretic.
- Seeds are rich source of polysaccharide gum used in the paper and textile industries.
- Ripe seeds used for clearing muddy eater.

Hepatoprotective / Antioxidant:
In a study on CCl4-induced acute hepatic injury in experimental rats, the aqueous extract showed significant hepatoprotective activity, similar to the standard drug Silymarin. Reduced enzymic and nonenzymic antioxidant levels and elevated lipid peroxide levels were restored to normal by administration of the seed powder and aqueous extract. (2)
Antidiarrheal: Study in a rat model of methanol extract of dried seeds of Strychnos potatorum showed an antidiarrheal effect with decreased frequency of defecation and reduced wetness of faecal droppings in castor oil-induced diarrhea, and reduced PGE2-induced enteropooling. (3)
Antinociceptive / Antipyretic: Study showed S potatorum powder and extract to possess significant analgesic and antipyretic activity. The observed effects suggest the inhibition of prostaglandins and other mediators involved in nociception.
Antiulcerogenic: Study in the seed powder and aqueous extract of Strychnos potatorum exhibited antiulcerogenic activity by both antisecretory and mucoprotective actions. The antiulcerogenic potential was compared with the standard antiulcer drug, ranitidine. (6)
Anti-Arthritic: Study showed both aqueous extract and whole seed powder exhibited reduction in rat paw edema volume and significantly normalized blood and biochemical abnormalities, and further confirmed by histopathologic and radiologic studies. (7)


Last Update December 2013

IMAGE SOURCE: Public Domain / File:Strychnos potatorum Coromandel Coast 1-005.jpg / William Roxburgh, Plants of the coast of Coromandel, vol. 1, plate 5 / 1795 / Wikipedia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Nirmali (Strychnos potatorum Linn.) / Pankaj Oudhia / Society for Parthenium Management (SOPAM)
Studies on hepatoprotective and antioxidant actions of Strychnos potatorum Linn. seeds on CCl4-induced acute hepatic injury in experimental rats / E Sanmugapriya and S Venkataraman /
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol 105, Issues 1-2, 21 April 2006, Pages 154-160 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2005.10.028
Antidiarrhoeal activity of Strychnos potatorum seed extract in rats / Swati Biswas, T. Murugesan et al /
Fitoterapia, Vol 73, Issue 1, February 2002, Pages 43-47 / doi:10.1016/S0367-326X(01)00368-
Phytochemical Studies of Strychnos potatorum L.f.- A Medicinal Plant / P B Mallikharjuna, L N Rajanna et al / E-Journal of Chemistry, Vol. 4, No. 4, pp. 510-518, October 2007
Antinociceptive and Antipyretic Effects of Strychnos potatorum Linn. Seeds on Experimental Rats / E. Sanmugapriya and S. Venkataraman / Int. J. Pharmacol., 6: 681-685. / DOI: 10.3923/ijp.2010.681.685
Antiulcerogenic potential of Strychnos potatorum Linn seeds on aspirin plus pyloric ligation-induced ulcers in experimental rats / E. Sanmugapriya, S. Venkataraman / Free Library- Farlex
Evaluation of antiarthritic activity of Strychnos potatorum Linn seeds in Freund's adjuvant induced arthritic rat model / Sanmugapriya Ekambaram, Senthamil Selvan Perumal and Venkataraman Subramanian / BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2010, 10:56 doi:10.1186/1472-6882-10-56
Strychnos multiflora Benth. is an unresolved name / The Plant List

Sorting Strychnos names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 - 2020 The University of Melbourne.

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