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Family Arecaceae
Corypha utan Lam.

Gao xing li ye ye zi

Scientific names  Common names
Borassus sylvestris Giseke Bagatai (Is.)
Corypha elata Roxb. Buli (Tag.)
Corypha gebang Mart. Buri ( Bis., Bik., Pamp., Tag.)
Corypha gebanga (Blume) Blume Busi (Pamp., Bis., Tag.)
Corypha griffithiana Becc. Ebus (Pamp.)
Corypha macrophylla Roster Ibus (Tag.)
Corypha macropoda Kurz Piet (Tag., Pamp.)
Corypha sylvestris Mart. Silad (Bik.)
Corypha utan Lam. Silag (Ilk., Pang.)
Gembanga rotundifolia Blume Silal (Sub.)
Livistona vidalii Becc. Sirar (Bag.)
Taliera elata (Roxb.) Wall. Taktak (Is.)
Taliera gembanga Blume                          Agel palm (Engl.)
Taliera sylvestris Blume                              Buri palm (Engl.)
  Cabbage palm (Engl.)
  Gebang palm (Engl.)
  Gewang palm (Engl.)
Corypha utan Lam. is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Gao xing li ye ye zi.
GERMAN: Buripalme.
INDONESIA: Gebang, Gewang, Lontar utan, Pucuk, Ibus, La buong.
MALAY: Gebang, Ibus.
MYANMAR: Loutar.
SPANISH: Gebang (as C.elata in El Salvador), Palma talipot (as C. elata in El Salvador).
THAI: Lan, Laan pru, Lan-phru.

Gen info
- Corypha is a genus of palms in the family Arecaceae. All species are monocarpic and die after flowering.
- Corypha elata
(silag) is a palm that is the source of three kinds of fibers, namely: buri, raffia, and buntal.
- Like all Corypha, the tree is relatively slow growing, taking many years to form a trunk, and only flowers towards the end of its lifetime, at which time it sends up a massive inflorescence up to 5 meters high, with up to one million flowers.
- The production of buntal fiber in the Philippines started in Sariaya and Tayabas, Quezon, while the buntal hat weaving industry began in Baliuag, Bulacan during the pre-war years. The Philippines was considered a major exporter of the buntal fiber. The international market demand
resulted in  supply shortage in the domestic market.  To support and protect the then booming local hat weaving industry, Republic Act No. 4666, the Buntal Export Total Ban Law was passed in 1967. (20)
- Taxonomy and nomenclature conflicts: Some sites publish Corypha utan and C. umbraculifera as synonyms, while as many publish them as separate species. My search and study suggest they are separate species, and as such, are published separately as Buri and Talipot palm. (G.Stuart)

Buri palm is the most stately and largest of the Philippine palms. Trunk is straight and erect, up to 1 meter in diameter and 20 meters in height. Leaves are large and fan-shaped, rounded in outline, up to 3 meters long, palmately split into about 100, lanceolate, 1.5 to 6 centimeters wide, segments extending one-half to two-thirds to the base; petioles are very stout, up to 3 meters long, 20 centimeters thick at the base, the margins armed with stout black spines. Inflorescence is pyramidal, up to 7 meters high, the lower branches up to 3.5 meters long, the upper gradually shorter, the ultimate branches about 1 meter long. Flowers are numerous, greenish-white, 5 to 6 millimeters in diameter. Fruits are globose, fleshy, 2 to 2.5 centimeters in diameter. Seeds are hard, about 1.5 centimeters in diameter.

- Native to the Philippines.
- Throughout the Philippines, in most islands and provinces, in some regions widely scattered, subgregarious in others and abundant at low and
medium altitudes.

- Also native to Andaman Is., Assam, Borneo, Cambodia, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Maluku, Myanmar, New Guinea, Northern Territory, Queensland, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Thailand, and Vietnam. (7)

- Sucrose is the produce of the sugar cane.
- Trunk yields large quantities of starch.
- Leaf extract yielded the presence of sterols, saponins, glycosides, and tannins. (see study below) (4)
- Phytochemical screening for secondary metabolites yielded alkaloids, unsaturated fats, sterols and terpenes, flavonoids, and tannins, with absence of steroids, saponins, anthraquinone heterosides and cyanogenic glycosides. (11)
- Nutrient content of 100 g of gewang starch yields 11.005 g water, 0.518 g ash, 0.202 g fat, 0.691 g protein, 86.594 g carbohydrate, 32.726 g amylose, 51.11 g amylopectin, 12.278 g glucomannan, 100.52 mg calcium, 136,74 mg phosphorus. (17)
- Nutraceutical study on fruit yielded ash 1.00g/100g, moisture 48.64g/100g, crude protein 0.22g/100g, crude fat 1.37g/100g, sodium 16.25 mg/100g, potassium 58.39 mg/100g, iron 0.06 mg/100g. (20)

- Sugar is demulcent, antiseptic, cooling, laxative and diuretic.
- Roots are demulcent, emollient, diuretic and stimulant.
- It flowers once at the end of its lifetime, with a massive inflorescence up to 5 meters tall containing up to one million flowers. and when it does,
- The tree is ready for processing when the palms have fallen off the trunk; then felled, barked, sectioned, immediately consumed or stored. (14)
- Studies have suggested anticancer and antibacterial properties.

Parts utilized
Roots, leaves, stem.

- Trunk yields a large quantity of starch.
- Buds (ubod) used for salads or eaten as vegetable.
- Kernels of young fruits are edible and made into
- Sap used to make a fermented drink (tuba), alcohol, vinegar, syrup and sugar.
- An average tree yields up to 8 - 10 cavans of fruit. Fruit is a good source of starch.
- Starch used for making desserts.
- In some areas of East Timor, considered main staple food. In other regions, food used during gap between harvests, or as famine food. (14)
- In Indornesia, starch cooked with shredded coconut (akarbilann or puta' laka). (17)
- In the Philippines, not medicinally as useful as the coconut.
- In Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur, sap from heated center portion of three palm-sized petioles of buri, saging, and bulungan drunk for relapse, fever, headache, body pain, fever and migraines, once daily as needed. Leaf infusion or buri or decoction of buri, anonang, and nito drunk for the same purpose. (19)
- In Pangasinan, northern Philippines, leaf decoction used as bathing remedy for pasma. (11)
- Negritos used applications of hot compress of boiled leaves for pospartum relapse. (15)
- Decoction of young plant used for febrile catarrh.
- Used to treat toothache.
- In Iloilo, reportedly used for musculoskeletal and dermatologic conditions.
- In Zamboanga del Sur, stems used for treatment of over fatigue.
- In Malaya, starch used for bowel complaints and the juice of roots used for diarrhea.
- In Celebes, roots chewed for coughs.
- In Ayurveda, used for hemorrhoids, peptic ulcer, gastritis, excessive sweating, skin disease.
- In Indonesia, the midrib sap juice is used as traditional medicine to immediately arrest wound bleeding. (16)

- Ornaments: Mature seeds used for rosary beads and buttons.
- Fiber: Petiole yields the "buntal fiber," used in making the famous Baliuag and Lucban hats. Also, used for making rope. From the leaf is obtained a fiber, similar to raffia, used in making cloth, strings, and other fancy articles. Fiber from the ribs of unopened leaves used in making Calasiao or Pototan hats. Strips of unopened leaf used in making hats, mats, sails, baskets. (3)
- Leaf: Mature leaf used for covering tobacco bales; rarely, as thatch for houses; the ribs used for making brooms and weaving.
Leaves also used for food wrapping.
- Trunk wood: Trunk can be used as firewood or made into wood frames for making nipa huts. (3) Wood also used as firewood. Also, as a temporary aqueduct for irrigation.
- Fencing: The large leaves armed with stout spines used as fencing against cattle. (14)
- Starch / Fruit: Fruit of the buri tree is a cheap source of food and good source of starch. An average tree can yield up to 8-10 cavans of fruits. (9)

Antimicrobial Activity / Phytochemicals:
Leaf extract analysis yielded the presence of sterols, saponins, glycosides, and tannins. Antimicrobial evaluated showed a zone of inhibition against Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Escherichia coli. (4)
Antibacterial / Leaves: Study evaluated evaluated the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of Corypha elata Roxb. leaf extract to three test organisms viz. E. coli, S. aureus, and P. aeruginosa. In all concentrations of 100%, 75%, 50%, and 25%, a complete inhibitory activity (+++) and mild reactivity (2) to the test organisms. Even at lowest 25%, there was compete inhibition of growth. (10)
• Gebang Palm Trunk as Enrichment Culture Medium for Bacterial Growth: Study evaluated the effectiveness of Gebang palm trunk as an enrichment culture medium using E. coli and S. aureus. Results showed the powderized trunk palm of buri is capable of growing both E. coli and S. aureus, with potential as enrichment medium for microbiological study. (12)
• Piceatannol / Anticancer / Seed: Piceantannol is a stilbene compound isolated from methanol seed extract of Corypha utan Lamk. MTT assay of the compound for cytotoxicity activity showed very strong cytotoxic activity against Murine leukemia P-388 cell lines with IC50 of 1.56 ppm. (13)
• Anticancer Activity against P388 Cell Lines / Bark: Study evaluated the natural constituents from bark of C. utan and their cytotoxicity on acute myeloid leukemia cell lines (P388) and their interaction with FLT3 as studied target. Study of bark yielded two triterpenoids, cycloartanol (1) and cycloartanone (2). Based on in vitro and in silico studies, both showed anticancer activity. Cycloartanol and cycloartanone could inhibit P388 cell growth with IC50s of 102.6 and 110.0 µg/mL, respectively. Both compounds demonstrated stable interaction by forming hydrogen bonds with FLT3. Results showed antiicancer potential by inhibition of P388 in vitro and FLT3 gene in silico. (18)

- Wild-crafted. 

Updted April 2023 / September 2018 / February 2017 / December 2015

Photos / Content © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph / Corypha utan / W A Djatmiko / Uploaded by Wie146 / GFDL / click on image to g WIKIPEDIA
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph / Cabbage palm / Bruceanthro / CC BY-SA 3.0 / click on image to go to source page / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph / Corypha macropoda / © Kris Achar / Copyrighted free use / click on image to go to source page / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Sorting Corypha names
/ Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.
Overall view on the tradition of tapping palm trees and prospects for animal production / Christophe Dalibard / Livestock Research for Rural Development
Multipurpose use of buri (Corypha elata Roxb. or Corrypha utan) and its nutritive value / Queypo-Queddeng, M.; Puzon, J.; Rabena, A.R., University of Northern Philippines, Vigan City 2700 / Philippine Journal of Crop Science (Mar 2010)
Alternative Source of Herbal Medicine: Add-On to Buri (Corypha elata Roxb.) Leaf Industry / PETRONILA E. FLORENDO, SOLITA EVANGELINE S. BANEZ, MERCITA Q. QUEDDENG / International Journal of Science and Clinical Laboratory, Vol 4, No 1 (2013)
Survey on Ethnopharmacology of Medicinal Plants in Iloilo, Philippines / Rey G. Tantiado / International Journal of Bio-Science and Bio-Technology Vol. 4, No. 4, December, 2012
Medicinal Plants of the Subanens in Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines
/ Lady Jane G. Morilla, Nanette Hope N. Sumaya, Henry I. Rivero and Ma. Reina Suzette B. Madamba / International Conference on Food, Biological and Medical Sciences (FBMS-2014) Jan. 28-29, 2014 Bangkok (Thailand) /
Corypha utan / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Corypha utan / Useful Tropical Plants
Multipurpose use of buri (Corypha elata Roxb. or Corrypha utan) and its nutritive value [2010]
Queypo-Queddeng, M. Puzon, J. Rabena, A.R. / AGRIS
Minimum Concentration of Corypha elata Roxb. Leaf Extract to Three Bacteria / Petronila E. Florendo, Solita Evangeline S. Bañez, Mercita Q. Queddeng / International Journal of Science and Clinical Laboratory, Vol 8, No 1 (2015)
Phytochemical Screening of Selected Ethnomedicinal Plants of Bolinao, Pangasinan, Northern Philippines
/ WT Fajardo, LT Cancino, SCS De Guzman and FB Macayana / PSU Journal of Natural and Allied Sciences, Dec 2017; Vol 1, No 1: pp. 38-46
The potential use of powderized gebang palm (corypha utan) trunk as an enrichment medium for the growth of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus / Velerie Mae S Alviar, Carmet Therese B Apao, Carlo S Desamo, Katrina Marie S Fregil, Shheila S Frianeza, Maycille L Ty, and Maria Indira P Bio / Thesis:Dissertations, Dec 2008 / College of Alllied Medical Sciences, Cebu Doctors' University
Piceatanol: Anti-Cancer Compound From Gewang Seed Extract / Leny Heliawati, Agus Kardinan,Tri Mayanti, Roekmi-ati Tjokronegoro / Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science, January 2015; 5(1): pp 110-113 / DOI: 10.7324/JAPS.2015.50119
Palm trees in East Timor, especially Corypha utan / Dominique Guillaud, Laure Emperaire and Patricia Bustamante
Herbal Therapies and Social-Health Policies: Indigenous Ati Negrito Women's Dilemma and Reproductive Healthcare Transitions in the Philippines. / Homervergel G. Ong, Young-Dong Kim / Evid Based Complement Alternat Med., 2015; 2015: 491209 / doi:  10.1155/2015/491209 / PMID: 26345471
Widya Sari, S.Si, M. Si / Lembaga Penelitian Universitas Syiah Kuala, 28 Nov 2013
Gewang (Corypha utan Lam.) as local food in timor island and its nutritional properties / JokoRidho Witonol, Yayan Wahyu Candra Kusumal, Beth Paul Naiola, Yuliasri Jamal, Andria Agusta / Proceeding of International Seminar Current Issues and Challenges in Food Safety
Natural Cycloartane Triterpenoids from Corypha utan Lamk. with Anti- cancer Activity towards P388 Cell Lines and their Predicted Interaction with FLT3 / Leny Heliawati, Dikdik Kurnia, Eti Apriyanti, Sun Theo Constan Lotebulo Nduru et al / Combinational Chemistry & High Throughput Screening, 20203; 26: pp 1-11 / DOI:10.2174/1386207326666230210141218
Ethnomedicinal documentation of polyherbal formulations and other folk medicines in Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines / Jayson R Pucot, Cesar G Demayo / BIODIVERSITAS, 2021; 22(12): pp 5331-5343 / pISSN: 1412-033X / eISSN: 2085-4722 / DOI: 10.13057/biodiv/d221214
SILAG (CoryphaelataRoxb) FRUIT NUTRICEUTICALS AND PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT / Petronila E Florendo, Solita Evangeline S Bañez, Mercita Q Queddeng, Rolando B Navarro, Maritess R Raboy / International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, 2017' 8(1) / ISSN: 2229-5518

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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