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Family Myrsinaceae

Coral berry
Ardisia crenata Sims

Yun chi zi jin niu

Scientific names Common names
Ardisia crenata Sims Christmas berry (Engl.)
Ardisia densa Miq. Coral berry (Engl.)
Ardisia elegans Andrews Coral bush (Engl.)
Ardisia konishii Hayata Hen's eyes (Engl.)
Ardisia kusukusensis Hayata Scratch throat (Engl.)
Ardisia labordei H.Lév Spice berry (Engl.)
Ardisia lentiginosa Ker Gawl.  
Ardisia linangensis C.M.Hu  
Ardisia miaoliensis S.Y.Lu  
Ardisia mouretii Pit.  
Bhadhia crenata (Sims) H.Hara  
Bhadhia kusukusensis (Hayata) Nakai  
Bhadhia lentiginosa f. hortensis Migo  
Bhadhia lindleyana (D.Dietr.) Nakai  
Bhadhia punctata (Lindl.) Nakai  
Tinus densa (Miq.) Kuntze  
Ardisia crenata Sims is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Yun chi zi jin niu, Chu sar gun (Hongkong).
FRENCH: Arbre a noel.
KOREA: Baek-ryang-geum.
MALAYSIA: Mata ayam, Mata itek.

Coral berry is an evergreen glabrous shrub with many branches, growing to a height of 1.5 meters. Leaves are alternate, simple, dark green, leathery, elliptic lanceolate or oblanceolate with crenate or undulate margins. Flowers are small, white or pink. Fruit is a drupe, coral red and single-seeded.

- Cultivated in gardens for its decorative red fruits.
- A popular pot plant.

- In some countries, considered an invasive weed.

- Study yielded nine compounds: 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furalclehyde(1), ethyl-beta-D-fructopyranoside(2), syringic acid(3), n-butyl-beta-D-fructofuranoside(4), n-butyl-alpha-D-fructofuranoside(5), methyl-alpha-D-fructofuranoside(6), (+)-bergenin(7), ardisiacrispins B(8), asperuloside acid(9). (see study below) (8)
- Leaves yielded a novel cyclic depsipeptide, designated FR900359, with the molecule containing two cis peptide bonds. (9)
- Roots yielded four components: bergenin, friedlin, ß-sitosterol and rapanone. (15)

- Study of roots yielded two new triterpenoid saponins, ardisicrenoside K (1) and ardisicrenoside L (2). (see study below) (16)
- Study of roots isolated a bergenin derivative determined to be 11-o-syringylbergenin, along with spinasterol, fatty acid series, ß-sitosterol-ß-D-glucoside, norbergenine, and sucrose. (20
- Study isolated three new triterpenoid saponins, ardisicrenoside I (1), ardisicrenoside J (2), and ardisicrenoside M (3), along with eight known compounds, from the roots of Ardisia crenata Sims. (24)

- Studies suggest anodyne, depurative, febrifugal, antidotal, anti-tumor, vasorelaxant, diuretic, anti-thrombin, anti-asthmatic, cytotoxic, melanogenesis properties.

Parts utilized
Roots, leaves, juice.

• No folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
• Elsewhere, root is considered anodyne, depurative, febrifuge; used to stimulate blood circulation.
• In traditional Chinese medicine, roots used for treatment of tonsillitis, toothaches, arthralgia, respiratory infections, and menstrual disorders.
• In Kampung Bawong, Perak, West Malaysia, juice from crushed whole plant used to treat fever and earaches. (22)
• Provides a dense canopy.

Triterpenoid Saponins / Ardisiacrenoside / Cytotoxicity: Study isolated two novel triterpenoid saponins – ardisicrenoside A and adrisicrenoside B – and two known triterpenoid saponins, ardisicrispins A and B. (1)
Potential Source of Therapeutic Agents: There are more than 500 species of Ardisia throughout the tropical and subtropical regions, several used as ornamentals, food and medicines. Species of Ardisia are rich in novel and biologically potent phytochemical compounds such as bergenin and ardisin. The report presents the potential of the genus as a source of therapeutic agents. (2)
Bergenin / Pharmacologic Activities / Roots: Study isolated a new bergenin derivative from the root of A crenata – 11-o-syringylbergenin. Other compounds identified were spinasterol, fatty acids, beta-sitosterol-beta-D-glucoside, norgergenin and sucrose. (3) Study isolated four components from the roots of A. crenata: bergenin, friedelin, β-sitosterol and rapanone. Friedelin was isolated for the first time. (12) Studies have shown bergenin to possess a wide range of biological activities: antiulcer, hepatoprotective, antiviral, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, among others. (•) Study reports on the optimization of extraction process of bergenin from roots of A. crenata by response surface methodology. (23)
Ardisiacrispin A and B / Pro-Apoptotic / Anticancer: Study investigating the anticancer activity of ardisiacrispin A+B on several human cancer lines showed it could inhibit the proliferation of Bel-7402 cells by inducing apoptosis and dissembling microtubule. (4)
Anti-Thrombin Activity: In a study of 30 plants from central Florida for its antithrombin activity, Ardisia crenata was one of seven that demonstrated activity of 80% or higher in a chromogenic bioassay system. (6)
Ardisiacrenoside / Cytotoxic Triterpenoid: Ardisiacrenoside, a new triterpenoid pentasaccharide was isolated from A crenata with five closely related triterpenoid saponins. Their cytotoxic activities were evaluated against human tumor cell lines. (7)
Anti-Tumor Metastasis: Study evaluated the anti-tumor metastatic constituents from Ardisia crenata. Study yielded nine compounds: 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furalclehyde(1), ethyl-beta-D-fructopyranoside(2), syringic acid(3), n-butyl-beta-D-fructofuranoside(4), n-butyl-alpha-D-fructofuranoside(5), methyl-alpha-D-fructofuranoside(6), (+)-bergenin(7), ardisiacrispins B(8), asperuloside acid(9). The isolated compounds (1-9) showed positive anti-tumor metastatic activities, and compounds 1, 5, and 8 showed significant anti-tumor metastatic activities. (8)
Depsipeptide FR900359 / Leaves: FR900359, isolated from leaves, was found to inhibited platelet aggregation in rabbits, decrease blood pressure and induce hypotension in anesthetized, normotensive rats. (11)
Antibacterial: An ethanol extract of A. crenata exhibited significant antibacterial activity against α-streptococcus hemolyticus, ß-streptococcus hemolyticus and Staphylococcus aureus in vitro. (11)
Stimulation of Melanogenesis in Melanoma Cells: Study evaluated the effect of a methanol extract of Ardisia crenata on melanogenesis in B16F10 cells. Treatment of cultured B16F10 cells with extract showed concentration dependent increase in melanin levels, without cytotoxicity. There was also increase in protein expression of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor.
AC stimulated melanogenesis by increasing tyrosinase expression via inhibition of ERK and Akt. Results suggest a potential in the treatment of hypopigmentation diseases and skin tanning cosmetic products. (14)
• Triterpenoid Saponins / Weak Antifungal / Roots: Study of roots yielded two new triterpenoid saponins, ardisicrenoside K (1) and ardisicrenoside L (2). In vitro study showed the compounds to have weak antifungal activity against plant pathogenic fungus Pyricularia oryzae. (16)
• Ardicrenin: Study reports on the new, effective, and economical method of extraction of ardicrenin from Ardisia crenata. Ardicrenin is considered a potential pharmaceutical. The research puts emphasis on the large scale isolation of one single saponin adicrenin of high purity fit for industrial production. (17)
In the News: Asthma Treatment: Researchers at the University of Bonn have extracted a pharmaceutical compound from the leaves of Ardisia crenata that offers new hope for asthmatics. FR900359. isolated from the leaves of coral berry. was found to inhibit critical signaling Gq protein molecules. The compound almost completely inhibits the charateristic contraction of airways in a mice model of asthma. (18)
• Airway Relaxation in Asthma / Targeted Inhibition of Gq Signaling: A hallmark feature of obstructive lung disease is aberrant activation of Gq protein-dependent signaling cascades.
Study hypothesized that pharmacological Gq inhibition could be a central mechanism to achieve efficient therapeutic bronchorelaxation. (19)
• Vasorelaxant Effect / Cyclic Depsipeptide: A cyclic depsipeptide, FR900359, isolated from A. crenata was evaluated for vasorelaxant effect on rat aortic arteries. The compound caused concentration-dependent relaxation in phenylephrine-precontracted endothelium-intact aortic rings, which was inhibited by addition of L-NMMA, a NOS inhibitor. Results suggest the vasorelaxant effect is mediated through the increase release of NO from endothelial cells, and can be attributed to inhibitory effects on voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channel and receptor-operated Ca(2+) channel-dependent Ca(2+) influx at high concentrations. (21)

- Wild-crafted.
- Roots, seeds, and herbal supplements in the cybermarket.

© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D. / StuartXchange

Updated August 2018 / July 2015

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Triterpenoid saponins from Ardisia crenata / Zhonghua Jia et al / Phytochemistry • Volume 37, Issue 5, November 1994, Pages 1389-1396 / doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(00)90418-7
The genus Ardisia: a novel source of health-promoting compounds and phytopharmaceuticals / Hideka Kobayashi and Elvira de Mejia / Journal of Ethnopharmacology . Volume 96, Issue 3, 15 January 2005, Pages 347-354/ doi:10.1016/j.jep.2004.09.037
Studies on the chemical constituents of Ardisia crenata Sims / Han L, Ni MY. / Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 1989 Dec;14(12):737-9, 762-3.
Pro-apoptotic and microtubule-disassembly effects of ardisiacrispin (A+B), triterpenoid saponins from Ardisia crenata on human hepatoma Bel-7402 cells / Min Li et al / Journal of Asian Natural Products Research, Volume 10, Issue 8 August 2008 , pages 729 - 736 / DOI: 10.1080/10286020802016198
Ardisia crenata - Sims. / Coralberry / Plants For A Future
Antithrombin activity of medicinal plants from central Florida / Natalya Chistokhodova et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology . Vol 81, Issue 2, July 2002, Pages 277-280/ doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(02)00097-1
Cytotoxic triterpenoid saponins from the roots of Ardisia crenata / Zhong-Fei Zheng et al / Journal of Asian Natural Products Research, Volume 10, Issue 9 September 2008 , pages 833 - 839 / DOI: 10.1080/10286020802102568
Studies on anti-tumor metastatic constituents from Ardisia Crenata. / Wang X1, Tang S, Zhai H, Duan H. / Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2011 Apr;36(7):881-5.
Structural studies of FR900359, a novel cyclic depsipeptide from Ardisia crenata sims(Myrsinaceae) / Akira Miyamae, Mamoru Fujioka, Shigetaka Koda and Yukiyoshi Morimoto / J. Chem. Soc., Perkin Trans. 1, 1989, 873-878 / DOI: 10.1039/P19890000873
Ardisia crenata / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED
Ardisia crenata / Edible Medicinal And Non-Medicinal Plants: Volume 4, Fruits
/ T. K. Lim / Google Books
Studies on the Chemical Constituents of Ardisia crenata Sims
/ By STMOPEN.net on Thursday, April 18, 2013 / China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica
Ardisia crenata Sims / Synonyms / The Plant List
Ardisia crenata extract stimulates melanogenesis in B16F10 melanoma cells through inhibiting ERK1/2 and Akt activation / Yao; Jin; Oh; Oh; Park; Chung / Molecular Medicine Reports, Volume 11, Number 1, 2015, pp. 653-657(5)
Studies on the Chemical Constituents of Ardisia crenata Sims / China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica
Three New Triterpenoid Saponins from Ardisia crenata / DL Liu, NL Wang, Xue Zhang, H Gao, Xin-sheng Yao / Journal of Asian Natural Products Resea, April 2007; 9(2): pp 119-27 / DOI: 10.1080/10286020412331286443
Isolation and characterization of ardicrenin from Ardisia crenata Sims / Yuan Ma, Shangrao Pu, Qingsu Cheng, Mingdong Ma / Plant Soil Environ., 2009; 55(7): pp 305–310
Asthma drug from the garden center: Researchers at the University of Bonn test a substance from the leaves of a common ornamental plant / UNIVERSITY OF BONN: Public Releast, 13 Sept 2017
Targeted inhibition of Gq signaling induces airway relaxation in mouse models of asthma / Michaela Matthey, Richard Roberts, Alexander Seidinger, Annika Simon et al / Science Translational Medicine, 13 Sep 2017; Vol 9, Issue 407 / DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aag2288
Studies on the Chemical Constituents of Ardisia crenata Sims / Han Li and Ni Muyun / China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica, 1989-12
Vasorelaxant effect of FR900359 from Ardisia crenata on rat aortic artery. / Zaima K, Deguchi J, Matsuno Y, Kaneda T, Hirasaw Y, Morta H / Journal of Natural Medicines, 3 May 2012; 67(1): pp 196-201 / DOI: 10.1007/s11418-012-0644-0  / PMID:22388972
Ethnomedical survey of plants used by the Orang Asli in Kampung Bawong, Perak, West Malaysia
/ , and  / Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicinem 2010; 6:5 / https://doi.org/10.1186/1746-4269-6-5
Optimization of extracting process of bergenin from the roots of Ardisia crenata by response surface methodology / HU, Wen-jie; SI, Zhi-quo; XU, Zhang-run; LI, Ning, LI, Guan-xi / Chinese Journal of Pharmaceutical Analysis, 2016; Volume 36, Number 12: pp 2125-2130
Three New Triterpenoid Saponins from Ardisia crenata
/ Dai-Lin Liu, Nai-Li Wang, Xue Zhang / Helvetica Chimica Acta, 2011; 94(4): pp 693-702 / https://doi.org/10.1002/hlca.201000285

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