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Family Ulmaceae
Aphananthe cuspidata (Blume) Planch
Dian cuo ye shu

Scientific names Common names
Aphananthe cuspidata (Blume) Planch. Dulsis (Bag.)
Aphananthe lissophylla Gagnep.  
Cyclostemon cuspidatus Blume  
Galumpita cuspidata Blume  
Gironniera cuspiddata (Blume) Kurz  
Gironniera reticulata Thw.  
Gironniera curranii Merr.  
Gironniera nitida Benth.  
Gironniera reticulata Thwaites  
Helminthospermum glabrescens Thwaites ex Planch.  
Gironniera cuspidata (Blume) Kurz is a synonym of Aphananthe cuspidata (Blume) Planch. The Plant List
Aphananthe cuspidata (Blume) Planch. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Dian cuo ye shu.
MALAYALAM: Bhuthiyunarthi, Thondupoliyan, Kattupilli.
TAMIL: Koditani.

Dulsis is a small deciduous or semi-deciduous canopy tree growing to a height of about 15 meters, which is smooth throughout. Leaves are somewhat leathery, ovate-lanceolate and elliptic-lanceolate, 8 to 12 centimeters long, 3.5 to 5 centimeters wide, the base rounded and the apex pointed. Flowers are dioecious. Male flowers are in short, peduncled cymes, with five broad, obtuse, imbricate sepals. Stamens are 5, erect; and the pistillode wooly. Female flowers are axillary and solitary; sepals are narrow and acute. Drupe is usually 2-keeled, 12 to 18 millimeters long, and ovoid; the pedicel is as long as the fruit; the endocarp, hard.

- In forests at medium altitudes, in the Camarines Provinces of Luzon, and Davao in Mindanao.
- Occurs in India and Sri Lanka to Java and Celebes.

- Yields a crystalline substance, lime methyl-indole or skatole.
- Phytochemical analysis of seeds yielded phenolic compounds, unsaturated lactones, carbohydrates, flavonoids, and ascorbic acid. (see study below) (3)

- Depurative.

Parts used


- Bark taken internally with lemon juice as a purifier of blood, for itches and other cutaneous eruptions.
- In Sri Lanka, used as depurative; for eruptions and itches.
- In India, used as blood-purifier in itchy and cutaneous eruptions; mixed with lemon juice and applied externally.

Antineoplastic / Seeds:
Study investigated the potential antineoplastic property of seeds from ripe fruits of dulsis (Gironniera cuspidata). Results showed the seed extract to possess concentration dependent antineoplastic activity as shown by its ability to inhibit the germination of the onion seed, also inhibiting the growth of onion seeds, with decreased length of roots and limp appearance of roots.. The 100% seed extract showed the best activity. 3)


Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Update June 2015

IMAGE SOURCE: Illustration / Aphananthe cuspidata (Blume) Planchon [as Gironniera nitida Benth] /Hooker's Icones Plantarum, vol. 25: t. 2486 (1896) [M. Smith] / Illustration contributed by the Library of the Missouri Botanical Garden, U.S.A. / PlantIllustrations.org

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Gironniera reticulata / Indian Medicinal Plants
Aphananthe cuspidata (Blume) Planch. / Chinese name / Catalogue of Life, China
The Antineoplastic Property of the Seeds of Dulsis, Gironniera cuspidata, Family Ulmaceae
/ Revilla, Ana Fe B. et al. / Saint Louis University
Aphananthe cuspidata / Synonyms / The Plant List

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.

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