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Family Amaryllidaceae
Crinum latifolium Linn.
Xi nan wen zhu lan

Scientific names Common names
Amaryllis insignis Ker Gawl. Bakong (Tag.) 
Amaryllis littoralis Salisb. [Illegitimate] Lirio (Tag.)
Amaryllis moluccana Ker Gawl. Milk and wine lily (Engl.) 
Crinum cochinchinense M.Roem. Pink-striped trumpet lily (Engl.) 
Crinum esquirolii H.Lév..  
Crinum insigne (Ker Gawl.) Sweet  
Crinum jemenicum Dammann  
Crinum latifolium Linn.  
Crinum longistylum Herb. ex Steud.  
Crinum moluccanum Roxb. es Ker Gawl.  
Crinum ornatum var. latifolium (L.) Herb.  
Crinum speciosum Herb. [Illegitimate]  
Bakong is a local name shared by two Crinum species: Crinum asiaticum and Crinum latifolium (Lirio).
Lirio is a common name shared by Crinum latifolium (Lirio) and orange llirio (Hippeastrum puniceum).
Crinum latifolium L. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
BENGALI: Sukhadarshana.
CHINESE: Xi nan wen zhu lan.
MALAYALAM: Sjovanna-pol, Sjovanna-pola-talia-tali.
MARATHI: Gandani-kanda, Gadambhikanda, Golkamdo, Gadabi kanda, Gulabi karnaphul.
SANSKRIT: Cakrangi, Madhuparnika, Sudarsana, Vrishakarni.
SPANISH: Lirion.
TAMIL: Vishamungil.
VIETNAMESE: Trink nu hoang cung.


Lirio is a lily plant, with subglobose bulbs up to 10 centimeters in diameter. Leaves are many, oblong-linear, 30 to 100 centimeters long, 5 to 8 centimeters wide. Scape is inserted on neck of the bulb, about as long as the leaves, stout and tinged with purple. Flowers are about 10 in each umbel, fragrant, about 8 centimeters long. Perianth tube is curved, 10 to 12 centimeters long. Segments are oblong-lanceolate, 7.5 to 10 centimeters long, 2.5 to 3 centimeters wide, white but flushed with pale purple in the median part. Filaments are white. Fruit is somewhat rounded, 4 to 5 centimeters in diameter. The cultivated hybrid forms give a variety of colors, some with white stripes running from the center of red segments.

- Cultivated for ornamental purposes.
- Scarcely naturalized.
- Native of India.

- Chemical analysis of bulbs yield alkaloids. Water extract of leaves also yielded alkaloids, especially of the crinane type, e.g., crinamine, crinamidine, crinafoline, and crinafolidine.
- Study isolated four alkaloids by spectroscopic method: Augustamine, undulatine, 6-hydroxy undulatine, 6-hydroxy buphanidrine.
- Phytochemical analysis of leaves yielded a vast array of compounds, viz., alkaloids, phenolic compounds, tannins, flavonoids, terpenoids, amino acids, steroid saponins, and antioxidants. Plant has yielded hippadine, pratorinine, ambelline and lycorine, 2-epilyocorine and 2-epipancrassidine, among others. (15)
- Methanolic extract yielded six compounds viz., cycloartenol (1), 4-senecioyloxymethyl-3,4-dimethoxycoumarin (2), 4′,7-dihydroxy-3′-methoxyflavan (3), 4′,7-dihydroxyflavan (4), 2′,4′,7-trihydroxydihydrochalcone (5), and 5,6,3′-trihydroxy-7,8,4′-trimethoxyflavone (6). Compounds 2 and 6 were new metabolities. (see study below) (22)
- GC-MS analysis of leaves yielded 15 alkaloids:
dihydro-oxo-demethoxyhaemanthamine (2), augustamine (3), oxoassoanine (4), crinane-3α-ol (5), buphanidrine (6), powelline (7), undulatine (8), ambelline (9), 6-hydroxy-buphanidrine (10), 6-hydroxypowelline (11), crinamidine (12), 6-hydroxyundulatine (13), 1β,2β-epoxyambelline (14), epoxy-3,7-dimeth-oxycrinane-11-one (tentative) (15), 6-hydroxycrinamidine (16). (24)

- Bulbs are extremely acrid.
- Studies have suggested anticancer, antiviral, analgesic, and immune stimulant properties.
- Bulbs considered rubifacient.

Parts used
- Leaves and bulbs.

- In Vietnam, leaves used for tea.
- Bulbs, extremely acrid, when roasted, used as a rubefacient for rheumatism.
- Juice of leaves used for earaches.
- Crushed and toasted bulbs used for piles and abscesses to hasten suppuration.
- In Vietnam and Cambodia, used in treatment of prostate and ovarian cancer. Also for prostatitis, uterine fibroids.
- In India, leaf juice used for earaches; roasted bulbs applied on skin to relieve rheumatic pains. Warmed leaves smeared with castor oil applied to abscesses of toes and fingers.
- Tribals of Harda District of Madhya Pradesh, India use the bulb juice as antisterility. (26)
- In Chinese traditional medicine, used for its antiviral and antitumor properties.
- In Ayurveda, used for piles, fever and earaches.

- Crila: Crila is a natural herb formulation from leaves of Vietnamese Crinum latifolium promoted for use in reducing menopausal hot flashes, promoting uterine health, and relieving menstrual cramps and discomfort in younger women. (see 27 & 28)

Study showed extract of C latifolium slightly enhanced neopterin production in unstimulated peripheral mononuclear cells with an effective reduction of neopterin formation in stimulated cells. (1)
T-Lymphocyte Activating:
A novel in vitro and in vivo T-lymphocyte activating factor in Crinum latifolium (L.) aqueous extracts. The study suggests potential use of C. latifolium for treatment of cases of immunodeficiency as cancer, leukemia and AIDS. (3)
Mast Cell Stabilizing: Mast cell stabilizing effect of glucan A and phosphatidyllycorine isolated from Crinum latifolium – Effect of glucan A and phosphatidyllycorine from CL in vitro produced significant protection against mass cell degranulation as well as to sensitized mast cells challenged with a horse serum antigen. In vivo, it also provided protection against degranulation of mast cells. Results support is use in Ayurvedic medicine in the treatment of allergic disorders. (4)
Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy: A study in the International Hospital in Vietnam using extract cycles of 21 days-on/7 days-off reported a 92.6 % benefit measured by prostate size and clinical urologic evaluation. (5)
Anti-Viral: A monocot mannose-binding amaryllidaceae lectin from the bulbs of CL was found to be non-toxic towards African green monkey kidney epithelial cells and exhibited a significant antiviral potential against a strain of vaccinia virus in vitro. (7)
Anti-Tumor: A study on cold-hot aqueous extracts from Vietnamese CL showed inhibition of carcinogenesis in rats probably due to the influence of immunomodulating and anti-tumour plant alkaloids and other biologically active components in the plant decoctions. (8)
NF-kB Inhibitory Activity: 87 methanol extracts from Vietnamese oriental medicinal plants were screened for NF-kB inhibitory activity. NF-kB is an inducible and ubiquitous transcriptional factor needed for gene expression of many inflammatory mediators. Seven of the extracts, including C. latifolium showed strong to moderate inhibitory activity. (9)
Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy / Soft Gel Formulation: Study was done of soft gel transformed from the dry glue of Crinum latifolium alkaloid for therapeutic effect in benign prostatic hypertrophy. Results concluded (1) soft gels of CL are effective for treatment of BPH, and (2) the drug is safe, with little side effects. (10)
Antiproliferative / Prostate Tumors: Treatment of human prostate carcinoma PC3 and LNCaP cells, and benign prostate hyperplasia BPH-1 cells with water extracts of C. latifolium showed a significant dose-dependent inhibition of cell growth. The inhibition of tumor cell growth and recovery of immune functions may contribute to its beneficial effects in the treatment of prostate tumors. (12)
Crinum latifolium showed potent peroxyl-radical scavenging activity in vitro.
An aqueous extract of C. latifolium exhibited strong anti-inflammatory effect on mitogen stimulated PBMC by counteracting mitogen-induced activation of IDO enzyme activity and secretion of neopterin.
Anthelmintic / Total Phenolic Content / Cytotoxicity:
Study of a methanolic extract of Crinum latifolium leaves showed significant activity against Pheretima posthuma. Cytotoxicity testing using brine shrimp lethality test method showed positive result (LC50 15.652 µg/ml) compared to vincristine sulfate (0.839 µg/ml) as positive control. Crude methanolic extract exhibited lower amount of total phenolic content (17.50 ± 2.64 mg/ml). (14)
Hemagglutination Activity / Lectin / Bulbs:
Study evaluated the biologic activity of a lectin isolated from the bulbs of C. latifolium with carbohydrate specificity towards methyl-α-D-mannopyranoside. Study showed humagglutination activity, and was virtually non-mitogenic towards peripheral blood mononuclear cells. (16)
Anti-Tumor Activity / Inhibition of Lymphoma Cells Proliferation: Study evaluated the CL leaf extracts on anti-tumor activity of peritoneal murine macrophages. Results showed CL extracts and alkaloid fraction inhibit the proliferation of lymphoma cells in multiple pathways.   (17)
• Thrombolytic / Leaves: Study investigated the thombolytic potential of crude methanolic extract of leaves of C. latifolium. Results showed significant thrombolytic activity (p<0.001). Plant showed moderate clot lysis activity of 14.64 ± 0.540%, 18.01 ± 0.766%, 21.78 ± 1.039%, 28.43 ± 0.982%, and 33.84 ± 1.749% at 2, 4, 6, 8, and 20 mg/ml concentrations, respectively, while standard streptokinase showed 47.27 ± 1.998% clot lysis. Results suggest good thrombolytic activity of the leaves in vitro; however, in vivo thrombolytic potential s yet to be determined. (20)
• Inhibitory Effect against Tube-like Formation of Human Umbilical Venous Endothelial Cells: Study of methanol extract yielded six compounds. Compound 2 was found strongly inhibitory activity while compound 6 showed modest inhibitory activity against in vitro tube-like formation of human venous endothelial cells (HUVECs) with no cytotoxicity in tumor cell lines.(see constituents above) (22)
• Antitumor / Suppression of Immune Activation Cascades in Peripheral Blood and Proliferation of Prostate Tumor Cells: Study demonstrated the potent in vivo antioxidant activity of aqueous extract of C. latifolum extract by an oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) value of 1610 ± 150 µmol Trolox euivalents/g. Study showed dose-dependent inhibitory effects of an aqueous extract on cell proliferation of highly metastatic human prostate carcinoma PC3 cells,, androgen-sensitive prostate adenocarcinoma, and benign prostatic hyperplasia BPH-1 cells. Results showed inhibition of tumor cell growth and recovery of immune functions, both important antitumor properties of C. latifolium. (23)
• Alkaloids: GC-MS analysis of leaves yielded 15 alkaloids, 9 of which were found for the first time; almost all were of the crinane type. Main alkaloids were undulatine (8) and crinamidine (12). Other important alkaloids were 6-hydroxybuphanidrine (10), ambelline (9), and 6-hydrxyundulatine (13). (see constituents above) (24)
• Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory / Leaves: Study evaluated dried leaves of C. latifolim for analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity. An aqueous extract exhibited dose-related acute anti-inflammatory activity (carrageenan, histamine, dextran, and formalin), chronic anti-inflammatory activity (cotton pellet) and analgesic activity (acetic acid and formalin). (25)
• Uterine Fibroids: C. latifolium has been part of Vietnamese medicinal folklore for the treatment of uterine fibroids. Of the 12 varieties of C. latifolium, the Crila variety has been studied in women with uterine fibroids. A 3-month study in 195 women reported a decrease in size or stoppage in growth of fibroids in 79.5%. In 20.5%, tumor growth continues at a very slow rate. Whereas heavy menstrual flow was reported by 36% before Crila, this decreased to only 1% after treatment. (27) (28)
• Antimicrobial / Cytotoxic / Anti-Inflammatory / Leaves: Crude methanolic extract of leaves were evaluated for antimicrobial, cytotoxic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Extracts showed significant antimicrobial activity against gram negative bacteria E coli with only slight activity against gram-positive bacteria. It showed significant (p<0.05) anti-inflammatory properties for hypotonic and heat induced conditions, 16.21 and 20.55% 10mg/ml, respectively. In contrast t vincristine sulfate, crude methanolic, n-hexane, petroleum ether, and chloroform extracts showed slight to moderate cytotoxic properties with LC50 of 7.06, 48.978, 242.83 and 153.93 µg/ml, respectively. (29)

- Wild-crafted.
- Dried tea leaves, capsules, powders, extracts, supplements in the cybermarket.

Updated July 2017 / December 2016

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Aqueous extracts of Crinum latifolium (L.) and Camellia sinensis show immunomodulatory properties in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells / E. Zvetkova et al / International Immunopharmacology • Volume 1, Issue 12, November 2001, Pages 2143-2150 / doi:10.1016/S1567-5769(01)00140-0
New constituents from Crinum latifolium with inhibitory effects against tube-like formation of human umbilical venous endothelial cells / Nguyen-Hai Nam et al / Natural Product Research, Volume 18, Issue 6 December 2004 , pages 485 - 491 / DOI: 10.1080/1057563031000122103
A novel in vitro and in vivo T-lymphocyte activating factor in Crinum latifolium (L.) aqueous extracts / Ng Tram, E Zvetkova et al / EXPERIMENTAL PATHOLOGYAND PARASITOLOGY, 3/1999Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Mast cell stabilizing effect of glucan A and phosphatidyllycorine isolated from Crinum latifolium / Shibnath Ghosal et al / Phytotherapy Research, Volume 2 Issue 2, Pages 76 - 79, Juune 1988 / DOI: 10.1002/ptr.2650020206

A new phenolic compound from Crinum asiaticum L.
Traditional Vietnamese Herb Crinum Latifolium Shows Promise for Prostate & Ovarian Health / Stephen Levin, PhD / Focus • Allergy Research Group Newsletter
In vitro Antiviral Activity of Crinum latifolium Lectin Against Poxvirus Replication / Amandeep Kaur et al / Journ of Biological Sciences 8 (7):1236-1240, 2008
Retarded growth of chemically induced with 20-methylcholanthrene tumours in rats under the action of cold-hot aqueous extracts (decoctions) from Vietnamese plant Crinum latifolium (L.) / Tram Ng. Th. Ng. et al / EXPERIMENTAL PATHOLOGY AND PARASITOLOGY, 4/7, 2001 / Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

NF-κB Inhibitory Activities of the Methanol Extracts and some Constituents therein of some Vietnamese Medicinal Plants / Nguyen H. Nam and You Y. Jae / Sci Pharm. 2009; 77: 389–399 / doi:10.3797/scipharm.0903-15
Crinum latifolium L. / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
Crinum Latifolium Leave Extracts Suppress Immune Activation Cascades in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells and Proliferation of Prostate Tumor Cells / Marcel JENNY , Angela WONDRAK, Elissaveta ZVETKOVA, Nguyen Thi Ngoc TRAM, Phan Thi Phi PHI, Harald SCHENNACH, Zoran CULIG, Florian UEBERALL, Dietmar FUCHS * / Scientia Pharmaceutica
The Extraction and Isolation of Alkaloids from the Leaves of Crinum Latifolium L., Amaryllidaceae
/ N. H. LacThuy, V. T. BachHue, H. M. Hien / University of Medicine and Pharmacy of HCM, Institute of Drug Quality Control
Evaluation of In vitro Anthelmintic Activity, Total Phenolic Content and Cytotoxic Activity of Crinum latifolium L. (Family: Amaryllidaceae) / Abdul Aziz, Golam Sarwar Raju, Abhijit Das, Jamiuddin Ahmed, Md. Mizanur Rahman Moghal* / Advanced Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 2014, 4(1), 15-19
Physicochemical and Preliminary Phytochemical Studies On the Leaves of Crinum latifolium Linn.
/ Yadav Mahima, Meena A. K., Rao M. M., Mangal A. K., Chahal Jagbir* / Research Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, 2011, Volume 3, Issue 3
Isolation of a New Lectin from the Bulbs of Crinum latifolium (L.) / Amandeep Kaur, Sukhdev Singh Kamboj, and Jatinder Singh / Journal of Biological Sciences 6(1): 9-14, 2006
Extracts of Crinum latifolium inhibit the cell viability of mouse lymphoma cell line EL4 and induce activation of anti-tumour activity of macrophages in vitro. / Nguyen HY, Vo BH, Nguyen LT, Bernad J, Alaeddine M, Coste A, Reybier K, Pipy B, Nepveu F. / J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Aug 26;149(1):75-83. / |
doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.06.002. Epub 2013 Jun 12.
Crinum latifolium / Synonyms / The Plant List
CRINUM; AN ENDLESS SOURCE OF BIOACTIVE PRINCIPLES: A REVIEW. PART V. BIOLOGICAL PROFILE / John Refaat*, Mohamed S. Kamel, Mahmoud A. Ramadan and Ahmed A. Ali / IJPSR (2013), Vol. 4, Issue 4
INVESTIGATION OF IN VITRO THROMBOLYTIC POTENTIAL AND PHYTOCHEMICAL NATURE OF CRINUM LATIFOLIUM L. LEAVES GROWING IN COASTAL REGION OF BANGLADESH / Syed Masudur Rahman Dewan and Abhijit Das* / International Journal of Biological & Pharmaceutical Research. 2013; 4(1): 1-7.
Reducing Hot Flashes and Night Sweats with Crila
New constituents from Crinum latifolium with inhibitory effects against tube-like formation of human umbilical venous endothelial cells / Nguyen-Hai Nam, Yong Kim, Young-Jae You, Dong-Ho Hong, Hwan-Mook Kim & Byung-Zun Ahn / Natural Product Research, Formerly Natural Product Letters, Volume 18, 2004 - Issue 6 / http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1057563031000122103
Crinum Latifolium Leave Extracts Suppress Immune Activation Cascades in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells and Proliferation of Prostate Tumor Cells / Marcel Jenny, Angela Wondrak, Elissaveta Zvetkova, Nguyen Thi Ngoc Tram, Phan Thi Phi Phi, Harald Schennach, Zoran Culig, Florian Ueberall, and Dietmar Fuchs* / Sci Pharm. 2011 Apr-Jun; 79(2): 323–335. / doi: 10.3797/scipharm.1011-13
GC-MS of Crinum latifolium L. alkaloids / Nguyen Thi Ngoc Tram, Maya Mitova, Vassya Bankova, Simeon S Popov / Z. Naturforsch. 57 c, 239Ð242 (2002) / DOI: 10.1515/znc-2002-3-407
Studies on the Threatened Ethnomedicinal Plants Used by Tribals of Harda District of M.P., India / Sainkhediya Jeetendra, Ray Sudip / International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR), Vol 3, Issue 12, December 2014
Uterine fibroids: overview and Crinum latifolium--a plant that you may not have heard of. / The Free Library by Farlex
To evaluate the effect and possibility of accepting of CRILA in uterus fibroid tumor treatment. / Tram NTN / Vietnam National Institute of Gerontology Hospital. 2007. http://www.crilahealth.com/wp- content/uploads/2011/03/Uterus-Fibroid-Tumor-research-10-09.pdf.
Screenings of In-vitro antimicrobial, cytotoxic and anti-inflammatory activity of crude methanolic extracts of Crinum latifolium (Leaves) / Md. Abdur Rahman, Md. Saddam Hussain, Md. Shalahuddin Millat, Mithun Chandra Ray, Mohammad Tohidul Amin, Md. Mizanur Rahman Moghal / Journal of Medicinal Plants Researc, Vol 10(37): October 2016

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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