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Family Meliaceae
Cedar mangrove
Xylocarpus moluccensis (Lam.) M. Roem.

Scientific names Common names
Carapa moluccensis Lam. Tambu-tambu (Tag.)
Xylocarpus australasicus Ridley Cedar mangrove (Engl.)
Xylocarpus mekongensis Pierre Indian crabwood (Engl.)
Xylocarpus moluccensis (Lam.) M. Roem. Pussur wood (Engl.)
Xylocarpus moluccensis (Lam.) M. Roem. is the preferred name. IUCN Red List / Tropicos

Other vernacular names
INDIA: Poshur, Dhundul.
INDONESIAN: Nyirih batu, Niri batu.
MALAYSIAN: Delima wanita.batu.
MYANMAR: Pinle-on, Kyana, Kyatna.
THAI: Ta buun dam, Ta ban.

Xylocarpus moluccensis is a small to medium sized deciduous tree with a relative sparse canopy, growing to a height of 22 meters. Bole up to 100 centimeters in diameter. Bark is light brown, peeling in longitudinal flakes. Roots are pencil-like, stout pneumatophores (air-breathing). Leaves are compound, 20 centimeters long, with 2 to 6 pairs of opposite leaflets. Leaflets are elliptic to ovate, 4 to 12 centimeters long, 2 to 8 centimeters wide, with blunt or pointed tip. Inflorescense is 4 to 8 centimeters long with 9 to 35 flowers. Flowers are small and creamy white. Fruit is globular, woody, orange-sized (5 to 10 centimeters), containing 4 to 16 tightly packed, tetrahedral seeds which are 4 to 7 centimeters long. (1)

- X. moluccensis is similar to Xylocarpus granatum (piyagaw). X. granatum has larger fruit, smooth, patchy bark, butteresses and plant-like aerial roots. X. moluccensis has a smaller fruit, with conical pneumatophores. (1)

- Native to the Philippines.
- Also found in South Asia, including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Solomon Islands, and Vietnam.

- Bark yields flavonoids like catechin and epicatechin; liminoids like xyloccensin (A-I) and hispidol B. Bark is also rich in gedunin, xyloccensins L-V, 6-dehydroxyxylocarpin D. (4)
- Study of hexane extract of fruit seeds for active constituents yielded 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, arachidic acid, aromadedrin, coumaric acid, catechin, docosanediocic acid, behinic acid, febrifugin, gedunin, hydroxymesicano lide, isolariciresinol, khayasin T, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, myristic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid phaseic acid, phenyl acetic acid, photogedunin, procyanidin, stearic acid, swietemahonolide, xylogranatinin. Seed kernels yielded three new phragmalin limonoids, moluccensins H-J. (6)
- Study of bark yielded the presence of flavonoids (catechin and epicatechin), a few procyanidins (procyanidin B1, prcyanidin B3, procyanidin trimer, procyanidin pentamer, procyanidin hexamer, procyanidin decamer and procyaidinin undercamer). (7)
- A methanol root extract yielded two fractions. Fraction A yielded major component of a-guaiene (98.54%). Fraction B (oil) yielded 15 components. (see study below) (10)
- Study of seeds isolated two new mexicanolides, granatumins H and I and two phragmalins, granatumins J and K. (12)
- Study of seeds yielded two novel phragmalin 8,9,12-orthoesters, named thaixylomolins O–P (1–2), a 9,10-seco mexicanolide with a unique trans-orientation of H5 and Me-19, named thaixylomolin Q (3), and the first secomahoganin-type 7-nor-limonoid with a 6-oxabicyclo[3.2.1]octan-3-one motif, named thaixylomolin R (4). (see study below) (15)
- Proximate analysis and mineral content study of X. moluccensis fruit seeds yielded crude lipids (10.65-11.09%), crude proteins (4.76-10.14%). ash (10.07-11.59%), crude fibers (7.81-15.85%), and nitrogen free extract e.g. carbohydrates (52.42-63.32%). Mineral content yielded copper 12.82 ppm, iron 20.25 ppm, manganese 16.22 ppm, zinc 5.89 ppm, potassium 621.98 ppm, and calcium 43.69 ppm. Hexane extract yielded myristic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, arachidic acid, and docosanoic acid. (18)

- Studies have show antitumor, antibacterial, antihyperglycemic, antidyslipidemic, antidiarrheal, neuropharmacological, antioxidant properties.

Parts used
Bark, fruit, ash.


- Fruit peels added to soups.
- Dried fruit peel used as appetizer. (3)
- In the Philippines, oil used to treat insect bites. (6)
- Bark used for treatment of dysentery, diarrhea, and various abdominal troubles. (3)
- Also used as febrifuge. (3)
- Fruit and bark used in the treatment of fever, malaria, elephantiasis, swelling of the breast; as antiemetic, antidiarrhea. (4)
- An ointment made from seed ash of the plant mised with sulphur and coconut oil used for treatment of itches. (5)
- In Fiji, leaves and bark used for carbuncles. In Bangladesh, bark used for gastrointestinal disturbances such as cholera, dysentery, diarrhea. In Malaya, bark used for cholera, colic diarrhea. (6)
- Tannin: Bark rich in tannin. Used for tanning heavy hides, toughening fishing nets and dying cloth. (13)
- Wood.
Used for making small objects i.e., pins, handles, house posts. Large pieces used for boat building and furniture making. (3)
- Biodiesel feedstock:
Study suggest mangrove seeds of moluccensis have potential as biodiesel feedstock due to its lipid content. (18)

Various parts of X. moluccensis i.e., bark, pneumatophores, fruit husk, and leaves exhibited considerable antibacterial activity against a wide range of both Gram positive and Gram negative bacilli strains including E. coli, E. enterogenes, S. flexneri, S. sonnei, S. aureus, S. epidermis, S. pyogenes, V. cholera. (4)
• Antidiarrhea / Bark: A methanol extract of bark exhibited significant antidiarrheal activcity in castor oil and magnesium sulphate inudced diarrheal models in mice. (4)
• Neuropharmacological Properties / Bark and Pneumatophores: Study evaluated methanolic extracts of bark and pneumatophores of X. moluccensis for CNS effects in mice model. Results showed dose-dependent reduction of onset and duration of pentobarbitone-induced hypnosis, reduction of locomotor and exploratory activities in open field, hole cross, head-dip, and evasion tests. The pneumatophore extract showed more potency than the bark extract. (5)
• Cytotoxic / Antioxidant / Antibacterial / Fruit Husk: Study evaluated the toxicity, antioxidant, antibacterial activity of methanol extract of fruit husk of X. moluccensis. The extract showed no toxicity on brine shrimp lethality assay. The antiradical efficiency by DPPH assay was 0.000154. Antibacterial evaluation showed broad spectrum inhibitory zone to S. aureus and E. coli at 12.7 ± 1.2 and 11.9 ± 0.9 mm, respectively. (9)
• Cyclooxygenase, 5-Lipoxygenase and Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitory Effects / Roots: Study investigated the inhibitory effects of methanolic root extract and fractions (A & B) of X. moluccensis against cyclooxygenase, 5-lipoxygenase and acetylcholinesterase enzymes using in vitro models. Fraction A yielded α-guaiene (98.54%) as the major component. The α-guaiene fraction showed strong activities against AchE, 5-lipox, and COX-1 with IC50s of 21, 27, and 43 µg/mL, respectively. Results showed the potential therapeutic effects of the plant in the treatment of inflammatory related ailments and cognitive disorders. (10)
• Safety on Toxicity Study / Antidyslipidemic Activity / Patented Fraction: Study evaluated the essential safety pharmacology and toxicity profile of a new patented (US 7959954 from CSIR-CDRI) bioactive fraction of mangrove X. moluccensis for antidyslipidemic activity. Study findings suggested the fraction is safe for use as a candidate drug for the treatment of dyslipidemia disorders. Clinical trials are suggested. (11)
• Antihyperglycemic / Antidyslipidemic / Fruits: Study evaluated the antihyperglycemic and antidyslipidemic activity of EA fraction of fruits of X. granatum and X. moluccensis on animal models as well as in-vitro glucose uptake stimulatory effect and cytotoxicity effect in L6 skeletal muscle cells. Results showed both EA fractions were effective in improving glucose tolerance, decreasing blood glucose, serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels in STZ-induced rats and dyslipidemic hamsters, respectively. The fractions also increase glucose uptake by L6 skeletal muscle cells. (14)
• Limonoid / Thaixylomolin- P / Antitumor / Seeds: Study of seeds isolated thaixylomolin O-P (i,2), thaixylomolin Q (3), and thaixylomolin R (4). Thaixylomolin P exhibited antitumor activities against ovarian A2780 and A2780/T cells with an equal IC50 of 37.5 µM. (see study above) (15)
• Antidiarrheal / Antibacterial / Bark: Study evaluated the antidiarrheal activity of methanol extract of barks of Xylocarpus moluccensis in castor oil- and magnesium sulphate-induced diarrhea models in mice. Results showed significant antidiarrheal activity in both models. The ME showed antibacterial effect, with moderate inhibitory activity against E. coli, V. cholera, S. aureus, S. epidermis, S. dysentery, S. pyogenes, S. typhi, P. aeruginosa and E. aerogenes. Results suggest a potential for a novel 'lead' for antidiarrheal drug development. (16)
• Dyeing Viscose Rayon Fabric Using Environmental Friendly Mordant: Viscose rayon was dyed with natural colourant extracted from X. moluccensis heartwood using pressurized hot water extraction technique and an environmental friendly mordant of vinegar and paddy ash. (17)
• Limonoid / Anti-Inflammatory / Seeds: Study of seeds isolated a new andirobin, thaimoluccensin A (1), and two new phragmalin-type limonoids, thaimoluccensins B and C (2,3), along with eight known compounds. Compound 7, deacetylgedunin, a gedunin-type limonoid, exhibited significant inhibitory activity against nitric oxide production from activated macrophages with IC50 less than 10 µM, suggesting anti-inflammatory activity. (19)
• Cytotoxic / Anticancer Effects: Study investigated various extracts of 16 Bangladesh medicinal plants for cytotoxic activity against healthy mouse fibroblasts (NIH3T3) and three human cancer cell lines (gastric/AGS; colon/HT-29; and breast/MDA-MB-435S) using MTT assay. Seven methanolic extracts, including Xylocarpus muluccensis showed low toxicity (IC50 > 2.5 mg/mL) against mouse fibroblasts but selective cytotoxicity (IC50 0.2-2.3 mg/mL) against different cancer cell lines. (20)


October 2018

IMAGE SOURCE: Illustration: Filfe: Xylocarpus moluccensis / Govindoo Beddome, RH (1869-1873) The Flora Sylvatica for Southern India, Vol 1 / Public Domain .costata / click on image to go to source page / Wikipedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photos: Ripening fruit / © SEAFDEC 2008 / Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center Aquaculture Department / CC / click on image to go to source page / Useful Tropical Plants

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Xylocarpus moluccensis / Australian Mangrove and Saltmarsh Resource
Xylocarpus moluccensis / The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species /
Xylocarpus moluccensis / Tropical Plants Database: Ken Fern / Useful Tropical Plants
Ethnomedicinal, Antimicrobial and Antidiarrhoeal Studies on the Mangrove Plants of the Genus Xylocarpus: A Mini Review / Swagat Kumar Das, Dibyajyoti Samantaray and Hrudayanath Thatoi / Journal of Bioanalysis & Biomedicine, 2014 / DOI: 10.4172/1948-593X.S12-004
Neuropharmacological properties of Xylocarpus moluccensis / Satyajit Sarker, Shaikh J Uddin, Jamil A Shilpi,Dr Lutfun Nahar / Fiteropia, March 2007; 78(2): pp 107-111/ DOI: 10.1016/j.fitote.2006.09.029
A complete profile on Xylocarpus moluccensis: traditional uses,  pharmacological activities and  phytoconstituents  / Raja S and Ravindranadh K / World Journal of  Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2014;  2(12): pp 1770-1777

Biological activities and chemical constituents of some mangrove species from Sundarban estuary: An overview / Aritra Simlai and Amit Roy / Pharmacogn Rev., Jul-Dec 2013; 7(14): pp 170-178 / doi: 10.4103/0973-7847.120518
Xylocarpus moluccensis / Synonyms / EOL
CYTOTOXIC, ANTIOXIDANT AND ANTIBACTERIAL ACTIVITY OF METHANOL EXTRACT OF Xylocarpus moluccensis FRUIT HUSK / Asep Awaludin Prihanto / Dept. of Fishery Product Technology, Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Science, Brawijaya University, Malang, Indonesia.
Cyclooxygenase, 5-Lipoxygenase and Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitory Effects of Fractions Containing, α-Guaiene and Oil Isolated from the Root of Xylocarpus moluccensis
/ Ibrahim M S Eldeen, Habsah Mohamed, Wen-Nee Tan, Julius Y F Siong, Yosie Andriani, and Tengku S Tengku-Muhammad / Research Journal of Medicinal Plants, 2016; 10: pp 286-294. / DOI10.3923/rjmp.2016.286.294 
Essential Safety Pharmacology and safety evaluation of bioactive fraction of Xylocarpus moluccensis: an antidyslipidaemic agent / Sarika Singh, Sharad Sharma, C. Nath, Srikant Kumar Rath, R. K. Singh, Smrati Bhadauria,  Poonam Singh, R.k. Shukla, Manoj Barthwal and M Dikshit / International Journal of Medical Science and Clinical Inventions, 2014; Vol 1, No 1.
New Limonoids from the Seeds of a Krishna Mangrove, Xylocarpus granatum / Hongliang Chen, Jing Zhang, Min-Yi Li, Tirumani Satyanadamurty, Jun Wu / Chemistry & Biodiversity, April 2013; Vol 10, Issue 4: pp 612-620 / https://doi.org/10.1002/cbdv.201200021
Xylocarpus moluccensis / Ecocrop
Thaixylomolins O–R: four new limonoids from the Trang mangrove, Xylocarpus moluccensis / Yi-guo Dai, Wan-Shan Li, Patchara Pedpradab, Jun-Jun Liu, Jun Wu, and Li Shen / RSC Advances, 2016; 89 / DOI: 10.1039/C6RA14721F
Antidiarrhoeal activity of the methanol extract of the barks of Xylocarpus moluccensis in castor oil- and magnesium sulphate-induced diarrhoea models in mice / S.J. Uddin, J.A. Shilpi, S.M.S. Alam, M. Alamgir, M.T. Rahman, S.D. Sarker / Journal of Ethnopharmacology , 2005; 101: pp 139–143 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2005.04.006
Dyeing of viscose rayon fabric with pressurised hot water extracts of Xylocarpus moluccensis using environmental friendly mordant / Ruziyati Tajuddin, Abd Razak Nursyamirah, Tumin Siti Marsinah / Research Journal of Chemistry and Environment, June 2011; 15(2): pp 245-250
Proximate Composition of Xylocarpus moluccensis Seeds and Their Oils / Industrial Crops and Products, 2012; 41: pp 107-112 / Advances in Agricultural Research and Application: 2013 Edition
Limonoids from seeds of Thai Xylocarpus moluccensis. / Ravangpai W, Sommit D, Teerawatananond T, Sinpranee N, Palaga T, Pengpreecha S, Muangsin N, Pudhom K / Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters, June 2011; 21(15): pp 4485-4489 / DOI: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2011.06.010
Cytotoxic Effects of Bangladeshi Medicinal Plant Extracts / Evelin Tiralongo, Shaikh Jamal Uddin, Darren Grice / Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine / DOI | 10.1093/ecam/nep111

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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