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Family Simaroubaceae
Quassia indica Gaertn.

Scientific names  Common names 
Quassia indica (Gaertn.) Noot. Daraput (Bis.) 
Samadera indica Gaertn. Linatog-anat (Bis.) 
Samadera madagascariensis A.Juss. Linton-gamai (Bis.) 
  Mabingdato (Bis.) 
  Malunggal (Tag.) 
  Mongal (Tag.) 
  Palagarium (Bis.) 
  Palagium (Bis.) 
  Palo santo (Span.) 
  Ponoan (Bis.)
  Bitter wood (Engl.)
  Madagascar quassia (Engl.)
  Niepa bark tree (Engl.)
Quassia indica (Gaertn.) Noot. is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
FRENCH: Quassia de l'Inde, Quassia de Madagascar.
INDONESIAN: Gatep pait, Sahangi, Iani.
MALAGASY: Bemafaitry.
MALAYALAM: Karingota, Karinjotta (S. indica).
MALAYSIAN: Kayu pahit, Kelapahit, Manuggal.
SANSKRIT: .ucchakaranja
SPANISH: Simaruba de Madagascar.
SRI LANKAN: Samadara, Nibam, Lokhandi.
VIETNAMESE: S[aa]m d[eef], Th[awf]n l[awf]n [aas]n.

Manunggal is a tree, smooth and growing to 10 meters high. Bark is pale and transversely cracked. Wood is light yellow and soft. Leaves are simple, elliptic-oblong, about 20 centimeters wide. Flowers are numerous, bisexual, 4-parted, pinkish yellow, on dense and pedunculated short-stalked umbels. Fruit is oval, about 6 centimeters long and 2.5 centimeters wide consisting of one carpet, flattened and keeled.

- Found in Cagayan, Luzon; in Mindoro and Palawan; in Lanao, Mindanao; in forests at low altitudes.
- Also found in India to Malaya.

- Fixed oil, 33%; with triolein 87.7 %, triplamitin, 8.41 %, tristearin 3.89%, an alkaloid, a bitter principle and a glycoside, samaderin.
- The wood contains a bitter principle similar to quassin.
Study on stems yielded four new quassinoids named samaderines X (1), Y (2), and Z (3), and indaquassin X (5), and a new C19 quassinoid glycoside, 2-O-glucosylsamaderine C (10), together with five known quassinoids, samaderines B (7), C (8), and E (4), indaquassin C (6), and simarinolide (9). (see study below) (1)
- Study of the seeds and bark yielded four quassinoids: indaquassin C, samaderins C, B and A. (see study below) (3)
- Methanol, chloroform, ethyl acetate, methanol and water extracts of bark yielded alkaloids (C, EA, M, W), flavonoids (M, W), triterpenoids (C, EA, M, W), tannins (M, W), phenols (M, W), carbohydrates (M, W), saponins (W), fats and fixed oils (C), phytosterols, (C, M, W). (see study below) (22)

- Bark is toxic with a bitter principle, as do the seeds.
- Bitterness attributed to flavanoids like quassinoids.
- Bark and wood considered febrifuge, tonic, stomachic and emmenagogue.
- Roots and fruits considered stomachic.
- Studies suggest antitumor, antifeedant, antiviral, anthelmintic, antioxidant, antimicrobial properties.
- Leaves reported termiticidal.

Parts used
Seeds, bark, and wood.

- Mixture of the powdered bark or wood scrapings in warm water or coconut oil used for fever.
- For rheumatism, seed is roasted, pounded, and applied over affected area.
- Leaves are bruised and applied over skin eruptions.
- Juice from pounded bark also used for skin diseases.
- Oil extracted from fruit kernels used for rheumatism.
- Leaf decoction used to relieve cough.
- Seeds worn around the neck for asthma prevention.
- Seeds used as emetic and purgative.
- Infusion of wood taken as a tonic, as a substitute for Quassia.
- Infusion of leaves used as insecticide, especially against white ants.
- In the Congo and Madagascar, used for malaria.
- In Ayurveda, Samadera indica pacifies vitiated vata, kapha, arthritis, edema, itching skin diseases, constipation, and general debility.
- Macerated leaves, mixed with coconut oil, used for hair cleansing.(19) Also, to kill head lice.
- In Sri Lanka, mixture of powdered bark or wood scrapings in warm water or coconut oil used to treated fever. Roasted seeds are pounded and applied to areas of rheumatism. Bruised leaves applied over skin eruptions. Seeds worn around the neck to prevent asthma. (24)

- Insecticidal / Termicidal:
Leaf decoctions used to kill termites. Leaf infusion used as insecticide. (19)
- Wood: Soft wood used for making tool handles.

Anti-Inflammatory / Antimalarial / Cytotoxicity:
Study on stems yielded four new quassinoids named samaderines X (1), Y (2), and Z (3), and indaquassin X (5), and a new C19 quassinoid glycoside, 2-O-glucosylsamaderine C (10), together with five known quassinoids, samaderines B (7), C (8), and E (4), indaquassin C (6), and simarinolide (9). Some of the compounds exhibited significant growth-inhibitory activity against cultured Plasmodium falcifarum. Compounds 1-8 exhibited in vitro toxicity against KB cells.

Quassinoids: Quassinoids possess a wide spectrum of biological activities. Reports have been made of its antimalarial, anti inflammatory and antiviral properties and two studies have been published on quassinoids anti-tumor activity, but thus far the compounds have been found to be too toxic for clinical use.
Quassinoids / Antifeedant: Study of the seeds and bark of Samadera indica yielded four quassinoids: indaquassin C, samaderins C, B and A. Indaquassin C was the most effective antifeedant. Samaderin C increased pupal duration and induced pupal mortality.
Mosquitocidal: Varied fractions and extracts, including Samadera indica leaf extracts significantly decreased the fecundity of mosquitoes and the hatchability of their eggs of C quinquefasciatus, A stephensi and Aedes aegypti.
Antibacterial: Study results indicated antibacterial activity, especially towards a single pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Phytochemical screening yielded flavonoids, phenols and steroid.
Toxicopathology: Study evaluated evaluated the toxicopathology effect of gatep pahit stem extract fractionation of various extracts on mice liver and kidney at 100 mg kbw. Q. indica chloroform extract has the lowest level of damage to hepatocytes while hexane fraction caused the least damage in kidney tubular epithelium. The ethyl acetate showed the most epithelial damage. (8)
Antimicrobial Topical Herbal Formulations: Study evaluated the toxicity of a methanolic extract of Samadera indica Gaertn. and its suitability for use in herbal formulations. The in-vitro antimicrobial study of the formulated ointment showed significantly strong activity against S. aureus, P. aeurginosa and C. albicans. Results suggest the formulated ointment and gel are safe and efficient formulations for topical delivery.
Antimicrobial / Antioxidant: Study evaluated the antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of methanolic extracts. Results showed significant activity against gram positive, gram negative bacteria, and Candida albicans. Antioxidant testing showed increased scavenging activity in a dose-dependent manner.
Polyherbal Antiseptic Ointment: An ointment, formulated using methanolic extracts of Azaridachta indica, Chromolaena odorata, Mimosa pudica, and Samadera indica, was evaluated for antibacterial and antioxidant activity. Results showed concentration-dependent increase in scavenging activity, the effect attributed to flavanoids and tannins. Antibacterial testing showed wound healing activity. Overall study showed an effective polyherbal antiseptic ointment.
Anthelmintic: Study of alcoholic and aqueous extracts from leaves were evaluated for anthelmintic activity against Rallietina spiralis and Ascaridia galli. The extracts showed significant dose dependent anthelmintic activity. (12)
Antioxidant: Study evaluated various extract for antioxidant activity using DPPH, ABTS radical scavenging assay, FRAP, and DCF/AAPH assay. All methods showed prominent antioxidant activity although comparatively lower than standard Quercetin.
Anti-inflammatory Activity: Study evaluated the anti-inflammatory activity of Samadera indica by HRBC membrane stabilization. An ethanolic extract of S. indica showed significant anti-inflammatory activity. Diclofenac was used as standard. (16)
Anti-inflammatory / Antioxidant / Leaves: Study of a methanol extract of Quassia indica leaves in Wistar albino rats showed significant in-vitro antioxidant activity by DPPH radical scavenging method and significant anti-inflammatory activity against carrageenan induced paw edema.
Hepatoprotective / Leaves: Study evaluated the potential hepatoprotective effect of methanolic extract of Quassia indica leaves in carbon tetrachloride induced liver injury in Wistar albino rats. Results showed hepatoprotective activity with restoration of increased level of serum biochemical markers and normalization of hepatic globular architecture.
• Antimicrobial / Bark and Leaf: Study evaluated bark and leaf extracts of Quassia indica for antimicrobial activity against two strains of bacterial (E. coli and S. aureus) and fungi (A. niger and C. albicans). Results showed the leaf extract as an effective antibacterial and antifungal at concentration of 1000 µg/ml. (see constituents above) (22)
• Antioxidant / Bark and Leaf: Study evaluated methanolic extracts of bark and leaf for antioxidant property using varous assays. IC50s were ABTS (552.36, 1917), cH2O2 (566.89 and 1904.32), NO (956.75, 1711.74) and superoxide (235 and 506.68) for bark and leaf, respectively. (23)
• Antifungal / Phytovesicles Containing Triterpenoids:
Study evaluated a novel phyto-vesicular formulation for an enhanced topical delivery of a methanol extract to treated skin infections. Chloroform 100% fraction of methanol extract of S. indica showed more activity against C. albicans and was positive for triterpenoids. The phytovesicle gel formulation showed enhanced skin permeability and antifungal activity and showed potential benefit for treating deep seated fungal infections. (25)

- Wild-crafted. 
- Herbs and extracts in the cybermarket.

Updated September 2018 / July 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: / Illustration / Quassia indica (Gaertner) / Noot. [as Samadera indica Gaertner] Wight, R., Illustrations of Indian botany, vol. 1: t. 68 (1840) [Rungiah] / Illustration contributed by the library of the Missouri Botanical Garden, U.S.A./ PlantIllustrations.org
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Illustration / Quassia indica (Gaertner) Noot. [as karin-njota] Rheede tot Drakestein, Hendrik van, Hortus Indicus Malabaricus, vol. 6: t. 18 (1686) / Illustration contributed by the library of the Missouri Botanical Garden, U.S.A./ PlantIllustrations.org
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Photograph / File:Quassia indica 30.JPG / Vinayara / 9 June 2013 / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 / click on image to go to source page / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Indonesian medicinal plants; XVII. Characterization of quassinoids from the stems of Quassia indica / KITAGAWA I.; MAHMUD T. ; YOKOTA K.-I ; NAKAGAWA S ; MAYUMI T ; KOBAYASHI M ; SHIBUYA / Chemical and pharmaceutical bulletin, 1996, vol. 44, no11, pp. 2009-2014.

Biologically Active Quassinoids and Their Chemistry: Potential Leads for Drug Design / Guo Z, Vangapandu S, Sindelar RW, Walker LA, Sindelar RD / Curr Med Chem. 2005;12(2):173-90.
Effects of plant extracts on fecundity and fertility of mosquitoes / J Muthukrishnan and E Pushpalatha / Journal of Applied Entomology, Volume 125 Issue 1-2, Pages 31 - 35 / Publ OnLine July 2008 / DOI 10.1111/j.1439-0418.2001.00503.
Sorting Quassia names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.
Quassia indica / Vernacular names / GLOinMED
Toxicopathology Assay of Gatep Pahit (Quassia indica (Gaernt.) Nooteboom) Stem Extract Fractionation Various Given Effect on Mice (Mus musculus) Liver and Kidney
/ Octaviani, Ria / IPB Bogor Agricultural University Scientific Repository
Development and evaluation of antimicrobial herbal formulations containing the methanolic extract of Samadera indica for skin diseases. / Viswanad V, Aleykutty NA, Jayakar B, Zacharia SM, Thomas L. / J Adv Pharm Technol Res. 2012 Apr;3(2):106-11. doi: 10.4103/2231-4040.97285.
International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review & Resear, Nov/Dec 2011, Vol. 11 No 2, p59
Formulation and evaluation of antiseptic polyherbal ointment / P.H.Rajasree ⃰, Vidya Vishwanad, Merin Cherian, Jincy Eldhose and Ranjith Singh / INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHARMACY & LIFE SCIENCES, 3(10): Oct., 2012
In vitro anthelmintic activity of Samadera indica / Harindran Jyoti*, Rajalakshmi G.R. / Research Journal of Pharmacy and Technology, 2011, Vol 4, No 10.
Karingota - Samadera Indica / Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants
Evaluation of Antioxidant and Free Radical Scavenging Activity of Samadera indica Using In vitro Models /
Vidya Viswanad, N.A. Aleykutty, Subin Mary Zacharia, Litha Thomas / Pharmacognosy Journal
Volume 3, Issue 23 , Pages 85-90, July 2011
Termite Control without Chemicals / HDRA, the organic organisation.
G.R. Rajalakshmi* and Jyoti Harindran / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research (IJPSR) 2013; 4(2):721-723
Quassia indica / Synonyms / The Plant List
Anti-inflammatory Effect of Quassia indica leaf extract And Role of Antioxidant activity / Jolly John*, Suraj. S, Abdul Vahab A, Dr Jyoti Harindran, S.E Godwin / Journal of Pharma Research 2014, 3(2) 11-13
Samadera indica / Useful Tropical Plants
POTENTIAL HEPATOPROTECTIVE EFFECT OF METHANOLIC EXTRACT OF QUASSIA INDICA LEAVES / Jolly John* / International Journal of Institutional Pharmacy and Life Sciences 5(2): March-April 2015
CHEMICAL AND PHARMACOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF SAMADERA INDICA (SIMAROUBACEAE): AN OVERVIEW / Raja S* and Ravindranadh K / International Journal of Biological & Pharmaceutical Research. 2014; 5(12): 958-963
Phytochemical profile and antimicrobial potential of methanolic extracts of bark and leaf of Quassia indica (Gaertn.) Nooteb. / Anusha P, Sudha Bai R / The Journal of Phytopharmacology 2017; 6(5): pp 269-276
Evaluation of antioxidant potential of methanolic extracts of bark and leaf of Quassia indica (gaertn.) Nooteb. / Sudha Bai R and Anusha P / International Journal of Phytomedicine, 2018;10(1): pp 39-44
Quassia indica / Sri Lanka
Development of phytovesicles containing triterpenoids from Samadera indica / Vidya Viswanad, Subin Mary Zachariah, Aiswarya Sathi, N A Aleykutty / Pharmacognosy Research, 2015; 7(2): pp 176-183 / DOI: 10.4103/0974-8490.151461


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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