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Family Leguminosae / Fabaceae
Cynometra ramiflora Linn.

Scientific names Common names
Cynometra ramiflora Linn. Balitbitan (Tag.)
Cynometra bijuga Spanoghe ex Miq. Komon (Bis.)
Cynometra hosinoi Kaneh. Odling (Bis.)
Cynometra neo-caledonica Guillaumin Oringen (Tag.)
  Ula (Ibn.)
  Ulud (Tag.)
  Cynometra (Engl.)

Other vernacular names
CAMBODIA: Chom prinh.
INDONESIA: Kateng, Kepel, Wunut.
MALAYSIA: Katong laut.
THAILAND: Phang kha, Ma khak, Maeng kha.
VIETNAM: C[aa]y tr[aa]m ngh[eej], C[aa]y m[os]t.

Oringen is an erect, small tree. Leaves are alternate and smooth, consisting of 2 to 6 leaflets. Leaflets are leathery, about 10 centimeters long, about a third as wide. Flowers are yellowish white, corymbosely fascicled or upon short racemes, and subtended by large bracts. Fruit is hard, scurfy brown, 2 to 4 centimeters long.

- In forests along streams at low and medium altitudes in Cagayan, Bulacan, Rizal, and Quezon Provinces in Luzon.
- A recent contribution to horticulture, it is cultivated for its beautiful, pendant inflorescences covered with large, conspicuous, attractive silvery bracts.
- Also occurs in from India, Indo-China, Thailand through Malaysia to the Pacific.

Roots considered purgative.

Parts used
Seeds, leaves.


- Roots are purgative.
- Seeds and leaves are used as anti-herpetic.
- In Malabar, leaves used to make a lotion for skin diseases.
- Oil drawn from the seeds also used for skin affections.
Timber: Wood used for interior and light construction, plywood, decorative veneers. Also for firewood and charcoal.

Cytotoxic / Anticancer Activity:
Study investigated the cytotoxic effects of various extracts from 16 Bangladesh medicinal plants, including Cynometra ramiflora, against human gastric, colon and breast cancer cell lines. CM exerted low toxicity against mouse fibroblast but selective cytotoxicity against different cancer cell lines. (1)
Phytochemical / Antibacterial: Phytochemical screening yielded gums, reducing sugars, tannins and saponins. Study showed moderate antimicrobial activity against E coli, Staph epidermis, Shigella dysenteriae, Enterococci, S sonnei, S aureus, S typhi, S flexneri and Vibrio cholera. (2)
Blood Glucose Lowering: Extract of Cynometra ramiflora was found to significantly lower the postprandial blood glucose level of the sucrose loaded rats significantly. (3)
Neuropharmacological / Antibacterial / Antinociceptive: Crude methanolic extract of bark of C. ramiflora was evaluated for neuropharmacological, antibacterial and antinociceptive properties. Results showed depressant central nervous system effects. Toxicity testing showed safety up to 1600 mg/kbw. Extract also showed significant antibacterial activity against V. cholera, S. typhi, S. aureus. The methanolic extract showed significant inhibition of writhing in the acetic acid-induced writhing model in white albino mice. (4)


Last Update July 2013

IMAGE SOURCE: Illustration / Cynometra ramiflora L. / [as tripa] / Rheede tot Drakestein, Hendrik van, Hortus Indicus Malabaricus, vol. 4: t. 31 (1683) / contributed by the Library of the Missouri Botanical Garden, U.S.A. /  plantillustrations.org
IMAGE SOURCE: Leaves / Cynometra ramiflora /  Lauren Gutierrez/ Foter / CC BY-ND / original image from flickr /
IMAGE SOURCE: Seeds / Cynometra ramiflora L. - cynometra / Tracey Slotta @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Cytotoxic Effects of Bangladeshi Medicinal Plant Extracts / Shaikh J Uddin, I Darren Grice and Evelin Tiralongo / eCAM, doi:10.1093/ecam/nep111
Phytochemical and pharmacological screening of Shingra (Cynometra ramiflora Linn., Family: Leguminosae) bark based on its traditional uses / Mohammed Ahad Ali Khan /
Search for antihyperglycemic activity in few marine flora and fauna / Priti Tiwan, Neha Rahuja, Rajesh Kumar et al / Indian Journal of Science and Technology,Vol.1 No 5 (Oct. 2008)
Evaluation of Neuropharmacological, Antibacterial, and Antinociceptive Activity of Methanolic Extract of the Bark of Cynometra ramiflora Linn. / Siraj Md Afjalus et al / Int Journ Res. Ayurveda Pharm. 4(2), Mar-Apr 2013.
Cynometra ramiflora L / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED

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