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Family Araliaceae
Papua
Polyscias fruiticosa
(L.) Harms

CUT-LEAVED PANAX
Nan yang shen

Scientific names  Common names
Aralia deleauana L.Linden Bani (Bik.)
Aralia tripinnata Blanco Makan (Bik.)
Nothopanax fruiticosus (L.) Miq. Papua (Tag., Bik.)
Panax aureus Sander Black aralia (Engl.)
Panax diffusus W.Bull Cut-leaved panax (Engl.)
Panax dumosus W.Bull Ming aralia (Engl.)
Panax fissus W.Bull  
Panax fruticosus L  
Panax plumatus Barb. Rodr. [Illegitimate]  
Panax plumatus W.Bull ex W.Richards  
Polyscias fruiticosa (L.) Harms  
Tieghemopanax fruticosus (L.) R.Vig.  
Bani is a common name shared by: (1) Bani Pongamia pinnata Linn. and (2) Papua, bani, Nothopanax fruticosum.
Polyscias fruticosa (L.) Harms is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CAMBODIA: Toem bo lyam.
CHINESE: Liang wang cha (Taiwan). 
INDONESIA: Puding, Kedongdong laki, Kedongdong laut, Kedongdong petedhan, Bombu, Keudem rintek, Gurabati, Dewu papua, Tjakar Kutjung, Imba.
JAPAN: Taiwan momiji.
MALAYSIA: Kuku garuda, Pokok teh.
VIETNAM: Cay goi ca.

Botany
Papua is an erect shrub, growing growing 1 to 2.5 meters high. Leaves are decompound, 3-pinnate, and up to 30 centimeters long. The pinnae are 6 to 10, the upper ones are shorter. Leaflets and ultimate segments are very diverse, mostly lanceolate, 5 to 10 centimeters long; the terminal segments are usually larger than the others and more often lobed, pointed at the tip, sharply and irregularly toothed. Flowers are numerous, umbellately arranged, shortly stalked, borne on terminal inflorescences in the upper axils of the leaves, up to 15 centimeters long. Fruit is broadly ovoid, compressed and about 4 centimeters long.

Distribution
- Commonly planted in hedges and about houses, but is nowhere spontaneous.
- Cultivated for its hedge and its leaves, the latter for providing body to florists' wreaths.

- Of prehistoric introduction.
- Probably of Malayan origin.
- Reported from India, Malaysia, and Polynesia.
- Now planted in all tropical countries.

Constituents
- Yields saponins.
- Study of roots and leaves yielded eight new oleanolic acid saponins names polysciosides A to H together with three known saponins. (8)

Properties
- Astringent, febrifuge, sudorific, vulnerary.
- Root is aromatic in taste and smell, parsley-like.
- Root considered diuretic.

Parts utilized
Leaves, roots.

Uses
Culinary
- In Java, used as food and condiment in lieu of celery and parsley.
- The root has an agreeable, strongly aromatic, parsley-like.

Folkloric

- Leaves are powdered, mixed with salt for wound healing.
- In India, used as astringent and febrifuge.
- Root used as diuretic.
- In Cambodia, considered a sudorific inhalant; also used for neuralgia and rheumatic pains.
Others
- Wreaths: Leaves used by florists to give body to wreaths.

Studies
Leaf Volatile Oil: Study of fresh leaves yielded 0.32% volatile oil, slightly yellow in color, with a grassy scent. It was highly positive for sesquiterpene. Mass spectroscopy showed bergamotene, oxygenated sesquiterpene, -elemene, ß-bourbonene, ß-cubebene, ß-bisabolene, farnesene, elemene among others. (1)
Antipyretic / Analgesic: Study of n-butanol extract of leaves of Polyscias fruticosa in egg white-induced paw edema in rats showed antipyretic and analgesic activities. (2)
Molluscicidal: The NBES (n-butanol extract containing saponins) showed a potential as an effective plant molluscicidal, an effect attributed to the saponins. It is of added interest because fresh water snails act as intermediate host to schistosomes, the causative agents of schistosomiasis. (2)
Adaptogenic / Anti-Inflammatory: Adaptogenic activity studies showed Polyscias fruticosa leaf and root saponins possess effective anti-stress activity as compared with white panax ginseng root saponins. The polyscias saponins were effective in acute models of inflammations. Its immunostimulant activity revealed it can be a good substitute for white panax ginseng. (4)
Anti-Inflammatory / Ovalbumin Induced-Asthma / Toxicity Study / Leaves: Study evaluated the anti-inflammatory property of an ethanolic extract of Polyscias fruticosa in ovalbumin-induced asthma. There was no significant toxic effect at lower doses (NOAEL: <1000 mgkg). Treatment with extracts showed an anti-inflammatory effect with significant reduction of elevated WBCs and its differential, and significant decrease in erythrocyte sedinentation rate. (6)
Antitussive/ Mucosuppressant in Asthma Management: Study evaluated the muco-suppressant, anti-tussive and safety profile of an ethanolic leaf extract in its use as an anti-asthmatic. Results showed significant inhibition (P≤ 0.01-0,001) of tracheal mucus phenol and secretion, and suppression of citric acid-induced cough. Subchronic toxicity study showed no significant changes in body weight, hematologic profile, liver and kidney functions. (7)
Removal of VOCs: A University of Georgia study evaluated the ability of various species of house plants in removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. Polyscias fruticosa (ming aralia) was one of seven plants judged to have intermediate removal efficiency. (9)

Availability
- Cultivated.

- Extracts in the cybermarket.

Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Update January 2016

Photo © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
IMAGE SOURCE / Illustration / Public Domain / File:Panax fruticosum Blanco1.78-cropped.jpg / Flora de Filipinas / Franciso Manuel Blanco (OSA), 1880-1883 / Wikimedia Commons / Modifications by Carol Spears

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
The leaf volatile oil of Nothopanax fruticosum (L.) Miq / Oliveros-Belardo, Luz et al / Philippine Journal of Science Vol. 124, no. 2 (Ap-Je 1995), 141-160, illus
(2)
ON THE ANTIPYRETIC, ANTI-INFLAMMATORY, ANALGESIC AND MOLLUSCICIDAL PROPERTIES OF POLYSCIAS FRUTICOSA (L) HARMS / BENSITA MARY BERNARD, NILANI PAKIANATHAN and MADHU C. DIVAKAR / Ancient Science of Life Vol. No 17(4) April 1998
(3)
Polyscias fruticosa / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED
(4)
STUDIES ON THE ADAPTOGENIC AND ANTIBACTERIAL PROPERTIES OF POLYSCIAS FRUCTICOSA (L) HARMS / M.B. BENSITA, P.NILANI, S. SANDHYA M / Ancient Science of Life Vol. No. 18 (3&4) January & April 1999 pages 231 - 246
(5)
Polyscias fruticosa / Synonyms / The Plant List
(6)
Anti-inflammatory and safety assessment of Polyscias fruticosa (L.) Harms (Araliaceae) leaf extract in ovalbumin-induced asthma / George Asumeng Koffuor*, Alex Boye, Jones Ofori-Amoah, Samuel Kyei, Samuel Abokyi, Raymond Appiah Nyarko, Ruth Naalukyem Bangfu / The Journal of Phytopharmacology 2014; 3(5): 337-342
(7)
Evaluating Muco-suppressant, Anti-tussive and Safety Profile of Polyscias fruticosa (L.) Harms (Araliaceae) in Asthma Management / George Koffuor, Alex Boye, Jones Ofori-Amoah, Samuel Kyei, Cyrille Kablan Nouoma, Agyemang Prempeh Debrah / British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research 08/2015; 10(1):1-11 / DOI: 10.9734/BJMMR/2015/19403
(8)
Oleanane saponins from Polyscias fruticosa / Vo, D.H. ; Yamamura, S. ; Ohtani, K. ; Kasai, R. ; Yamasaki, K. ; Nguyen, T.N. ; Hoang, M.C. / Agriculture Network Information Collaborative


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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