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Family Leguminosae
Saga hutan
Adenanthera pavonina Linn.

Xiang si dou

Scientific names Common names
Adenanthera gersenii Scheff. Saga (Tag.)
Adenanthera pavonina Linn. Malatangling (Tag.)
Adenanthera polita Miq. Saga hutan (Malaya)
Corallaria parvifolia Rumph. Circassian bean (Engl.)
  Coral wood (Engl.)
  Mutual love bean (Engl.)
  Peacock bean (Engl.)
  Peacock flower fence (Engl.)
  Red bead tree (Engl.)
  Red bean tree (Engl.)
  Red lucky seed (Engl.)
  Red sandalwood (Engl.)
  Sandalwood tree (Engl.)
Saga is a shared common name of: (1) Nipa, saga (Sbl.), Nipa fruticans (2) Saga (Tag.), Arbus precatorius (3) Paipai-amo, saga (Ig.), Drynaria quercifolia (4) Saga hutan, saga (Malaya), Adenanthera pavonina.
Adenanthera pavonina L. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
BURMESE: Mai-chek.
CHINESE: Xiao zi hai hong dou, Xiang si dou.
FRENCH: Arbre à église, Bois De Condori, Bois de santal rouge, Paina, Pitipitio.
GERMAN: Condoribaum, Indischer Korallenbaum, Rotes Sandelholz, Roter Sandelholzbaum.
HINDI: Ratan gunj.
KOSRAEAN: Metekem, Metkam, Metkem, Mwetkwem.
MALAGASY: Bonaramena, Conori, Kafe Bonara, Oeil De Paon
MALAY: Saga telik (Java), Segawé sabrang (Java).
MARATHI : Ratan gunj.
PORTUGUESE: Carolina, Falso-S, Olho-De-Pav, Segav.
SINHALESE : Mas-moca.
SPANISH: Arbol Del Coral, Coralillo, Coralitos, Delicia.
SWEDISH : Korallträd.
TAMIL : Anaikuntumani, Anikundumani.
THAI: Ma hohk daeng, Ma hua daeng, Ma khlam tachang, Ma khlam ton.
URDU : Ratangunj. (Pakistan).
VIETNAMESE : Cây gió, Kiền kiện, Muồng nước, Trạch quạch, Thuốc rắn.

Saga-hutan is a deciduous, erect, large tree. Leaves are bipinnate. Pinnae are 8 to 12, opposite, short-stalked, 10 to 20 centimeters long. Leaflets are 12 to 18, oblong or elliptic-oblong, evenly alternate, short-stalked, and 2 to 3.5 centimeters long. Racemes are 5 to 15 centimeters long, simple from the axils of the leaves, panicled at the end of the branches. Flowers are fragrant. Calyx is small and bell-shaped with short teeth. Five petals are united at the base. Pods are linear, 15 to 21 centimeters long, curved and twisted when opening. Seeds are 10 to 12 in a pod, usually bright scarlet, shining, lenticular and compressed.

- Cultivated in Manila as a shade tree.
- Introduced from India.
- Now pantropic.

- Phytochemical screening of bark yielded alkaloids, carbohydrates, glycosides, saponin, phytosterols, fixed oil and fats, phenolics and flavonoids.
- Methanolic seed extract yielded cardiac glycosides, tannins, flavonoids, essential oils, phlobatanins, and saponins. (see study below) (22)

- Seeds considered to have toxic properties; when cooked, edible and rich in fats and proteins.
- Leaves considered astringent.
- Roots considered emetic.
- Bark considered astringent, vulnerary, and aphrodisiac.

Parts used
Seeds, leaves, bark.


- Seeds and leaves may be eaten.
- Although seeds have been reported to have toxic properties, used as a condiment in Malabar.
- Raw seeds are toxic but can be eaten when cooked. When cooked, easily digestible by humans and livestock, and are rich in fats and proteins.
- Leaves are edible when cooked.
- Flowers reportedly edible.
- Roots are used as an emetic.
- Decoction of leaves used for chronic rheumatism and gout; also useful for bowel hemorrhage and hematuria.
- Leaves are astringent and tonic; used for diarrhea and dysentery.
- Bark used in rheumatism, hematuria, ulcers, and gonorrhea.
- Seeds used for boils and inflammation.
- Powdered seeds used externally to hasten suppuration of boils.
- Powdered seeds also used for headaches.
- Seeds used for cholera; also used for general paralysis.
- Decorative: Seeds used as beads for necklaces.
- Wood: Extremely hard, used for furniture making, boat building and firewood.
- Dye: Wood yields a red dye.

Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic / Seeds:
Study evaluated a methanol extract of seeds of Adenanthera pavonina on animal models for analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities. Results showed significant (p<0.05) inhibition of carrageenan-induced paw edema in rat and acetic acid-induced vascular permeability in mice. Extract also showed dose-dependent and significant (p<0.05) analgesic activity in acetic acid- induced writhing in mice and inhibition of both early and late phases of the formalin-induced paw licking in mice. LD 50 of the extract was 1.36 g/kg. (2)
Physiochemical Characterization of Seed Oil / Nutrient Assessment: Study showed the seeds of AP contain appreciable amounts of proteins, crude fat and minerals comparable to commonly consumed staples. Study suggests AP seeds represent a potential source of oil and protein that can alleviate shortages. (3)
Blood Pressure Lowering Effect: Study showed Adenanthera pavonina seed extract has the potential to have a blood pressure lowering effect. Serum biochemistry changes suggest the extract has a tonic effect on kidneys and liver and may play a central role in drug metabolism. Absence of kidney, liver and testes lesions suggest the plant is safe for medicinal use. (4)
Seed Oil and Emulsions: Study showed the seed oil to be rich in neutral lipids (86.2%) and low in polar lipids (13.8%). Unsaturated fatty acids were as high as 71%, the predominant FA showed to be linoleic, oleic and lignocerotic acids. Stigmasterol was the major steroid. Results indicate the possible applications of the oil in the pharmaceutical and medical fields as drug and cosmetic active ingredient carriers. (5)
Antioxidant: Study showed the the stem- bark of AP showed significant antioxidant activity, presumably with more activity than a-tocopherol.
Anthelmintic / Phytochemicals: Bark extracts were tested for anthelmintic activity against Pheretima posthuma and Ascardia galli. Phytochemical screening of bark yielded alkaloids, carbohydrates, glycosides, saponin, phytosterols, fixed oil and fats, phenolics and flavonoids. Results showed significant anthelmintic activity. (7)
Robinetin : Study isolated robinetin as the predominant flavonoid in the root. Results confirmed the protective effects of Robinetin in reducing the severity of perioxidative damage. (11)
Trypsin Inhibitor: Study isolated a trypsin inhibitor (ApTI) from A. pavonina seed and was tested for insect growth regulatory effect. Chronic ingestion resulted in significant reduction in larval survival. Results showed ApTI have a potential antimetabolic effect when ingested by A. kuehniella.(127)
Antidiabetic / Hypolipidemic: Study of alcoholic and aqueous seed extracts in alloxan-induced diabetic rats produced favorable changes in the lipid profile of diabetic rats along with better glycemic control. (13)
Protective Effect of Oil Emulsions: Study developed very stable formulations of submicron oil-in-water emulsions from AP. Results suggest nonionic surfactant/phospholipid-based emulsions containing the edible oil of AO has a potential as an alternative formulation matrix for pharmaceutical, nutritional or cosmetic applications. (14)
Antibacterial: Study of different bark extracts were studied for antibacterial activity. The ethanolic and aqueous extracts showed the highest activity against the tested extracts - P. aeruginosa, B. subtilis, E. aerogenes, Staph epidermis, and Salmonella typhimurium. (16)
Neuroprotective / Seed: Study of seed extract in neuropathic pain in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats showed attenuation of development of diabetic neuropathy when compared to pregabalin. Results suggest a possible benefit in preventing progression of diabetic nephropathy. (17)
Antibacterial Soap / Seed Oil: Extracted saga seed oil yielded three main components: Methyl Linoleate Natural, Ethyl Palmitate, and Butyl Stereate. An antibacterial soap prepared from the extracted oil compared with commercial antibacterial soap bacterial removal with handwashing. (18)
Anticancer / Bark: Study evaluated a stem bark extract for antitumor activity on Dalton's ascitic lymphoma in male Swiss albino mice. Results demonstrated tumor inhibitory activity with increase in life span accompanied by reduction in WBC in treated mice. (19)
Renal Protective / Reduction in Diabetic Neuropathy: Study evaluated an aqueous seed extract in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Results showed reduced development of diabetic nephropathy in STZ-induced diabetic rats and can have a beneficial effect in reducing progression of diabetic nephropathy. (20)
CNS Depressant Effect / Seed: Study evaluated a methanolic extract of A. pavonina for antidepressant effect in various animal models. The LD50 was found to be 1360 mg/kg. Results showed CNS depressant activity with significant dose related potentiation of phenobarbitone sleeping time in mice. It offered 80% protection against leptazol-induced convulsion in mice and a dose dependent reduction in spontaneous locomotor activity. There was significant reduction in acetic acid inducting writhing in mice and inhibition of increased paw size in carrageenan induced paw edema. (see constituents above) (22)
Biosorption of Copper / Seeds: Study showed powdered Adenanthera pavonina seeds are efficient in biosorption of Cu (II) ions from aqueous solution. (23)
Anti-Inflammatory / Antidiarrheal / Leaves: Study evaluated ethanolic extract of A. pavonina leaves in both acute and chronic inflammatory models and antidiarrheal model. Results showed anti-inflammatory activity on acute phase inflammation in carrageenan-induced paw edema and subacute model of cotton-pellet granuloma formation. The anti-inflammatory activity may be due to influence of beta-sitosterol and stigmasterol. An anti-diarrheal effect may be due to the inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis, evidenced by the delay in wet faeces formation. (24)
Antinociceptive / Leaves: Study evaluated the antinociceptive activity of ethanol extract of leaves of A. pavonina using various nociceptive models induced thermally or chemically in mice, including hot plat and tail immersion test, acetic-acid induced writhing and glutamate- and formalin-induced licking tests. Results showed significant and dose-dependent anitinociceptive activities. The reversal effect of naloxone suggested central activity with the association of opioid receptors. Enhancement of writhing inhibitory activity by methylene blue (MB) suggests possible involvement of cGMP pathway in the mediation of antinociception. (25)
Cytoprotective / Anti-Inflammatory / Kernel: Study evaluated the anti-inflammatory activity of kernel extracts of Adenanthera pavonina. Pretreatment with kernel extract suppressed nitric oxide, superoxide anion, cell death, nuclear fragmentation in lipopolysaccharide and H2O2 stimulated or induced macropahges in rats. Results suggest the extract suppresses intracellular peroxide production. (26)


Last Update August 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: GNU Free Documentation License, / File:Adenanthera pavonina.jpg / Tau'olunga / 31 August 2007 / Wikimedia Commons (2)
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / File:Adenanthera pavonina seeds.jpg / Steve Hurst @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Adenanthera pavonina / Wikipedia
Anti-inflammatory studies on Adenanthera pavonina seed extract / Olajide O A, Echianu C A et al /
Inflammopharmacology. 2004;12(2):196-202.
PHYSICO-CHEMICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF SEED OIL AND NUTRIENT ASSESSMENT OF ADENANTHERA PAVONINA, L: AN UNDERUTILIZED TROPICAL LEGUME / I E Ezeagu, A G Gopal Krishna et al / Ecology of Food and Nutrition, Volume 43, Issue 4 July 2004 , pages 295 - 305 / DOI: 10.1080/03670240490454705
Blood Pressure Lowering Effect of Adenanthera pavonina Seed Extract on Normotensive Rats / Aduragbenro D A Adedapo et al / Rec. Nat. Prod. 3:2 (2009) 82-89
The Oil of Adenanthera pavonina L. Seeds and its Emulsions / Robert Zarnowski et al / Z. Naturforsch. 59c, 321Ð326 (2004); January 15/February 27, 2004
Antifungal, Antioxidant and Cytotoxic Activity of Acronychia pedunculata and Adenanthera pavonina / S K Rodrigo et al / Proceedings of the Peradeniya University Research Sessions, Sri Lanka, Vol.12, Part I, 30thNovember 2007
PHYTOCHEMICAL AND ANTHELMINTIC SCREENING OF CRUDE BARK EXTRACT OF Adenanthera pavonina Linn. / Sujit Dash, Chandan Das, and Durga Charan Sahoo / Pharmacie Globale (IJCP) 2010, 2 (10)
Antifungal, Antioxidant and Cytotoxic Activity of Acronychia pedunculata and Adenanthera pavonina / S K Rodrigo, U L B Jayasinghe and B M R Bandara / Proceedings of the Peradeniya University Research Sessions, Sri Lanka, Vol.12, Part I, 30thNovember 2007
Isolation Of Robinetin From Adenanthera pavonina and Its Protective Effects On Perchlorate (Clo4-) Induced Oxidative Damage / V Gayathri Devi, P G Biju et al /
Adenanthera pavonina trypsin inhibitor retard growth of Anagasta kuehniella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). / Macedo ML, Durigan RA, da Silva DS et al / Arch Insect Biochem Physiol. 2010 Apr;73(4):213-31.
Antidiabetic, hypolipidemic activity of Adenanthera pavonina seeds in alloxan induced diabetic rats / A.Krishnaveni, Dr.S.Selvi, Dr.S. Mohandass /
Journal of Pharmacy Research, Vol 4, No 5 (2011)
Emulsions of oil from Adenanthera pavonina L. seeds and their protective effect / Anna Jaromin, Robert Zarnowski, Arkadiusz Kozubek /
Sorting Adenanthera names / Porcher Michel H. et al. 1995 - 2020, / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE
ANTIBACTERIAL SCREENING OF THE BARK OF ADENANTHERA PAVONINA (L.) / Arshad Hussain, Aleza Rizvi, Shadma Wahab, Saba Ansari, Sarfaraj Hussain, Iffat Zareen / Intern Journal of Biomedical Research, Vol 2, No 2, 2011
Attenuating effect of seeds of Adenanthera pavonina aqueous extract in neuropathic pain in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats: an evidence of neuroprotective effects / Ramdas B. Pandhare; B. Sangameswaran, Popat B. Mohite; Shantaram G. Khanage / Rev. bras. farmacogn. vol.22 no.2 Curitiba Mar./Apr. 2012 Epub Jan 09, 2012 / http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-695X2012005000008
Basic study on antibacterial properties of Adenanthera pavonina (Saga) seed oil / Radziah, W. ; Fac. of Chem. Eng., Univ. Teknol. Mara, Shah Alam, Malaysia ; Najwa, M.R.M. ; Nurfadilah, M.I. / IEEE Xplore Digital Library
EFFECT OF METHANOLIC EXTRACT OF ADENANTHERA PAVONINA LINN ON DALTON'S ASCITIC LYMPHOMA / Arihara Siva Kumar G, Rajesh Kumar Javvadi*, Vinay Kumar K, Manohar Reddy E, Veera Reddy Y, Harshavardhan G, Akbar MD / Indian Journal of Research in Pharmacy and Biotechnology
Extract of Adenanthera pavonina L. seed reduces development of diabetic nephropathy in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats / Ramdas Pandhare*, Balakrishnan Sangameswaran / Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine Received: Jan 2, 2012; Accepted: May 31, 2012 Vol. 2, No. 4, Autumn 2012, 233-242
Adenanthera pavonina / Synonyms / The Plant List
CNS Depressant Studies on Methanolic Extract of Adenanthera Pavonina Seed
/ Anthonet, Ezejiofor Ndidiamaka; Anuli, Maduagwuna Chinonye; Ogbonna, Okorie; Lawrence, Chigbu N. / Journal of US-China Medical Science; Sep 2011, Vol. 8 Issue 9
Kinetic Study of Cu (II) Adsorption on Adenanthera pavonina seeds / Bahnika Sen*, H.P. Sarma, K.G. Bhattacharyya / IOSR Journal of Environmental Science, Toxicology and Food Technology, Volume 9, Issue 8 Ver. I (Aug. 2015), PP 01-05
Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Ethanolic Leaf Extracts from Adenanthera pavonina (L) in Rats / Mayuren C, Ilavarasan R / J Young Pharm. 2009;1(2):125-128 / DOI: 10.4103/0975-1483.55744
Evaluation of Antinociceptive Activity of Ethanol Extract of Leaves of Adenanthera pavonina / Md. Moniruzzaman, Ambia Khatun, and Mohammad Zafar Imam / Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2015 (2015) / DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/412497
Cytoprotective and anti–inflammatory effects of kernel extract from Adenanthera pavonina on lipopolysaccharide–stimulated rat peritoneal macrophages / Arunagirinathan Koodalingam, Ramar Manikandan, Munisamy Indhumathi, Ethala Subramani Kaviya / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine
Volume 8, Issue 2, February 2015, Pages 112-119

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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