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Family Rubiaceae
Canthium horridum Blume

Zhu du mu

Scientific names Common names
Canthium hebecladum  DC.. Anonot-ti-babui (Pang.) 
Canthium horridum Blume Barsik (Ilk.) 
Canthium parviflorum Bartl. ex DC. [Illegitimate] Dayap-dayap (Bik.) 
Canthium pauciflorum Blanco Kuliak-daga (Tag.) 
Canthium scandens var. xanthocaulon Miq. Mimisam (Ilk.) 
Dondisia horrida (Blume) Korth. Suliak-daga (Tag.) 
Hyptianthera rhamnoides Zoll. &. Moritzi  
Plectronia horrida (Blume) Benth & Hook. f. ex Kurz  
Some compilations list Canthium dicocum and Canthium horridum as synonyms. Quisumbing's compilation list the species separately: (1) Canthium dicocum (Gaertn) Merr., malakape, and (2) Canthium horridum Blume, kuliak-daga.
Canthium horridum Blume is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Zhu du mu.
INDONESIAN: Kaliyage, Bestru, Selungkit.
MALAY: Bulang, Bulangan, Kait-kait, Kayu bulang, Ubat luka.
THAI: Lep rawk, Khlet nuu, Naam leprok.
VIETNAMES: Gang vang gai, Gang com.

Kuliak-daga is a shrub or a small tree growing up to 2 to 5 meters. Branches are somewhat hairy and armed with sharp, slender axillary spines 5 to 10 millimeters in length. Leaves are ovate to elliptic-ovate, 1 to 2.5 centimeters long, short-petioled, and pointed at both ends. Flowers are greenish-yellow or nearly white, about 6 millimeters long, borne singly in the axils of the leaves. Fruit is red, fleshy, ovoid, about 7 millimeters long.

- Found in dry thickets at low altitudes in Pangasinan, Zambales, Bulacan, Rizal, Camarines, and Sorsogon Provinces in Luzon.
- Also occurs in Burma to Malaya.

- Sometimes used as hedge plant.

Parts used
Leaves and bark.

• Phytochemical study showed the roots to predominantly consist of triterpenes, alkaloids, anthraquinones, steroids, organic acid, phenols and carbohydrates.
• Study of essential oils from CH showed the main components to be 1,2-benzenedicarboxylic acid bis(2-methylpropyl) ester(36.08%),bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate(13.82%),n-hexadecanoic acid(8.32%),(Z,Z,Z)-9,12,15octadecatrien-1-ol(9.61%) among others. (1)
Study of CH stems yielded ten compounds: syringaresinol, scoparone, scopoletin, 3'-methoxy-4'-hydroxy-trans-cinnamaldehyde, sinapic aldehyde, syringic acid, mannitol, vanillic acid 4-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside, beta-daucosterol and beta-sitosterol. (see study below) (3)
• Study of stem extract isolated 20 compounds: syringaresinol (1), quercetin(2), scoparone(3), scopoletin(4), fraxidin(5), sinapic aldehyde(6), 3-methoxy-4-hydroxy-trans-cinnamaldehyde (7), coniferyl alcohol (8), p-hydroxybenzoic acid (9), vanillic acid (10), syringic acid (11), syringaldehyde (12), di-isobutyl phthalate (13), vanillic acid 4-O-β-D-glucopyranoside(14), 3-(1-C-β-D-glucopyranosyl)-2,6-dihydroxy-5-methoxybenzoic acid (15), mannitol (16), β-daucosterol (17), β-sitosterol (18), nonadecanoic acid (19), dibutyl phthalate (20). (see study below) (8)

· In Java, confections are made from the acid fruit.
· In the Philippines, boiled leaves and bark used to hasten menstruation.
· In Malaya, plant is used for wounds and fevers.
· In Indo-China, bark and young twigs used for dysentery.
· Decoction also used after childbirth.
• In Indonesia, used to soothe inflammed eyes. In Malaysia, used to heal wounds and promote recovery from childbirth. (7)
• In Vietnam bark and young stems used to treat dysentery. (7)
• In China, leaves are mashed and used externally for snakebites and plaster from mashed leaves used for foot pains.

• Boiled fruits used to treat foot wounds.

Anti-Bacterial: Study isolated compounds found for the first time, Carulignan, lupeol, b-sitosterol, among many others. The chloroform fraction showed anti-bacterial activities.
Phytochemicals / Antibacterial:
Study of the chemical composition of the roots of C horridum yielded triterpene, alkaloid, anthraquinone, steroid, organic acid, phenol, carbohydrates among others. The chloroform fraction was shown to have antibacterial properties. (2)
Constituents / Antimicrobial:
Study of CH stems yielded ten compounds: syringaresinol, scoparone, scopoletin, 3'-methoxy-4'-hydroxy-trans-cinnamaldehyde, sinapic aldehyde, syringic acid, mannitol, vanillic acid 4-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside, beta-daucosterol and beta-sitosterol. Siringic acid had the highest activity against Bacillus subtilis; syringaresinol showed good activity against E coli, B subtilis and S aureus. (3)
Phenolics / Antioxidant:
Study of leaves showed the polyphenol content of 0.4879%. Results show the leaves had strong antioxidant activity, with an IC50 value of 0.35mg/mL. (5)
Antibacterial / Stems:
Bioassay-guided isolated studies of stem extract isolated 20 compounds. Compound 1 showed high inhibitory activity against Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus. Compounds 3 and 7 had medium activity against these bacteria. No compounds showed activity against Aspergillus niger. (


Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Update April 2016

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
IMAGE SOURCE: Public Domain / File:Canthium horridum Blanco1.57-original.png / Flora de Filipinas / Francisco Manuel Blanco (O.S.A) / 1880 - 1883 / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
GC-MS Analysis of Essential Oils from the Leaves of Canthium horridum / Chen Guang-ying, Luo Xiao-xue et al / DOI: CNKI:SUN:HBDD.0.2007-05-011
Studies on Chemical Constituents of Canthium Simile Merr. and Canthium Horridum Bl. and Their Antibiotics Activities /
Chemical constituents and antimicrobial activities of Canthium horridum / Yang B, Chen G et al / Nat Prod Commun. 2010 Jun;5(6):913-4.
Canthium horridum Blume / Catalogue of Life, China, 2010
Study on determination of total polyphenolic content and antioxidant activity of the leaves from Canthium horridum Bl. / SONG Xin-ming, CHEN Guang-ying,YIN Wen-qing,WANG An-wei, ZHANG Yong-qiang, XIE Dong-xia / Science and Technology of Food Industry, 2009-06
Canthium horridum Blume / Synonyms / The Plant List
Canthium horridum / Medicinal Plants of the Asia-Pacific: Drugs for the Future? / Christophe Wiart
Studies On Chemical Constituents And Pharmacology Of Canthium Horridum / B Yang / Thesis / 2011-02-20 / Globe Thesis
Canthium horridum / Vernacular names / Pl@ntUse

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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