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Family Rubiaceae
Aidia racemosa (Cav.) Tirveng.

Zong zhuang qian cao shu

Scientific names Common names
Aidia graeffei (Reinecke) Tirveng. Dolo (Tagbanua)
Aidia racemosa (Cav.) Tirveng. Dulo (Tagb.)
Aidia spicata (Valeton) Tirveng. Susulin (Tag.)
Aidia thozetiana (F.Muell.) Tirveng. Teka (Kuy.)
Gardenia densiflora F.Muell. Uling (Tagb.)
Gynopachis axilliflora Miq. Uring, Urung (Kuy.)
Ixora thozetiana F.Muell. Archer cherry (Engl.)
Randia gaudichaudii Valeton Wild randa (Engl.)
Randia graeffei Reinecke Wild randia (Engl.)
Randia graeffei var. alba Reinecke  
Randia lamprophylla O.Schwarz  
Randia spicata Valeton  
Randia suishaensis Hayata  
Aidia racemosa (Cav.) Tirveng. is an accepted name. KEW: Plants of the World Online`
Note: Dolo was previously done with Aidia cochinchinensis as scientific name. Scientifc name for Dolo or Susulin has been changed to Aidia racemosa.
Note: Some plant compilations provide very different scientific names for Aidia racemsa and Cyrtophyllum fragrans, along with a confusing use of similar common names (Dolo, Susulin, Urung, Uring, etc.) for both A. racemosa and C. fragrans (Fagraea fragrans). 
Note: For now, I am using Susulin as common name for Aidia racemosa and Urung for Cyrtophyllum fragrans.

Other vernacular names
BORNEO: Sambah begangan. (Note: Some compiltations link this to Aidia borneensis.)
CHINESE: Zong zhuang qian cao shu.
MALAYSIA: Jarum-jarum, Geruseh, Mata ular.

Gen info
- Aidia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Rubiaceae. It was described by Joao de Loureiro in 1790. It has a wide distribution area, occurring in tropical Africa, tropical and subtropical Asia and the western Pacific. (5)
- Etymology: The genus name Aidia derives from Greek idios, meaning  'distinct' or  'separate'. The Greek prefix a- (a-) is the equivalent in English of 'un' or 'not', probably indicating that the genus Aidia is separated from the similar genus Randia.
Species epithet racemosa derives from Latin racemosus, meaning 'full of clusters'.

Aidia racemosa is a tree to 25 m tall; branches somewhat flattened becoming subterete, glabrous. Petiole 5-6 mm, glabrous; leaf blade drying thinly leathery, lanceolate to elliptic-oblong, 7-12 × 2-4 cm, glabrous on both surfaces, base acute to cuneate, apex acute; secondary veins 4 or 5 pairs, in abaxial axils usually with foveolate and/or pilosulous domatia; stipules caducous, shortly united around stem, narrowly triangular, 3-5 mm, glabrous, apex acuminate. Inflorescences cymose, ca. 3 × 4-6 cm, glabrescent, with axes becoming monochasial distally; peduncle ca. 0.5 cm; bracts triangular, 1-1.5 mm, acute; pedicels 1-3 mm. Calyx glabrous; ovary portion ellipsoid, ca. 1 mm; limb ca. 1.5 mm, shortly dentate to denticulate; teeth 5. Corolla white, outside glabrous; tube ca. 4 mm; lobes 5, narrowly spatulate-oblong, 5-5.5 mm, adaxially strigillose, obtuse to rounded. Berry 4-8 mm in diam., glabrous. (Flora of China)

Aidia racemosa is a woody or herbaceous shrub that can grow up to 6 m in height. Branches are somewhat flattened, becoming subterete, and are  glabrous. Although the leaves at first sight appear to be opposite, many of the ‘pairs’ of leaves are missing one of the leaves. Leaves are glossy green above, paler beneath; the petioles are about 5 mm long; the leaf blades thinly leathery, lanceolate to oblong-elliptic, in length 7 – 12 cm, in width 2 – 4 cm; the base is acute to cuneate, the apex acute; the stipules are caducous, shortly united around the stem, narrowly triangular, up to 5 mm long, the apex acuminate. Inflorescences are cyme-like, with the cream-colored flowers strongly perfumed; the calyyx  is up to 2 mm long, the lobes short; the corolla about 1 cm long, with the lobes about the same length as the tube, as are also the anthers. Fruits are bright red darkening to purple, and less than 1 cm long, with the calyx tube persisting at the ends of the fruits. They are edible when fully ripe, rather tart. (3)

- Native to the Philippines.
- On dry, forested slopes on the borders of grasslands, and in thickets at low altitudes in Mindoro, Culion, Busuanga, Palawan, and Balabac.
- Also native to Australia, Borneo, Caroline Is., Christmas Is., Gilbert Is., Hainan, Jawa, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Maluku, Marianas, Marshal Is., Nauru, New Guinea, Nicobar Is., Northern Territory, Queensland, Samoa, Solomon Is., Sulawesi, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Wallis-Futuna Is. (2)

- Bark considered febrifuge.
- Studies have suggest antioxidant, anticancer properties.

Parts used
Leaves, roots.


- Leaves prepared as tonic herbal tea.
- In the Philippines, used as a febrifuge, especially in ague.
- In Mal
aysia a decoction of roots used for bowel complaints.
- Leaves and roots used to relieve body aches, painful muscles and tiredness; also to treat stomach pains.
- In Vanuatu, decoction of leaves used to bathe skin inflicted with scabies. (6)
- Wood: Trunk of the tree is very hard; used for making tool handles and chopping boards, for house and bridge constructions, furniture, and doors.

- Charocoal: Yields good quality charcoal and fuelwood.

Antioxidant / Anticancer:
In a study of crude methanol, ethanol and aqueous extracts of leaves from  six plants found in Brunei Darussalam for antioxidant and cytotoxic activities, Aidia racemosa high TPC (total phenolic content), high TFC (total flavonoid content) and DPPH radical scavenging activity. On cytotoxicity testing, A. racemosa showed anticancer property against A549 and CaSki cells. (4) Leaf extract showed good cytotoxic activity against renal cancer cell line 786-0. (6)
Effect of Commercial Plant Hormones / Stem Cuttings:
Study evaluated the effect of three commercial plant hormones (Seradix, Clonex, and 'A fruit plus') on the growth of Aidia racemosa stem cuttings. Clonex-treated stem cuttings showed slightly higher survival and rooting percentages than other treatments. There were no other effects on various growth parameters. Seradix and A-fruit-plus treatments produced higher number of new leaves while clonex produces larger leaves. Results suggest clonex to be the most suitable hormone for vegetative propagation of A. racemosa. (7)

Herbal tea in the cybermarket.

January 2023

IMAGE SOURCE: Photographs (3): Aidia racemosa--Flowers (1) Flowering branch (2) Flowering tree (3) / © Roger Fryer and Jill Newland / 2017 / Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 Australia License / click on photo to go to source page / North Queensland Plants - Rubiaceae

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Aidia racemosa / Pl@nt Use
Aidia racemosa / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Aidia racemosa / Some Magnetic Island Plants
Evaluation of antioxidant and cytotoxic activities of several medicinal plants in Brunei Darussalam
/ Norhayati Ahmad, May Poh Yik Goh, Hartini Hj Mohd Yasin / 6th Asia-Pacific Pharma Congress, 2016; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Aidia / Wikipedia
Ethnobotanical Survel and Biological Screening of Medicinal Plants from Vanuatu / Gesine Bradacs, 2008: Dissertation
Effects of Commercial Plant Hormones on the Survival, Rooting and Growth of Stem Cuttings of an Herbal Tea Plants, Aidia racemosa / NDZ Awang Kamis, Hussein Taha, Faizah Metali / Research Journal of Medicinal Plant, 2016; 10(6): pp 414-419 / DOI: 10.3923/rjmp.2016.414.419

DOI: 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. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants

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