Update: 2007-03-08 01:07 AM -0500


Burmese Indigenous Medicinal Plants

by Daw Mya Bwin and U Sein Gwan, Pharmacology Research Division, Department of Medical Research, Ministry of Health, Rangoon, 1973.

HTML version with additions from other sources by U Kyaw Tun, U Pe Than,  and staff of TIL for staff and students of TIL. Edited by UKT for incorporating into Myanmar Medicinal Plant Database. Not for sale.

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Contents of this page: Plants for hypotensive action
   See Plants for hypertensive action
01. Alangium lamarckii -- {tau:po:sa} Taw-posa
02. Alstonia scholaris --  {lak-htoap-ka.l:}; {taung-ma.ro:}; {lak-pan-hka:};
03. Apium graveolens --  {ta.roat-nn-nn} Tayoke-nan-nan.
04. Acanthus Ilicifolius -- {r-hka.ra} Ye-Khaya.
05. Acorus calamus -- {ling:n} Linne.
06. Areca catechu -- {kwam:thi: ping} Kun-thi-pin
07. Arundo donax -- {a.lo-kyu}  Alo-kyu.

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01. Alangium lamarckii Thw.

Family as given by authors: Alangiaceae

Burmese name: {tau:po:sa} Taw-posa

ALANGIUM LAMARCKII Thw. Enum. 133 (1859)
Alangium decapetalum Lamk. Dict. i. 174
Alangium hexapetalum Lamk. & DC. ii. c.
Alangium tomentosum Lamk. & DC. ii. c.
Alangium latifolium Miq. in. Pl. Hohenack. No. 719.

English common name: Nil.

A small tree. Leaves alternate, variable narrowly oblong or ovate-lanceolate, glabrous above, pubescent on the nerves; petioles densely pubescent. Flowers few, white in axillary fascicles, densely pubescent. Fruit when young ovoid or ellipsoid, becoming nearly globular when ripe. Family Alangiaceae. Flowering in January.

Mergui district, locality Sin-din-taw.

The leaf extract is used as a hypotensive agent in anesthetized dogs and conscious rabbits. fn01-01 The bark alkaloid also in small doses reduced blood pressure temporarily. fn01-02
Leaves are also used as poultice in rheumatic pains. Root bark used as purgative, anthelmintic and in fever and skin diseases. fn01-02


fn01-01 SANYAL, A., V. Das-Gupta & P.K. Das (1965). Studies on Alangium lamarckii  Thw. i. Pharmacological studies of the total alkaloid extract of the leaves. Indian J. Med. Res. 53, 1072-1078. fn01-01b

fn01-02 CHOPRA, R. N., S. I,. Nayar & I. C. Chopra (1956). Glossary of Indian Medicinal plants. p. 10. New Delhi: Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. fn01-02b

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02. Alstonia scholaris (L.) R. Br.

Family as given by authors:  Apocyanaceae

Burmese name: {lak-htoap-ka.l:} {taung-ma.ro:} {lak-pn-hka:}
Let-toke-galay, Taung-mayo. Let-pan-kha.

Alstonia Scholaris (L.) R. Br. in Men. Wern. Soc,. 175 (1809).
Echites scholaris L. Mant. 11. 55 (1767).
Echites pala Buch. -Ham. exa Sprent. Syst. I. 633. (1825).
English common name: Nil.

An erect, small or medium-sized, evergreen tree with a dense crown. Bark grey-white. Leaves whorled. oblong-lanceolate or obovate. Flowers greenish-yellow, in compact umbellate cymes, fragrant. Fruit in folliciles, in pendulous clusters. Family Apocyanaceae. Flowers from October to December; fruiting from February to June.

Widely distributed in Burma. Often planted as road side trees.

The bark alkaloids produce a sharp fall of blood pressure in cats. fn10-01
Drug used in the treatment of malarial fever, chronic diarrhoea and advanced stages of dysentery. It also relased isolated strips of rat intestine. 1
Milky juice (late) is applied to ulcers. fn10-02


fn10-01 Chopra, R. N. & I. C. Chopra (1955). A review of work an Indian medicinal plants, 24.. Cambridge Printing Works, Kashmere Gate: Delhi. fn10-01b

fn10-02 Chopra, R. N, S. L. Nayar & I. C. Chopra (1956). Glossary of Indian medicinal plants, 14 Council of Scientific and Industrial Research: New Delhi. fn10-02b

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03. Apium graveolens Linn.

Family as given by authors: Umbelliferae

Burmese name: H {ta.roat-nn-nn} Tayoke-nan-nan.

Apium Graveolens Linn. Sp. Pl. 264 (1753).
English common name: Celery, cultivated celery, Marsh Parsley, Wild celery.

Biennial. Stems erect, branching. Radical leaves pinnate, with large deeply lobed segments, cauline 3-partite; segments once or twice trifid, coarsely toothed at the apex. Flowering stalk umbel-rays 5--10. Fruit ridges narrow, broad. Family Umbelliferae.

Planted throughout Burma for its edible value.

The watery extract of the whole plant mixed with sugar or honey, has been extensively used among the local people as a remedy against hypertension. fn18-01
Root used as alternative, diuretic, also given in anasarca and colic.
Seeds used as stimulant, cordial, tonic, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, as antiseptic, in bronchitis, asthma an dfor liver and spleen diseases. fn18-02


fn18-01 Sein Gwan, Kin Saw O., Ma Than Yee & Han Min (1958-59). The nautre of the chemical constituents of Apium graveolens. jjPro. Burma Med. Res Soc. I, 19-20. fn18-01b

fn18-02 Chopra, R. N., S. L. Nayar & I. C. Chopra (1956). Glossary of Indian medicinal plants. 2. Council of Scientific and Jndustrial Research: New Delhi. fn18-02b

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04. Acanthus ilicifolius Linn.

Family as given by authors: Acanthaceae

Burmese name:   {r-hka.ra} Ye-Khaya.

Acanthus Ilicifolius Linn. Sp. Pl. 639 (1753).
Acanthus Doloarius Blanco Fl. Filip. 487.
Dilivaria ilicifolia Zuss. Gen. 103 (1789).
English common name: Sea Holly.

Stems erect, scarcely branched cylindric, stout. Leaves holly like, oblong or elliptic, with sharp spinous teeth on the margin terminating the lateral nerves and the midrib; 2 stipule-like spines present at the base. Flowers sessible in opposite pairs, in terminal crowded or interrupted spikes, blue in colour. Fruit capsules, oblong, apiculate, brown. smooth and shining. Family Acanthaceae. Flowering and fruiting during the rainy months.

Grown along the sea-shore. Found in Syriam and in other swampy areas.

The root extract of the plant is locally used to lower blood pressure. It is taken once in the morning and once in the evening before going to bed. fn24-01
Leaves used as fomentation in rheumatism and neuralgia.
Plant used in asthma.
Decoction of plant used in dyspepsia.
Leaves and tender shoots used in snake-bite. fn24-02


fn24-01 fn24-01b

fn24-02 Chopra, R. N., S. L. Nayar & I. C. Chopra (1956) Glossary of Indian medicinal plants, p. 3. New Delhi: Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. fn24-02b

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05. Acorus calamus Linn.

Family as given by authors: Araceae


Burmese name: {ling:n} Linne.

Acorus Calamus Linn. Sp. Pl. 324 (1753).
Acorus Griffithii and nilaghirensis Schott in Ostr. Bot. Zeitschr. 357 (1858) and 101 (1859).
Acorus Belangeri Schott in Ann. Mus. Lugd. Bat. i. 284.
Acorus Casia Bertol. Pl. Asiat. ii. 8 (1865).
English common name: Sweet Flag.

Rootstock thick, creeping and branching. Leaves bright green, acute, thickened in the middle, margins waved. Spathe ensiform. Spadix cylindric, dense flowered, slightly curved. Family Araceae. Flowering during the rainy months.

Widely distributed in Burma. Often planted for its medicinal properties.

Aqueous and alcoholic extract of the rhizome lowers blood pressure in rabbits and cats. fn27-01
Rhizome used as emetic, also in dyspepsia, bronchitis, dysentery of children, possess insecticidal properties. fn27-02


fn27-01 Maj, Jerzy, Z. Lastowki & K. Lukowski (1965) Pharmacologival properties of native calamus, II. Central action of extracts. Dissertationes Pharm., 17, 157-61 (Pol.). In. Chem. Abstr. (1965), 63, 1889oh. fn27-01b

fn27-02 Chopra, R. N., S. L. Nayar & I. C. Chopra (1956) Glossary of Indian medicinal plants, p. 5. New Delhi; Council of Sceintific and Industrial Research. fn27-02b

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06. Areca catechu Linn.

Family as given by authors: Palmae


Burmese name:  {kwam:thi: ping} Kun-thi-pin.

Areca Catechu Linn. Sp. Pl. 1189 (1753).
Areca faufel Gaertn Fruct. i. 19, t. 7. f2. (1788).
Areca hortensis Low. Fl. Cochinch. 568 (1790).
English common name: Areca Nut Palm, Betel Nut Palm, Catechu Palm.

Trunk solitary, uniformly thick. Leaves compound with numerous leaflets, glabrous. Spathe double, compressed, glabrous. Flowers. Rachiscompressed, branches with filiform, shout. Female flowers solitary, 2 or 3 at or near the asbe of each ramification of the spadix. Fruit oblongoid smooth, orange or scarlet. Family Palmae.

Cultivated for its edible betel nuts throughout Burma.

Arecoline-HCI isolated from the nut decreases blood pressure in rabbits.
Nut useful in urinary disorders, as an anthelmintic, nervine tonic. fn29-01


fn29-01 Chopra, R. N., S. L. Nayar & I. C. Chopra (1956). Glossary of Indian medicinal plat., p. 26. Council of Scientific and Industrial Research: New Delhi. fn29-01b

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07. Arundo donax Linn.

Family as given by authors: Gramineae


Burmese name:  {a.lo-kyu}  Alo-kyu.

Arundo Donax Linn. Sp. Pl. 81 (1753).
Arudo Bengalensis bifaria Retz. Obs. IV. 22 and V. 20.
Arundo longifolia Salisb. Prodr. 24.
Arundo sativa Lank. Fl. Fr. III. 616.
Arundo trifolia Roxb. Ic. Pict. t. 853.
Donax arundinaceus Beauv. Agrost. 78, t. 16, f. 4.
Donax benghalensis Beauv. l. C. 78.
Donax bifarius Trin. in Spreng. Neue Entdeck. ii. 73.
Amphidonx bengalensis Nees exsteud. Syn. Gram. 197.
Amphidonax bifaria Nees exsteud. Syn. Gram. 410.
Scolochloa arundinacea Mert. Koch. Flo Germ. I. 529.
Aira benghalensis Gmel. Syst. i. 174.
Arundo Wall. Cat. n. 5018, excl. F., 5020.
English common name: Nil.

Tall, perennial grass with erect culms. Stems hollow, green. Leaves linear-lanceolate tapering to a fine point. Flowers in spikes, terminal, erect branches. Family Gramineae. Flowers and fruits from September to February.

Maymyo, Thayetmyo and Rangoon (planted).

Decoction of rhizome used as diuretic and as emollient.
Gramine isolated from the rhizome, in larger doses causes a fall in blood pressure. fn32-01

UKT: See uses of A. donax as hypertensive plant.


fn32-01 Chopra, R. N., S. L. Nayar & I. C. Chopra (1956). Glossary of Indian medicinal plants, p. 27. Council of Scientific and Industrial Research: New Delhi. fn32-01b

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