Update: 2006-08-05 01:16 AM -0700


Myanmar Medicinal Plant Database

Family: Palmaceae

compiled by U Kyaw Tun, U Pe Than, and staff of TIL. Not for sale.

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Family: Palmaceae 1 entry
• Palmaceae family - (Arecaceae, Palmae, ' Monocotyledoneae') - general characters
-- MMPDB2006 has listed Arecacea as a separate family.
• Areca catechu •  {kwam:thi: ping}
• Areca spp.

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Palmaceae family - general characters

(Arecaceae, Palmae, ' Monocotyledoneae')

From: Families yielding important phytopharmaceuticals in Fundamentals of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy, by Michael Heinrich, J. Barnes, S. Gibbons, and E. Williamson, October 2003, ISBN:0443071322, pp.320 -- www.fleshandbones.com/readingroom/pdf/747.pdf

The palms are particularly important because they include many species widely used as food, but in recent years at least one has become medically important.

Important medicinal plants from the family
• Serenoa repens (Bartram) Small (saw palmetto, sabal), for difficulty in micturition in benign prostate hyperplasia in the early stages.

Morphological characteristics of the family
These are generally unbranched, mostly erect, trees with primary thickening of the stem and a crown of large, often branched, leaves. The flowers are generally unisexual and radial, consisting of two whorls with three perianth leaves and six stamens. The three-lobed carpels may be free or united and develop into a berry, drupe or nut.

The family, with about 2700 exclusively evergreen woody species, is widely distributed in the tropics and subtropics.

Chemical characteristics of the family
The accumulation of polyphenols, some relatively simple alkaloids (especially pyridine derivatives) and steroidal saponins, as well as fatty acids [coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) and oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.)] is typical. The pharmaceutical use of Serenoa repens, on the other hand, seems to be due to the presence of relatively large amounts of the ubiquitous triterpenoid β-sitosterol.

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Areca catechu

Family: Arecaceae

Burmese-Myanmar transcript names:
• Agri.Dept.2000 10-0244:  {kwam:thi:}
• Chklist: Kunthi-pin
• LSR : NL
• FAO 037: kunthi-pin; kun
• Nagathein 1-211: {kwam:thi:}
• UHM : NL


Myanmar-Script Spelling
• Official Myanmar Dictionaries :
{kwam:thi: ping} -   -- TravPo-M-Dict 037
{kwam:thi: ping} - n. areca palm, Areca catechu - Myan-Engl-Dict 048

UKT: There are two entirely different plants with the Burmese common name {kwam:} :
• {kwam: rwak ping} or {kwam: ping} -- Betel leaf vine, Piper betle L.
• {kwan: thi: pin} -- Betel nut palm, Areca catechu  L.
If we were to use just the word
{kwam:}, it will be very confusing to non-Burmese, and therefore, I will be using {kwam: rwak ping} to describe the plant the sole use of which is the leaf, and {kwan: thi: pin} for the plant the sole use of which is the fruit.

Internet link: -- http://medweb.nus.edu.sg.htm ?

Chklist data :
• Areca catechu L. Habit: Small tree. Distribution: Cultivated. Common Names: Areca palm, Betelnut palm, Kunthi-pin

Hindi: Supaadii  सुपाडी  Myanmar transliteration: {thu.pa-Di} -- UKT


English common name used in Myanmar :
• Agri.Dept.2000 10-0244:  Areca nut; Betel palm
• FAO 037: Betel palm, areca palm
• Lè-seik-shin : NL
• Nagathein 1-211: Betel nut
• UHM : NL

• Leader from: www.plantapalm.com/vpe/photos/Species/Pics/areca_catechu.jpg
• Photo: Tree, trunk , crown - http://www.pacsoa.org.au/palms/Areca/catechu.html


Plant identification characters :

• Key characteristics: Slender erect palm; young stem green, later grayish brown; 8–12 leaves, 1–1.5 m long; single branched inflorescence from stem under crown; fruits yellow to orange. Description: A slender, erect, palm up to 30 m tall and 25–40 cm in diameter. Stem straight, green when young, later becoming grayish brown, with rings from leaf scars. 8–12 leaves, 1–1.5 m long, even pinnate, with 30–50 leaflets, each 30–70 cm long and 3–7 cm wide are forming the crown, about 2.5 m in diameter. A single, branched inflorescence from the stem under the crown. Male flowers numerous, small, borne above female flowers, 3-merous. Female flowers on thickened base of branches, 1.2–2 cm long, green and creamy-white. Fruits 5–10 × 3–5 cm variable in shape, yellow to orange when ripe, 50–400 fruits on one stand. -- FAO

• A typical palm, with a tall, slender stem bearing a bunch of large, compound leaves at the top. The trunk is characteristically ringed with scars of the old leaves. Flowers are small and inconspicuous, the male and female flowers occurring on the same bunch. Fruits are oval structures, turning orange with maturity, each with a single seed covered by a layer of husk. -- unknown


Distribution in Myanmar:


Part used and uses:

• Seeds. Chewed as betel quid by Myanmar and Indians, however, poisonous if the nut is taken in large quantities. -- UKT

• in Ayurvedic medicine, the nut is used in the treatment of headaches, fever and rheumatism. In China, betelnut is used to treat parasitic infection. Arecoline resembles pilocarpine in it's effect; other alkaloids in betel nut are arecaine and guracine. --- http://www.tropilab.com/areca-cat.html

• Areca Nut is aromatic and astringent and is said to intoxicate when first taken. The natives chew these nuts all day. Whole shiploads are exported annually from Sumatra, Malacca, Siam and Cochin China. In this country Areca Nut is made into a dentrifrice on account of its astringent properties. Catechu is often made by boiling down the seeds of the plant to the consistency of an extract, but the proper Catechu used in Britain is produced from the Acacia catechu. The flowers are very sweet-scented and in Borneo are used in medicines as charms for the healing of the sick. In India the nut has long been used as a taenifuge for tapeworm. The action of Arecain resembles that of Muscarine and Pilocarpine externally, internally used it contracts the pupils.     Arecoline hydrobromide, a commercial salt, is a stronger stimulant to the salivary glands than Pilocarpine and a more energetic laxative than Eserine. It is used for colic in horses.     Of the powdered nut for tapeworm 1 to 2 teaspoonsful. Of the Fluid Extract of Areca Nut, 1 drachm. Of the Arecoline Hydrobromide, for colic in horses, 1 to 1 1/2 grains. Of the Arecoline Hydrobromide, for human use, 1/15 to 1/10 grains. --- http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/areca056.html#med



•  Areca Nut contains a large quantity of tannin, also gallic acid, a fixed oil gum, a little volatile oil, lignin, and various saline substances. Four alkaloids have been found in Areca Nut - Arecoline, Arecain, Guracine, and a fourth existing in very small quantity. Arecoline resembles Pilocarpine in its effects on the system. Arecaine is the active principle of the Areca Nut. - http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/areca056.html#med     

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Areca spp.

Family: Arecaceae

Results of search for 'Areca' in the Checklist of Plants of Myanmar, U.S. National Herbarium, 4 Aug 2006.
• Areca catechu L. Habit: Small tree. Distribution: Cultivated. Common Names: Areca palm, Betelnut palm, Kunthi-pin
• Areca triandra Roxb. Habit: Small tree. Distribution: Kachin, Mon, Sagaing, Taninthayi. Common Names: Taw-kun-thi


"ARECA","Areca L.","areca palm","Arecaceae"
"ARCA41","Areca catechu L.","betel palm","Arecaceae"
"ARCA42","Areca cathecu L.",">>Areca catechu","Arecaceae"


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Entry format: Botanical name / Family / Ref. Burmese-Myanmar transcripts • Agri.Dept.2000 : • Chklist: • LSR : • FAO : • KS-TMN: • Nagathein : • UHM :/ Myanmar-Script Spelling ( • Official Myanmar Dictionaries : - TravPo-M-Dict - Myan-Engl-Dict - Myan-Ortho / Chklist data / Hindi / Sanskrit / English common name used in Myanmar / Picture / Plant identification characters / Distribution in Myanmar / Part used and uses / Constituents /
End of TIL file