Update: 2012-12-17 05:48 AM +0630


A List of Burmese Medicinal Plants 1

by U Hla Maw, B.Sc., Research Officer, Pharmaceuticals Section, Applied Chemistry,  Research Department, Union of Burma Applied Research Institute, 1959.

Copied from the original (typewriter copy) by U Kyaw Tun (UKT) in 1985 August.  HTML version by UKT, 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:

22• Calotropis gigantae
23• Camellia sinensis
24• Cannabis sativa
25• Capsicum frutesscens
26• Cassia angustifolia
27• Cassia fistula
     • Cassia alata
28• Cassia occidentalis
39• Centelia asiatica
30• Chenopodium ambrosoides
31• Cinchona ledgeriana
32• Cinnamomum camphora
33• Cinnamomum zeylanicum
34• Cissampelos pareira
35• Clerodendron infortunatum
36• Coriandrum sativum
37• Crocus sativus
38• Croton oblongifolius
39• Croton tiglium
40• Curcuma longa
41• Cymbopogon citratus
42• Cyperus rotundus

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22. Calotropis gigantae

Synonyms: Gigantic Swallow Root

Vernacular name: Mayo

Botanical origin: Calotropis gigantae R.Br.

Family: Asclepiadaceae

Part used: Roots

Distribution: Throughout Burma

Plant: A tall shrub, 2-3 m high with stout branches, the younger branches are covered with fine cottony hairs, the older ones with less hair, leaves cuneate-obovate, base cordate axils bearded, smooth above, cottening beneath, Umbels peduncled, simple or compound, bracts long, flowers pale purple

1. Proteolytic enzyme
2. Glycosides - calotropin, uscharin and calotoxin (3)

Uses: Skin diseases, enlargement of abdominal viscera, intestinal works, cough, ascites, small doses cause vomitting and diarrhoea

Preparation: Pulvis Calotropis, Tinctura Calotropis (I.P.C.)

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23. Camellia sinensis

Synonyms: Tea Leaves

Vernacular name: La-phet

Botanical origin: Camellia sinensis (L) O. Kuntze

Family: Terustroemiaceae

Part used: Prepared leaves and leaf buds

Distribution: Upper Burma Hills, Shan States, Kachin State, Wa State

Plant: Evergreen shrubs 3-5 feet high with alternate elliptical or oblong-lanceolate, shiny, coriaceous, short petioled, serrated leaves, white axillary flowers and capsular fruits

1. Caffeine - up to 4 %
2. Callotannic acid
3. Gallic acid
4. Resin
5. Volatile oil (7)
6. Traces of Theobromine, Theophylline, Adenine

Uses: Astringent, cerebral and cardiac stimulant

Preparation: Caffeina et Sedil Salicylas (I.P.)

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24. Cannabis sativa

Synonyms: Hemp

Vernacular name: Se-chauk

Botanical origin: Cannabis sativa Linn

Family: Urticaceae

Part used: Dried flowering tops of pistillate plants

Distribution: Tharawaddy, Prome

Plant: A tall roughish annual diocious herb with palmately divided leaves

1. Cannabin or Cannabinone
2. Cannabinol, C21H26O2, a toxic phenolic substance
3. Alkaloid - Choline (7)

Uses: Cerebral stimulant, analgesic, narcotic, delirifacient. Sedative in migraine, neuralgia, hysteria, cramps of summer diarrhoea, spasmodic cough and asthma

Preparation: Tinctura Cannabis, Extractum Cannabis (I.P.)

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25. Capsicum frutescens

Synonyms: Chili, Red pepper

Vernacular name: Nga-yok

Botanical origin: Capsicum frutescens Linn

Family: Solonaceae

Part used: Dried ripe fruit

Distribution: Takon, Yamethin, Meiktila, Pakokku, Dry Zone

Plant: A small shrubby perennial with angled stem and branches, broadly ovate-acuminate leaves and axillary greenish-white or white flowers

1. Capsacin - pungent substances about 0.1 %
2. An alkaloid (volatile in nature)
3. Vitamin C
4. Rsin, fixed oil, etc. (7)

Uses: Stimulant, counter-irritant, stomachic carminative, rubefacient, condiment

Preparation: Tinctura Capsici (I.P.), Emplastrum Capsici (I.P.C.)

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26. Cassia angustifolia

Synonyms: Indian Senna

Vernacular name: Pwe-gaing

Botanical origin: Cassia angustifolia Vahl

Family: Caesalpiniaceae

Part used: Dried leaflets

Distribution: Shwebo, Minhla, Minbu, Pakokku, Yaw, Dry Zone

Plant: A low growing shrub with branched whitish stems, paripinnate stipulate leaves with pale green leaflets and large yellow flowers borne in axillary racemes

1. 1.3 to 1.5 % of anthraquinone derivatives, aloe-emedin and rhein (Tutin 1913)
2. Glucosides - Sennoside A and Sennoside B (Stoll et al)
3. Phytesterol glycoside
4. Yellow coloring matters: Kaempferol, Kaempferin and Isorhamnetin
5. Mucilage, resin, starch, calciium oxalate (7)

Uses: Purgative

Preparation: Extractum Sennae, Syrupus Sennae, Infusum Sennae Concentratum, Infusum Sennae, Mistura Sennae Compositan (B.P., U.S.P.)

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27. Cassia fistula

Synonyms: Indian Laburnum, Purging Cassia

Vernacular name: Ngu

Botanical origin: Cassia fistula Linn

Family: Caesalpiniaceae

Part used: Dried fruit

Distribution: Throughout Burma

Plant: A tree about 15 m. high with gray bark and paripinnate leaves with 3-7 pairs and paripinnate leaves with 3-7 pairs of ovate leaflets and racemes of yellow flowers that appear from April to June

1. Pulp contains up to 60 % of sugar
2. Mucilage
3. Proteins
4. Volatile oil (7)
5. About 1 % anthraquinone substance

Uses: Laxative

Preparation: Cassia Pulpa (I.P.)

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28. Cassia occidentalis

Synonyms: Negro Coffee, Stinking Weed

Vernacular name: Kazaw, Shan Kazaw, Kalan

Botanical origin: Cassia occidentalis Linn

Family: Caesalpiniaceae

Part used:

Distribution: Throughout the Shan States

Plant: An annual diffuse undershrub with purplish furrowed and subglabrous branches 0.6 to 1.5 m. high, leaves 6 inches long, leaflets glabrous or fine pubescent. Racemes short-peduncled, few flowered, corymbose, axillary and forming a terminal panicle; flower 1/2 in., pale lilac, conspicously veined

1. Resinous substance
2. Tannin
3. Emodin
4. Oxymethyl anthraquinones
5. Oxalbumin. (3)

Uses: Useful in ring-worm, elephantiasis, scorpian sting, snake bite, tonic, stomachic, diuretic

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29. Centella asiatica

Synonyms: Asiatic Pennyworth

Vernacular name: Myin-khwa

Botanical origin: Centella asiatica (L) Urban syn. Hydrocotyle asiatica Linn

Family: Umbellliferae

Part used: Fresh and dried leaves

Distribution: Rangoon, Insein, Pegu, Pyinmana, Mandalay, traces throughout Burma

Plant: A slender herbaceous creeping plant with long prostate stems coming off from the leaf axils of a vertical root-stock

1. Alkaloid - Hydrocotyline
2. Glucoside - asiaticoside (in fresh leaves) (4)

Uses: Brain tonic, skin diseases, nervous system and blood trouble, leprosy and syphilitic affections

Preparation: Cataplasma, Centellae, Decoctum Centellae, Extractum Centellae Liquidum, Pulvis Centellae, Succus Centellae (I.P.C.)

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30. Chenopodium ambrosoides

Synonyms: American Wormseed, Wild Wormseed, Jersusalem Tea, Mexican Tea, Goose-foot, Jerusalem Oak

Vernacular name: Myu

Botanical origin: Chenopodium ambrosoides (L) var. anthelminticum Al Gray

Family: Chenopodiaceae

Part used: Dried fruits

Distribution: Maymyo

Plant: An aromatic annual or perennial weed with a lanceolate or oblong, strongly serrate leaves, the lower being nearly lanciniate-pinnatifid

1. Volatile oil containing 60-80 % of Ascaridole (anthelmic principle) liable to explode when heated
2. p-Cymene about 20 %
3. l-Limonene and d-Camphor
4. Saponins. (7)

Uses: Anthelmintic, especially for round worms but also for hook worms and intestinal amoebae

Preparation: Chenopodium Oil capsules (U.S.P.)

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31. Cinchona ledgeriana

Synonyms: Cinchona Bark, Peruvian Bark, Red Cinchona

Vernacular name: Kwi-nine

Botanical origin: Cinchona ledgeriana (Howard) Meens et Trimen

Family: Rubiacea

Part used: Dried bark of the stem or of the root

Distribution: Old plantation area in Leikpok 12 miles from Tenasserim

Plant: An evergreen tree attaining a height of 24 m and having a trunk diameter of upto 0.6 m. at the base, leaves elliptical, elliptic-lanceolate, petiolate and show lateral interpetiolar stipules, flowers pentamerous, tubular and cymose, fruits septicidally dehiscent capsules

1. A number of alkaloids (about 6-7 %) - Quinine, Quinidine, Cinchonine, Cinchonidine
2. Cinchotannic acid, quinic acid, cinchona red etc. (7)

The alkaloids occur in combination with organic acids.

Uses: Bitter, tonic, anti-malarial and anti-pyretic, usually in the form of its preparations of alkaloids

Preparation: Extractum Cinchona, Tinctura Cinchonae Composita (I.P.), Decoctum Cinchoae Concentratus (I.P.C.)

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32. Cinnamomum camphora

Synonyms: Gum Camphor, Laurel Camphor

Vernacular name: Pa-yok

Botanical origin: Cinnamomum camphora (L) Nees

Family: Lauraceae

Part used: A ketone C10H16O obtained from Cinnamum camphora

Distribution: Shan States, Maymyo

Plant: A large much branched evergreen tree attaining a height of 60-100 feet, leaves alternate, broadly lanceolate, entire, coriaceous, acuminate at both ends, shiny on upper surface and glaucous beneath

1. Leaves contain camphor 0.73 %, camphorol 0.97 % (18)
2. Chiefly a saturated ketone, C10H16O (7)

Uses: Externally as a liniment and rubefacient. Internally as an antiseptic and carminative. Hypodermically in the form of a sterile solution in oil as a cardiac stimulant.

Preparation: Ammoniated Liniment of Camphor, Camphor Water, Camphorated

Tincture of Opium, Liniment of Camphor, Liniment of Soap, Liniment of Turpentine (B.P.)

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33. Cinnamomum zeylanicum

Synonyms: True Cinnamon, Cortex Cinnamoni

Vernacular name: Na-lin-gyaw

Botanical origin: Cinnamomum zeylanicum Nees

Family: Lauraceae

Part used: Dried inner bark of the shoots of copiced trees

Distribution: Tavoy, Mergui, forests of Tanasserim.

Plant: A tree with ovate to lance-ovate, 3-5 nerved evergreen, coriaceous, aromatic leaves which are shiny green on the upper surface, glaucous and reticulate below

1. Volatile oil up to 1 % containing 55-65 % Cinnamic aldehyde
2. 4-8 % Eugenol
3. Caryophyllene, 1-Phellandrene, p-Cymene, Benzaldehyde, Pinene, Methyl-n-amyl ketone, Nonylic aldehyde, l-Linalool, resin, mucilage, starch, tannin, Calcium oxalate.

Uses: Aromatic, mild astingent (7)

Preparation: Aqua Cinnamoni Concentrata, Aqua Cinnamomi Distillata, Pulvis Cinnamomi Compositus, Tinctura Cinnamomi, Tinctura Cinnamomi Composita. (I.P.C.)

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34. Cissampelos pareira

Synonyms: False Pareira, False Preira Brava

Vernacular name: Kywet-na-baung

Botanical origin: Cissampelos pareira Linn

Family: Menispermaceae

Part used: Stems and roots

Distribution: Maymyo, Zigon, Toungoo

Plant: A lofty climber, branches very rarely glabrous, leaves orbicular, reniform or chordate, 2.5 to 10 cm in diameter, usually peltate, obtuse and mucronate

1. Amorphous alkaloid - Pelosine
2. Saponin
3. Ammonium salts
4. Hayatin and Hayatinin. (9)

Uses: In febrile conditions, dysentery, heart trouble and urinary disorders

Preparation: Decoctum Cissampeli, Extractum Cissampeli Liquidus (I.P.C.)

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35. Clerodendron infortunatum


Vernacular name: Ka-aung-gyi

Botanical origin: Clerodendron infortunatum Linn

Family: Verbonaceae

Part used: Dried leaves

Distribution: Insein, Tharawaddy, Lower Burma

Plant: A gregarious shrub forming a dense vegetation with branches bluntly quadrangular and covered with silky hairs

1. Bitter principle Clerodin C13H18O3
2. Resinous matters
3. Tannin
4. Fixed oil (4)

Uses: Tonic and antipyretic, anthelmintic, bitter efficient febrifuge N.B. Substitute for Chiretta

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36. Coriandrum sativum

Synonyms: Coriander Seed, Coliander

Vernacular name: Nan-nan

Botanical origin: Coriandrum sativum Linn

Family: Umbelliferae

Part used: Dried ripe fruit

Distribution: Throughout Burma

Plant: An annual foetid smelling herb with erect slender smooth stem, branched in the upper part. The lower leaves are long-petioled, pinnate with nearly sessile, ovate to suborbicular deep lobed leaflets, crenate dentate on margin, upper leaves nearly sessile bi- or tri-pinnate with ultimate segments strap-shaped or linear. Inflor. compound umbels of white or pink flowers. Fruit is nearly spherical cremocarp.

1. Up to 1 % volatile oil containing Coriandrol
2. Fixed oil
3. Calcium oxalate
4. Tannin (7)

Uses: Aromatic stimulant, carminative

Preparation: An ingredient of Confectie Sennae, Infusum Gentianae Compositum, Tintura Rhei Composita (I.P.C.)

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37. Crocus sativus

Synonyms: Saffron, Spanish Saffron, True Saffron

Vernacular name: Gon-ga-man {koän-ku.män}

Botanical origin: Crocus sativus Linn

Family: Iridaceae

Part used: Dried stigma

Distribution: Mount Popa, Po-oo-taung, Prome, Setawya, Minbu

Plant: A perennial, low growing bulbous plant with an underground globular corm producing 6-9 sessile leaves surrounded in its lower part by 4 or 5 broad membranous scales.

1. A red coloring substance of glycosidal character called Crocin
2. A colorless glycoside Picrocrosin
3. Volatile oil (trace only)
4. Dextrose (7)

Uses: Stimulant, diaphoretic (in measles), antispasmodic and emmenagogue

Preparation: Tinctura Croci (I.P.), Glycerinum Croci, Syrupus Croci (I.P.C.)

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38. Croton oblongifolius


Vernacular name: Thet-yin-gyi

Botanical origin: Croton oblongifolius Roxb

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Part used: Roots, bark and seeds

Distribution: Tenasserim

Plant: A small deciduous tree, branches rather stout, leaves oblong, elliptic-oblong or ovate or lanceolate acute more or less repand, toothed or serrate penninerved, very pale green when dry, nerves 12-26 pairs, racemes often fascicled, erect, pedicels long or short

1. Seeds contain a fatty oil similar to Cronton tiglium (19)

Uses: Purgative, liver diseases, high blood pressure.

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39. Croton tiglium

Synonyms: Purging Croton

Vernacular name: Ka-na-ko, Wet-tha-wa-raw (Mon)

Botanical origin: Croton tiglium Linn

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Part used: Seeds

Distribution: Shan States, Pyinmana, wild sources in Upper Burma, moderately abundant in Tenasserim

Plant: An small evergreen tree about 15-20 feet producing capsules similar to those of castor, but devoid of spines, leaves 2-4 in. yellowish when dry, rarely elliptic or oblong, sometimes glandular beneath, nerves 2-3 pairs above the basal long-petioled flowers in racemes, small, stamens 15-20 ovary stellately hispid

1. The kernel contains about 50 % of fixed oil
2. Very albuminous substance Croton, a mixture of croton albumin and croton globulin and comparable to Ricin
3. Croton oil is composed of the glycerides of the following acids: stearic, palmatic, myristic, lauric, oleic, tiglic, acetic, butyric, formic and valeric. (1)

Uses: Drastic purgative

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40. Curcuma longa

Synonyms: Tumeric rhizome, Yellow Root, Saffron

Vernacular name: Hsa-nwin

Botanical origin: Curcuma longa Linn

Family: Zingiberaceae

Part used: Prepared rhizome

Distribution: Dry Zone, Chin Hills

Plant: A perennial herb whose underground portion consists of an erect, ovate or pyriform fleshy rhizome which gives rise to less fleshy elongated branches (secondary rhizomes) roots and leaves.

1. About 5 % volatile oil
2. 0.3 % Curcumin, a yellow crystalline substance which dissolves in alcohol forming a deep yellow solution
3. Starch - 30 to 40 %
4. Resin (7)

Uses: Stimulant, condiment

Preparation: Tinctura Curcuma (I.P.), Pulvis Curcumae (I.P.C.)

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41. Cymbopogon citratus

Synonyms: Lemon Grass

Vernacular name: Sabalin

Botanical origin: Cymbopogon citratus Stapf.

Family: Graminaceae

Part used: Fresh and dried leaves

Distribution: Lower Burma, Moulmein, Thaton, Mudon

Plant: A tall perennial herb with sparingly branched rhizome but occasionally gives rise to a stout erect clum up to 1.8 m high, leaf blades linear, long attenuated towards the base and tapering to a long setaceous point.

1. Lemon grass oil - important constituent Citral
2. An aldehyde C10H16O
3. Geranic acid C16H20O2
4. Cymol (4)

Uses: Carminative in flatulence colic and obstinate vomiting. Decoction made from the leaves a diaphoretic in fever. Good embrocation in rheumatism, lumbago and sprains.

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42. Cyperus rotundus

Synonyms: Nut Grass

Vernacular name: Wet-mye-u, Mon-hnyin-u-pin

Botanical origin: Cyperus rotundus Linn

Family: Cyperaceae

Part used: Rhizomes and roots

Distribution: Pegu, Rangoon, Kalaw Range, Mongnai, Kyaington (Southern Shan State), Moulmein

Plant: Herb with elongate, slender stolons, 10-20 cm long bearing hard ovoid tunicate black fragrant tubers 0.8-2.5 cm in diameter

1. An essential oil which have a good perfume (3)

Uses: Astringent, appetiser, stomachic, anthelmintic, leprosy, thirst, fever, blood diseases, biliousness, pain, vomiting, epilepsy, diuretic, emmennagogue, diaphoretic, vulnenary dyspepsia.

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End of TIL file