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Family Chloranthaceae
Sarcandra glabra (Thunb.) Nakai

Jiu jie cha

Scientific names Common names
Chloranthus denticulatus Cordem. Apot (Ig.)
Chloranthus esquirolii H,Lév. Damoko (Ig.)
Chloranthus glaber (Thunb.) Makino Emem (Ig.)
Chloranthus monander R.Br. Gapas (Ig.)
Sarcandra glabra (Thunb.) Nakai Gumok (Buk.)
  Kari-kari (Bag.)
  Total (Yak.)
  Umuum (Ig.)
  Glabrous sarcandra (Engl.)
Chloranthus glaber (Thunb.) Makino is a synonym of Sarcandra glabra (Thunb.) Nakai The Plant List
Sarcandra glabra (Thunb.) Nakai is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHIINESE: Jiē gu jin su lan, Jie gu cha, Jiu jie lan, Jiu jie cha, Cao shan hu, Zhong jie feng.
SPANISH: Herba sarcandra.

Apot is a spreading undershrub, 60 to 90 centimeters tall. Stems and branches are terete, the latter opposite or in subwhorls, and smooth. Leaves are opposed, with short petioles, narrowly oblong to lanceolate, 10 to 15 centimeters long, and only the larger ones 5 centimeters wide, leathery and smooth, with the margins (except near the base), toothed with sharp teeth and the tip pointed. Inflorescence is paniculately few-branched, upon a 3-centimeter long peduncle, with ascending spicate branches. Flowers are minute, sessile, with a subtended bract. Fruit is a rather small, one-seeded drupe, with somewhat juicy flesh and vermilion-red skin.

- Common and widely distributed in the Philippines in primary forests at medium and higher altitudes.
- Also occurs in India to Japan, southward to Malaya.

- Study yielded 11 compounds: shizukanolide, furanodienone, lupeol, 24-hydroxylupeol, pinostrobin, 2', 6'-dihydroxy-4'-methoxydihydrochalcone, 7-rnethylnaringenin, eleutheroside B1, 3,4-dihydroxybenzonic acid, palmitic acid and β-sitosterol.
- Yields terpenoids, flavanoids, coumarins and phenolic acids.
- Study yielded two new sesquiterpenes: glabranols A and B. (4)
- Chloroform and EtOH extracts yielded
six compounds, viz. 4, 4'-biisofraxidin, esculetin, fraxetin, scoparone, isofraxidin, scopoletin. (See study below) (11)
- Study of aqueous acetonic extract of whole plant yielded a new eudesmanolide sesquiterpene, atractylenolide IV, together with 7 known compounds. (14)
- Study yielded flavonoid glycosides identified as kaempferol-3-O-beta-D-glucuronide (1), quercetin-3-O-alpha-D-glucuronide (2), quercetin-3-O-beta-D-glucuronopyranoside methyl ester (3), 5, 7, 4'-trihydroxy-8-C-beta-D-glucopyranosyl flavanone (4), neoastilbin (5), 5-O-caffeoylquinic acid methyl ester (6), 3, 4-dihydroxybenzoic acid (7), isofraxidin (8). (17)
- Total water extract yielded nine compounds identified as isofraxidin(1), 8-methoxy- 6,7-methylenedioxy-coumarin (2), 7-methylnaringenin (3), kaemferol (4), kaemferol-3-O- rhamno- pyranosyl (1→6)glucopyranoside (5), eleutheroside B1 (6), isofraxidin-7-O-β-D-xylopyranosyl (1- 3)-α-D-glucopyranoside (7), rosmarinic acid (8), 3,4-dihydroxyphenethyl caffeate (9). (19)

- Both warm and sweet, detoxifying, anti-inflammatory.
- Studies have suggested anti-tumor, immunoprotective, and antibacterial properties.

Parts used
Whole plant, leaves.


In Malaya, leaves reportedly used to scent tea or added to tea for bulk.
- Infusion of the plant used for headaches.
- In traditional Chinese medicine used for treatment of bruises, bone fractures, arthritis, nausea, joint swelling and cough.
- An herb included in Chinese Pharmacopoeia used as anti-tumor, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and for increasing blood platelets.
- In Chinese medicine, used for reducing heat in the blood.

Beneficial Effect on Chemotherapy-Induced Thrombocytopenia:
Study showed Sarcandra glabra had obvious activity in the treatment of thrombocytopenia and can prevent thrombocytopenia induced by 5-FU in a Babl/c mice model. Before chemotherapy, the platelet counts in mice treated with SG were higher than control (p<0.05) and were not significantly decreased after chemotherapy with 5-FU. (5)
Toxicity Study: Study to provide toxicology evidences for the dietary safety of Sarcandra glabra showed its oral LD50 for mouse was within the limit of nonpoisonous. All mutagenic tests were negative.
Chemical Constituents: Study isolated 9 compounds: isoscopletin, syringaresinol monoside, styraxjaponoside B, 5-O-caffeoylshikimic acid, shizukanolide E, isoastilbin, neoisoastilbin, astilbin, neoastilbin. (7)
Anti-Cancer / Anti-Leukemic: Study showed selective growth inhibition of an EA (ethyl acetate) extract on cancer cells; leukemic HL-60 was most responsive. Cytometric studies showed the extract might interfere with DNA replications and pro-apoptotic Bax/Bcl-2 ratio was up-regulated by more than 178%. Findings suggest the extract initiated apoptosis to kill the leukemic cells. Results suggest further research and a potential for S. glabra as an efficacious anticancer agent. (8)
Anti-Tumor / Apoptosis of Nasopharyngeal Ca Cell Line: Study evaluating Sarcandra glabra extracts on anti-tumor effect and apoptosis of implanted human nasopharyngeal carcinoma cell lines in nude mice showed SG suppresses the growth of tumor in vivo through a mechanism of down-regulation of the expression of Bcl-2 and up-regulation of the expression of Bax to promote apoptosis. (9)
Immune System Effect: Study showed SG extract has an immunologic protective effect in restrained mice probably via the amelioration of immune cells proportion and number. (10)
Constituents / Antibacterial Potential: Study of chloroform and EtOH extracts isolated six compounds, viz. 4, 4'-biisofraxidin (1), esculetin (2), fraxetin (3), scoparone (4), isofraxidin (5), scopoletin (6). Results suggest potential in some compounds for the development of plant-derived oral antibacterial agents. (11)
Decreased Susceptibility and Severity of Influenza: Extract of SG was investigated in mice for its effect against influenza. Results showed improvement in susceptibility markers and inhibition of inflammatory cytokines through down-regulation of NF-kB protein expression to ameliorate lung injury. Data showed reduction of susceptibility and severity of influenza. (12)
Hepatoprotective / Sesquiterpene Glycosides: Study of whole plant yielded six new sesquiterpene glycosides, compounds 1-6, with eudesmanolide, elemanolide, lindenane, and germacranolide sesquiterpene aglycons, along with one known compound chloranoside A (7). Compounds 1-7 showed pronounced hepatoprotective activities against D-galactosamine-induced toxicity in WB-F344 rat hepatic epithelial stem-like cells. (16)
Anti-Inflammatory / Attenuation of LPS-Induced Acute Lung Injury: Study evaluated the protective effects of Sarcandra glabra extract on LPS-induced acute lung injury (ALI) induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in mice. Results suggest SGE may ameliorate ALI induced by LPS. The SGE significantly reduced the release of TNF-α and IL-6 in lung and also inhibited the expression of NF-kB and TLR4. (18)
New Coumarin / Potential Anti-Inflammatory: Study of whole plant isolated one new coumarin i.e., 3,5-dihydroxy-7-O-α-L-rhamno pyranosyl-2H-chromen-2-one. The compound significantly inhibited nitric oxide (NO) production in LPS-induced RAW264.7 macrophages and inhibited iNOS mRNA expression. Results suggest the compound could be a potential anti-inflammatory agent by down-regulating iNOS expression. (20)
Sarglaperoxides / Bioactivities: Study isolated a pair of unusual sesquiterpene- monoterpene conjugates with a peroxide bridge, i.e., sarglaperoxides A (1) and B (2). The two compounds were screened in antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and cytotoxic bioassays and showed moderate bioactivities. (21)
Protective Against Influenza Virus Induced Pneumonia: Sarcandra glabra extract exhibited protective effects against influenza and its subsequent viral pneumonia in restrained-stressed mice. The mechanism may be related with the inhibition of virus replication and decrease of virus-induced inflammatory cytokine levels. (see also study 12) (22)
SG Polysaccharide / Anti-Diabetic / Hypolipidemic / Antioxidant: An in vitro a-glucosidase inhibition assay showed the acidic S. glabra polysaccharide (SGP-2) has an IC50 of 87.06 ± 11.76 µg mL, which was much lower than acarbose t 338.90 ± 46.86 µg mL. The SGP2 could also significantly improve (p<0.05) the insulin resistance and glucose tolerance in diabetic mice. Activities of antioxidant enzymes, hexokinase and pyruvate kinase were significantly increased (p<0.05) in SGP2 treated groups. The hypoglycemic effect may be through decrease of insulin resistance, reduction of postprandial blood glucose, amelioration of lipid metabolism, and alleviation of oxidative stress. (23)

Tablets and herbal formulations in the cybermarket.

Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last update July 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: Sarcandra glabra / File:Sarcandra glabra2.jpg / Kenpei / 25 Oct 2006/ GNU Free Documentation License / Wikimedia Commons
IMAGE SOURCE: Sarcandra glabra / File:Sarcandra glabra1.jpg / Kenpei / 28 Oct 2006/ GNU Free Documentation License / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Sarcandra glabra / Chinese Plant Names / eFloras
Studies on chemical constituents of Sarcandra glabra / Luo Yong-Ming, Liu Al-Hua et al / Chinese Pharmaceutical Journ, 2005-17
Advances on Chemical Constituents and Pharmacological Activities of Sarcandra glabra / Zhou Bin, Liu Keyue et al / Chin JMAP, Dec 2009 , Vol 26 No 12
Two new sesquiterpenes from Sarcandra glabra / Do Thi Oanh, Pham Thanh Ky, Nguyen Thi Bich Hang et al / Prod Commun 5(11):1717-20 (2010)
The study on effect of Sarcandra glabra on prevention and treatment of thrombocytopenia by chemotherapy / Liye Zhong, Tianhao Liu et al / Zhong yao cai Zhongyaocai Journal of Chinese medicinal materials (2005), Vol 28, No 1, Pages: 35-38 / PubMed ID: 15934240
Toxicity Study of Sarcandra Glabra / Sun Jianqin et al / DOI CNKI:SUN:GYYB.0.1998-01-014
Chemical constituents from Sarcandra glabra / Wang C, Zhu L, Yang J, Li C, Zhang D / Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2010 Mar;35(6):714-7.
Ethyl acetate extract of Chinese medicinal herb Sarcandra glabra induces growth inhibition on human leukemic HL-60 cells, associated with cell cycle arrest and up-regulation of pro-apoptotic Bax/Bcl-2 ratio / Li WY, Chiu LC et al / Oncol Rep. 2007 Feb;17(2):425-31.
Study on the apoptosis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma cell line administrated with Sarcandra glabra extracts in vivo and its mechanism / Kang M, Tang AZ, Liang G, Yi X, Liu J / Zhong Yao Cai. 2008 Oct;31(10):1529-33.
Effects Of Sarcandra Glabra Extract / He R, Wang M, Li Y, Dai Y, Duan Y, Yao X, Kurihara H / Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2009 Jan; 34(1): 100-3
Studies on chemical constituents of Sarcandra glabra / Xu XD, Hu XR, Yuan JQ, Yang JS / Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2008 Apr;33(8):900-2.
Sarcandra glabra Extract Reduces the Susceptibility and Severity of Influenza in Restraint-Stressed Mice /
Hui-Juan Cao, Rui-Rong Tan, Rong-Rong He, Lu-Ping Tang, Xin-Luan Wang, Nan Yao, Wen-Jun Duan, Yuan-Ao Hu, Xin-Sheng Yao, and Hiroshi Kurihara / Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Vol 2012 (2012) / doi:10.1155/2012/236539
Sarcandra glabra (Thunb.) / Chinese names /Catalog of Life, China
A New Sesquiterpene Lactone from Sarcandra glabra / Xiao Ru Hu, Hai Feng We, Xu Dong Xu et al / Natural Product Research, 2012, 1(5).
Sarcandra glabra (Thunb.) Nakai / Synonyms / The Plant List
Hepatoprotective sesquiterpene glycosides from Sarcandra glabra. / Li Y1, Zhang DM, Li JB, Yu SS, Li Y, Luo YM. / J Nat Prod. 2006 Apr;69(4):616-20.
Studies on flavonoid glycosides of Sarcandra glabra. / Ming-ju Huang, Guang-yao Zeng, Jian-bing Tan, Yan-lan Li, Gui-shan Tan, Ying-jun Zhou / China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica 2008-07-01
Sarcandra glabra attenuates LPS-induced acute lung injury via inhibiting in ammation in rats / Benchao Hou, Yanping Zhan, Haiyun Liu, Weicheng Liu, Shibiao Chen / Int J Clin Exp Pathol 2016; 9(2): pp715-723
Studies on the Chemical Constituents of Sarcandra glabra / Yongming Luo, Fengxiang Lin, Yuqian Du, Hongtao Li, Chenxing Jiang, Hua Liu / 5th International Conference on Information Engineering for Mechanics and Materials (ICIMM 2015)
A new coumarin isolated from Sarcandra glabra as potential anti-inflammatory agent / Maojie Wang, Jin Zhao, Ya Zhao, Run-Yue Huang, Geng Li, Xing Zeng* & Xiong Li* / Natural Product Research / DOI:10.1080/14786419.2015.1079186
Sarglaperoxides A and B, Sesquiterpene–Normonoterpene Conjugates with a Peroxide Bridge from the Seeds of Sarcandra glabra / Peng Wang, Rui-Jun Li, Rui-Huan Liu, Kai-Li Jian, Ming-Hua Yang, Lei Yang, Ling-Yi Kong, and Jun Luo / Org. Lett., 2016, 18 (4), pp 832–835 / DOI: 10.1021/acs.orglett.6b00112
Protective effect of Sarcandra glabra extract against influenza virus-induced pneumonia in restraint-stressed mice / Rong-Rong He, Hui-Juan Cao, Rui-Rong Tan, Yuan-Ao Hu, Yi-Fang Li and Kurihara Hiroshi / Posters: J Pulmon Resp Med / International Conference on Pulmonary & Respiratory Medicine
October 29-31, 2012 / DOI: 10.4172/2161-105X.S1.002
Hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects of Sarcandra glabra polysaccharide in type 2 diabetic mice. / Liu W, et al. / Food Funct. 2014 Sep 25

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