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Family Chloranthaceae
Barau-barau
Chloranthus officinalis Blume
Shi feng jie

Scientific names Common names
Chloranthus erectus (Buch.-Ham) Verdc. Barau-barau (Mang.)
Chloranthus officinalis Blume Sunulampong (Sub.)
Chloranthus salicifolius Presl Shi feng jie (Chin.)
Chloranthus elatior Link.  

Other vernacular names
CAMBODIA: KbaKk damrei.
CHINESE: Yu zi lan, Jie jie cha, Jiu hie feng.
INDIA: Yasinha.
INDONESIA: Keras tulang, Uyuh-uyuhan, Haros tulang.
MALAYSIA: Sambau paya, Sigueh puteh, Rami hutan, Keras tulang, Dikut-dikut, Langut-langut.
MYANMAR: Thanat-kha, Yuzara.
THAILAND: Hom kai; Kraduk kai.

Botany
Barau-barau is a spreading undershrub, with a similar habit to apot (Chloranthus glabra). Stems are 30 to 70 centimeters high. Leaves are smooth, obovate-oblong or elliptic, the smaller ones broadly lanceolate, averaging 10 to 15 centimeters long, the larger ones being about 5 centimeters wide, with pointed tip, finely granular margin and with short stalks. Spikes are about 3 centimeters long, in few-branched terminal panicles, upon a 3- to 5-centimeter long peduncle. Flowers are minute. Fruit is white, juicy, 5 to 8 millimeters in diameter, with a relatively large seed.

Distribution
- Widely distributed in forests at low and medium altitudes from central Luzon southward to Palawan and Mindanao.
- Occurs in India to Western China and southward through Malaya.

Properties
- All plant plant parts have a camphoraceous odor and bitter, aromatic taste.
- Leaves and stems lose the aromatic property after drying. Root, if properly dried, preserve it for a long time.
(6)
- Considered febrifuge, sudorific and stimulant.

Parts used
Flowers, roots, leaves.

Uses

Culinary
- Flowers used to scent tea in China.
- Leaves used to make a drink in Malaya and Indonesia.
Folkloric
- In Java, an infusion of the powdered root and the bark of Cinnamomum culilowan used to treat puerperal eclampsia.
- Infusion used in fever accompanied by debility and suppression of the function of the skin.
- Tea made from leaves and roots has a sudorific action.
- Infusion of flowers and leaves used to treat coughs.
- Roots are boiled, then powdered, rubbed over the body for fever.
- Sudorific and stimulant, it is used for malarial fevers.
- Bruised roots used as poultice for boils and carbuncles.
- In India and South-East Asia traditionally used as folklore medicine for localized swelling, joint pains, skin inflammation, fever and body aches.
(3)
- Khamti tribe of Arunachal Pradesh use the leaves for elephant foot swelling.
(5)
- C. erectus is considered an aphrodisiac, particularly in women. In India, the juice from boiled branches is used as contraceptive; root and bark used as antispasmodic during childbirth. Leaf extract used for venereal diseases. (2)


Studies
Anti-Inflammatory:
Preliminary study of a methanol extract of C. erectus in acute, sub-acute, chronic mouse models exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity in tested models (carrageenan-induced rat hind paw edema, histamine- and serotonin-induced sub-acute model). (3)
Antipyretic / Antibacterial: A methanol leaf extract was evaluated for antipyretic potential in an albino rat model and for antibacterial activity against Gram(-) and Gram(+) bacterial strains. Results showed significant antipyretic activity in the tested models and antibacterial activity against both groups of bacteria. (4)

Availability
Wild-crafted.


Last Update Decermber 2014

IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph / Coloradans : Chloranthus erectus Chloranthaceae : Chloranthus elatior det. Pieter B. Pelser 11 August 2012/ Inflorescence / Copyright © 2011 by P.B. Pelser & J.F. Barcelona (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL38442] / Click on image to go to source page / phytoimages.siu.edu
IMAGE SOURCE: Photo / Chloranthus erectus / Click to go to source page / © tubiologia.foroactivos.net/t4275-chloranthus-erectus

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
Chloranthus erectus (Buch.-Ham.) Verdc. (accepted name) / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
(2)
Chloranthus erectus / Synonyms & Chinese names / GLOBinMED
(3)
Evaluation of anti-inflammatory potential of Chloranthus erectus (Buch.-Ham.) Verd. leaf extract in rats /
Tag H, Namsa ND, Das AK, Kalita P, Mandal SC. / J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Nov 12;126(2):371-4. / doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2009.08.015. Epub 2009 Aug 22.
(4)
Antipyretic and antibacterial activity of Chloranthus erectus (Buch.-Ham.) Verdcourt leaf extract: A popular folk medicine of Arunachal Pradesh / Hui Tag, Nima D. Namsa, M. Mandal, P. Kalita, A.K. Das, and S.C. Mandal / Indian J Pharmacol. 2010 October; 42(5): 273–276. / doi: 10.4103/0253-7613.70083
(5)
Ethnomedicinal studies of the Khamti tribe of Arunachal Pradesh / A K Das & Hui Tag / Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, Vol 5(3), July 2006, pp 317-322.
(6)
Chloranthus officinalis —Medicinal Plants of the Philippines / T H Pardo de Tavera et al


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