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Family Sterculiaceae
Guazuma ulmifolia Lam.

Scientific names Common names
Bubroma grandiflorum Willd. ex Spreng. Guazuma (Engl.)
Bubroma guazuma (L.) Willd. Bastard cedar (Engl.)
Bubroma invira Willd. Honey fruit tree (Engl.)
Bubroma polybotryum (Cav.) Willd. Musket tree (Engl.)
Bubroma tomentosum (Kunth) Spreng. Pigeon wood (Engl.)
Diuroglossum rufescens Turcz.  
Guazuma blumei G.Don  
Guazuma bubroma Tussac  
Guazuma coriacea Rusby  
Guazuma grandiflora (Willd. ex Spreng.) G. Don  
Guazuma guazuma (L.) Cockerell  
Guazuma invira (Willd.) G.Don  
Guazuma parvifolia A. Rich.  
Guazuma polybotra Cav.  
Guazuma tomentosa Kunth  
Guazuma ulmifolia Lam.  
Guazuma utilis Poepp.  
Theobroma grandiflorum (Willd. ex Spreng.) M. Gomez  
Theobroma guazuma L.  
Theobroma tomentosa (Kunth) M. Gomez  
Guazuma ulmifolia Lam. is the preferred name. Tropicos Resource

Other vernacular names
BENGALI: Nipaltunth.
FRENCH : Bois de hêtre, Bois d´orme, Bois d'homme, Hêtre gris, Hêtre orme (Eastern Caribbean), Hêtre vert, Mahot-baba (Eastern Caribbean), Mahot-hêtre (Eastern Caribbean), Mahot-hetre, Orme d'amérique.
GUJARATI: Bhadraksha, Khoto rudraksha.
HINDI: Rudraksha.
JAPANESE: Guazuma, Guazuma urumiforia, Nireba guazuma, Teoburaama guazuma.
JAVA: Jatos landi, Jati londa.
KANNADA: Rudrakshi.
MALAYALAM: Rudraksham, Uttharaksham.
MARATHI: Rudrakshi.
PORTUGUESE: Araticum-bravo, Buxuma, Cabeça-de-negro, Camacan, Cambá-aça, Embira (Brazil), Embireira, Embiru, Enveira du campo, Fruta-de-macaco, Guaxima-macho, Guaxima-torcida, Mutamba, Mutamba, Mutamba-verdadeira, Mutambo, Mutambu, Pau-de-bicho, Pau-de-montanha, Pau-de-pomba, Periquiteira, Piriquiteira, Pojó.
SANSKRIT: Pundraaksha, Rudraksha.
SPANISH: Guacima, Ajilla, Ajya, Aquiche, Bacedar, Bolaina, Bolaina negra, Cabeza de Negro, Cablote, Caca de mico, Cambo-aca, Caulote, Chicharron, Coco, Contamal, Cualote, Guacima, Guácima, Guácimo blanco, Guácimo cimarrón, Guácimo de ternero, Guácimo dulce, Guazima, Guazuma, Majagua de toro, Nocuana-yana, Papayillo, Parandesicua, Tablote, Tapaculo, Vácima, Yaco granidillo, Yaco de venado.
TAMIL: Rudrasam, Tenbachai, Thenmaram, Tubakki, Tuppakki maram.
TELUGU: Bhadraksha, Rudraksha.

Guazuma is a tree growing to a height of 10 or more meters. Leaves are oblong to broadly ovate, 4 to 16 centimeters long, with pointed tip, rounded to heart-shaped base, and toothed margins. Flowers are small, yellowish-green or whitish, sweet-scented, and borne in axillary cymes. Fruit is a woody capsule, nearly spherical or oval, 2 to 4 centimeters long, covered with black tubercles resembling those of a mulberry, and imperfectly 5-valvate at the apex. Seeds are numerous in each cell.

- Recently introduced into the Philippines.
- Garden cultivation.

- Study yielded proanthocyanidins.
- Roots yielded a new dicoumarol, 3,3'-methylenebis(4,6-dihydroxycoumarin) along with known metabolites β-sitosteryl stearate, n-tetracosanoic acid, friedelin, friedel-1-en-3-one, β-sitosterol, 29-norcycloartanol, oleanolic acid, 3-O-acetyloleanolic acid, 6-methoxy-7,8-methylenedioxy coumarin, and methyl-3-acetyloleanolate.

- Studies for chemical constituents have yielded: acids (tartaric, kaurenoic, asparaginic), flavonoids (kaempferol, procyanidin B2, procyanidine B5, procyanidine C1), gums (xanthan gum), purines (theobromine, caffeine), tannins (catechins, colatannins), and others ( octacosanol, friedelin-3a, 3ß-ol, ß-sitosterol, friedelin, farnesol, taraxerol, colestin). (11)
- Ethanolic extract of leaves yielded alkaloids, terpenoids, saponins, tannins, flavonoids, and steroids. (see study below) (16)

- Bark is considered emollient, sudorific and astringent.
- Fruit is considered pectorant.
- Studies have shown antimicrobial, antioxi
dant, anti-inflammatory, gastroprotective, hypotensive, vasorelaxant, anti-leishmanial, wound healing, and anticancer properties.

Parts used
Bark, fruit and other plant parts.


- Seeds are edible, fresh or cooked.
- In some parts of India, capsules reportedly eaten as famine food.
- Bark and other plant parts used for malaria,
cutaneous and syphilitic affections, elephantiasis, afflictions of the chest and leprosy.
- In Martinique, infusion of the old bark is considered sudorific and used for chest and cutaneous diseases.
- In the West Indies, the inner bark is used for elephantiasis; also as a sudorific.
- In the Antilles, the bark is mucilaginous and used for astringent applications.
- Fruit is considered pectorant and used for bronchitis.
- Beverage of crushed seeds soaked in water used for diarrhea, dysentery, cold, coughs, contusions and venereal disease. Also, used as diuretic.
- Used as topical remedy for hair loss and baldness.
- Reported use by Latino healers in NYC for uterine fibroids.
- Leaves used for weight loss.
- In Indonesia, used as ingredient in a slimming tea mixture. Bark used for pneumonia, colds and cough, bronchitis and hemorrhoids.
- Leaf extracts used in the treatment of acne. (17)
- Leaves used for alopecia, dermatitis, fever, dysentery, asthma, wounds and ulcers. Seeds used for constipation. Fruit used for diarrhea, infection, uterine page, hemorrhage. (11)
- In Mexico, used for empirical treatment of type 2 diabetes. (12) Used for treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. Decoction of bark, leaves or buds used for treatment of diarrhea. (20)
- Fodder: In many countries, an important source of livestock fodder.
- Wood: Used for posts, general carpentry, light construction and charcoal.
- Rope:
Tough, fibrous bark and young stems used for making rope and twine.

In a study in hyperglycemic rabbits of 28 medicinal plants, eight, including Guazuma ulmifolia, significantly decreased the hyperglycemic peak and/or the area under the glucose tolerance curve. (3) G. ulmifolia water extract showed antidiabetic effects by stimulating glucose uptake in both insulin-sensitive (3T3-F442A adipocytes) and insulin-resistant adipocytes without inducing adipogenesis (Alonso-Castro and Salazar-Olivo 2008) (12)
Radical Scavenging / Anti-Inflammatory / Gastroprotective: Study evaluated the gastroprotective effects of an aqueous suspension of an ethanolic extract of leaves and flowers of G ulmifolia in a diclofenac-induced acute gastric ulcer model. Pretreatment with GU or omeprazole decreased the ulcerated area in a dose-dependent manner. Results conclude the aerial parts of GU protect gastric mucosa from the injurious effects of NSAIDS mainly by anti-inflammatory and radical-scavenging mechanisms
. (4)
Antibacterial: A study evaluated 21 extracts from 7 herbal drugs, including G ulmifolia bar, for their antibacterial properties against E coli, P aeruginosa, S aureus and E faecalis. Almost all the extracts were able to inhibit growth of one or more bacterial strains, except that of E faecalis. (5)
Proanthocyanidins: Proanthocyanidins from the bark has been shown to inhibit the activity of cholera toxin. (6)
Hypotensive / Vasorelaxant: Study investigated the in vivo and in vitro cardiovascular activity of a procyanidin fraction (PCF) from the acetone extract of G ulmifolia. Results conclude that G ulmifolia bark possesses long-lasting antihypertensive and vaso-relaxing properties linked to endothelium-related factors where nitric oxide is involved. (7)

• Effect of Leaf Extract on Renal Histopathology: Study evaluated the effect of oral administration of Jati Belanda leaves extract on histopathology of the kidney. Single dose treatment of leaves extract caused histopathological kidney changes including increased mesangial proliferation, congestion of renal blood vessels in the glomerulus or tubules, inflammatory cell infiltration and tissue necrosis. (13)
• Cytotoxicity / HeLa Cell Line: Study evaluated three South Sulawesi medicinal plant extracts (Gmelina arborea, Guazuma ulmifolia, and Curculigo orchioides) in the treatment of HeLa cell line. Results showed dose-dependent cell growth inhibition with IC50 of 113.61±0.12 µg/ml, 174.90±1.22 µg/ml, and 126.05±2.43 µg/ml on HeLa cancer, respectively. (14)
• Anti-Leishmanial / Cytotoxic / Leaves: Study evaluated the antiparasitic and cytotoxic activities of three Brazilian plant species. Ethanol extract of leaves of Guazuma ulmifolia showed significant antiparasitic inhibition against Trypanosoma cruzi (63.86%), Leishmania brasiliensis (92.20%) and Lesihmania infantum (95.23%) at 500 µg/ml. Its higher antilesihmanial activity may be due to the presence of quercetin, a known potent antileishmanial compound. (15)
• Wound Healing / Leaves: Study evaluated an alcoholic extract of leaves for wound healing activity in albino Wistar rats in a chemically induced wound model. Results showed significant dose dependent wound healing activity with faster re-epithelization than control. (see constituents above) (16)
• Antihypercholesterolemic / Combination with Curcuma xanthorrhiza Rhizomes / Leaves: Study evaluated the effect of an aqueous extract of mutamba leaves in combination with ethanol extract of java tumeric on serum lipid levels of Wistar rats. Results showed combination of water extract of mutamba leaves (25 mg/kbw) and ethanol extract of java tumeric rhizome (12.5 mg/kbw) decreased total blood cholesterol and significantly decreased LDL. Results were better compared to either drug alone. (18)
• Antioxidant / Root Heartwood: Study evaluated various fractions of root heartwood by GC-MS analysis. Dichlormethane fraction showed most effective antioxidant activity by DPPH free radical scavenging effect and FRAP total reduction capability. Results could be attributed to phenolic constituents. (19)
• Anthelmintic / Leaves: Study evaluated various extracts of leaves of Guazuma tomentosa against adult earthworm. Results showed dose dependent action and inhibition of spontaneous motility (paralysis) and death of earthworm. Anthelmintic activity may be due to the presence of tannins, flavanoids, and purines. Alcoholic and dichlormethane extracts were found to be potential sources of natural anthelminthic compounds. (21)

Seeds, powders, teas, tinctures in the cybermarket.

© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Updated August 2017 / October 2013

IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph / Guazuma ulmifolia / Joao Medeiros / 29 Oct 2011 / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 / click on image to go to sourc page / Wikimedis Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Theobroma tomentosa / Creative Commons / Botanicus
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Guazuma ulmifolia Lam. [as Guazuma tomentosa Kunth] / Wight, R., Illustrations of Indian botany, vol. 1: t. 31 (1840) [n.d.] / Plant Illustrations

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Guazuma ulmifolia / FACT Sheet / FACT 97-02, January 1997
MEDICINAL PLANTS USED BY LATINO HEALERS FOR WOMEN’S HEALTH CONDITIONS IN NEW YORK CITY / M Balick, F Kronenberg et al / Economic Botany 54(3) pp. 344–357. 2000
Study of the anti-hyperglycemic effect of plants used as antidiabetics / F J Alarcon-Aguilara, R Roman-Ramos et al /
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol 61, Issue 2, 1 June 1998, Pages 101-109 / doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(98)00020-8
The aerial parts of Guazuma ulmifolia Lam. protect against NSAID-induced gastric lesions / Bereguer B, Trabadela C et al / J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Nov 1;114(2):153-60. Epub 2007 Jul 22.
Screening of anti-bacterial activity of medicinal plants from Belize (Central America) / A Camporese, M J Balick et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol 87, Issue 1, July 2003, Pages 103-107 / doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(03)00115-6
Proanthocyanidin polymers with antisecretory activity and proanthocyanidin oligomers from Guazuma ulmifolia bark / Hor, M., Heinrich, M., Rimpler, H / Phytochemistry 42, 109–119, 1996
Hypotensive and vasorelaxant effects of the procyanidin fraction from Guazuma ulmifolia bark in normotensive and hypertensive rats / Magos GA, Mateos JC ET AL / J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Apr 17;117(1):58-68. Epub 2008 Jan 20.
A new biscoumarin and other constituents from Guazuma tomentosa ROOTS / O. P. Agarwal, U. Saxena, S. C. Jain and R. Jain / CHEMISTRY OF NATURAL COMPOUNDS, Volume 46, Number 5, 713-715, DOI: 10.1007/s10600-010-9722-2

Sorting Guazuma names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.
Guazuma ulmifolia / Synonyms / Tropicos Resources / EOL
Guazuma tomentosa: A Valuable Medicinal Plant / Minakshi Sharma, Shruti Chopra, Shyam Baboo Prasad* / International Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemical Research, 2015; 7(1); 197-200
Plants with Anti-Diabetes Mellitus Properties / Appian Subramoniam / CRC Press

The effect of Jati Belanda (Guazuma ulmifolia Lamk) leaves extract on histopathology of rat’s kidney / Royhan Rozqie, Maulina Diah, Woro Rukmi / Tropical Medicine Journal, Vol 2, No 1 (2012)

Cytotoxic Activity of Three South Sulawesi Medicinal Plant Extracts Used in the Treatment of HeLa Cell Line: Jati Putih (Gmelina arborea Roxb.), Jati Belanda (Guazuma ulmifolia Lamk.) and Lakka-lakka (Curculigo orchioides Gaerth) / LUKMAN M*, RENY SYAHRUNI, MICHRUN NISA AND AISYAH FATMAWATI / International Journal of Pharma Sciences and Research (IJPSR), Vol 5, No 9; Sept 2014
Phenolic composition and antiparasitic activity of plants from the Brazilian Northeast “Cerrado” / Joao Tavares Calixto Junior, Selene Maia de Morais et al / Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, Vol 23, Issue 3, May 2016, pp 434-440 / https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2015.10.009
SRAVANTHI AND D.DEEPA / International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences, Vol 2, Issue 4, Oct-Dec 2011
USE OF INDONESIAN MEDICINAL PLANTS PRODUCTS AGAINST ACNE / Irmanida Batubara and Tohru Mitsunaga / Reviews in Agricultural Science, 1:11-30, 2013 / doi: 10.7831/ras.1.11
Antihypercholesterolemic Effect of Combination of Guazama ulmmifolia Lamk. Leaves and Curcuma xanthorrhiza Roxb. Rhizomes Extract in Wistar Rats / E Y Sukandar, Nurdewi and Elfahmi / International Journal of Pharmacology, 2012 / DOI: 10.3923/jp.2012
Mexican Plants Used in the Salmonellosis Treatment / Daniel Arrieta-Baez, Rosario Ruiz de Esparza and Manuel Jiménez-Estrada / Salmonella—A Diversified Superbug 9
Evaluation of Anthelmintic Activity of Leaves Extracts of Guazuma Tomentosa / Minakshi Sharma, *Shyam Baboo Prasad / International Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences 2014; Vol 1, Issue 1, 1-5

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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