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Family Araliaceae
Papua
Polyscias fruticosa
(L.) Harms

CUT-LEAVED PANAX
Nan yang shen

Scientific names  Common names
Aralia deleauana L.Linden Bani (Bik.)
Aralia tripinnata Blanco Makan (Bik.)
Nothopanax fruiticosus (L.) Miq. Papua (Tag., Bik.)
Panax aureus Sander Black aralia (Engl.)
Panax diffusus W.Bull Cut-leaved panax (Engl.)
Panax dumosus W.Bull Ming aralia (Engl.)
Panax fissus W.Bull  
Panax fruticosus L  
Panax plumatus Barb. Rodr. [Illegitimate]  
Panax plumatus W.Bull ex W.Richards  
Polyscias fruiticosa (L.) Harms  
Tieghemopanax fruticosus (L.) R.Vig.  
Bani is a common name shared by: (1) Bani Pongamia pinnata Linn. and (2) Papua, bani, Nothopanax fruticosum.
Polyscias fruticosa (L.) Harms is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CAMBODIA: Toem bo lyam.
CHINESE: Liang wang cha (Taiwan), Nan yang shen.
INDONESIA: Puding, Kedongdong laki, Kedongdong laut, Kedongdong petedhan, Bombu, Keudem rintek, Gurabati, Dewu papua, Tjakar Kutjung, Imba.
JAPAN: Taiwan momiji.
MALAYSIA: Kuku garuda, Pokok teh.
VIETNAM: Cay goi ca, Dinh lang.

Botany
Papua is an erect shrub, growing growing 1 to 2.5 meters high. Leaves are decompound, 3-pinnate, and up to 30 centimeters long. The pinnae are 6 to 10, the upper ones are shorter. Leaflets and ultimate segments are very diverse, mostly lanceolate, 5 to 10 centimeters long; the terminal segments are usually larger than the others and more often lobed, pointed at the tip, sharply and irregularly toothed. Flowers are numerous, umbellately arranged, shortly stalked, borne on terminal inflorescences in the upper axils of the leaves, up to 15 centimeters long. Fruit is broadly ovoid, compressed and about 4 centimeters long.

Distribution
- Commonly planted in hedges and about houses, but is nowhere spontaneous.
- Cultivated for its hedge and its leaves, the latter for providing body to florists' wreaths.

- Of prehistoric introduction.
- Probably of Malayan origin.
- Reported from India, Malaysia, and Polynesia.
- Now planted in all tropical countries.

Constituents
- Yields saponins.
- Study of roots and leaves yielded eight new oleanolic acid saponins names polysciosides A to H together with three known saponins. (8)
- Methanol extract of leaves yielded three bisdesmosidic saponins, 3-O-[𝛽-D-glucopyranosyl-(1→4)-𝛽-D-glucuronopyranosyl] oleanolic acid 28-O-𝛽-D-glucopyranosyl
ester (1), polyscioside D (2), and 3-O-[ß-D-glucopyranosyl-(1→2)-[𝛽-D-glucopyranosyl-(1→4)]-𝛽-D-glucuronopyranosyl}
oleanolic acid 28-O-𝛽-D-glucopyranosyl-(1→2)-𝛽-D-galactopyranosyl ester (3). (see study below) (11)
- GC-MS analysis of sesquiterpenoid volatile leaf oils of Polyscias fruticosa yielded about 24 constituents. ß-elemene, α-bergamotene, germacrene-D and (E)-gM-bisabolene were present in major proportions. (12)

Properties
- Astringent, febrifuge, sudorific, vulnerary.
- Root is aromatic in taste and smell, parsley-like.
- Root considered diuretic.
- Studies have suggested antipyretic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, molluscicidal, adaptogenic, antitussive, anti-asthma, diuretic, antiasthmatic, alpha-glucosidase and alpha-amylase inhibitory activities.

Parts utilized
Leaves, roots.

Uses
Culinary
- In Java, used as food and condiment in lieu of celery and parsley.
- Young leaves
, shoots, and roots eaten raw or steamed; added to soups as flavoring.
- The root has an agreeable, strongly aromatic, parsley-like.

Folkloric

- Leaves are powdered, mixed with salt for wound healing.
- In India, used as astringent and febrifuge.
- In Fiji, root used as diuretic. Juice from bark taken for thrush and tongue and throat ulcers. Bark poultice applied to syphilitic sores. (13)
- In Cambodia, considered a sudorific inhalant; also used for neuralgia and rheumatic pains.
- In Vietnam, used as digestive.
Others
- Wreaths: Leaves used by florists to give body to wreaths.

- Ritual sticks: Plant used for making joss sticks by Buddhist monks in Cambodia. (10)

Studies
Leaf Volatile Oil: Study of fresh leaves yielded 0.32% volatile oil, slightly yellow in color, with a grassy scent. It was highly positive for sesquiterpene. Mass spectroscopy showed bergamotene, oxygenated sesquiterpene, -elemene, ß-bourbonene, ß-cubebene, ß-bisabolene, farnesene, elemene among others. (1)
Antipyretic / Analgesic: Study of n-butanol extract of leaves of Polyscias fruticosa in egg white-induced paw edema in rats showed antipyretic and analgesic activities. (2)
Molluscicidal: The NBES (n-butanol extract containing saponins) showed a potential as an effective plant molluscicidal, an effect attributed to the saponins. It is of added interest because fresh water snails act as intermediate host to schistosomes, the causative agents of schistosomiasis. (2)
Adaptogenic / Anti-Inflammatory: Adaptogenic activity studies showed Polyscias fruticosa leaf and root saponins possess effective anti-stress activity as compared with white panax ginseng root saponins. The polyscias saponins were effective in acute models of inflammations. Its immunostimulant activity revealed it can be a good substitute for white panax ginseng. (4)
Anti-Inflammatory / Ovalbumin Induced-Asthma / Toxicity Study / Leaves: Study evaluated the anti-inflammatory property of an ethanolic extract of Polyscias fruticosa in ovalbumin-induced asthma. There was no significant toxic effect at lower doses (NOAEL: <1000 mg/kg). Treatment with extracts showed an anti-inflammatory effect with significant reduction of elevated WBCs and its differential, and significant decrease in erythrocyte sedimentation rate. (6)
Antitussive/ Mucosuppressant in Asthma Management: Study evaluated the muco-suppressant, anti-tussive and safety profile of an ethanolic leaf extract in its use as an anti-asthmatic. Results showed significant inhibition (P≤ 0.01-0,001) of tracheal mucus phenol and secretion, and suppression of citric acid-induced cough. Subchronic toxicity study showed no significant changes in body weight, hematologic profile, liver and kidney functions. (7)
Removal of VOCs: A University of Georgia study evaluated the ability of various species of house plants in removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. Polyscias fruticosa (ming aralia) was one of seven plants judged to have intermediate removal efficiency. (9)
α-Glucosidase and
α-Amylase inhibitory Saponins / Leaves: Study of methanol extract of Polyscias fruticosa leaves yielded three bisdesmosidic saponins. Saponin 1 inhibited porcine pancrease α-amylase and yeast α-glucosidase activities. Combination of compound 1 and acarbose showed synergistic inhibitory effect. Results suggest a potential for major saponin 1 in the prevention and treatment of diabetes. (11)
• Diuretic / Acute Oral Toxicity Study / Roots: Study evaluated the diuretic effect of petroleum ether extract of P. fruticosa roots in albino rats. In acute oral toxicity study using OECD guidelines, no mortality was observed up to 2000 mg/kbw. The extract showed notable diuretic effect as evidenced by significant increase in urine volume, sodium and potassium content; the effect was similar to furosemide. (13)
• Redactor and Stabilizer of Gold Nanoparticles Formation / Leaves: Study reports on the green biosynthesis of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) using aqueous leaf extract of P. fruticosa. (14)
• Antiasthmatic / Leaves: Study evaluated the anti-asthmatic property and possible mechanism of action of an ethanol leaf extract of P. fruticosa in a guinea pig model. The PF extract prolonged the onset of pre-convulsive dyspnea and decreased recovery time.
It also enhanced the percentage protection against histamine-induced bronchospasm and decreased percentage recovery time. It significantly inhibited contractile responses of histamine and produced significant inhibition of mast cell degranulation. (15)

Availability
- Cultivated.

- Extracts in the cybermarket.

© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Updated May 2018 / January 2016

Photo © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
IMAGE SOURCE / Illustration / Public Domain / File:Panax fruticosum Blanco1.78-cropped.jpg / Flora de Filipinas / Franciso Manuel Blanco (OSA), 1880-1883 / Wikimedia Commons / Modifications by Carol Spears

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
The leaf volatile oil of Nothopanax fruticosum (L.) Miq / Oliveros-Belardo, Luz et al / Philippine Journal of Science Vol. 124, no. 2 (Ap-Je 1995), 141-160, illus
(2)
ON THE ANTIPYRETIC, ANTI-INFLAMMATORY, ANALGESIC AND MOLLUSCICIDAL PROPERTIES OF POLYSCIAS FRUTICOSA (L) HARMS / BENSITA MARY BERNARD, NILANI PAKIANATHAN and MADHU C. DIVAKAR / Ancient Science of Life Vol. No 17(4) April 1998
(3)
Polyscias fruticosa / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED
(4)
STUDIES ON THE ADAPTOGENIC AND ANTIBACTERIAL PROPERTIES OF POLYSCIAS FRUCTICOSA (L) HARMS / M.B. BENSITA, P.NILANI, S. SANDHYA M / Ancient Science of Life Vol. No. 18 (3&4) January & April 1999 pages 231 - 246
(5)
Polyscias fruticosa / Synonyms / The Plant List
(6)
Anti-inflammatory and safety assessment of Polyscias fruticosa (L.) Harms (Araliaceae) leaf extract in ovalbumin-induced asthma / George Asumeng Koffuor*, Alex Boye, Jones Ofori-Amoah, Samuel Kyei, Samuel Abokyi, Raymond Appiah Nyarko, Ruth Naalukyem Bangfu / The Journal of Phytopharmacology 2014; 3(5): 337-342
(7)
Evaluating Muco-suppressant, Anti-tussive and Safety Profile of Polyscias fruticosa (L.) Harms (Araliaceae) in Asthma Management / George Koffuor, Alex Boye, Jones Ofori-Amoah, Samuel Kyei, Cyrille Kablan Nouoma, Agyemang Prempeh Debrah / British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research 08/2015; 10(1):1-11 / DOI: 10.9734/BJMMR/2015/19403
(8)
Oleanane saponins from Polyscias fruticosa / Vo, D.H. ; Yamamura, S. ; Ohtani, K. ; Kasai, R. ; Yamasaki, K. ; Nguyen, T.N. ; Hoang, M.C. / Agriculture Network Information Collaborative
(10)
Polyscias fruticosa / Useful Tropical Plants
(11)
α-Amylase and α-Glucosidase Inhibitory Saponins from Polyscias fruticosa Leaves / Tran Thi Hong Hanh, Nguyen Hai Dang, and Nguyen Tien Dat / Journal of Chemistry, Vol 2016 /
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/2082946
(12)
Constituents of the volatile leaf oils of Polyscias fruticosa (L.) Harms. / Joseph J Brophy, Erich V Lassak, Apichart Suksamrarn / Flavour and Fragrance Journal, Vol 5, Issue 3, Sept 1990: pp 179-182 / https://doi.org/10.1002/ffj.2730050309
(13)
DIURETIC ACTIVITY OF POLYSCIAS FRUTICOSA (L.) HARMS
/ *R. Varadharajan and D. Rajalingam / International Journal of Innovative Drug Discovery, Vol 1, Issue 1 (2011): pp 15-18
(14)
Bio-prospective of Polyscias fruticosa leaf extract as redactor and stabilizer of gold nanoparticles formation / Y Yulizar* and Q Ayun / IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science 60 (2017) 012006 / doe.10.1088/1755-1315/60/1/012006
(15)
Anti-asthmatic property and possible mode of activity of an ethanol leaf extract of Polyscias fruticosa / George Aumeng Koffuor, Alex Boye, Samuel Kyei, Jones Ofor-Amoah, Emmanuel Akomanin Asiamah, Atsu Barku / Journal of Pharmaceutical Biology (2016) Vol 54, Issue 8 / https://doi.org/10.3109/13880209.2015.1077465

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