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Family Apocynaceae
Marsdenia tinctoria R. Br.

Lan ye teng

Scientific names Common names
Marsdenia globifera Tsiang Ariñgit (Bik..)
Marsdenia tinctoria R. Br. Lamus (Bag.)
Marsdenia tinctoria var. brevis Constantin Payañgit (Tag.)
Marsdenia tinctoria var. tomentosa Masam. ex Tsiang & P.T.Li Tayom-tayom (Ilk.)
  Broad-leafed indigo (Engl.)
  Java indigo (Engl.)
Marsdenia tinctoria R. Br. is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CAMBODIA: Dok bonenk.
CHINESE: Lan ye teng.
INDONESIA: Daun tarum, Tarum akar, Aka sanam, Tarum areuy.
LAOS: Buak.
MALAYSIA: Tarum, Akar tarum, Tarum hutan, Tarum akar.
MYANMAR: Dan tha kwa.
THAILAND: Khraam thao.

Payañgit is a twining, half-woody plant with very slender, smooth branches. Leaves are opposite, ovate to broadly ovate or somewhat rounded, 9 to 16 centimeters long, 5 to 10 centimeters wide, with pointed tip and heart-shaped base. Flowers are small, fragrant, yellowish green, borne in alternating clusters at the axils of the leaves, and 4 to 7 centimeters long. Fruit or follicle is lanceolate and somewhat angular, 5 to 8 centimeters long, and densely covered with hairs. Seeds are compressed and provided with profuse, silky-white hairs.

- In secondary and primary forests at low and medium altitudes in Ilocos Norte, Abra, Bontoc, Benguet, Nueva Viscaya, Rizal, Laguna, Quezon, and Sorsogon Provinces in Luzon; and in Mindoro, Leyte, Panay, Mindanao, and Basilan.
- Also occurs in India to southern China and Malaya.

- Stems yielded pregnane glycosides.
- Plant yields an indigo dye, for which it is sometimes grown.
- Study yielded seven constituents: lupenyl palmitate (1), lupenyl acetate (2), lupenone (3), lupeol (4), β-sitosterol (5), 5, 7-dihydroxy-2, 6, 8-trimethylchromone (6), and 2, 6-dimethoxybenzoquinone (7). (10)
- Study isolated a new flavone kapitone (1) and three known compounds, 3,2’-dihydroxyflavone (2), 1-methylcyclobutene (3) and dimethyl isatoate (4). (11)
- Root extract yielded alkaloid, flavonoid, terpenoid, steroid and polyphenol. (see study below) (12)

- Its dye, like true indigo, is regarded as a good black dye for the hair.
- Considered stomachic.
- Studies have shown anti-implantation, abortifacient, antibacterial, oxytocic properties.

Parts used


- Used as antifertility and abortifacient.
Leaves sometimes used internally for stomach aches and vaguely diagnosed intestinal afflictions.
- Rubbed on the scalp to stimulate hair growth.
- The Sikkim healers of the Himalayas prescribed the leaf juice three times daily for stomach aches.(4)
- In Bangladesh, used by the Shautals to induce abortion.
- In Indonesia, used for contusion and fever. (6)
- Among the Karbis of Assam, India, leaf paste applied twice daily for 3 days on dog bite wounds. (16)
- Dye: (1) In some parts of Southeast Asia, cultivated for its blue dye. (2) In Burma, green is produced by dipping threads that have been dyed yellow in a boiling decoction of the leaves and twigs of the creeping Marsdenia tinctoria. (3) Also considered a good black hair dye. (4) Used for tattooing. (5) Among the Karbis, M. tinctoria is the traditional source of the indigo dye, sibu. Tender leaves yield a blue color; when flowers and leaves are mixed, a red tinge against a blue background is produced (13).
- Ritual:
A ritual plant in Sumatra, Indonesia, to expel bad spirits.
- Fiber:
Bark yields a fiber.

Pregnane Glycosides:
Study yielded three new pregnane glycosides, tinctorosides A-C, together with one known pregnane glycoside, stephanoside B, from the stems of M tinctoria. (1)
Tinctoramine / Tinctoralactone / Antifertility / Abortifacient: Phytochemical screening yielded tinctoramine, a new steroidal alkaloid and tinctoralactone, a novel steroid. Both showed oxytocic, anti-implantation and abortifacient activities in mice and rats. (2)
Oxytocic Principles: An alcohol extract and its alkaloidal fraction each showed oxytocic action on sensitized uterine horns of rat. The alkaloidal fraction was five times more active than the alcohol extract of oxytocin. (7)
Antibacterial / Roots: Root extract of Marsdenia tinctoria showed antibacterial activity against Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. (see constituents above) (12)
Indigo Dye / Leaves: Study evaluated four indigo plant varieties and other plants that give indigo dye. Results suggest Marsdenia tinctoria could be used to supplement indigo plants, with a yield of 0.025 g/100 g of indigo leaves (14)
Decotion Alternative to Produce Indigo Tarum Areuy Dyes: Study reports on a faster extraction method by decoction method to produce indigo tarum areuy (Marsdenia tinctoria) dyes. (15)
Antibacterial: In a study of 80% ethanol extracts from 20 Chinese herbal medicines collected in Yunnan Province screened for antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and MRSA, extracts from Marsdenia tinctoria dna Psychotria henryi were the most active, with mean IZDs=19.7 to 22.0 mm. Marsdenia tinctoria also showed inhibition against Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candia albicans. (17)


Updated July 2020 / August 2016

                                                  PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Photo / Marsdenia tinctoria / ˙Non-commercial Use / click on image to go to source page / © Gendhies' Batik / WordPress
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Illustration: Marsdenia tinctoria R. Br. / Wight, R., Icones Plantarum Indiae Orientalis, vol. 2(1): t. 589 (1846) [n.a.] / PlantIllustrations.org

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Three New Pregnane Glycosides from Marsdenia tinctoria / Zhu-Lin Gao, Hong-Pin He et al / Helvetica Chimica Acta, Volume 92 Issue 9: pp 1775-1781 / DOI 10.1002/hlca.200900072
Antifertility principles from Marsdenia tinctoria: Pharmacological and phytochemical studies / Chowdhury A.K.A., Khan M.O.F., Hashim M.F. et al / Pure and Applied Chemistry, 1994; 66(10/11): pp 2343-2346
HISTORY OF CHIANGMAI / Chiang Mai (Zimme) 100 years ago / Archibald Ross Colquhoun
Medicinal plants userd against gastrointestinal tract disorders by the traditional healers of Sikkim Himalayas
/ Ranabir Chanda, J P Mohanty, N R Bhuyan, P K Kar & L K Nath / Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, Vol 6(4), Oct 2007, Pp 606-610
Marsdenia tinctoria R. Br. / Vernacular names / GLOinMED
Uras: Medicinal and Ritual Plants of Serampas, Jambi Indonesia
/ Bambang Hariyadi and Tamara Ticktin / Ethnobotany Research & Applications
Oxytocic principles from Marsdenia tinctoria {Herb of Bangladesh) / Khaleque RA, Chowdhury AKA / Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council
Antifertility Activity of Medicinal Plants on Reproductive system of Female Rat / Ankush Raj*, Amrinder Singh2, Arvind Sharma, Netrapal Singh, Pradeep Kumar, Vidur Bhatia / International Journal of Bio-Engineering Sciences & Technology, Vol 2, Issue 3, Dec 2011
Marsdenia tinctoria / Synonyms / The Plant List
Study on the Constituents of Marsdenia tinctoria var. tomentosa MASAMUNE / KAZUO ITO, JENGSHIOW LAI / YAKUGAKU ZASSHI, 1978; Vol. 98, No 9: pp 1285-1287 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1248/yakushi1947.98.9_1285
A new flavone from Malaysia Borneo Marsdenia tinctoria / Nur Atiqah Mohd Nasuha & Yeun-Mun Choo / Natural Product Research, 2016; Volume 30, Issue 13: pp 1-5 /
DOI: 10.1080/14786419.2015.1118629(12)
Isolation of an organic compound from Marsdenia tinctoria Brown (Dan-tha-Kwa) and study on its Phytochemistry and Anti bacterial Activity / Yi Yi Lwin, Khin Aye Tint Nwe / Myingyan Degree College Research Journal ( Vol-3 )
Traditional knowledge of Herbal Dyes and Cultural Significance of Colors among the Karbis Ethnic Tribe in Northeast India / Robindra Teron and S K Borthakur / Ethnobotany Journal, Vol 10
Selection of Indigo Plant Varieties and Other Plants that Yield Indigo Dye / A. Teanglum, S. Teanglum, A. Saithong / Procedia Engineering, 2012; 32: pp 184-190

Decoction as an Alternative to Producing Indigo Tarum Areuy (Marsdenia tinctoria) Dyes and Its Role on Fiber Coloration from Cellulose / Ika Natalia Mauliza, Vita Permata Putri / Jurnal Kimia Dan Pendidikan Kimia, 2019; 4(2)

Folklore claims of some medicinal plants as antidote against poisons among the Karbis of Assam, India / Robindra Teron and S. K. Borthakur / Pleione, 2013; 7(2): pp 346-356
Screening of antibacterial activity of 20 Chinese herbal medicines in Yunnan / Ding Yan-Jiao, Zuo Guo-Ying, Hao Xiao-Yann Wang Gen-Chun and Han Jun / African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 2013; Vol 7 DOI:10.5897/AJPP2012.1513
Traditional Knowledge of Herbal Dyes and Cultural Significance of ... / www.ethnobotanyjournal.org/vol10/i1547-3465-10-593.pdf

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. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

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