Aglaia odorata Lour.

Last updated: 25 May 2016

Scientific Name

Aglaia odorata Lour.               


Opilia odorata (Lour.) Spreng., Camunium chinense Roxb., Aglaia sinensis Pierre, Aglaia repoeuensis Pierre, Aglaia pentaphylla Kurz, Aglaia oblanceolata Craib, Aglaia duperreana Pierre, Aglaia chaudocensis Pierre [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Chulan, pokok telur belangkas (Peninsular) [2]
English Chinese rice-flower [2], Chinese perfume plant, chuln tree, mock lemon, mock lime, orchid tree [3]
China Me shui lan [2], mi sui lan, mi zi lan, say yeh lan [3]
India Akparni, anghriparni, arni, atiguha, brahmaparni, chakrakulya, chitraparnika, davada, debra, dirgha, guha, jibilike, kadala, kankasharu, kola-ponna, kroshtuvinna, langali, mahaguha, mekhala, nabiyalbone, nakkatokaponna, orila, pishtaparni, pitvan, prishniparni, salaparni, sinhapuchhi, tanvi, vishnuparni, et al. [3]
Indonesia Pacar cina (Sumatra, Java); bunga maniran (Kalimantan); pacar culam (Java, Moluccas) [2]
Thailand Homklai (Peninsular); khayong (Northern); prayong (Central) [2]
Laos 'Khai’poun [2]
Myanmar Thanat-ka-wa [2]
Philippines Cinamomo (Spain); sinamomong-sunsong (Tagalog) [2]
Cambodia Trayang [2]
Vietnam Ng[aa]u, boa ng[aa]u [2].

Geographical Distributions

Aglaia odorata is distributed throughout Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Vietnam, Hainan (China) and Thailand; possibly in Laos and the Moluccas. It is also cultivated in India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Java. [2]

Botanical Description

A. odorata is a member of the family Meliaceae. It is a shrub or small tree that can reach up to 10 m tall. [2]

The leaflets are 3-5(-7), opposite and with 5-9 pairs of secondary veins. They are usually smooth and hairless or occasionally with few yellowish-brown stellate scales with a fringed margin below. [2]

The flowers are 5-merous, 5 anthers, style-head ovoid or narrowly ovoid, longitudinally ridged and with 2 small apical lobes. [2]

The fruit is indehiscent with 1-locular. [2]


A. odorata occurs scattered but is common and found in evergreen primary and secondary forest, sometimes along the coast, up to 700 m altitude. [2]

Chemical Constituent

A. odorata has been reported to contain (1R,3E,7E,10S,11S,12R)-dolabella-3,7-dien-10,18-diol, (1R,3S,7E,11S,12R)-dolabella-4(16),7-dien-3,18-diol, (1R,7E,11S,12R)-18-hydroxydolabella-4(16),7-dien-3-one, (1R,3S,4S,7E,11S,12R)-3,4-epoxydolabella-7-en-18-ol, (1R,3R,7E,11S,12R)-dolabella-4(16),7,18-trien-3-ol, 5'-epi-odorine, 21,25-cyclodammar-20(22)-ene-3β,24α-diol,   aglaiastatin, α-humulene,  aminopyrrolidine-diamides, β-elemene,  β-humulene-7-ol, caryophyllene, copaene, ethyl linolenate, ethyl palmitate, germacrene D, methyl jasmonate, odorine, odorino,   pyrimidinone, and rocaglaol. [4][5][6][7][8][9][10]

Plant Part Used

Leaves, roots and flowers. [11][12][13]

Traditional Use

Decoction of the A. odorata leaves is a remedy for diarrhoea and also to treat excessive menstruation. It is believed to be a tonic in such cases. The Indonesian made use of a decoction of the leaves while the Filipinos suggest an infusion suffice to treat cases of hypermenorrhoea. [11][12][14] In China, the tender leaves are eaten as vegetable. [13]

In Indonesia the A. odorata flowers are used to relieve flatulence and dysphagia. The flowers are also used to treat cough, vertigo, and to ease childbirth [1]. It also applied to body of women after childbirth [16]. The dried flowers and buds are used to scent tea. [13]

The leaves and roots are reported used to reduce fever, relieve chest or respiratory tract disorders, for convulsion and consumed as a tonic. [12][13]

Preclinical Data


Antimicrobial activity


Crithidia shares a variety of biochemical mechanisms with the genera Leishmania and Trypasoma and has been used to assess anti-protozoal activity. It was found that extracts of the leaves of A. odorata  was able to inhibit Crithidia providing evidence that it may have similar activity against Leishmania and Trypasoma [15]. In the screening of seven extracts of plants including  A. odorata for anti-amoebic activity, it was found that all seven extracts has significant antiamoebic activity [16].


A. odorata extracts were found to have the following effects of Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 (HSV-1): inhibition of plaque formation of HSV-1; effective against thymidine kinase-deficient HSV-1 and phosphonoacetate-resistant HSV-1 strains; and limit development of skin lesion. [17]


A number of bifurans isolated from A. odorata were found to be active against three plant pathogens i.e. Pyricularia grisea, Fusarium avenaceum and Alternaria citri. Of these the most active was found to be rocaglaol. [6]

Cytotoxic activity

A. odorata  contains a number of compounds with cytotoxic activity. Odorine and 5’-epi-odorine were found to inhibit the growth of vinblastine-resistant KB cells by enhancing the anticancer activity of vinblastine [7]. Rocaglaol, pyrimidinone and aglaiastatin inhibits protein synthesis and cell growth [8]. Odorine and odorinol exhibited potent anti-cancer effects in two-stage carcinogenesis i.e. inhibits both the initiation and promotion stages of two-stage skin carcinogenesis in mice [9]. (1R,3E,7E,10S,11S,12R)-dolabella-3,7-dien-10,18-diol and (1R,3R,7E,11S,12R)-dolabella-4(16),7,18-trien-3-ol showed weak cytotoxicity against the human myeloid leukemia HL-60, hepatocellular carcinoma SMMC-7721, and lung cancer A-549 cells [10].


No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing



Figure 1: The line drawing of A. odorata. [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Aglaia odorata Lour. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2016 May 25]. Available from:
  2. Lemmens RHMJ, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia 12(3): Medicinal and poisonous plants 3. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers; 2003.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume I A-B. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 126.
  4. Cai XH, Luo XD, Zhou J, Hao XJ. Compound representatives of a new type of triterpenoid from Aglaia odorata. Org Lett. 2005;7(14):2877-2879.
  5. Zhang J, Yao E, Wang J, Xu R. Extraction and identification of volatile constituents in the flowers of Aglaia odorata Lour. Se Pu. 2007;25(3):422-424.
  6. Engelmeier D, Hadacek F, Pacher T, Vajrodaya S, Greger H. Cyclopenta[b]benzofurans from Aglaia species with pronounced antifungal activity against rice blast fungus (Pyricularia grisea). J Agric Food Chem. 2000;48(4):1400-1404.
  7. Saifah E, Puripattanavong J, Likhitwitayawuid K, Cordell GA, Chai H, Pezzuto JM. Bisamides from Aglaia species: structure analysis and potential to reverse drug resistance with cultured cells. J Nat Prod. 1993;56(4):473-477.
  8. Ohse T, Ohba S, Yamamoto T, Koyano T, Umezawa K. Cyclopentabenzofuran lignan protein synthesis inhibitors from Aglaia odorata. J Nat Prod. 1996; 59(7):650-652.
  9. Inad A, Nishino H, Kuchide M, et al. Cancer chemopreventive activity of odorine and odorinol from Aglaia odorata. Biol Pharm Bull. 2001;24(11):1282-1285.
  10. Cai XH, Wang YY, Zhao PJ, Li Y, Luo XD. Dolabellane diterpenoids from Aglaia odorata. Phytochemistry. 2010;71(8-9):1020-1024.
  11. Dalimartha S. Tanaman obat di lingkungan sekitar. Jakarta: Puspa Swara, 2005; p. 21.
  12. Batugal PA, Kanniah J, Sy L, Oliver JT, editors. Medicinal plants research in Asia - Volume I: The framework and project workplan. Serdang: International Plant Genetic Resources Institute-Regional Office for Asia, the Pacific and Oceania (IPGRI-APO), 2004; p. 158.
  13. Shizen LI, Porter S, George AS. Chinese medicinal herbs: A modern ediction of a classic sixteenth-century manual Beatrice Bliss New York; 1973. p. 20.
  14. Burkill IH. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Volume 1. London: Published on behalf of the governments of the Straits settlements and Federated Malay states by the Crown agents for the colonies, 1935; p. 74-75.
  15. Tasanor O, Engelmeier D, Brem B, Wiedermann-Schmidt U, Greger H, Wernsdorfer WH. Development of a pharmacodynamic screening model with Crithidia fasciculata. Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2006; 118(19-20 Suppl 3): 42-49.
  16. Tasanor O, Brem B, Leitsch D, et al. Development of a pharmacodynamic screening model with Entamoeba histolytica. Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2007;119(19-20 Suppl 3):88-95
  17. Lipipun V, Kurokawa M, Suttisri R, Taweechotipatr P, Pramyothin P, Hattori M, Shiraki K. Efficacy of Thai medicinal plant extracts against herpes simplex virus type 1 infection in vitro and in vivo. Antiviral Res. 2003 Nov; 60(3): 175-180.