Pterocarpus indicus Willd.

Last updated: 1 June 2016

Scientific Name

Pterocarpus indicus Willd. 


Lingoum echinatum (Pers.) Kunzte, Lingoum indicum (Willd.) Kunzte, Lingoum rubrum Rumph., Lingoum saxatile Rumph., Lingoum wallichii Pierre, Pterocarpus blancoi Merr., Pterocarpus carolinensis Kaneh., Pterocaropus casteelsi var. ealaensis Hauman, Pterocarpus draco sensu auct., Pterocarpus echinata Pers., Pterocarpus indica Willd. [Spelling variant], Pterocarpus klemmei Merr., Pterocarpus obtusatus Miq., Pterocarpus pallidus Blanco, Pterocarpus papuana F. Muell., Pterocarpus papuanus F.Muell, Pterocarpus pubescens Merr., Pterocarpus vidalianus Rolfe, Pterocarpus wallichii Wight & Arn., Pterocarpus zollingeri Miq. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Angsana, sena [2], sana [3]
English Amboynas-wood, Andaman redwood, bloodwood, Burmese rosewood, Malay padauk, narra, New Guinea rosewood, Papua New Guinea rosewood, red narra [2]
China Zi tan [2]
India Andaman hone, erravegisa, gandamrigamnettura, gandamrygapunetturu, gandhamriga, punetturu, hane, hani, honne, padooku mara, seemaganda mrigapuneetturu, simagandamriganetturu, simagandamryganetturu, vengai, yerravegisa [2]
Indonesia Sono kembang (Java) [2], kayu merah, kayu sono, sono kembang; angsana, asana, sana, sana kapur, sana kembang (Java); angsana (Sunda); sana (Sumatra) [3]
Thailand Mai pradoo [2], pra du [3]
Myanmar Angsanah, padouk (Burma) [2]
Philippines Agana, asana, balauning, bital, daitanag, hagad, kamarag, Manila padouk, naga, nala, nara, narra, odiau, Philippine padauk, sagat, tagga, tagka, vitali [2]
Japan Yaeyama-shi-tan [2]
Papua New Guinea Amaurakara, rabea, bahink, buringai, harabea, kamac, kinagi, maradawa, marawa, pingho, sawari [2]
Fiji Island Cibi cibi [2].

Geographical Distributions

Pterocarpus indicus is native to Peninsular Malaysia, but is so extensively planted that it is not easy to ascertain its natural distribution. It is probably grows wild by the rivers and in rocky places near the coastal areas. [3]

Botanical Description

P. indicus is a member of the Fabaceae family. It is a large deciduous tree which can reach up to 40 m high with a trunk of up to 2 m in diameter.

The leaves measures 12-22 cm long, pinnate, with 5 – 11 leaflets. The leaflets are rather large measuring 7 x 3.5 to 11 x 5.5 cm and ovate to elliptic in shape with a pronounced acuminate tip.

The flowers are in panicles measure 6-13 cm long containing a few to numerous flowers. They are slightly fragrant and have yellow or orange petals.

The fruit is a semiorbicular pod measures 2-3 cm in diameter surrounded by a flat 4-6 cm diameter membranous wing which aids dispersal by water.

It contains one to two seeds, and does not split open at maturity. [4]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

P. indicus has been reported to contain formononetin, isoliquiritigenin, (-)-p-hydroxyhydratropic acid, and a new 2-arylbenzofuran, anglolensin and pterocarpin. [5]

Plant Part Used

Barks, roots, leaves, kino (dried hardened sap found on the bark), wood [3]

Traditional Use

The bark of P. indicus yields a resin known as kino or Dragon’s Blood. The decoction of the bark is used to tread diarrhoea and dysenstery. This usage is popular amongst the Indians and South Pacific Islanders. [4][6]

The South Pacific Islanders use parts of the plant to treat heavy menstruation and also ammenorhhoea. A decoction of the leaves is used to treat amenorrhoea in Vanuatu. In the Philippines the plant is used to treat menstrual pain. It is also used in the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis and gonorrhoea. For syphilitic sores and mouth ulcers the juice extracted from the roots is used by the Malays in Malaysia. [4][7]

In Papua New Guinea the plant I used to treat tuberculosis, headaches and sores. In the Philippines it is used to treat leprosy, flu, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. In Indonesia on the other hand it is used to treat boils, ulcers and prickly heat rashes. [4]

Preclinical Data


Antimicrobial activity

Ioliolide and paniculatadiol isolated from the ethyl acetate leaf extract of P. indicus showed moderate activity against Candida albicansand low activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coliand Aspergillus niger. It is inactive against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis and Trichophyton mentagrophytes. [8]

A study of the antibacterial activity of the leaves, roots and stem bark of P. indicus showed that all fractions (petrol dichloromethane, ethyl acetate, butanol and methanol) exhibited a wide spectrum of antibacterial activity more pronouced in the butanol and methanol fractions. [9]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

No documentation.


No documentation.

Side effects

No documentation.

Pregnancy/Breast Feeding

Pregnant ladies are not advised to take the drug since it has abortifacient properties as evidenced by its use in the South Pacific Islands for treatment of amenorrhoea. [4]

Age limitation

No documentation.

Adverse reaction

No documentation.

Interaction & Depletion

No documentation.


No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing

No documentation.


  1. The Plant List. Pterocarpus indicus Willd. 2013 ver1.1 [updated 2010 Jul 14; cited 2016 June 1]. Available from:
  2. Quattrocchi U. CRC World dictionary of plant names: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume III M-Q. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2000. p. 767.
  3. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research. Compendium of medicinal plants used in Malaysia. Volume 2. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR, 2002; p. 267-268.
  4. Lex Thomson AJ. Pterocarpus indicus (narra). Fabaceae (legume family). Species profiles for Pacific Island agroforestry. 2006;2(1):1-17.
  5. Cooke RG, Rae ID. Isoflavonoids. I. Some new constituents of Pterocarpus indicus heartwood. Aust J Chem. 1964;17(3):379–384.
  6. Khare CP. Indian medicinal plants: An illustrated dictionary. Berlin: Springer, 2007; p. 523-524.
  7. Bourdy G, Walter A. Maternity and medicinal plants in Vanuatu I. The cycle of reproduction. J Ethnopharmacol. 1992;37(3):179-196.
  8. Ragasa CY, De Luna RD, Hofilena JG. Antimicrobial terpenoids from Pterocarpus indicus. Nat Prod Res. 2005;19(4):305-309.
  9. Khan MR, Omoloso AD. Antibacterial activity of Pterocarpus indicus. Fitoterapia. 2003;74(6):603-605.