Fibraurea tinctoria Lour.

Last updated: 25 Aug 2016

Scientific Name

Fibraurea tinctoria Lour.


Cocculus fibraurea DC., Fibraurea chloroleuca Miers, Fibraurea fasciculata Miers, Fibraurea laxa Miers, Fibraurea manipurensis Brace ex Diels [Invalid], Fibraurea trotteri Watt ex Diels, Menispermum tinctorium Spreng. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Bayaran kuning [2], akar kuning, akar kencing kerbau [3], mengkunyit, tapa bohuang (Sabah) [4]; , sekunyit, akar kunyit, war birar [5]
China Huang teng [6], tien sien lan [7]
Indonesia Areuy gember, peron, akar mengkedun [5], akar kunyit, akar kuning [8], peron, aroi gember, aroi ki koneng, akar mangkedon [9]
Thailand Kam-phaeng, kamin krua, kumin kua [5]
Vietnam Hoàng dăńg, nam hoàng nhuôm [5], kay vang dang [7].

Geographical Distributions

Fibraurea tinctoria is widespread from north-eastern India and the Nicobar Islands, through Burma (Tenasserim), Thailand and Indo-China (Vietnam), east to southern China, and south to western and central Malaysia. It is found in Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak, Sabah), Brunei, Indonesia (Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, north-eastern Sulawesi) and the Philippines (Dinagat Island, north of Mindanao). [10]

Botanical Description

F. tinctoria is a member of the Menispermaceae family. It is a large, woody, dioecious, entirely smooth climber which can reach up to 40 m long and measures up to 5 cm in stem diametre. The young shoot tips are thread-like. The bark of the older stems is greyish-buff, coarsely and irregularly striate. [10]

The leaves are arranged spirally, thinly coriaceous, simple and entire, exstipulate, elliptic to ovate, measuring 10-20(-28) cm x (3.5-)5-14 cm, rounded, sometimes subpeltate at the base, acuminate at the apex and 3(-5)-nerved. The petiole is (2-)4-13 cm long and often blackish when drying, at least at the swollen base. [10]

The flowers are in axillary or ramiflorous lax panicles, with 6 whitish or yellowish inner sepals that are 2.5-4 mm long, and 2-3 minute outer ones while the petals are lacking. The male flowers are sweetly scented, with 6 stamens which have very thick columnar filaments. The female flowers are with 3 ellipsoidal carpels and 6 rudimentary stamens. [10]

The fruit is composed of up to 3 yellow or orange drupes borne on a small knob-like carpophore. [10]

The root is spongy and flexile. [10]


F. tinctoria is usually found in lowland forests, primary as well as secondary or disturbed forests, up to 1200 m altitude. It is locally common, for instance in dry evergreen forests in Thailand, and in peat swamp forests in Sarawak. This species also occurs in bamboo forests and scrubby vegetations, along river banks and in logged forest. It grows in various soils: sandy loam, clayey soil, ultrabasic soil, sandstone and stony blackish soil. [10]

Chemical Constituent

F. tinctoria has been reported to contain terpenoids, furanoditerpines: fibraurin, chasmanthin, and palmarin [11]. Among other constituents reported include, alkaloids: magnoflorine, pseudocolumbamine, dehydrocorydalmine and palmatrubine [12], berberine chloride, berberrubine chloride and thalifendine chloride [13], dehydrodiscretine, pseudojatrorrhizine, phytosteroids: 20-hydroxyecdysone [14], and fibleucin [15].

Plant Part Used

Root, stem. [10]

Traditional Use

Roots are boiled and decoction given in cases of hepatitis [16]. A decoction of the stem is used to treat dysentery in Java [10]. The juice from the stem is used to treat gastritis by getting the patient to drink the juice mixed with egg yolk [2].

It is used in postnatal bath together with other ingredients in the form of a decoction [10]. One of the popular uses of this plant is in the treatment of Syphilitic ulcers of the nose (“resdong”) and wounds as antiseptic. [14]

The stem provides a yellow dye, which is locally used. In Kalimantan, it is used to dye mattings made from rattan and Curculigo species. The dye is also used for colouring cloth in India and Indo-China, and formerly in Malaysia. The yellow dye is sometimes mixed with indigo to prepare a green dye. F. tinctoria has several medicinal properties. A decoction of roots and stems is employed to treat dysentery, diabetes and eye diseases in Java, and as a stomach medicine in Sarawak. [15]

One of the popular uses of this plant is in the treatment of Syphilitic ulcers of the nose (“resdong”) and wounds as antiseptic [17]. The decoction of the dried stem is given to relieve fainting spells and also to treat hypertension. For headache 400 g of the stem is juiced and this is given three times per day [5]. Used to treat chest pain [8].

It is included in potherb decoction for rheumatic pains and joint aches. It has been advocated too in the treatment of diabetes and asthma. Other uses of this plant includes antidote to vegetable poisons, antidote to venomous bites of snake, scorpions and centipede, and paralysis. [15]

Preclinical Data


Cytotoxicity activity

Three protoberberine alkaloids were isolated from the roots of F. tinctoria. Cytotoxicity studies showed significant cytotoxic activity with one or more human cancer cell-lines and cultured P-388 cells. [14]


No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of F. tinctoria


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Fibraurea tinctoria Lour. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2016 Aug 25]. Available from :
  2. Bernstein JH. Spirits captured in stone: Shamanism and traditional medicine among the Taman of Borneo Boulder. Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1997; p. 179.
  3. Hsuan K, Ro-Siu LKK. The concise flora of Singapore: gymnosperms and dicotyledons. Singapore: NUS Press; 1990; p. 21.
  4. Gausset Q, Mertz O. Local use of forest products in Kuyongon, Sabah, Malaysia. In a scientific journey through Borneo. Crocker Range National park, Sabah: Socio-Cultural and Human Dimension. Volume 2. London: ASEAN Academic Press, 2001; p. 15-38.
  5. Lemmens RHMJ. Fibraurea tinctoria Lour. In: Lemmens RHMJ, Wulijarni-Soetjipto N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 3: Dye and tannin-producing plants. Wageningen, Netherlands: Pudoc, 1991; p. 74-75.
  6. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume III E-L. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 223.
  7. Merriel ED. A commentary on Loureito’s “Flora Cochinchinensis” Transactions, American Philosophical Society. American Philosophical Society. 1935;24( 2):157.
  8. Alan MS. Kamus lengkap Indonesia Inggris. Bandung: PT Mizan Publika, 2004; p. 537.
  9. Burkill IH. A dictionary of economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Volume 1. Kuala Lumpur: Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives of Malaysia, 1966; p. 1016-1017.
  10. Ridley HN. The flora of the Malay Peninsula. Volume 1: Polypetale. London: L. Reeve & Co., 1922; p. 105.
  11. Zakaria MB, Saito I, Yao XK, Wang RJ, Matsuura T. Furanoditerpenes of Fibraurea chloroleuca. Planta Med.1989;55(5):477-478.
  12. Siwon J, Verpoorte R, Svendsen AB. Studies on Indonesian Medicinal Plants VI* further alkaloids from Fibraurea chloroleuca. Planta Med. 1981;41(1):65-68.
  13. Jin-Rui DC, Heebyung MP, John AD, Kinghorn T, Kosasih SP. Cytotoxic constituents of the roots of the Indonesian medicinal plant Fibraurea chloroleuca. Phytotherapy Res. 1993;7(4):290-294.
  14. Buckingham J, editor. Dictionary of natural products. Volume 7. Type of compound index, species index. London: Chapman and Hall, 1994; p. 1320.
  15. Bakhari NA, Wah ST, Chinnakali K, Fun HK, Razak IA. Fibleucin from Fibraurea chloroleuca. Miers Acta Crystallographica. Section C, Crystal Structure Communications. 1998;54(11).
  16. Bernstein JH. Spirits captured in stone: shamanism and traditional medicine among the Taman of Borneo Boulder. Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers;1997.179.
  17. Batugal PA, Kanniah J, Sy L, Oliver JT, editors. Medicinal plants research in Asia - Volume I: The framework and project workplan. Serdang, Selangor: International Plant Genetic Resources Institute-Regional Office for Asia, the Pacific and Oceania (IPGRI-APO), 2004; p. 122.