Ardisia elliptica Thunb.

Last updated: 8 September 2016

Scientific Name

Ardisia elliptica Thunb.


Ardisia kotoensis Hayata, Ardisia littoralis Andrews, Ardisia sorsogonensis Elmer ex Merr., Ardisia squamulosa C.Presl, Ardisia umbellata Roxb., Bladhia elliptica (Thunb.) Nakai, Bladhia kotoensis (Hayata) Nakai, Bladhia squamulosa (C.Presl) Nakai, Tinus squamulosa (C. Presl) Kuntze [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Buah Letus, cempenai, lempenai, mempenai, penai, penah, periah, rempenai, daun    bias hati, kayu lampilan, mata pelandok. [2]
English Sea-shore ardisia [3]
China Dong fa zi jin niu [4]
India Bisi (Hindi); kadna, katapenga, bugadi, dikna, nilbedsi (Marathi); manipudbam, kozhikkottai, narikandam (Tamil); kaka-njara (Malayalam); bodhina gida, shuli, bode, sore (Kannada); banjam (Bengali); kuti (Oriya); damaai Phal (Nepali) [5]
Nepal Damai phul [4]

Geographical Distributions

Native areas for Ardisia elliptica have been listed as Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, The Philipphines, China, Taiwan, and the Pacific Islands. The species is usually found throughout Malaysia. The Malay used the young leaves as vegetables. [6]

Botanical Description

A. elliptica belongs to the family Myrsinaceae [7]. A. elliptica is a tropical shrub that can reach heights of up to 8 m. The plants are characterized by a single stem, producing short, perpendicular branches. The leafstalks are 6-8 mm long and reddish in color. The umbellate flower developed in the leaf axils of branch leaves. The petals are light pink. The fruits are drupes that first turn red as they mature and then turn to a shining black. [7] 


No documentation

Chemical Constituent

A. Elliptica has been reported to contain syringic acid, isorhamnetin and quercetin. [8] It is also found to contain 4-hydroxyenzoic acid, 5-pentadecylbenzene-1,3-diol,α-amyrin, polyphenol, tannin and taraxerone. [3]

Plant Part Used

Leaves and fruits. [8][9]

Traditional Use

The leaves of A. elliptica are used to treat diarrhoea and dysentery by the Thais and Malays of the Malay Peninsula. They pound the leaves and squeezed out the juice which is then taken to relieve this ailment. [9] The leaves are also used to treat chest pains or heartburns. [10] The leaves had been used to treat gonorrhoea, venereal diseases by various communities of South East Asia. [11] 

Preclinical Data


Antisalmonella activity 

From the dried fruit extract of A. elliptica syringic acid, isorhamnetin and quercetin were isolated. These compounds were found to be active against Salmonella infection with the MIC ranging between 15.6 and 125.0 µgmL-1. [8] 

Antiplatelet activating factor activity 

The methanol extracts of the leaves of A. elliptica, produced an Alkenylresorcinol which showed a very strong Platelet Activating Factor (PAF) antagonist. This compound is 5-(Z-heptadec-4′-enyl)resorcinol and by itself showed very potent activity with the IC50 of 7.1 µM [12] 


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

No documentation

Interaction & Depletion

Interaction with drug

Those people on anticoagulant therapy should not eat the young leaves of A. elliptica because they contain a very potent anti-PAF. [12]

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation


No documentation

Case Report

No documentation


No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing

No documentation


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Ardisia elliptica Thunb. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2013 March 23; cited 2016 June 7]. Available from:
  2. Ong HC. Tumbuhan liar: Khasiat ubatan & kegunaan lain. Kuala Lumpur: Utusan Publications, 2004; p. 130.
  3. Malaysian Monograph Committee. Malaysian herbal monograph. Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Monograph Committee, 2015; p.33-37
  4. Quattrocchi U. CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume I A-C. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press LLC; 2000. p. 188 – 189.
  5. Flowers of India by Botanical Names. Ardisia elliptica Thunb. [homepage on the Internet]. No date [cited 2016 sept 8] Available from:
  6. Burkill IH. A dictionary of economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Volume 1. Kuala Lumpur: Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives of Malaysia; 1966.
  7. Malaysian Monograph Committee. Malaysian herbal monograph. Volume 2. Kuala Lumpur: Forest Research Institute of Malaysia; 2009.
  8. Phadungkit M, Luanratana O. Anti- Salmonella activity of constituents of Ardisia elliptica Thunb. Nat Prod Res. 2006;20(7):693-696.
  9. Kamarudin MS, Latif A. Tumbuhan ubatanMalaysia. Bangi: Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 2002; p. 270.
  10. Wiart C. Medicinal plants of Asia and the Pacific. Boca Rotan, Florida: CRC Press, 2006; p. 56.
  11. Moongkarndia P, Kosema N. Antiproliferative activity of Thai medicinal plant extracts on human breast adenocarcinoma cell line. Fitoterapia. 2004;75:375–377.
  12. Jalil J, Jantan I, Shaari K, Abdul Rafi IA. Bioassay-Guided Isolation of a Potent Platelet-Activating Factor Antagonist Alkenylresorcinol from Ardisia elliptica. Pharm Biol. 2004;42(6): 457-461.