Chloranthus elatior Link

Last updated: 13 July 2016

Scientific Name

Chloranthus elatior Link


Chloranthus elatior R.Br., Chloranthus erectus (Buch.-Ham.) Sweet ex Wall., Chloranthus erectus (Buch.-Ham.) Verdc., Chloranthus inconspicuus Blanco [Illegitimate], Chloranthus officinalis Blume, Chloranthus salicifolius C.Presl, Chloranthus sumatranus Miq., Cryphaea erecta Buch.-Ham. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Sambau paya, sambau paya, sigueh puteh, rami hutan, keras tulang  (Peninsula) [2][3]; dikut-dikut, langut-langut (Sarawak) [2]
China Yu zi lan [4]
India Bea-ken-kur, lakang-taklang [4]
Indonesia Keras tulang (Malay); uyah-uyahan (Javanese); harostulang (Sumatra) [2]
Thailand Hom kai (Northern); kraduk kai (Central) [2]
Philippines Barau-barau (Luzon); tul-an hinbad (Samar); tung­gao (Tagbanua) [2]
Cambodia Kbâ:k dâmréi [2]

Geographical Distributions

Chloranthus erec­tus is found in continental Asia from Nepal to Yunnan and the Andaman Islands, and through­out the Malaysian region as far as New Guinea. [2]

Botanical Description

C. erectus is a member of the Chloranthaceaefamily. Itis a smooth, aromatic, slightly woody herb or small shrub that can reach up to 3 m tall. The nodes are swollen and sometimes purplish. [2]

The leaves are arranged decussately opposite. The petiole is 1-1.5 cm long while the stipules are small and awl-shaped. The blade is oblong-lance-shaped to elliptical or ovate-oblong, measuring 8-29 cm x 3-13 cm, with wedge-shaped base, shallowly glandular-serrate margin, with long acuminate apex, penninerved, bright green and glossy above. [2]

The inflorescence is terminal where the peduncled panicle consists of 5-13 spikes which are 2.5-5 cm long. The bracts are sheath, ovate and acute. The flowers are much reduced, without perianth and bisexual. The male part is a 3-lobed organ adnate to the upper half of the ovary and with fused stamens. It is 1.2-1.6 mm long and with 3 anthers. The medi­an one is 2-locellate while the lateral ones is 1-locellate which is yellow, greenish-white or violet-white. The female part is composed of a 1-locular ovary with a single ovule. It is partly enclosed by the male part, with subses­sile stigma and truncate. [2]

The fruit is a drupe, nearly globular or ellip­soid, measures 5-7 mm in diametre, fleshy, white-cream or rarely tinged violet or pinkish and glossy. [2]

The seed is also nearly globular, yellow-white, minutely apiculate, narrow be­low, and surrounded by a thin and fibrous endocarp. The testa is with lignified endotestal palisade cells. [2]


In the wild, C. erec­tus grows in prima­ry and secondary tropical forests at (20) 50-1450 (-2550) m altitude. At higher altitudes, it is often found in Araucaria and Nothofagus-Castanopsis forests, often on limestone. Its lowland forest habi­tats include Pandanus and palm forests, riverine forests, and boggy areas. [2]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation.

Plant Part Used

No documentation.

Traditional Use

C. erectus is considered an aphrodisiac and in particular for women. It is also used to treat headaches and body aches. [5]

Tea made from C. erectus leaves is sudorific and drank to treat fever and complaints related to fever. [6]

Preclinical Data


Anti-inflammatory activity

The methanol extract of C. erectus was subjected to a series of tests to determine its anti-inflammatory potentials. It was found that this extract was able to inhibit inflammatory processes in acute, subacute and chronic test models. [7]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of C. elatior [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Chloranthus elatior Link [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Apr 18; cited 2016 Jun 28]. Available from:
  2. Sangat HM. Chloranthus erectus (Buch.-Ham.) Verdc. In: van der Vossen HAM, Wessel M, editors. Plant resources of South-East Asia No. 16: Stimulants. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher, 2000; p. 64-66.
  3. Mat-Salleh K, Latif A. Tumbuhan Ubatan Malaysia. Bangi, Selangor: Pusat Pengurusan Penyelidikan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 2002; p. 150.
  4. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume II C-D. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 229.
  5. Arifin N. Penyembuhan semula jadi dengan herba. Kuala Lumpur: PTS Litera Utama, 2005; p. 58-59.
  6. 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. 529.
  7. Tag H, Namsa ND, Das AK, Kalita P, Mandal SC. Evaluation of anti-inflammatory potential of Chloranthus erectus (Buch.-Ham.) Verd. leaf extract in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009;126(2):371-374.