Rafflesia hasseltii Suringar

Last updated: 8 Nov 2016

Scientific Name

Rafflesia hasseltii Suringar


No documentation

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Bunga pakma [1], pakma [2].

Geographical Distributions

Rafflesia hasseltii can be found in the rainforests of Malaysia. [3]

Botanical Description

R. hasseltii is a member of the family Rafflesiaceae [4]. It is a fleshy parasitic herb which grows attached to the roots of trees in the rainforest. The buds are spherical, darkish and open noisily at night into giant flowers of about 60 cm to 1 m diameter which are whitish and pencilled in red. The perianth comprises of 5-6, 25 cm x 16 cm tepals around a hollowed receptacle at the bottom of which are displayed a few finger shaped organs [3].


No documentation

Chemical Constituent

R. hasseltii has been reported to contain nicotine, caffeine, leucoanthocyanin, catechin and phenolic acid. [5]

Plant Part Used

Flower. [3]

Traditional Use

In Sumatra it is used in parturition [6]. The Sakai tribe roaming the rainforest of Perak and Northen Pahang use the flower buds to expedite delivery [7]. In Malaysia, the dried buds are used to expedite delivery in and aid recovery from childbirth [8].

A little of the dried blossom of the plant (mong dar which Burkill believed to be Rafflesia) when steeped in hot water and taken by men would provide sexual stimulation to them but does not affect women taking them [8]. However, the same tea acts as an aphrodisiac in women. Furthermore, this tea would also help to revitalize the women when taken after delivery or after menstruation. It helps cleanse the uterus while at the same time helps maintain a beautiful waistline. This discrepancy may be due to the dioecious (having both male and female organs) nature of the flowers [9].

Preclinical Data


Cicatrization activity

A study to assess the rate of wound healing by extracts of R. hasseltii against intrasite gel (a synthetic wound healing enhancer) was done. This study reported that the extact impregnated wound of SD rats at 5% and 10% concentration showed rapid healing process. Histological examination showed markedly reduced scar width with granulation tissue containing increase number of collagen fibers and proliferating fibroblasts. The absence of inflammatory cells was also noted. [10]

Antimicrobial activity

In a study of 50 medicinal plants found in the state of Perak, Malaysia for their antimicrobial activities, the investigators reported that extract of R. hasseltii displayed the broadest spectrum of activity. [11]

Gastroprotective activity

Aqueous and ethanol extracts of R. hasseltii were test for their gastroprotective property. Four groups of rats were used in this study. Two groups were pretreated with aqueous and ethanol extracts of R. hasseltii prior to induction of gastric ulcer using absolute alcohol, one group was pretreated with Cimetidine while the last group did not receive any pretreatment. The results showed that both the R. hasseltii extracts inhibited alcohol induced gastric ulcer up to 99.2 % (aqueous extract) and 98.9% (ethanol extract) while cimetidine protection was only 59.4%. This showed that extracts of R. hasseltii was much superior in their gastroprotective properties as compared to cimetidine. [12]


No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing

No documentation


  1. Haji Adam M, Mohamed R, Juhari MAA, Nik Ariff NF, Wan KL. Rafflesia sharifah-hapsahiae (Rafflesiaceae), a new species from Peninsular Malaysia. Turk J Bot. 2013;37:1038-1044.
  2. Garbutt N, Prudente C. Wild Borneo: The wildlife and scenery of Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei, and Kalimantan. London: New Holland Publishers; 2006.
  3. Wiart C. Medicinal plants of The Asia-Pacific: Drugs for the future?. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, 2006; p. 311-312.
  4. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Rafflesia hasseltii Suringar. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2016 Nov 2]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2869164
  5. Sofiyanti N, Wahibah NN, Purwanto D, Syahputra E, Mat-Salleh K. Alkaloid and phenolic compounds of Rafflesia hasseltii Suringar and its host Tetrastigma leucostaphylum (Dennst.) Alston ex Mabb. In Bukit Tigapuluh National Park, Riau: A preliminary study. Biodiversitas. 2008;9(1): 17-20.
  6. Johnson T. CRC ethnobotany desk reference. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 1999; p. 696.
  7. Burkill IH. A dictionary of economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Volume 2. Kuala Lumpur: Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives of Malaysia, 1966; p. 1895.
  8. Walter WS, Charles O. Blagden Pagan Races Vol 2. London: MacMillan & Co;1906.
  9. Ong HC. Ong HC. Tumbuhan liar: Khasiat ubatan & kegunaan lain. Kuala Lumpur: Utusan Publications and Distributors, 2008; p. 147.
  10. Abdulla MA, Ahmed KA, Ali HM, Noor SM, Ismail S. Wound healing activities of Rafflesia hasseltii extract in rats. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2009;45(3):304-308.
  11. Wiart C, Mogana S, Khalifah S, et al. Antimicrobial screening of plants used for traditional medicine in the state of Perak, Peninsular Malaysia. Fitoterapia. 2004;75(1):68-73.
  12. Noor SM, Mahmood AA, Salmah I, Philip K. Prevention of acute gastric mucosal lesions by R. Hasseltii in rats. J Animal Vet Advances. 2006;5(2):161–164.