|English||Mast tree, Cemetery tree |
|India||Debdari, Asoka (Hindi), Assoti (Kannada), Aranamaram (Malayalam), Ulkatah, Kastadaruh (Sanskrit), Asogu, Nettilingam (Tamil), Asokamu (Telagu)|
Polyalthia longifolia is a member of the Annonaceae family. It is a small tree that grows up to about 15 m tall. The tree has a straight trunk with drooping branches. The branches being longest at the base and gradually becoming shorter at the end of the trunk giving it a spindle shape. The leaves are narrow oblanceolate, dark green, glossy and with wavy margins. They measures 15-20 cm long. The flowers are delicate pale-green with wavy petals on slender stalks. The fruit is ovoid-black. 
Plant Part Used
pendulamine A & B
stigmasterol 3-O-b-D-glucoside(3S,4R)-3,4,5-trihydroxypentanoic acid-1,4-lactone
The bark is bitter, acrid, cooling, febrifuge and anthelmintic. It is useful in fever, skin diseases, diabetes, hypertension, helminthiasi. 
Many compounds have been isolated from the stem, stem bark, roots and root bark that showed potentials in their application for the treatment of various human cancers. The aporphine alkaloid  liriodenine is one of the compounds isolated from the stem and stem bark of P.
longifolia which showed cytotoxic activities. Another group of compounds of the clerodane diterpene group  (polyalthialdoic acid, kolavenic acid and 16a-hydroxy-cleroda-3,13(14)Z-dien-15,16-olide, (-)-3alpha,16alpha-dihydroxycleroda-4(18),13(14)Z-dien-15,16-olide, (-)-3beta,16alpha-dihydroxycleroda-4(18), 13(14)Z-dien-15,16-olide) also showed cytotoxic activities in three human tumour cell lines. Amongst the human cancer cell lines tested it was found that the maximum inhibition was seen in colon cancer cells SW-620. 
The clerodane diterpenoids isolated from bark of P.
Extracts of the roots of P.
longifolia showed significant antibacterial activties and amongst the alkaloids isolated from it. It was found that pendulamine A and pendulamine B were the most active antibacterial compounds with MIC ranging from 0.02 – 20 microg against the tested bacteria. From the stem a lactone (3S,4R)-3,4,5-trihydroxypentanoic acid-1,4-lactone) was isolated which showed promising antibacterial activity against thirteen Gram-positive and nine Gram-negative organism. The diterpenoids 16alpha-hydroxy-cleroda-3,13 (14)-Z-diene-15,16-olide (1) and 16-oxo-cleroda-3, 13(14)-E-diene-15-oic acid (2), isolated from the hexane extract of the seeds of P. longifolia, demonstrated significant antibacterial and antifungal activities. From the methanol extracts of various parts of the plants it was found that 5 clerodanes and one diterpenoid (16(R and S)-hydroxy-cleroda-3,13(14)Z-dien-15,16-olide, 16-oxo-cleroda-3,13(14)E-dien-15-oic acid, (R and S)-hydroxy-cleroda-3,13(14)Z-dien-15,16-olide-2-one,(4-->2)-abeo-16(R and S)-hydroxy-cleroda-2,13(14)Z-dien-15,16-olide-3-al3beta,16alpha-dihydroxy-cleroda-4(18), 13(14)Z-dien-15,16-olide, and kolavenic acid) were the most active antimicrobial agnets with MIC values ranging from 7.8 and 500 microg/ml.  (-)-16alpha-hydroxycleroda-3,13 (14)Z-dien-15,16-olide was isolated from the ethanolic extracts of the leaves was found to be the most potent of the compounds isolated with MIC value of 6.25 microg/ml against Streptococcus aureus and Sporothrix schenckii. 
16alpha-Hydroxycleroda-3,13 (14)Z-dien-15,16-olide (Compound 1) from P.
longifolia was found to be a potential antileishmanial and non-cytotoxic, as evidenced by long-term survival (>6 months) of treated animals. Misra et.al  found that compound 1 inhibited recombinant DNA topoisomerase I which, ultimately induced apoptosis. Five strong hydrogen-bonding interactions and hydrophobic interactions of compound 1 with L. donovani DNA topoisomerase are responsible for its anti-leishmanial activity.
Out of 23 compounds Chang et.al  isolated from the bark of P.
longifolia, they found the compound they termed as compound 5 showed a potent anti-inflammatory activity towards formyl-L-methionyl-L-leucyl-L-phenylalanine/cytochalasin B (fMLP/CB)-induced superoxide generation by neutrophils with IC50 = 0.60 +/- 0.09 microg/mL. A preliminary anti-inflammatory activity in the leaves of Polyalthia longifolia var pendula carried out by Tanna et.al ,showed that various concentrations of the methanolic extracts has significant anti-inflammatory
Tanna et.al  showed that the methanolic extract of the leaves of P.
longifolia has hepatoprotective effect but no concentration effect.
Shin YT et.al  studied that effects of 6-hydroxycleroda-3,13-dien-15,16-olid (PL3) extracted for P.
longifolia on lipopolysachharide(LPS)-induced inflammation in microglia-like HAPI cells and primary microglia cultures. It was found that PL3 was able to decrease the expression of iNOS, COX-2, gp91 (phox), and NF-kappaBp65, the degradation of I kappaB alpha, and the production of NO, PGE(2), iROS, and TNF-alpha. It also enhanced the expression of HO-1, a cytoprotective and anti-inflammatory enzyme. In addition to this it also reduced LPS-activated inflammation-related neronal cell death. They concluded that this compound would be os use in the treatment of inflammatoion-related neurodegenerative diseases.
Ethanol extract of the leaves of P.
longifolia was tested for its anti-ulcer activity against aspirin plus pylotus ligation induced gastric ulcer in rats, HCL-Ethanol induced ulcer in mice and water immersion stress induced ulcers in rats. Malairajan et.al  found that a significant anti-ulcer activity was observed in all models.
The defatted extract of P.
longifolia root bark in 50% methanol showed a significant ability to reduce blood pressure to the tune of 22% and 47% fall in mean arterial blood pressure in rats at doses of 3mg/kg and 30mg/kg respectively. It was found that the compound kolavenic acid was responsible for this effect. The whole extract also decrease the blood pressure of normotensice and egg yolk induced hypertensive rats. The LD50 of the root extract was 100mg/kg in mice. 
Adverse Effects in Human:
It causes cardiac depression. 
Used in Certain Conditions
Pregnancy / Breastfeeding
Neonates / Adolescents
Chronic Disease Conditions
Interactions with drugs
Root bark has significant hypotensive activity. It should not be used with antihypertensive medication. 
Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents