Anthocephalus chinensis (Lamk) A. Rich. ex Walp., Breonia chinensis (Lam.) Capuron

Last updated: 27 Feb 2017

Scientific Name

Anthocephalus chinensis (Lamk) A. Rich. ex Walp., Breonia chinensis (Lam.) Capuron


Anthocephalus chinensis (Lam.) Hassk. [Illegitimate], Anthocephalus indicus A.Rich., Anthocephalus indicus var. macrophyllus Pierre ex Pit., Breonia citrifolia (Poir.) Ridsdale, Breonia coriacea Havil., Breonia mauritiana Havil., Breonia richardiana (Baill.) Havil., Cephalanthus chinensis Lam., Cephalidium citrifolium (Poir.) A.Rich., Cephalina richardii (Drake) Palacky, Nauclea citrifolia Poir., Sarcocephalus richardianus Baill., Sarcocephalus richardii Drake. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Kelampayan, kelapayan, kelempai, kelempayan, kelempoyan, kelepayan, kelumpang, kelumpong, kempoyan, kepayang kayu, laran, lempayang, lempoyan, selimpoh [2]
English Chinese anthocephalus, common bur-flower tree [2]
India Apathyada mara, atuthekku, dhaaruja kaare, ethakada, helthige, kaada balige, kadamba mara, kadambam, kaduve, kalamb, katampamaram, katarvayura, kokalamaram, kola aiyila, kuyilenamaram, laungchu-araung, mogulu kadimi, neeronje, peddakambo, prenkhanamu, priyaka, rudraashakamba, thole, vrattapuspa [2]
Indonesia Emajang, jabon, kelampajang, laran [2]
Brunei Bangkal, kaatoan bangkal [3]
Thailand Krathum, krathum bok, takoo [2]
Laos Koo-somz, sako [3]
Myanmar Mau-lettan-she, maukadon, yemau [3]
Philippines Kaatoan bangkal [2]
Cambodia Thkoow [3]
Vietnam C[aa]y g[as]o, c[af] tom, g[as]o tr[aws]ng [3]
Nepal Kadam [2]
Papua New Guinea Gaping [2].

Geographical Distributions

Anthocephalus chinensis is distributed in Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Indo-China, southern China, Thailand, eastward through Malaysia to New Guinea. [3]

Botanical Description

A. chinensis comes from the family of Rubiaceae. It is a medium-sized to large tree that can reach up to 45 m tall. [3]

The bole is straight and cylindrical, branchless for more than 25 m, measures up to 100(-160) cm in diametre but generally less, sometimes with small buttresses up to 2 m high and extending up to 60 cm from the trunk. [3]

The leaves are measure 13-32 cm x 7-15 cm, with acute to acuminate apex and distinctly petiolate with a petiole 2.5-6 cm long. [3]

The flower heads are 3-5 cm wide where the upper part of the ovary is distinctly 4-loculed with 4 hollow cartilagineous structures. [3]


A. chinensis occurs mainly in secondary vegetation and along rivers on fertile, often periodically flooded locations up to 1000 m altitude. The density of the wood is 290-465(-560) kg/m³ at 15% moisture content. [3]

Chemical Constituent

A. chinensis has been reported to contain indole alkaloids (e.g. cadambine) from leaves part and other indole alkaloids (e.g. 3α-dihydrocadambine, isodihydrocadambine, cadamine and isocadamine) from various parts [4]. Methanol extract of B. chinensis bark extract has been reported to contain two phenolic apioglucosides (e.g. kelampayoside A and kelampayoside B), a secoiridoid glucoside (e.g. 3'-O-caffeoylsweroside), iridoids glucosides (e.g. loganin, 8-epikingside, loganic acid, and sweroside), indole alkaloid glucosides (e.g. cadambine, strictosidine lactam, desoxycorlifoline, and 5α-carboxystrictosidine), and non-glycosidic indole alkaloids (vallesiachotamine and isovallesiachotamine) [5].

Plant Part Used

Leaves, bark, fruit [3]

Traditional Use

The bitter and pungent bark is used in Ayurvedic medicine for uterine complaints, blood diseases, leprosy, and dysentery. A decoction of the leaves is recommended in cases of stomatitis. [4]

Preclinical Data


Antimalarial activity

Cadambine, a major indole alkaloid constituent isolated from the methanol extract of the of A. chinensis bark (100 µM) showed moderate growth-inhibitory activity against the cultured malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum (a chloroquine-resistant K1 strain) in human erythrocytes with IC50 6.77 µM and IC90 9.85 µM. [5]


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

No documentation


No documentation

Interaction & Depletion

No documentation


No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing



Figure 1: The line drawing of A. chinensis [3]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Breonia chinensis (Lam.) Capuron. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013. [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2017 Feb 27]. Available from:
  2. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume I A-B. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p.649-650.
  3. Sosef MSM. Anthocephalus chinensis (Lamk) A. Rich. ex Walp. In: Soerianegara I, Lemmens RHMJ (Editors). Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 5(1): Timber trees; Major commercial timbers. Wageningen, Netherlands: Pudoc, 1993; p. 107-108.
  4. Handa SS, Borris RP, Cordell GA. NMR spectral analysis of cadambine from Anthocephalus chinensis. J Nat Prod.1984;46(3):325-330.
  5. Kitagawa I, Wei H, Nagao S, Mahmud T, Hori K, Kobayashi M, Uji T, Shibuya H. Indonesian Medicinal Plants. XIV. Characterization of 3'-O-caffeoylsweroside, a new secoiridoid glucoside, and kelampayosides A and B, two new phenolic apioglucosides, from the bark of Anthocephalus chinensis (Rubiaceae). Chem Pharm Bull. 1996; 44(6):1162-1167.