Excoecaria cochinchinensis


Antidesma bicolor, Excoecaria bicolor 

Vernacular Names:


Buta-buta, Bebuta, Daun Sambang, Sambang Merah, Sambang Darah


Picara, Chinese Croton [2]


Ji Wei Su


Ki sambang, Daun Remek Daging, Sambang Daging (Java)


Ka Buea (Ratchaburi); Kamlang Krabue, Lin Krabue (Central); Bai Thong Daeng (Chanthaburi) [9]


Cay lieodo


Tsillay Cheddie, Tillay Chedday (Tamil)

General Information


Excoecaria cochinchinensis Lour is a member of the Euphorbiaceae family. It is a shrub having an aborous stem and raising up to 2.5m high. The leaves are opposite, papery, lanceolate and slightly serrated with the upper surface dark green while the undersurface deep maroon colour. They measures 4-15cm x 1.5-4.5cm. The flowers are dioecious in axillary or terminal racemes. The male inflorescences measure 1-2cm long;  female ones 3 to 5 flowered, slightly shorter than the male. In the male flowers the pedicels measure 1.5mm long, bracts broad-ovate 1.7mm long and wide, serrulate inside base biglandulose each ones 1-flowered; bractlets 2, linear measuring 1.5mm long, lacerate-serrulate on the upper part, biglandulose at the base; sepals 3, lanceolate 1.2mm long, serrulate at the apex; stamens exserted the calyx, anthers rounded, slightly shorter than filaments. The female flowers have strong pedicel measuring 1.5-2mm long, bracts and bractlets as in male; sepals 3, slightly connate at the base, ovate, measure 1.8mm long 1.2mm wide; ovary globose, glabrous; styles 3, free or more or less connate at base 2.2mm long. The capsules are red in colour, three-lobed and fleshy. The seeds are ovate, smooth and even. [6][8]

Plant Part Used

Roots, stem and leaves [2][7]

Chemical Constituents

shikimic acid, 1-cyclohexene-1-carboxylic acid-5-hydroxy-3,4-isopropylidene-dioxy, oxy-bis(5-methylene-2-furaldehyde), beta-sitosterol, tetracosanoic acid, palmic acid, steric acid and hentriacontane, excoecariosides A and B; (+)-epiloliolide; excolabdone A,B & C. [3-5] [10]

Traditional Used:

The plant is considered hot and poisonous. It is beneficial as anti-parasitic, antipruritic, haemostatic.

Gastrointesitnal Diseases

While the latex is considered a drastic purgative the decoction of the leaves is used to treat dysentery in Indonesia. It is also being advocated for use in cases of haematemesis whence the leaves are pounded before being boiled with salt added to the decoction. It is the juice squeezed out from the leaves after being boiled that is used to treat haematemesis and not the decoction. [2]

Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Various part of E. cochinchinensis is being used to treat menorrhagia and post partum haemorrhage. In cases of menorrhagia lengths of branches are chooped into small pieces and boiled with the decoction being taken three times per day. On the other hand in post-partum haemorrhage the decoction of the roots is used. This decoction is also abortifecient and is not advisible for use during pregnancy [2] [7]

Other uses

The leaves of E. cochinchinensis is used to treat skin diseases like chronic eczema, psoriasis, neurodermatitis and bleeding wounds. [2] [7] In these conditions the leaves are finely pounded and applied over the lesion. A decoction of the leaves are also given orally. In India the decoction of the leaves are given for the treatment of epilepsy. [6]

Pre-Clinical Data


Antimicrobial activity

It was found the the ethanolic and water extract of E. cochinchinensis, has significant antibacterial activities against Straphylococcus aureus and Propionibacterium acnes. Of the two extracts the aqueous extract exhibited profounc antibacterial activity especially against the clindamycin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (P31 and Fl14). [11]

Cytotoxic activity

In a screening activity of Indonesian Medicinal Plants for their cytotoxic activity Park found that extracts from E. cochinchinensis displayed potent cell-line selective cytotoxicity. [12]


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

The yellowish white latex is poisonous and can cause irritating dermatitis when in contact with the skin of people sensitive to it. When in contact with the eyes the sap can result in temporary blindness probably due to its irritant effects.

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

Being a potent emmenagogue its use during pregnancy is strictly contraindicated. [6]

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

No documentation


No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation


Interactions with drugs

No documentation

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation


    1. Merrill: Loureiro’s “Flora Cochinchinensis” in Transactions, American Philosophical Society (vol. 24, Part 2, 1935-June) American Philosophical Society Philadelphia 1935  pg. 241
    2. Drs. H. Arief Hariana Tumbuhan Obat dan Khasiatnya Seri 3 Penebar Swadaya Jakarta 2008 pg. 28 - 29
    3. Yamada K, Subeki, Nabeta K, Yamasaki M, Katakura K, Matsuura H. Isolation of antibabesial compounds from Brucea javanica, Curcuma xanthorrhiza, and Excoecaria cochinchinensis. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2009 Mar 23;73(3):776-80. Epub 2009 Mar 7.
    4. Giang PM, Son PT, Matsunami K, Otsuka H. New megastigmane glucosides from Excoecaria cochinchinensis Lour. var. cochinchinensis. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2005 Dec;53(12):1600-3.
    5. Xie JM, Chen YS, Zhao SN, Zhou XD. [Studies on the chemical constituents of Excoecaria cochinchinensis Lour. var. viridis Merr.] Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 1989 May;14(5):292-4, 319.
    6. Sir Whitelaw Ainslie Materia Indica: Or Some account of those articles which are employed by the Hindoos Volume II Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green London 1826 pg. 438
    7. Hean Chooi Ong Tanaman Hiasan: Khasiat Makanan & Ubatan Utusan Publications & Distributors Kuala Lumpur 2008 pg. 216 – 217
    8. Hongkong Flora and Vegetation ( Accessed on 15th September 2010
    9. Flora of Thailand – Euphorbiaceae : Excoecaria ( Accessed on: 15th September 2010
    10. Jing-Hua Yang,  Shi-De Luo,  Jing-Feng Zhao, Yun-song Wang, Rong Huang,  Hong-Bin Zhang,  Liang Li  Three New Highly Oxygenated Diterpenoids from Excoecaria cochinchinensis Lour. Helvetica Chimica Acta Volume 88(5): 968–973
    11. P. Leelapornpisid, S. Chansakao, T. Ittiwittayawat, S. Pruksakorn. Antimicrobial activity of herbal extracts on Staphylococcus Aureus and Propionibacterium Acnes. ISHS Acta Horticulturae 679: III WOCMAP Congress on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants - Volume 5: Quality, Efficacy, Safety, Processing and Trade in Medicinal and Aromatic Plants
    12. Park, Go-Woo-Ni; Lee, Eun-Jin; Min, Hye-Young; Choi, Hye-Young; Han, Ah-Reum; Lee, Sang-Kook; Seo, Eun-Kyoung Evaluation of Cytotoxic Potential of Indonesian Medicinal Plants in Cultured Human Cancer Cells Natural Product Sciences / v.8, no.4, 2002, pp.165-169