HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT

Family Leguminosae
Acacia concinna (WIlld.) DC.

Rou guo jin he huan

Scientific names Common names
Acacia concinna (WIlld.) DC. Acacia (Tag.)
Acacia hooperiana Miq. Shikakai plant (Engl.)
Acacia philippinarum Benth. Soap acacia (Engl.)
Acacia poilanei Gagnep. Soap pod (Engl.)
Acacia polycephala DC. Soap pod wattle (Engl.)
Acacia quisumbingii Merr. Soap nut (Engl.)
Acacia rugata (Lam.) Merr. Soap nut acacia (Engl.)
Guilandina microphylla DC.  
Mimosa concinna Willd.  
Mimosa rugata Ham.  
Nygae sylvarum-minimae Rumph.  
Acacia is a name shared by many species of Philippine plants, both scientific and common names: (1) Acacia concinna, acacia, a prickly shrub found in La Union, Benguet, and Ilocos Sur provinces of northern Luzon (2) Albizzia lebbect, acaci, langil, mimosa (3) Samanea saman, rain tree, acacia, for Acacia concinna (4) Acacia farnesiana, aroma (5) Acacia glauca, ipil-ipil (6) Acacia niopo, kupang, and (7) Acacia crassicarpa.
Acacia concinna (Willd.) DC. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
ASSAMESE: Amsikira, Kachuai, Pasoi tenga, Suse lewa.
BENGALI: Ban ritha, Ritha, Riitha.
BURMESE: Hpak-ha Sum-hkawn, Kin-mun, Kinmun-gyin.
CHINESE: Xiao he huan, Teng jin he huan, rou guo jin he huan.
FRENCH: Chikakai, Piquant sappan, Sappan.
GERMAN: Shikekai-Baum.
GUJARATI: Shikakai.
HINDI: Cikakai, Hikakai, Kochi, Righa, Ritha, Saatalaa, Shika, Shikakai.
JAPANESE: Akashia konshina.
MALAYALAM: Carmalanta, Carmalantala, Chikaka, Chinikka.
MARATHI: Shikakai, Reetah.
ORIYA: Vimala.
RUSSIAN: Akatsiia konsinna, Saptala, Shikakay.
SANSKRIT: Bahuphenarasa, Bhuriphena, Carmasava, Charmakansa, Charmakasa, Phenila, Saptala.
SRI LANKAN: Siyakkai.
TAMIL: Cikkay, Ciyakkay, Shika, Shikakai, Shikai, Shikaikkay.
TELUGU: Chikaya, Gogu, Shiikaya, Siikaya.
THAI: Sohm bpaawy, Som poy, Som kon.

Acacia concinna is a scandent, prickly shrub reaching a height of 4 to 5 meters. Branches are gray and armed with short, sharp prickles. Leaves are pinnately compound, 15 to 25 centimeters long, and with 8 to 10 pairs of pinnae. Rachis has one gland near the base, and one of two near the apex. Leaflets number 20 to 32 pairs on each pinnae, are linear-oblong, 8 to 10 millimeters in length, with a pointed tip and subtruncate base. Midrib is oblique. Panicles are terminal, in the upper axils, and ample. Heads are yellow, about 1 centimeter in diameter. Pods are straight, somewhat fleshy, flat, 7 to 10 centimeters long, and about 2 centimeters wide.

- In Benguet, La Union, and Ilocos Sur Provinces in Luzon, in thickets at low and medium altitudes.
- Also occurs in India to southern China and Malaya.

- Soft parts of the dried berries contain 5% saponin.
- Pods have yielded several saponins including kinmoonosides A-C, triterpenoidal prosapogenols names concinnosides A, B, C, D and E with four glycosides, acaciaside, julibroside A1, albiziasaponin C and their aglycone, acacic acid lactone.

- Phytochemical screening of the plant yielded flavanoids, saponins, terpenoids and tannins.

- Pod is acid, bitter, and singularly pungent; considered deobstruent, astringent and detergent.
- Studies have suggested antibacterial, antifungal, antithrombotic, antioxidant, antidermatophytic, contraceptive, hepatoprotective properties.

Parts used


- Pods used as deobstruent in cases of jaundice and other biliary derangements.
- Decoction of pods used for biliousness and as purgative.
- Fruit pods, leaves and bark are dried, powdered and made into paste to make a hair cleanser.
- In India and Sri Lanka, decoction of pods used for washing the hair to promote hair growth and remove dandruff.
- In
Thailand, dried pods use as laxative, antidandruff, antitussive and for skin diseases.
Myanmar, India, and Thailand, leaves used to prevent diabetes and skin diseases.

Cosmetic: Ingredient in many cosmetic products.

Study pod extracts (ethanol, ethyl acetate, and hexane extracts) showed significant antidermatophytic activity against Trichophyton rubrum, T. mentagrophytes, T. violaceum, Microsporum nanum and Epidermophyton floccosum. (1)
Immunological Adjuvant Activity / Vaccine Adjuvant: Study of methanolic fractions showed Th1 and Th2 helper cell activity. At dose of 40 ug it can be used as a vaccine adjuvant to increase immune responses. (5)
Hepatoprotective: An ethanolic extract of pods of Acacia concinna showed significant protective activity in a CCl4-induced liver damage model. (3)
Antifungal : Study of extracts was done against 35 isolates of dermatophytes and isolates of C. albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans and Penicillium marneffei. Results showed antifungal effectiveness.
Antibacterial: The benzene, methanol and aqueous extracts of fresh pods of A. concinna showed maximum activity against K. pneumonia, B. subtilis, E. coli. (6)
Contraceptive: Study in female rats fed with fraction of AE of Acacia concinna showed arrest in the diestrus stage, reduction in pregnancy and implantation, depletion in FSH, LH and estrogen levels. Results showed the acerone fraction of aqueous extract of Acacia concinna can be used as herbal contraceptive without any undesirable side effect. (7)
New Cytotoxic Saponins / Kimoonosides: Study yielded three saponins, kinmoonosides A-C together with a monoterpenoids from a methanolic extract. The three kinmoonosides showed significant cytotoxicity against human HT-11080 fibrosarcoma cells. (8)
Volatile Compounds: Study for volatile compounds yielded fatty acids as main constituents, such as palmitic and linoleic acid with rather high amount of furfural and 5-methyl-2-furfural. Esters identified were methyl salicylate, methyl palmitate, isopropyl palmitate, and linalool oxide. The compounds may contribute to the aroma of Som Poy. (11)
Insecticidal / Ovicidal: Study evaluated the larvicidal and ovicidal activity of extracts of seeds and leaves of Acacia concinna and seeds and flowers of Butea monosperma against Hyblaea puera. Results showed the methanol extract of seeds and EA extract of seeds and leaves were most effective of all extracts with a 100% egg hatch inhibition. (12)
Siyakkai Hair Wash for Pityriasis capitis: Sri Lankan use Siyakkai (Acacia concinna) hair wash as home remedy for Pityriasis capitis. Placebo-controlled study evaluated the efficacy of the hair wash prepared from 10g of powdered pods of A. concinna to 240ml of boiled water. Patients treated with SHW showed symptomatic relief in scaling, itching, dryness, and greasiness of scalp after treatment. (14)
Antioxidant / Anti-Thrombotic: Eight plants including Acacia concinna were evaluated for antioxidant and anti-thrombotic activities. Five out of eight plants, including A. concinna, exhibited more than 85% inhibition against collagen induced platelet aggregation. Results suggest A. concinna have potential for development as an anti-thrombosis agent. A. concinna yielded polyphenol contents of 78.4±2.4 mg/g GAE and 7.8 % GAE, with DPPH IC50 of 0.35±0.018 mg/ml and IC50 Superoxide 0.30±0.013 mg/ml. (15)
Surfactant Type Catalyst / Pods: Study reports on a simple, efficient, and environmentally benign protocol for the synthesis of 3-carboxycoumarins and cinnamic acids via Knoevenagel condensation using aqueous extract of Acacia concinna pods as a naturally occurring surfactant type catalyst. (16)
Antioxidant: Study evaluated six Thai plant species for antioxidant activities. Tamarindus indica, Acacia concinna, and Bauhinia malabarica exhibited the most potent inhibition effect on the formation of Heinz body by acetyl phenylhydrazine. A. concinna could inhibit up to 1:40 dilution. (17)
Novel Anti-Hepatitis C Vrus Inhibitors: Study investigated the development of HCV replication inhibitors by the volatile compounds extracted from Acacia concinna which is follow by molecular docking against NS5B polymerase. The interaction of the extracted compounds showed their antiviral properties against SC5BP which could be used in further analysis for inhibition of HCV replication. (18)

Shikakai powder and shampoo in the cybermarket.

Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Updated December 2015

IMAGE SOURCE: Public Domain / File:Acacia concinna Blanco2.374.png / Flora de Filipinas / 1880 - 1883 / Francisco Manuel Blanco (O.S.A) / Wikilpedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: PHOTO / Flowers of Acacia concinna / Shikakai / Acacia concinna.jpg / Jayesh Patil / 2011 / Wikilpedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: PHOTO / Sikakai Pods / Shikakai / click on image to go to source page / click on image to go to shource page / © Dreamstime

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Antidermatophytic Activity of Acacia concinna / V. Natarajan and S. Natarajan/ Global Journal of Pharmacology 3 (1): 06-07, 2009
Acacia concinna herb Shikakai pods use in medicine /
Hepatoprotective Activity of Ethanolic Extract of Pods of Acacia concinna / Kumar Tataji Setti et al /
In vitro Effectiveness of Acacia concinna Extract against Dermatomycotic Pathogens / Mansuang Wuthi-udomiert and Omboon Vallisuta / Pharmacognosy Journal / DOI: 10.5530/pj.2011.19.13
Immunological adjuvant activities of saponin extracts from the pods of Acacia concinna / Ratiya Kukhetpitakwong, Chariya Hahnvajanawong et al / International Immunopharmacology, Volume 6, Issue 11, November 2006, Pages 1729-1735 / doi:10.1016/j.intimp.2006.08.004
Screening of Secondary Metabolites and Antibacterial Activity of Acacia concinna / S S Todar, V V Chavan and A S Kulkami / Research Journal of Microbiology, 2010, Vol 5, No10, Pp 974 - 979.
Kinmoonosides A-C, Three New Cytotoxic Saponins from the Fruits of Acacia concinna, a Medicinal Plant Collected in Myanmar / Yasuhiro Tezuka, Kazuyuki Honda, Arjun H. Banskota, Maung Maung Thet, and Shigetoshi Kadota /
Acacia sinuata (Lour.) Merr. / Catalogue of Life, China
Sorting Acacia names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher, / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / The University of Melbourne, Australia / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.
Volatile Compounds from "Som Poy" (Acacia concinna DC.) / Punchavee Sombatsiri and Griangsak Chairote / Acta Hort. 679, ISHS 2005

Insecticidal Activity of the Phyto-extracts Derived from Different parts of the trees of Fabaceae family against Hyblaea puera Cramer (Lepidoptera: Hyblaeidae) / B. Deepa and O.K. Remadevi / Biological Forum ó An International Journal, 3(2): 1-8(2011)
Acacia concinna (Willd.) DC. / Synonyms / The Plant List
A Clinical study on efficacy of Siyakkai (Acacia concinna) Hair Wash on Darunaka (Pitiriasis capitis) / Sujatha Ediriweera, A.M.H.Y Perera, K.K.V.S. Peshala, K. M. S.P. Perera / Journal of Ayurveda and Holistic Medicine (JAHM), Vol 2, No 7 (2014)
Antioxidant and Anti-Thrombotic Properties of Selected Plant Extracts of Asia / Rao TP*, Htay HH, Yasuda NK, Sugino H, Ohkubo, Hayashi T, Okamoto T and Suzuki K / Austin J Nutr Metab, Volume 1, Issue 1 (2014)
Aqueous Extract of Acacia concinna Pods: An Efficient Surfactant Type Catalyst for Synthesis of 3-Carboxycoumarins and Cinnamic Acids via Knoevenagel Condensation / Hemant V. Chavan and Babasaheb P. Bandgar* / ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng., 2013, 1 (8), pp 929–936 / DOI: 10.1021/sc4000237
Inhibition of Heinz Body Induction of Six Common Thai Medicinal Leaves and Creeping Stems in In Vitro Antioxidant Study Model / Supham Soogarun, Viroj Wiwanitkit, Jamsai Suwansuksri / Acta Hort. 680, ISHS 2005
Molecular docking study ON NS5B polymerase of hepatitis c virus by screening of volatile compounds from Acacia concinna and ADMET prediction / V. Balavignesh*, E. Srinivasan, N. G. Ramesh Babu and N. Saravanan / Int. J. of Pharm. & Life Sci. (IJPLS), Vol. 4, Issue 4: April: 2013, 2548-2558

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT