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Family Fabaceae
Asian rosewood
Dalbergia cochinchinensis Pierre
Hong suan zhi

Scientific names Common names
Amerimnon cambodianum Pierre Asian rosewood (Engl.)
Amerimnon cochinchinense Pierre Rosewood (Engl.)
Amerimnon fuscum Pierre Siamese rosewood (Engl.)
Dalbergia cambodiana Pierre Thai rosewood (Engl.)
Dalbergia cochinchinensis Laness. Thailand rosewood (Engl.)
Dalbergia cochinchinensis Pierre Trac wood (Engl.)
Dalbergia fusca var. enneandra S.Q.Zou &J.H.Liu  
Dalbergia cochinchinensis Pierre is accepted. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Hong suan zhi, Jiao zhi huang tan, Suan zhi mu, Hongmu.
FRENCH: Palissandre de Siam.
ITALIAN: Palissandro del Siam, Palissandro della Thailandia.
JAPANESE: Keranji, Tai rozuuddo, Torakku uddo.
KHMER: Kranhung.
LAO: Kayung,
THAI: Phayung.
VIETNAMESE: Trac, Trac bong, Cam lai nam bo, Glau ca, Ka rac, Ka nhong.

Gen info
- Dalbergia cochinchinensis is a threatened hardwood-yielding tree, found in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. (2)
- The demand for the rosewood has led to an epidemic of illegal logging and trafficking, threatening species extinction. Conservationists project the species could be extinct within 10 years (by 2026). (2)
- In 2022, its status was re-evaluated as Critically Endangered.
- D. cochinchinensis is one of the eight hongmu species of rare and valuable "redwood" used primarily in the manufacture and trade of antique-style furniture, especially in China.(4)
- In some Asian countries, black market prices have sky-rocketed, making Siam rosewood more valuable than gold. (2)
- In March 3, 2017, The Bureau of Customs published customs memorandum circular No. 41-2017 on the suspension of commercial trade in Dalbergia cochinchinensis (Rosewood) except finished products, including carvings and furniture from Lao's Democratic Republic until such a time that said country complied with conditions indicated therein. (8)

Dalbergia cochinchinensis is a slow-growing medium-sized evergreen tree reaching a height of 35 meters, with a spherical, profusely branched crown. Trunk is up to 60 centimeters in diameter, occasionally up to 120 centimeters.  Heartwood is red or black, distinctly demarcated from the gray sapwood. Flowers are white, small, and fragrant. Pods are think and papery.

Growth Form: Tall, evergreen tree with a rounded crown that grows to a height of 30 m. Trunk: Bark brownish-yellow, fissured with pieces peeling off. This species becomes highly branched. It converts sapwood to heartwood at a slow rate. Foliage: Alternate arrangement of pinnately compound leaves. Each compound leaf consists of 3 - 4 pairs of leaflets and one terminal, unpaired leaflet. Pairs of lateral leaflets either emerge from the same point on the rachis, or are slightly offset from one another. The terminal leaflet is slightly larger than the other leaflets. Leaflets green, ovate or elliptic with entire leaf margins. Flowers: Has terminal or subterminal panicles (10 – 20 cm long) of white flowers that are fragrant and resemble pea flowers. In Vietnam, trees typically flower between May and July and seeds become mature in September or November. Fruits: Flat pods (4.5 – 7.5 cm long and 1 cm wide) become brown at maturity. Does not dehisce at maturity. Each pod contains 1 - 2 red-brown, kidney-shaped seeds. (19)

- Introduced.
- Native to Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam. (3)
- Threatened, mainly by commercial exploitation.

- IUCN Red List: Threatened, 2009.
- Re-evaluated in 2022 as Critically Endangered.

-Study of heartwood yielded fifteen flavonoids identified as: pinocembrin (1), liquiritigenin (2), galangin (3), 7-hydroxy- 6-methoxyflavone (4), naringenin (5), alpinetin (6), 2,3-dimethoxyxanthone (7), 6,4′-dihydroxy-7-methoxy-flavan (8), mucronulatol (9), 7,8-dihydroxyflavanone (10), 5,7,3′,5′-tetrahydroxyflavanone (11), 4,2′,5′-trihydroxy-4′-methoxychalcone (12), isoliquiritigenin (13), butein (14), and 3′,5′,5,7-tetrahydroxy-6-C-β-D-glucopyranosyl- flavanone (15). (5
- Study of stems yielded three new phenolic compounds (1-3) along with five known phenolics: 4'-hydroxy-2'-methoxychalcone (4), latinone (5), dalbergiphenol (6), 7-hydroxyflavanone (7), and dalbergin (8). (see study below) (6
Study of stems isolated four new compounds, 9-hydroxy-6,7-dimethoxydalbergiquinol (1), 6-hydroxy-2,7-dimethoxyneoflavene (2), 6,4′-dihydroxy-7-methoxyflavan (3) and 2,2′,5-trihydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone (4), in addition to eight known phenolic compounds including 7-hydroxy-6-methoxyflavone,(see study below) (10)

- Study of heartwood isolated a new compound, 2-(3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-3-methoxypropyl)-5-methoxycyclohexa-2,5-diene-1,4-dione (1), along with 15 known compounds, 2,4-dihydroxy-5-methoxybenzophenone (2), 3,5-dimethoxy-4′ -hydroxy-trans-stilbene (3), 7,8-dihydroxyflavanone (4), 2,3-dimethoxyxanthone (5), medicarpin (6), galangin (7), 5,7-dihydroxy-2′,3′,4′- trimethoxyisoflavanone (8), 6-hydroxy-2-(2-hydroxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-benzofuran (9), 3′-O-methylviolanone    (10), 2′,5,7-trihydroxy-4′-methoxyisoflavone (11), 7-hydroxy-6-methoxyflavone (12), formononetin (13), pterocarpol (14), 2′-hydroxyformonetin (15), and naringenin (16). (13)
- Study of heartwood isolated a new isoflavan, named dalbergiacochan A (R-3′,6-dihydroxy-2′,4′,8-trimethoxyisoflavan), along with two known isofavans, mucronulatol (2) and 2′-O-methylsepiol (3). (16)

- Wood emits a rose-like fragrance after being sawn.
Studies have suggested testosterone 5α-reductase inhibitory, anti-androgenic, cardioprotective, vasorelaxant, cytoprotective, anti-inflammatory properties.


- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- Heartwood used for treating blood stasis and cancer.
- Wood: Red-colored, durable and resistant to termites.
Cut wood releases a rose-like fragrance.
- Crafts: Considered one of the most desirable material for woodworks. Wood used for making high quality furniture, carvings, handicrafts, musical instruments and sewing machines. (7)
- Fuel: Wood used for fuel and making charcoal.
- Dye: Extraction by various organic solvents yields a dye.

Flavonoids / Heartwood:
Study evaluated the heartwood of Dalbergia cochinchinensis for flavonoids, isolated and purified by combination of silical gel, macroporous resin Sephadex LH20 and ODS column chromatography. Study isolated fifteen flavonoids. (see constituents above) (5)
Phenolic Constituents / Tested for Inhibitory Activity Against Testosterone 5α-Reductase / Stems: Study of stems yielded three new phenolic compounds (1-3) along with four known phenolics. The compounds were evaluated for inhibitory activity against testosterone 5α-reductase, which causes androgen-dependent diseases. (Results not available at present) (see constituents above) (6)
Flavonoids / Heartwood: Study evaluated the impact of flavonoids to modulate the inflammatory response in oral cells. Study isolated 4,7,2'-trihydroxy-4'-methoxyisoflavanol (472T4MIF) and 6,4'-hydroxy-7-methoxyflavane (64D7MF) from the heartwood of D. cochinchinensis. Both flavonoids were inhibitors of inflammatory response of murine RAW 264.7 inflammatory macrophages stimulated by LPS. Human gingival fibroblasts were used to introduce human cells and provoked the inflammatory response by exposing them to IL-1ß and TNFα. The 472T4MIF, but not the 64D7MF, reduced the expression of chemokines CXCL1 and CXCL2. Results suggest the two flavonoids can reduced the expression of cytokines and chemokines in macrophages and fibroblastic cells. (9)
Antiandrogenic Phenolic Constituents / Heartwood: Study of stems isolated four new compounds, along with eight known phenolic compounds. The first two compounds, 9-hydroxy-6,7-dimethoxy- dalbergiquinol (1), 6-hydroxy-2,7-dimethoxyneoflavene (2) showed potent inhibitory activity towards 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which binds with an androgen receptor to form a DHT-receptor complex that caused androgen-dependent diseases. (see constituents above) (10)
Impact on Osteoclastogenesis / Flavonoids: Study isolated subfamilies of chalcones (isoliquiritigenin, butein), flavones (7-hydroxy-6-methoxyflavone) and neoflavanoids (5-methoxylatifolin) and performed invitro bioassay on osteoclastogenesis. Results showed isoliquiritigenin and butein significantly lowered the expression of TRAP and CTSK. There was a trend towards increase of osteoclastogenesis in the presence of methoxylatifolin and 7-hydroxy-6-methoxyflavone. Ant-inflammatory activity was restricted to isoliquiritigenin and butein in murine RAW 264.7 inflammatory macrophages stimulated by LPS. Results identified two flavonoids with potential pro-osteoclastogenic activity. (11
Occupational Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis: Occupational toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) related to D. cochichinensis has been reported. Study reported on eight patients with occupational TEN (2003-2012) and compared with TEN caused by drugs as controls. Patients were treated with combination therapy of corticosteroid and intravenous immunoglobulin, comparing times for bullous ceasing, tapering of corticosteroid, and total hospitalization. Results showed occupational TEN has a longer progression than TEN caused by drugs, with more difficulty in treatment. (12)
Cardioprotective / Myocardial Ischemic Induced by ISO / Heartwood: Study evaluated the ingredients, targets, and signaling pathways of DC heartwood and protective effect in a rat model of acute acute myocardial ischemia induced by isoprenaline (ISO). Molecular docking yielded liquiritigenin, stigmasterol, isodalbergin, latifolin, 4-methoxydalbergione, dibutyl terephthalate, 2,4-dihydroxy-5-methoxybenzophenone in DC heartwood. Study suggests the heartwood ingredients act on HIF-1 signaling pathway, regulate cardiomyocyte energy metabolism, and increase ATP energy charge in a multi-ingredient and multi-target manner, improving cardiac function and histopathological changes to protect rats with acute myocardial ischemia induced by ISO. (14)
Cytoprotective Against Hypoxia/Reoxygenation Injury / Dalbergiphenol / Heartwood: Study of heartwood isolated two hybrid benzodioxepin-dalbergiphenol epimers, named cochindalbergiphenols A-B (12), and a benzofuran-dalbergiphenol hybrid, named cochindalbergiphenol C (3). Compounds 1-3 exhibited potential protective effects against hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) induced injury in H9c2 cells. (17)
Vasorelaxant Effect: A preliminary study of rosewood leaf extract (RE) showed inhibition of phospho-diesterase-5 (PDE5), which is highly expressed in the lung, proving vasorelaxation. Study evaluated the vasorelaxant effect of RE on pulmonary artery isolated from male Wistar rats using organ bath technique. Results showed pulmonary artery relaxation induced by RE was endothelium-dependent and mainly involved the activation of endothelial nitric oxide release and endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor production without toxicity to smooth muscle cells. (18)
Anti-Inflammatory Benzofurans / Heartwood: Study of heartwood isolated a new benzofuran, Cochinfuran A (1), along with four known benzofurans (2-5). Bioactivity assays showed compounds 1-3 and 5 exhibited anti-inflammatory activity with IC50s of 49.01, 1368.93, 67.48, and 77.91 µM, respectively. They reduced NO production (p<0.001) and restrained LDH in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages. (20)

- Cultivated.
- Seeds in the cybermarket.

Updated May 2024
June 2020

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Dalbergia cochinchinensis: Leaves and pods / © Marina Khaytarova / click on image to go to source page / Top Tropicals
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Illustration: Dalbergia cochinchinensis / Annals of the Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta, 10(1): t 64: 1906 / PlantIllustrations.org
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Dalbergia cochinchinensis / leaf / © Chris Clark / CC BY-SA / Image modified / Click on image or link to go to source page / PlantNetOrg
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Dalbergia cochinchinensis / Tree / © Blue Bottle / CC BY-SA / Image modified / Click on image or link to go to source page / PlantNetOrg

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Sorting Dalbergia names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 - 2020 / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The Univers ity of Melbourne. Australia.

Dalbergia cochinchinensis / Wikipedia
Dalbergia cochinchinensis / The Plant List
CYCLES OF DESTRUCTION: Unsustainability, Illegality, and Violence in the Hongmu Trade
/ / EIA: Environmental Investigation Agency
Flavonoids from Heartwood of Dalbergia cochinchinensis / Rong-Hua Liu, Xin-Chao Wen, Feng Shao, Pu-Zhao Zhang, Hui-Lian Huang, Shuag Zhang / Chinese Herbal Medicines, 2016; 8(1): pp 89-93 / / DOI:10.1016/S1674-6384(16)60014-X
Phenolic Constituents from Dalbergiacochinchinensis / Osamu Shirota, Vibha Pathak, Setsuko Sekita, Motoyoshi Satake, Yoshio Nagashima, Yutaka Hirayama, Yusuke Hakamata, and Tatsuo Hayashi / J. Nat. Prod., 2003; 66(8): pp 1128-1131 / https://doi.org/10.1021/np0300683
Dalbergia cochinchinensis / Ken Fern: Tropical Plants Database / Useful Tropical Plants
Customs Memorandum Circular No 41-2017
Heartwood of Dalbergia cochinchinensis: 4,7,2′-Trihydroxy-4′-methoxyisoflavanol and 6,4′-Dihydroxy-7-methoxyflavane Reduce Cytokine and Chemokine Expression In Vitro / Feng Shao, Layla Panahipour, Mariane Beatriz Sordi, Fangrui Tang, Ronghua Liu, Reinhard Gruber / Molecules, 2022; 27(4): 1321 / PMID: 35209110 / DOI: 10.3390/molecules27041321
Antiandrogenic phenolic constituents from Dalbergia cochinchinensis / Vibha Pathak, Osamu Shirota, Setsuko Sekita, Yutaka Hirayama, Yusuke Hakamata, Tatsuo Hayashi, Takuma Yanagawa, Motoyoshi Satake / Phytochemistry, 1997; 46(7): pp 1219-1223 / DOI: 10.1016/S0031-9422(97)80015-5
Flavonoids from Dalbergia cochinchinensis: Impact on osteoclastogenesis / Feng Shao, Layla Panahipour, Reinhard Gruber / Journal of Dental Sciences,  2023; 18(1): pp 112-119 / DOI: 10.1016/j.jds.2022.06.026
Occupational toxic epidermal necrolysis associated with dalbergia cochinchinensis: a retrospective comparative study of eight cases in China / Yongsheng Yang MSc, Zhen Zhang MSc, Xiaonian Lu MD, Xiaohua Zhu MD, Qiong Huang MD, Jun Liang MD, Jinhua Xu MD et al / International Journal of Dermatology, 2015; 54(12): pp 1435-1441 / DOI: 10.1111/ijd.12784
A New Chalcone from the Heartwood of Dalbergia cochinchinensis
/ Rong-Hua Liu, Yu-Yi Li, Hui-Lian Huang et al / Chemistry of Natural Compounds, 2016; Vol 52: pp 405-408
Molecular mechanism of Dalbergia cochinchinensis heartwood in regulation of energy metabolism to treat myocardial ischemia based on network pharmacology and experimental validation / LH Cheng, LY Chen, BY Shou, YY Luo, YR Cui, RH Liu /  China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica, 2022; 47(24): pp 6696-6708 / PMID: 36604920 / DOI: 10.19540/j.cnki.cjcmm.20220902.702
Molecules Effect of Rosewood: Dalbergia Cochinchinensis. / Lishu Wang, Wanxi Peng et al /  Ekoloji Dergisi, 2019; Issue 108: p 51 / ISSN: 1300-1361
A New Isoflavan From the Heartwood of Dalbergia cochinchinensis / Yanxia Zhong, Jiao Chen, Xinhong Liu et al / Natural Product Communications, 2021 / DOI: 10.1177/1934578X211049673
Three novel dalbergiphenol hybrids from the heartwood of Dalbergia cochinchinensis / Jia-Hui Ren, Yang Liu, Chen-Xiao Shen, Lan-Ying Chen, Rong-Hua Liu et al / Fitoterapia, 2023; Vol 170: 105663
Vasorelaxant effect on rat isolated pulmonary artery and mechanism of action of rosewood extract (Dalbergia cochinchinensis Pierre) / Kittiwoot To-on et al / Naresuan University: NU Intellectual Repository
Dalbergia cochinchinensis / National Parks: FLORA & FAUNA WEB
Anti-inflammatory Benzofurans from the Heartwood of Dalbergia cochinchinensis Pierre ex Laness / Qiwan Zheng, Canyue Ouyang, Yang Liu, Jiahui Ren, Xianwen Wei, Ronghua Liu, Lanying Chen / Recrods of Natural Products, 2023; 17(3): pp 549-554 / DOI: 10.25135/rnp.371.2210.2594 / eISSN: 1307-6167

DOI: 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. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants
                                          New plant names needed
The compilation now numbers over 1,300 medicinal plants. While I believe there are hundreds more that can be added to the collection, they are becoming more difficult to find. If you have a plant to suggest for inclusion, native or introduced, please email the info: scientific name (most helpful), local plant name (if known), any known folkloric medicinal use, and, if possible, a photo. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

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