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Family Euphorbiaceae
Antidesma bunius (L.) Spreng

Wu yue cha

Scientific names  Common names  
Antidesma andamanicum Hook.f. Bignai (Tag.)
Antidesma bunius (Linn.) Spreng Bignay (Tag., Sbl., Bik.,C. Bis.)  
Antidesma ciliatum C.Presl Bignay-kalabaw (Tag.)  
Antidesma collettii Craib Bugnay (Ilk., Bon., Ibn., P. Bis., C. Bis.)  
Antidesma cordifolium C.Presl Bugney (Bon., If.)  
Antidesma crassifolium (Elmer) Merr. Bundei (Ibn.)
Antidesma floribundrum Tul. Dokodoko (Bag.)
Antidesma glabrum Tul. Isip (Pamp.)
Antidesma rumphii Tul. Mutagtamanuk (Bag,)
Antidesma stilago Poir. Oyhip (Sbl.)  
Antidesma sylvestre Lam.. Pagiñga (Ibn.)  
Antidesma thorelianum Gagnep. Vunnay (Ibn.)  
Sapium crassifolium Elmer Currant tree (Engl.)
Stilago bunius L. Chinese laurel (Engl.)
  Queensland cherry (Engl.)
  Salamander tree (Engl.)
  Wild cherry (Engl.)
Antidesma bunius (L.) Spreng. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
BURMESE: Kywe-pyisin.
CHINESE: Wu cao shu, Wu yue cha.
DUTCH: Salamanderboom.
FRENCH : Antidesme.
GERMAN : Lorbeerblättriger Flachsbaum, Salamanderbaum.
INDIA: Soh-syllai.
INDONESIAN: Wooni, Hooni.
JAPANESE: Buni no ki, Nanyou gomishi, Saramando no ki.
LAOTIAN: Kho lien tu.
MALAY: Berunai, Buneh, Boni, Buni, Huni, Wuni.
MALAYALAM: Airyaporiyan, Cerutali, Nulittali.
PORTUGUESE: Candoeira.
QUEENSLAND: Moi-kin, Chunka.
SPANISH: Bignai.
TAMIL: Nolaidali.
THAI: Ba mao ruesi, Ma mao luang, Mamao dong, Mao chang, Maeng mao khwai.
VIETNAMESE: Ch[of]im[of]i, Choi moi.

Bignay is a small, smooth, dioecious tree, 4 to 10 meters high. Leaves are shiny, oblong, 8 to 20 centimeters long, pointed at the tip, rounded or pointed at the base. Spikes are axillary or terminal, simple, and usually 5 to 15 centimeters long. Flowers are small and green. Male flowers are about 1.5 millimeters in diameter, borne on spikes, while the female flowers grow out on racemes. Fruit is fleshy, red, acid, edible, ovoid, and about 8 millimeters long, single-seeded, and borne in grapelike pendant clusters (often paired), wrinkled when dry, the seed becoming somewhat compressed.

Note: The plant is very similar to Binayuyo (Antidesma ghaesembilla) differing in the general outline of the leaves which is broadly elliptic or obovate and being more rounded on both ends. The dorsal surface is beset with soft hairs. The corolla lobes of the male (staminate) flower is 5-parted.

- Common from northern Luzon to Mindanao, in thickets, etc., in the vicinity of towns and settlements, and occasional in forests.
- Also reported in Sri Lanka, India, eastern Himalaya, Burma, Indo-China, China, Thailand, Indonesia, and Australia.

- The bark is poisonous, containing an toxic alkaloid.
- Contains phenolics, flavonoids, anthocyanins and carotenoids.
- Methanol extract of leaves yielded six polyphenols, viz., corilagin, gallic, ferrulic, and ellagic acids, together with flavone vicinin II and dimmer amentoflavone. (See study below) (10)
- Study yielded six known compounds viz. aristolochic acid I (AA-I) (1), aristolochic acid I methyl ester (2), aristolochic acid-IVa methyl ester (3), antidesmone (4), 5-methoxyseselin (5) and barbatumol A (6). (see study below) (14)
- Nutritional value per 100 g of edible portion yields 91.11-94.80 g moisture, 0.75 g protein, 0.57-0.78 g ash, 0.12 mg calcium, 0.04 mg phosphorus, 0.001 mg iron, 0.031 mg thiamine, 0.072 mg riboflavin, and 0.53 mg niacin. (19)
- Fractionation of methanolic extract of leaves yielded six polyphenols, namely,
corilagin (1), gallic (2), ferrulic (3) and ellagic (4) acids in addition to the flavone vicinin II (5) and the dimmer amentoflavone (6). Total phenolic content was estimated at 90 mg/ml of gallic acid equivalent (GAE) per 100 g plant extract. (see study below) (10)
- Phytochemical screening for fruits yielded alkaloids, steroids, anthraquinones, saponins, polyphenols, flavonoids, and tannins. (25)

- Acidic tasting, warming nature.
- Astringent, antidysenteric.
- Thirst quenching, induces salivation.
- Antioxidative, anti-cancer.
- Leaves are sudorific.
- Studies have shown cytotoxic, antioxidant, antidiabetic, pesticidal, hypolipidemic properties.

Parts utilized
· Roots, leaves, and fruits.
· Roots and leaves, collected the year round.
· Fruits, collected May to July.
· Sun-dry.

Edibility / Nutrition
- Fruits made into jam and jelly.
- Fermented into vinegar, wine and brandy.
- The leaves when young are edible, eaten raw, in salads, or stewed with rice.
- Leaves used as substitute for tomato or vinegar to flavor fish and meat stews.
- A good source of calcium and fair source of iron.
• Decoction of dried materials used for parched tongue, lack of appetite, indigestion, and sprains.
• Leaves used for snakebites.
• Leaves and fruits used for anemia and hypertension.
• Juice of fruits used for heart disease.
• Used for syphilitic affections.
• In Vietnam, stem-bark used for fevers.
• In India, solution from boiled leaves used for bathing patients with painful joints. (12)
Wood: Used for fence posts, tool handles, walking sticks.
• Cordage: Bark yields a strong fiber for rope and cordage.
Dye: Fruit is source of blue dye.
Bignay wine yields flavonoids including catechin, procyanidins B1 and B12

Phytochemicals / Flavonoids:
Analysis on Flavanoids Contents in Mao Luang Fruits of Fifteen Cultivars (Antidesma bunius), Grown in Northeast Thailand: Study showed 15 cultivars to possess different amounts of flavonoids of catechin, procyanidins B1 and B2. (2)
Biological Activity of Bignay [Antidesma bunius (L.) Spreng] Crude Extract in Artemia salina: Study suggests that bignay possibly contains compounds with potential cytotoxic activity. (3)
Flavonoid and Phenolic Content:
An analysis on flavonoids, phenolics and organic acids contents in brewed red wines of both non-skin contact and skin contact fermentation techniques of Mao Luang ripe fruits (Antidesma bunius) harvested from Phupan Valley in Northeast Thailand: Skin contact Mao Luang red wine showed higher amounts of flavonoids, phenolic acids, anthocyanins of procyanidin B1 and procyanidin B2, organic acids than non-skin contact red wine. (4)
Antioxidant: Study showed methanolic extracts of bignay berries exhibit a potential use as natural antioxidants.
Cultivar Flavonoid Contents: Study to analyze the flavonoid contents in ripe fruits of 15 Mao Luang cultivars yielded three different kinds of flavonoids, i.e., catechin, procyanidin B1 and procyanidin B2. (7)
Antidiabetic: Study of bignay extracts in rats showed glucose lowering effect on fasted non-diabetic and alloxan-induced diabetic rats. The effect had the same therapeutic effect as glibenclamide and was attributed to phenolic contents and flavonoids.
Hepatoprotective / Antioxidant / Polyphenols: Study of methanol extract of A. bunius leaves yielded six polyphenols, namely, corilagin (1), gallic (2), ferrulic (3) and ellagic (4) acids, together with flavone vicinin II (5) and the dimmer amentoflavone (6). In vitro evaluated of leaves extract sowed high antioxidant potency. The leaves, together with compound 1, showed high hepatoprotective activity in an invitro assay. (10)
α-Glucosidase Inhibitory Activity / Antidiabetic:
In a study of six plants of indigenous medicinal use, all showed
α-glucosidase inhibition. Anitdesma bunius showed significant inhibition (99.7%), with the methanol fraction showing greatest potency. (11)
Pesticide / Fruit Extract:
Study evaluated the potential of Antidesma bunius fruit extract as an organic pesticide against Epilachna ssp. of the family Coccinellidae. The pure fruit extract proved effective against Eplachna spp. and suggests it can serve as a novel source of alternative organic pesticide. (13)
Aristolochic Acid Concern / Cytotoxic / Roots:
Study identified aristolochic acid (1) and antidesmone (4) as two major cytotoxic agents from the roots of A. bunius. Aristolochic acid has been shown to be a carcinogenic agent for humans, and is also highly nephrotoxic. The presence of aristolochic acid in trace amounts in a methanol extract of combination of stems, fruits and leaves raises a concern. Compounds 2, 3, 5, and 6 were observed to induce apoptosis in HT-29 cells by reducing the mitochondrial transmembrane potential. (See constituents above). (14)
Anthocyanin / Natural Food Colorant Acid from Fruits:
Study evaluated the stability of anthocyanins extracted from Buni fruits. Ethanol 70% acidified with citric acid 3% was the optional solvent for anthocyanin extraction. Anthocyanin extracts from Buni fruits have been used for making jelly. The colorless jelly turned red after adding the anthocyanin extracts. Result showed Buni fruit anthocyanins as a potential natural dye. (15)
Antiradical Activity / Polyphenolic Content:
Study investigated the physiochemical properties, antiradical activity, and accumulation of polyphenolic compounds in Maoluang fruits. Total anthocyanin contents was highest at the over ripe stage. Highest antiradical activity was observed at at the immature stage. The main polyphenol compounds were procyanidin B2, procyanidin B1, (+)-catechin, (–)-epicatechin, rutin and tran-resveratrol whose levels increased during fruit development and ripening. The over ripe stage showed the highest antioxidant levels, suggesting the appropriate time of harvest. (16)
Leaf extract considered to have anti-ophidian property. (17)
Hypoglycemic / Hypolipidemic Activity:
Study of ethanol seed extract of Antidesma bunius showed hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects. The extract increased WBC and HDL, but reduced cholesterol, LDL, and TG in both normal and diabetic treated rats. The ABSE did not produce any symptoms of acute toxicity and mortality in rats. There were alteration in renal and hepatic parameters (BUN, creatinine, albumin, total protein, and ALP). (
• Antioxidant / Antimutagenic / Ripe Fruits: Study evaluated the total antioxidant capacity, lipid peroxidation inhibition, genotoxicity, and antimutagenicity of ripe fruit extracts. The fruit extract showed dose-dependent antioxidant capacity and lipid peroxidation inhibition, although lower than L.-Ascorbic Acid. The extract did not induce genotoxicity to DNA repair-deficient E. coli PQ37 and reduced the chromosomal aberrations in onion root cells. Results showed promising antioxidant and antimutagenic activity. (21)
• Antidiabetic /
Increased Insulin & Increased Glycogen: Study investigated the hypoglycemic activities of methanolic extracts of A. bunius in type 1 alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Extract exhibited an significant reduction in blood glucose level (80.5%) along with an increase in serum insulin (134%), lipase (90.7%), and liver glycogen level (160%). Moreover, there were significant decreases in amylase (28.2%) activity, total cholesterol (40.2%) and triglyceride (28.8%) levels. Results suggest antidiabetic activity through enhancement of glycogen storage and regeneration of islet of Langerhans. (22)
• Antidiabetic / Seeds: Study investigated the antidiabetic and antioxidant activity of 80% ethanolic seed extract in STZ-induced diabetic rats. DPPH scavenging assay showed relatively low antioxidant activity. There was significant reduction (p<0.05) of blood glucose level. The antidiabetic effect showed insulin secretion is not involved. (23)
• Antidiabetic / Fruits: Study evaluated chromatographic fractions of A bunius fruit ethanolic extract for hypoglycemic activity in alloxan induced hyperglycemic Balb/C mice. Fractions F2 and F3 exhibited the highest blood glucose lowering activity. Phytochemical screening of F2 and F3 fractions yielded tannins and indoles. Results suggest a potential herbal drug for diabetes therapy. (24)
• Antidiabetic / α-Glucosidase Inhibition / Stems Bark and Leaves: Study evaluated fractions of 80% ethanol extract from A. bunius stem barks and leaves for α-glucosidase inhibitory activity. An ethyl acetate fraction of stem bark and methanol fraction of leaves showed the highest α-glucosidase inhibitory activity with IC50 f 5.73 and 8.04 ppm. (26)
• Anti-Angiogenic / Leaves: Study of Bignay dried leaf extract focused on polyphenol content and its antiangiogenic role against cancer. Total phenolic content was 0.65 mg/g GA equivalent/g. Median lethal concentration (LC50) as antiangiogenic agent was 53.71%. On Duct Chorioallantoic Membrane (CAM) Assay, the 40% concentration showed the greatest anti-angiogenic activity in terms of decrease number of blood vessels. (27)


Updated November 2017 / November 2014

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
IMAGE SOURCE: Plate from book / File:Antidesma bunius Blanco2.361.png / Flora de Filipinas / 1880 - 1883 / Francisco Manuel Blanco (O.S.A) / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Bignay / Antidesma bunius Spreng.
/ Morton, J. 1987. Bignay. p. 210–212. In: Fruits of warm climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL.
Analysis on Flavanoids Contents in Mao Luang Fruits of Fifteen Cultivars (Antidesma bunius), Grown in Northeast Thailand / Butkhup L, Samappito S. / Pak J Biol Sci. 2008 Apr 1;11(7):996-1002.
Biological Activity of Bignay [Antidesma bunius (L.) Spreng] Crude Extract in Artemia salina / Jose Rene Micor et al / Journal of Medical Science, 2005, Vol 5, No 3, Pp195-198 / DOI: 10.3923/jms.2005.195.198
An analysis on flavonoids, phenolics and organic acids contents in brewed red wines of both non-skin contact and skin contact fermentation techniques of Mao Luang ripe fruits (Antidesma bunius) harvested from Phupan Valley in Northeast Thailand / Pakistan journal of biological sciences / 2008-Jul; vol 11 (issue 13) : pp 1654-61
Natural Dyes / Compiled by Helen Florido and Fe Cortiguerra / RESEARCH INFORMATION SERIES ON ECOSYSTEMS, Vol 11, No 1, Jan-April 1999 /

Sorting Antidesma names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.
An analysis on flavonoids contents in Mao Luang fruits of fifteen cultivars (Antidesma bunius), grown in northeast Thailand / Butkhup L, Samappito S. / Pak J Biol Sci. 2008 Apr 1;11(7):996-1002.
Antiglycemic Effect of Bignay (Antidesma bunius) Flavonoids in Sprague-Dawley Rats / Sheanna Marie D Herrera, Aldrix M Panopio, Hyde Joan Pedrezuela, Rhona F. Perez / THE STETH Vol 4, 2010
Antidesma bunius (L.) Spreng. (accepted name) / Chinese names / Catalogue of life, China
/ European Scientific Journal June 2013 edition vol.9, No.18
α-Glucosidase Inhibitory Activity Of Selected Philippine Plants / Ivan L. Lawag, Alicia M. Aguinaldo, Suad Naheed, Mohammad Mosihuzzaman
Medicinal Plants of Khasi Hills of Meghalaya, India / H. Kayang, B. Kharbuli, B. Myrboh and D. Syiem
ANTIDESMA BUNIUS (BIGNAY) FRUIT EXTRACT AS AN ORGANIC PESTICIDE AGAINST EPILACHNA SPP / Rosario M. Belmi, Joey Giron, Myra L. Tansengco / Journal of Asian Scientific Research, 2014, 4(7): 320-327
Bioactivity-guided Isolation of Aristolochic Acid and Other Compounds from the Roots of Antidesma bunius /
Li Pan, Susan Matthew, Hee-Byung Chai, Tran Ngoc Ninh, Nan Kleinholz, Djaja Djendoel Soejarto, Esperanza J. Carcache de Blanco, Kari Green-Church, A. Douglas Kinghorn * / Ohio State University
Extraction and Stability Test of Anthocyanin from Buni Fruits (Antidesma Bunius L) as an Alternative Natural and Safe Food Colorants / Fera Amelia, Galih Nur Afnani*, Arini Musfiroh, Alia Nur Fikriyani, Sisca Ucche and Mimiek Murrukmihadi / J.Food Pharm.Sci. 1 (2013) 49-53
CHANGES IN PHYSICO-CHEMICAL PROPERTIES, POLYPHENOL COMPOUNDS AND ANTIRADICAL ACTIVITY DURING DEVELOPMENT AND RIPENING OF MAOLUANG (Antidesma bunius L. Spreng) FRUITS / Luchai Butkhup and Supachai Samappito* / Journal of Fruit and Ornamental Plant Research Vol. 19(1) 2011: 85-99
Profile of Medicinal Plants with Anti-Ophidian Property / Sadeep V Binokar, Dilip K Jani / Journal of Pharmaceutical and Scientific Innovation 1(5), Sept-Oct 2012, 13-20
Antidesma bunius / Synonyms / The Plant List
Bignay: Antidesma bunius Spreng / Morton, J. 1987. Bignay. p. 210–212. / Hort.Purdue.Edu
Hypoglycemic and Hypolipidemic Effects of Seed Extract from Antidesma bunius (L.) Spreng in Streptozotocin-induced Diabetic Rats / Pichaya Chowtivannakul, Buavaroon Srichaikul and Chusri Talubmook / Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 2016, Volume 19, Issue 5, Pp 211-218 / DOI: 10.3923/pjbs.2016.211.218
Antioxidant and Antimutagenic Activities of Ripe Bignay (Antidesma bunius) Crude Fruit Extract / Jonathan M. Barcelo*, Allen Rogers M. Nullar, Jhomel Kim P. Caranto, Abigail M. Gatchallan, and Iris Joy B. Aquino / Philippine e-Journal for Applied Research and Development 6 (2016), 32-43
Investigation of antidiabetic action of Antidesma bunius extract in type 1 diabetes / Walid Hamdy El-Tantawy, Nermin Diaa Soliman, Dina El-Naggar, and Azza Shafei / Archives of Physiology and Biochemistry: Journal of Metabolic Diseases, Vol 121, Issue 3 (2015)
Antidiabetic property of seed extract from antidesma bunius (L.) spreng in diabetic rats / Pichaya Chowtivannakul, Buavaroon Srichaikul, Chusri Talubmook / Science and Technology (TICST), 2015 International Conference, Nov 2015 / DOI10.1109/TICST.2015.7369354
Hypoglycemic Activities of Chromatographic Fractions of Antidesma bunius Fruit Ethanolic Extract on Alloxan-Induced Hyperglycemic Balb/C Mice / Noel Quiming*, Jasper Nuel Dayanan, Marilou Nicolas, Dhennis Verzosa, Michael Russelle Alvarez / Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science Vol. 7 (02), pp. 120-123, February, 2017 / DOI: 10.7324/JAPS.2017.70215
Phytochemical Screening and Antioxidant Activity of Edible Wild Fruits in Benguet, Cordillera Administrative Region, Philippines / Racquel Barcelo / Electronic Journal of Biology, 2015, Vol.11(3): 80-89
Antidiabetic Activity Test by Inhibition of α- Glucosidase and Phytochemical Screening from the Most Active Fraction of Buni (Antidesma bunius L.) Stem Barks and Leaves. / Berna Elya*, Amarila Malik, Purwa Indah SeptiMahanani, and Bianca Loranza / International Journal of PharmTech Research, Vol.4, No.4, pp 1667-1671, Oct-Dec 2012
Anti-Angiogenic Property of Bignay (Antidesma bunius) Ethanolic Leaf Extract in Duck (Anas luzonica) Embryo using Chorioallantoic Membrane (cam) Assay / Ma. Eva C. San Juan, Cherie G. Muaña, Jovelle L. Comiso, Ruby Marie D. De Leon, Cynthia Claire F. Guinto, Tracy Ann A. Honorio, Meshelyn A. Ibut, Sharmaine A. Zanoria / Root Gatherers, Vol 7 (2014)

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.

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