HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT

Family Anacardiaceae
Dracontomelon dao (Blanco) Merr. & Rolfe
Ren mian zi

Scientific names Common names
Comeurya cumingiana Baill. Dao (Tag.)
Dracontomelon brachyphyllum Ridl. Lamyo (Ayta)
Dracontomelon celebicum Koord. Paldao (Tag.)
Dracontomelon cumingianum (Baill.) Baill. Argus pheasant tree (Engl.)
Dracontomelon dao (Blanco) Merr. & Rolfe New Guinea walnut (Engl.)
Dracontomelon edule (Blanco) Skeels Pacific walnut (Engl.)
Dracontomelon edule Merr.  
Dracontomelon lamujo (Blanco) Merr.  
Dracontomelon laxum K.Schum.  
Dracontomelon mangiferum (Blume) Blume  
Dracontomelon mangiferum var. puberulum (Miq.) Engl  
Dracontomelon mangiferum var. pubescens Koord. & Valeton  
Dracontomelon puberulum Miq.  
Dracontomelon sylvestre Blume  
Paliurus dao Blanco  
Paliurus edulis Blanco  
Paliurus lamujo Blanco  
Poupartia mangifera Blume  
Poupartia pinnata Blanco  
Quisumbing's compilation lists Dracontomelon dao and D. edule as synonyms. The Philippine Native Forest Trees site lists Dracontomelon edule as a separate species, Lamio, the cousin of Dao. See below.
Dracontomelon edule Merr is a synonym of Dracontomelon dao (Blancio) Merr. & Rolfew (The Plant List)
Dracontomelon dao (Blanco) Merr. & Rolfe is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Ren mian zi. J'n mien tz.
DUTCH: Drakeboom.
FRENCH: Dracontomelon.
GERMAN: Drachenapfel.
INDONEIA: Basuong, Dahu.
MALAYSIA: Sěngkoewang.
THAI: Goh sang guan, Ka-kho, Phra chao ha phra ong, Sa gua, Saen taa lom, Ta goh, Tagoo, Sang kuan.
VIETNAMESE: Chi sau, S[aa]u.
OTHERS: Lamyo, Raghu.

Gen info
- In the Philippines, the municipality of Dao, Capiz and barangay of Dau in Mabalacat, Pampanga are named after the dao tree.
- Etymology: The genus name derives from Greek words for drago (dragon) and melon, referring to the fruit. The species epithet dao derives from the Philippine vernacular name for the tree.
- Revered and called "Five Buddhas" in Thailand and in Laos because of the intricate pattern of approximate five-fold symmetry on the seed surface and its rhombic protrusions that reminds of the primitive Buddha image.  (10)

• Dao is a large tree, growing 30 meters or taller, with the trunk 1 meter or more in diameter. Leaves are alternate and pinnately compound. Leaflets are smooth, oblong, 5 to 7 pairs, up to 15 centimeters long and 4 centimeters wide, pointed at the apex, and abruptly tapered at the base. Flowers are small, white, and fragrant, hanging in lax panicles. Fruit is globose, green turning yellow when ripe with oval markings on the upper side of the fruit, about 2 to 3 centimeters in diameter.

• Quisumbing's compilation lists D. dao and D. edule as synonyms. The Philippine Native Forest Trees site lists Dracontomelon edule as a separate species, Lamio. Lamio looks very much like Dao when small; however, when it grows, the fruits, seeds and leaflets will be larger. Lamio's bark is brown while Dao's is somewhat creamy. (8)

- Native to the Philippines.
- Previously common and widely distributed in forests throughout the Philippines.
- Occasionally planted as a shade tree or roadside ornamental.
- Now becoming rare.

- Also native to Andaman Is., Bangladesh, Bismarck Archipelago, Borneo, Cambodia, China South-Central, China Southeast, East Himalaya, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Maluku, Myanmar, New Guinea, Nicobar Is., Solomon Is., Sulawesi, Sumatera, Thailand, Vietnam.

- Essential oil from the skin of stems yielded 13 compounds accounting for 100% of the EO. The major constituents were n-Hexadecanoic acid(46.13%);Octadecanoic acid (15.44%), (E)-9-Octadecenoic acid (13.73%), and (Z,Z)-9,12-Octadecadienoic acid (7.79%). (2)
- Study of twigs isolated cardol (1), β-sitosteryl-3β-glucopyranoside-6'-O-fatty acid esters (2), β-sitosteryl fatty acid esters (3), and a mixture of β-sitosterol (4a) and stigmasterol (4b) from the petiole; 1, a mixture of 4a and 4b, anacardic acid (5), triacylglycerols (6), monoacylglycerol (7), long-chain fatty acid esters (8), and linoleic acid (9), while the flowers yielded a mixture of 4a and 4b, 5, 6, 8, long-chain fatty alcohols (10), and long- chain hydrocatbons (11). (13)

- The sap of the tree may be irritation and/or poisonous.
- Fruit is considered cooling, antidote, depurative.
- Studies have shown antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant properties.

Parts used
Fruits, seeds, bark.


- Fruits are edible, sour when fresh or stewed in honey.
- Kernel of the seed is also edible; mixed with tea it imparts a fragrant and mucilaginous sweet taste.
- Flowers and leaves cooked and eaten as vegetable; used as food flavoring. (7)
- Fruit is an ingredient in some Vietnamese dishes; dried and preserved as a snack or made into a syrup for mixing in cold drinks.
- The sour-sweetish fruit is cooked with soy sauce and eaten with rice, or used for flavoring curries. (10)

- A decoction from the stem of the Lamyo is drunk by the Ayta people of Bataan for treatment of wound infections. (10)
- Bark used as abortifacient. Also used for treatment of dysentery. Fruit is depurative and used for treatment of dermatitis. (10)
- In China, fruits used to cool and relieve itchiness; cure internal ulceration, and as antidote for poisoning.
- Bark used for dysentery.
- Fruits used to soothe sore throat and inflammation of the skin.
- Indonesians drink a decoction of bark to expel the membrane enveloping the fetus in the womb.
- Toys: Seeds used by children as toys.
- Fuel:
Tree used as firewood.
- Wood:
Wood is soft, moderately heavy, not very durable. Used for veneers, furniture, plywood, interior trim and light frames. (7)
- Superstition:
Holding a seed in the right hand on odd days and the left hand on even days will precipitate childbirth.

Antibacterial / Antifungal:
Crude and methanol extracts and fractions of leaves, stem, and root barks exhibited a good level of broad spectrum antibacterial activity. Only the leaf fraction showed antifungal activity. (3)
Antibacterial / Anti-Escherichia coli Activity: Study evaluated various extracts of D. dao leaves for anti-Escherichia coli activities. An EtOAc fraction exhibited the strongest anti-bacterial activity. (5)
Black Teeth / Antibacterial Effect: Study evaluated the tooth-blackening procedure among Kammu women in Laos and Vietnam and its possible antimicrobial effects. Three plants commonly used were: Dracontomelon dao nuts, Cratoxylum formosum wood or Croton cascarilloides wood. Extracts of soot of the DD nuts inhibited the growth of salivary mutans streptococcus in in vitro experiments. (6)
Antibacterial against MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and MDR E. coli / Stem Bark: Study evaluated the antibacterial activity of stem bark extracts against MRSA and E. coli MDR (Multiple Drug Resistance). MBC/MIC ratios for MSSA, MRSA, and E. coli MDR were lower than 4. Results suggest the stem bark extracts have potential for development as antibacterial agent against MRSA and E. coli MDR strain. (12)
Flavonoid Combination / Antibacterial / Leaves: Previous studies have reported antibacterial activity of leaves against E. coli, S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, and B. subtilis. This study evaluated the correlation between flavonoids and antibacterial activities and the combined antibacterial activities ofthese flavonoids. HPLC yielded main flavonoids including luteolin, L-epicatechin, clanidanol, and quercetin. Antibacterial activities of the main flavonoids were luteolin > clanidanol > quercetin > L-epicatechin. Synergistic effects between luteolin and clanidanol and quercetin and luteolin were validated. (14)
Antibacterial / Anti-E. coli / Flavonoids and Phenolic Acids / Leaves: Studies have shown different extracts of leaves, especially EtOAc fraction, yielded flavonoids and phenolic acids which exhibit potent antibacterial activities. In this study, all six samples from EtOAc fractions of leaves exhibited notable antibacterial activities, especially S6 with IC50 of 84.3 µg/mL, which was significantly lowere than other samples. (15)
Antioxidant / Radical Scavenging Activity  / Bark: Study evaluated methanol extracts and fractions of Dracontomelon dao bark for radical scavenging activity by DPPH assay. The ME and n-hexane, ethyl acetate and water fractions showed strong antiradical activity. The ethyl acetate extract showed strongest antiradical inhibition with IC50 7.11 ppm. Phenolic and flavonoid contents were 75.89 g QE/100 g and 58 g GAE/100 g, respectively. Correlations of radical inhibition and flavonoids and phenolic content were 81.6% and 66.51%. (17)


Updated April 2024 / December 2019 / June 2016
November 2011

IMAGE SOURCE: Dracontomelon dao / Leaves and fruits / Akshay Surendra / CC BY-SA 4.0 / Image modified / Click on image or link to go to source page / Wikipedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Dracontomelon dao / Seed / © Hornbill Dispersed Fruit of Borneo / Non-commercial use / Image modified / Click on image or link to go to source page / Seeds of Borneo
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Dracontomelon dao / Young crown / Bibamwen / CC BY-SA 4.0 / Image modified / Click on image or link to go to source page / Wikipedia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Sorting Dracontomelon names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE
Study on the Chemical Constituents of Essential Oil from the Skins of Stem of Dracontomelon dao (Blanco) Merr.et Rolfe / SU Xiu-fang, LIANG Zhen-yi, ZHANG Yi-xian / LISHIZHEN MEDICINE AND Materia MEDICA RESEARCH, 2008-07
Antibacterial and antifungal activities of Dracontomelon dao / M R Khan and A D Omoloso / Fitoterapia, July 2002; Volume 73, Issue 4: pp 327-330 / doi:10.1016/S0367-326X(02)00076-X |
Dracontomelon dao / Medicinal Plants of Asia and the Pacific / Diet & Care Center
Anti-bacterial effect of four extracts from leaves of Dracontomelon dao on Escherichia coli growth using microcalorimetry coupled with principal component analysis / Shuxian Liu, Yanling Zhao, Nan Zeng, Tiantian Liu, Yaming Zhang, Bin Han, Jianyu Li, Lifu Wang, Ruilin Wang, Man Gong, Yonggang Li, Xiaohe Xiao / Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, April 2014, Volume 116, Issue 1, pp 491-497
Black teeth: beauty or caries prevention? Practice and beliefs of the Kammu people. / Tayanin GL, Bratthall D. / Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2006 Apr;34(2):81-6.
Dracontomelon dao / WorldAgroForestry
Lamio (Dracontomelon Edule)—the cousin of Dao / Philippine Native Forest Trees
Dracontomelon edule Merr. is a synonym of Dracontomelon dao (Blanco) Merr. & Rolfe / The Plant List
Dracontomelon dao / Wikipedia
Dracontometlon dao / Synonyms / KEW: Plants of the World Online
ANTIBACTERIAL ACTIVITY OF DRACONTOMELON DAO EXTRACTS ON METHICILLIN-RESISTANT S. AUREUS (MRSA) AND E. COLI MULTIPLE DRUG RESISTANCE (MDR) / Yuniati Yuniati, Nurul Hasanah, Sjarif Ismail, Swandari Paramita / African Journal of Infectious Diseases, April 2018; 12(1S): pp 62-67
/ DOI: 10.21010/ajid.v12i1S.8
Chemical Constituents of Dracontomelon Dao (Blanco) Merr. et Rolfe / Consolacion Ragasa, Tyson Batarra, Julius Leonard Vivar, Chien-Change Shen / Pharmacognosy Journal, July 2017; 9(5) / DOI: 10.5530/pj.2017.5.103
Evaluation of the Antibacterial Effects of Flavonoid Combination from the Leaves of Dracontomelon dao by Microcalorimetry and the Quadratic Rotary Combination Design / Yang Li, Houlin Xia, Mingquan Wu, Jiabo Wang, Xiaohua Lu, Shizhang Wei, Kun Li, Lifu Wang, Ruilin Wang, Pan Zhao, Yanling Zhao and Xiaohe Xiao / Frontiers in Pharmacology, Feb 2017 / doi: 10.3389/fphar.2017.00070
Antibacterial evaluation of plants extracts against ampicillin-resistant Escherichia coli (E. coli) by microcalorimetry and principal component analysis / Zhuo Xu, Haotian Li, Xuhua Qin, Tao Wang et al / AMB Express, 2019; 9, Art no 101 / doi:10.1186/s13568-019-0829-y
Drcontomelon dao / Ken Fern: Tropical Plants Database / Useful Tropical Plants
Radical scavenging assay and determination Flavonoid and Phenolic total of extract and Fractions of Raghu bark - Dracontomelon dao (Blanco) Merr. / Ruslin Yamin, Sartinah Ari, Ihsan Sunandar, Kasmawati Henny, Suryani, Rina Andriyani et al /  Research Journal of Pharmacy and Technology. 2020; 13(5): pp 2335-2339 / DOI: 10.5958/0974-360X.2020.00420.5 / pISSN: 0974-3618 / eISSN: 0974-360X.

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.

HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT