Ilang-ilang gubat is a rather small erect or climbing shrub, 1.5 to 3 meters height. Leaves are oblong to oblong-ovate, 8 to 15 centimeters long, pointed at
the tip and rounded at the base, and nearly smooth. Flowers are yellowish white, solitary on a 2- to 5-centimeter long peduncle,
borne opposite or nearly opposite to leaflets. Calyx are 3, ovate, 3 to
5 millimeters long. Corolla are 6, fixed, arranged in 2 whorls, oblong or oblong-lanceolate,
3 to 4 centimeters long, the outer whorl bigger than the inner one; stamens numerous.
Peduncle extra-axillary, about 5 centimeters long, with one flower. Sepals are ovate-lanceolate,
about 1.5 centimeters long. Petals are somewhat hairy, yellow, fragrant, 4 to 5 centimeters
long. Fruits are dehiscent, peduncled, arranged in dense clusters,
2 to 5 centimeters long, 1 to 7 seeded.
- In thickets and forests at
low and medium altitudes in Palawan, Basilan, Mindanao (Zamboanga).
- Also occurs in India, Assam, and Burma to southern China, and southwards throughout Malaysia and the Malay Peninsula.
· Roots, leaves.
- Pungent tasting,
• Fragrant flowers yield a volatile oil. Fruit also yields oil.
• A new cytotoxic fatty acid,
desmosic acid, was isolated from Desmos cochinchinensis.
• Study yielded eleven compounds: lawimal, desmosal, desmethoxymatteucinol,
unonal , isounonla, desmoflavone, allantoic acid, succinic acid, daucosterol,
beta-sitosterol and stearic acid.
• Main compounds identified in young and ripened flowers were trans-caryophyllene (56.2%) and spathulenol (61.5%), respectively.
• Major compounds in the flower oil of Desmos cochinchinensis were monoterpenoids camphor (59.1%), limonene (8.9%), α-pinene (8.6%) and camphene (6.0%). (11)
• Stem bark and fruits were evaluated for essential oil. Stem bark yielded main compounds of ß-caryophyllene (16.9%), bicyclogermacrene (11.6%) and benzyl benzoate (10.1%) while the fruit oil showed an abundance of ß-caryophyllene (20.9%), limonene (15.89%) and germacrene D (12.5%) (12)
· Decoction of dried
leaves used for gastrointestinal distention, indigestion, nephritis-edema,
· Leaves used for treating bruises, pain, intestinal parasitism, rheumatism, diarrhea.
· Decoction of dried roots (15-30 g): Used for rheumatic muscular
· In Malaya, roots used for dysentery and fever.
· Decoction of roots given after childbirth; also used for vertigo.
· In Chinese folk
medicine, used for malaria.
· In Vietnam, used
as antimalarial, insecticidal, antirheumatic and analgesic. Also, leaves are used for constipation. Stems used by the Dao tribe for constipation.
Study isolated three flavonoids from the petroleum extract of the root
of Desmos cochinchinensis. Pharmacologic study exhibited anti-malarial
• Anti-Microbial :
Study on the crude extracts of DC leaves showed strong antibacterial
activity against S. aureus, S epidermis and B subtilis and strong inhibition
against all dermatophytes (2)
• Cytotoxic Fatty Acid:
Study yielded desmosic acid, a novel cytotoxic fatty acid.
• Cytotoxic Cycloartane Triterpenoids:
Study isolated desmosinal, a novel cycloartane triterpenoid from the stem of Desmos cochinchinensis Lour. (3)
• Phenolic Compounds / NFAT Transcription
Inhibition : Study yielded six phenolic compounds from
the methanolic extract of the dried leaves of Dc. Of these, compounds
2 (negletein) and 3 (2',3'-dihydroxy-4',6'-dimethoxydihydrochalcone
exhibited potent inhibitory activity against nuclear factor of activated
T cells (NFAT) transcription factor. (5)
Study isolated four compounds identified as 5-hydroxy-7-methoxy- 6,8-dimethylflavone (desmosflavone), unonal, desmethoxymatteucinol and beta-sitosterol. (7)
• Hybrid Flavan-Chalcones / Antioxidant / Aromatase and Lipoxygenase Inhibitors / Cytotoxic / Leaves:
Study of leaves isolated hybrid flavan-chalcones, desmosflavans A (1) and B (2), together with three known compounds, cardamonin (3), pinocembrin (4) and chrysin (5). Compounds 3 and 5 exhibited potent antioxidant activity. Compounds 1, 2, 4 and 5 were found to be inhibitors of aromatase. Desmosflavan A (1) inhibited lipoxygenase and exhibited cytotoxic activity. (8)
• Aromatase Inhibitory Activity / Roots:
Flavans from roots of D. cochinchinensis exhibited potent aromatase inhibitory activity at nanomolar levels, without pronounced cytotoxic activity. Flavans exerted their inhibitory activity through binding with aromatase at Arg115, Met374, and Leu477. (10)