HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT

Family Leguminosae
Eriosema chinense Vog.

Zhu zi li

Scientific names Common names
Eriosema chinense J. R. T. Vogel Katil (Ig.)
Dolichos biflorus auct. non. L. Kitkitil (Bon.)
Eriosema himalaicum Obashi Kutil (Ilk.)
  Okun (Ig.)
  Chinese bush carrot (Engl.)
  Zhu zi li (Chin.)
Taxonomic notes
There are about 130 species in the genus Eriosema. In a study of the diagnostic characteristics and morphology of root tubers of the two species, Eriosema chinensis and E. himalaicum, a proposal was made to treat the two species as synonyms.

Other vernacular names
CAMBODIAN: Te:l, Te:l tueng'.
CHINESE: Ji tou shu, Que li zhu, Mao ban hua.
LAOTIAN: Kh'o:nz ko:ng.
THAI: Man chaang, Man thong, Haeo praduu, Khon klong.
VIETNAMESE: Mao t[uwr] trung qu[oos]c.

Katil is a annual or perennial, slender, erect, woody, little branched, and densely hairy plant. Stems are 30 to 50 centimeters. Leaflets are simple, linear-ligulate, and 2.5 to 5 centimeters in length. Flowers are yellow, 1 to 2, and borne on leaf axils. Pods are oblong, about 2 centimeters in length, and densely hairy.

- In open grasslands, chiefly at medium altitudes, ascending to 2,000 meters in Cagayan, Isabela, Bontoc, Lepanto, Benguet, and Nueva Vizcaya Provinces in Luzon; in Semirara; in Culion; and in Mindanao.
- Widely distributed in China; also in India, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia, through Malaya to tropical Australia.

- Grain with the husk yields albuminoids, starch, oil, ash, and phosphoric acid.
- Study of hexane and dichlormethane extract of roots yielded eight new prenylated flavonoids, khonklonginols A-H, together with six known compounds including five flavonoids: lupinifolinol, dehydrolupinifolinol, flemichin D, eriosemaone A, and lupinifolin, and one lignan, yangambin.

- Roots yielded six prenylated flavonoids together with 12 known compounds.

- Seeds are anti-diarrheal, astringent, diuretic, and tonic.

Parts used
Grain, seeds.


- In some regions of India, E. chinense is considered an edible tuberous legume.
- Decoction of grain used for scrofula.
- Decoction of grain, with powdered pepper added, is given for diarrhea.
- Powder of seeds applied to the skin to check cold sweats.
- Decoction of grain given to women during parturition to promote discharge of the lochia.
- Also used in leucorrhea and a variety of menstrual derangements.
- In India, seeds used for tonic, diuretic, and astringent properties.
- In North East India, roots used by tribal people for treatment of diarrhea. (7)

Cytotoxic / Antimycobacterial Studies:
Study of extracts of roots yielded 8 new prenylated flavonoids, five known flavonoids and one lignan. The compounds were evaluated against small-cell lung and oral epidermal carcinoma human cell lines as well as antimycobacterial activity against M. tuberculosis H37Ra. Compound 1,2, 9 showed inhibitory activity against NCI-H187 (small cell lung carcinoma); compound 9 was most active against the KB (oral epidermal carcinoma. (1)
Isoflavoid Extract / Extraction / Anti-inflammatory: An invention describes Eriosema chinense isoflavoid extract and its extraction method. Extract was reported to be bacteria-resistant, anti-inflammatory, cough-relieving and sputum-resolving. (2)
Antidiarrheal / Lupinifolin / Roots: Study evaluated an ethanol extract and various fractions for antidiarrheal effect in a castor oil-induced diarrhea model. A chloroform fraction showed the highest antidiarrheal effect, followed by the ethanol extract and lupinifolin. The antidiarrheal effect may be attributed to anti-motility and antisecretory effects with potential antibacterial activity. (7)
Antimicrobial / Antioxidant / Flavonoids: Study of roots yielded six prenylated flavonoids together with 12 known compounds. Seven isolates and derivatives were evaluated for antimicrobial and antioxidant activities. The presence of free phenolic OH and lipophilic prenyl groups are crucial for potent antimicrobial activity and the presence of free phenolic OH group is required for strong radical scavenging activity. (8)


Last Update May 2015

IMAGE SOURCE: Plant of the Month: December 2011 / Eriosema chinense Vogel, Nov. Actorum Acad. Caes. Leop.-Carol. Nat. Cur. 19(Suppl. 1): 31. 1843 / Photo credit Preecha Karaket (Doi Hua Mot, Tak) / © 2012 Office of Forest Herbarium / click on image to go to source page / BKF Forest Herbarium

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Cytotoxic and antimycobacterial prenylated flavonoids from the roots of Eriosema chinense / Sutthivaiyakit S, Thongnak O, Lhinhatrakool T et al / J Nat Prod. 2009 Jun;72(6):1092-6.
Taxonomic Notes on the Chinese Eriosema (Leguminosae)
/ S A Ren / Acta Botanica Yunnanica, 2005, 27(4), 375-377.
Eriosema chinense Vogel (accepted name) / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
Eriosema chinense / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED
Eriosema chinense isoflavoid extract and extraction method and application thereof / Patent Family Members (2; CN): / 10 Mar 2010 / Applicants: QINGLU LI
Synthesis and Analysis of Eriosema Isoflavonoids and Derivatives Thereof / Mamoalosi Alix-Maria Selepe / December 2011
Antidiarrhoeal Evaluation of Root Extract, Its Bioactive Fraction, and Lupinifolin Isolated from Eriosema chinense / Satyendra K. Prasad, Damiki Laloo, Manish Kumar, Siva Hemalatha / Planta Med 2013; 79(17): 1620-1627 / DOI: 10.1055/s-0033-1351021
Eriosema chinense: A rich source of antimicrobial and antioxidant flavonoids. / Sanit Thongnest, Thitma Lhinhatrakool, Nuancharwee Wetprasit, Pakawadee Sutthivalyakit, Somyote Sutthivalyakit / Phytochemistry 10/2013 / DOI: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2013.06.004

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