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Family Asclepiadaceae
Marsdenia tinctoria R. Br.

Lan ye teng

Scientific names Common names
Marsdenia globifera Tsiang Ariñgit (Bik..)
Marsdenia tinctoria R. Br. Lamus (Bag.)
Marsdenia tinctoria var. brevis Constantin Payañgit (Tag.)
Marsdenia tinctoria var. tomentosa Masam. ex Tsiang & P.T.Li Tayom-tayom (Ilk.)
  Broad-leafed indigo (Engl.)
  Java indigo (Engl.)
Marsdenia tinctoria R. Br. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CAMBODIA: Dok bonenk.
CHINESE: Lan ye teng.
INDONESIA: Daun tarum, Tarum akar, Aka sanam, Tarum areuy.
LAOS: Buak.
MALAYSIA: Tarum, Akar tarum, Tarum hutan, Tarum akar.
MYANMAR: Dan tha kwa.
THAILAND: Khraam thao.

Payañgit is a twining, half-woody plant with very slender, smooth branches. Leaves are opposite, ovate to broadly ovate or somewhat rounded, 9 to 16 centimeters long, 5 to 10 centimeters wide, with pointed tip and heart-shaped base. Flowers are small, fragrant, yellowish green, borne in alternating clusters at the axils of the leaves, and 4 to 7 centimeters long. The fruit or follicle is lanceolate and somewhat angular, 5 to 8 centimeters long, and densely covered with hairs. Seeds are compressed and provided with profuse, silky-white hairs.

- In secondary and primary forests at low and medium altitudes in Ilocos Norte, Abra, Bontoc, Benguet, Nueva Viscaya, Rizal, Laguna, Quezon, and Sorsogon Provinces in Luzon; and in Mindoro, Leyte, Panay, Mindanao, and Basilan.
- Also occurs in India to southern China and Malaya.

- Stems yielded pregnane glycosides.
- Plant yields an indigo dye, for which it is sometimes grown.
- Study yielded seven constituents: lupenyl palmitate (1), lupenyl acetate (2), lupenone (3), lupeol (4), β-sitosterol (5), 5, 7-dihydroxy-2, 6, 8-trimethylchromone (6), and 2, 6-dimethoxybenzoquinone (7). (10)
- Study isolated a new flavone kapitone (1) and three known compounds, 3,2’-dihydroxyflavone (2), 1-methylcyclobutene (3) and dimethyl isatoate (4). (11)
- Root extract yielded alkaloid, flavonoid, terpenoid, steroid and polyphenol. (see study below) (12)

- Its dye, like true indigo, is regarded as a good black dye for the hair.
- Considered stomachic.
- Studies have shown anti-implantation, abortifacient, antibacterial properties.

Parts used


- Leaves sometimes used internally for stomach aches and vaguely diagnosed intestinal afflictions.
- Rubbed on the scalp to stimulate hair growth.
- The Sikkim healers of the Himalayas prescribed the leaf juice three times daily for stomachaches.(4)
- In Bangladesh, used by the Shautals to induce abortion.
- In Indonesia, used for contusion and fever. (6)
- Dye: (1) In some parts of Southeast Asia, cultivated for its blue dye. (2) In Burma, green is produced by dipping threads that have been dyed yellow in a boiling decoction of the leaves and twigs of the creeping Marsdenia tinctoria. (3) Also considered a good black hair dye. (4) Used for tattooing. (5) Among the Karbis, M. tinctoria is the traditional source of the indigo dye, sibu. Tender leaves yield a blue color; when flowers and leaves are mixed, a red tinge against a blue background is produced (13).
- Ritual:
A ritual plant in Sumatra, Indonesia, to expel bad spirits.

Pregnane Glycosides:
Study yielded three new pregnane glycosides, tinctorosides A-C, together with one known pregnane glycoside, stephanoside B, from the stems of M tinctoria. (1)
Tinctoramine / Tinctoralactone / Antifertility / Abortifacient: Phytochemical screening yielded tinctoramine, a new steroidal alkaloid and tinctoralactone, a novel steroid. Both showed oxytocic, anti-implantation and abortifacient activities in mice and rats. (2)
Oxytocic Principles: An alcohol extract and its alkaloidal fraction each showed oxytoxic action on sensitized uterine horns of rat. The alkaloidal fraction was five times more active than the alcohol extract of oxytocin. (7)
Antibacterial: Root extract of Marsdenia tinctoria showed antibacterial activity against Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. (see constituents above) (12)


Last Update August 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: Photo / Marsdenia tinctoria / ˙Non-commercial Use / click on image to go to source page / © Gendhies' Batik / WordPress
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Illustration: Marsdenia tinctoria R. Br. / Wight, R., Icones Plantarum Indiae Orientalis, vol. 2(1): t. 589 (1846) [n.a.] / PlantIllustrations.org

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Three New Pregnane Glycosides from Marsdenia tinctoria / Zhu-Lin Gao, Hong-Pin He et al / Helvetica Chimica Acta, Volume 92 Issue 9, Pages 1775 - 1781 / DOI 10.1002/hlca.200900072
Antifertility principles from Marsdenia tinctoria: Pharmacological and phytochemical studies / Chowdhury A.K.A., Khan M.O.F., Hashim M.F. et al / Pure and Applied Chemistry, 66(10/11), 2343-2346, 1994
HISTORY OF CHIANGMAI / Chiang Mai (Zimme) 100 years ago / Archibald Ross Colquhoun
Medicinal plants userd against gastrointestinal tract disorders by the traditional healers of Sikkim Himalayas
/ Ranabir Chanda, J P Mohanty, N R Bhuyan, P K Kar & L K Nath / Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, Vol 6(4), Oct 2007, Pp 606-610
Marsdenia tinctoria R. Br. / Vernacular names / GLOinMED
Uras: Medicinal and Ritual Plants of Serampas, Jambi Indonesia
/ Bambang Hariyadi and Tamara Ticktin / Ethnobotany Research & Applications
Oxytocic principles from Marsdenia tinctoria {Herb of Bangladesh) / Khaleque RA, Chowdhury AKA / Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council
Antifertility Activity of Medicinal Plants on Reproductive system of Female Rat / Ankush Raj*, Amrinder Singh2, Arvind Sharma, Netrapal Singh, Pradeep Kumar, Vidur Bhatia / International Journal of Bio-Engineering Sciences & Technology, Vol 2, Issue 3, Dec 2011
Marsdenia tinctoria / Synonyms / The Plant List
Study on the Constituents of Marsdenia tinctoria var. tomentosa MASAMUNE / KAZUO ITO, JENGSHIOW LAI / YAKUGAKU ZASSHI, Vol. 98 (1978) No. 9 P 1285-1287
A new flavone from Malaysia Borneo Marsdenia tinctoria / Nur Atiqah Mohd Nasuha & Yeun-Mun Choo / Natural Product Research, Volume 30, 2016 - Issue 13
Isolation of an organic compound from Marsdenia tinctoria Brown (Dan-tha-Kwa) and study on its Phytochemistry and Anti bacterial Activity / Yi Yi Lwin, Khin Aye Tint Nwe / Myingyan Degree College Research Journal ( Vol-3 )
Traditional knowledge of Herbal Dyes and Cultural Significance of Colors among the Karbis Ethnic Tribe in Northeast India / Robindra Teron and S K Borthakur / Ethnobotany Journal, Vol 10

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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