Family • Euphorbiaceae - Macaranga tanarius (Linn.) Muell.-Arg - ELEPHANT'S EAR - Lu tong

Scientific names

Macaranga tanarius (Linn.)
Macaranga molliuscula Kurz.
Macaranga tomentosa Druce
Ricinus tanarius Linn.
Mappa tanarius Blume

Other vernacular names

BRUNEI: Sedaman buta buta.
CHINESE: Liu xue tong, Zhang peng shu.
INDONESIAN: Tutup ancur, Mara, Mapu.
MALAYSIA: Kundoh, Mahang puteh, Tampu.
THAI: Hu chang tek, Lo khao, Mek.
VIETNAMESE: M[ax] r[aj]ng.

Common names

Alungabun (Bag.) Lagou (C. Bis., Bag.)
Anabun (Bag.) Lagaon (Mbo.)
Bagambang (Tag.) Ligabun (Mbo.)
Bilan (Pamp.) Lungaban (Tagk.)
Bilua (Pamp.) Liñgabuñga (Sub.)
Biluan (Pamp.) Lingbunga (Sul.)
Biluan-lalaki (Tag.) Luñgakan (Bag.)
Biluñga (Tag.) Maasim (Tag.)
Biñgua (Is., C. Bis.) Mindang (Bik.)
Binonga (Tag., Pamp., C. Bis.) Minuñga (Tag., Bik., Mbo.)
Binuñga (Tag., Kuy., P. Bis.) Sabauil (Ilk.)
Binuñgan (Tag.) Samaet (Ibn.)
Binuan (Tagb.) Samak (Ilk., Ting.)
Gamu (Ibn.) Samar (Ilk.)
Ginabang (Ting., Ig.) Samuk (Ibn.)
Himindang (Bik.) Elephant’s ear (Engl.)
Kinabang (Ig.) Parasol leaf tree (Engl.)
Labauel (Ig.) Lu tong (Chin.)

Binuñga is a small, dioecious tree, growing to a height of 4 to 8 meters. Leaves are peltate, ovate to oblong-ovate, 10 to 25 centimeters long, with entire or toothed margins, with a rounded base and pointed apex. Male flowers are small and born on slender, branched peduncles which are shorter than the leaves. Female flowers are usually found in simple panicled spikes or racemes. Capsules are 10 to 12 millimeters in diameter, of 2 or 3 cocci, covered with pale, waxy glands and with soft, scattered, elongated spinelike processes.


– In thickets and secondary forests, at low and medium altitudes throughout the Philippines.
– Also found in the Andaman Islands and Malay Peninsula to southern China and Taiwan southward to northeastern Australia.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Macaflavanones A-G, Prenylated Flavanones from the Leaves of Macaranga tanarius / Shiori Kawakami, Liva Harinantenaina, Katsuyoshi Matsunami et al 

(2) Macaranga tanarius / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED

(3) Constituents of the Leaves of Macaranga tanarius / Suporn Phommart et al / J. Nat. Prod., 2005, 68 (6), pp 927–930 DOI: 10.1021/np0500272

(4) Indonesian propolis: chemical composition, biological activity and botanical origin / Boryana Trusheva, Milena Popova et al / Natural Product Research, Volume 25, Issue 6, 2011, Pages 606 – 613 /
DOI: 10.1080/14786419.2010.488235

(5) Allelopathic Prenylflavanones from the Fallen Leaves of Macaranga tanarius / Mei-Huims Tseng, Chang-Hung Chou et al / J. Nat. Prod. 2001, 64, 827-828

(6) ANALGESIC EFFECT OF Macaranga tanarius L. LEAVES AQUEOUS EXTRACT ON FEMALE MICE / Wulandari, D., dan Hendra, P. / Bionatura, Journal of Life and Physical Sciences

(7) Analysis of antioxidant prenylflavonoids in different parts of Macaranga tanarius, the plant origin of Okinawan propolis / Shigenori Kumazawa*, Masayo Murase, Noboru Momose, Syuichi Fukumoto / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine (2014)16-20

Photo insert
Flower (L), and cut branch exuding reddish sticky resin used as glue (R).


• Phytochemical studies of leaves yielded three new constituents: tanarifuranonol, tanariflavanone, and tanariflavanone D with seven known compounds.
• Chemical study on the bark isolated 10 known tannins: corilagin, mallotinic acid, geranilin, macarinin A, putranjivain B, putranjivain A, mallotunin, mallophilnin, repandusicnic acid A and phyllanthusiin C.
• Bark yields a resin-glue.
• Two new prenylflavanones, tanariflavanones A and B, and one known compound, (–)-nymphaeol-C were isolated from the fallen leaves. The flavonoids exhibited phytotoxic activity.
• Stems yielded diterpene ketol, macarangonol, terpenoids and steroids.

• Considered emetic, antidysenteric, antioxidant, antibacterial.

Parts utilized
Bark, leaves, roots.


· Powdered roots used as emetic; decoction for hemoptysis.
· Decoction of bark and roots used for dysentery and hemoptysis.
· Decoction of sliced young leaves used for diarrhea.
· Glue from stems applied to toothaches.
· Glue from stems applied to aphthous stomatitis.
· Leaves used for wound healing and inflammation.
· Bush medicine in Australia records use of the latex, sticky and waterproof, as sutureless stitching for deep cuts.
· In Thailand decoction of root is drunk as antipyretic and antitussive. Dried root used as emetic. Fresh leaves used to cover wounds as anti-inflammatory.
· In Malaysia, used to treat diarrhea and dysentery.
· In Indonesia, plant used to treat diarrhea, injuries, and inflammation.

· Glue: Glue from the tree bark used for fastening parts of musical instruments.
· Wood: Wood used as structural timber.
· Basi: Bark and leaves used in making “basi,” a fermented drink.
· In Sumatra, bark material used to make containers.
· Yields a high quality pulp and produces a high quality particle board.
· Bark contains tannin used for toughening fishing nets.

Study Findings
• Prenylflavanones / Cytotoxicity: Macaflavanones A-G, Prenylated Flavanones from the Leaves of Macaranga tanarius: The study isolated seven new prenylated flavanones, macaflavanones A-G, along with two known compounds. The cytotoxic activities of the isolated flavanones were assayed, with macaflavanone being the most active.
• Radical-Scavenging Activities: Four new megastigmane glucosides were isolated. Manganoside A-C and mallophenol B possessed a radical-scavenging activity.
• Leaf Constituents / Anti-Inflammatory / Antioxidant / Cytotoxic: Study yielded three new constituents from the leaves of M tanarius: tanarifuranonol, tanariflavanone C and tanariflavcanone D, together with seven other known compounds. Compound 5 showed inhibitory effect in the COX-2 inhibition assay. Compounds 3 and 4 showed weak cytotoxic activities. A few compounds showed radical scavenging activity.
• Ferrous-Ion Chelating Activity: In a study of 4 Macaranga species, M. tanarius showed the lowest TPC, AEAC, FRAP and LPI activity, but exhibited the best ferrous-ion chelating activity.
• Anti-Diabetic / a-Glucosidase Inhibitor: Study showed M. tanarius to have potent a-glucosidase inhibitory activity. a-glucosidase inhibition is one of the hyperglycemic remedies through reduction of glucose absorption by suppression of carbohydrate digestion through a-glucosidase inhibitors.
• Propolis / Radical Scavenging / Antibacterial Activity: Study showed for the first time, M. tanarius and M. indica as plant sources of Indonesian propolis. From the biologically activity extract of propolis, 11 compounds were isolated: four alk(en)resorcinols along with four prenylflavanones and three cycloartane-type triterpenes. All the prenylfavanones demonstrated radical scavenging activity. One compound showed significant activity against S. aureus.
• Analgesic: Study of an aqueous extract of leaves of M. tanarius in mice using a writing method using acetic acid as inducing agent, showed analgesic effect.
• Antioxidant Prenylflavonoids: Study analyzed the antioxidant phenylflavonoids in different parts of M. tanarius—leaf, petiole, stem, leaflet, flower and fruit. Results showed different parts of M tanarius contained antioxidant prenylflavonoids—not only the glandular trichome but also the leaf—suggesting M. tanarius can be developed as a functional plant.