Family • Annonaceae - Uvaria rufa Blume - CARABAO'S TEATS - Xiao hua zi yu pan

Scientific names

Uvaria rufa Blume
Uvaria branderhorstii Burck
Uvaria astrosticta Miq.
Uvaria ridleyi King

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Xiao hua zi yu pan.
FRENCH: Uvaria rouge.

Common names

Allagat (Ilk.)
Batag-kabalang (Bik.)
Hilagak (Tag.)
Hinlalagak (Tag.)
Iniu (Sbl.)
Pedped (Ilk.)
Susung-damulag (Pamp.)
Susung-kabayo (Tag.)
Susung-kalabau (Tag.)
Xiao hua zi yu pan (Chin.)
Carabao’s teats (Engl.)

Hilagak is a climbing shrub, 5 to 6 meters high. The younger and lower surfaces of the leaves are rather hairy, with stellately arranged, rusty short hairs. Leaves are borne on very short stalks, oblong-ovate to oblong-lanceolate, 8 to 16 centimeters long, with pointed tip and rounded or heart-shaped base. Flowers are extra-axillary, solitary, two or three in depauperate cymes, 1.5 to 2 centimeters in diameter. Fruit is fleshy and red when mature.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Polyoxygenated Cyclohexene Derivatives from Uvaria rufa / Chuan-Rui Zhang, Sheng-Ping Yang et al / Helvetica Chimica Acta, Vol 89, Issue 7, pages 1408–1416, July 2006 / DOI: 10.1002/hlca.200690140

(2) Antitubercular activity of the semi-polar extractives of Uvaria rufa. / Macabeo AP, Tudla FA, Krohn K, Franzblau SG. / Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2012 Oct;5(10):777-80. doi: 10.1016/S1995-7645(12)60142-4.

(3) Chemical constituents from the roots of Uvaria rufa / Tip-pyang, Santi; Payakarintarungkul, Kanogporn; Sichaem, Jirapast; Phuwapraisirisan, Preecha / Chemistry of Natural Compounds; Jul2011, Vol. 47 Issue 3, p 474

(4) The Therapeutic and Clinical Drug Review of Thai Traditional Herbal Remedies Extracted from Ancient Thai Medicinal Manuscript Volume No. 3 of Palm Leaf Scriptures / Buavaroon Srichaikul1, Supachai Samappito; Gordon Bakker; Sunthorn Dejchai; Kittiphong Boonsong; Alisa Thongkong; Sathaporn Japa / Advances in Natural Science, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2012, pp. 29-36 / DOI:10.3968/j.ans.1715787020120501.1037

– In thickets in low and medium altitudes from northern Luzon to Palawan and Mindanao.
– Also occurs in the Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia, India, Cambodia and Thailand.

• The bark contains an alkaloid. The active principle is parasympathetic of the atropine group with activity similar to artabotrine of Marañon.
• Study yielded an oil rich in sesquiterpenes in which the principal component was alpha-humulene (50%). Also, benzyl benzoate (5%).

Parts utilized

– Fruits are edible, with a tart and sweet flavor.

– Alcoholic tincture of the roots used as an ecbolic (promoting labor by increasing uterine contractions.
– In Thailand, Uvaria rufa is macerated and mixed with Corvus macrorhynchus, Xanthophyllum glaucum, and Oryza sativa with potable water, and taken orally for skin allergy (rash and redness).


– Handicraft: Wood used as substitute for rattan in making furniture and handicrafts.

Study Findings
• Essential Oil / Sesquiterpene: Uvaria rufa yielded an oil rich in sesquiterpene, in which the principle component as [alpha]-humulene (50%). Benzyl benzoate was also present at 5%.
• Flavonoid Glycosides / Advanced Glycation End-Products Inhibition / Anti-Diabetic: Study yielded five flavonol glycosides: rutin, isoquercitrin, kaempferol 3-O-ß-galactopyranoside, astragalin, isoquercitrin-6-acetate. 2 of the compounds showed an ability to inhibit the formation of AGEs in the bovine serum albumin-glucose assay. AGEs contribute to the development and progression of diabetic complications and aging.
• Polyoxygenated Cyclohexene Derivatives: Study yielded four new polyoxygenated cyclohexene derivatives, uvarirufone A, uvarirufols A-C, along with 10 known compounds from the aerial parts of Uvaria rufa.
• Antitubercular: Study evaluated various extracts, fractions, and secondary metabolites against Mycobacterium tuberculosis H(37)Rv. Results demonstrated a potential source of compounds with promising antitubercular activity. Also, polar pigments enhanced inhibition against M. tuberculosis H(37)Rv.
• Roots / Alkaloids: Study for alkaloidal compounds from the roots yielded compounds including oxoanolobine, lanuginosine, and roemeroline.
• Essential Oil / Sesquiterpene: Uvaria rufa yielded a