Ilang-ilang gubat

Family • Annonaceae - Desmos cochinchinensis Lour. - DWARF YLANG YLANG SHRUB - Chia ying chao

Scientific names

Desmos cochinchinensis Lour. Unona cochinchinensis Lour.
Desmos chinensis Lour. Unona chinensis Lour.
Desmos hancei Merr. Unona desmos Dunal
Desmos velutinus Hance Unona velutina Hance
Unona cabog Blanco

Common names

Dwarf ylang-ylang shrub (Engl.)
Ilang-ilang gubat (Tag.)
Ylang-Ylang gubat (Tag.)
Chia ying chao (Chin.)

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.

Ilang-ilang gubat

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Studies on the chemical constituents of the root of Desmos cochinchinensis Lour. / Liao SX, Han GY, Zhang YR, Zheng QT, He CH. / Yao Xue Xue Bao. 1989;24(2):110-3. /

(2) New Cytotoxic Fatty Acid from Desmos cochinchinensis (Annonaceae) / Nan-Jun Sun, David K. Ho et al / 10.1080/10575639508043184 / Natural Product Research, Volume 7, Issue 1 August 1995 , pages 35 – 41

(3) Phenolic Constituents with Inhibitory Activity against NFAT Transcription from Desmos chinensis / Phan Van Kiem et al / Arch Pharm Res Vol 28, No 12, 1345-1349, 2005

(4) New Cytotoxic Cycloartane Triterpenoids From Desmos Cochinchinensis (Annonaceae) / Nan-Jun Sun et al / Natural Product Research, Vol 1, Issue 2 September 1992 , pages 109 – 115 / DOI: 10.1080/1057563920804889

Ilang-ilang gubat2

– 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.

Parts utilized
· Roots, leaves.
· Collect the whole year round.
· Rinse, macerate, and sun-dry.

Pungent tasting,

Ilang-ilang gubat3

• Fragrant flowers yield a volatile oil. Fruit also yields oil.
• A new cytotoxic fatty acid, desmosic acid, was isolated from Desmos cochinchinensis.
• Desmosflavone – 5-Hydroxy-7-methoxy-6,8-di-C-methylflavone.
• Study yielded eleven compounds: lawimal, desmosal, desmethoxymatteucinol, unonal , isounonla, desmoflavone, allantoic acid, succinic acid, daucosterol, beta-sitosterol and stearic acid.

· Decoction of 15-30 g of dried leaves: Used for gastrointestinal distention, indigestion, nephritis-edema, bronchitis.
· Leaves used for treating bruises, pain, intestinal parasitism, rheumatism, diarrhea.
· Decoction of dried roots (15-30 g): Used for rheumatic muscular pain.
· 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.

Ilang-ilang gubat4
Study Findings
• Anti-Malaria: Study isolated three flavonoids from the petroleum extract of the root of Desmos cochinchinensis. Pharmacologic study exhibited anti-malarial activity.
• 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
• 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.
• 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.
• Flavones: Study isolated four compounds identified as 5-hydroxy-7-methoxy- 6,8-dimethylflavone (desmosflavone), unonal, desmethoxymatteucinol and beta-sitosterol.
• Hybrid Flavan-Chalcones / Antioxidant / Aromatase and Lipoxygenase Inhibitors / Cytotoxic: Study of leaves isolated hybrid flavan-chalcones, desmosflavans A and B, together with three known compounds, cardamonin, pinocembrin and chrysin. Compounds 3 and 5 exhibited potent antioxidant activity. Compounds 1, 2, 4 and 5 were found to be inhibitors of aromatase. Desmosflavan A inhibited lipoxygenase and exhibited cytotoxic activity.