Family • Rubiaceae - Mitragyna parvifolia (Roxb.) Korth. - KADAMB

Scientific names

Mitragyna parvifolia (Roxb.) Korth.
Stephegyne parvifolia Roxb.

Common names

Kaim (Tag.)
Kadamb (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

BENGALI: Gulikadam, Dharakadam.
HINDI: Guri, Kaylum. Kaim, Kadamb.
KANNADA: Nayekadambe, Nira kadamba, Kongu, Sanna kadamba.
MALAYALAM: Sirikadamba, Neerkadambu, Veembu, Kadamba, Kathamamaram, Sirakadambu.
SANSKRIT: Vitanah.
TAMIL: Nirkatampu.

Mitragyna parvifolia is a large tree growing 40 to 50 feet in height. Stem is erect and branching. Leaves are dark green, simple, opposite, smooth, rounded and decussate. Petioles are 1 to 4 centimeters long. Flowers are in terminal heads, fragrant, creamy-white or yellow, in ball-shaped clusters; peduncle supported by a pair of bract like oblong leaves. Fruits are capsules arranged in globose heads, 2 to 3 millimeters lone, ribbed. Seeds are many, small, 10-ribbed.


– Tree was spotted in Butuan.
– Native to India.
– Found in tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and Africa.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Kaim / Common names / Indian Biodiversity Portal

(2) Heteroyohimbinoid type oxindole alkaloids from Mitragyna parvifolia / Richa Pandey, Subhash C. Singh, Madan M. Gupta * / Phytochemistry 67 (2006) 2164–2169

(3) In vitro investigation of anthelmintic activity of Mitragyna parvifolia (Roxb.) Korth. (Rubiaceae) / Badgujar Vishal B.* and Surana Sanjay J / Veterinary World Vol.3(7): 326-328

(4) Anticonvulsant Activity of Mitragyna Parvifolia Leaves Extract / Dhirender Kaushik*, Sukhbir Lal Khokra, Pawan Kaushik, Ankit Saneja and Divya Arora / Pharmacologyonline 3: 101-106 (2009)

(5) Anti-inflammatory and Anti-nociceptive Activity of Mitragyna parvifolia / Vikas Gupta, Pawan Kumar, Parveen Bansal and Ranjit Singh / Asian Journal of Medical Sciences 1(3): 97-99, 2009

(6) 16,17-Dihydro-17b-hydroxy isomitraphylline alkaloid as an inhibitor of DPP-IV, and its effect on incretin hormone and β-cell proliferation in diabetic rat. / Shukla A, Srinivasan BP. / Eur J Pharm Sci. 2012 Sep 29;47(2):512-9. / doi: 10.1016/j.ejps.2012.07.012. Epub 2012 Jul 20.

(7) Genus Mitragyna: Ethnomedicinal uses and pharmacological studies / Fang Gong, Hai-peng Gu, Qi-tai Xu, Wen-yi Kang* / Phytopharmacology 2012, 3(2) 263-272


(9) An extraordinary diabetes drug confined to papers / Sunny Sebastian / The Hindu –Today’s Paper • National • New Delhi

(10) Evaluation of activities of Mitragyna parvifolia fruit extract. / Ankit Saneja, Dhirender Kaushik, Sukhbir Lal Khokra, Pawan Kaushik, Chetan Sharma, KR Aneja / Journal of Natural Products (India), Volume 2, Pp 49-54

(11) Antiviral activity of few selected indigenous plants against Bovine Herpes Virus-1 / Goel Anjana, Singh Rashmi, Dash Sandeep, Gupta Deepti, Pillai Ajita, Yadav S K, Bhatia A K,*/ Journal of Immunology and Immunopathology, 2011, Volume 13, Issue 1


– Stem and bark yield alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, and tannins.
– An alcohol extract of bark yielded carbohydrates, alkaloids, phenols, tannins and phytosterols. A benzene extract yielded carbohydrates, flavonoids, and sterols.

– Studies have shown analgesic, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, antiarthritic, antinociceptive, anticonvulsant properties.

Parts used
Root bark, leaves, fruits.

– No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
– In Ayurveda, bark used for blood-related diseases.
– In traditional Indian medicine, bark and roots used for fevers colic, muscular pains, stomach burning, poisoning, gynecological problems, cough and edema. Also used as aphrodisiac. Bruised leaves used to promote healing of wounds and ulcers and to alleviate pain.
– In some parts of India, rice is treated with various tree and seed extracts. Bark and roots used for fever colic, gynecologic problems. Fruit juice used to enhance breast milk secretion in lactating mothers.
– In Andhra Pradesh, fresh leaf juice used to treat jaundice. In Karnataka, India, stem bark used for biliousness. Bark paste applied externally for muscular pains. Bark decoction used for fevers. Powdered bark boiled with fruits and inhaled through the mouth for toothache.


Study Findings
• Leaf Alkaloids: Leaves yielded two alkaloids, 16,17-dihydro-17b-hydroxy isomitraphylline and 16, 17- dihydro-17b-hydroxy mitraphylline, with two known alkaloids, isomitraphylline and mitraphylline.
• Anthelmintic: Study evaluated a methanolic stem bark extract for anthelmintic activity in vitro against adult earthworm Pheretima posthuma. Results showed significant dose dependent anthelmintic activity at 100 mg/ml.
• Anticonvulsant / Leaves: An ethanol extract of leaves was evaluated for effects in seizures induced by pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) and maximal electroshock convulsive methods in mice. Results showed dose-dependent anticonvulsant effects in both models.
• Antimicrobial / Bark: Study evaluated the antimicrobial efficacy of M. parvifolia bark and Butea monosperma leaves against human pathogenic microbial strains. M. Parvifolia extracts showed better activity than B. monosperma extracts.
• Anti-Inflammatory / Antinociceptive: An ethanolic extract of dried leaves of Mitragyna parvifolia showed anti-inflammatory activity in a carrageenan-induced paw edema model with an effect equivalent to phenylbutazone. The extract also exhibited marked antinociceptive activity comparable to standard drug Ibuprofen.
• Antioxidant / Leaves: Study on leaves showed high levels of antioxidant activity in successive methanolic extracts which was attributed to high phenolic content.
• Anti-Oxidative Stress Effect/ Leaves: Study evaluated the anti-oxidative stress efficacy in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Significantly increased levels of malondialdehyde were restored to near normal levels with an ethanolic extract of leaves. The anti-oxidative stress effect may be due to the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, glycosides and triterpenoids in the extract.
• DHIM / Alkaloid / DPP IV Inhibitor / Anti-Diabetic: DHIM is an indole alkaloid isolated from M. parvifolia. DHIM exhibited marked inhibition of DPP IV. In an in vivo study on neonatal Wistar albino rats treated with STZ, chronic administration of DHIM markedly reduced plasma glucose concentration, increased glucose tolerance in response to glucose loading. GLP-1 and IL-1 were significantly increased in treated diabetic rats. Assay showed DHIM stimulates ß-cell proliferation and reduced pancreatic cell apoptosis.
• Anxiolytic / Stem-Bark: Study evaluated stem-bark extracts and fractions for anxiolytic activity in mice. Results showed all the extracts showed dose-dependent anxiolytic-like activity. The alkaloid rich fraction showed more potency. The activity was probably mediated via the GABAergic system.
• Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory / Fruits: Study of ethanolic extract of fruit showed very significant analgesic and anti-inflammatory potential. Phytoconstituent study yielded pyroligenous acid, methy acetate, ketones and aldehydes.
• Anti-Bovine Herpes Virus-1: Study screened 10 medicinal plants for activity against Bovine Herpes virus type-1, causing infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis disease, abortion in 5-7 month pregnancy in bovines with high economic loss. Four plants, including Mitragyna parvifolia, showed 40-62% protection against BHV-1.