Family • Moraceae - Streblus asper Lour. - SANDPAPER TREE - Quo shen shu

Scientific names

Calius lactescens Blanco
Streblus asper Lour.
Streblus lactescens  Blanco
Streblus monoclus  Gagnep.

Common names

Aludig (Ilk.)
Ampas (Pamp.)
Bagtak (P. Bis.)
Balangiking (Ibn.)
Buntatai (P. Bis.)
Kagasaka (Ibn.)
Kakadli (Tag.)
Kalios (Tag.)
Kallos (Ibn.)
Lampataki (Tagb.)
Kensinal tree (Malaysia)
Sand paper tree (Engl.)
Toothbrush tree (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

BENGALI: Sheora.
CHINESE: Quo shen shu.
HINDI: Siora.
INDONESIA: Peleh, Serut.
LAOS: Som pho.
MALAYSIA: Kesinai, Serinai.
SANSKRIT: Shakhotaka
TAMIL: Piray.
THAI: Khoi, Kak mai foi.
VIETNAM: Ru[oos]i ru[oos]i nh[as]m.

Kalios is a rigid and densely branched tree, 4 to 15 meters high. Leaves are oblong-ovate to subrhomboid, 4 to 12 centimeters long, very rough on both sides, with finely toothed margins, the tip blunt or tapering to a point, the base narrowed. Male flowers are in roundish heads, 4 to 7 millimeters in diameter, short-peduncled, greenish-yellow or nearly white. Female flowers are peduncled, usually in pairs, green, the sepals accrescent and nearly enclosing the fruit. Fruit is ovoid, 8 to 10 millimeters long, pale yellow, the pericarp soft and fleshy. Seed is ovoid, 5 to 6 millimeters long.


– In thickets at low and medium altitudes, especially in regions with long dry seasons, from northern Luzon to Palawan and Mindanao.
– Occurs in India, southern China, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka.


• Yields sulfur, peroxidase, hydrocellulose, glycosides, calcium oxalate, streblid, resin.
• Latex yields a resin.
• A rich source of cardiac glycosides, 20 have been isolated from the root bark.
• Yields a bitter substance, streblid, neither a glucoside nor an alkaloid.
• Bitter bark substance suggests the poison of Antiaris.
• Study yielded carbohydrates, glycosides, phytosterols, phenolic compounds, tannins, saponin, gums and mucilage.
• Study of leaves yielded seven compounds: salicylic acid,β-sitosterol, β-daucosterol, oleanolic acid, magnolol, quercetin, and taxifolin – all obtained from the leaves for the first time.
• Study of root bark yielded carbohydrates, glycosides, phytosterols, phenolic compounds, tannins, saponin, gums, and mucilage. Physiochemical analysis revealed a total moisture content 8.91%, total ash 15.00%, acid insoluble ash 5.65%, water-soluble ash 3.23%, alcohol soluble extractive value 18.05%, and water soluble extractive value 35.83%.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Streblus asper Lour. (Shakhotaka): A Review of its Chemical, Pharmacological and Ethnomedicinal Properties / Subha Rastogi et al / Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2006 June; 3(2): 217–222 / doi: 10.1093/ecam/nel018.

(2) The components and anticancer activity of the volatile oil from Streblus asper / Phutdhawong Weerachai et al / Flavour and fragrance journal • 2004, vol. 19, no5, pp. 445-447

(3) Antimicrobial activity of Streblus asper leaf extract / Dr Sopit Wongkham et al / Phytotherapy Research
Volume 15 Issue 2, Pages 119 – 121 / DOI 10.1002/ptr.705

(4) Macrofilaricidal activity of the stembark of Streblus asper and its major active constituents / Dr Ranjit Kumar Chatterjee et al / Drug Development Research, Vol 26 Issue 1, Pages 67 – 78 / DOI 10.1002/ddr.430260106

(5) Pharmacognostical Evaluation of Root Bark of Streblus asper Lour. / V Madhavan et al / Indian Journal of Traditional Medicine, Vol 8(2), April 2009, pp 176-180.

(6) EFFECT OF STREBLUS ASPER LEAF EXTRACT ON SELECTED ANAEROBIC BACTERIA / S Taweechaisupapong et al / International Society for Horticultural Science

(7) The components and anticancer activity of the volatile oil from Streblus asper / Weerachai Phutdhawong et al / Flavour and Fragrance Journal, Vol 19 Issue 5, Pages 445 – 447 / (DOI) 10.1002/ffj.1342

(8) Screening of Active Fractions of Streblus asper on Simian Immunodeficiency Virus / LIANG Cheng-qin, ZHOU Xian-li, DUAN Xiao-qu et al / DOI CNKI:SUN:ZSFX.0.2011-01-038

(9) Cancer-preventing mouthwash from the kesinai tree (scientific name: streblus asper) / Bernama

(10) Selective activity of Streblus asper on Mutans streptococci / Suwimol Taweechaisupapong, Sopit Wongkham, Supaporn Chareonsuk et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol 70, Issue 1, April 2000, Pages 73-79 / doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(99)00140-3

(11) Streblus asper Gel : Antimicrobial Property and Safety Evaluation / A. LUNPROM, S. TAWEECHAISUPAPONG, W. KHUNKITTI et al / 19th International Association for Dental Research-Southeast Asia Division and 13th Southeast Asia Association for Dental Education (September 3-6, 2004)

(12) Chemical constituents from the leaves of Streblus asper / Liang Cheng-qin, Zhou Xian-li, Wang Zheng et al / DOI CNKI:SUN:ZCYA.0.2010-05-040

(13) Effect of glycosides of Streblus asper on motility, glucose uptake, and certain enzymes of carbohydrate metabolism of Setaria cervi / Som N Singh, Ranjit K Chatterjee et al / Drug Development Research
Volume 32, Issue 3, pages 191–195, July 1994 / DOI: 10.1002/ddr.430320309

(14) Subgingival Irrigation Using Streblus asper Leaf Extract in Chronic Periodontitis / W. SUWANNARONG, K. INTARANONGPAI, S. TAWEECHAISUPAPONG et al / 19th International Association for Dental Research-Southeast Asia Division and 13th Southeast Asia Association for Dental Education (September 3-6, 2004)

(15) Pre clinical studies of Streblus asper Lour in terms of behavioural safety and toxicity / R. B. Suresh Kumar, A. Puratchikodi, Angelene Prasanna, Narayan Dolai, Piyali Majumder, U. K. Mazumder, P. K. Haldar / Orient Pharm Exp Med 01/2011; 11:243 – 249. pp.243 – 249

(16) Evaluation of antihyperglycemic and antioxidant properties of Streblus asper Lour against streptozotocin-induced diabetes in rats / RB Suresh Kumar, Biswakanth Kar, Narayan Dolai, Asis Bala, Pallab Kanti Haldar / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease (2012)139-143

(17) Streblus asper / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED

(18) Antioxidant Activity and Phenolic Content of Streblus asper Leaves from Various Drying Methods / Nor Mawarti Ibrahim, Ishak Mat, Vuanghao Lim and Ruzita Ahmad * / Antioxidants 2013, 2, 156-166 / doi:10.3390/antiox2030156

(19) Anticariogenic Activity and Haemolytic Study of Some Medicinal Plants Leaf Protein Extract against Six Oral pathogens in In vitro condition / Hiral Soni, Kalpesh Ishnava, Khushal Patel / Int J Appl Sci Biotechnol, Vol. 2(3): 253-259 / DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3126/ijasbt.v2i3.9344

(20) Antidiabetic effect of Streblus asper in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats / Sanjay Kumar Karan, Arijit Mondal, Sagar Kumar Mishra, Dilipkumar Pal, and Kedar Kumar Rout / Pharmaceutical Biology, March 2013, Vol. 51, No. 3 , Pages 369-375 / doi:10.3109/13880209.2012.730531

– Considered astringent, antiseptic, antifilarial, cardiotonic, soothing, antiaging.
Root is considered antipyretic, antidysenteric, analgesic and sedative.

Parts utilized
Roots and bark.

– Infusion of leaves drunk as tea.
– Decoction of bark used for disinfecting wounds; also used for internally for skin disease “culebra.”
– The bark is chewed as an antidote for snake poisoning.
– Bark decoction also used for fever, dysentery and diarrhea.
– Root powder used for dysentery; poultice applied to unhealthy ulcers.
– The Annamites apply the latex to the temples for neuralgia; also as sedative.
– In Ayurveda, used for filariasis, leprosy, toothaches, dysentery, diarrhea, cancer.
– In Indian traditional medicine, leaves, stems and roots used to treat syphilis.
– In Thailand, used for inflammatory illnesses.
– In Bangladesh, used for syphilis, cholera, piles, wounds, cancer, heart disease, tumors, indigestion, leucoderma, liver disease; as analgesic and as stimulant.
– In India, latex is applied to sore heels and chapped hands; also applied to glandular swellings.
– Seeds used for epistaxis, piles, diarrhea. Externally, applied as paste for leucoderma.
– Used for vitiligo.
– In Bangladesh, the Marma tribes use the root juice to treat irregular menstruation and to promote delayed menstruation.
– Root used in epilepsy and inflammatory swellings and boils.
– Juice is astringent and antiseptic.

• Sanding / Scouring: The rough sides of the leaves, like those of Ficus ulmifolia, find use in the cleaning of cooking utensils. Used as substitute for sandpaper.

Study Findings
• Cardiotonic: Extract studies of root bark on frog heart showed positive ionotropic effect.
• Filaricidal: (1) Extract of stem bark revealed macrofilaricidal activity. The study of the in vitro effects of two pure glycosides, i.e., asperoside and strebloside isolated from S. asper on bovine filarial parasite Setaria cervi females showed both caused death within 2 to 3 hours, probably through effects on glucose metabolism.
• Antimicrobial / Oral Hygiene: Ethanol extract of leaves and sticks shown to inhibit growth of Strep mutans. Strep mutans is strongly associated with dental caries. Study suggests a potential for S asper extract as a natural product for controlling dental caries.
• Anti-allergic: showed anti-PCA (passive cutaneous anaphylaxis) and mast cell stabilizing activity.
• Insecticidal: Polyphenolic fractions found to have insecticidal activity.
• Insecticidal / Stem bark: Study of extracts from the stem bark showed insecticidal activity against the fifth instar of Dysdercus cingulatus. Results suggest a potential for the development of biopesticides.
• Antiparasitic: Stem bark extract mounts an immune response against Plasmodium bergheri.
• Anticancer: The major constituents of the volatile oil of fresh leaves of Strebius asper were phytol, a-farnesene, trans-farnesyl acetate, caryophyllene and trans-trans-a-farnesene. The volatile oil showed significant anticancer activity from cytotoxicity primary screening tests with mouse lymphocytic leukemia cells.
• Macrofilaricidal: The crude extract of the stem bark revealed significant macrofilaricidal activity against Litomosoides carinii and Brugia malayi in rodents. Study yielded two cardiac glycosides responsible for the antifilarial activity.
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study results on experimental carrageenan-induced paw edema in rats showed significant dose-dependent inhibition of edema. Results suggest a potential for S. asper as an anti-inflammatory agent.
• Chemopreventive / Anti-Cancer / Osteosarcoma: Study using osteosarcoma cells in an in vitro model, showed Streblus asper root extract exerted cell death to osteosarcoma cells. Study also showed antioxidant compounds such as caffeic acid in the root extracts which may act as a carcinogenic inhibitor.
• Antibacterial: Study to determine the antibacterial effects of a leaf extract of Streblus asper against six anaerobic bacterial showed inhibitory effects towards all bacterial strains except A actinomycetemcomitans.
• SIV Inhibitory Effect: Study screening the anti-simian immunodeficiency virus active parts of the extracts of stem of S. asper showed the essential oil, grease, steroidal and triterpene or phenolic compounds may have certain inhibitory effects on the SIV.
• Anticancer Mouthwash: Study from the University Sains Malaysia has created a mouthwash from the boiled extracts of S. asper, claiming to act as an agent to prevent mouth cancer.
• Antimicrobial Mouthrinse / Strep mutans: Study on the antimicrobial effectiveness of a mouthrinse containing Streblus asper leaf extract showed the mouthrinse can reduce S. mutans without changing oral ecology.
• Antimicrobial Gel / Periodontal Use: Study results suggest that the Streblus asper gel possesses desirable antimicrobial property and safety, with a potential use as adjunctive periodontal therapy.
• Analgesic: Study of the ethanolic extracts of Streblus asper aerial parts showed dose-dependent analgesic properties in all models studied through both centrally and peripherally mechanisms.
• Subgingival Irrigation / Periodontal Use: Study showed the use of 80 mg/ml S. asper leaf extract solution for irrigation as an adjunct to dental scaling and root planing is effective in controlling gingival inflammation, plaque formation and the number of periodontophathic bacteria, when compared to normal saline.
• Behavioral Safety and Toxicity: Brine Shrimp lethality bioassay evaluated behavioral safety and toxicity. On cytotoxicity study, the methanol extract was weakly toxic, possibly due to cardiac glycosides. Petroleum ether extract was non toxic. Acute and subacute toxicity studies showed both extracts to be non-toxic.
• Antihyperglycemic / Antioxidant: Study of methanol extract of S. asper root bark exhibited remarkable antidiabetic activity in STZ-induced diabetic rats. The antidiabetic effect was attributed to its underlying antioxidant activity.
• Antioxidant / Phenolic Content / Leaves: Study of S. asper leaf extracts showed the 70% EtOH extracts yield the highest amount of phenolics, flavonoids, and antioxidant potential, with freeze-dried leaf extract showing stronger antioxidant properties and phenolic and flavonoid content.
• Anticariogenic / Hemolytic / Leaves: Study evaluated leaf extracts of 12 medicinal plants for their antibacterial activity against 6 cariogenic pathogens. The extract of Streblus asper showed the most intensive activity, with complete inactivation of C. albicans. Hemolytic study of S. asper plant leaf protein gives a high range of HC50 values.
• Antidiabetic / Stem Bark: Study evaluated the antidiabetic activity of α-amyrin acetate isolated from S. asper and petroleum ether extracts of stem bark in STZ induced diabetic rats. PESA and α-amyrin showed remarkable antidiabetic activity.