Family • Amaryllidaceae - Crinum latifolium Linn. - PINK-STRIPED TRUMPET LILY - Xi nan wen zhu lan

Scientific names

Crinum zeylanicum Linn.
Crinum latifolium Linn.
Crinum ornaturm var. latifolium (L.)

Other common names

Bakong (Tag.)
Lirion (Span.)
Milk and wine lily (Engl.)
Pink-striped trumpet lily (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

BENGALI: Sukhdarshan.
CHINESE: Xi nan wen zhu lan.
MARATHI: Gandani-kanda, Gadambhikanda, Golkamdo.
SANSKRIT: Madhuparnika, Vrishakarni.
TAMIL: Vishamungil.

Lirio is a lily plant, with subglobose bulbs up to 10 centimeters in diameter. Leaves are many, oblong-linear, 30 to 100 centimeters long, 5 to 8 centimeters wide. Scape is inserted on neck of the bulb, about as long as the leaves, stout and tinged with purple. Flowers are about 10 in each umbel, fragrant, about 8 centimeters long. Perianth tube is curved, 10 to 12centimeters long. Segments are oblong-lanceolate, 7.5 to 10 centimeters long, 2.5 to 3centimeters wide, white but flushed with pale purple in the median part. Filaments are white. Fruit is somewhat rounded, 4 to 5 centimeters in diameter. The cultivated hybrid forms give a variety of colors, some with white stripes running from the center of red segments.


– Cultivated for ornamental purposes.
– Scarcely naturalized.
– Native of India.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Aqueous extracts of Crinum latifolium (L.) and Camellia sinensis show immunomodulatory properties in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells / E. Zvetkova et al / International Immunopharmacology • Volume 1, Issue 12, November 2001, Pages 2143-2150 / doi:10.1016/S1567-5769(01)00140-0

(2) New constituents from Crinum latifolium with inhibitory effects against tube-like formation of human umbilical venous endothelial cells / Nguyen-Hai Nam et al / Natural Product Research, Volume 18, Issue 6 December 2004 , pages 485 – 491 / DOI: 10.1080/1057563031000122103

(3) Mast cell stabilizing effect of glucan A and phosphatidyllycorine isolated from Crinum latifolium / Shibnath Ghosal et al / Phytotherapy Research, Volume 2 Issue 2, Pages 76 – 79

(4) A new phenolic compound from Crinum asiaticum L. 

(5) NF-κB Inhibitory Activities of the Methanol Extracts and some Constituents therein of some Vietnamese Medicinal Plants / Nguyen H. Nam and You Y. Jae / Sci Pharm. 2009; 77: 389–399 / doi:10.3797/scipharm.0903-15

(6) Crinum Latifolium Leave Extracts Suppress Immune Activation Cascades in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells and Proliferation of Prostate Tumor Cells / Marcel JENNY , Angela WONDRAK, Elissaveta ZVETKOVA, Nguyen Thi Ngoc TRAM, Phan Thi Phi PHI, Harald SCHENNACH, Zoran CULIG, Florian UEBERALL, Dietmar FUCHS * / Scientia Pharmaceutica

(7) Evaluation of In vitro Anthelmintic Activity, Total Phenolic Content and Cytotoxic Activity of Crinum latifolium L. (Family: Amaryllidaceae) / Abdul Aziz, Golam Sarwar Raju, Abhijit Das, Jamiuddin Ahmed, Md. Mizanur Rahman Moghal* / Advanced Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 2014, 4(1), 15-19

(8) Physicochemical and Preliminary Phytochemical Studies On the Leaves of Crinum latifolium Linn. / Yadav Mahima, Meena A. K., Rao M. M., Mangal A. K., Chahal Jagbir* / Research Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, 2011, Volume 3, Issue 3

(9) Isolation of a New Lectin from the Bulbs of Crinum latifolium (L.) / Amandeep Kaur, Sukhdev Singh Kamboj, and Jatinder Singh / Journal of Biological Sciences 6(1): 9-14, 2006

(10) Extracts of Crinum latifolium inhibit the cell viability of mouse lymphoma cell line EL4 and induce activation of anti-tumour activity of macrophages in vitro. / Nguyen HY, Vo BH, Nguyen LT, Bernad J, Alaeddine M, Coste A, Reybier K, Pipy B, Nepveu F. / J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Aug 26;149(1):75-83. / |
doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.06.002. Epub 2013 Jun 12.

– Chemical analysis of bulbs yield alkaloids. Water extract of leaves also yielded alkaloids, especially of the crinane type, e.g., crinamine, crinamidine, crinafoline, and crinafolidine.
– Study isolated four alkaloids by spectroscopic method: Augustamine, undulatine, 6-hydroxy undulatine, 6-hydroxy buphanidrine.
– Phytochemical analysis of leaves yielded a vast array of compounds, viz., alkaloids, phenolic compounds, tannins, flavonoids, terpenoids, amino acids, steroid saponins, and antioxidants. Plant has yielded hippadine, pratorinine, ambelline and lycorine, 2-epilyocorine and 2-epipancrassidine, among others.

– Bulbs are extremely acrid.
– Studies have suggested anticancer, antiviral, analgesic, and immune stimulant properties.
– Bulbs considered rubifacient.

Parts used
Leaves and bulbs.

– Bulbs, extremely acrid, when roasted, used as a rubefacient for rheumatism.
– Juice of leaves used for earaches.
– Crushed and toasted bulbs used for piles and abscesses to hasten suppuration.
– In Vietnam and Cambodia, used in treatment of prostate and ovarian cancer. Also for prostatitis, uterine fibroids.
– In Chinese traditional medicine, used for its antiviral and antitumor properties.
– In Ayurveda, used for piles, fever and earaches.


Study Findings
• Immunomodulatory: Study showed extract of C latifolium slightly enhanced neopterin production in unstimulated peripheral mononuclear cells with an effective reduction of neopterin formation in stimulated cells.
• T-Lymphocyte Activating: A novel in vitro and in vivo T-lymphocyte activating factor in Crinum latifolium (L.) aqueous extracts. The study suggests potential use of C. latifolium for treatment of cases of immunodeficiency as cancer, leukemia and AIDS.
• Mast Cell Stabilizing: Mast cell stabilizing effect of glucan A and phosphatidyllycorine isolated from Crinum latifolium – Effect of glucan A and phosphatidyllycorine from CL in vitro produced significant protection against mass cell degranulation as well as to sensitized mast cells challenged with a horse serum antigen. In vivo, it also provided protection against degranulation of mast cells. Results support is use in Ayurvedic medicine in the treatment of allergic disorders.
• Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy: A study in the International Hospital in Vietnam using extract cycles of 21 days-on/7 days-off reported a 92.6 % benefit measured by prostate size and clinical urologic evaluation.
• Anti-Viral: A monocot mannose-binding amaryllidaceae lectin from the bulbs of CL was found to be non-toxic towards African green monkey kidney epithelial cells and exhibited a significant antiviral potential against a strain of vaccinia virus in vitro.
• Anti-Tumor: A study on cold-hot aqueous extracts from Vietnamese CL showed inhibition of carcinogenesis in rats probably due to the influence of immunomodulating and anti-tumour plant alkaloids and other biologically active components in the plant decoctions.
• NF-kB Inhibitory Activity: 87 methanol extracts from Vietnamese oriental medicinal plants were screened for NF-kB inhibitory activity. Seven of the extracts, including C. latifolium showed strong to moderate inhibitory activity.
• Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy: Study was done of soft gel transformed from the dry glue of Crinum latifolium alkaloid for therapeutic effect in benign prostatic hypertrophy. Results concluded soft gels of CL are effective for treatment of BPH, and the drug is safe, with little side effects.
• Antiproliferative: Treatment of human prostate carcinoma PC3 and LNCaP cells, and benign prostate hyperplasia BPH-1 cells with water extracts of C. latifolium showed a significant dose-dependent inhibition of cell growth. The inhibition of tumor cell growth and recovery of immune functions may contribute to its beneficial effects in the treatment of prostate tumors.
• Antioxidant: Crinum latifolium showed potent peroxyl-radical scavenging activity in vitro.
• Anti-Inflammatory: An aqueous extract of C. latifolium exhibited strong anti-inflammatory effect on mitogen stimulated PBMC by counteracting mitogen-induced activation of IDO enzyme activity and secretion of neopterin.
• Anthelmintic / Cytotoxicity: Study of a methanolic extract of Crinum latifolium leaves showed significant activity against Pheretima posthuma. Cytotoxicity testing using brine shrimp lethality test method showed positive results, with vincristine sulfate as positive control.
• Hemagglutination Activity / Lectin / Bulbs: Study evaluated the biologic activity of a lectin isolated from the bulbs of C. latifolium with carbohydrate specificity towards methyl-α-D-mannopyranoside. Study showed humagglutination activity, and was virtually non-mitogenic towards peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
• Anti-Tumor Activity / Inhibition of Lymphoma Cells Proliferation: Study evaluated the CL leaf extracts on anti-tumor activity of peritoneal murine macrophages. Results showed CL extracts and alkaloid fraction inhibit the proliferation of lymphoma cells in multiple pathways.

Capsules, supplements in the cybermarket.