Family • Rhamnaceae - Gouania leptostachya DC. - Xia guo teng

Scientific names

Gouania leptostachya DC.
Gouania tiliaefolia Roxb. [Illegitimate].
Gouania retinaria DC.
Gouania microcarpa Rolfe
Gouania domingensis Blanco
Gouania microcarpa DC. var. subglabra Elm.

Common names

Litiran (Tag.)
Liua-a (Bag.)
Mañgauhai (Bmo.)
Pahampak (Pamp.)
Ruñgo-ruñgo (Ilk.)
Slender spiked gouania (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

BENGALI: Batvassi.
CHINESE: Xia guo teng.
HINDI: Bitkil-chaand.
NEPALESE: Batvassi.
TELUGU: Penki tiga.

Litiran is an unarmed, climbing shrub. Leaves are alternate, somewhat hairy, ovate, 6 to 10 centimeters long, and 4 to 5 centimeters wide, with pointed tip and slightly heart-shaped base. Flowers are small, greenish or whitish, and borne on axillary or terminal panicles. Fruit is smooth, with narrow wings.


– Found from northern Luzon to Mindanao in thickets at low and medium altitudes.
– Also reported in India to the Mascarene Islands, Indo-China, and Malaya.

(1) Two new benzopyran derivativesfrom Gouania leptostachya DC. var. tonkinensis Pitard. / Chong Yaoa,b Shu Jie Zhangc Zheng Zhong Baic Tong Zhoud LiJiang Xua / Chinese Chemical Leters 22 (2011) 175~177

(2) Phytochemical, antioxidant and antibacterial activities of medicinal plants used in Northern Thailand as postpartum herbal bath recipes by the Mien (Yao) community / Kannika Panyaphu1,* Panee Sirisa-ard, Preeyawis Na Ubol, Surapol Nathakarnkitkul, Sunee Chansakaow, Tran Van On / Phytopharmacology 2012, 2(1) 92-105

(3) Free radicals scavenging activity of Mongolian endemic and Vietnamese medicinal plants / T Batmunkh, QH Juan, DT Nga, KE Kyung, KY Ah, SY Wan, KK Ah, L Burm-Jong/ Planta Med 2007; 73 – P_057 DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-986839

(4) Anti-inflammatory activities of Gouania leptostachya methanol extract and its constituent resveratrol. /
Dung TT1, Lee J, Kim E, Yoo BC, Ha VT, Kim Y, Yoon DH, Hong S, Baek KS, Sung NY, Kim TW, Kim JH, Cho JY. / Phytother Res. 2015 Mar;29(3):381-92./ doi: 10.1002/ptr.5262

(5) Gouania tiliaefolia Lamk. / Commonly Used Medicinal Herbs and Shrubs by Traditional Herbal Practitioners
Glimpses from Thanchi upazila of Bandarban / IUCN

(6) Ethnobotanical Study of The Tai Lue, Hmong and Yao in Some Areas of Nan Province / Jantrararuk Tovaranonte / Thai Thesis Database

– Leaves yield an alkaloid.
– Studies have shown high flavonoid and phenolic contents.
– From G. microcarpa, leaves yield a triterpenic acid, along with tetraicontanoic acid.

Parts used
Roots, leaves.

– Leaves used for washing ulcers.
– Bark is used as a shampoo, for destroying vermin.
– Leaves used as a poultice for sores.
– In Chinese folk medicine, G. leptostachya DC. var tonkinensis Pitard is used for treatment of scald and acroanesthesia.
– Mien community of northern Thailand use the plant for postpartum baths.
– In Bangladesh, paste from plant applied over wound area. Plant juice tqken with water, twice daily for 5 to 7 days for excessive menstruation.
– The Yao use the water from boiled roots to cure gonorrhea.

– In the Philipppines, roots used as soap substitute.
– Alone or with other drugs, used to stupefy fishes in rivers.


Study Findings
• Benzopyran Derivatives / α-Glucosidase Inhibitory Activity: Study on stems of G. leptostycha DC var. tokinensis Pitard. yielded two new benzopyran derivatives,1-[(rel2S,3R)一3,5,7-trihydroxy-3,4-dihydro-2H-chromen-2-y1]ethanone and 1-[(rel 2S,3s)-3,5,7-trihydroxy-3,4-dihydro-2H-chromen-2-y1]ethanone ,along with four known flavonoids, prodelphinidin C, prodelphinidin B3, (一)- epi-galocatechin and (+)-galocatechin. Some compounds showed varying degrees of α-glucosidase inhibitory activity. In particular, prodelphinidin C significantly reduced the activity of α-glucosidase, suggesting prodelphinidin C may be the bioactive compound of the aqueous extract.
• Antioxidant: In a study of Vietnamese medicinal and Mongolian endemic plants exhibiting antioxidant activity against oxidative stress, an ethanol extract of Gouania leptostachya was one of 18 plants that showed strong free radical scavenging activity in the NO scavenging assay.
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study of methanol extract of G. leptostachya showed a potential as a herbal anti-inflammatory medicine through inhibition of Src and NF-kB activation pathways.