Family • Pittosporaceae - Pittosporum pentandrum (Blanco) Merr. - CHEESEWOOD - Tai qiong hai tong

Scientific names

Pittosporum pentandrum (Blanco) Merr.
Pittosporum brachysepalum Turcz.
Pittosporum fernandezii Vidal
Pittosporum ferrugineum F.-Vill.
Aquilaria pentandra  Blanco
Bursaria inermis  Azaola
Limonia laureola Blanco

Common names

Antoan (C. Bis.) Pangantoan (C. Bis.)
Balinkauayan (P. Bis.) Pangatoan (C. Bis.)
Basuit (Ilk.) Pasgik (Ig.)
Bolonkoyan (P. Bis.) Pasik (Bon.)
Darayau (Tag.) Saboagon (P. Bis.)
Dili (Gad.) Taliu (Sbl.)
Lasuit (Ig.) Uplai (Ilk.)
Mamali (Tag.) Taiwanese cheesewood (Engl.)
Marabiñga (Tagb.) Willow-leaved pittosporum (Engl.)
Oplai (Ilk.) Tai qiong hai tong (Chin.)


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Mutagenic and Antimutagenic Activities in Philippine Medicinal and Food Plants / Clara Y. Lim-Sylianco‌ / Summary Toxin Reviews • 1985, Vol. 4, No. 1, Pages 71-105 / DOI 10.3109/15569548509014414

(2) Sesquiterpene glycosides from Pittosporum pentandrum / Consolacion Ragasa et al / Phytochemistry, Volume 45, Issue 3, June 1997, Pages 545-547 / doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(96)00852-7

Mamalis is a tree occasionally reaching heights of 20 meters, although it is usually much smaller. Whole tree is smooth except for its inflorescence. Leaves are narrowly elliptic, 6 to 15 centimeters long, and less than 2 centimeters wide, and gradually narrowed at both ends. Flowers are white, fragrant, about 6 millimeters long, crowded in panicles 5 to 8 centimeters in length. Fruit is small, globular, pale yellow to orange, somewhat rounded when fresh, 6 to 8 millimeters in diameter. Seeds are about 8, flattened, covered with a glossy red, oily and sticky mucus, with an odor reminiscent of petroleum.

– In secondary forests at low and medium altitudes, ascending to 1,400 meters, from northern Luzon to Palawan and Mindanao.
– Native to the Philippines, China, Taiwan, and Indonesia.

• Fruit yields a volatile oil, 1%; dihydroterpene.
• Leaves yield calcium oxalate and amygdalin.
• Stems yield amygdalin and fats.
• Study yielded two eudesmane-type sesquiterpene glycosides and the known triterpene betulin.
• Fruits and oil: Fruits are quite small. One tree yields about 16 kilos of fruit which after grinding yields on distillation 21 cubic centimeters of pleasant smelling oil. The oil properties suggests the oil consists principally of the same hydroterpene found in the oil of the petroleum nut.


• Antibacterial, antipyretic.

Mamalis5Parts used
Leaves, bark, fruit juice.

– Aromatic decoction of leaves used by women for postpartum baths.
– Decoction of bark used for fever and cough.
– Powdered bark in small doses used as antipyretic.
– Powdered bark also used as febrifuge; in large doses, a general antidote.
– Also used for bronchitis.
– Decoction of leaves used as aromatic bath after childbirth or prolonged illness.
– Fruit juice and decoction used for cleansing wounds.

– Wood: Used for jewelry beads; firewood.

Study Findings
• Mutagenic and Antimutagenic Activities: Of 138 Philippine medicinal plant preparations studied, only 12, including P. pentandrum, exhibited detectable genotoxicity in any system.
• Sesquiterpene Glycosides: Study of chloroform extract yielded two novel eudesmane-type sesquiterpene glycosides and a known triterpene betulin.