Family • Euphorbiaceae / Phyllanthaceae - Breynia rhamnoides (Retz.) Muell.-Arg. - INDIAN SNOWBERRY - Shan qi jing

Scientific names

Breynia rhamnoides (Retz.) Muell.-Arg.
Breynia officinalis Hemsley
Breynia microcalyx Ridley
Breynia vitis-idaea (Burm. f.)
Phyllanthus rhamnoides Retz.

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Xiao ye hei mian shen, Shu li zhuang shan qi jing.
JAPANESE: Hime kobannoki, Takasago kobannoki.
MALAY: Hujan panas, Semomah, Seruyan.
TAIWANESE: Ang-sim-a, Ang-chu-a, Ang-a-chu.
THAI: Phiafān, Dapphit.

Common names

Dagum (Sub.)
Gungumayi (Bon.)
Kabaong (Bon.)
Matang-hipon (Tag.)
Matan saga (Kuy.)
Matang-ulang (Tag.)
Salamagi (Bon.)
Santing (Sulu.)
Singtug (Sul.)
Tañgisan-bagio (Bag.)
Torog-torog (P. Bis.)
Tulug-tulug (P. Bis.)
Indian snowberry (Engl.)
Shan qi jing (Chin.)

Matang-hipon is an erect, monoecious, slender, smooth shrub, 1.5 to 4 meters high. Leaves are distichous, elliptic to elliptic-ovate, 1 to 3 centimeters long. Flowers are very small, greenish, axillary, and about 1 millimeter in diameter. Fruit is pink, somewhat fleshy, nearly spherical, about 5 millimeters in diameter.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Terpenic and phenolic glycosides from leaves of Breynia officinalis HEMSL / Morikawa H, Kasai R, Otsuka H, Hirata E, Shinzato T, Aramoto M, Takeda Y. / Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2004 Sep;52(9):1086-90.

(2) Breynia vitis-idaea / Common names / Wikipedia

(3) In Vitro antioxidant activities of Breynia Vitis-Idaea extracts / Chandrashekar. G. Joshi*, Gopal M and Vaigundan D / J. Chem. Pharm. Res., 2011, 3(5):340-347

(4) Two new glycosides from Breynia vitis-idaea. / Meng DH, Wu J, Wang LY, Zhao WM. / J Asian Nat Prod Res. 2010 Jun;12(6):535-41. doi: 10.1080/10286021003745452.

(5) Dental care of Andaman and Nicobar folks: medicinal plants use as tooth stick / Rasingam L, Jeeva S, Kannan D* / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine (2012)S1013-S1016

– Throughout the Philippines In thickets at low and medium altitudes, ascending to 1,500 meters.
– Also occurs in India and Sri Lanka to China and Malaya.

– Study yielded a new megastigmane glucoside, canangaionoside.
– Aerial parts yielded a new sulfur-containing spiroketal glycoside, breynin, and a new terpenic glycoside, breyniaionoside E, together with 10 known compounds.

Bark is astringent.

Parts used
Bark, leaves.

– In the Philippines, bark is astringent and used to prevent hemorrhages.
– In Behar, dried leaves are smoked, like tobacco, for tonsillitis.
– In Chinese traditional medicine, used for treatment of chronic bronchitis and wounds.
– In Ayurveda, used for leucorrhea, edema, menorrhagia, diabetes, dental caries.
– In India, root decoction used as mouthwash.
– Tamil ethnic communities use the mature stem as a herbal toothstick.
– In Tamil Nadu, juice prepared from ten grams of fresh leaves taken with water twice daily for ten days to treat jaundice.


Study Findings
• Glycosides: Study of leaves of Breynia officinalis isolated six terpenic glucosides and six phenolic glycosides. Two terpenic glucosides were identified as tupinionoside B and betulabuside A. The six phenolic glycosides were found to be arbutin and its derivatives.
• Radical Scavenging / Antioxidant: Study evaluated hexane, ethyl acetate and methanol extracts of aerial parts of Breynia vitis-idaea for antioxidant activities. All three extracts showed significant radical scavenging activity. The antioxidant property was attributed to phenolic/flavonoid contents.