Family • Combretaceae - Quisqualis indica Linn. - YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW - Shi jun zi

Scientific names

Quisqualis indica Linn.
Quisqualis densiflora F.-Vill.
Quisqualis malabarica  F.-Vill.
Quisqualis pubecens Burm. f.
Quisqualis spinosa Blanco

Other vernacular names

BENGALI: Madhumanjari.
CHINESE: Xi shu shi jun zi, Mao bi jun zi, Si jun zi, Liu qiu zi.
GERMAN: Indische fadenrohre.
HINDI: Madhu, Malati.
INDIA: Rangoon ki bel, Ranganbel, Irangummali, Rangunu mali chettu.
INDONESIAN: Ceguk, Wudani, Akar dani.
MALAYSIA: Wudani, Akar dani.
MARATHI: Vilayati chambeli.
PORTUGUESE: Arbusto-Milagroso.
SPANISH: Quiscual.
TAMIL: Irangun mali.
THAI; Lep mue nang.
URDU: Ishq penchaan.

Common names

Balitadham (BIS.)
Bawe-bawe (Pamp.)
Bonor (P. Bis.)
Kasumbal (Bik.)
Niog-niogan (Tag.)
Pinion (Bis.)
Piñones (C. Bis., Spanish)
Tagarau (Tag.)
Tagulo (Tag.)
Talulong; (Ibn.)
Talulung (Ibn.)
Tanglon (Bik.)
Tangolo (Tag., Bik.)
Tañgulo (Bik.)
Tartaraok (Bik., Ilk.)
Tartarau (Iloko)
Taungon (Manobo)
Tangolan (Tag.)
Tontoraok (Tag.)
Burma Creeper (Engl.)
Chinese honeysuckle (Engl.)
Liane Vermifuge (Engl.)
Rangoon creeper (Engl.)
Yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Engl.)
Shih-chun-tzu (Chin.)

Niog-niogan is a large climbing, woody shrub reaching a length of 2 to 8 meters. Brown hairs give the younger parts a rusty appearance. Leaves are oblong to elliptic, opposite, 7 to 15 centimeters long, rounded at the base and pointed at the tip. Flowers are fragrant, tubular, showy, first white, then becoming red, reddish-purple or orange, exhibiting the range of colors in clusters, on the same flower stalk. Fruit is narrowly ellipsoid, 2.5 to 3 centimeters long, with five, sharp, longitudinal angles or wings. Seeds are pentagonal and black.


– In thickets and secondary forests throughout the Philippines.
– Ornamentally planted for its flowers.
– Also occurs in India to Malaya.
– Introduced in most tropical countries.

Parts utilized
Seeds (dried nuts) and leaves.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Kinetics of Acetylcholinesterase Inhibition of Quisqualis indica Linn. Flower Extract / Penpan Wetwitayaklung et al / Silpakorn U Science & Tech J Vol.1(2), 2007

(2) FIXED OIL CONTENT OF QUISQUALIS INDICA L. FRUIT AS AFFECTED BY STORAGE / E G Quintana et al / ISHS Acta Horticulturae 132: III International Symposium on Spice and Medicinal Plants, XXI IHC

(3) Study on toxicity of Quisqualis indica Linn.seed / Songpol Chivapat et al / Bulletin of Department of Medical Sciences 1998; 40(1): 9-21

(4) Screening of some semi-arid region plants for larvicidal activity against Aedes aegypti mosquitoes / R Kaushik and P Saini / J Vector Borne Dis 46, September 2009, pp. 244–246

(5) Anti-inflammatory activity of hydroalcoholic extract of Quisqualis indica Linn. flower in rats / Yashraj Yadav, P.K Mohanty and S B Kasture / Int. J. of Pharm. & Life Sci. (IJPLS), Vol. 2, Issue 8: Aug.: 2011, 977-981

(6) Evaluation of immunomodulatory activity of hydroalcoholic extract of Quisqualis indica Linn. flower in wistar rats / Yashraj Yadav, P.K Mohanty and SB Kasture / Int. J. of Pharm. & Life Sci. (IJPLS), Vol. 2, No 4: April 2011, 689-686

(7) Rangoon creeper / Common names / Flowers of India

(8) A comparative study of Quisqualis indica (niyog-niyogan) and pyrantel pamoate in the treatment of intestinal ascariasis. / Carpio EV. / Philipp J Pediatr 1997 Jan-Mar;46(1):31-34.

(9) Evaluation of anti-diarrheal activity of Quisqualis indica L. leaves / Nitu Singh, Govind Mohan, Rajesh Kumar Sharma and D Gnaneshwari / Indian Journal of Natural Products and Resources, Vol 4 (2), June 2013, pp 155-160.

(10) Quisqualis indica / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED

(11) Effects of Methanolic Extracts of Quisqualis indica (Aerial Parts) on Passive Smoking Induced Hyperlipidemia in Rats / Jyoti Sahu*, Pushpendra Kumar Patel and Balkrishna Dubey / Asian J. Pharm. Tech. 2013; Vol. 3: Issue 1, Pg 26-29

(12) Evaluation of antibacterial activity of some selected Angiosperm flower extract / K. Anu Kiruthika*, A.Amutha Jaisheeba and R. Sornaraj / International Journal of ChemTech Research, Vol. 3, No.4, pp 1945-1951, Oct-Dec 2011

(13) Antimutagenic Effects of Eighteen Philippine Plants / C Y Lim-Sylianco, J A Concha, A P Jocano, and C M Lim / The Philippine Journal of Science, 1986

– Phytochemical screening yields major classes of constituents: alkaloids, carbohydrates, protein, amino acid, saponins, glycosides, steroids, tannins, flavonoids and phenolic compounds.
– A water extract of gum from the seeds gave an alkaloidal reaction; 3.87% of potassium sulphate was found.
– Seeds yielded the presence of oleic acid and palmitic acids in the oil; and sitosterol and isolated acetyl derivative from the saponifiable matter.
– Plant yields a fatty oil, 15%; gum; resin.
– The nut yields 12.96 percent moisture; a yellow oil, 28.37 percent of the original nut.
– Studies yield quisqualic acid, quisqualin A.
– An analysis of the seed reported the presence of oleic and palmitic acids in the oil, in addition to sitosterol, and an acetyl derivative from the saponifiable matter.
– Leaves yield rutin, trigonelline, L-proline, L-aspargine, and quisqualic acid.
– Flower gum yields pelargonidin-3-glucoside.
– Floral volatiles by n-hexane extraction yielded 24 constituents, amounting to 74.88% of the total composition. Major components of the oil were hydrocarbons (61.38%) among which α-pinene, the major terpenoid, and 1-ethyl-1-phenyl decane (8.13 %), the dominant aromatic. Petroleum ether extract of of leaves yielded palmitic acid (27.73%) as the major component of the saponifiable component, and α-amyrin, of the unsaponifiable portion. Crude protein was 2.06%. An unusual protein, dihydro-quisqualic acid, was isolated for the first time. Galactose, glucose, arabinose and L-rhamnose were identified as free sugars.


– The taste resembling coconuts.
– Oil from the seeds are purgative.
– Considered anthelmintic, antiinflammatory.
– Study on ascariasis reported the plant to possess anthelmintic properties.
– Excessive dosing reported to cause hiccups.
– Fruit is considered tonic and astringent.


• Flowers are edible.


• Anthelmintic: Dried seeds preferable for deworming.
• Adults: Dried nuts-chew 8 to 10 small- to medium-sized dried nuts two hours after a meal, as a single dose, followed by a half glass of water. If fresh nuts are used, chew only 4-5 nuts. Hiccups occur more frequently with the use of fresh nuts.
• Children 3-5 years old: 4-5 dried nuts; 6 – 8 years old: 5-6 dried nuts; 9-12 years old: 6-7 dried nuts.
• Roasted seeds for diarrhea and fever.
• Plant used as a cough cure.
• Leaves applied to the head to relieve headaches.
• Pounded leaves externally for skin diseases.
• Decoction of boiled leaves used for dysuria.
• Ifugao migrants use it for headache.
• Ripe seeds roasted and used for diarrhea and fever.
• In Thailand, seeds used as anthelmintic; flowers for diarrhea.
• In India and Ambonia, leaves used in a compound decoction to relieve flatulent distention of the abdomen. Leaves and fruits are reported to be anthelmintic; also used for nephritis.
• In India and the Moluccas, seeds are given with honey as electuary for the expulsion of entozoa in children.
• In Indo-China, seeds are used as anthelmintic and for rickets in children.
• The Chinese and Annamites reported to use the seeds as vermifuge.
• In China, seeds macerated in oil are applied to parasitic skin diseases. Seeds are also used for diarrhea and leucorrheal discharges of children.
• In Amboina compound decoction of leaves used for flatulent abdominal distention.
• In Bangladesh, used for diarrhea, fever, boils, ulcers and helminthiasis.

Adverse reactions – diarrhea, abdominal pain, distention and hiccups – are more likely if nuts are eaten in consecutive days or when fresh nuts are eaten.

Study Findings
• Polyphenols / Antioxidant: Flower extract yielded high polyphenol contents and showed strong antioxidant activity.
• Anti-Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitor: Acetylcholine is one of the most important neurotransmitters in the central or peripheral nervous system. The methanolic extract of Q indica flower dose-dependently inhibited acetylcholinesterase activity.
• Fixed Oil Storage Effect: Study showed one year storage does not significantly affect the physical constants of the fixed oil.
• Larvicidal Activity / Aedes aegypti Mosquito: In a study screening 11 plant species of local flora against the IV instar larvae of Aedes aegypti, Quisqualis indica was one of the plants that showed some larvicidal activity against Ae aegypti, albeit, at comparatively higher doses.
• Antipyretic: Study evaluated the antipyretic activity of the methanolic extract of leaves of Q. indica in brewer yeast-induced pyrexia model in rat. Results showed significant dose-dependent antipyretic activity.
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study evaluated the anti-inflammatory activity of a hydroalcoholic extract in Wistar rats. Oral administration of the extract showed dose-dependent and significant anti-inflammatory activity in acetic acid- induced vascular permeability and cotton-pellet granuloma model, comparable to Diclofenac. the anti-inflammatory activity was attributed to bradykinin and prostaglandin synthesis inhibition property of the polyphenols.
• Immunomodulatory: Study evaluated the immunomodulatory activity of a hydroalcoholic extract of flowers in Wistar rats in a cyclophosphamide-induced myelosuppression model. Results showed significant immunomodulatory activity.
• Phytochemicals / Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic / Anticonvulsant / Antihyperglycemc / Antipyretic:Phytochemical studies floral volatiles and leaves were done. (See constituents above) Alcoholic extract showed remarkable anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anticonvulsant and antipyretic effects. The isolated mucilage exhibited significant anti-hyperglycemic effect. Antimicrobial testing showed pronounced effects against most of the tested microorganisms.
• Intestinal Ascariasis / Comparative Study with Pyrantel Pamoate: In a comparative study of Q. indica and pyrantel pamoate in the treatment of intestinal ascariasis, 85% complete cure was seen with Quisqualis indica and 90% for Pyrantel pamoate. There was 15% and 10% decrease in ova count for Q. indica and P. pamoate, respectively. A second dose resulted in compete eradication. QI had 10% side effects compared to 55% with PP.
• Anti-Diarrheal / Leaves: Study evaluated a petroleum ether extract of leaves of Q. indica against experimentally induced diarrhea. The plant extracts showed dose-dependent significant anti-diarrheal effects in all treated groups, with results compared to loperamide PO and atropine sulfate IP.
• Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory / Leaves: Study evaluated a methanolic extract of Q. indica leaves in rodents. Results showed significant anti-inflammatory and both central and peripheral analgesic activities.
• Hypolipidemic Effect/ Aerial Parts: Study evaluated the hypolipidemic effect of methanolic extracts of aerial parts and flowers on passive smoking induced hyperlipidemia in rats. Results showed significant concentration- and dose-dependent reduction of harmful lipid layer in blood serum. There was reduction of LDL, VLDL, cholesterol, and triglycerides with elevation of HDL.
• Antimicrobial Effect / Flowers: In a study of methanol extract of flowers of Q. indica, C. gigantea, P. tuberose, the dry flower extract of Quisqualis indica showed the best antimicrobial property of the flowers studied.
• Antimutagenic: Expressions from 17 plants, including Quisqualis indica, reduced the mutagenicity potential of mitomycin C, dimethylnitrosamine and tetracycline and exhibited antimutagenic effects.