Family • Pandanaceae - Pandanus odorous Ridley - DWARF SCREW-PINE - Qi ye lan

Scientific names

Pandanus odorus Ridley
Pandanus amaryllifolius Roxb.

Common names

Pandan-mabango (Tag.)
Dwarf screw-pine (Engl.)
Fragrant screw pine (Engl.)
Qi ye lan (Taiwan)

Other vernacular names

DANISH: Pandan, Schroefpalm. KOREAN: Pan-Da-Nu-Seu, Pandanusu.
ESTONIAN: Lõhnav Pandan LAO: Tey ban, Tey hom.
FINNISH: Kairapalmu LITHUANIAN: Amarilinis Pandanas.
FRENCH: Pandanus. MALAY: Pandan bau, Pandan jelingkeh, Pandan Rampeh, Pandan Wangi
GERMAN: Schraubenbaum, Schraubenpalme. NORWEGIAN: Skrupalme.
HEBREW: Ha-pandanus. PORTUGUESE: Pandano.
HINDI: Ambemohor Pat, Kenr, Rampe SINHALESE: Rampe.
HUNGARIAN: Csavarpálma Levél, Pandanusz Levél, Panpung Levél SPANISH: Pandan, Pandano.
INDONESIAN: Daun Pandan, Pandan Rampeh, Pandan Wangi. SWEDISH: Skruvpalm
ITALIAN: Pandano. THAI: Bai toey, Bai toey hom, Panae-wo-nging, Toeihom, Toey, Toey-Hom.
JAPANESE: Ni-O-I-Ta-Ko-No-Ki, Nioi Tako No Ki, Nioi-Takonoki, VIETNAMESE: Dúa Thom
KHMER: Taey.

General info
Pandanus is a genus of monocots of about 600 known species, varying in size from small shrubs less than a meter to medium-sized trees of about 20 meters.


In the Philippines there are 48 species of Pandanus, many of them are endemic, growing in various habitats, from sandy beaches, mangroves and primary forests. The fruit of some species are edible, eaten by bats, rats, crabs, elephants and lizards. The majority of species are dispersed primarily by water.

Pandan-mabango is small, leafy herb, less than 1 meter tall. Stems are cylindrical, sending numerous roots at its nodes where it touches the ground. Leaves form a rosette, and are long and narrow, acute, glossy green and with smooth margins.

Note: Quisumbing’s botanical description for pandan mabango (P. odoratissimus) is that of a small plant that does not grow over a meter. It has not been known to flower or fruit in the Philippines.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Antioxidant Activity and HPTLC Analysis of Pandanus odoratissimus L. Root / J. M. Sasikumar, U Jinu and R Shamna / European Journal of Biological Sciences 1 (2): 17-22, 2009

(2) Essential oil composition of ‘kewda’ (Pandanus odoratissimus) from India / V K Raina, Ajai Kumar et al / Flavour Fragr. J. 2004; 19: 434–436

(3) Evaluation of free radical scavenging activity of Pandanus odoratissimus. / Londonkar, R.; Kamble, A. /
International Journal of Pharmacology 2009 Vol. 5 No. 6 pp. 377-380

(4) Medicinal plants with potential antidiabetic activity – A review of ten years of herbal medicine research (1990-2000) / Mohamed Bnouham, Abderrahim Ziyyat et al / Int J Diabetes & Metabolism (2006) 14: 1-25

(5) Pandan Wangi / GLOBinMED

(6) Alkaloids from Pandanus amaryllifolius Collected from Marikina, Philippines / Daisy C. Lopez* and Maribel G. Nonato / Philippine Journal of Science, 134 (1): 39-44, June 2005

(7) In Vitro Activity of Pandan (Pandanus amaryllifolius) Leaves Crude Extract Against Selected Bacterial Isolates / Oliver Shane R. Dumaoal, Ladylyn B. Alaras, Karen G. Dahilan, Sarah, Andrea A. Depadua, Christine Joy G. Pulmones / JPAIR Multidisciplinary Journal, Vol 4, No 1 (2010)

(8) Extraction of Pandanus Amaryllifolius essential oil from pandan leaves / Nur Syazwani, Ghazali (2011) / Open Access Repository of UMP Research and Publication


– Introduced in the Philippines.
– Common along sandy beaches.
– Now, cultivated as an ornamental.
– Also occurs in India, Persia, and Arabia; and cultivared in Malaya.


– Contains an essential oil, bitter and aromatic.
– Perfumed oil, called Kevda oil, is extracted from floral bracts.
– Phytochemical study yielded phenols, tannins, terpenes, alkaloids and flavanoids.
– Study of essential oil showed the major components to be: 2-phenyl ethyl methyl ether (37.7%), terpinen-4-ol (18.6%), α-terpineol (8.3%) and 2-phenyl ethyl alcohol (7.5%).

– Oil is considered a stimulant, antispasmodic and antiseptic.
– Roots are diuretic, tonic and depurative.
– Considered cardiotonic, cephalic and aphrodisiac.

Parts used
Leaves, anthers, tops, seeds.

– In the Philippines, leaves are popularly used in the cooking of rice, imparting a pleasant fragrance and flavor.
– Leaves are also used to flavor ice cream and sherbets.
– In Malaysia, used for coloring and flavoring; also as appetizer.

– Powder made from interior of anthers, smoked for sore throat.
– Roots, brayed in milk, used internally for sterility and threatened abortion.
– Used for small pox and leprosy.
– Ashes of wood used for wound healing.
– Seed concoctions used to strengthen the heart and liver.
– Oil used as stimulant and antispasmodic; used for headaches and rheumatism.
– In India, oil is used as remedy for earache and meatal suppuration.
– In northern India, used for jaundice.
– In Malaysia, said to be a cure for measles, gonorrhea, syphilis, dengue, and anemia.
– Powder made from anthers and tops of bracts used for epilepsy.

• Perfumery / Cosmetics: Oil is valued as perfumery and cosmetic ingredient. Kevda oil, a perfumed oil, is extracted from floral bracts.

Study Findings
• Antioxidant: Study of methanol and aqueous extracts of P. odoratissimus roots showed higher antioxidant potential in the DPPH scavenging assay and reducing capacity. A positive correlation was found between phenolic and flavonoid content.
•Hepatocurative: Study of Ketaki (P. odoratissimus) root decoction on carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage in albino rats showed it to be hepatocurative but not hepatoprotective.
• Antibacterial: Study showed a broad spectrum of antibacterial activity and a potential source for new classes of antibiotics. Study evaluated the in vitro activity of pandan leaves crude extract against bacterial isolates such as S. aureus, E. coli and P. aeruginosa.
• Free Radical Scavenging Activity: Study of the methanolic effect of P. odoratissimus against free radical damage showed 87.52% reduction of DPPH and 73.55% inhibition of nitric acid.
• Hypoglycemic / 4-hydroxybenzoic acid: Study of root extract of P. odorus showed significant lowering of plasma glucose in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. No significant alteration of plasma glucose was noted in healthy rats. Study isolated a known compound, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, that produced a hypoglycemic effect through increases peripheral glucose consumption.
• Alkaloids: Study of air-dried alcoholic extract of dried leaves yielded alkaloids: Pandamarilactone- 1, Pandamarilactam-3x, -3y, Pandamarilactonine-A, -B, -C, and 6Z-Pandanamine.

Small scale commercial production.