Family • Araliaceae - Nothopanax fruticosum (Linn.) Miq. - CUT-LEAVED PANAX - Nan yang shen

Scientific names

Panax fruticosa Linn.
Nothopanax fruiticosa (L.) Miq.
Nothopanax fruiticosum (L.) Miq.
Polyscias fruiticosa (L.) Harms

Common names

Bani (Bik.)
Makan (Bik.)
Papua (Tag., Bik.)
Black aralia (Engl.)
Cut-leaved panax (Engl.)
Ming aralia (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

CAMBODIA: Toem bo lyam.
CHINESE: Liang wang cha (Taiwan).
INDONESIA: Puding, Kedongdong laki, Kedongdong laut, Kedongdong petedhan, Bombu, Keudem rintek, Gurabati, Dewu papua, Tjakar Kutjung, Imba.
JAPAN: Taiwan momiji.
MALAYSIA: Kuku garuda, Pokok teh.
VIETNAM: Cay goi ca.

Papua is an erect shrub, growing growing 1 to 2.5 meters high. Leaves are decompound, 3-pinnate, and up to 30 centimeters long. The pinnae are 6 to 10, the upper ones are shorter. Leaflets and ultimate segments are very diverse, mostly lanceolate, 5 to 10 centimeters long; the terminal segments are usually larger than the others and more often lobed, pointed at the tip, sharply and irregularly toothed. Flowers are numerous, umbellately arranged, shortly stalked, borne on terminal inflorescences in the upper axils of the leaves, up to 15 centimeters long. Fruit is broadly ovoid, compressed and about 4 centimeters long.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) The leaf volatile oil of Nothopanax fruticosum (L.) Miq / Oliveros-Belardo, Luz et al / Philippine Journal of Science Vol. 124, no. 2 (Ap-Je 1995), 141-160, illus

(2) Polyscias fruticosa / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED


– Commonly planted in hedges and about houses, but is nowhere spontaneous.
– Cultivated for its hedge and its leaves, the latter for providing body to florists’wreaths.
– Of prehistoric introduction.
– Probably of Malayan origin.
– Reported from India, Malaysia, and Polynesia.
– Now planted in all tropical countries.

– Yields saponins.

– Astringent, febrifuge, sudorific, vulnerary.
– Root is aromatic in taste and smell, parsley-like.
– Root considered diuretic.


Parts utilized
Leaves, roots.

– In Java, used as food and condiment in lieu of celery and parsley.
– The root has an agreeable, strongly aromatic, parsley-like.

– Leaves are powdered, mixed with salt for wound healing.
– In India, used as astringent and febrifuge.
– Root used as diuretic.
– In Cambodia, considered a sudorific inhalant; also used for neuralgia and rheumatic pains.

– Wreaths: Leaves used by florists to give body to wreaths.



Study Findings
• Leaf Volatile Oil: Study of fresh leaves yielded 0.32% volatile oil, slightly yellow in color, with a grassy scent. It was highly positive for sesquiterpene. Mass spectroscopy showed bergamotene, oxygenated sesquiterpene, -elemene, ß-bourbonene, ß-cubebene, ß-bisabolene, farnesene, elemene among others.
• Antipyretic / Analgesic: Study of n-butanol extract of leaves of Polyscias fruticosa in egg white-induced paw edema in rats showed antipyretic and analgesic activities.
• Molluscicidal: The NBES (n-butanol extract containing saponins) showed a potential as an effective plant molluscicidal, an effect attributed to the saponins. It is of added interest because fresh water snails act as intermediate host to schistosomes, the causative agents of schistosomiasis.
• Adaptogenic / Anti-Inflammatory: Adaptogenic activity studies showed Polyscias fruticosa leaf and root saponins possess effective anti-stress activity as compared with white panax ginseng root saponins. The polyscias saponins were effective in acute models of inflammations. Its immunostimulant activity revealed it can be a good substitute for white panax ginseng.