Family • Araliaceae - Nothopanax scutellarium (Burm. f.) Merr. - SAUCER-LEAF - Yuan ye nan yang shen

Scientific names

Crasulla scutellaria Burm. f.
Aralia cochleata Lam.
Nothopanax cochleatum Miq.
Nothopanax scutellarium (Burm.f.) Merr.
Polyscias balfouriana LH Bailey
Polyscias pinnata J R Forst & G Forst
Polyscias scutellaria (Burm. f.) Fosb.

Common names

Platito (Span., Tag.)
Cup-leaved papua (Engl.)
Dinner plate aralia (Engl.)
False panax (Eng.)
Saucer-leaf (Engl.)
Shell-leaf (Engl)
Shield aralia (Engl)

Other vernacular names

CHINA: Yuan ye nan yang shen.
COOK ISLANDS: Kapaie, Kaope pa.
FIJI ISLAND: Danidani.
INDONESIA: Daun mangkok, Mamanukan, Godong mangkokan, Lanida, Ndalido, Ndari, Ranido, Daun koin, Daun papeda, Daun koin, Mangkok, Memangkokan, Goma matari, Sawoko, Rau paroro.
MALAYSIA: Pokok puding mangkok, Semangkok, Daun belangkas.
THAI: Krut kra thong.
VANUATU ISLAND: Ndosir, Umroki.
VIETNAM: Dinh lang dia.

Platito is an erect shrub growing to a height of 1.5 to 3.5 meters. Stem is woody, branched, round, long and straight. Leaves are simple, somewhat rounded and concave, saucerlike, 6 to 12 centimeters wide, heart-shaped at the base and distantly toothed in the margins.


– Planted for ornamental purposes.
– Rarely flowers in the Philippines.
– Probably Malayan in origin.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Nothopanax scutellarium / Glob In Med

(2) Evaluation of antiulcer activity of root and leaf extract of Polyscias balfouriana var.marginata / Sandhya S., Vinod K.R et al / J. Chem. Pharm. Res., 2010, 2(1): 192-195

(3) Triterpenic glycosides from Polyscias scutellaria / S. Paphassarang, J. Raynaud, M. Lussignol, M. Becchi / Phytochemistry, Volume 28, Issue 5, 1989, Pages 1539–1541

(4) Studies on wound healing property of Polyscias scutellaria leaf saponins / Madhu.C.Divakar, S.Laxmidevi, P. Senthil kumar, S.B.Rao / Indian Journal of Natural Products 01/2002; 17:37.

(5) ANTIULCER HERBAL DRUGS- A REVIEW / Baheti J. R.*, Navale S. D., Awati S.T, Sonawane A.A., Dama G.Y., Bidkar J.S., Deore S. R. / Deccan J. Natural Products 1(4): Oct-Dec. 2010

(6) Plants that heal wounds. A review / RAJESH SINGH PAWAR*, FEDELIC ASHISH TOPPO / Herba Polonica, Vol 58, No 1, 2012

(7) Traditional remedies used in the Western Pacific for the treatment of ciguatera poisoning / G. Bourdy”, P. Cabalionb, P. Amadea and D. Laurenta / Journal of Etlinopharniacology, 36 (1992) 163-174

(8) A New Oleanolic Glycoside from Polyscias scutellaria / S Paphassarang, J. Raynaud, M Lussignol / Journal of Natural Products, Vol 53, No 1, pp 163-166, Jan-Feb 1990

(9) Triterpenoid Saponins from Polyscias scutellaria / S. Paphassarang, J Raynaud, M Lussignol / Journal of Natural Products, Vol 52, No 2, pp 239-242, Mar-Apr 1989.

– Yields polsciasaponin P1, calcium oxalae, peroxidase, amygdalin, phosphate, iron, fats, proteins, vitamins A, B1 and C.
– Yields a high content of triterpenoid saponins.
– Leaf yielded a triterpenic glycoside: saponin C in addition to saponins A (calendulas E) and saponin B.
– A triterpenoid saponin, polysciasaponin P, was isolated from the leaves identified as 3-O-[ß-D-glucuronopyranosl] oleanolic acid 28-O-ß-D-glucopyranoside.
– Leaves of Polyscias scutellaria yielded an oleanolic glycoside, polysciasaponin P2, in addition to plysciasaponi P3.

Parts used
Leaves and roots.

– Leaves are edible. Young leaves used as ingredient in stews.


– Leaves are dipped in boiling water and applied hot to the region opposite the bladder to induce urination.
– Leaves and roots are mixed with parsley and used as diuretic.
– Leaves are used for dressing ulcers.
– In the Vanuatu Islands, leaf juice used in the immediate post-partum period to facilitate the expulsion of placental fragments. Also postpartum, decoction of leaves used as cleansing solution.
– In Indonesia, leaf juice mixed with coconut oil and tumeric applied over breast engorgement.
– In Indonesia, coconut oil with leaf juice of N. scutellarium is gently massaged to the scalp to promote hair growth. Shoots and leaves used for urinary problems.
– In the Western Pacific, macerated bark used for treatment of ciguatera poisoning.

Study Findings
• Anti-Ulcer: Study of leaf and root extract of P. balfouriana exhibited anti-ulcer activity compared to the standard drug ginseng. The activity may be due to the presence of triterpenoid saponins in the leaf and root. At 500 mg dose, the leaf extract showed a better anti-ulcer activity than the root extract.
• Hair Growth Activity: Study of extract of N. scutellarium in male rats showed hastening of hair growth.
• Wound Healing: Study of leaf saponin extract showed promotion of collagenation in excision and incision wound models. It also showed concentration-dependent inhibitory effects on lipid peroxidation.